…the cove….

When I think about the Glam House, I remember Good Times.  It was on the Ridge, part of what was called ‘The Banana Belt’ around that NorCal area.  Micro climates were common, and that area had better weather, warmer temps, happier gardens, and in general also had higher prices.  I felt privileged to live there, and so deeply wished I was in the position to buy.         But that was not to be the case.

I asked both my Brasilian, who had property in Tahoe, and also another long term friend, sometime lover, and business partner, and frankly if either had agreed to come up with the down…$50 thou… they could have turned it in five years and we all would have made a bundle…. Five years later it sold for a half Mill…. and later the whole banana.

The asking price at the time I lived there was under 200, more like180, but they needed a big down.  Just like my Point Arena ‘boat house’ creation.  Desperate times, for some reason.  Those who hung in there made a bundle later.
Those who used to sell cosmic crystals, then started studying Massage,
and then moved on to Real Estate…

So meanwhile, I just Loved the place to death.  And that Brasilian, although I must admit I didn’t see much of him, when I did, it was always The Best, and sort of like a movie…How much was Him….How much was Me?  and does it really even matter?

One day he was in town, and drove up in a new car.  He loved this new car, as it was a classic Big Fat Thunderbird…. What we referred to in the islands as a Huna Car… short for Kahuna…. Those powerful shaman of Polynesian persuasion.  Big and Cool and fun.

He drove it up on the lawn, got out the hose, and proceeded to give it a bath, as I watched from upstairs, and put on Sade….

When I went to the Faire on the weekends, he came and watched my house. It was fun knowing he’d been there looking around and touching things, thinking of me.

One afternoon, Lil …then about 9….and I went down to the cove, about the time the divers came in… and believe me, there were women who showed up every afternoon just for that event.  I remember my son hearing about that, and about one particular one who came regularly, and he wondered if it was me, his mom, who was one of those women he’d heard about who waited to greet the divers, because they, indeed, were a special breed of man.…  But no, it wasn’t me, although it turned out to be someone rather close to the family…

Remember the reality show… ‘The Most Dangerous Catch”…?    Well, Alcir had done a couple seasons up there in the frozen seas….  Working the King Crab Boats.  He loved it, craved the excitement and the danger.

So one afternoon, Lil and I went down to the cove to have some fish and chips.  Now the cove was an experience in itself, and let me briefly describe the scene.  This place had been there forever, down a winding road leading to the cove, which is one of the oldest coves on the northern California coast… one of the few safe harbors for hundreds, maybe more, years… lots of history, lots of ghosts.

When friends came to visit, one place to take them was there, for that was the true old point arena.  It was a ramshackled place, run by an older Greek woman, with the numbers on her arm.  Sophie was tough, and could run out the biggest and the drunkest, all Four Foot Ten of her.  Late at night, if she was in the mood, and you were lucky, she’d put on a Greek tune on the box, get out her hanky, and do the dance with one of the locals.  What a show.

The regulars, unwashed and already into their cups, sliding off their barstools, the fishermen, telling tales, and into their cups, and the locals, who consisted of old hippies, descendants of old families, and spawn of combinations of all.  Always different, always the same…

So we are there ordering the fish and chips, which actually were quite good, and quite fresh… and along comes Mr Brasil… he’s all up from being out on his favorite location, and enduring adventures, and he briefly sits down, and does the jolly talkative nervous chatter.  I was feeling quite calm, quite yummy actually, and just did a lot of smiling.  He left rather quickly, and I felt sorta sad, realizing that he was nervous.                                     He didn’t quite know where he fit yet…

Then a while later, as we went out to view the view… so sweet, gotta tell ya…. Of the old pier and the rocks, the surf rolling softly along the shore… and there was big Alcir.

“So… would you like me to find you some deeener?”

How cute is that?  My warrior going out to catch our dinner….

So he did just that.  He sat me up on the hood of his big Huna Car, stereo pumping rock’n’roll thru the hood and into my netherplaces, whilst he put on his fins and mask, wet suit and knife, and proceeded to walk out into that frigid water and down into the deep.

The Primal Feels were enormous. He had a sort of floating basket, and I saw him come up, and go down…. Come up and go down.  It didn’t take him long to get his limit…

Soon he was done, and the warrior in his suit of armor marched up to show me his winnings.  Four Abalones and a couple Perch… which he called “Porch”….

“So”, he began…”I could come over later, and show you how we cook these theeeengs een my coentry”

“Oh, OK… great”  I answered, giving my best blase.

Another time, the divers had been out en mass, and there he was, displaying his wares, out in the parking lot, with the rest of the fellows…

I still felt shy, like some little Japanese girl with a fan or something, eyes downcast, smiling to myself, feeling that I’d gotten my own good catch…

And as he turned over the Abs and other fare, he began peeling off his wetsuit…. A sexual dance unto itself….and talking about his day.    I couldn’t help but be caught up in the display of not yet dead creatures.  I had never seen an abalone still alive, although I’d eaten my share.

