A recurring theme in my life is discovering an interest or activity and every fiber in my body seems to get attacked by this interest for a period of various lengths, in which everything else in my life is practically discarded altogether. I can look back and see the pattern. Let's have a look shall we? Even before I can remember, I've heard stories about myself that support this same pattern. I had a plastic lawn mower that I'm told was my "reason for living" when I was around two. But the first thing that I can remember is pretending to be an Indian(native american). This is all I did, my one and only interest and I was an Indian for 24 hours a day everyday for many months, very likely a year or more, which included studying their clothing, weapons, shelters, food and lifestyle in books that I would check out in the library. I was completely immersed in this. Looking back on this, I realise that I got this interest from my cousin, Bo, who showed me how to make a bow and arrow out of the trees we had around. And then one day as I was observing my dad watch football; it was as though a spark had ignited into an inferno almost instantly. I was no longer an Indian, but a football player. Not that I made a decision to give up on being an Indian. There was simply no time to be an Indian any longer. So for two years or more football was everything that interested me, and I would play outside all day, everyday alone. I was every player on both teams simultaneously. This continued until my parents divorced when I was eight and we moved to California.
It seems as if the whole divorce and moving must have scattered my every interest thin and across a very wide spectrum for a while because I experimented with many different interests, and in every interest I would apply the same intensity, just never really settling on anything. Of course this is when my mom remarried and my interests seemed to mirror that of my step father, Wayne. Which, as it turns out seemed to be into everything. He had lived in Japan for eleven years and his interests influenced me undiluted. He was into skateboarding, surfing, enlightenment, handstands, kung fu, running, biking, studies, and as he found new interests, I would also follow. Dean my "real dad" was taking piloting classes to become a commercial pilot during this time.I was also trying to be just like him simultaneously. I would also try to amalgamate my friends' interests as my own. The first person I befriended in California was Rocky. He was about thirteen and I was eight. His interests included football and fighting. In the neighborhood I would always be quarterback and he was always receiver. Since he was in the eighth grade, I found another friend, Zack in my class who also liked fighting. So during recess and after school we looked for kids that I would fight. (Maybe Zack didn't like to fight, because it seems as if I was the only one ever fighting.) But Rocky was really my best friend and I remember him telling me that if he ever saw me come home crying because I lost a fight, then he himself would kick my ass too. He had a brother named Stevie(about ten) that must have lived with his mom because Rocky's dad didn't have a wife at home and I met Stevie during summer vacation. One day we were playing football, Rocky made Stevie and me fight each other. He said if we didn't do it then he would beat us both up. Since I remembered what Rocky had said earlier about losing a fight. I felt like I was fighting for my life. So I beat Stevie to a pulp. It's strange looking back, because I really liked Stevie, probably more than Rocky. He was kindhearted and sometimes would actually voice his opinion about "doing the right thing. " One particular occasion I remember is when my sister(who was five) was with us over at Rocky's and Rocky made us watch him perform oral sex on her, otherwise he said, he would kick our ass. When he was finished, again with the same threat, he said that both me and Stevie had to do the same thing. Stevie tried to protest and I was so happy he was standing up. But Rocky kept hitting him and he was forced into it but he only did it for a second, just barely enough to satisfy Rocky. Now it was my turn, and I couldn't bring myself to get anywhere near the bed. I was crying and Rocky was yelling at me. Stevie was yelling and crying "this is a sin, Rocky! This is a sin."
"Do it or I'll kick your fucking ass! Do it!!!"
I just kept crying and he kept on insisting. I'm not sure how it happened but somehow Stevie got Rocky's attention by smacking him or something of the sort saying "it's a sin, Rocky! That's his sister!" Rocky turned around, distracted by Stevie for a few seconds and that's when Stevie yelled out "he did it." Rocky was unconvinced but Stevie was adamant. Rocky in in disbelief asked me if I did it, while Stevie stood there, in concern, looked on. "yeah, I did it," I said and walked away like I had done it and didn't like it, as if to say and don't ever ask me again. [Parents! Please don't direct your kids through fear of punishment!]Stevie was as as courageous as they come, for he stood as himself for all of us. I, through the years had learned how to hide out of fear of punishment.
We soon moved again from El Segundo to Palos Verdes, California. Here I had much trouble finding friends. I remember dreading both recess and lunchtime, because I seemed to be the only one without a friend. Nobody ever offered me a seat or acted like they even new I was there. I just wandered around the playgroud, pretending to be heading somewhere, trying not to be noticed by all the kids playing their games. The school year finally ended and somehow I met Michael, who befriended me. He must have been without any friends too because I never did see anybody else at his house except me. We would just swim and play in the jacuzzi all day and occasionally go bike riding. It was so nice to finally have a friend. The school year started again and it was even less friendly that the year before. I would guess that Mike went to a private school, because I would only see him after school and on weekends. A few months passed and I was told that we were moving to Alaska. I don't remember ever feeling sad or loss about leaving. I just knew that I would be living with my dad that I missed so much by now. He had gotten his Pilot's liscence and we moved in with some friends that he stayed with.
It seemed like the same situation as before. Everybody had friends and I was unknown and went unnoticed except for some fights that seem to have occasionally found me. My dad found work as a bush pilot which required we move again. This time to Kiana. This was an eskimo village north of the Arctic circle. Where now instead of not being noticed, I stood out like a sore thumb. Eventually Brent(squeaky), another half white kid in town befriended me and we became running partners. We were a little smaller than the rest of the kids in our class which also was another thing we had in common and an important part of our bond. He also had two older brothers that owned music like Rush and AC-DC. I had never really heard anything like that before. I must have listened to "Fly by Night" 25 times a day everyday. I finally started to feel accepted after a few months of three or four fights. My cares started to leave me as being outside in the elements was my new area of interest. Epic competetive derby sledding, hunting, and just being outside with my dog, Spunky, are some of my fondest memories to this day. But of course that was short lived because after a year or so there, we moved back to Anchorage and once again I was the new kid.
