I woke up this morning in sheets of white cotton to sunlight slating through the blinds and heard the gentle gurgling of the fountain in the courtyard below. The gentle gurgling of the baby I’d trapped in the refrigerator!
Now the family of Mexican tourists have wandered off I’m alone on the end of the pier. It’s so f**king beautiful and tranquil here, I wish I could hold this moment forever. I wish I was stoned right now so that I could really bring to the boil the exceptional concert of flavours, spices and scents in this moment and let them explode in Technicolor across my six senses.
In front of me there is no landfall till Tokyo, behind me are the rolling vineyards of Hearst Castle (built by an eccentric billionaire – ooh amazing... can’t be bothered). As I walk back down this skinny long wooden pier (about a ¼ mile long but only 9ft wide), small birds flutter around me. Magical..! Three people walk past me looking like Biffa Bacon and his Ma / Pa. I hear the unmistakable scrapping tones of a Scouse accent! That killed the moment!
Further down, a lone Californian surfer guy is fishing languidly over the edge of the pier. He’s just caught what looks like a small tuna and it flaps against his bare feet. He’s getting some hassle from a fat teenager from Chicago-way, who pokes the squirming fish with a podgy digit. The quality of life here beats that of any place I’ve ever been. How show stoppingly awesome it would be to meet my soulmate in a bar or on a sunset beach in Monterey tonight and to stay here. Stay with him, writing and doing whatever to pay the bills! A woman gotta have a dream and this is mine. I’m going to “actualise it” and ask the Cosmos for it (like Noel Edmonds did to get his villa in the south of France!)
I wonder if there are any works of Shakespeare we don’t know about because he left them in an alehouse or at an inn when he was pissed?
I FEEL LIKE I’M ON AN E. NATURALLY
A prehistoric promontory cuts out from the cliff edge where I’m hurtling round the most curvaceous roads in the west. The promontory is long, wide and holds my attention even from miles away. I see a wicket fence. Pull over. Climb over. I’m now walking through green corn – I know it’s not really corn but can’t think how else to describe it.
The promontory is like a fat V going out from the land to the raging sea below. Again, there’s no one around for miles. As I walk further out I sense movement in the undergrowth to the left and right of me. Strange movements causing the corn to shake faster than the breeze would warrant. I can hear noises other than the squawk of Eagles and Gulls and the water crashing relentlessly on ancient craggy rocks below.
A good twenty minutes later and I’m nearly at the edge, far far out to sea. I’m writing this in real time as I walk, feeling myself tiny and insignificant like a drop of water that, once mingled with the endless ocean below me, will become indistinguishable. There’s a large rock sticking out of the undergrowth ahead, right at the cliff’s edge and I’m getting a really strong Merlin vibe from it. Ancient, Powerful – neither good nor evil – too old even for that. It’s too old for human values to be applied to it. It just IS. A brutal fact. I must touch it! Even though I’m inexplicably wary of it, I’m drawn to it. It’s still a fair way off.
Here goes... the undergrowth rises up around me. I’m treading in maggoty piles of sh*t – but I’ve no idea what animal laid it (hopefully animal and not ancient hippy!) Almost within touching distance of the mythical rock the bracken just gets too high and dense for me to comfortably get through. I take a photo as consolation and retreat.
I drive past the Eslen Institute, a “by invitation only” New Age Centre. A bare-chested hippy dude in an orange hat and face paint urges all the passing traffic to slow down and chill out by rather condescendingly moving his hands up and down, palms outstretched. As I drive past, I see a troop of sarong-clad girls with headscarves and crystals walking up the road.
I don’t know why all this New Age stuff makes me so aggressive... BUT IT DOES! I had a real urge to slow down like he suggested and drive over his open-toed vegan sandals! I think it annoys me because I reckon it to be false and deep down in their own damaged way I think THEY do too.
That style of New Age woman who always gets migraines, eats only vegetables frequently feels “fragile and vulnerable”, suffers from bouts of self-indulgent depression but takes St. Johns Wort and a cheque every month from daddy for it and believes in “Colour Therapy” as a way of curing cancer.
Dangle a crystal over my head to expunge these negative thoughts, whilst I shove a joystick up your twat. I want to primal scream “C*NT” in her face! Even worse than her is the bearded freak-brother who wants me to slow down so he can “commune in pleasantude”. I have a strong urge to poke him repeatedly in the chest with my finger until he finally admits he’s full of sh*t and lands one on me... And breathe! Wow! I feel better already! The negative energy flows out of me and off across to the Eslen finance department where all these fools are being ripped off!
WRITTEN AT THE HENRY MILLER LIBRARY, BIG SUR, CA, WITH A CUP OF TEA: It’s strange how the things I expect to be great seldom are ; whilst the things I discount and pay no heed to reveal themselves to be hiding a diamond at their centre. The plaque outside the ramshackle gates that lead up to the small wooden shack reads:
“Henry Miller didn’t believe in memorials, he said the best way to honour someone is to make the most of YOUR life and live it to the full.”
I WANT THAT TO BE ON MY GRAVESTONE. I F**KING LOVE THAT QUOTE!
The museum itself was a bit of a letdown. It was being run by three girls in their early twenties who were clearly just there as a holiday job for the money and had no real interest or knowledge of Miller. It made me feel a bit foolish to eulogise about the great man.
I drive on to discover a secret beach and a rocky descent to find a secluded smugglers’ lagoon. I take the rocks with all the skill of Spiderman’s mum. I’m sure that toddlers have come down stairs with more grace than I’m managing this rock face! Strong wind, big waves breaking hard rocks. At last – I touch the Pacific Ocean and close the circle. My i-pod is on random shuffle again and Donna Summer “ I Feel Love” plays. As I stare out, writing to another top 10 view, I agree.