On the following day, Mars Tuesday 5, Election Day 1996, Toby Jay opened the golden maple shutters and discovered yet another windy blue-sky day. Later, he was relieved to learn that he had finally received his Westing Manor rent money. Immediately, then, he hopped inside the Golden Bug and drove directly to the Bank N.A. to deposit his rent checks. Afterwards, he headed straight to Hastings to acquire a copy of Edgar Cayce’s On Atlantis due to the recent discovery of the treasured remains of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
. . .
Later that evening, during the rainbow phase of the twilight hour, Toby Jay telephoned Terrelle in hopes of scoring a bag of cannabis enlightenment, having completely depleted his stash on the previous night, while reading Marijuana in Magic & Religion and listening to seemingly infinite cycles of Bee Thousand.
Luckily, Terrelle, who tended to be ever–elusive, answered the telephone in a tone of high spirits. In fact, he said he had recently received a shipment of primo-grade reefer and promised to drop by within the hour.
Sure enough, not long thereafter Terrelle stepped through the purple door and tossed a clear Glad baggy on top of the ancient treasure chest and said in his customary MacDaddy voice, “Check that shit out, man.”
“Fuckin’ A!” Toby Jay ecstatically exclaimed. “This is some killer weed!”
“It’s sixty bucks a quarter.”
“Right on, sixty bucks it is,” Toby Jay gratefully replied. He then proceeded to pack the Celtic cross pipe with stinky, sticky-icky. Immediately thereafter, with great anticipation, he took an extraordinarily deep hit. “Dude, this is a skunk-bud high,” he choked out loud, while totally stoked over the prospect of remaining supremely stoned for the remainder of the Year of Mysterious Synchronicity.
Come to find out, they both shared quite a lot in common. As a matter of fact, Terrelle had spent several years at the University of Oaklahoma, studying theoretical physics. Yet the real shocker was that he had actually worked at the ultra-exclusive Harold’s Clothing store for many years. This being a real shocker, of course, because a black man working at Harold’s Clothing was like a black man attending a Republican Party Convention – a rare commodity, indeed.
So, having shared stories about some of their favorite Campus Corner haunts, which included reference to such sites as the historic Liberty Drug, The Deli and Satellite Twin Theater, Terrelle suggested that they should head over to his place, so he could break off some fresh buds straight from the skunk block.
“Yeah, that’s cool with me,” Toby Jay said with a smile.
Consequently, shortly thereafter, they both stepped inside the white Volvo 240 with black tinted windows, and traveled to the eastside of Stillwater. In the process, as Terrelle steered his way down Sixth Street, he somewhat mystifiyingly turned to Toby Jay and asked, “So where are you from, man?” as though he was posing this question to someone he strangely sensed would someday be regarded as historically significant.
“Well, I was born in Norman in nineteen-sixty-four, but my family moved to Corona, California when I was around three. Then, a year or so later, we moved to a small rural town, just to the north, named Norco, which now is affectionately and officially called, Horsetown, U.S.A. So basically I spent all my formative years growing up in a rather grandiose but still somewhat modest ranch home, until I was around seventeen, when I moved back here to play basketball. And I’ve lived here ever since.”
“So do you think you’ll ever go back?”
“Oh no, So. Cal. is far too plastic for my taste…but I’ll always miss Newport Beach. And besides, I think I’ve become addicted to the crazy, dynamic weather here in Oaklahoma. To me, Oaklahoma is like Nature’s very own bulls-eye, where all the collosal forces collide. Ya know, it’s the stuff real mysticism is made of…that is, unless it turns you into a schizophrenic first.”
“Well, if you’re into wild weather changes, this is the place to be…Tornado City, baby,” Terrelle replied with an insider grin. Then, not long thereafter, he steered the Volvo 240 into the drive of his two-story abode.
“Wow, whatta cool pad,” Toby Jay remarked, as Terrelle led him down a long hallway with rustic yet nonetheless lustrous oakwood floors. Soon they approached a white door, which was partially covered by a Led Zeppelin poster, picturing Robert Plant circa 1977 performing in Madison Square Garden.
“Bitchin’ poster,” Toby Jay remarked.
“Here man, let me introduce you to my roommate,” suggested Terrelle, who then proceeded to open the white door.