I was now nine and somehow, although I had no friends at school, I had met my neighbor, Dennis. He was a year younger than I. We quickly became running partners. He had much interest in Kung Fu and martial arts. So quite naturally my newest interest became martial arts, particularly ninjitsu. This was the perfect thing for me it seemed. It involved hiding and being undetected, which by this time I was already well experienced. We called ourselves "night stalkers" and were always testing our skills of covertness and sabotage under cover of night. Of course Alaska had much night in the winter. I'm not sure how it happened, but Dennis and I met Leroy, who was a few months younger than I, but older than Dennis and also shared the same grade in school. Which they would be going into forth grade and I into the fifth grade. Leroy liked to fight and "Rocky, Rocky II, and Rocky III were his favorite movies. We never told Leroy about us the"night stalkers". But the three of us had hand to hand combat in common. I now had two best friends, which also mirrors my two dads. Dean and Wayne. Dennis wasn't quite as "cool" as Leroy, in fact, often I felt embarassed for him. because I considered myself much cooler than he, and Leroy was a just a hair cooler than me. This also mirrors my dads' and my relationships. Where as Dean could be embarassing, but Wayne was just the coolest, and he had the ablility to turn my mom from anger into just hilarious laughter because of his carefree attitude. Where as Dean could never calm the storm that often raged inside of her. Leroy introduced me to more music that drew my attention. He, like Squeaky, had two older brothers and they liked bands like Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, and Judas Priest.I was a little scared of Iron Maiden and Ozzy because of the association with the Devil, but I actually enjoyed the music more. I finished out the sixth grade at the same place and during these few years, Mom and Wayne introduced us to alpine skiing. Every weekend the family would hit the slopes. We all enjoyed this so much, as it would make mom happy and thus we were happy. Wayne also tried to interest mom in rock climbing and ice climbing, which as it turns out she didn't much enjoy. So wayne would take me instead. I was almost as big as mom now so I would be a suitable substitute. Life was I good as I could remember. The following summer vacation my younger sister and brother stayed in Anchorage and I went to stay with Dean in Fairbanks. He had moved up to Captain of a C119 (boxcar) and flew to the many villages that litter Alaska. I was with him 24 hours a day as he would take me on the flights that his job entailed and we shared a room at a small bed and breakfast sort of place. I really enjoyed my time with him and as the summer came to a close I learned that we would be once again be moving.
We moved to the totally opposite side of Anchorage, which made me once again the new kid. This was a huge blow to my stability, because it was my first year of Junior High School at Wendler. Anchorage being a relatively large town had 5 or 6 different junior highs. And most everybody I knew in Northwood Elementary School would be attending Romig Junior High. So most everybody at Wendler were already friends from their elemetary school. Of course I knew nobody at all and lunchtime was very traumatic as I looked for a place to sit. I think I ended up sitting at the least crowded table, where all the kids with no social stature sat. Making friends in Junior High was next to impossible for me. Since there were 6 different classes throughout the day, and there were few people that I shared more than 2 classes with and minimal time between classes to meet anybody. The entire seventh grade school year I had not met any lasting friends. Then that summer somehow I was invited to play "guns" with some of the kids in the neighborhood. This involved hiding and going unnoticed which by this time I had become very adept at doing, through all of my experience. At first I met Fred, an older kid with many social problems. He wanted me on his side because I was so good at playing guns. The two of us took on the rest of the kids in the neighborhood, and just the two of would usually win; although we were always outnumbered. Fred introduced me to marijuana one day. I didn't know what it was, but I recognised the aroma and I remember that my uncle Duane used to smoke it. And I also remember a few of the cooler kids in Kiana were smoking it once. So I was definetely intrigued, and I felt cool to be smoking it. The next day Wayne was in town again from Germany or Switzerland. He lived in Europe much of the time since he worked for Flying Tigers, an air based freight company. He took me rock climbing with his friend Ernie. I remember feeling so incredibly ashamed that I had smoked pot the night before. Although I had so much fun, I felt like my entire life was a lie. I wondered how I could be having so much fun; as if I hadn't even just smoked pot the night before. I felt like such a liar. Wayne and mom by this time were finalising their divorce that Wayne had informed me of a few months earlier.
One day we were playing guns and I met Kenneth and Lance. They were smoking, and Lance tried to get me to take a drag. I said no, and he said, "c'mon man, it won't kill you." Then Kenneth spoke up and said, "he doesn't have to, if he doesn't want to," and it was left at that. In this moment I felt such warmth and sense of belonging, that quite possibly, I hadn't felt in years. Out of that a new friendship emerged, and Kenneth and I were running partners. The best of friends. Just honest expression of who we were. The summer would end and although, Kenneth would be going going to Wendler next year. We rarely saw each other in school, since he was in seventh grade and I would be in eighth. And besides it was nearly unheard of for seventh and eight graders to hang out. So during the year I started to meet some people and I recognised they also recognised me from the year before. People seemed to be getting friendlier and I was also an eighth grader. That in itself gave me status. Then before long I found myself becoming semi-popular. Of course, popularity is collectively the most important thing in junior high. And I relished every step taken in the social ladder that I would take. Soon I was going to parties and making out with the girls that came. The first girl I asked to go steady at Wendler was Pam and I got to hold her hand in the halls for about three days before we broke up. It wasn't at all heartbreaking or anything. It was more of a trophy thing. Very soon as I gained more popularity, I found that the girls began flocking to me. Some of them actually liked me for me, but usually it was just their ploy to gain popularity themselves.
