Chronicle Section Six:
AN EVENING OF HAMMERTOE DANCING
I was grateful for his loving kindness, but still feared to ask "the one question". One evening having gone to my room for the night, laughter and people running through the halls awakened me. There were a half dozen women and men holding hands in a human chain. They came to my room and took my hand. I uninhibitedly but awkwardly joined the dancers, delighted that I had been included.
We danced like nymphs through the Big House. For some reason I said "no" when the leader of the spirited crew announced: "Let's go to Tim's room." I guess I thought that would be beneath his stature. Instead, we ended up outside on the front lawn in the dark, circumambulating the fountain. Unbearable tensions came to my shoulders and at the same time a feeling of freedom. My mind was still a tangle.
In a moment of paranoia that I was the purpose and center of attention, I freaked as we all slumped to the lawn in a heap of bodies and seething breath. As I waned between a rational state and who knows what, a girl said: "Do you think he is positive or negative"? Silently we lay there collapsed in exhaustion and unmoving. Were they aware of the "merging" that I felt? Was I preventing some cosmic event?
What was I supposed to do? The answer never arrived. Later I found myself, of all places, in the tower room of the Big House standing at the foot of Tim and Rosemary's bed. They were sitting there in bed each reading a book. I asked Tim "What should I do? Should I go with it?" He asked: Had I taken LSD? I answered: No! Yes, he said, go with it. I literally dove right between them. Thud!
Nothing happened, nothing, and my mind immediately quieted. Then I felt foolish. Tim got quickly to his feet, helped me up and started walking me around the room. He noticed my limp and, as if to distract me, asked about it. I confessed it was hammertoe. Rosemary then said: "Tim used to have that trouble." Somehow I found myself back in my own room, embarrassed, bewildered, and exhausted.
A typical flashback to the psychedelic event was the sensation of "merging" that can only be described as one dissolving at molecular levels into whatever objects or humans, animals, or plants happened to be touched in the environment. A couch or chair became a living matrix entangled with my body; transparent to surface limits of skin and upholstery. My terror was that everything was "one thing" and "I" was it.
Next day, Tim asked me to attend to one of the retreatants living over the 2-lane bowling alley. I was sure that she would sense my fragile state. How could that help her? Just what was I expected to do for her? She was much older than I, handsome and with the most graceful expression that I have ever seen on a person's face. What were my instructions? What did I know about any of this?
She knew I was sent to comfort her but ended up tacitly comforting me. Together we went about ordinary housekeeping rituals in her dwelling and then we hung out many hours in silence back on the porch of the Big House. At one point we watched Tim and a few others go into the meditation (tennis) house. Neither my companion nor I were invited, and I took comfort in that.
Sometime later , they all emerged from the tiny building, looking over at the two of us with knowing smiles, I freaked! They were expecting something! I began to melt into the environment. A fist of familiar energy thrust up the base of my spine. Flashback! I ran to my room in silent panic, grabbed my baggage, which I had kept packed, and quickly made it to my car. I then remembered the light machine.
Trembling, I snatched it off the front room mantel. I had so much labor invested in it. Nothing else mattered but to get out of there. Weeks before, I had notified my boss at the ad agency by telegram, that I had resigned. God! Now I had blown it at both ends! The panic subsided or did I just sit on it? Tension pain was breaking my back and neck. I knew it was resistance, but resistance to what?
Next Chronicle Section (7)