Saturday, October 3, 2015

The urge to write

In my case the urge to write is sporadic and unpredictable; it came this morning at dawn when I awoke cold, wet and sandy on Moonstone Beach in Cambria, the last major town before Big Sur, the immediate quest of my hitchhiking tour north.

I got up and ate a Nature Valley granola bar- its wrapper promised it was good for me- and then my cell phone contacted me about its lack of purpose, calling out: Write on me!, so that now I'm writing my tale on a miniature computer on the wet sand, an aggravating process in terms of proofreading, but the urge is strong and the beach overpowering, leading me into stream of consciousness mode, probably my default mode anyway, as I present the salient sensations of my fall travel season, starting with the latest Hobbit movie which I saw in town last night, a movie that upset me with its heroic sexual fantasies.  Exiting the theater I needed to share the moment and restore my belief that life is as good as a movie or maybe even better, so I cast my mind out and it landed two blocks away at Mozzi's Saloon, where an older woman named Mary sat alone at a bar.  

I saw her when I came in and cheated- only because at this stage of life I have to- by going right into her head, where I saw her deciding, as she saw me walk to the bar and sit two seats from her, that she would accept me if I could present a sustained fantasy of myself, and I realized that only Harry the Human could do this, that noted guru, a wizard living past the age of magic, an interesting and successful man rather than a confused old fart without a single useful thing to do on this planet, so quickly I searched her thoughts and found with relief that not only had she heard of Harry the Human but years ago had seen him in the Haight and was struck by his parlor tricks, so I revealed my identity and lied, saying I remembered her, that total recall is part of the telepathic arts (it is not) and it worked like a charm!  I had a complete, functioning fantasy-self, ready and able to interest her as my basic self could not.  Like a puppeteer dangling my constructed personality before her, I led her from the bar down to Moonstone Beach, where we avoided the few groups huddling around fires that were braving the cold wind and stormy sky and moved over the rolling expanse of sand, the crashing Pacific to our right, to our left the lagoon where Santa Rosa Creek pools before emptying into the sea.  

We sat on the sand, gazing at the waves when it all went wrong.  It was my fault,  maybe because I saw her fantasy of me more clearly than I should have and it made me feel alone, or maybe I worried that if we made love she would stake a claim on me instead of letting me scurry away like the male black widow whose mate looks to eat him after coitus.  She smelled my anxiety and recoiled, wondering if I had tricked her, that maybe I was just another useless discarded man, pretending to be someone so I could score, and she said, "Let's just talk," and I was relieved and started talking about the Hobbit movie, how it made me want to swing a sword and chop evil into bits.  "Who wouldn't want to fight for the Lady Galadriel or the re-born King Thorin, off the charts virtuous and noble?" I asked. "That movie made me want to drop everything and enlist in a non-existent army!" 

"I wanted to go to war against the darkness," my groping brain added, "Too bad we can't, though; darkness isn't something you can actually fight."  I looked up from my self-absorbed rant and saw that Mary was not looking at me; she was looking at the waves.  I went into her head and understood I had totally lost her.  She was immersed in reveries about people and regrets; I was a sad footnote. I walked her politely back to the street, where she said she could find her way home. Then I came back over the sand, all the way to the far side of the lagoon, took off my clothes and ran around a little, which I hoped indicated that I was alive.  It was freezing so I got dressed again.  My memory stops there.

I woke up wet, cold and not sure if I was ecstatic or defeated or both.  Next steps: find a restroom and freshen up, use the local wi-fi to send this post to D.L., return to Highway 1 and stick out my thumb.  My only idea of what I'm doing today is that I'm going to Big Sur.  Why?  To do what?  Does its mad beauty have anything for me?  I've mentioned my quest to find out if God has a sense of humor. Have I discovered that "He" doesn't?  In past trips to Big Sur I'd hang out on the tasteful patio at Nepenthe, perched tranquilly on a sheer mountainside three hundred feet above a rocky beach, but I can't see doing that today.  People would detect the tentative state of my soul and flee, lest my weakness infect them.  I might tell my ride to let me off twenty miles south of Big Sur at the unpaved and little used Naciemento Road, which meanders a hundred miles over the Santa Lucia Mountains to the Salinas Valley.  I'm thinking I could walk up Naciemento until I can't sense anything of humanity except the road, then leave the road and walk into the forest with my backpack full of water and granola bars until the human world is gone, and it's a different world, with a new perspective.  

If God has a sense of humor, maybe now is the time to let us know. On second thought, maybe not.  

It may take me a while to get my act together, so please be patient if it’s a few days until my next post.  

All the best, Harry the Human

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