She Was High All the Time

Last August, I was performing on the street in Monterey for a couple weeks.  One couple caught my eye.  Andy was a homeless guitar player and his girlfriend Mona played the bongos.  She was high every time I saw her.  In fact, once I saw her loitering in a parking structure, and she didn’t even recognize me.  Looked like she didn’t even know where she was.  It was such a shame.  She was a pretty girl.

Mona and Andy performing on the street, August, 2012

When writing my newly published novel, What Happens to Us,, I inserted them into it.  They’re the couple, Brescia and Memory, from whom Dante tries to buy a car with a fake registration, but which transaction opens up a whole other can of worms.

“Her name was Memory, although behind her back, all the guys called her Mammary for too-obvious reasons.  She was wearing a tank top, exposing her labyrinth of tattoos that ran up and down her arms.  Her purple hair shone in the morning sunlight like neurosis, a gold ring glistening on her nose.  She was making an iced coffee, and loudly.  From the creases on her forehead, Cat just knew that she had troubles like a bramblebush.  Looking at her, Cat was lost for a moment in Memory’s patterns of ink and skin, art and flesh, cause and consequence, symbolism and dysfunction—in fact, each of her piercings seemed to Cat like a medal commemorating its own dysfunction.”

Last week, after a year’s absence, I returned to Monterey to perform and saw Andy, playing his guitar on the same old wall.  I said hello.

“Hey, dude,” Andy answered back.

“Hey, where’s your girlfriend?”

But at the mere mention of her, Andy’s whole face changed as if a storm had suddenly moved in.

“In a ditch dead somewhere, I hope!”

It seems like mayhaps they had issues?


3 thoughts on “She Was High All the Time

  1. Alcoholics pass out in snowbanks and do all kinds of other disturbing things, regardless of the climate, yet will venomously hiss out “Junkies, junkies!” when forced to observe the consumption of someone else’s sacramental poison. Alcohol abuse is its own punishment. Even a certain Guru who drank himself to death indicated that alcohol was an acceptable drug for this reason. I can say with certainty that drugs are not the answer either, unfortunately I forgot what the question was a long time ago.

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