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Like A Country Of Sheep, No Wolves

(or, When You've Been To A New Age Convention, Detroit Don't Sound So Bad)

by

$6.95 organic textured vegetable protein burritos and enough alfalfa sprouts to constipate a yak.

The spine-shattering, inner-ear itching of a thousand thousand crystals.

No bathrooms, just stalls marked 'victims' and 'oppressors'.

And patchouli. Mustn't forget the patchouli. Great Jerry Garcia clouds of patchouli fogging the ceiling of the Portland Convention Center.

Oh, the places you'll go to impress a date. The places you'll go and the things you'll endure...

40 year old hippie-chicks dressed in their gypsy-bedspread best, relating their Navajo past-lives in free-form poetry between $3 shots of wheat grass juice. They were EARTHY. They were filled with that white-girl-abandons-Catholicism sensuality. They would only, much to my dismay, date Iron-John, John Tesh and each other.

Nearby, were long lines of Yanni-mustachioed, Guatemalen-vested men bobbing their dork knobs to, God help me, environmental jazz-fusion while reading such new age classics as, "How To Satisfy A Woman 30% Of The Time." They were, all of them, three turgid inches of white male oppression.

Everything & everyone were products of a successfully recovered memory, serving up the latest in dysfunctional multiculturalism and gender sensitivity.

It was, as are all things, only a matter of time before my mouth got me into trouble.

"Have I seen your journal of daily affirmations?"
"--Sorry, I avoid books that avoid verbs."

"What do you mean I hate women?
--If I hate women so much why am I sleeping with four of them?"

"Oh yeah?! Well, my imaginary friend could kick the shit out of your inner child any day of the week!"

I was Custer in a last stand against reincarnated scientologist dream-catcher warriors.

I was the Enterprise with failing deflector shields, while politically correct Klingon Warbirds (or should I say, Aliens Of Color?) stood ready to blow me out of the New Age Zone.

My date made it clear she had no intention of playing Scotty to my meat-eating Kirk. Instead she suggested that I might make a great topic for the 3:00 panel discussion: 'Men Who Can't Hug.'

At the first opportunity I split. My date turned to get a pamphlet on colonic irrigation and I ducked behind the 'Not-Dogs' display. Heading for the nearest exit I ran head-first into.... the most perfect woman I had ever seen.

Steeltip jackboots hugging fishnets,
a Motorhead blacklight t-shirt cinched
by a boy-toy belt buckle and
vinyl day-glo orange miniskirt...
she was Venus with venom.
She was a small craft warning for bohemians.
She was EVERYTHING I ever wanted.

We shared a unique fondness for 70's baxploitation films and porno actor, Ron Jeremy. We savored the taste of a good Slim-Jim. It seemed only right that, together, we should crash Robert Bly's after-convention party.

Sampling the cuisine of East Timor and slipping out back, we made ourselves at home. There, under the stars, we smoked cigars, drank Milwaukee's Best and talked of Detroit --a magical place we'd never visited, and Santa Fe -- a country of sheep, we imagined, no wolves.

We spent hours gazing into that sky, fantasizing about being accused of 'crimes against humanity' and then, before leaving,

...we pissed in our host's hot tub.

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