So what does a thirteen year old without parents and without a place to live do? I sat in the quiet empty apartment and assessed my situation. I had seen the poor outcome of kids in the foster system and I knew I desperately needed to steer away from that option. I suspected that there were some good foster parents who could have helped but I wasn’t feeling confident enough about the odds of finding such parents. The option of seeking out my dad would be a last resort, as there was no security in the situation. He was always quick to send us back and each time the rejection got harder and harder. It had been years since he had sent child support, $75 a month for the three kids, and anyway we were far removed from his thoughts. I wasn’t even sure where my dad was although I had heard he was living in Texas.
I had been babysitting for a young mother in the apartment complex for about a year and she was quick to exchange her couch, a small amount of money and access to her refrigerator for regular childcare. She was a cocktail waitress at a small music venue downtown and made good tips. One night the Babys were playing at the venue and she brought home John Waite for a quick romp. I met the bloke but was unimpressed as I thought the Babys were a stupid band and John Waite was both short and drunk. It was a fine arrangement that kept me off the street and kept food in my stomach.
Of course due to the access, lack of supervision and small amount of money in my pocket the partying increased and intensified. I easily passed for older and most of my friends had cars and easy access to drugs and booze. Pot and quaaludes were my drugs of choice but was pretty much open to trying anything. Michelle was seventeen with a hot car and her confidence, spontaneity and plethora of turquoise rings reminded me of Mel. She knew I was younger but never asked my age and was always happy to include me in the group. On one occasion five of us dropped acid and piled into Michelle’s Camero. She decided she wanted to see the gorge from Crown Point and the half hour drive opened up a new world of unspeakable beauty. The gorge on its own is beyond beautiful, but throw in a hit of LSD to heighten the experience- it’s almost indescribable. We five seekers sat on the rock wall for hours watching the sun paint the walls of the gorge in layers of indigo, royal, cerulean and cornflower. The saturated brilliance of the colors sought to be greater and began to ooze through every nook and cranny of my visual spectrum. My synapses were overloaded as the colors reached for their full potential to dazzle and each hue broke out into song- a chorus of light and color. Soon the moon danced off the river below and we breathed the fresh air far away from the wet concrete and mediocrity of our small village. Truly it is as Blake says; the doors of perception were cleansed and everything became Infinite.