DOSED IN GOA by Peter Nolan Smith

In 1995 I ended up in Goa after a long trip through Tibet.

I rented a cheap bungalow on Anjuna Beach and hired a Royal Enfield 500 to ride.

The coast abounded with ravers, but maintained my distance.

The bungalow’s owner had warned me that they were many thefts.

“They are not good people. Not same hippies. Baba cool very good.”

“I like hippies too.”

I handed Tony my passport for safekeeping and hid my travelers’ checks in my manuscript.

I also kept the motorcycle at his house every night,

I met an English girl: young, blonde, tattooed.

Mancy took my photo naked on the beach.

She was naked too.

I felt young.

She was only 21.

Mancy was into trance music.

She offered me a pill.

I refused.

Old school punk rockers weren’t into ecstasy.

One night I was at a bar and we smoked some weed with two Kenyans.

I dropped Mancy at the rave and returned to the bungalow, where I fell asleep.

Heavily.

The next morning I awoke to too much light.

There was a hole in the tiled roof. I had been drugged by the Africans. The two had robbed me in the night. Gone were about $50 in rupees, my cheap camera and a broken watch. My checks were still in the manuscript. No one wanted to steal it or my typewriter.

I couldn’t find the keys to the motorcycle.

They cost $2000.

I exited the bungalow into the hot sun. The keys glinted on the sand. The bike was still at the house of the bungalow owner.

“Acha, you are a very lucky man.” Tony shook his head from side to side.

“That I am. Should I call the police?”

“The police work with thieves. Buy what they steal.”

That night I spotted the Kenyans with Mancy.

They were sitting with a cop.

I pointed to them.

The four of them pointed back.

Mancy didn’t smile.

The next morning I left Goa on a fast ferry to Bombay.

I drank beer from a bottle. I stayed in a good hotel. I didn’t speak with any Africans or ravers.

Like Tony said, “They are not good people.”

But most people are, especially hippies.

The Arrows Of St. Sebastian

The martyrdom of St. Sebastian was portrayed in numerous religious paintings due to his popularity as patron saint of the Plague.

Emperor Diocletian punished Sebastian for betraying his military oath to obey his emperor.

The Divine Caesar sentenced him to be taken bound to a field supposed betrayal and killed by a squad of archers.

According to Legenda Aurea “There the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as an urchin.”

His executioners left him for dead.

The widow of Castulus, Irene of Rome, discovered Sebastian had survived the sentence.

Once back in health Sebastian devoted himself to verbally attacking Diocletian, who finally ordered his bodyguard to beat the future saint to death.

There was no saving him that time, although the Faithful retrieved his body from a sewer.

His relics are scattered throughout Christendom, since Apollo the spreader of pestilence was also an archer. Early Christians prayed to Sebastian for relief from the plague.

There was none.

Oh, St. Sebastian, you died twice.

Holy you are in the eyes of your Lord.

And queers love you strapped to a tree as a gay icon.

EVERGREEN by Jocko Weyland

Jocko Weyland moved to Tuscon. He works as the curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The veteran skateboarder loves the West. It is his home.

And he loves trains.

My son Fenway does too.

The other day I spotted an Evergreen container on a truck in Greenpoint.

They get around.

White Flags O’er Brooklyn Bridge

Earlier in the morning five people climbed the tower of the Brooklyn Bridge and hauled up a dyed white American flag.

The NYPD have no suspects and called the act a ‘stunt’ rather than an act of terrorism.

The Freaked Fearful expressed their consternation to the Daily News with one construction worker stating, “This is where you land the plane. X marks the spot. It was really scary.”

The flags were identified as stolen.

Outrage was another reaction.

The flag hanger of the bridge said, “I’m so angry I can’t tell you what I want to say. It’s senseless. Whoever did this should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Police found no bombs or messages, however Daly News readers responded with attacks on the NYPD’s lackadaisical security for the major bridge, claiming that the cops are more interested in writing tickets against the citizens of New York that they haven’t the time to insure the public safety.

I agree with this consensus having been fined for riding my bike down a subway platform at 12am.

$75.

To pay for the taxes of the rich.

Fuck ex-mayor Bloomberg who had the PIGS arrest over 400,000 low-level pot offenders.

Over 80% were black or Latino.

All of those arrests should be expunged from the court records.

ps a white flag means surrender, which is what the police should do about the enforcement of the marijuana laws.

CASSE-TOI BRIGITTE by Peter Nolan Smith

Working at a nightclubs I met a lot of people; famous, infamous, and nobodies. Sometimes I had no idea who was who. One night at Hurrah I stopped a skinny bearded man from entering the club for free. His massive bodyguard steered me right.

