Thursday, November 8, 2007

Voices from My Past

Voices from my past have materialized this week. 3, in fact.

Felix Freeman, who I knew as Amar, was 1 of my very few friends in Seattle when I was 19. I was deeply wounded then, fiercely independent, a loner. I needed a sweet friend like Amar. He was a gentle, British young man, 24, totally straight (alas) with madcap curly brown hair and a very kind heart, although he had good reason to be bitter, yet wasn't. Recently he'd left a cult:
    In 1984, the small county of Wasco, Oregon, became a household name when followers of the religious cult Rashneeshee introduced Salmonella bacteria into salad bars at ten restaurants and into a local water supply. Their plan was to infect the region’s voters so that cult members could outvote non-cultists, and thus take political power in the upcoming elections. Until discovered, the plan was a success and resulted in 751 individuals infected and 45 hospitalized. The Rashneeshee incident became the first confirmed bioterror attack in world history and the largest American attack to date.
During our friendship, Amar and I learned that their leader, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, had fled the country, leaving behind multiple Rolls Royces. Amar gave me his woolen Rajneeshee robe, a turtle-neck sweater that extends from neck to floor. I wear it on Halloween with an A on my chest. AL-VIN!

He goes by Tony now and sends me email from London. Amar was a lovely man and taught me watercolors.

Captain Midnight
Captain Midnight was better known as Daniel when we were nerd-league friends at Edna Karr Junior High. I'm embarrassed to say I was cruel to him back then. Yes, short, Bible-thumpin', nerdy, faggy 13-year-old me was cruel to Daniel. He was fat. Don't think he is so much now, and it doesn't even matter of course. But at the time, I know I lashed my barbed tongue his way now and then. I even wrote a mean comic book.

We were in the Gifted program, and took a LOT of field trips, including a week in Mexico. Daniel and I shared a hotel room in Merida, Mexico with a sort of boyfriend of mine at the time. Michael Loveless wasn't love-less in 8th grade. Us 3 being friends, and probably the 3 nerdiest of the nerd league, we were put together. We accidentally flooded our hotel room, letting the shower run over the bathroom step. The hotel's Artesian pool, directly below our room, was a little fuller in the morning. Oddly, all these years since Merida I've thought we went to Belize. Captain Midnight set me straight. He still lives in the New Orleans area. Hope he comes to see the radio play, ORIGIN. We're also performing a couple 15-minute Captain Midnight episodes.

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