Then I asked out Michelle. Her first name was actually Andrea, but she went by her middle name. Michelle was, in my eyes, the most beautiful girl in school, and when she said yes, it was as if all of my dreams had come true. We spent hours on the phone everyday, and I would always be late in coming home from her house. She let me do anything I wanted with her, and I remember the first time she let me feel her up. On my way home I was in ecstacy. "She loves me!" I kept saying to myself. Then uncontrollable laughter would follow. But then I would get home, and mom was not at all happy about my new found love. It seemed as if she did everything she could to sabotage our relationship. From only allowing me, incredibly small amounts of free time. Michelle lived about a 30 minute walk away, and I was allowed 2 hours when I was allowed to go. So of course I was always an hour or so late. She would also constantly be picking up the extension on the telephone saying she needed to make a call. I used to eavsdrop undetected, and the moment mom would hang up. I would again be on. So from all of this I now had to hide my time spent with Michelle. Always hiding. Yes I was very good at hiding and deceiving. Eventually we broke up, and I was devastated. But the school year ended and I was again hanging out with Kenneth. We had move from playing guns to playing football. Of course I knew how to play football, and I was always quarterback and Kenneth was always receiver. (I might see a pattern here)There was a need to fulfill my addiction to hiding and deceiving and sabotage, so Kenneth and I would break into places like warehouses and "pretend" like we were elite spies. Of course occasionally this included vandalism, which just intesified the rush of adrenaline. The possiblilty of getting caught and testing the limits of how far we could go was intoxicating. This behind the scenes testing the limits progressed into bold, in your face, acts of rebellion. Things like peeing on cars in plain sight from overpasses as the cars drove underneath. On the snowiest of days and undercover of night we would include some accomplices and gather up snowballs and iceballs about a quarter mile from a busy intersection and hit as many cars as we could. When the cars would come and chase us, we would just run into the woods and taunt them from there. Yelling and laughing together. We were the rulers of the world, the untouchables, I felt powerful for the first time. I just knew that nothing could hurt me and nobody could come close to my level of cleverness. It was us against the world and we knew from the start that we would always be the victors. Yes my secret life was empowering. I had been forced into hiding at first, but it had become my briar patch, yes hiding had become my home. Only I knew the real me and I marveled at how clever I had become.
High School started and most of the people I knew from wendler would go to East High School, and the few that lived where I lived would go to Bartlett High School. I felt lost on the first day or so. As did most of us from Wendler. Most of the freshmen came from another junior high school and out of that Paul, Chuck, and I started hanging out. It was plain to see that the popularity contest from the predominate junior high had carried over into high school. Paul and Chuck were into cycling, a non school sport. This in itself separated them from the rest of the school and being relative unknowns from Wendler separated them still further. So as I was adpet at being rebellious already and it seemed as if they were a shoe in for the position. The three of us rebelled against everybody and everything that wasn't us. Everyday was an adventure. Enraging people seemed to give us the biggest kick. Anything we could do to get under somebody's skin was our goal and we had all the patience in the world. We knew we'd always win. They'd always succumb to our inside agenda. It was so easy. Our central target, however was "the cool crowd", as we referred to them. They wanted popularity and we wanted infamy. Infamy was much easier to come by, and many times more fun. To disgust the masses. We relished every moment. There was hardly a serious moment that ever came to pass. We were constantly amused. One thing that was talked about in seriousness was cycling. Paul and Chuck would always be talking about it. Mike was also in the group. But he was more of a luke warm participant. He cared too much about what everyboay else was doing. But the three of them at lunch always talked only about cycling. Paul, Chuck, and Adam(from Wendler but went to East High) were to start a team the following spring. Mike was in if he could prove himself as an asset. Since cycling is all they ever talked about, I started getting interested, and mom's friend Dave lent me his old Univega. It was way to big for me but I made due and on a weekend. Paul, Chuck, and Adam organised an invitational neighborhood cycling race. It was to be 10 three mile loops around an up and down course. Most of us were immediately dropped by Paul, Chuck, and Adam. I just kept on pedaling and I caught Mike I believe, and soon thereafter I saw Adam. Adam had all the good equipment, and I could hardly believe that I caught up to him. Soon thereafter I caught a glimpse of Paul and Chuck. When they became aware that I was catching them they picked up the pace and once again I lost sight of them. I finished third of everybody and the next day with Mike present, Paul said to me "we would be honored if you would like to be on the team."
"I would be honored to be on the team', I said.The next day Mike didn't eat lunch with us and we were three. I got a windtrainer and I trained 5 days a week. Chuck was into other school sports like nordic skiing and he became one of the top skiiers in the state. This gained him much attention and it made it difficult for him to still be part of our "us against the world" mantra. And he often caught flack from Paul and I for being a "cool crowder". He stuck with us though, and although he continued in our antics, he also had other friends. Paul and I had nobody but each other. The following spring, in the first race of the season I got second place in a time trial, the rest of the team didn't get within the top ten. We got a sponsorship from a bicycle shop and they gave us all loaner bikes until our new Cannondales arrived. When they finally arrived we were disappointed to learn that they were white with pink letters. (It was 1987) Well that in itself was bad, but at the next road race, all the bikes had shifting problems and Adam's mom supported Adam in quitting, and basically we followed Adam; but Chuck stayed on as a one man team. This further separated Chuck from Paul and I, and he got even more flack for it.
Eventually we became two, although Chuck was still well liked by us. Paul and I began taking rebellion to the next level. Our junior year we had said that we wanted to extend our onslaught upon the entire school. Teachers, functions, lunchroom workers, janitors, absolutely everybody. Even beyond school and on into the wee hours of the night. Yes, and all of these things came to pass. Nobody was safe. We crashed pep rallies and school function, and screaming at the top our lungs became our signature. Screaming into the kitchen, with just the door cracked open until we got chased. We would do anything to get chased. We were in supreme shape and we knew that there wasn't anybody on campus that could catch us. Numerous things everyday, somethings were routine, like screaming into the kitchen every morning, and other things were just random disruption and malice. They knew it was coming and we knew they knew, and this is what made it so hilarious to us. There was nothing they could do about it. They couldn't just ignore us, because we could just go on indefinitely. We had unlimited patience. Nobody could just ignore us. The longer it took, the more enjoyment we would get from it. Even the most patient of them would finally react with complete loss of control. We were the kings and we knew this within every fiber of our being. Cardiovascular conditioning and general health was a very serious matter. We were constantly working out and doing things to get ready for the Tour de France that we believed we might one day compete in. We didn't think we were talented enough to win, but assisting someone in winning was perhaps an even more satisfying dream. Cycling gave us access to the city and to the outdoors. Nothing was off limits to us. I introduced rock climbing to Paul in late february. There was still much snow on the ground, but nothing was too much to bear. Being miserable only made us laugh because we knew how miserable the other one was. The more we suffered, the harder we laughed. Absolute magic! Climbing took root quickly and soon we were climbing any time we could get a chance. It didn't matter the time of day or week. We were free to do as we pleased. Nothing deterred us. If it was necessary to ride 35 miles to get there. We didn't hesitate. We moved with direction and there were no obstacles, only opportunities. We formulated a plan to move to Oregon for our senior year and train all year so that we could get the necessary miles in to be prepared for our cycling endeavors. We would spend much time fanatasising about the trip there and how we would be received by everybody. Skateboarding became another large part of our activities. It suited our outcast image of ourselves and we actually started to frequent value village(a second hand clothing store).We were very busy with all these sports and got a job at mom's restaurant for $2.50 per hour each to help pay for the upcoming trip to Oregon. Also we got jobs in the cafeteria at school with the ladies that we so relentlessly terrorised with the screaming thing. I don't think we noticed but our ploy for notoriety had waned because of our many other interests.
