When the owner of the cowboy bar I was bartending out of this winter sat me down for firing he called me into his office and said,
“Y’know, when we hired you we thought you were this good looking cool guy, but you’re really a nerd.”
“Duh!” is what I wanted to say. All my life people who don’t really know me but think they do have been making this mistake about me.
About 5 months later at Kitzel’s, during my first public reading and discussion of Accidental Initiations, with my old friend Chris Sand aka Sandman: The Rappin’ Cowboy, one of the many girl’s who have made this mistake about me showed up. She bought a book and came on my first Treewalk for people who have read AI. The walk was intense and funny and profound, and well-attended. I’m looking forward to doing more of these.
A young hippie couple showed up. The boy knew Sandman from years ago at a show in Minnesota, and only attended the event at Kitzel’s because it was free, because the Food Not Bombs cart was parked outside, and because when he saw Sandman all those years ago, something moved him. Similarly, when he heard what my book was about, he got inspired to explore it. They didn’t have or buy a copy but they were so respectful I said they could come anyway. The whole time, the adorable little hippie chick with him just kept giggling at all the mystic winks inside The Tree.
A very shy and sheltered woman from Wisconsin flew in just to attend the talk, the walk and my performances at The Oly Music Awards. She stayed at Fertile Grounds Guesthouse and was so moved by the experience that afterwards she flew home and promptly began making plans to relocate to Olympia.
Rebeca from Kitzel’s, who organized my event, came along and was a great participant; asked good questions, made insightful comments, generally got the book, and by extension, me. We’re working on putting together more events at Kitzel’s and she and I have graduated from acquaintances to friends.
There was a woman on the walk; someone who I’d known at KAOS, a fellow former DJ. As we descended from The Kether Seat to The Chokmah Mound, she told me how, at the station, in the months following my dismissal, she felt intimidated and bullied by station management not to say anything in support of me or Radio8Ball. As she put it, “It felt like anyone who had anything nice to say about you might lose THEIR show.”
Then there was the redhead; the girl who mistook me for a “good looking cool guy” instead of a nerd. She had quite a story to tell…
When our group got to The Circle Of Hod, she told how her wedding had taken place in The Tiphareth Gazebo, and when the marriage dissolved, their last BIG TALK was in the park, in the area between The Tiphareth Gazebo and The Circle of Netzach, or the path of “Death”. During this “big talk” I passed them on one of my runs. I think it was raining. She remembered this, as did I, but for different reasons. We have a past.
She used to live in The Martin with a guy whose apartment was the social hub of the building. I really liked this guy. He and his girlfriend seemed like a happy couple; welcoming the nerdy tenants of our strangely dorm-like hall-life, into their home for laughs and hangs. For me, those were the years of mending from the crushing disappointment of my divorce, and I cherished the social time with funny, smart people who were into the same nonsense I was.
Then one night the redhead came a knockin’ at my door. She asked if she could come in. I was always inviting myself over to their place so, to be polite, I said yes. She sat on the edge of my bed (my only couch) and told me she was having dreams about me. These “prophetic dreams” were bringing up big feelings for her. This is the condensed version as I heard it, sitting in my chair, at my desk, across from her. It actually took a very uncomfortable forty five minutes or more for her to say she was “falling for me”. I told her I was flattered but her boyfriend was my friend and I wasn’t interested. I also told her how much I enjoyed hanging out with them, and asked her not to make it uncomfortable for me. So, of course, she went home and told her boyfriend. After this I wasn’t invited back into their place for over a year.
Several years later, I was in Boston for my grandfather’s funeral, hanging out with a woman I was very interested in, someone who had, for a brief time, lived in The Martin in Olympia, just down the hall from me. It felt good and comfortable, sitting on her floor listening to records and smoking pot. We wondered why we never became friends in the building. I remembered her as being slightly uncomfortable around me, but kind of interested. Maybe? It turns out; when she moved in, a prominent local prison doula who lived in the building at the time warned her to be wary of me. The reason? The story the doula heard from the jealous boyfriend of the redhead who knocked on my door. In this version of the story, I was the dangerous seducer. The sexy, cool guy. Not the broken hearted nerd doing time in the suicide room who gets ostracized because of the misplaced affections of an imbalanced woman.
This is how Olympia treats my heart. The Tammy & Merwyn story isn’t much different. They thought I was this “good looking cool guy”, and I’m sure their intense feelings about me brought all kinds of heat to their relationship, but I’m really just a nerd, and they dog-piled me good. Because I’m in movies they watched as kids, or sing songs that moved them in their youth, or because I look like someone who does those jobs; they feel justified projecting their lust and disappointment, their shadows, onto me. It might be worth it to me if I got more of the perks of those professions but I enjoy none of the protections buttressing the celebrities these people are comparing me to in their minds. I’m a nerdy bartender in love with a magickal Tree in Olympia. A hermit jerking off on his own words and synchronicity. A prisoner in the free-est town on the west coast. Why? Because every month I get to hear a new version of the same old story about me, told by someone who never met me and already has the wrong idea about me based on something someone else said to someone else about things that never happened in the first place.