“It’s Mick Jagger.”

“That’s him.” The rock star was with a blonde model. She knew who he was.

“My bad.”

A year later at the Mudd Club Steve Mass called down from his apartment, as Meryl Streep approached the ropes. The quirky owner had seen the actress on his CCTV and shouted over the intercom, “Don’t let her in?”

“Why not?” The blonde actress had won an Oscar for KRAMER VS. KRAMER in 1979.

“Why? Because I hate THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN.”

“Me too.” Especially her scene where she turns her head on the quai and I said to the Hollywood star, “Sorry, but you can’t come in.”

“Don’t you know who I am?” Her voice threatened me with contempt.

“Yes, but tonight’s not your night.” I didn’t have to explained why, for in the 1970s doormen ruled the night and that privilege followed me to Paris in 1982.

“Here you are not a doorman, but a physionomiste.” The manager of the Rex was a socialist. He wanted an eclectic crowd based on fun.

“No, problem, but I don’t know how to speak French.” Two years of grammar school French from a nun with a lisp had taught me how to ask, “Ou est le Bibliotechque?”

“Pas de problem,” Olivier shrugged with ease and said, “You only have to say two words. ‘Ouais’ or ‘Non.’”

“Okay” I had learned that trick at CBGBs, Hurrah, and Studio 54. “But I don’t know anyone in Paris. Not the famous people. Not the people who go to nightclubs.”

“Pas de problem.” His partner and he were tired of everyone getting in for free. “Make everyone pay and I don’t care if it’s Brigitte Bardot.”

“But how shall I treat them?”

“Comme le merde.”

“Like shit?” I didn’t think that I had heard him right.

“Exactement.”

“I’ll do my best.”

Treating Parisians like shit was a dream job for an American and I obeyed Olivier to a tee and favored my friends with glory. I built a new clientele of rockers, punks, models, gangsters, pop stars, and normal people for the basement club under the famed movie theater on the Grand Boulevard.

For the most part the owners liked the mix and rejectees called me ‘le ras-de-ped’ or ‘homo’, which was Verlaine or slang for pederast.

My French was getting good and the owners of Les Bains-Douches hired me to replace Farida. The Algerian Amazon was leaving her post to pursue a career in modeling with Claude Montana. She was that beautiful.

The owners of the club off Rue Sebastopol were a little more deferential about their upscale clientele, but also concurred with treating their regulars ‘comme le merde’. I liked to throw them a curve ball and one night a decrepit clouchard approached the entrance.

The bouncers prevented the derelict’s climbing the stairs.

“Leave him alone.”

“Pour quoi?” My security were off-duty Legionnaires and shouldn’t have been questioning my orders.

“Because I said so.”

They shrugged and resumed smoking Gitanes.

“Why do you want to enter the club?” I asked the grizzled drunk in Boston-accented French.

“Because I’m a good friend of Moses. He told me to meet him here.”

“Come on in.”

“Are you serious?”

“Mais ouais.” I had heard plenty of excuses from people seeking to enter the Bains-Douches. None of them were as good as that offered by this ‘friend of Moses’.

“I have no money.” The clouchard patted his pockets.

“A friend of Moses doesn’t need money. Here are two drink tickets. Have a good time.”

His raison d’être granted him entry to the elite boite de nuit. I went inside from time to time to check, if he was having a good time and the snobby clientele of the Bains-Douches opened their hearts to the Friend of Moses.

My boss was not amused by Moses’ friend and stormed up to the front door.

“Are you fou?” Americans were crazy estrangers to the French.

“What’s wrong?” I didn’t have an idea about what was amiss, but I was sure about the ‘who’.

“That clouchard drank a bottle of wine from Thierry Mugler’s table.” My boss had a sweet spot for the fashion czars of Paris.

“Really?” I laughed at the audacity of ‘le Ami de Moises’.

“You think it’s funny?”

“Just a little, but if you want him to leave, then I’ll show him out.”

“Why did you let him in?”

“Because he’s a friend of Moses.” The excuse meant nothing to the patron. “I guess you never saw Charlton Heston part the Red Sea in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.”

“I know ‘the Parting of the Red Sea’. It was special effects, but the God of the Israelis killed their enemies with unforgettable style. Get Moses’ friend out of here.”

I signaled the bouncers or ‘videurs’ to escort out my guest and the clouchard cried out, “You can’t treat the friend of Moses like this. Just wait until I speak to Moses. He has more plagues up his sleeves than I have fleas.”

Nothing as evil as the killing of the first-born ever visited the Bains-Douches.