US AND THEM
The barriers we spent so much energy erecting started to get infiltrated by those that could only look on in amasement at or brashness. It didn't take much to bring the walls down. It was something new and fresh in our lives and we embraced it. Soon thereafter, we noticed that people began following our lead, they realised that we had something that they were missing and they were intrigued by it. We noticed that the latest trend was shopping at value village and our antics and philosophy was being mimicked. Likewise we realised they had something that we were missing something also. We noticed that these people that we had so harshly judged were not much different from us. We both ended up getting really stoned one day. It was my first time really ever feeling "high" and Paul's too. We were at Ed's house and he made some brownies. I absolutely loved the feeling and we would partake whenever it was available, which wasn't really very often. We basically opened up with little resistance and all at once. Us and them became just US. Of course the nucleus was still just the two of us but now other people were actually considered our friends. We were getting invited to parties and we were in a sense, rockstars. As when we'd enter a room, people would come running to greet us. Paul started talking to Nicole in art class and for the first time since junior high we were both considering getting girlfriends. Paul and I started talking about which girls we thought were of girlfriend worthy and we both agreed that Nicole was of high caliber.
We started visiting her at her house and I'm not sure who fell for her first, but as I remember it. Paul encouraged me to tell her how I felt about her. I did, and I just left it at that, without really trying to force things. Shortly thereafter we moved way across town and I had to take a city bus the rest of the way home from where the school bus let me off. One day on the bus ride home from school Paul told me that Nicole had come over and he told her something that I had told Paul that was a desire of mine. He told her exactly the same thing that I said I would like to do. Which was sleep with a girl, but not do anything. Actually sleep together without having sex. Well she obliged and then they ended up having sex. I was absolutely mortified. I couldn't speak. I was flooded with emotion that I can't really explain. Mad, sad, hurt. betrayed, the end of an era, alone, emotionless, yet engulfed in emotion all at once All sorts of conflicting emotions. I wasn't sure how or what to think or feel or do. Lost. As lost as I'd ever been. In some ways WE died that day. The rest of the school year was bland and we had lost our sense of humor and comraderie. He would sometimes talk about himself and Nicole. I tried so hard to be happy for him. But no matter how hard he and I tried, things were never the same again.
We moved to Oregon in the summer and got jobs working for my grandparents, washing dishes. We were always drinking and both of us did everything we could to mend our relationship and forget about everything that had happened. We were still very much motivated toward our cycling dreams and we continued to try and comfort one another. We started school, but things were nothing like we had envisioned. There was a distance between us, and Paul soon came to the conclusion that he was leaving to Guatemala to see his dad. At school I had a very familiar feeling of not belonging, and I bought many Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix tapes that I listened to through my new best friend called a walkman. I bought a cheap electric guitar to further distract myself from the loneliness and loss that I felt. I played often, but really didn't have even a clue about how to play. I could play the first few riffs of "manic depression", but mostly I would just mess around. I was still cycling, regularly and this also assisted in forgetting my woes. Then one day I received a smail package from either California or Guatemala. In it was a letter from Paul and a pipe. The letter said that he was kicking back in California and that he had been on a cycling team in Guatemala for a while, but that his heart wasn't all that much into it, and that he'd really gotten into artwork. His cousin had a bunch of cool shit that inspired him, and that if I were to scrape the pipe, that there was some opium hash in it, and it should get me pretty high. I was ecstatic to hear from him, and in that moment I decided that cycling also wasn't where my heart was. So I scraped up the pipe and ended up getting really stoned. I picked up my guitar and a small something unlocked within me. Playing guitar stoned was indescribable that day. That was the day I realised that I had the ability to unlock some sort of sound from the guitar, and it somewhat made sense. Hendrixesque stuff seemed easier than compicated music. Since it's all blues, it's very simple and I mimmicked the sounds the best I could. This is what sparked my interest in drugs also. The very next day I visited the school library and read all the literature they had on drugs, and everything that related to drugs and different states of mind. After many weeks or months of this reading I found that marijuana and LSD had everything I was looking for in a drug. I started hanging with the stoners and we would get high bcfore school and during luch and any other time that was convenient. I started hanging out with my cousin Kim because she was always smoking pot. It was only a short time later when she told me that she had some acid. I was eager to try it and we both dropped a hit. It seemed like a weak strain but I very much enjoyed myself. And playing guitar was even better than being merely stoned. I wrote Paul and told him the all about my trip. I was still frying a little when I went to school the next day and the word was out that I was looking for some more. A week or so went by and Kim's friend from Medford was in town so they and another girl named Lori rented a motel and invited me too. Kim said that she was going to get some more acid and I was very happy to hear it. The four of us dropped a hit. They all started freaking out and the room looked trashed, so I decided to leave. I ran into some friends from school and they said that there was a party out at Hunter Creek. So I jumped in their Chevy Luv and off we went. Randy, the guy that had the acid was there and I think besides me he was the only one frying. I was "sleeping" in the chevy when suddenly I had a sort of realisation that I create the world in which I live. It was about a 15 mile walk back into town. But I was quite sure that I'd be alright. This ended up being the most profound experience of myself that I'd ever had. Everything seemed so clear and apparent to me and I found a confidence that felt foreign. Revelation upon revelation upon revelation and I seemed to be directing existence in its entirety. Perfect harmony. I decided I would hitchhike home to Agness just as soon as I got on Agness road. Then just as soon as I got on the road, someone stopped and asked if I needed a ride. I had already known that I would be picked up immediately, because I was being "truthful' in every moment. So I was not at all surprised at the perfect timing and the outlandish convenience of the situation. Then I got an idea. A clever idea it was. The idea of cause and effect. That if by being so truthful and transparent, people would assist me in my needs then if I were to give the illusion that I was very needy, but acted as if I didn't expect any assistance then I would get what I need and in addition, I could also get what I want. Yes, this plan will work, I thought. So the manipulation began. My hunger for power and recognition drove me. No longer self moving self, but desire moving self instead. And in this my fall from something beautiful into the manifestation of the root of evil. Deception at the highest level.
