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Subject: Two Indian Mystics

Dear Brother Grady ,

Speaking of fat, I used to know a guy who described himself as twice the man he used to be and half as good at it. That currently describes me.

In Myrtle Beach, I often would run into characters who would say that they were 50 years old and had the body of a 25-year-old. I always wanted to say, how much did you have to pay her. But seriously, I, myself, personally, am 50 years old and have the body of a 50-year-old.

Two suggestions for you if you should get caught in mid-strand in Myrtle Beach. First, the Myrtle Beach Elks Lodge, The best, quietest, &c. bar in town. Members only of course, but worth joining if you wind up in MB in the evening frequently. Next, the Villa Romana (NOT the Villa Roma!) is run by the Montrosse family. G.I. Dad & Roman Mama ran the family restaurant in Rome forever (Mama's family), then the two sons came to the States and wound up in MB, making the best fresh Italian (Roman) food this side of the pond.

My friend, the boat-builder, huh? Fair enough and probably more than fair. But you get to smoke and I had to quit a long time ago, still not fair.

I think next time maybe I'll tell the one about the two Indian mystics.

...I am waiting...

Okay. A young college student, let's call him J.R. for the moment, was just back from the Vietnam War and abusing the G.I. bill. [cue theme and fade in on Scene 1--A rent-house for college students]

I was renting this place with a friend I knew from high school. He stiffed me for the entire Summer's rent, twice! I had left enough money with him in May to pay my half of the rent for the Summer and went off to Illinois and then to Belise. When I returned, in August, he had not paid the rent for the Summer at all, and had spent the money on drugs. And a curious fellow was in my bed and also paying rent to my old high school buddy, none of which was going to our landlord.

After confronting the now high school ex-buddy and throwing him out. I paid for the Summer rent, and the curious fellow stayed just long enough not to pay me for September's rent and steal my blender. However, before I could find out what happened to the blender, the curious fellow showed up and invited me to dinner at the "ashram" where he was currently crashing. He said that since he knew that I could cook and he could not, he needed my help because it was his turn to cook. Suspecting no more dire motive than this, I agreed, and we were off to another rent-house about six blocks away, which was set up as a commune and dedicated to Baba Gi [whom I discovered some years later was Mayer Baba].

Upon arrival, I was confronted with no plan at all for supper. Next, I was in mid-creation of something totally vegetarian but almost inedible; and the curious fellow was missing, having told all that I was the chef du jour, and the missing blender was there! It had been sold to one of the inmates of the ashram for about the value of a good time on some injectables (no drugs on the premises, of course). Little did I know that this was a special week, with a very high ranking personage visiting the ashram.

After tasting and refusing the meal, as did we all, the very high ranking personage, who turned out to be the leading living mystic of that particular sect (but NOT Baba Gi), held a preach-in prayer meeting or some such in the parlor. As the faithful were listening in rapture to pearls of wisdom, I tried to slip out the front door but was caught by the eagle eye of the mystic, who correctly identified me as the person who had prepared dinner (his verb was "poisoned"). And this great man opined that I was surely going to be reincarnated as a cockroach! At which point I made good my escape with my life if not my karma...or my blender.

Some months later (or perhaps earlier) I met another high school acquaintance on campus. He was a full-blood Kickapoo Indian and he and his brother were at the same university living in an apartment off campus. I invited them to my house; one drunken thing led to another, and he invited me to his apartment the next Saturday for a party of his friends and family visiting from Texas and Mexico, a very small tribal gathering. I showed up and drank several drinks that caused me to see things very strangely indeed.

After locking myself in the bathroom of this two bedroom, ONE bathroom apartment with a dozen Kickapoos in one altered state or another banging on the door, I was escorted out of the area by the guy who invited me. He mentioned that I had to leave for my health or some such thing. But as I left, one of his relatives, who had been introduced as a mystic elder of the tribe or clan, was agrily pointing at me and saying that I would die in a fire. He may have been just my friend's Uncle Bob saying that he would like to set me on fire, but I took him seriously and started reviewing my junior fire marshall manuals.

Anyway, these two incidents pretty well convinced me that I ought to stick to religions that did not have Indian mystics of either kind involved.

Be ye all of one mind, live in peace,

Brother J.R.

Copyright©1998 J. R. Martin, all rights reserved

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