Zen on Two Wheels  



Saturday Feb. 9, 2002

The good news is that today I bought a bicycle. The bad news is....there isn't any bad news. Yesterday I was out on Athena's bike, just drifting around when I happened upon a bicycle repair shop. This may be no big thing to you, but this is Greece and a bike repair shop isn't that easy to find. The guy, I forget his name, though he told it to me, had some used bikes for sale, looking grungy enough to fit my budget. I pointed at one and asked, and he said "No problem, my friend. I feex and tomorrrrrow you take. 60 evRO." My guy was as good as his word, and today I took delivery of my new old bicycle. He put it into the best shape possible and it is quite rideable. I took it out on the long jetty that protrudes into the harbor. This is heaven. Riding out into the sea with the mountains in the distance is about as close as one can come to riding out on the water itself. Whizzing along with the water on both sides is like shooting through a tube made of sky and sea, an ecstatic blue-white warp in the very fabric of Samsara, illuminated and vibrating like a bouzouki string.

Cycling has become a passion for me. Since I bought that first used bike in Athens two years ago, the place occupied by my bike has expanded, and cycling fills many functions in my current life. A bicycle is first a means of independent locomotion, free of many of the societal constraints which chafe. I am not subject to the dehumanizing haste which mass transport imposes upon us. I do not have to deal with Greek or German or Italian taxi drivers. Of course, though I drive anyway, I have no license and I am always just a little bit worried that some cop will stop me. I happily whiz by cops on the bike, ignoring one way signs and hopping curbs with casual abandon. Traffic is a transparent matrix through which I can weave, oblivious to the snail's pace of all those cars. Parking is instantaneous. One is not obliged to possess a license to drive or pay taxes or insurance to whatever foul little conspiracy constitutes the local state. Fuel is food. There is a smug satisfaction in knowing that one is not contributing to the cloud of poison gas which hovers over our cities and renders them less and less habitable.

Cycling is good for me. Since I provide the propulsive force, my body benefits in many ways. I burn off the calories which would otherwise pump flab into my love handles and my butt, keeping my girlish figure trim to assist me when pursuing young women.

Cycling provides me with a sovreign cure for states of obsessive melancholy and foul dark depression which often threaten to swallow me. Once my fat ass is planted in that saddle (getting up and running in the first place is half the battle) I just pedal, paying little heed to destination, seeking to inhabit the eternal now of the beginner's mind, letting my inner monologue babble on as it likes, but refusing to acknowledge that the inner rapper is running the show. Before long whatever bee was in my bonnet, whatever burr was under my saddle, whatever great crying hysteria threatens to overwhelm me is soon forgotten. The increased flow of oxygenated blood to my brain has been known to induce states of, dare I say it? Dare! Dare! contentment, HAPPINESS. There! I can say it. The "H word". Huh-ah-pee.

I decided not long ago that I could manage the load of dreck and codswollop that life hurls at me, provided I have three things. 1. A computer. 2. A woman and 3. A Bicycle. Praise Elvis. I'm saved.

Halcyon Days

(the privilege of down time)

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28-Jan-02     I am still here on the Isle of Lucy (Lesbos that is). Today the weather was wondrous. These days of faux spring come regularly to Greece in January or February. They call them the “Meres Halkionides” the origin of the English word halcyon .   This word, introduced to the language by Bill Shakespeare, is defined as “Idyllically calm and peaceful; suggesting happy tranquillity”. Forsooth. Ain’t it the truth?

(Alcyon refers to the kingfisher bird of greek classical legend who would nest on the waters after they were calmed by the gods for a period of two weeks each year during winter.)

  I am on my own here as Athena and my son are now in Athens. This is the first time in quite a while that your working boy has had a place to himself. This is also the first time for some while that I have desired solitude in which to work and think.

  Someone said (it was Joni Mitchell) that as artists, it is our privilege and our duty to have intervals of “down time” between major periods of work. During these times one may plunge into the psyche like a pearl diver and bring up objects from the bottom. There is the luxury to wash off the slime and sludge and see if the takings of the day are pearls or swine.

  With this in mind, it was my duty as an artist to drive out to an area of scenic delight and soak in the resplendence of the sights. I went out to a flatland surrounded by mountains overlooking a bay of such astral magnificence that I often find myself exclaiming the highest accolade an American can bestow upon any given situation. “Wow!” I will say.