So I moved back to Anchorage for the last semester of high school. Things were much different now. I was confident beyond what anybody here had ever seen from me, and I basked in the awe that I believed people must have seen me. I hadn't taken any acid for months. But I wanted my friends to take it so that they could see how great I had become. My plan began to work when Ohmar, Paul's little brother had smoked some pot and saw me as great. He saw this within me and he wanted to be this greatness also. Out of this a new "friendship" was launched. Together we manifested this energy throughout our world. We led many people into deception. We thought of ourselves as above everybody, Gods. Soon the LSD was ubiquitous and we tripped often. I used to go to school peaking. I was so good at deception, that I could be melting into the walls and still appear totally normal. But this confidence soon could only be gained if i was frying. So a dependence on acid had developed and I would drop it once or twice a week. In school, at home, anywhere and everywhere. I had lost all self honesty, and constantly I would feed my ego and rationalise my greatness to myself.
I enrolled in University of Alaska Anchorage. The same problem of no friends had confronted me, and this time I met it with a narcissistic approach. I believed that I was so above most people's puny minds and I read lots of books on enlightenment and the like, because although I lied to myself I did realise that something had been lost and I so desparately tried to find "enlightenment" again. I soon had to admit that to myself that I wasn't close to enlightenment and my confidence waned until I became very much introverted with past knowledge of "truths' that I had realised before. I took more acid and mushrooms and any psychedelic that I could find in search of this enlightenment. I just need the right break through moment and I will be right back on top, I would think to myself. A semester passed and I basically flunked out of school. I got a job working at Alaska Serigraphics, printing t-shirts. By this time I was completely introverted and self-conscious. Paul, Ohmar. and myself got an apartment and there we were always high or drunk. But the only thing I knew was guitar. Even though I played for six or eight hours a day, still my ambition for playing was to be seen as great, and most of what I played was garbage. Not self expression at all, just empty notes. By this time my sister and brother had moved to Texas with mom. So I was the only one of my family in Alaska.I didn't enjoy getting stoned very much anymore and it seemed to me that Paul and Ohmar had more in common now than I had with either of them. They both enjoyed it much. They also had gotten into nunchaks and fighting, which I no longer had an interest for. I believed that love was the answer to all problems and it reflected in the music I started listening to. Bands like Derek and the Dominoes and Blind Faith, and a softer variety of styles. Paul and Ohmar both headed the other direction and listened to Sepultura and Gwar, hardcore bands for the time period. I still enjoyed Black Sabbath and such very much, but the shit they were listening to then, nauseated me. This meant that I spent much of my time alone in my room playing guitar. They also enjoyed comedies on television, which I also detested at the time. I was very serious during this period in my life. Unadultered laughter from me was probably nonexistent. I would still try to find myself through psychedelics and I tried the poisonous mushroom, Fly Agaric, on several occasions. My body would always reject it though. One day Paul said that he had quit his job and I was quite sure that I would be stuck paying the bills. So I planned on moving to Oregon where my dad, Dean, was helping my grandparents with their Lodge. A week or so before my flight. We had gotten some LSD called "flying eyeball" on this particular trip. I remember finally communicating with Paul and Ohmar. We were at such odds around that time. I couldn't stand the way they would leave leave dirty dishes in the sink and were constantly talking tough and working out and just everything in general.
I remember after we dropped the acid that they seemed so incredibly light hearted and I was exactly the opposite; so serious and I began realising many flaws about the way I was choosing to live. A commercial came on t.v. It was an ad for "southern girls" a 900 number talk line. Paul and Ohmar agreed that it might do me some good and called it up. "A girl named Scarlet answered and she seemed genuinely concerned for me. I told her I was tripping. She was helping so much in getting me to be honest with myself. She mentioned Northway Mall and I took it to mean that she was there. So I hung up and headed out there expecting that all my dreams were coming true. Visions of heaven and the pearly gates kept racing around. I kept having spells of incredibly emotional thoughts, and bouts of weeping, thinking about how much people loved me, and how they were all finding ways to make all of my dreams come true and that everybody on earth was in on the surprise of my life. I thought that the entire world from the beginning had a conspiracy for me and the entire purpose of existence was for me. That everybody's dream had always been to make my dreams come true. Well Scarlet wasn't there. so I called a cab and went home. I thought that she would be there when I got there. Of couse she wasn't and I felt like crying. So I went to my room for a while and started playing the blues for a while. Then I decided to call Dad. When he picked up I asked, "Do you have faith in yourself?"
"Yes" he said convincingly.
"Do you have faith in me?"
"Well, of course I do son."
"Then why do you keep telling me that I've got to get a good job to survive in this world?"
