I was back. I could smell it. Feel it under my feet. A thin layer, coating my skin. The Mexican jungle.
He waved me down, calling my name. Never that excited to see me before. This time, his soft Israeli eyes full of affection. Before, they were always somewhere else.
He took my hand and we went into a hut. Vast and dark. I saw what looked like canvas bean bag chairs spread throughout. As we were sitting down, the shaman welcomed us by name.
Barefoot, shirtless, we sat indian style on some primitive pad. My friend, my guide, a furless teddybear at my side. His clammy hand held mine. It seemed appropriate. From the shaman: silence, or nondescript mumbling, I cannot remember.
How did he know my name? I didn't know I would be here. Just as I had entered his hut, he entered my mind. In this dim shanty, we were all cracked open. In the air a muffled echo, like the ocean. Our thoughts, subconscious, our souls flooding out no longer contained. Briny mind juice sloshing with our doubts and fears as this plain clothes buddha reaches out to let it all flow between his fingers.
He came to each of us, one by one. Bald, wearing khaki shorts and a frayed burgundy polo shirt. Maybe he'd just finished a round of golf with Bill Murray. He had a wirebound notebook and a yellow #2 pencil with a pink pointy eraser. On the paper he sketched our lives.
My friend went first. It started at a point at the top. He hastily shaded an area that widened a bit, eventually coming back to a point at the bottom. Like a feather. Overtop of this he drew a wavy line, connecting each point, representing the path we take, from birth, to death. And a logo, or symbol, our sign. My friend seemed very satisfied.
He began sketching my life. On the same piece of lined notebook paper, adjacent to the other. Maybe to save space.
At this point, it is very important to relax. No resistance. Don't hide. Let yourself be seen for all that you are.
We watch with heavy hypnotized eyes. Horizontal. I was the little spoon. His arm over me. Our skin sticking together in the heat.
I've never been a fan of the cultural rules assigned to haptic communication. Homophobia is passé. My companion in this strange place is an amalgamation of close friends from my past. It wears the skin of the Israeli, borrowing his eyes, but radiating the love and support of anybody I've ever meant anything to. It is a comfort. We're not alone on this squiggly graphite line called life. Be it sticky skinned friends, lovers, or puppy dogs.
Was it the heat that made me sweat, or was it that lingering fear? That dark seed sprouting shit thoughts, the root of all my anxiety. The work I do, this windy path I take, does it go anywhere? It can be suffocating. As if all my strides are merely convulsions of a graceless near death beast.
In this omniscient mumbler's eyes, I see that sharp flawed reflection of myself. That look that we never really see. Of being truly known in our entirety.
He draws. Curves and bends, back around again. Up, some down, never straight.
It pierces through to this pulsing leathery mass I carry in my chest.
Each inch drawn another inch deeper. My body shutters. This is it. My life.
A charge like lightning. Fluttering deep in my belly. What he says next will complete it. A revelatory mental orgasm.
Consciousness bubbles. Is it the "total consciousness" I'd heard so much about?
Shit… I scramble, clawing at my pillow and blankets trying to pull myself back into the dream. I sit up. My back against the wall. Left with only the sticky skin.
Soon, I fall back asleep. This time, a Scandinavian country club, bouncing barefoot on this half gravity fairway at dusk. Later, professional wrestling in Thailand.
My dreams. The winding path. They continue. So I do as well.
A quick half step back north. Working side by side with Tugboat. The windy path this week was a long walk along the river, a baby björn strapped to my chest.
There's a warmth here. I think I might stay a bit.