In my case it can be sporadic and unpredictable; it came this morning at dawn when I woke up wet and sandy on Moonstone Beach in Cambria, the last major outpost before Big Sur, the immediate quest of my hitchhiking tour north, whose insane beauty and isolation scare many away.
I got up and ate a Nature Valley granola bar- its wrapper promised it was good for me- and then there it was, my cell phone throbbing in my pocket: Write on me now!, so that I have to write this on a miniature computer on the wet sand, an aggravating process in terms of proofreading, but the urge is strong, the beach overpowers me, pushing me into stream of consciousness mode, probably the default mode of my brain anyway, and I want to present the salient sensations of my fall travel season, starting with the re-run of the recent Hobbit movie which I saw in town last night, a movie that upset me with its heroic sexual fantasies and reminded me about women and how I used to believe that men and women were designed to interlock and function as two components of an operation, not as two components that briefly interlock as one, then fly apart to maintain individuality, the woman seeing all things fitting into the plan designed to keep the species going, to move the plan forward, the male a spy rushing ahead, checking beyond the plan, running from the plan, seeing a more familiar plan in the universe's non-plan, and coming out of the theater I fell from my protected place into my own body and wanted to talk to a woman about the movie then make love on the beach, 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 I cheated- only because at this stage in my life I have to- and went 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 her with a sustained fantasy about myself, and I realized that only Harry the Human could do this for me, 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 things to do on this planet, so quickly, in something of a panic, I looked around in her head and found with relief that she not only knew of Harry the Human but had years ago heard him speak in the Haight and remembered how he surprised people with his parlor tricks, so I revealed my identity and lied, saying I remembered her from years ago, 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 arouse her as my real self could not. Like a puppeteer dangling my constructed personality before her, I led her from the bar (after several drinks for the two of us and a few hits from the half-jay in her purse) 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, and I chose the moment, easily, as only the old can do, when I did not have to worry about resistance, my arms around her, she swimming in her fantasy of me, taking our clothes off, my fantasy of her little more than the fact that she was a stranger, my erection a godsend but as usual tenuous, her mind swimming all around her fantasy of me, a famous person, then we were down on the sand in an embrace when it all went wrong, maybe because I saw her fantasy of me more clearly than I should have and it made me feel alone, maybe because I suddenly worried that she would stake a claim on me if we made love instead of letting me scurry away like the male black widow whose mate looks to eat him after coitus. She saw my erection droop and smelled my anxiety and then she recoiled too, wondering if she had been tricked by me, maybe I was just another useless discarded man, pretending to be someone so I could score, and she said, "That's ok, we can just talk," and I was relieved and started talking about the Hobbit movie, how it was a creation beyond the book, sensual and gorgeous, seductive as Tolkien was 40 years ago when my friend Raul in Berkeley said Tolkien had solved the problem of war by making clear distinctions between good and evil. I told Mary I felt Tolkien's magic again in the movie last night as war loomed between the Good (intensely beautiful and pure Humans and Elves, in alliance with grumpy yet righteous Dwarves) and the Evil (reptilian humanoids, orcs and their ilk, deformed, perverse in the thrall of sadism and hatred). The movie made me want to swing a sword, to chop evil into bits. Who would not want to fight for the Lady Galadriel or the re-born King Thorin, off the charts virtuous and noble? The fictional propaganda inspired me to drop everything and enlist in a non-existent army. I told Mary, "I want to go to war against the darkness! Too bad we can't, though, because light doesn't battle darkness."
Light is just light, my pot addled brain told Mary, it doesn't care about darkness. Our new war will be darkness, at least for those caught in it, not for the fortunate chess players watching from a distance. For them it will be pure light, the end of the masses of humans gumming up the works, the climax of the Industrial Revolution, the final battle before the perfect melding of human and machine. In future society, as envisioned by Aldous Huxley, there is no more war, dramatically less pain and suffering, no overpopulation or painful childbirth, easy sex and mandatory recreational drugs. Hey wait a minute, is that the Darkness? I had to admit, I told the no-longer aroused Mary, it doesn't sound entirely bad.
I looked up from my self-absorbed rant and saw that Mary was not looking at me; she was looking out 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 all my clothes and ran around a little. It was freezing, so I lay down on the sand and rolled over a few times, coming to rest on my stomach, and then I tried to rape the earth beneath me, twisting my groin downwards into the sand, finding again my erection, thinking how the only thing there is for a man to fuck, in the final analysis, is the earth.
I woke up wet, cold and not sure if I was ecstatic or suicidal. Next steps: find a restroom and freshen up, use the local wi-fi to send this post to D.L., go down 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 Naciemento Road, which twists a hundred miles over the Santa Lucia Mountains to the Salinas Valley. I'm thinking I'll walk up Naciemento, which has almost no traffic, until I can't sense anything of humanity beyond the road, then I'll leave the road and walk into the forest with my backpack full of water and granola bars until the earth is behind me and I'm on another planet, where I can lean on a tree and get some 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