James Beach

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Nonfiction and More


Roaming Aqueducts

Note: This was written several years ago, during my attendance of the hippie festival known as the “Rainbow Gathering”. Every summer, a group known as the Rainbow Family selects a national park site, and keeps it mum as long as possible. Then, they release, by word of mouth only, the location of that year’s gathering. It usually takes place in the summer months, with it’s peak at July 4th. At it’s peak, it can involve up to 20,000 humans.

The one I attended was in Lake Taos, New Mexico.

Every single line in this tale, occurred in real life. I wrote it in one sentence, as I was about to leave.

* * *

Hippies dressed down to take their morning unconstitutional. Instant commune – just add water. “Rings in our noses, not on our fingers,” said the blue-velvet cat in the sleek sweet witch hat. I wish I had…sun beating down like old-time religion, sacrificing skin to sky.

“Make a spiral,” said the blue velvet witch, “as we break our outmeal.” And the food was good. Way. And I felt old, and dirty and stupid, and loveless. And I wanted to forget it was a dream.

They danced around a fire no one else saw, and the dog was baffled. The old men with young bodies and faces scrunched by the dark side of hedonism, growth without structure leading to decay. He went to chop wood and found a silver spoon. “Get some good rings out of this.”

Down by the road, the traders banged drums and showed their wares and pipes. Gold? Cigarettes and candy bards, material addictions in this land of superfi – spirituality.

And the no-longer hairy Krishnas danced, bringing their message of salvation through redundance. And beautiful free birds tied strings without shoes; beaded and grasped by a happy, dirty toenail. And the camp filled with people who didn’t mind decent percussion while they waited for their dole. The ultimate welfare state dream of something good for nothing bad, but waiting.

The only dress that wouldn’t work here is a suit. I wish I had one, just for today. “Our brains are too small to comprehend the size of the universe.” Speak for yourself, I say silently, my vibe tuning into a chorus of rancorous thousands. And the nostril-enslaved wore their darkness on their face, a mask of a mask, a painted wound, exercised joy in the meaninglessness of everyone *else*.

And the hope was there. And there were wisps of great dreams, and at times, for brief flashes, it seemed…and so, it *was* – It seemed we could change the world, as easy as trading VW’s for BMW’s.

And I wished to be touched myself, to be revealed, and be loving with others now concealed in their painted shells; to break all the games, even with stupid ignorant fat shitty fucks called “them”.

And a dance became a drum, and a drum became a dream, as they revelled in the Dionysian excesstence of a wild, naked dance. And the mother stripped naked as her baby, screaming and dancing and naked, as the confused infant stared, and then settled in to suck. Painted breasts and natty dreads, a revolution make? Lonely in the streets, always go and preach to the already converted in the wildernest.

Her face was hidden in the hair. I couldn’t see if she was beautiful. My excuse? Soon, I get a haircut, so the world can worship my ugliqueness. She danced. They all danced. And the secret of life may be beyond words, not of the body, but of the face and hands.

His pale white penis was an afterthought, as he lay on grass groovin’ on what God gave us to see. Dogs screamed and fought, locked together in the canine version of post-fuck chatter. And the children gathered in the river, not just to sing, but also to ignore and be children. And he sat next to me at mealtime, and I had nothing to say.

But I would not join their stupid dance. It mattered what my matter mothers, its inventions and actions debts to be repaid in here, with no one to pay but me.