The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 112
The house—window-mounted swamp cooler blasting—was nonetheless blazing hot when I returned home four days later. These motherfuckers never work, in fact they do the opposite of what they’re designed to do, in humid conditions.
Hank and Linda had barely eaten during my absence though my friend, Rita, had come by everyday to feed them, change their water, give them a little love, clean their sandbox, etc.. Jesus, I’d never seen them happier to be let outside, finally, where it was at least 10 degrees cooler than inside.
Maybe three days later the gin finally left my system, and a strong fall breeze blew the humid air from the interior of the house.
October, at last.
But no Bridget. She didn’t admit it, but she’d become UN-lonely. Like others—most others—who routinely lie to themselves, she deflected, creating yet a third lie by saying she was too busy with work.
Mike, also, had lied. Early Facebook enthusiasm for my novel faded to near zero by the time I’d posted chapter 30. Hardly a surprise, given its offbeat narrative coupled with the decidedly generational, middle to upper middle class audience he’d introduced me to.
But that wasn’t all he was lying about. Almost all his posts were lies, exaggerations, plagiarized phrases others never investigated or challenged. Except me. But when I’d call their attention to his fraud by revealing the truth, he’d delete my comment immediately. FB, you see, was all this silly motherfucker did, all day long.
Pathetic as the intent of his lies were, I refused to let it slide. Maybe I even hoped I could somehow break the cycle. At the very least I wanted him to know someone was watching.
One day Mike claimed to have met Arthur Lee, the singer/songwriter, leader of the late ’60’s LA rock band, Love. HIs post made it sound like he’d had a deep, intimate conversation with Lee who in fact brushed him off after Mike bum-rushed the stage following a Love reunion concert in SF, circa 2004. Mike concluded the post by describing Lee as an “enigmatic genius.”
The truth, and the source of the truth, in this case, was me. I had met Lee. Turned out we had the same pot dealer.
Me: Happy to meet you, man. I play the new album all the time.
Arthur: (Inhaling, holding it in) You know I’m dumping Echols. (Passes the joint to me)
Nicky (The dealer): No shit. You’re letting brother John go?
Me: Yeah. Wow. How come?
Arthur: Nicky, man, put on side 2, track 4.
Nicky puts it on. Near the end there’s a long lead guitar solo that closes out the song. Before it gets there Arthur shouts at us over the music: “You hear that?! That’s all the man’s got!”
Years later I included a fictionalized version of Arthur Lee in my first novel—a very minor, yet pivotal character I referred to as an “enigmatic genius.”