An Unfortunate Event


Coming Into Los Angeles Bringing In A Couple Of keys

Do to a set of unfortunate circumstances, — my participation in the purchase of marijuana that somehow never arrived, I was encouraged to leave my apartment.

Toronto
Nov. ’69

When I reached downtown Detroit, I went into Hudson’s department store and bought a book. I picked the cheapest, thickest, book I could find, The English Philosophers From Bacon To Mill. With cowboy boots hanging around my neck and carrying a suitcase, I made a lot of people smile (even laugh) as I made my way to Canada.

With $150 in my pocket, I bought a round trip bus ticket to
Toronto. The guy at the ticket counter told me that Immigration
wouldn’t bother me if I carried a round trip ticket. It was midnight when I arrived in Toronto. I was sitting in the bus station, sipping coffee, wondering, “Where the hell am I?” I had arrived in Toronto, but in reality, I hadn’t gone anywhere. The bus station was as depressing a place as I had ever experienced, but the thought of the ice-cold street was even worse. At the counter, two freaks sat next to me. One was leaving on a bus to Sudbury while the other was just keeping his friend company. When the cat left on the bus, the other dude took me to Yorkville, Toronto’s hippie district. Once on the Strip, I started asking around for a place to crash. I was told that the Diggers, a house set up as an emergency crash pad, would let me sleep there.

When I arrived at the Diggers, the coordinator of the house told me I could stay at the house for three nights, after that I would be
considered dead weight. After I was clear on the rules, the cat
softened up a bit. Before our conversation ended, he told me he was a draft dodger from Chicago and had lived in Toronto for two years. I told him I was also dodging the draft, and probably would
immigrate to Canada. He gave me some addresses, and then he showed me the community room.

I sat in the empty chair with eyes closed. There was a dude sitting
across from me reading a book and two other dudes were sitting in
the far corner having a conversation. I was beginning to relax when an upset chick walked in the room. She immediately started talking to the cats in the corner of the room. She had just come from the Strip where she was shooting speed with a guy she had just met. When she was hitting him, the needle disengaged from the syringe and went up the dude’s arm. Apparently, they were shooting excellent speed because when she wanted to drive the cat to the hospital he wouldn’t go (he didn’t want to ruin his high). He told his distraught partner that if he lived (you died if the needle ends up in your heart) he would go to the hospital in the morning. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, though, so she started to drive the guy to the hospital anyway.  On the way to the hospital the dude made her pull over, and when he got out he had to step over a woman crumpled on the sidewalk. The woman on the sidewalk also needed help since she was sitting in a pool of blood. The chick in the car wound up taking the woman to the hospital instead of the dude. According to the chick, the sidewalk woman’s distraught husband kicked her in the crotch, and she was pregnant. The husband then split, leaving the woman lying in the street. After listening to this conversation I was, at first, skeptical, but after living in Toronto for a while, I found these less than fun facts easy to believe.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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One Response to An Unfortunate Event

  1. bwinwnbwi says:

    Here’s the unfortunate event: My friend and roommate sent money to his army buddy back in Nam–the one who never came home after being discharged. After his buddy took his cut, he was supposed to send marijuana back to us through the mail but it never arrived. We had almost given up on our investment when my boss (the owner of the gas station where I worked) told me that the FBI was poking around and asking a lot of questions. That was enough to move four of us (all roommates) out of our apartment and into a safer place (hopefully).

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