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Hippie Heaven by Jessica A. Eaton It was on a New Year’s Eve many moons ago I was driving to a party when I got stuck in the snow the temperature was dipping and I was chilled to the very bone I didn’t have any food or drink and no bars on my Obama phone Turned the heat up in my car to keep my butt from freezing found fermented grape juice ’neath my seat, dated from last season so I grabbed that homemade vino and gave the bottle a gentle tug it only took three little sips before I felt like a Kafka bug The aroma was vintage locker room and the taste was tart at first but it made me feel quite relaxed and it magically quenched my thirst Watching the winter wonderland slowly descending down upon the street I suddenly began to feel dizzy from my noggin down to my feet While admiring the falling flakes I saw a reflection in the window of the door twas a big ass twisted cigarette laying near the gas peddle down on the floor I picked it up and noticed that it wasn’t a Newport or a Marlboro Red and I sensed before the night was over I would be chilling with the dead Well I lit up that humongous doobie and took a couple of very healthy drags and in the moonlight sky the clouds looked like a bunch of fluffy Doritos bags Soon that wacky weed worked its magic – had me Jonesing for a snack but there was nothing in the glove compartment, so I turned and looked in the back There upon my grandson’s Batman booster seat what did my eyes behold but a couple left over slices of Dominoes pizza, looking like solid bricks of gold just when I thought the Munchie God couldn’t have presented a better scenario I spotted a pack of Twinkies and a half eaten peanut butter Oreo I turned on the radio and the Strawberry Alarm Clock was belting out a jam as I took a bite and tasted olives, onions and what might have once been ham the pepperoni looked gray, diseased and wrinkled like the liver of Keith Moon and my taste buds started to revolt when I bit into a rubbery mushroom I was drifting in & out of half consciousness as if as Rip Van Winkle on Qualudes As Mott the Hoople started singing a ripping tune about a couple of young dudes I then stepped out of my car, through a righteous cloud of Sinsemilla smoke and all around the winter wonderland looked hallucinogenic and baroque I was lucky to thumb a ride on a passing psychedelic bus that ran on mystic peyote buttons and Columbian cannabis On board were merry pranksters who made me feel right at home using a tennis racket as a guitar and a hair brush for a microphone So we jammed to Grand Funk Railroad and a tune by Iron Butterfly watching the Byrds fly 8 miles high while a purple haze kissed the sky I was clearly out of my mind, but not sure whose mind I was in felt like I was floating beneath a crystal blue celestial aquarium I saw neon colors swirl in shapes as they mixed and danced and floated and I helped myself to a handful of bennies that tasted sugar coated I saw Elvis trying to shake his pelvis, but his britches were too tight when he ripped the seat of his pants there were 2 moons out that night We were getting famished so we thought we’d stop for a bite though the driver of the bus refused to move too far over to the right Soon we spotted a pulsating sign ahead touting Alice’s Restaurant advertising we could get wavy gravy over anything we want Walking through the diner door, the atmosphere was smoky and surreal I spotted Julius Hoffman on a bench next to a duct taped Bobby Seale a disco ball that Ted Nugent had shot up was on the floor obliterated and it had everyone cheering madly, feeling groovy and liberated I saw a suave Warren Beatty in a beret he borrowed from Che Gueverra as he cavorted past Carly Simon winking with one eye in a mirror every song on the Whirlitzer was a billboard chart topping hit and we found an empty table open up when the Beatles had to split The busboy looked sharp like a conductor on the Marakesh express the waitress was attired with love beads and a tie-dyed mini dress the decor of the restaurant looked like the inside of Jerzy Kozinski’s mind with booths adorned with custom bongs and table cloths Peter Max designed So I looked around, t’is what I found Captain Beefheart and Major Lance Admiral Halsey in khaki pants Sargent Pepper and Major Tom Colonel Parker and Cheech and Chong stuck in the middle between Steeler’s wheel sat Donovan smoking a banana peel Poor Gilbert O’Sullivan was sitting alone waiting for Jim Croce to hang up the phone in a corner sat the Allman brothers rambling with Dick and Tommy Smothers Charles Whitman and William Calley, Murph the Surf and Mustang Sally I saw Charlie Manson and a beach boy drummer with a bitching tan from surfing all summer I turned my attention back to the folded menu in my hand every entree was a product grown on some commune organic land there was tofu salad and hamburgers made strictly out of soy and the dishes were adorned with ivy shipped in from Illinois I heard Harry Chapin in the doorway asking who had called for a cab When I spotted Mrs Robinson at the register squaring away her tab using the plastic that Benjamin had been advised to bring along as he stood obediently beside her wondering where Joe Dimaggio had gone Mrs Parks implored that everyone return to their assigned bus seat so in piled all the musicians with Small Faces and Little Feat Soon we were back on the road heading south on 95 to a farm in upstate New York where some bands were playing live When we arrived I couldn’t believe the size of the crowd there was peace and love everywhere and the music was really loud some women skinny dipping had daisies in their flowing locks of gold and judging from some naked fellas, the water was getting cold We all decide to camp out underneath the stars that night tuning in, turning on and dropping outta sight and we marveled at the full and distant moon as we fell asleep where only a month earlier Neil Armstrong had taken a giant leap After some transcendental meditation and a tab of purple micro-dot we found in our altered imaginations, the Utopia that we sought In the wee hours of the morning Country Joe led a spirited chant I would tell you what he spelled out but my upbringing dictates I can’t But I can tell ya what I did see I saw Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Carlos Santana and Woody Guthrie’s son Richie Havens and Jefferson Airplane Ten Years After singing in the rain While Melanie strummed