"blah blah blah blah blah"
So I hung up on him and immediately called him back. I told him I took some acid and all about Scarlet. He told me she was just a fantasy. But I still thought she was really going to be in my life somehow. I had a realisation that it was my fault that she wasn't there, because of the fear inside of me. In that moment I decided to chase down every fear I had and face it head on. Paul and Ohmar were listening to Black Sabbath and I was amased at the riffs, even though I had heard it many times before. They were joking and I kept on wondering if what they were being serious or just joking around. Somehow the topic moved to death and Paul said "you can't kill, ME." I was like, "huh?"And he didn't change his expression which meant he was serious in what he had said. This sent me into all sorts of questions about reality. I knew that I still had to go to work, and this scared me, so I knew that I had to face it. So I walked in and immediately Bev said "what's wrong, Lloyd?"I was always scared of showing Bev that I had a crush on her. So I walked into her office and said, "I wanna fuck you." She must have been scared and just said "but I'm married" It must have been plain to see that my reality was skewed, because Dave, the owner sent me home, he said, "go out and have a good time"
Well I had nowhere to be, so I started following every fear I had. What ever fear that popped into my head is the thing that I would attack. This is when I began testing things out and somehow I ran into Kenneth on a city bus and he seemed quite confident in what reality was. He invited me back to his house, to watch "the Doors" with Val Kilmer. He said he had a hit of some acid they called "flying eyeball" aka "see the doors" So I dropped another hit and this sent me into massive confusion. Somehow I made it back home, and I got a phone call from Gus, a fellow worker. He must have heard that I was "out there" and he warned me to stay home. This had me questioning why I needed to stay home. Now I thought this was a test to face my biggest fears and I was sure that I must leave the apartment so that I can face my fears. Paul and Ohmar's cat Tyrone was watching me and ran into my bedroom and lay down on my bed. I immediately thought that since another word for cat is pussy, that this is a clue. I was leaving for Oregon soon, so I thought that if I take the cat to an animal shelter that this would get me one step closer to meeting Scarlet. I got ready to leave the apartment with Tyrone and then I had a thought that if someone isn't doing things in the most extreme nature possible, then he's not really doing anything worthwhile. I thought that just taking a cat to a shelter isn't a very extreme act. Then the next thought I had was that if I were totally naked. then this would qualify as extreme. So to prove to myself that I wasn't scared, I stripped off all my clothes except my boots and stepped outside with Tyrone. I was thinking to myself, "I can't believe I'm actually doing this." I started toward the shelter, which I really had no idea if there was a shelter nearby or not. It was November and quite cold out and I got a couple of "honk honks" from the cars passing by, that I took as encouragement that I was on the right track. This put me in a very enjoyable state and I was laughing at myself. I crossed the street and approached some people to see if they knew where the shelter was and they pointed my attention to a cop that happened upon the scene. I was taken to the hospital and checked out. There were messages on the intercom and I thought that they were all clues to what I needed to do next to realise my dreams. which at the time was meeting Scarlet and playing guitar as my profession. I had another thought that I would have to be born again to realise my true dreams and after a little more "deciphering" the hidden messages on the intercom I was sure that I was about to be born again into a baby's body; and they asked if I was ready. I said yes and nothing happened. So I thought that this must mean that I'm here to be born into myself as a guitarist and that everybody was here to assist me with this dream of mine. After checking me out. They were shipping me off to detox and another cop took me to city hall. I was booked and put in a cell. I still questioned the reality of everything including the physicality of this world and I was sure that this was another test, and that only I could free myself from this prison. I thought that I would stay there indefinitely until I realised something about myself or about reality. I kept trying to figure out the solution. trying everything that made sense to me. The guards appeared to be taunting me asking me if I was ready to get out yet. Anxiously I would say yes, and time and time again they turned me down. Then I realised that living for a future event causes anxiety. So I stopped trying to figure out what I needed to do to realise my dreams, and I called my cell, home, and so it was. The next thing I know they were letting me out and telling me that before I get out that I would have to see the judge. Judge? I thought to myself . What do they mean by judge? Do they mean ME? God? or an actual judge? Soon a judge was talking to me from a monitor. I had a fear that I might be in there for longer if I misbehave. So I stood up while he was talking to me and said "all I hear out of you is blah blah blah blah blah." The guards grabbed me and I asked anxiously if I get to go back to my cell. They removed my shackles and were escorting me outside. I had a fear that they were going to tease me with freedom, so I fought and pushed back to try and get back in and I was back on the streets. A guy right outside asked me if I believe in Jesus Christ. I said yes but I didn't really know what I meant by saying yes. Then I wondered if I was Jesus. I started walking home and I saw the guy from upstairs that had a bum leg was walking across the street. I decieded to test out the situation and ran up to him and started rubbing his leg while he was walking while saying, "what's wrong with your leg, man?" It seemed like he started walking normal all a sudden and immediately I was scared that I might be Jesus. He started limping again and I was disappointed that I had become scared. I went to the apartment and tried to get in, but it was locked and since I left with no clothes and no pockets, I had no key. So I thought this must mean I gotta go back to Northway Mall. Still in the clothes that the hospital gave me, my dick was hanging out of the slit in front, because I had no underwear. I was asking around for some ambrosia(the code word for pussy). Since I couldn't find Scarlet anywhere I lay down on a bench and rested. Some security guards saw me lying there with my junk hanging out and a lady cop showed up. I told her about Scarlet, and I asked her if she wanted to go back to my place. "it doesn't work like that honey, you've got to get to know me first." she said. I thought she had been testing me to see if I was too scared to ask her that. She took me to Alaska Psychiatric Institute and they put me in the quiet room(solitary). Again I thought I might be there forever. So I thought I would have to figure out how to get out. I tried leaving my body and breaking out of the barred windows. I went through a realisation process and as soon as I had arrived at the" highest level" of realisation they let me out. They gave me a room and I stayed there for about 5 days.
