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things fall apart

bang! the olds smacked the boulder. s. backed up and continued down the hill.
the sun was setting and there were 75 more hairpin turns to navigate. no brakes. even the emergency brake was worn out and useless. he was so angry. why should he even be on this dirt road leaving behind the woman he loved and his two boys, demian and jonathan.

he had been looking for julie at chris and cynthia's mountain community… hanging around in her room. absentmindedly wondering why nobody wanted to be with him. every person he had turned on with, even the friends he had tripped with had avoided him. something's going on.

he found a letter, unsealed but stamped, to bob fitzgerald. in it julie tells fitzgerald how she's in love with rin. rin is a handsome acid freak about s.'s age; a longhair and a drop out. he had been captain of the football team in high school but was now a daily lsd tripper. she tells details of their whirlwind sexual adventure and how she can't live without him, and what to do about s.

s. stormed out of the house, knocked a few people over jumping off the porch. everyone knew. they knew now that he knew. nobody stopped him. it was like he was being blown by a hurricane force wind. into the pink oldsmobile, with no brakes. the car fishtailed down the hill leaving a cloud of sand and dust.

in golden gate park s. had torn one sandal to bits clambering around the rocks. now he was walking around with one sandal on claiming to be orestes. he told fortunes with half a deck of cards. people marveled at the accuracy of his predictions.

now he was just like that disheveled derelict he had rescued from the berry bush by the side of the highway in santa barbara. he had let this barefoot waif/pilgrim/madman in the orchard at the hacienda. that unfortunate man never said a single word all the two weeks he spent living off of fruit and nuts. he slept in the open without even a blanket. one day he was just gone. s. wondered what had driven him to despair. what makes people go nuts. what causes a man to lose his mind?

now s. was sleeping outdoors. now he had no plan. he had nothing, and he had no urge to do anything. except maybe to stay high. san francisco in the early sixties was just the place to do it. a 'lid' cost about ten dollars, but he never had to buy pot. everyone was turning everyone on; even mescaline and the 'blue dots' of lsd were plentiful and a gram of hash was usually 'laid on you' by some girl flirt runaway hoyden.

it took over a month to come out of the clouds and he met fritz. fritz had no last name. he was an aquarian in the age of aquarius. they immediately became brothers. "brothers of the spear"; one light, the other dark.

fritz helped s. get the pink bomb out of the shop and they cruised the city; north beach and the city lights bookstore, the "purple onion" and the "hungryeye cafe'" were highlights. they smoked weed with ginzburg and neal cassidy. they were twenty-two and nimble with the cool beat chics. there were road trips out of the city to marin county; the rolling lush grassy hills where you could run down the hill to the sea and the girls, elegantly dressed wove wildflower crowns and necklaces and wore them happily. and sometimes they would sit on the rocks in silence watching the four o'clock clouds of fog come rolling in from the vast pacific.