2000 years ago. The Grateful Dead.
my friend was telling me the other day, as his hat tipped sideways and we all drank coffee, about his dad who was a big time drug dealer in san francisco in the 70s, and his times meeting david bowie and brian eno, and his uncle who was in the grateful dead. we were sipping coffee and his son was playing soccer in the park next to us, but mainly his son was just standing against the wall as the boy he was playing with kicked the ball at him. his boy has soft curly hair too, and dimples and was also interested to look at the animals in the animal barn. but how do you know if this is really true, that this man's uncle was in the grateful dead, and about meeting bowie? well, you look at his fingernails.
a few nights before that we were sitting on the side of the footpath, me, my other friend, and my man friend getting his ear talked into and almost off by a man who gestured with his arms and a bible and said many times "2000 yeeears ago!" my man friend told me later this guy used to be in jail, and then he found a bible, a woollen vest, a short haircut, a small amplifier to plug in, and a story to tell over and over again, that he's now putting all his effort into holding up, with those uplifted hands in the street. the story gives him a reason to keep his shoes and pride on, and he keeps the story up and outwards. his ancestors were born here, and now he's telling a different version of how to keep things right and where all the stars came from.
so i was sitting with my friend and she has no place to live now because of mental illness, ice, and an inadequately funded system that could wrap her up in at least a place to live and a doctor to stay as her doctor even when she moves house 6 times a year or goes to jail. she didn't have a place to live, but she had nice clothes and make up on and 6 little cakes in a plastic container. another boy came to sit with us, because people who are like each other like to be with each other. he told us "i'm an mc" "i've worked with dr dre", but you could see his clothes and fingernails were all dirty so we only believed the first bit. he told us about learning how to smoke women's orgasms, til we said it wasn't good for the first conversation, and then a little bit later, with streams of my other friends with houses walking by as he talked he said "i see all these beautiful people. i see beautiful things in the world. but i'm not apart of it. i just see it, but i can't be part of it."
another man came and sat with us too, a young beautiful man with ancestors from here and a very very soft looking beard that i wanted to dive into. he had a little bottle of amil nitrate and big brown eyes and a nice smelling hoody and he said how he'd just got out of jail that afternoon. so he started getting on the phone to help my friend organise some really really good rock MDMA. when it was just me and him talking, i asked him "don't you want to try another way this time, another path". "no way!" he said. "i had a girlfriend who was really straight one time and i tried to be straight and i didn't like it. this is what i'm going to do."
well, the other people kept streaming by laughing in groups and heading to and fro from the art exhibition, and me and the three people without homes about the same age as me sat on the footpath, and after my friend left the two boys without homes left because they could tell i wasn't like them.
2000 years ago what was happening there? food was coming up from the ground, no-one did any housework, the grateful dead hadn't made any songs or any fame to hang on themselves, no-body smoked meth or MDMA. everything seems very wonky. and everyone seems to wonk into the same direction; trouble to more trouble; beautiful people with houses at exhibitions to and from exhibitions.