Several weeks later I spotted the friend of Moses in Les Halles. He cursed everyone with damnation at the very popular Cafe Pere Tranquille. The junkie and drunks laughed at his predictions of doom. I looked to the sky. The madman pointed a finger at me.

“That Amerlot loves God.”

And I wished it were true, but I had been a non-believer since 1960>

I gave him 20 francs.

My girlfriend Candia asked, “Why?”

“Because it’s not a bad idea to have the friend of Moses saying good for you to the Grand Seigneur.”

“Il est fou.”

Crazy, ouais, but the believer’s God moves in strange ways, so do the mad.”

Everyone was amused by this story, except for my boss and I was let go from the Bains-Douches.

I wasn’t unemployed for long.

Albert and Serge opened a dance club near the Paris Opera 1984. I was hired to be the doorman. Le Reve’s plush décor harkened to the glorious 50s. The young rich loved to dance to the soul and classic French hits stitched together Albert’s skill on the turntables.

They hired a young black bouncer to handle the voyous or thugs.

Jacques had run with several gangs from the outer suburbs. A two-year stint in prison had not ruined his smile. The young girls from the good neighborhoods found the muscular Martiniquean handsome and flocked in droves to try their luck with the ex-con.

These beauties in turn attracted men who brought them drinks.

A glass of champagne cost $20 and Le Reve coined money.

My job was to filter out the uncool.

A week after the opening an older man entered with two dowdy women in fluffy down coats.

One of the blondes might have been attractive in her youth, but she had let her blonde hair gather streaks of gray and no make-up masked her age. Her unfashionable clothing dated back to the early 70s and her feet were clad in tennis shoes.

I figured the old man for a boxer.

His nose was splayed across his upper lip like a wet sox.

An argument ensued with the cashier about the cover charge.

“What’s the problem?” I asked the cashier. She was very strict with the guest list.

“They don’t want to pay.”

“We never pay.” The fighter scowled at the cashier without acknowledging me. His damaged pride revealed that he had been someone once.

“Excusez-moi, mssr. Give one reason you don’t have to pay and you can come in for free.” Any excuse would work, even that he was a cousin of Moses.

“We never pay,” the ex-middleweight rasped in a punished voice. He had won more fight than he had lost, but not by much.

“That’s not a reason.”

“I do not have to give a reason to un putain Amerlot.”

“Fucking American?”

His insult was rewarded with an immediate response.

“Jacques, chuck this ‘vieux’ out of the club and have him take the two old pallisons with him.”

“”Pallisons’ was the French word for doormat. My French was getting better every year, but puzzlement muddied Jacques’ face and the fiftyish blonde woman glared with dazzling blue sapphire eyes. They had belonged to a younger woman once. One who would have considered me beneath her.

“Salud.” She had said that to more than one man, but I wasn’t not a bastard and countered, “Casse-toi, puts.”

The three of them left without further argument and my boss approached to the door.

“Is there a problem?”

“Nothing I couldn’t handle.”

“Then explain why you threw out Brigitte Bardot,” Serge demanded with blasé curiosity.

“Brigitte Bardot?”

“Yes, Brigitte Bardot.”

The boxer’s companion re-assembled into the legendary sex symbol as would any woman who was Brigitte Bardot.

AND GOD CREATE WOMAN and CONTEMPT were two of my favorite films of all time.

I had dreamed about the blonde sex goddess as a boy.

“That’s wasn’t her?”

“Ouais, c’est elle.”

“Merde.” I ran out to apologize for my faux-pas, except they had reached the boulevard and a taxi stopped for the trio. I returned to nightclub expecting a reprimand, instead Serge suggested that I act with more tact in the future.

“We will be old one day too.”

“I know.”

The story of Bardot’s rejection from the Nouvelle Eve hit the morning papers and I expected the Paris Police to institute deportation proceedings against me for having insulted a national treasure, however the passage of time had rendered the animal lover’s beauty passé to today’s youth and our business doubled with their appreciation of my indiscretion.

A week later Mickey Rourke showed up at the club with ten friends, who were mostly young junkies from the Bains-Douches. We never let them in for free. I made an exception this time and Serge came up to me.

“No Brigitte Bardot, but hello to Mssr. Rourke.” He never let me forget this error in judgment and it remained a joke between us till this day, even more so now that the American actor slipped down the ranks from his heyday, although we both agreed on his best line.

“Drinks for my friends.” Mickey Rourke had called out in the same voice from Barbet Schroeder’s BARFLY.

It seemed to be a line he must have said in real life more than once.

“A guy like me changes hard, I didn’t want to change, but I had to change.”

Same as the rest of us.

We all get old some day.

Et resole Brigitte, because je suis un con, and ‘con’ is not a nice word in French.