  My mind is positively buzzing with strange little ideas. Perhaps this is due to the vats of caffeine-rich diet coke I guzzle daily. Perhaps it is a sign that the winter  arc of my polar orbit is ending and I am about to scale the dizzy heights of the annual spring mood swing.

  Apropos of pretty much nothing, I found myself remembering a story about my father, Blaine Morton Reininger as I piloted Athena’s old Honda Civic through the celestial radiance of this day. I was brushing cigarette ashes off of my “cashmere” jacket when it Prousted itself into view.

  Ol’ Mort, black sheep of the family, had been obliged by The Great Depression of the thirties to find employment  wherever it could be found. Sometimes he scored, more often he went hungry. Like his son,  when he came into some money he would generally celebrate his new-found prosperity by spending it as soon as possible.

  On this particular occasion, Mort had happened onto a good thing. He had some change in his overalls. He ran right out and bought a new Stutz Bearcat Roadster (a snazzy vehicle of the time) and a camel’s hair coat. He, like me today, was out feeling his oats on a mountain road, puffing one of his perpetual Camels. To his dismay, the burning coal of that cigarette fell off onto his reet new coat. As he tried desperately to save it from destruction, he forget about the Stutz for a minute and went over the side of that steep road. As he hung there over the 

cliff, he was forced to decide between staying in his ride or dying.  Ever-sensible Mort leapt out of the doomed vehicle and stood there in his charred camel’s hair coat watching the Stutz plummet down the cliff. Ol’ Dad was left sans coat, sans car, sans everything.


What is the moral of this story? There isn’t one. I just wanted to tell a tale of my Father now that I have become one myself.  The other day, holding little Ian I realized with a start that I had become Mort. I was the spittin’ image of my dad from the cigarette to the glasses to my stubborn tendency to be tall. Like him, I have gone salt and pepper in the hair, like him I have a head of hair that could double as a toilet brush.


Identity is like the waves and ripples in my faithful Indian companion the wobbly blue sea. Things take on a certain form for a time, then transmute  into something else. The fact of the sea remains, but its features are in continual flux.

If I am become Mort today, tomorrow I will be someone else. Privileged as I am to behold the sea every day, I am often struck with just what a wonderful metaphor it is and for how many things.  Would we have decided that energy and the very fabric of reality moves in waves were there no sea for us to use as a model?


Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, a book which sustained me during the darkest days of grief over the loss of JJ also compared identity to waves in the sea. If the atoms and smaller particles contained in that wave are attached to being there, they are in for a pretty sorry awakening. In any case, a wave is only a manifestation of a force moving through the water. No one set of particles can ever be said to be the wave in question. In the same manner as that wave moves over its matrix, the sea, our personalities move through existence, propelled along by the force of will until we coalesce back into the cosmic background noise.


Such are the thoughts that this noble Aegean , formerly sailed by Argonauts and Atreides family members,  inspires in old Guido. And over there across the water is Turkey, where once was Troy. Perhaps there is some cosmic symmetry in the fact that ersatz Agamemnon now hangs in sight of his old stompin’ grounds. Perhaps not.


Non linear note on the Euro. As things seem to be shaping up, one of the major pains with this coinage is how tiny and fiddly it is. The one cent coin is the size of an aspirin and the others are little better. Everyone in Greece has bought one of the handy dandy Euro conversion calculators such that prices listed in drachmas end up being silly Euro amounts like 1.73. In view of this fact, there was a run on change purses the day after the new coinage hit the streets. A coin purse was not to be had for love nor money on this island. I went to the same shop 5 days running, only to be told that they were coming in on the boat from Athens "avrio". Domani, tomorrow.

In keeping with enlightened modern free market practices the streets are now full of gypsies peddling Chinese coin purses. I saw one erstwhile couple in front of the bank selling them from a cardboard box. Then the cops came and they hotfooted it outta there, stuffing the box into a gym bag and ducking into a doorway. Cops left, they re-appeared.

There is a clandestine nod nod wink wink trade in drachmas still going on. Shopkeepers keep drachmas under the counter and keep two tills going. I have yet to travel with this money. How strange to avoid the necessity of changing money. How many times was I stuck in a train station with a fortune of unuseable money in my pocket after hours without the wherewithal to buy a cup of coffee, make a phone call, take a taxi. How many times did I whip the driver of the van onwards coming back from a gig, trying to make it to the bureau de change at the Belgian frontier so that JJ and I could eat when we got home. Now these stories will just bore my son a few years down the line. "Son, in my day you had to show your passport when you went to france. Then you had to buy different money. The people spoke a DIFFERENT LANGUAGE. That's right, almost no one spoke English!" 

