She’s Psychedelic Jezebel.
It says so on her VW bus, tie-dye blouse, and her handmade jewelry.
There she is now in her garden; child of the 60’s; a cinder from a long ago passed comet.
She shoots me the “peace sign”. I respond with a “hang ten.”
Her multi-colored hair fairly explodes outward from her scalp. The roots are white, baby--but the rest is zealous. The ‘style’ is early electrocution.
I suss out chemical happiness and the not-so-faint herbal scent of an early morning road trip down Bong-ville road...
Her smile might blind me sideways. The blue-gray eyes are tuned to a distant galaxy; perhaps Betelgeuse. She’s pruning something in her vast garden. Intensely.
Speaking of intensity...
I’m pacing in front of the house.
I stalk the driveway. Nervous energy. I’m scoping out the sky, the weather, the clouds, and the next decision I make will be bicycle friendly. Or not.
That unmistakable voice of hers rings out:
“I saw him in concert once.”
Her soil-rich finger is pointing directly at my T-shirt. I look down clueless.
I didn’t buy this shirt for myself. It was a gift.
“Margaritaville”, I can make out but it’s upside down and the rest is a date and location.
She begins a chorus in the middle of the song and points to her tats as she sways.
“With nothing to show but this brand new tattoo.
But it's a real beauty,
A Mexican cutie, how it got here
I haven't a clue.”
I’m getting good at faking a smile. I nod pseudo-approvingly and shrug. I can see
She is noticing for the first time that her neighbor has no visible tattoos.
“Where are your Tats?”
The face she’s giving me is a scold and a challenge. She's judging me with disapproval.
Meanwhile, the bad part of my brain is busy preparing a reply and I’m not anxious to hear what it’s going to be.
My mouth flies open and I hear myself say,
“I’ve got the 10 commandments in a spiral around my asshole.”
I immediately cringe! What a sick mind you have, Terry!
I look over at her. She is beaming.
“Cool beans!” Her head is nodding.
I think I have won her respect.