TEXAS AND ERICKSON
I missed my flight to Oregon and my mom was contacted in Texas which is where I would move next. A few days after I had gotten there she said that someone from the Mormon church was going to come over and talk with us. I was curious since I wanted to know more about Jesus. I still thought that there was a possiblity that I was him, and also Kenneth was Mormon so it seemed too coincidental. Not long after, I no longer believed that I was Jesus and I became a devout member along with my mom and sister. I read the entire book of Mormon in about 3 days and would watch christian shows and had plans to go on a two year mission. So I moved to Oregon and soon got a job, helicopter logging for a company named Erickson Air Crane. I was saving my money and I think I was supposed to come up with 8000 dollars to go on this mission. I got to 3000 and had to "borrow" from god to get a new truck. A year or so passed and had "fallen away" from the church. I still believed it was the "true church" but I was living the typical logger lifestyle. Which would be working 12 to 16 hours a day, then drink a half case of cheap beer after work, and get up and do it all over again. I ended up doing this for almost seven years. In which time I didn't play guitar much anymore and climbing was nearly impossible, really almost nothing else was possible because we moved to a new town an average of once a month. Work was really the only thing that was feasible. Girlfriends were nearly nonexistent. There were a few relationships, but nobody I would call a girlfriend. About 4 years into it I became very close to Amy, the wife of a loader operator on the crew. She was having problems with her husband so she would always be over at my trailer. Soon thereafter we would become "best friends." Our schedule had changed by this time to a rotating schedule; 4 days on 2 days off, so Rick, her husband, would have different days off than I had. So on my days off we would do family like things together. Things like going to the laundromat and shopping for food. It felt good to have somebdy around all of the time. I got the good Amy, and Rick got the raving lunatic Amy, so it suited me just fine. One day I told her that I was to meet a girl named Tiara. At first she got really mad, then she she must have realised that she wouldn't get she she wanted from me by directing anger at me and she changed her tone and sadly said "I thought we were going to hook up", insinuated she was going to divorce Rick. This approach had me eating out of her hand and she played this card any time she wanted something from me. Mostly she got whatever she wanted. Two or more years past and it was no secret that Amy and Lloyd were best of friends. People criticised the relationship, but that just enpowered us to thumb our noses at the world. In November of 1998 the crew moved from Paradise, California to Grants Pass, Oregon for another sale. My cousin Bo lived in Grants Pass, and the last time I had seen him was when he moved his mom to Texas the same year that I had been there. After the sale was over we got laid off of work and were to start up again in '99. Bo had just gotten his contractors liscense and asked me if I'd like to give him a hand. I agreed, and decided I liked staying in one place for a change. I resigned from Erickson and got my contractors liscence soon after and became Bo's partner in framing houses. A year or two went by and I bought a piece of property with an old shop on it. I stayed in my fifth wheel that I had bought while at Erickson. One day Amy showed up at my house crying and telling about all of the problems her and Rick were having and how she was leaving him. She needed a place to stay, so she moved in with her two kids Ricky and Rhett. I loved the company and found myself enjoying the new position of man of the house. I would come home to a hot meal after work. She planted tomatoes and kept the lawn mowed. Drinking after work was normal as she was still emotionally a wreck and I was her drinking partner. A few months went by and she said she had found a place to buy just down the road from me. I liked the idea, because it was a quite stressful being around her all the time. She had many worries about her and her kids' future. Plus the sexual tension was incredibly thick. We traded a bunch of stuff and she got my truck and speedboat and I got her car and truck. She traded the boat for her property she told me. I didn't understand how this was possible, because the property was worth much more than the boat. I asked her about the deed and she said she had it all worked out. Loooong story shorter. She got scammed and got back together with Rick. I was fed up with her and was happy to see her go.
I met a guitarist named Andy(but he can play any instument well) and he introduced me to a drummer named Steve. Steve and I quickly became running partners. But Steve wasn't the co dependent best friend like I was used to. Really, our relationship reminded me of the same relationship that my little brother(Forrest) and I had. I was a one friend type of guy, and they both had many friends and connections to many different types. Steve would introduce me to many different people in the years to come and he soon got a job working for Bo and I. He was really the one responsible for many of the friendships that were formed. A connector or fastener of relationships and groups of people that had things in common but might have never known had it not been for Steve. Another one of his friends, Rob used to play guitar and be front man for their old band Bourbon Fly, and soon he was playing bass along with Andy, Steve and I. Rob had a dune buggy and would frequent the Oregon Dunes and Steve invited me out. There I met Robert(Spud). He had a KTM MX500, an incredibly powerful dirt bike. He let me ride it, and within two weeks Steve said one of his buddies Jimmy D had a KX125 for 1800 dollars, so I bought it and we were now going to the dunes regularly. Then I bought a YZ250 because I wanted Steve to be able to ride with me. Steve couldn't ride a motorcycle in the dunes very well, so sometimes Rob would borrow my bike and Steve would drive the buggy with Amanda(Rob's girlfriend) would ride shotgun. The dunes and camping started becoming a commonality among a group of about 10 of us. Also bar hopping was fun for all of us and one day he introduced us to Rochelle from California. She followed us back to my house for a jam session. She is a big music fan and kept giggling while we played various jams. Rochelle and Amanda became very close instantly and she became a regular in our circle. Another common ground was Dave's house. Musicians would always go there to get loaded and jam. Dave would put on small productions and we'd mix and match musicians and just jam for hours and hours. He started getting larger and started an organization called 420 LIVE. He had some property in the woods and built a big stage and we'd have our very own music festival two or three times a year. Traditionally it took place for two days beginning on April 20, hence the 420, but it was usually cold in April so it also took place during may and june. He'd hire bands and charge 10 bucks a person. We just got free alcohol and perks like that. Funny thing about it is we'd usually go on last, even though we only had about five solid originals and maybe 3 or 4 covers, there was never any plan past the first song. From that point on , what would happen was anybody's guess. We usually set the place on fire with energy. But expectations of a great show every time got to me, and it started feeling like a competiton between us and the other bands playing. This really turned me off and as a result I lost much interest and the band fell apart. Rochelle started hanging out with me a lot. Pretty soon we were together almost all the time. She wanted to be able to define our relationship. But I was wary of defining anything, I loved her company; she could just sit and listen to my deepest thoughts, her attention never wavering.
Steve and I had grown apart by this time, partly because he had owed me 1100 dollars for a set of drums. He never paid anything on it for a few years and I had lost respect for him, and I know he felt it. Another reason was Shauna, who I met at a party. I believed we were going to get together, but I thought I saw her leave with some dude, so I figured she had a boyfriend and I didn't bother any further pursuit. The next day Steve told me that Shauna and him were talking at the party and she seemed really cool. He said he was thinking about getting her number from Heather. I tried not to show any emotion, and said, "yeah man, Shauna seems like a really cool girl. I'd call her if I were you." He didn't know how true my statement was. He and Shauna started going out, and this is when I stopped hanging out with Steve for the most part. They were on again off again and Steve would mess around on her and I despised him for such lack of respect. She ended up getting pregnant and this really struck me to the core, since by now I knew her a little better and I knew I had very strong feelings for her. Spud and I were riding twice a week and our bond had grown immensely and Rochelle was back and forth from California. She had written me a letter about how much she loved me and I just kind of shrugged it off. I didn't want to talk about our relationship, I just saw no point in it. Quite likely she wanted something to be sewn up and be able to say that we were a thing. So when I didn't talk about it, she must have taken it as ignoring her; she would end up moving to California.