Naturally Toby Jay grew warm and mellow inside at very moment he laid eyes on a shaggy, long-haired college kid, who was leaning up against the lower portion of a huge rainbow tie-dye poster cloth, which had a large Swan Song logo located directly in the center, as a solitary red candle burned below an antiquated Dark Side of the Moon illustration, in what was an otherwise completely darkened room. Needless to say, the vibe was just right.
“So what’s your name,” Toby Jay inquired.
“Joshua,” the shaggy college kid replied.
“Joshua,” Toby Jay instantly, inwardly recalled, “that was the name of the guy who opened for Tori Amos.”
Almost immediately, they began to converse about their mutual obsession with rock-n-roll paraphernalia. At one point, in fact, Toby Jay hyperbolically jested, “Dude, I’d give my left-nut for that poster,” referring to the Robert Plant poster he had been searching for, for years, namely the one where the Golden God himself was standing before a massive festival audience, holding a beer in one hand and a dove in the other.
. . .
Later on, shortly after Terrelle broke off a few fresh buds from an enormous skunk block, the three of them settled down in the living room where Toby Jay spotted a copy of Pearl Jam’s No Code resting atop a suave Bauhaus-like coffee table. “Ya know, this is the ultimate conspiracy disc,” he remarked, pointing to all the hidden triangles, spheres and freaks.
“Did you see them on Letterman the other night?” asked Joshua.
“You mean Pearl Jam played The Late Show?” Toby Jay replied in an obvious tone of disappointment.
“Yeah, and I got it on tape. Wanna check it out?”
So, right then, Joshua loaded the VCR and pressed fast forward.
“Hey, who are you rewinding over?” Toby Jay asked, since he could barely make out the fuzzy image of what looked like a lovely young lady with beautiful black hair adnorned with what looked like dainty sunflowers.
“It’s Drew Barrymore,” said Joshua.
“Boy, whatta naughty little sweetheart she is,” Toby Jay grinned in jest.
But then, not long thereafter, Joshua pressed play and the image of David Letterman holding up a copy of No Code instantly appeared on the TV screen. Then, in no time, Jack Irons let the hammer down on “Hail, Hail”.
“Is it just my eyes,” Toby Jay asked in a tone of odd surprise. “Or is Eddie sporting a designer suit?”
“Yep,” Joshua plainly concurred, as Pearl Jam proceeded to deliver one of the most powerfully unified performances Toby Jay had ever seen on national television. Indeed, the sound was absolutely stellar. And Eddie possessed the sort of stage presence he was hoping Chris Cornell would display on SNL months ago.
“Dang, Eddie’s got those subtle expressive gestures down pat,” Toby Jay noted like some sort of rock & roll behavioral scientist, having noticed the natural dramatic timing of the movement of Eddie’s inverted vector V eyebrows and the way he calmly pointed to the audience as he belted out the holy hymns to “Hail, Hail”.
“Yep” Joshua again agreed.
. . .
So, shortly after watching Pearl Jam on The Late Show, Terrelle motioned towards the front door, at which time Toby Jay turned to Joshua and asked him if he would like to come over to 415 and smoke a bowl.
“Sure, if that’s OK,” replied Joshua.
Immediately, then, the three of them hopped inside the Volvo 240 and headed straight for Blackley Street. Along the way, in an attempt to sustain the previous palpable sense of camaraderie, Toby Jay began to talk about the pivotal role the music of Led Zeppelin was going to play in his autobiographical quest.
“The cosmic energy, BASH!!!” Joshua madly blatted.
Naturally Toby Jay never smiled so wild, since he knew that backstage – The Song Remains the Same – line like he knew the crescendo to the “Star Spangled Banner”.
“So man, what exactly is your book about?” Joshua inquired, as Terrelle continued to steer the Volvo 240 down Sixth Street.
“Well,” Toby Jay attempted to explain, “my book is gonna be one giant diary filled with bizarre experiences, thought-provoking theories and a ton of personal epiphanies. But really, it’s about everything, actually…music…mythology…sports…porn…philosophy…pop culture…
weird science…conspiracy theory…you name it!” Then, rather succinctly, he summed things up by saying, “So, needless to say, it’s been quite the year for self-discovery,” as Terrelle turned into the drive of 415.
Notably enough, when the three of them approached the purple door, Terrelle turned to Joshua and said, “Check it out man, everything in this house is made of wood.”
Once they entered 415, Toby Jay promptly proceeded to show Joshua the custom Houses of the Holy poster picture frame as well as the golden brass Led Zeppelin belt buckle he had acquired during his adolescence in the Golden State.
