2. Laurel Canyon Murders

As we pulled up the long drive to the secluded estate I became intensely aware of multiple murders of crows  littering the landscape.  These big bunches of bobbing black birds seemed to be banding around the bungalow and barn.  Was the acid kicking in already?  No way, it has only been 10 minutes…

The car came to a stop.  “Here we are.” Joan said, “wonderland.”  As I stepped out of the car to notice the full moon in perigee – a startling sight to behold on its own, but when coincided with a distant radio playing Bad Moon Rising – it caused all the hairs on my body to prick up stiffly – the electric shock of my pulse kicking into high gear. Shit, it feels like I’m already starting to trip…

The don slammed his car door shut which caused me to leap into the air.  He saw this and said, “easy there Roy, your bound to take your life.”

What the fuck did he just say?  I didn’t say anything.

The side door of the barn opened up and a couple of spaced out  yuppie freaks came to greet us.  “Oh hiiiii, darlings.” came the shrill voice.  I was feeling social anxiety all of a sudden.  Who are these people?

They exchanged greetings and then I was placed on the spot as the “honorary member of tonight’s ritual,” by the don.  Wait I thought this was supposed to be a party?…I held the question to myself and acted appreciative, for what, I did not know.

The outside of the barn was painted with devil’s doors and mandalas with neo-pagan elements.  On the inside the loft and barn floor had been reconverted into some kind of new-age ceremonial space doubling as a coke lounge.  There were at least five people crowded around a large mirrored table blowing lines…at least I assumed it was coke.

There was a lot of mixed excitement in the barn.  People seemed to be tucked away in every nook – two to a chair – touching each others hands and faces while talking affirmation over one another.  I simply could not understand any of what was going on and found it was easiest to navigate the situation by maintaining eye contact, smiling, and nodding my head.  Any trace of resistance, and I knew these people would tear me to pieces.

I felt like I was in some newer, hipper, Charlie Manson clubhouse, and all the celebrities were there.  I didn’t know much about the “new-age” scene in those days, but I would come to find that I had stumbled into the central hornet’s nest of american spiritual control opposition – drug gurus and porn junkies, CIA narcs and bastard Rothschilds – some real to gawd cockroaches.  And there I was ready to sign up for the lobotomy.

“All my friends know the low rider.”

These people were not my friends, nor were they my enemies.  These were like frenemies.  So I reasoned in my acid rising braing:

If you are supposed to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer…

Frenemies must be like yourself in a mirror….or something. 

It seemed profound at the time, and with this profound realization I started to merge with the people in the room in some unspoken communication which seemed like contact dancing.  They were feeling me out and realizing I was not “one of them”, but not yet a threat to their hive.  I was allowed to live, for now, I thought, and felt free to dance blissfully ignorant of what was really going on.

“Take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip and see.” came the stereo and beckoned me toward some strange discovery amongst these dregs of superficially enlightened screwmanity.  Something I sensed in it, a truth more profound than any ideal, my chance to face my fears, myself.  I felt a renewed sense of courage and the room opened up into an environment which seemed much less hostile.

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