Saturday, March 01, 2014

Last pages of my next book

Ayahuasca Conclusion

Last time Jane was with me visiting Bar in the Fortress we were watching a video on a computer screen, Apocalypse Now, Bar wasting badly in his wheelchair, his head shaved to rid himself of lice, his legs so swollen he wrapped his feet in black plastic garbage bags because he couldn't wear shoes, the smell of him impossible for others to cope with unless all the windows and doors in the warehouse were full open and fans were blowing. Bar must have weighed 400 pounds, all of him covered in dirt and a grey track suit. He'd been a handsome man most of his life, but time and impending death spoiled all that, at least on the outside. His voice was still commanding and mellifluous, his smile still winning, his sparkling blue eyes still shiny and happy most times. We watched the movie and ate pizza and Bar guzzled whiskey from the bottle. Jane tapped her feet in time to music from the show. “Oh, Susie Q.”

In our own private diner we could do as we pleased, and I told Bar to rerun the movie scene and got Jane on the ten foot long bench top and we watched her as Credence Clearwater Revival pounded out music while Playboy bunnies danced on stage in the jungle before hundreds of horny soldiers locked in Viet Nam. Jane got up on the table and danced a-go-go, while we looked up, clapping and cheering her on, Jane's long legs pumping and her back slipping and her hips gyrating, go-go, her long hair flying wild in the back-lights, the cardboard pizza box vibrating off the table and onto the floor, Jane's shoes joining them, Jane aflame, Bar in bliss. “Oh, Susie Q, tell me you'll be true, Susie Q.” Rock and roll your soul till you die alone in the dark while your friends are fucking. Who needs you?
Madness, pain, and hatred. The world of others provides it all. Who needs friends when one can lay in the dark alone and screw?

Jane and I went to all the finer Salvation Army Thrift Shops to dress us up real fine for Bar's memorial service at the ethnic place his kids from out of town rented. Only once did I have to slam a clerk's face into the dressingroom wall because the kid kept trying to sneak peeks through the crack. Jane looked sharp when she was dressed up, a light brown suede blazer, a cream coloured satin blouse, and black wool slacks with shiny black leather shoes. I got her a necklace for a quarter, and she stepped out looking like a movie star. I out-did her altogether cause I got a better sense of style, me in a knee-length grey cashmere coat, black wool blazer, white shirt and red tie, grey slacks, and my favourite alligator skin cowboy boots. I topped it off with a black, broad-brimmed Kosuth hat on sale. Bar was our friend, and we dressed up good to send him off.

Bar's son presided as he stood before all of Bar's old friends. The man stood before us dressed in track pants and a dirty tee shirt, his braless older sister beside him, she being stuffed into a black polyester tube, dark spots on her legs where she'd hurt herself shaving. Jane and I were aglow till Jerry walked in from work, still wearing his usual one of a dozen $5,000.00 business suits. Why even try when your friends make you look like shit without even trying?

I laid alone in the dark in a fairy castle house of concrete and woven banana leaves on jungle sticks, alone in the dark on a mat as Claire laid alone in the dark beside me singing. She sang “La La La La La,” and I told her I would rather listen to the radio and be alone in the dark by myself without her.

I didn't want any friends as I laid alone in the dark and drank. I wanted to be alone.

Alone in the dark by myself with Claire beside me quietly weeping I closed my eyes – for a moment only, nothing more – and there I saw Bar and he spoke to me. I saw him, his lips moving, his mustache soaked in drool, he spoke to me. “Who needs your friendship when you can sit alone in the dark beside a sobbing woman and drink ayahuasca?” I rose from my mat and sat alone in the jungle and smoked mapacho in the night. “And you don't even think about her.”


They sit alone in a group and listen as he talks, his voice like violets and roses and leather and blood. He speaks and the room fills with golden sunlight and they are filled with memories made real of love and passion and power and someone who loved them once. He talks and they gaze at him in wonder for he is wise and gentle and kind and his words fill the air like dancing rainbows. Every little gesture, his smile, his eyes, he leaves them in awe and desire to be with him forever, the way he smooths his pant leg with his palm, the sheen of his hair, his clear and lovely eyes. He knows, and they love him.

Though he has been on of life's perpetual losers, each failure astounds him, and thus he carries on in faith, knowing his destiny is grand and he must suffer till he rises to the heights.

He walks past the fortress in the night, huddled against the freezing rain, and he stops momentarily to look in at Jane and Bar and me as we live our little lives alone. I see him clearly and I know he is the man. He is coming, Son of Mother Ayahuasca. He will come to offer healing of my psychic fucking pains.

Jane dances a-go-go on the table like sex on a roll, and he turns away grinning and disappears into the night.


Jane and I exit the hall hand in hand and step into the cold air of a Spring day, the hemlock trees solid and leafless rooted in hard ground, the grass a'greening again, brown for now but turning. At home we get into bed in the dark and four cold hands reach out to strangers, touching.

Should I wash away my psychic pains in jungle drugs and feel whole and healed? Should I go harmonious into the cosmos attuned? Should I lay aside my hates and rage for horrors done? Men in the world hurt. We are small. I look deep into the endless empty skies and see the gods that hate us. Wounded? I laugh. Healing ayahuasca? The man is grand who sits so still alone in his own pain, his rotting body, his hand grasping in the dormant gap. We don't need others to heal or hurt; we harm ourselves just fine. Who needs healing when we can die alone in the dark?

Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic

Here is a link to my other book on Iquitos.