"Dad, take your medicine. Here's your virching glasses. Good Night. Keep your hands off the nurses' butts. They've been complaining again."



December 21, 2001

the empire's new dough

What did I do today, you may ask? Probably not. I went to the bank here on Mytilini. This is worthy of note simply because I purchased a bag of euros, for a piddling 5.000 drachmas. I will now be able to remember the first time I laid eyes and hands on the new coin of the realm. Had a chance to heft it, shake it around, finger it, see how it will handle on the road.


I think that every economy has one coin which is the "shilling" or "florin" of its day. That is, one coin which guarantees for the average street beggar or other soul dwelling at the bottom of the heap a fighting chance at acquiring some piece of indispensable piece of matter. A loaf or bread, a jug of wine, thou.

See what I mean? Judging by its design, I wager that the 50 cent piece will become that sort of coin. It is durable, it has serrated edges, it has a secret compartment that is a gateway to a parallel universe. Few people know this, outside the circle of the Illuminati behind this whole thing. I dare not say more.

Out, oh master.


December 18, 2001 

Long time gone.

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the view from the veranda, 


How do I sum up the course of my existence since the last entry in this document?

Why should I try.? At the moment, my son is lying on the bed howling. This is not his usual thing.Now I have picked him up. Now the torture and angst  and the great howling anguish of being alive in samsara has ceased for a moment. Now he naps in my lap as I write these words. I am on the island of Lesbos, near the capital city, Mytilini. This is where the boy and his mother now live. I suppose this is where I live as well.

Well, well, welly well, how did old guido end up right where he started from? You may well ask. It has been a hell of a time since last I wrote in here. I have been all over the world, I have up and left to pursue greener pastures and younger women, I have voyaged to the further reaches of my definition of self, and wondered just where the hell I was and how I had arrived there.

As one may gather from other information on this site, I have spent a lot of time in Italy this last year and a half. I have been floating around that country like a lone bean in a turbulent bowl of pasta fagioli. Then I have decided that this boy sitting here in my lap was worthy of my attention and care. Now he sleeps on my chest. Awwwww.....we say. He stinks. I smell infant fecal matter. Thus it goes, I presume. It is certainly tough to concentrate upon sending error messages into the ether when a being so simple and complex demands one's attention. Oh my oh my does the mind ever go into a giddy whirl to contemplate all of this mortality and birth and re-birth. Enough of this shit.

There are some journal entries later, dating from when I purchased my laptop. Before that all was ignorance and outer darkness.

Here I am, miss me?


19/11/2001 22:06

Guido in Arezzo



In the dressing room in Arezzo, my "spiritual home". Touring with Gian Luca Lo Presti to promote our CD "Sun and Rain".  Perhaps I have made an error in staying behind here instead of going to the hotel. The music is too loud, the lights too bright. This photo taken by gabrielli the bass player. Blurry, but evocative. Now it’s R.E.M. on the loud louder loudest house system. Me back here with laptop. Earlier I chatted with Isabelle in Belgium and Oleg in Russia while standing at the bar, using the phone line of the club guy who was getting nervous, not sure what the hell I was doing, exactly. 


 As I have this digital camera I will include photos from now on in these entries. What the hell else am I to do with all of these self -portraits? There you go. I downloaded Microsoft instant messenger or whatever the hell it calls itself. Only because more of the people I know have hotmail addresses. C’est la vie.


 Doesn’t bother me to be alone in this overlit cold little cube of a camerino. I have this thing about not wanting to leave the dressing room.  In the meantime, I will instruct the spell checker on this program not to be so stupid (camerino  is a perfectly good Italian word, no reason to highlight it, waiting for it to turn into English)  Maybe I will get a handle on this damn stupid software, maybe not.  Who gives a fuck, right?


Now it’s 22:30 and we are supposed to play at 23:00. Oh well, show biz.


I should give this poor beast  of a laptop a rest.


 I promise myself, I haven’t been obsessed about Susi for at least an hour or so. I have decided that this affair will probably go the way of all flesh. Then she will probably surprise me by being the same when I get back to Berlin. We shall see. Now I will go and see if there are some people here.

