All Fucked Up
2001-11-07 05:42:03 (UTC)

They Call the Fog "Lawrence"

(this reads a bit strangely, as I wrote down everything as
I remembered it and turned it in for an English assignment a long
time ago)

Satori in North Beach

"...The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who
are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirious of
everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say
a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous
yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the
stars, and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop
and everybody goes, 'Awww!'" As I walked desolately through
the shrouded gray streets of San Francisco, that quote from
Kerouac's On The Road lingered through my fragile mind like
an ever recurring dream

I felt so fuckin' invincible. I was sixteen,
fresh from the City of Angels, attired in my battered old
converse and my torn paint splattered pants that my father
had worn in the battlefields of Vietnam (which accounted for the
blood that was also on those pants), and there were
paintbrushes sticking out of my back pocket. I was the
meanest motherfucker to walk the earth...and I was on a
mission to find instant beatitude...satori, in short

Once out of the vicinity of Fisherman's Wharf, the scent of
salty air and cry of seagulls dissolved into the foggy morass,
only to be replaced by the bittersweet pounding of bongos,
the smell of grounded coffee, and an array of scruffy
voices; some discussing the latest art review, while others
merely conversed in French or Italian. The hint of a
miracle occured each second

"This is all too fuckin' surreal," I thought, having often
dreamed of running away to live the life of the starving
artist-- and here, at last, was the bohemian mecca that had
so often materialized in my dreams. Hepcats w/The Oracle
under their arms abounded. Ray-bans, berets, and espressos.
The scene was more sleek than chik, more brains than brawn.
It seemed to be the dawning of a new Beat Generation,
having been resurrected and given resperation for the
enjoyment of a new breed of cool cats

Suddenly, I outbursted a cry of sheer excitement, known
only by those who have found something that they have long
misplaced and left discarded for many a year, only to
resurface years later and once again reclaim it's place in
your heart. There in front of me was City Light's
Bookstore, my site of sacred pilgrimage, standing
powerfully like a temple of steel. I made no hesitance in

Inside I drowned in a sea of books...there were books on
philosophy, mythology, feng-sheui, poetry, psychotherapy,
etc. Picking up one of the many books, I then recalled
something that no McGraw-Hill history textbook could have
ever taught me-- somewhere, out of the nostalgic depths of
my mind, I remembered there once, oh so long ago, being a
church pewter in the downstairs basement. Noticing it
missing, I asked a worker where it had gone; he was just as
baffled as I was, as evident from his response: "How on
earth did you know of that? It has been long,
thirty years gone, kid"

Setting my mind on seeing the rest of the bookstore, I went
back upstairs, climbed another flight of stairs, and saw a
sign announcing "BEAT POETRY." Again, I became the victim
of the books appeal. Here alone, I spent three hours and
wrote a long ass letter to Jack Kerouac on the wall. While
I was writing, a door creaked from behind, and I slowly turned
only to find Lawrence Ferlinghetti gazing upon me
mysteriously, widening his smile to a vast horizon of significance.
My pen and jaw both dropped. Trying to be modest about the whole
ordeal, I was barely able to stutter, "
Ferlinghetti?" "Yes, I am" he answered. My heart raced.
Time existed then in the ONE dimension of NOW!

For a mere fraction of a second, I stood scrutinizing the
stranger's face (it sure did look different than the one on
the back of his 1958 edition of Coney Island that I had in
tow), yet he was no stranger at all. In fact, his words
alone have raised me at times. "Where are you from?" he
asked. "Los Angeles," I faltered. His joking
response: "Owww, a lot of strange people there, I hear." He
then proceeded to sign that Coney Island I had, and gave a
look as if to ask, "How did someone so young get a hold of
such an old book?" (I had stolen it from my grandfather's
library four years prior). We conversed a bit more and I
then watched him as he faded down Columbus Avenue, while
the afternoon sun clawed savagely at my eyes. "There goes
God," I muttered to myself

I crossed Jack Kerouac Alley and found myself at Vesuvio's
Bar. At the door a sign boldly stated: NO ONE UNDER 21 WILL
BE ADMITTED. The bartenders readily greeted me in. Inside,
cappuccinos and espressos passed from one person to another
w/more abandon than a joint is offered. People
entered in restless tides from the streets to hear the
saxophones blare like a child's party out of control.
Noises blasted their way into silence, into a cry
outlasting sound. Drums, screams, laughter! A raging
hurricane lashing at the city. A symphony gone mad!

An old Italian took a seat across from me, as I stared out
the window, watching the seminude bohemians writhing in the
streets. "What can YOU order here?" he asked
jokingly, "Ovaltine?" We sat shooting the bull for some
time; he told me about the black and white days of North
Beach, all of which I could visualize in color, as clear as
day. "Those were definitely the days," he sighed w/a wry smile.
agreed, to which he answered, "I know you were there."
would have loved to gotten inside his mind and seen what else he was
poor ass pondering through the chambers of his soul

As I walked back outside, the sun was setting and I
imagined the evening fog rolling in through the Golden Gate
Bridge, playing harp on it's steel chords. Walking down the
street, I noticed a young dude around twenty five years
old, his features youngly real in the white glare of the
fog-- as if chiseled to perfection by a master sculptor. He
approached me w/a flower and placed it in my disheveled
ringlets. I was suddenly reminded of the Scott McKenzie
lyrics: "If you're going to San Francisco be sure to wear
some flowers in your hair.....if you're going to San
Francisco you're gonna meet a lotta gentle people there..."

Moloch (where have we heard this name before?) as he called
himself, followed me around and we soon found that we had
everything in common. He showed me into Cafe Trieste where
we sat and had biscottis and Perrier, tilting the glasses
to capture each drop, as if toasting the faint moon that
had by then appeared in her sequined effulgence. The black
darkness reached insidiously soothing for the people in the
cafe. Leaving, Moloch and I walked back past the "temple of
steel," while swelling night people snakedanced dizzily
through the weird streets and alleys. In the rushing night,
the temple-- it's nebulous spires of books-- tried urgently
to fade into elysium

Hidden for years, finally released by the atmosphere of
North Beach, San Francisco, my energy and bliss flowed out
like a flood-swollen river. Then, finally calmed by truth
and beauty, the waters seeked to return to their source, to
retreat; but the memory of the satori, of the flooding,
remains, happily scarring the land it washed

"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they
recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?--it's the
too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-by. But we lean forward to
the next crazy venture beneath the skies"-- Jack Kerouac


My first encounter w/Ferlinghetti by Benzedrine Monday,
July 9 at 7:18 PM
Amazing Story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by Mr. Menukian Monday,
July 9 at 8:26 PM
Mr. Menukian-- by Benzedrine Tuesday, July 10 at 7:02 PM
god by judih Monday, July 9 at 9:38 PM
Judih-- by Benzedrine Tuesday, July 10 at 6:57 PM
Thanks to my lover.... by Mr. Menukian's Man Tuesday, July
10 at 10:33 PM