It felt comfortable when the night took over. Not so much the night, but the period of dusk. All of the thoughts that haunt you and drive you into constant questioning just fade away. We took the winding roads of the coast in full trust of Crazy Leon and his beat up old Honda. I guess at that point it wasn’t that old. We had planned to wait to eat the shrooms until we were almost at the beach so as to not be tripping in the car. You know, a plan. I was in the back with Madison while Douglas sat up from with Crazy Leon and tried to get the music just right. We had eaten each of the caps a few minutes back thinking that our destination was almost ready for us.
I just kept looking at the tape deck in front while Douglas switched from the first Cyprus Hill album, to Bran Nubian, to the Pharcyde until he finally settled on Primus’ Frizzle Fry. I guess it was the right choice – as soon as the bass kicked in, the tape deck that I was concentrating on started smiling. The rain that I hadn’t noticed before drummed the roof. The lines in my hands started to deepen. I twas a little too much for me, but everyone else seemed to be okay with it, so I just bent down a little in the back seat and turned up towards Madison.
“Shhhh” I said. “Don’t let anyone know what’s going on. It might affect how Leon’s driving.”
“I won’t tell anyone,” Madison replied. “I think everyone knows anyhow though. We’re good.”
The car swerved a bit but the music stayed on point.
“What! What do we know,” asked Leon, looking back at us in the rear view mirror, then twisting and turning it to make sure he could see us. “If you know something you better tell me because I’m in control of this thing here and we need to get to our beach in the right way. Everything is fine. You can tell me that.”
“We’re all fine,”Douglas said, popping out the Primus and tossing in some Charlie Parker to calm down the mood. Amazing that so much time had passed in the world of American Music that Charlie Parker would not be considered mellow. The saxophone guided us, along with Crazy Leon, to our spot at Pescadero beach, and a release from the car. It was well done if you ask me because I did all I could to keep from melting into the back seat. Leon got out and took a hug breath of the ocean air. Douglas kept on changing the tapes in the car even though no more music was coming out. I don’t know what my body was doing, but my mind was looking at the sky and marveling at how many different forms of night there were and how white the birds were against the mosaic.
Madison motioned to Douglas to put some headphones on, which he did, and the 4 of us stood on the cliff that over looked the beach. It was a giant cliff like the ones down at Big Sur, but it looked big enough. The beaches of Northern California were rocky and rough. We walked out to the tip and looked out over the ocean. I guess there was a 25 foot drop that lead down to the beach, which we managed to get down without and worries of time or technique. Douglas wasn’t talking at all and was protecting himself with his music. Finally on the beach, the four of us looked out to the ocean, standing not too far behind a group of rocks that took the brunt of the waves. There were red lights reflecting off of them – which I thought nothing off seeing as how the rest of the world around me made little sense in regards to how I usually saw it.
Madison jumped up on the rock and and threw his arms into the sky.
“Come on, I challenge you to be greater than I am. Can you beat the humans?”
While he yelled at the ocean, Crazy Leon bent over and slapped his needs with a loud laugh and monstrous roar of enjoyment. He looked like a toy who’s spring would never stop. I put my hand on Douglas shoulder and said something to the effect of “These are the moments we’ll remember,” but he brushed it away, not wanting anything to come inside of his protective bubble. He pointed at his headphones and nodded slowly.
A wave came crashing up against the rock and nearly pulled Madison into the ocean with it on it’s retreat. He screamed. Leon echoed it.
“Did you see it,” Madison said pulling himself up from the wet sand. “They tried to take me back with them but I wasn’t having it. I wanted to stay with you guys. We’re brothers. We’re family. I’m not leaving that for an ocean adventure.”
We were family. I didn’t grow up with much of one. Images slapped over each other of so many times when I wished I had a brother to lean back on but found only people I created. Now, in front of me, though there were in a cartoon state, were my brothers. The red lights became heavier and heavier. I could hear sounds, something in my mind telling me we weren’t supposed to be there. Those voices started getting louder and louder and were out of place with the moment.
Douglas walked in front of me and nodded up towards the cliff we’d just walked down from. I could barely make out the car, then, as I focussed, could see the black and white, and then the police man standing in front of it.
“You can’t be down there,” he said again, this time clear. “The beach closed 5 minutes ago. Time to leave.”
Madison dusted himself off but couldn’t get clean enough, and settle for what he had. Douglas turned up the music and nodded at Crazy Leon, telling him with his eyes to act cool around the cop once we got to the car. The rocks on the bottom of the beach started turning to skulls, but I had no time to pay attention to that and made a note to myself to talk with madison about such things when we got back into the car and back on the road. Back on the road was the place we had to go but least wanted to be.
We got to the top and saw that the cop was more of a ranger than a cop, but the image of who he was was more imposing that who he actually was.
“Time to go folks, it’s not safe down there after dark. Looks like I rescued your friend there just in time,” he said, pointing at Madison and his drenched body.
Crazy Leon looked normal while opening the door and starting up the ride. We all slunk in and said nothing. Douglas put in something, though I can’t recall what it was. All I heard was the engine turn on – and with that, leaving the ranger waving at us in the background, we were kicking into full bloom with our trip and driving down a twisting highway with rain falling all around us, looking for a port that had yet to be discovered.
So much for plans.