1. Somewhere around the Nevada-Utah line under the spinning stars weaving the night, the utter darkness of the flats canceling the horizon and the mountain range ahead-- suddenly leaping from the radio speaker--
Captain Beefheart’s “Electricity.”
I lifted my eyes to see the pulsating sound and the ears of my heart rejoiced to hear in the psychedelic desert Synesthesia was alive and well!
Of course I was high as hell.
2. In Colorado there was something funny going on out in the country where the cattle grazed. Someone or something was mutilating them, draining their brains from their skulls and leaving the remains to be found in the pastures.
We camped that night on Mt. Pisgah, a volcanic cone rising abruptly from the flat landscape. Around the campfire we serenaded the alien stars with harmonica and guitars and sent our message to them on currents of electricity to make contact and complete the circuitry.
That morning in the coffee shop the local headlines read More Cattle Mutilations Near Mt. Pisgah, “This goes beyond a mere prank,” the sheriff said and darkly hinted that satanic hippies were suspected, Manson’s children of the Beast.
That was when we split town and headed east.
3. To the four corners country where it all comes together, the power point of intersection. The red desert running all directions out to the horizon. The earth-hoop dancers shake rattles and pinions as they snake among the willows and birch lining the canyons.
The soaring eagle spreads winged shadows over the west in arcing circles races the jet stream bringing rain and snow.
That was many years ago-- more years have passed than all the years I had lived till then. Can nothing be saved, is everything lost to time? Memory’s theater dimly lit and fading, I’m less certain now than ever how to find my way back through the darkness that covers my track. I have wandered by the light of a waning moon, under a night sky converging with the planet in my eye.
4. All I can say is I was there, I remember the little that I can, like a scrap of thistledown caught by the winds that whistle in the empty ruins a tune of echoes that arise from the green pinyon pines of Mesa Verde where the impossible empty houses cut high up into the stone of the cliffs sit unoccupied.
Someday, I felt even then, I will join them, the people who floated from those homes and left such a puzzling absence behind. I will catch up to their fading forms in that absent wherever it is that they have gone-- or do they come to us, dancing like motes in sunlit dust?
No matter, I can still recall a place on the dial where all the AM bands simultaneously made an unearthly music precise and completely free--
floating, floating, I will find that current again and let it carry me.