As I stroked their smooth and undulating Snaily selves, still alive and glistening with colors and slime, I was feeling their sad surrender to their fate.           They were quite beautiful, and I said so…

“Oh, they’re so beautiful…” and tears almost welled up…

“What are you doing?  Hypnotizing them, before I Keeeel them?”  the word Keeel was emphasized with teeth and nuance.

“Yes, sort of…” I said, and he smiled his best Pirate grin.

It was odd.  I loved his Pirate, and he loved my Hippie.



…the night …

I remember that night, the one I’ve promised to tell you about, like the movie that it was.  How many times I replayed it, I cannot tell, but it was truly one worth re-viewing.

So, you remember it was the Fourth of July, 1985.  We had briefly seen eachother along the parade route, Main Street Point Arena.  He had given me the Latin Stare across the small town road, and I’d invited him with the gesture of a lighter needed.   Later, up at Bower Park, I was singing with a Blues Band, along with Gary Bloom and Barry Bastian (then known as Abdul), and John Scott on base.  I was good that day, and felt in my element, very hot, and really enjoying the crowd of my beloved locals who always looked forward to the yearly happening.
Interestingly enough to me later… I did a solo of a Sade tune….
“Smooth Operator”…… and sometimes it felt pretty right on, Mr Souza.

I always worked the Oyster Bar with John Scott, my long time buddy, and had been given the title of Oyster Brother, one not easily won for a girl, amongst the boys… I dined on oysters, drank micro brew beers, and felt so at home with my neighbors.  Absolutely delightful and blissed out.

I remember seeing him once or twice, amongst the crowd that meandered around the woods and open lands of the park, and even once when I was dancing.  He was always in the background, fleetingly, and  always watching.

That evening, I took my two girls Piney and Lily, then 13 and 9, down to Schooner Gulch, and as we sat on that big log watching the smoke and sparks rise into the sky and blend with the stars…. and as the fireworks shot out over the ocean, blending with the sparks and the stars…..you might remember that that voice came over my left shoulder, that fellow from Brasil joined us on the log, and he revealed the sadness that would capture my imagination, and later my heart.

What is it about the sad hero, the gladiator who realizes he’s not quite received as the hero he thought he’d be as a boy?  This man had grown up reading all the classics, and his heart was one who knew he could send himself forward, sword in hand, capture the maiden, tame the beast, and arrive safely at a home where rewards and repast reassured him that he, indeed, had done the right thing, followed the path that he alone was meant to walk, and in the end it would lead to Everafter.   He was Built for it, blessed with the talents and physical blessings that would enable him to fulfill his Destiny.

Ah… but not so for every hero, or even for a few, not so for every brave gladiator.  Not so for the brave and beautiful, for LIFE has a way of stepping in and letting us know that it is not Simple but Complex…. it is not Foretold, but proceeds on its own path, and none can predict the outcome of the life we lead.

So…. on to what you are all waiting for, I’m sure.  The WHAT ?… after I suggested that he come over… after I put the girls to sleep…. oh you wonder, do you?   Hmmmm?….. And so did I….

I only remember the thrill, the terror, the excitement.  I put the girls down, probably changed into something yummy, although now I do not remember just what.  And I waited…. but not for long.

And then he was there, at the door.  What can I say about his energy…?  He was like no one I’ve ever met, before or since.  His energy field was large, full of sound and furry, and definitely signifying stuff that I’d never known, but wanted to know, to understand.  I didn’t know how much of the longing I felt was because he was from another world… Brasil… and how much was because the life he’d lead was so completely different from the one I’d chosen, and it was very much Opposites Attracting from both sides…. and yet, we truly met on so many levels of understanding and taste.

I know we were both high from chemistry, from drink, and from the greenery we shared.  We never got to the upstairs loft of my bed, at least not for the first meeting.  I only remember the complete and utter surrender I felt, and the swept away feeling that overcame all fear, all doubt, and time itself.  Yes, time became meaningless, and the Fourth of July was omnipresent inside and out.   Skyrockets is putting it mildly.   I remember laughing as we tumbled off the couch onto the rug….

Somehow we woke up in the loft, he leaving at dawn to go dive for urchins.   He sat up quickly, as that was the way he awoke in those days.  Startled awake, no pause for the re-entry, ready for the challenges of the day.   I have no recollection of what was said, I only know that my mind was completely burned, swirling, confused and delighted, all at the same time.  He left, and I was glad, for there was no way we could look directly at what had just occurred.  He was off to conquer the sea and plunder its treasures.

Later that day, in the early afternoon, he appeared at my door to retrieve his wallet.   Aaaaahh! The moment was brief and charged with sparks across the ethers.   He said he’d call me….   and of course I had gone through his wallet, you silly.  Wouldn’t you?   Alcir bla bla bla de Souza.  born February 14th, Rio de Janeiro.  (oh great… Valentine’s Day….) …several cards from those he’d met.  Not much of anything else, not much money.  But nice wallet.    It was funny, because the first time he’d left his beloved divers’ watch, and now his wallet….

“When you leave things, it just means you want to come back”,  I told him later…..

It was the next day that he called and he returned, and from then on  he called pretty much every other day.  We seldom talked about US.   We were each equally swept away, and for those times, there was nothing to say about the experience that this clash of souls had created.

It quickly became the center of my universe…..