Thursday, September 8, 2016

Where can you possibly go after LA

At the end of the fourth chapter of the trip to India, (you'd have to scroll down to read them, and if you did/do, god bless you) you remember that I got deposited in a bit of a plop in the also magical city of LA.
But the wheel keeps turning and you've go to move on when your head and your feet are both pulling you forward....and pretty much you have no other choice.

I was seeing another boy (yes, I was pretty much the slut my mother always liked to tell me I was) who's family lived in Beverly Hills, so odd, because that is my mother's name and for a year I stopped thinking of her and, thank you God, the connection didn't ever click for me
His parents wouldn't let us stay in the house, dirty crazy hippies, but he was able to convince them to let us and another couple - I can't even see their faces - camp in the two car garage. Mattresses on the floor, ubiquitous tapestry spreads on the beds and a little cleared out space for eating (street stand) food. Pot smoking is portable, sitting-standing-laying, choose your comfort.

His name was Jim with the curly blond hair, a sparse goatee and blue eyes that come with being a California native. His father was a dentist to the stars and just wanted us to get the fuck out of there. So where can you go, but the other California. The big island of Hawaii.  Jim had money and friends there and I can only assume that he paid for me because I sure as hell didn't. We arrived on separate planes and for some reason he wasn't there to pick me. It's dusk in a different paradise and paradise-or-not, swirly panic can blot out all that beauty.

A "we're-all-one" couple picked up on that and zip, I was in a jeep headed up a steep, foot-deep- pot-holed road, to a tiny A-framed guest house with enough room for my sleeping bag, two bananas and two avocados in a metal pot and another to pee in. I swear to god I never left that hut for 48 hrs. except to lean out and dump the pee pot, I was like a yogi on a mountain top. I was stuck there for those two days and only had company in the form of an ox (I guess that's what it was because it had horns) that kept wandering under the hut-on-stilts to scratch his back on the underside. At first I thought it was an earthquake.  A peek under the floor and two sets of eyeballs assessing each other and we were silent but wary cohabitants until I could get the hell out of there.

I finally got down that pot holed road to the little grocery store in Kealakekua, found Jim, who I swear, swear, swear had just walked up there to buy something (this kind of thing was such a common experience in those days, that you came to think of it as the norm) and down we go to Napoopoo Road (NO, I am not shitting you! cue the Beach Boys...)  to where we wound up living for awhile with some friends of his and their mini-hippie baby. She was the happiest little girl as we all were, indulging in the liquor of sunshine and freedom and the euphoria that comes with that when it is all free.  We were squatters on an overgrown, abandoned coffee plantation, with still intact workers huts dotted in a little enclave connected by bare footed paths. Workers huts only had three sides and waking up to an ocean only seemed right. This was the view when you sat up in bed in the morning.  Not bad.

Jim made a lean-to off an old tree and that's where I lived in gloriousness for the next three months. He stayed on there for years and finally moved to Bali. One lucky boy.
                                 Our home. Probably about 7' x 9'. It was so sweet there at
                                  night with a little oil lamp and books and stories.
This was hysterical! It's the little kitchen that only two silly, goofballs could conjure up. You'll notice it's on a slant....there is a piece of corrugated tin there on the right in the first photo, to stop the avocados from rolling down the hill.  We would walk up the hill in the evening to pick avocados and then down the hill in the morning to pick mangoes and guava and papayas. The red bag hanging there is for the avocados and fruit that had to be hung so that the rats wouldn't get into them. California Boy always said that all the snakes in Hawaii had been killed out and what it did was allow the vermin population to over grow.  I never saw one, but there were still, sometimes, nibbles even when things were hung.
The boy, his long curls tied back. He was sweet and fun and cared about me so much more than I ever realized. 
Trying to make a garden in the jungle. I'm dressed in his clothes to mosquito proof myself, didn't work, you just have to get used to them.  I look so naive, so young, so needing to be loved and not believing it was possible, in fact it took me about 3 more decades to actually believe that I was indeed lovable.
I cannot understand how I had as many pleasant relationships as I did, except that I never wore a bra...

