Brandon Hernández 1 p.m., March 28
- Community Blog
- Grrrrr...acies Penalty Box
Sleeping Starbucks, Waking Soldier...
And then... (Just a few days ago)
It's another sip of Breakfast Blend, another slurp from a medium roast, another tilted Mermaid toast, another OB morning in Starbucks. This place might not work for the hardest of 'core' locals or the saltiest 'Becian' in the bunch but it works for me. I wake up early, in and under a bush filled with birds next to the Pacific Ocean. Every night I sleep on the edge of a country whose Good Bamboozled Citizens have been so tricked and oh so conditionally treated that even the most comfortable, the most 'happy' do not realize it's always Halloween and they are disguised as nothing more than slaves.
There isn't anything more tragic, maddening, or frightening than a slave who believes that they are free. It's oxymoronic... It does not compute. It's sorta like a real OB local going into Starbucks.
After I drove through the looking glass and on into Six Miles Surrounded by Reality nearly seven years ago I remember the good ol Grass Roots Movement against the Machine. I saw the signs, the bumper stickers, and the mini-protests. I dug it. Inside I raged with all of them. Yes, yes, yes... I had heard the seawater sponged stories about a late 60's campout/picnic on the jetty to save a jetty that's still there today.
At the time, I was the new and upcoming attraction who did not know that you were supposed to tuck your surf booties under your wetsuit. Yah man, kookier than kook, an east coaster but still so, so, so stoked to witness folks still fighting the War on Us. It didn't matter. I still went to Starbucks every morning anyway. First of all, they opened earlier than anyplace but OB Donuts at 5 A.M. Like I said I'm a early riser, a pre-dawn patroller. Secondly, they offered clean restrooms and lastly you could always lock into that cutesy barista and flirt a little through the aromatic javaness.
So what, the average Uggzz wearing bear might say but when you've dropped off the Grid because you've Awakened, and REALIZE that We are solely Here in this Existence to evolve consciously and as a result of this Enlightenment you find youself homeless, well need I say more.
So yes I'm nursing this venti and we're coming into that time in the morning, where the Normals are beginning that monolithic march to WORK. I've already survived, ignored, and found the humor in the wealthy old cacklers, the regulars, the Good Citizens that gather every morning at the same time, take their same seats (perchs), read the same ol newspaper, getting their same ol 75 cents worth of Daily Programming, discussing their rental properties, their investments, their latest take on the News, which is never much different than their last.
I cannot help but catch some of their all Knowing of Things, their whole very unimpressive grasp of the mundane because they are loud, obnoxious, entitled and lost. They discuss their money, their politics, and actually feign arguing over Democrat or Republican with one intention, To Educate Us and to protect themselves and their things. Oh... They are clever, the 'winners' in the game of L.I.F.E. and they discuss just enough change to continue exploiting the changeless. They rant about just enough change to keep their pockets lined and their children in line to fill their own later.
And everyone's 'habits', everyones 'routines' power a Clock that tic-tocks, tic-tocks away giving all their own fourth dimensional reality.
Suddenly a Special Force, a Loose Cannon, a Fox stealthily slips into the mix. No one pays him much attention because their not awake but I cannot ignore another warrior, another soldier, another madman in the dreamLIFE. I watch him with his own mug in his hand. He takes a table. He drops his dirty blue backpack and moves into the middle of a line full of tanned sleepwalkers. Each of them waiting for their fix, their boost and allowing their thoughts to actually define them before stepping back out into the madness. He grabs a turkey and advocado sandwich, walks back over to his table and sets it down. He glides around all of the Newport Av employed, who work low paying 'stress-free' jobs like they've got it all figured out while growing more and more fenced in by them everyday, and thus stressed.
This soldier is a veteran. He knows exactly what he's doing while he doesn't. Now he's at a condiment bar pouring half and half into his mug. He's fitting in and playing the role, a Starbucks customer. He walks back to his table, scans the room, walks back over and through the line of actual customers and steals a juice. Then it's back to the table, back to base camp. He sets the juice down next to his sandwich but what good is a free breakfast without a free newspaper? At least this cat realizes the propagandas true worth. So it's back over to the condiment section where a stack of Union Tribunes sit, like a black and white roll of toilet paper, for people to wipe their minds clear of any imagination, hopes, or dreams. As he sits down he glances over at me in the corner behind him.
I smile like a fox, a lone wolf, a dragon... He recognizes all of this and fake-flashs his own wilely gestures. Despite knowing just how dangerous, how deadly this character is I like his style. Hell he can steal everthing in the place. I don't care. So I tell him as much saying, "I like your style."
"Oh... You caught all dat didya," he snarls.
I nod. He nods and then an 'I' who thinks of himself as 'he', like a bicycle tire losing air begins hissing, and letting the sickness of self, the madness escape out. He's way louder than the cacklers, who've since left and gone elsewhere to spread their poison but at least he's got something real to say. He is now aggressively and rudely engaging any and everybody around him in 'psycho-talk'.
"I don'ta understannnd whya any of ya pay taxes... Fk this country... Boy-Yah... I'mma Special Force, an Air-Borne Ranger... I a fought so youuu ah coulda all have ah your freedom.... I ah don'ta give ah Fk aboutta nothing..."
And blah, blah, blah goes the scary stuff... The Normals are frightened. You can read it in their faces. This madman is rousting them all in his own crazy beautiful way. There is no right or wrong to it. It simply is IS-ness. His confidence, his maniacal shell shocked high and his voice are growing louder and louder. Angrier and Angrier... No one but I knows how really dangerous this malfunctioning, broken toy soldier, and tortured soul is.