In Hindsight

Shit howdy dang, sergeant carter, no one at all, that’s right, not one customer showed up for this show. I got the idea that perhaps I was not backing a winner with the tour of “Sun and Rain”. Easy for me to say now.


more fun in airports


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back from Sardinia, sitting in Fiumicino Roma, not my favorite airport in the world, not by a long shot. I have often wondered why absolutely no one refers to this airport by its given name "Leonardo da Vinci International Airport." Perhaps this joint ain't classy enough to deserve Leonardo's name.  The usual drill, waiting to be loaded into a bus to take us to the plane, gwine Firenze.

Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. I suppose I should open the outlook express and see what the hell my address is in San Casciano. whoops. False alarm. Boarding time set back some, pa.


Up in the air,Bullwinkle, up in the air. Underway after a miniature delay. Been settin’ hyar and mah mind is a-wrigglin’ like a ol’ worm in a skillet. There is an anger now present, my face is often drawn up in a sneer, or a resigned, yet disgusted grimace. We on one of them prop jobs they run between Roma and anywhere else in Italy. Little Legoland airport in Firenze. You’d think what with all that cultura and all them touristas and the brits livin’ in Chiantishire they would have a more serviceable port. No such luck. Now plane is rockin’ and rollin’. Turbulence. JJ used to get so nervous over turbulence. She really hated flying, it really scared her.


Welcome, folks, to the Blaine review. I haven’t written about anything but me and my feelings, my feelings and probably won’t. There is a war of sorts on, you know. Thankfully, Europeans mostly couldn’t give a shit. It’s an American thing, remotely embarrasing to most Europeans. They have their own problems. They have been through a war, they have seen their towns blown to smithereens, often by the good old Americans themselves. 

They have sifted through rubble for loved ones, been lined up against walls and shot, made heroic last stands in apartment houses or in the hills. The plaques are all over, memories of WW II in particular. I remember finding a sort of war memorial mass grave high up on a hill overlooking Athens while I was bicycling around looking for a promontory from which to view the city and shake my head wearily. There were some decaying headstones, a plaque with something about the men who died defending that hill from Germans. I then remembered a house I happened upon on one of my meanders through Brussels, likewise a place where a desperate band of men, probably young, had fought off the Germans for a moment or two before being obliterated. How strange to imagine those bourgeois streets of Brussels, those smog choked hills of Athens, the stage upon which man’s favorite activity was played out. We just seem to love war. We are on and on about warrior poets, self-sacrifice, the purity of the warrior’s mind, the samurai mysticism, all that bullshit. Now we are climbing from the skies. Landing in other words. off laptop. off.



fiumicino, roma



Now we’re in fiumicino again waiting again plane is theoretically going soon. 25 minutes they say. seems like every step of the way at the fag end of a journey like this is another nail in the cross, another thorn in the crown. I mean, there’s me in fucking athens waiting for the inteminable security line, tick tock tick tock, fearing that the plane will leave without me!! dio mio! Porca miseria! (I have been singing “porca miseria” to the tune of “waltzing matilda”. Porca miseria. Porca miseria.....I made an error with the baggage, went to the domestic baggage carousel, was obliged to leave, go back to terminal b, unable to get in to baggage area from ground floor, had to go up one level and re-enter via metal detector, waited and waited for the elevator, went up and down three times, more and more pissed and stressed, sweaty, sweat stains on my shirt, feeling like a sweaty smelly slob, everything has this gnarly edge, back into the baggage claim, terminal B, remember a good kilometer from terminal fucking A. Get my bag which is going around and around on the carousel under the watchful gaze of a bored security guy, lonely cheap chinese bag. Get it, schlep it back to Terminal Fucking A, check it in to domestic departures, then down, around and round through the metal detector and such again, same drill, my belt sets it off. I lost a pack of cigarettes in the x-ray machine since my coat had also to be x-rayed for sharpened toothbrushes. Packin a shiv, boss. Shit, the world has become jail. Fuck Bush and his fucking war. Truly. This is the shape of 21st century war and a spoiled geek like me complains because he loses some time, a swiss army knife, a pair of fingernails clippers, some cigarettes. We’re all desperate to be Normal. Maybe it’s a good thing to give up airplanes. We can all take boats. Then they will sink ‘em like in WWI with the Lusitania and so forth. Who alive now could tell you the first thing about the Lusitana, or the Maine?

Remember....Pearl Harbor, The Maine, 54 40 or fight, fighting soldiers from the sky....those brave men of the green berets, america and its fucking wars, a history of war from the very outset. war war war.


