purple leaf

I Used To Dance In The Purple Rain

I never meant to cause you any trouble. I never meant to cause you any pain…..I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain.

What do any of us want for those we love? Do we want to cause them pain? Do we want to cause them trouble? Do we want to cause them suffering? Me? I just wanted to see them dancing in the purple rain.

There is a lake in Washington State. As you drive up the coastline towards Aberdeen there is a pretty little campground. Once upon a time there was a sweet native man and his wife running it. They were generous and kind. We could not afford to stay there often. Sometimes they let us stay for free. Billy’s prison tats betrayed him. The dagger on his right hand between thumb and forefinger. The lucky 13. The stealthy burglar felix holding a sword. Live by the sword. Die by the sword. There are some clichés which remain true. The sweet hippy with the long hair and the baggies of weed he shared with us, and the wife that gave the children cakes, and their campground kingdom, provided an oasis of calm caring love in the midst of a time of extreme poverty and suffering.

I used to love pulling out of the Walmart parking lot knowing we were heading to the sweet couple in the tiny trailer and the place with a lake and no shade, but trails and a tree with my name carved into it. A lake where Billy skipped stones and the children played freely amongst nature, after all the city smog and the restrictions of life in Tokyo under the regime of the Pig. I watched them run. I watched them jump. I watched them laugh. I watched them feel safe. I watched them collect water. I watched them gather wood for the campfire. I watched them scavenge moss and small twigs – nature’s firestarters, and take the ancient responsibility of starting the fire that keeps away the beasts that threatens safety and wellbeing. Starting the fire that we can sit around. Start the fire that I sat beside and dropped acid while Billy provided the gentle music picking out soft tunes on my Martin, the vibrations going on into eternity, and the Girl waggled her long slim fingers in my face enjoying making trails that burnt themselves onto my retina and glittered in the moonlight.

Hugging my knees, sitting on the grass, the warm summer night air, and the magick of the lsd weaving tendrils through my brain, soaked up all the hatred, all the anger, all the pain, all the feeling that life had cheated me. It swept away the self imposed quietude. All the chains I had put on my soul in order to survive that pig in a man meat-suit, fell away. There is a point with acid that the world crumbles. Ego death they call it. I stood up, staggered forwards towards the fire and for a second there was no earth under my feet, no sky above me. There was no fire, no water in the lake. There was nothing except the infinite blackness, and a pin prick of a burning ball of white light suspended in the void. I was hung by invisible strings. Billy broke the spell. “Uh oh! I know THAT look!” His voice reached me from the earth he stood on to the void that had claimed me as its own. Arms around my upper body, scooping me up under the arms, falling helpless, helpless, helpless like a child, like a baby, like a small creature reborn. Helpless like me. Perhaps 200ug was a little too much. Perhaps it wasn’t enough. A tourist to the coast of perfection, a traveler to the void doesn’t want to come home. I could feel his arms, I could feel smaller hands on my arm…all I could see were multitudes of spheres, blue, then rainbow multicolored, racing along with me. I was a sphere falling back down to earth wholly burned down to the ashes, crashing into the lake. Baptized. Clean. Phoenix-like emerging from the flames of reentry, into the morning light which sprinkled glitter onto the water in a trace of what had been coursing through my veins and setting my mind on fire. The water was on fire. I stood there alone trying to hold onto the fragility of the vision. I stood there loved. I stood there complete. I stood there needed. Mother. Lover. Artist. It was there that I started to write again. I started to write songs, I started to write music. I started to feel more like myself. I started to heal.

The Washington rain fell. It didn’t fall purple. It didn’t fall in shades of violet. It fell holographic shimmering, saturated with color, the sound on the surfaces it splashed onto and ran off of amplified into bell like chimes tolling freedom forming on the road ahead. Looking out to the left through the driver’s window the trees were hyper-green, the road embedded with diamond-like chips, the sky bleached out into yellow, Tracey Chapman singing that she had a Fast Car, and we could get away if we tried. I didn’t know Billy was going to try and be the alcoholic millstone around my neck. I didn’t know what I was going to lose and lose and keep on losing. I had no idea. I still thought I could make a one woman revolution in my life. I still thought everybody was savable. I was a fool.

The Fool put her feet up on the dashboard, bootless, sockless, toes wiggling seat tipped back, window open. The fool opened her mouth, “standing in the welfare lines! Standing on the doorsteps of those armies of salvation! Talking about a revolution! FINALLY THE TABLES ARE STARTING TO TURN!” The Fool allowed herself hope. The Fool basking in the dying embers of ego death tripping, raised her hands in the air and felt the warm flesh of her blood grasp her hands and kiss her hands and hold her hands, and press their faces to her hands. “Mama!” The Fool started to laugh, like the Fool she was. The Fool shusshed the children back to their berths within the cabin, and grasped Billy with both hands as he giggled and yelled at her to get back in her seat, “you little fool!” And the Fool kissed him on his clean shaved cheek. And the Fool declared her love.

And the Fool was foolish…because that is what Fools are. They are the dreamers, the day trippers, the pursuers of creative sparks that fly out of campfires. They are the lovers. They are the peaceniks. They are those that fight with all they have to hold onto life and get smashed down for knowing the way home. These are the Fools who steal hats from walmart, placing the leopardskin on the heads of their curses, and giggling at their horror. These are the eternal fools who have lost the place in the hearts of those they love. These are the chaotic. These are the do anything to survivors. These are the damned.

I can’t forgive him. I can’t forgive the things he said, or the things he did. I can’t forgive what he put me through in these last ten months since I left him. I can’t forgive the dangers he brought to my door. I can’t forgive him. I can’t. I won’t. Not yet. Nor can I let go those that are not sitting with me in this little apartment in San Francisco. Nor can I feel safe. Nor can I have any confidence that the hell isn’t over, or that me and the Boy can remain together, and that I can provide a life for us that is sustainable.

I am a Fool. There are demons on my trail. I can only try and exorcise the motherfuckers, I can’t outrun them anymore.

If you want me, I will be dreaming of dancing in the purple rain once again.

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