Saturday, February 12 2000
Over the past few months, Kim has gradually become a member of the Los Angeles tantra scene. Today Kim and I were supposed to drive up to LA to attend a party celebrating the birthday of one of the Los Angeles-area tantric "goddesses." In contrast to Kim's pre-trip enthusiasm, my heart wasn't in this excursion at all. I have no interest in tantra or in the extension of the duration of my lovemaking acts; indeed, my urge for sex is more of a distraction than something around which I'd like to center my free time. As we were preparing to leave, I tried to tell Kim my feelings, but this led to nothing more helpful than a medium-scale fight.
We were smoking the marijuana and the radio was tuned to a disco station. Since I was stoned, I had more of an open mind about Andy Gibb as he sang "Shadow Dancing." Suddenly I could appreciate things that were never remarkable to me before, such as the semi-somber multi-cultural aspects of the orchestral accompaniment. This is not to say, mind you, that I entirely agree with this sentiment in sober retrospect.
The plan was for us to hook up with Dr. Wujaca Smacktooka at her place in Los Angeles and then drive north to the birthday party in the remote mountain town of Ojai. But when we got to Dr. Wujaca's apartment, no one responded to our plaintive bell ringing. We were "running on tantra time," as Wujaca would say. But Kim wasn't impressed by Wujaca's flaky behavior. "If they already left for Ojai, I'm never coming back," she said.
Tantra time wasn't the only factor in our delay; another was the amount of drinking undertaken by the Doctor the night before. We eventually reached her cell phone and arranged a rendezvous at the Cheesecake Factory in Marina Del Rey (an artificial harbor south of Santa Monica).
We ate outdoors on a deck amid the trim & polite pigeons, seagulls and English Sparrows. Less polite was a contingent of burly young men at a nearby table who kept boiling over in loud, distracting laughter.
Kim and Wujaca both had large pink alcoholic drinks. For some reason Kim and I split a large, expensive and nearly flavorless salmon salad. I found that the English Sparrows liked salmon. Evan, Wujaca's boyfriend, discovered that they liked chicken egg as well. The sun was bright and everyone was wearing sun glasses except for me.
Wujaca's BMW had recently been broken into and she was concerned that, what with the impending rain, a "Mexican fix-it job" would prove insufficient. So we took Kim's Volvo up to Ojai. Evan did all the driving, and yes, the rains fell. They fell hard. I hadn't seen rain falling this hard since I left Virginia in 1998.
We crossed the mountains north of Los Angeles and found ourselves in a wholeexotic new region of agricultural flatland. The vision of rain drenching lush irrigated fields brought back for a moment the feeling of being in the east, a feeling that lasted until I looked up and saw the arid mountainsides.
Eventually we headed into another east-west range of mountains to the north of Ventura. These were incredibly rugged, bush-covered hulks rising steeply from the arbitrary ramblings of the valley.
It must be her random ADD-tinted personality, but Wujaca actually reminds me a lot of Sara Poiron. She's also something of a princess, continually demanding that things be exactly her way. For example, as a precondition for driving, Evan had demanded that Wujaca not be a backseat driver. But no conditions had been attached to her behavior visa-vis the radio. She was in the back seat with Kim and couldn't reach the knobs, but, because I was riding shotgun, I could. Oh what a nightmare! Wujaca wanted to listen to Hip Hop and the stations kept drifting in and out. Disco was an okay substitute, but those stations also had difficulty finding their way through the mountains. Exasperated with having to keep changing stations, I left the radio on a cheesy early-80s ballad, hoping to prove to everybody that it wasn't by the Cars, which everyone but me believed it was.
Our destination lay somewhere beyond the folksy/funky town center of Ojai up a long winding valley. We saw ominous-looking trucks equipped with plows coming down the mountain and I wondered for a while whether our destination lay up above snow line (mind you, it was a fairly warm day and I couldn't see any snow). But after we rounded the bend it was obvious that the substance being plowed was rocks that had fallen from the steep slopes above. Evidently this is a common phenomenon during rainy weather and the locals are used to it.
Our destination was the home of the birthday girl, a Polynesian woman who lives with one of the LA tantra scene's more familiar men. Like many in Ojai, he's a reclusive guy with an "off-the-grid" [REDACTED]mindset. A half dozen or so people, almost all of them middle-aged, were already there. On the long table in the dining area lay a good variety of food and some wine. Surprisingly, given the leftist hippie proclivities of those present, only some of the food was vegetarian. But then again, once someone lapses from vegetarianism, its awfully difficult for him to return. And by the time someone reaches middle age (like most of the people present tonight), the chance that he will have lapsed from vegetarianism will be high.
I talked with a few people about this and that. Since a good fraction of those present were hippie isolationist residents of the boondocks of Ojai, many of them had tales about sudden nature-induced crises from fires, floods, landslides, rock slides, and the occasional wild animal attack (ie: don't let your cat outside). One old man told me about a tenant he lost who'd been running a bunch of websites from his remote cabin. When a brush fire came through and burned up his T1 line, the tenant had to go in search of a more urban setting. This other rustic bohemian character claimed to be a "modern scavenger" who bought things on the internet and rescued other things from dumpsters, only to sell them again for profits. When I told him that my expertise was connecting websites to databases, he was suddenly intrigued and wanted my non-existent business card.
Kim was having a terrible allergic reaction to a couple of long-haired cats who were hanging out in the house, so we went outside to walk around in the rain briefly. Even in the foggy rain of night, the dark forms of the mountains were spectacularly beautiful against the diffuse glow of Los Angeles in the distance.
My throat was kind of sore and I wasn't in much of a mood for socializing, so at the earliest opportunity I fell asleep in a huge king size bed in the back room. Later I was joined by Kim and then Dr. Wujaca Smacktooka and Evan. Four people in a big old bed. Wujaca was black-out drunk from the wine, and before the night was over I'd been peed on, kept up by an attack of Wujaca's hiccups, and dealt with several waves of evidently odorless (but perfectly audible) intestinal gas.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next