The worker bees, the sufferers of a psychopathology of the average are all firing quick, nervous and tense glances to the ceiling, one another and the copper colored squares on the floor.
"How ya ladies ah doing thissa morning? I justta say Fk it all... I ah don'tta give ah Fk aboutta nuttin... Obama ah gonna change ah things, whatta F**king joke huh?"
Like mice, the Normals are scurrying for the door. The Green Beret, like a angry white-faced hornet buzzes into my area. I fear nothing in this dream and softly whisper,
"My friend... My friend..."
The madman gives me that Shining vacant Jack Nicholson glare. He stares directly into my eyes. Vastness is quickly exchanged.... He knows that I know what he knows and that's that NOTHING MATTERS... But that's all he knows, because he's in hell, while I also know the even scarier version, and that is, EVERYTHING MATTERS...
"Hey brah... can you lower your voice a little please? I am trying to read."
I know the chance that I'm taking. I don't care. I take it everyday. I am Houseless by choice my friends. Just across the ocean, over in the east, I'd be a prophet, a sage, or considered Enlightened and thus be taken care of by all. Just for simply having the audacity, the mental fortitude, the courage to take on an entire culture's, an entire town's (OB) projections ensures me of a glorious incarnation in the next lifetime. But here, in the west, here in So-Cal-Land I'm homeless, a loser, a vagabond tramp on the street that digs through your garbage looking for bottles and cans so I can eat. In the Grand Scheme of things, one miniscule body of water, the difference between Teacher and Beggar. Oh everything matters my friends...
The Bamboozlement, the Spell of conditioning is so powerfully complex here that my own sanity will be called into question. Mentally ill, Jesus complex just a couple of hometown DSM IV jabs. NEWSFLASH... I am just as dangerous as this soldier, this Green Beret, who's healthier than you! At least he's alienated enough with how things really are. Alienation IS the sane response to what's happening today. You are the insane.
So yes... I realize the danger, the risk, the sanity, the death of speaking this way to the Loose Cannon on two legs but it's really no more dangerous than chatting with you, a walking newspaper, spraying Fox News phlegm everywhere.
And the Loose Cannon's short fuse does not fizzle out. He blows up. Big Surprise... Big Deal... He's being real saying,
"I'll kill ya mother-Fk-er... Oh... I'mma too ah loud... I'mma too ah loud... Fk you, you ah homeless F**k!..."
Now he's moving toward me. Inside and out, I am calm, cool and representing the Light that cannot be seen until it gets this dark in a duality plagued Existence we all share. I sit still in my wooden chair, like a Bhudda, marveling at the criss-crossing vibrations, you, he and I, clashing, merging in mindless chatter. Nietzsche is dead and so is matter. So what's the matter?
The mice, the homeowners, the voters, all of them want to say the same thing that I've just said but none of them Know what I Know except this angel, yes, another Glorious Angel has entered the line-up. It's Mariesol, she slips in between the two of us like a shooting star does Galaxies. This beautiful super-hero barista, with her Judy Jetson walk is a rose that blossoms every morning. She's a flower that opens up and gives love to every single person coming or going and she's on it. This pint-sized Ben & Jerry's, a delicious treat for the senses. A Spanish influence charges through her veins like a mad bull rushing a matador's red cape. She's fearless and strong and I'm just like a lot of other dudes that think they're coming in for coffee but really coming in to see her. She says,
"You're gonna have to leave."
"Are you ah the F**k-ing manager?"
"No but we've had multiple complaints."
"I... ah wanna talka to ah dat manager."
"I'll give you the phone number."
"I'mma not doing st ah fk you... f***k you all ah... I ah fought so ah ya coulda all be free!"
"I am going to have to call the police."
The soldier smiles at me, shaking, and pointing a finger he says,
"You're ah dead... I'll ah tell all ah the other homeless thatta you are ah fk-ing snitch... You're ah dead motherf*k-er... You ah gotta leave ah here sometime..."
Mariesol is this stony-girl who likes to play football with her pit-bull/lab mixes. When she's not seving java, she's home trying to teach them how to talk rather than bark. This chick plays hacky-sack with herself in her living room and imagines making a fitness video from the tai-chi flow she creates. She's every girl you think you know but really do not know at all because Mariesol is pure Tantra. She's loose, natural, curvy and authentically blended like the bold, complex, and adventurous roasted coffee she pours.
Marisol is not for you. She is not for the average guy, who wouldn't even be able to hold the cup she'd come in let alone stir or sip it. She's hot like volcanic lava which means she can also get colder than Artic ice. Mariesol is a runaway train through the Universe. She IS feisty Truth and her true beauty, her real beauty, is in the unseen because she doesn't realize any of it.
She's giving up no ground to the soldier. She's boiling but cool. She's paradoxical like that and I'm in love with her. I'm also feeling distressed that she's involved. This guy is nuts. He leaves cussing. He goes outside and rips his t-shirt off, screams, spits, foams at the mouth and then runs over to my window and beats it hard with his clenched fists.
The sleepwalkers, like turtles, slowly bury their heads back into their newspapers, sip their coffee, and slip back into their idol chatter shells. For a moment, they were forced out of themselves. For a moment they got to witness some good ol alienation and rage. For a moment I wish Mariesol would have just let him pummel me. I would have let him, not because of fear or lack of physical skills but because I know that I can only be grateful that our Karmic paths crossed. Two Divine Essences, two madmen sharing Starbucks space in Ocean Beach.
I would have laughed at every tooth he knocked out of my mouth. While you would have sat there and watched. I would have howled while he was kicking, breaking my ribs and you would have slid your shoes back as the floor got splattered with my blood. Oh my, my, my Friends... It's all so, so Divine under the Diego sunshine...
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