a groovy tune John Sebastian vowed he’d be home soon Afterward Sly and his Family Stone played a jam that rattled my occipital bone Joe Cocker belted out a Fab Four song with a little help from his friends who sang along on the stage came anthems of harmony and peace there was no need for National Guard or riot police there was no mistaking who’s generation was rejoicing in the spirit of this celebration After three days we figured it was time for us to hit the road agreeing we desperately needed to find a shower and commode feeling euphoric although we were all smelling somewhat ripe which was probably the main reason we constantly sparked up a pipe In a day or so we found ourselves camped out in Washington DC to listen to a man of peace thank god almighty for finally being free along that narrow reflective pond stood the children of Mother Earth who had come together to validate that everybody’s life has a worth I met some every day people who were not much different than myself some came from impoverished backgrounds, while others came from wealth but everyone shared a mutual respect, despite the differences of our skin and for a few fleeting magic moments, we really all felt like kin Gassing up the bus we split, saying goodbye to our new found friends we headed to the southern states, where there were freedoms to defend Word had spread about a march down in Selma and Birmingham regarding lunch counters, water fountains and the equality of every man So we lent a hand and took a stand and did what we could do and walked along and sang a song to make the dream come true We saw Jim Crow fly away, as they promised changes to the law so we split toward Louisiana to join in the debauchery of Mardi Gras We stopped at a party in some house down in New Orleans where we spotted Captain America and Billy ride in on their machines they had some lawyer in a football helmet hanging onto his seat who waved to John Fogerty standing on a corner at the end of Bourbon street There was impromptu dancing, by ecstatic people wearing beads congregating in taverns, clubs and bars, satisfying all their pent up needs we soaked in the orange sunshine above this abstract scene listening to some blues by B.B. King and a Mississippi Queen Soon we were out on Route 66 following the setting sun to the west along the way, upon a hill stood an aging Indian in a deer skinned vest he looked sad and disillusioned as a teardrop rolled down upon his face as he stood silently reminiscing about a once proud and sacred place We stopped to stretch our legs at some desolate roadside stand east of the Painted Desert where Gram Parsons was burnt in sand and while the proprietor was busy strumming a Buffalo Springfield tune I bought vanilla fudge, a chocolate watchband and an electric prune Someone suggested that we stop at a church along the way to say a prayer or two for some sexual healing of Marvin Gaye but we couldn’t find a house of worship that welcomed every soul so we made our own religion and we called it rock and roll When we finally made it out to that sunny California shore the Pacific winds blew our freak flag higher than it ever flew before In Hollywood we hit the Whiskey a Go-Go down on the Sunset Strip where we took a moonlight drive on Mr Mojo’s Crystal Ship Someone suggested that we should drive farther up the state and hang out around Haight Ashbury and see the Golden Gate On the way a stranger joined us just south of Monterrey who inquired if we all were heading up San Francisco way Going by the name of Scott he wore a flower in his hair and said that we would meet some really gentle people there So up the Pacific Coast Highway ,we toted, laughed and sang determined to end our road trip not with a whimper, but a bang As we got closer we heard some music from the Altamont speedway where Mick and his fellow band mates were performing that autumn day and though we were stoned immaculate, we decided to roll on by to find a place to get mug of moby grape and a slice of humble pie We saw some smoke on the water across the Frisco bay, it looked like a giant balls of fire coming in from Berkeley way we could smell the burning of draft cards in the rebel breeze along with some smoldering playtex bras, a few were double Ds We took in a couple sights and a concert at the Fillmore West where they gave away an apple and a poster to every guest Down on Powell Street in a Corvair, Ralph Nader slowly drove on by and Vote Pat Paulsen for President was written across the sky The Diggers were handing out free sandwiches to some hungry souls who lounged on dirty blankets; dressed in worn out shoes with holes some were living, some seemed dead and some you just couldn’t tell beneath a sign proclaiming, “Maybe this world is another planet's hell." This really harshed my mellow and I quickly started to loss my high and knew it was just about time for me to finally bid goodbye so I gathered up my senses that I had developed along the drive and I promised Zager and Evans I’d return in the year 2-5-2-5 But before I left I reflected about my trip There was Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X Marc Bolen and tyrannosaurus-rex I saw Ratso Rizzo walking there by a midnight cowboy with Jon Voight hair Nancy Sinatra in her walking boots hung out with Mods in Italian suits Bob Dylan finished with a cryptic sigh a song longer than the Treaty of Versailles Ken Kessey flew over our rolling cuckoo’s nest on his way to take an electric Kool Aid acid test In Romper Room was Captain Kangaroo teaching soup can art to Twiggy and Nico too we listened to Allen Ginsberg in a coffee shop and saw Lenny Bruce getting hassled by a cop When I awoke I found myself in someone else’s clothes speaking in hippie jargon and polyphonic prose wearing a Nehru jacket and Jesus sandals on my feet I noticed that the snow had melted all along the street I decided to skip the party; drove back home instead figured I’d take a shower and get warm and cozy in my bed when I jumped out of the shower and was drying off my ass I noticed fresh ink promoting “Hippie Heaven; Lifetime Pass” And on the other cheek, much to my chagrin was another tattoo that read, “We hope you come again” after I shook my head, I really couldn’t help but laugh I guess I’ll always follow down that old happy hippie path *Disclaimer: This Hippie was not stoned during the writing of this poem. All similarities to people past or present was, of course, intentional. - Jessica A. Eaton