I am well and truly pissed off with this whole drill. I wish it had a single neck so I could hack it through...in the words of caligula.Hack! airport. Hack! check in time taxis sitting in the holding areas waiting to enter the flying corral strapped to a bucket eating swill.

November 8 2001  

a shipboard romance

Well, shit howdy dang. what a turnup. Here I am onboard a ship bound for Athens out of Mitilini. I am in a cabin seemingly all on my tod with a laptop and plenty of time to kill.

me and the kid in an ancient theatre on Lesbos


One may smoke here, presumably not be disturbed, something vaguely resembling the writer’s dream situation I might have imagined for myself 20 or 30 years ago. I have reached the lofty age when there are events in my life that long ago. woo hoo. Lamentably, possibly not, no internet from here. there is a phone. perhaps we shall see if that too is possible. If so, nothing but download or send messages. nothing else. I want to call susi in the worst way but now my cellphone thinks it is in turkey.


Now, is it too soon to try and analyze what just went down with Athena and my son?  Let us list some things as they stand now in my non compus mentis. Well, there is the kid. He is very much  boy physically active and macho, rough and tumble, solid square little body proportioned like a man and not a midget.  He is beautiful, he slays everyone he meets, charms all the ladies.  He is bright, presumably he likes me. I think I touched base there. He is a handful, he is exhausting, he is forever into this and that, toddling off in search of some thing sharp or dangerous, he might fall, he might burn himself, he might do this, he might do that. He will also get down and throw a tantrum a la reininger pere over things like not being able to play with a knife. He appears to be musically interested, perhaps talented, surely able to imitate dada when he plays one of Ian’s little instruments. He had a little guitar with fishing line strings made of plastic with an accurate fingerboard and a very reasonable sound which I picked up and played. He has a xylophone with colored keys that strike the bars confined to the key of DO, which is plenty for lots and lots of chords and melodies and which daddy also did virtuouso turns upon. Impressive when he thoughtfully banged one or two keys, registering what I had just done. I played his little drum with plastic head, also quite adequate as an instrument with a mallet and a chopstick. I also used the thumb to tighten and relax the head, making wobbly arabic type beats. In fact I played a lot of araby sounding stuff for him. It seemed the thing to do. He wasn’t all that impressed with the fiddle, eggchewally, perhaps it is too much for him. Not plastic and brightly colored. Endaxi. I entertained him, also not to omit his little blue plastic tambourine upon which I felt obliged to accompany myself on “hava nagila”. It was gratifying to see him imitating old dad on all of the above instruments, down to using a chopstick on the drum as if storing this quick burst of knowledge for future reference. Likewise verbally, my never-ending monologue seemed to have an effect on him and by the time I left he was murmuring in some sort of pre-verbal glossololia. Not yelling, speaking in conversational tones as if likewise delivering a monologue. I taught him to say “ahhhhh” after drinking water and he repeated it. He says DaEEE and Glayne! He says NEE, of course MAMA is in there, mameee, maa ahhh, lots of things. He will be a mama’s boy. He behaved differently around her, more prone to flip when he wanted breast access. She is still breast feeding him a year and a half after fetushood. I suppose she knows best since she is in touch with women in La Leche League and so forth.


I was mostly delighted with him. I took pretty much  two whole rolls of film of him, one b&w one color. some good photos. photogenic little guy like da.


And so, on the way out of Mitilini, I realized that Athena could see the boats go by (if you spend the night beside her) on the way out of the harbor, leaving like a cardboard cutout against a painted backdrop in a cheap hollywood epic. I called her on the cellphone as I neared her general area, and installed myself where I would be visible, i.e. against the floodlit white background of the smokestack. I stood there talking to her, she turned the veranda light on and off, I saw her, she saw me, “How’s that for a cinematic good-bye” I said as my ship pulled out.

later that same night ,onboard

This room is just what I needed. The whole damn boat is very far away, I am blissfully alone on the open sea. This typically simian Greek porter or whatever the hell he was came to bring in the dreaded bunkie in this room which is supposed to be a double. I didn’t know we would stop at some other island, but we did and there was the poor guy waiting to come in. This porter was the same geek who led me to this room without offering to carry so much as one of my cigarettes to lighten my load, considerable as always. He came in here and started scolding me like a child and I just said “Enough of you!” I called reception and told them to call him off, give me the other bunk in this room, I would pay. This fool tries to take the phone away from me and talk directly to them and I wave him off. Greece always comes down to these confrontations, more than one such in a year is more than I can stomach, and these sort of things happen all the time.