Bob and Leisha lived down the hill in a very posh workers shack. It had two room and a loft and a tiny little kitchen, way, way better than ours so a lot of meals were consumed down there. Actually, truly cooked meals...see the hanging frying pan.
Bob and Leisha also had some other friendly visitors, spiders.  I don't know what they were called but they were like very big tarantulas, (about the size of a large teacup) but that's not what they were - at least I don't think so.  You would be sitting around chatting and all of a sudden you realized that one was crawling up your arm and then up on to your shoulder and over your head.  They would eventually make it to the wall and up onto beams on the ceiling and just camp. You could see where they had shed their skin from the last year and then moved on to another spot. I learned to get used to it after the first freakout, because they were actually harmless. Eventually their legs skittering up your arm would feel velvety. It was nice to know that you could live in harmony with a creature that in any other circumstances you would find horrifying.

Note the ubiquitous tapestry clothing. It's what everyone wore, except when naked and that was often how hot, sunny days were lived.  You could escape the mosquitoes if you were in wide open spaces and some of the people there had very large open decks. Maybe boss-mans shack?

It was such an idyll that there aren't that many memories other than just glorious days and long conversations where we came to think we finally understood the world and the purpose of it all. And lots and lots of love and kindness and sharing, because that's the way life was supposed to be.

I do remember coming very close to drowning a couple of times, actually being swept out to sea while sitting in a tide pool and then swept right back in, it was a mix of terror and euphoria all at once. (I cannot swim, although I've been thrown into pools, the ocean and even once, a dam!)   Also, visiting Kilauea - at that time you could walk right up to the edge of the crater and amazingly look down into a churning cauldron of bubbling and erupting red lava. It was astonishing.  You could never do that now.  I have a picture of that too, but I don't feel like hauling it out...ha.

 Oh yes, we also stumbled upon the abandoned house of what must have been the plantation owner. It was like something out of a movie. The main room had a bed in it, one of those rope beds that could have easily held 6 people. Why would 6 people sleep in the same bed?  There was all kinds of imported furniture from marble topped mahogany shaving stands to beautiful hand painted wardrobes.  All china and glassware was intact as well as canned food.  It was like everyone had just walked out of it about 50 years ago and nothing had been touched. I remember taking a few small items, a plate and some egg cups.  Oh come on, you know you would have!  I have no idea what happened to them, but then, there are a lot of things in my life that have slipped away when I wasn't watching, many years of not watching.

I'm so happy I had these memories, of India, of LA and the paradise of Hawaii. It was the luckiest time of my life and sometimes remembering it all erases, for a bit, some of the other times of my life. So yes, I am indeed a lucky girl.


  1. Those are great pictures of a long ago life. I love seeing that makeshift lifestyle. It was absolutely revolutionary, an act of faith in the universe. Today we struggle to live in the moment, but back then it was just a glorious reality.

    1. Oh, that made me laugh! "long ago" yes it was a looong time ago:)
      But that is lovely the way you described it as a "glorious reality". We sure do find it harder to get to that place now. It seems to be the same all over the world, sadly.

  2. An adventure that creatures like me (always needing to fee; safe) dream of having. Beautiful memories.

    1. Well, Linda, I'm not sure if I could do it again. There is something about ultra naive youth that allows such things. Now a days I like the occasional shower..haha

  3. Have you spoken to any of the people you were with or looked them up on Facebook?

    I would have taken something, too. ;-)

    1. Birdie,
      The only one whose last name I can remember is Jim's.
      Ha, there was so much stuff there, I wonder what you would have taken. :)

  4. I love Colette's comment about an act of faith in the universe. I am about your age and also had a lot of faith in the universe, it was a wonderful, idealistic time to be young. Wonderfully told adventures, felt like I was there. Thanks!

    1. Barbara
      You're so right, it was a unique time. It will, sadly, never be repeated again, but we are indeed lucky to have lived through it!

      And yeah, Colette nailed it.

  5. What a wild and wonderful life you are recounting. I love these photos and wish that I'd been born a decade earlier so I, too, could have been a bonafide hippie.

  6. How funny. I was thinking earlier today about that very same thought, of being a hippie. I'm glad I got to experience what I did, and it's certainly shaped me, in a good way. But if I knew then what I know now, I would rather have gone to college and gotten a degree, that would have shaped me too and I wonder if I would have had a happier life.

    Besides, your pretty radical and kind of cool so I think that makes you pretty close to being a hippie.

  7. you had some pretty fun adventures.

  8. Wow! That's living and the rest can go to hell. :-)

    Greetings from London.

    1. Something to look back on in my dottering old age.