I soon upgraded my motorcycle to a CRF450 and soon after Spud got a KTM525. Steve got a new quad and Rob finally got a WR450. Arron, another core dunes goer, had a quad too and he co signed so that Steve could get his quad. Dunes trips were epic as everybody now had new shit. Brandon, Steves long time childhood friend would often show up with various trucks and quads and buggies. But as time went on the dunes started to get heavily regulated and this really deterred many from showing up, since we'd often come home with citations for ridiculous reasons. Eventually Rob and Amanda split up and he got Jen pregnant. Now both him and Steve were to be dads. Shauna and Steve broke up after a while.
I got a computer and cable tv. So I stayed at home a lot, doing nothing but watching tv and playing online poker. I got Battlefied 2, and really got into that. Spud tried it out and got hooked immediately too, and often he stayed in my shop since he lived about 30 miles away. I pretty much just worked and came home and surfed the web and watched tv for a year. Steve and Rob's little girls, Sophia and Charley, respectively were born. I didn't go to Steve or Rob's too much anymore, or anywhere for that matter, it seemed like the only thing I had in common with anybody anymore was alcohol, and I was tired of wrecking myself every week. Spud pretty much did the same. On occasion we'd allow ourselves to get smashed, one day in particular we were partying at a bar close to my house with Crystal and went back to her place for some shots. It looked like Crystal was getting hot and heavy with Spud so I decided to walk home.I was about half way home when a lady cop yelled at me "where are you going?"
"home" I said and kept walking.
"do you have a gun?"
I just kept walking."I didn't say you could go" she said. So I turned around and stopped. Another lady cop pulled up in her squad car and I started laughing because it remimded me of a porno. She said "empty your pockets" So I did and turned around to go home and she jumped on my back and tried to take me down. After some struggle she swept my legs and pulled me to the ground. I grabbed her leg out of natural reaction. Then she started screaming like she was acting for the cameras "ahhh! he's attacking me. ahhh!" The other cop started tazing me and the first cop was beating me with a billy club. I could tell that the charge would get weaker and weaker the more she used it. And I pretended like it had no effect. Then a man cop pulled up and grabbed my arm and ripped a bunch of ligaments in my elbow. And the scuffle ended. I got thrown in jail for three days and they charged me with third degree assault and interfering with police and some other bogus charge. I started forgiving everybody as soon as I got in there and I was thinking about the people in my life and how they would react to me being imprisoned for a year or two. I thought that they would do anything for me if it really came down to it and I felt incredibly loved. By the time I got out I knew that all as one as equal was how I wanted to live my life. I began applying some of this new concept in my life and I could see small changes in the world around me that helped keep that goal in mind.
Soon after Rob's birthday was up and we all went camping at the Illinois river. I tried to minimise my intake of alcohol and Steve wanted me to have a drink of whiskey with him. I refused and he put his arm around me in a way that said he missed hanging out. I was sober and he was quite drunk and he said "you're stand offish". Which was true; I didn't want to get drunk. But the next morning I felt like maybe I should have partaken with him. So i started drinking early and I passed out soon after. The next morning Steve brought me my phone and said that I said that I had just tossed it in the air and said "i won't be needing this where I'm going" He had plans for the next weekend to celebrate his birthday in the same manner, Sophia's first birthday was 2 days before his, and a party was planned for her at a Tom Pearce Park. Brandon showed up at my house at about 2 a.m. asking me if I 'd seen Steve and that he'd been trying to find him. He'd been to his house and there was no answer. I said I have no idea where he could be. He said that he wasn't at Sophia's party and that he wouldn't miss that unless he was in trouble. He said that he was going to go to Rob's house to see if he knew. I got a phone call at about 6 a.m. and I knew that Steve was dead. Spud told me that Brandon and Rob found his body in the bathroom of his house with rigor mortis. He overdosed on methadone. 27 years old. I called Amanda and she said that she would meet me at Shauna's house. Steve's death is the biggest sense of loss I have ever felt.
A few months passed and because my dog Lucy had been picked up by Animal Control one day. I needed a fence to keep her from running off, and instantly I got an idea that I wanted to blacksmith up a gate for myself. Steve's passing had really got me realising how fragile life is and that I might as well do what I like in it. So I decided to sell my motorcycle and buy a bunch of blacksmithing tools. I told Amanda about my new direction and she said that I looked good and that me, her and shauna and Spud should go out and have dinner some night. We went to sushi and then a comedy club. It was the most fun I had had in such a long time. One night I was home and I couldn't stop thinking about Steve. I needed a friend to talk to, so I called Shauna, and I instantly fell in love, head over heels like had never happened before. By far the most intense feelings I have ever had for anybody. I had to immediately hang up though. Because now instead of crying from sorrow I was crying out of sheer delight. In an instant she dried my tears and in the next I was as high as I'd ever been. We were spending lots of time together doing simple things. I enjoyed her presence like no other. Quite honestly, I was addicted to whatever she had. I tried to just be cool about it all, but I just kept wanting something more substantial. Something more defined so I knew exactly where I stood with her. Just like Rochelle had wanted with me. I really tried not to smother this out, but at the same time I was scared that she might find someone else. So I felt urgency to make something happen. Something to secure our relationship. A partnership. It seemed as if she wanted the the same thing but her signals were mixed. This had me on an emotional roller coaster. I had incredible anxiety about making the "right" moves and fear of losing her and how things will be if we start living together. My every thought and action in someway involved her. She was so perfect for me in my estimation and I honestly didn't know if I could make it without her. I started realising that things probably wouldn't work out how I had hoped. So much of my energy started going toward climbing; it became my reason for being and it took my mind off Shauna. Also I could see many parallels to life in climbing. All my problems could be seen like climbing problems. Staying calm, breathing, no fear no hesitation just movement, honest expression. It's now been almost a year and a half since I returned to climbing. It has been my reason for living, and has brought me to my own self realisation. Nonetheless, climbing has revealed to me that climbing is just like everthing else. It's just an activity with the same shortcomings that are shared by art, religion or any other passion. Yes there are truths to be uncovered and yes there are realisations to be made, but these things are limited. Anything of a finite nature is limited and cannot in itself be the essence of life. Life encompasses an unfathomable vastness that cannot be defined, but only experienced as the expression of life as life.