After my necessary “assertive” tantrum, my “don’t fuck with me there, stavros” I have this room to my lonesome. Steven is right. This is the way to go. Ship. In a cabin, a floating hotel room, little traffic with the other passengers necessary. Now I should get some sleep. First I must retrieve coti’s new address from my email files. then away.

athens   athens from patra

Pulled into the big olive, or The Big Ugly,  take your pick at 7:20 this morn. Took a shower in the cabin which was untold luxury for the travellin’ man and schlepped my baggage down the stairs and out into Piraeus. Then the fun commenced. I got into a cab driven by a reasonably attractive and delightfully tough young woman who wore too much perfume but was pleasant. My suitcase got piled into the trunk together with those of the two other passengers, bungeed in place for the hell for leather drive across Athens Permastau. Realized not too far into the trip that no way in hell I was gonna make that 9:30 plane to Rome get used to it, Johnny, go with the flow. Me on the phone to Coti whom I had arranged to meet on the way to the airport from the harbor. This was at least possible. Made flirty chit chat with the driverette who was certainly not innarested but was diverting. My bad greek was in the way. I managed to learn via broken small talk that driving a taxi was not all that great for one such as she. I imagine. Any woman young and pleasing to see as she would surely be fighting the priapic greek men off with a crowbar. She confirmed this. I made out the word “agamoto, misu, whatever” in referring to the men she encountered, gathering that mostly she had to field  offers both crude and cruder to fuck from every male passenger. Probably some of the females as well. Coti helped clarify matters  as to destination and proper reaching thereof over the cellphone. We made it to his place, I saw Mary on her way to the theatre and me and Cotsky went out to the hairport. With surprisingly little fuss, I managed to change the flight on Olympic and book another one on Alitalia to Cagliari. Damn. It turns out that the prepaid ticky was delivered to Athens in any case and so it was an amazing co-incidence that I was here to ask for it. I got away without paying any more money, which I was prepared to do, but which would have been an enoromous pain in the buttocks. I am set, my tickets in hand, my destination theoretically and metaphorically in sight.


Coti and I sat and chewed the fat (I chewed, he listened) for some while then he had to be off. It was good to see him, I realize that he is my “best friend” the male with whom I feel the most relaxed, the best man in a tight corner, etc. He had to be off and that brings us up to speed. I now sit again in this fresh Acme Airport Kit airport, trying to entertain myself for the necessary three or four hours. Damn again. It’s four hours of cigs and cokes and laptop for old Uncle Guido now.


I am naturally fried, died, tied, feel like a tempura’d iguana. Dipped in batter and deep-fried for that down home Kentucky goodness.


I look around me and wonder if my attitude toward these happy go lucky bouzouki strummin’ ouzou sluggin’ Greek folks has changed any. I take inventory, I check out Stavros here, munching on pizza with his hirsute wife and my answer is NO, still think they’re a bunch of monkey men, young and old, male and female. I still like my komboloi that I bought at the last minute at Mitilini airport and I take pride in the fact that I use them “properly”, in a manner that says to any Greek man watching that I know my stuff with them worry beads. At least I seem to have been cured of the searing lust that the women evoked in me prior to my departure from this burg in February. Now I see a pretty sorry lot of gussied up overdressed over made up Elle readers where once I saw incandescently desirable sex objects. Live, experience, learn. Too many peroxide blondes for one thing. They’re all blonde these days. Silly me, I took it for a statistical anomaly that so many twentyish women seemed to be blonde. L’oreal, clairol, must do a roaring trade here these days. Them and Nescafe. If the world demand for instant coffee were suddenly to dry up, there would always be Greece. A nation wired up tight on kilos and kilos of powdered extract of a stimulant-bearing seed. One day, I was brewin’ up some espresso, measuring spoons of powder into a metal device designed to drive superheated water vapor through a compacted bolus of said powder in order to maximize the stimulant content of the resulting tincture.  I realized that there was no qualitative difference between a habitual drinker of coffee and a bong-using pot smoker or a glass pipe totin’ crackhead. Just a matter of cultural norms. How odd to own and operate a miniature device designed for the consumption of one particular chemical with an effect on the human metabolism and not consider it drug taking. Observation, nada mas.



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