Which brings me back to the weekend of The Oly Music Awards. Despite, or perhaps because of, all the brutal social dynamics I have documented about this town, from time to time it elevates me. Usually at The Capitol Theater, and when it does it feels like heaven; The Transfused, The Spearhead Sound Hours Benefit, all those shows I played and recorded there, and now this…
I had no idea I was going to win or was even really up for an award, so when John Ford, who I believe was one of the architects of my persecution at KAOS, and who has certainly been vocal in trashing Radio8Ball to people around town as “not very good” and “not very popular”, had to stand there, amidst cheering fans, and give Radio8Ball an award for being both good and popular, well, it was my Bill Murray moment and I didn’t even know it was happening. I was in pre-show mode; hyper-focused on presenting The Pop Oracle but, in retrospect, this was my full moon miracle, my gift from Olympia, and the culmination of my book (or at least the movie of my book).
With my old traveling buddy, Sandman, at my side, and “Star-Burns” Dino Stamatopoulos (Community, Moral Oral, Mr. Show) Skype-ing in from Hollywood to remind us all how connected we are; with the accidental benediction of the moment of my re-awarding on that hallowed stage, and the energetic hum of my Treewalk still reverberating in the halls of my consciousness…the cameras rolled, and captured it Zapruder-style for dissection in the future, like now.
Time, as we experience it, does move on and, in the weeks following The Oly Music Awards, the world didn’t end or significantly shift, but mine did in all kinds of subtle ways; both shift and end, and shift again. Mostly more of the same boring hater-y bullshit and gloriously transcendental mischief making which I have proven to myself in this document is probably my trademark
“Today’s breakthrough is tomorrow’s ego trip”. – Something someone said at a Landmark Education event
My breakthrough/ego trip, at least the one encapsulated in the quote I chose to begin this post with, crescendo-ed when the redhead who knocked on my door asked me to meet up with her for a walk. I was, of course, wary. Whether she knew it or not, this woman was one of a series of ladies who have set me up to be attacked by their lovers, ostracized by my neighbors, and labeled as dangerous to potential friends and lovers. But she had been there at the talk and the walk, and even came up with a wicked inspiration to steal a bunch of Co-Op pencils for The Radio8Ball Show, which she did. The least I could do was meet her and hear what she had to say. I wasn’t going to tell her how much her sloppiness had hurt me but then she told me this story…
“I have dreams that are more than dreams. Sometimes they come true. Days later. Months. Years. But I always know the difference between these dreams and the normal dream-dreams. And you are in a lot of these dreams of mine. That’s what I was trying to tell you that time in your apartment.”
When she said this I tensed but tried not to show it.
“I was having these dreams with you in them that you were unaware of but I knew they were real. It was really disorienting, and obviously not great for my relationship. His idea of an open relationship was him having sex with me and another woman. Anyway, I tried to understand my dreams by studying dream psychology and picked up some books from The Evergreen library. One of these really spoke to me and on the second or third chapter the author starts talking about this little kid named Andras, which kind of freaked me out so I looked at the author’s name and bio and…it was you father.”
She’s talking about “The Dream Poet”; my father, Richard Matthew Jones’, book about the dream seminars he led at Evergreen in the 1970’s.
“Do you remember how G (her boyfriend from The Martin) and me went to India for six months? Well, when we were there we were in the middle of this marathon argument, and you were a part of it. You know how when you’re arguing like that sometimes you just need to take a break? So we decided to just chill out and watch a movie. So we’re watching this weird horror film, the only thing that’s on, and it’s you!”
She’s talking about “The Attic Expeditions” from 2000; a film whose plot has grown more and more to resemble my life in the last few years. It’s about a man who writes a magickal book and then loses his mind, with the help of a nefarious cabal of mind-fuckers.
I couldn’t argue with her, these were some serious syncs. Add to this, Will Morgan’s theory, based upon his dissection of the films in which I have acted; that I synchromystically resonate with the archetype of the redhead, or as he calls her, The Scarlet Woman, and I was almost ready to believe.
“I know from your book that you know something about dreams and magick and I was wondering if you could suggest anyone that I could work with to better understand what is happening with me and these dreams. Not just about you, but the whole phenomenon that I’ve been trying to deny since I was a kid.”
I suggested someone who I know from my time in the Seattle psychic community, and I hope she followed up on it, but I had to get away from this woman as fast as possible. Her hunger for me or whatever I symbolized to her was too great for me to take on. She asked me if I knew anything about “psychic vampirism” and its connection to Olympia as I was leaving. I said I didn’t and she invited herself back to my place. If I were a “good looking cool guy” I’d know what to do with this kind of attention; either shut it down, or invite it, or manipulate it to my ends, but as I keep saying, I’m a nerd, and interactions like these just leave me feeling abused.
Now it’s June 15th, one year from the walk that initiated Accidental Initiations and Radio8Ball is gearing up to go into a new phase of production. As the intended host and, therefore, star of this show, I’d better start getting OK with this good looking cool guy mask. I hope you know, I’m only doing it for your benefit. I’d much rather geek out on synchronicity with the nerdy kids down the hall.