“Man, you really are into Zeppelin,” marveled Joshua, who, later on, after the three of them had settled down in the living room, picked up the Hey Jupiter EP off the top of the ancient treasure chest and said in a riotous voice, “this chick is totally out there!” referring, of course, to Tori Amos.
As a consequence, the topic of conversation turned decidedly cosmic. So cosmic, in fact, that Terrelle felt compelled to reach over and grab the Secret Language of Birthdays from atop the Victorian ritual altar.
“Wow, check it out man!” Terrelle shouted in surprise. “I opened up to my very own birthday!”
“Yeah, that book has produced a lot of strange synchronicities,” Toby Jay said in a matter-of-fact fashion. Afterwards, he alluded to several weird Cancer connections between Chris Cornell and Courtney Love.
“OK then,” Terrelle said as a challenge. “What’s Joshua’s sign?”
“Gimme one good clue…three strikes, and you’re on,” Toby Jay quickly responded in a tone that said, “bring it on, big boy.”
But because Joshua was uncertain as to what would be the best clue, the conversation took several insignificant turns until the classic Oak station aired the cheesy White Lion song “Wait”. Since it was then that Joshua looked like he had just seen a ghost, as Powder, who looked exactly like a miniature white lion, was sitting in his lap, seeking his every affection.
“That’s weird, I was just singing this song earlier today,” Joshua said in a tone that suggested he believed himself to be experiencing a Time Design synchronicity.
“Well” Toby Jay probed further. “How often do you find yourself humming this tune?” “Just today is all,” said Joshua, who then went on to justify this strange stereopathic correspondence by saying, “weird shit like this happens to me all the time.” Then, somewhat hesitantly, he asked, “do you mind if I light the candles,” gesturing towards the Spanish Gothic candelabra.
“Sure, by all means, light èm up,” said Toby Jay buoyantly. He then hopped up from the dragon sofa and activated the second side of Physical Graffiti as an accompaniment to the candlelight.
Momments later, as the majestic cathedral intro to “In the Light” was slowly but surely emerging, Terrelle again blurted out, “Man, this book is unbelievable! This Christmas I’m gonna buy a copy for my girlfriend and all my family members” referring, of course, to the Secret Language of Birthdays.
“Alright, I’ve finally gotta a clue for ya,” Joshua said in response to all of Terrelle’s theatrics. “My clue word is ‘water’.”
“Well, this should be pretty easy then, since there are only three water signs in the zodiac,” Toby Jay said with cocky, self-assurance. He then guessed the sign of Cancer since it seemed to be the most predominant sign in Stillwater.
“Nope,” Joshua said in an obvious tone of disappointment, as if he was hoping Toby Jay would have nailed his sign on the first attempt.
Soon, then, it came time to offer a second guess, during which time the Great Voice spoke. Subsequently, Toby Jay was reminded of the fact that, even though the house of Aquarius was not officially observed as a water sign, it was often referred to as the Water Bearer archetype.
As a result, for a brief moment in time, Toby Jay experienced an acute instance of conflicting intuition. “Ya know, the strictly logical choice would be to go with one of the two remaining water signs, Scorpio or Pisces, but I’ve gotta hunch it’s Aquarius. So that’s my guess, Aquarius.”
“Yep, that’s it,” Joshua beamed with a rapturous smile.
. . .
Later that night, shortly after Terrelle and Joshua headed back to the east side of Stillwater, Toby Jay activated the Greek TV in hopes of catching Election Day results on CNN. “Bullshit,” he scoffed. Almost unbelievably, the Republican Party had somehow managed to capture a majority in both the House and the Senate. “Shame on North Carolina,” he scoffed once more, having learned that the fiercely contested race between black intellectual Harvey Gant and old bitter bastard Jesse Helms had finally come to a bloody end; the latter candidate, unfortunately, proved to be victorious.
“Shame on Montana,” Toby Jay continued to smirk, right after it was announced that Bob Dole had won the state’s majority vote. “Ya know, this, in-and-of-itself, explains the whole Freeman militia fiasco.”
Finally, however, he received some encouraging news.
“Hail, hail the Golden State!” riotously Toby Jay cheered, having learned that the state of California had just passed Proposition 215, which was specifically designed to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Soon thereafter, the presidential voting results appeared. With 89% of America’s precincts reporting, President Clinton had garnered 50% of the vote, Bob Dole 42% and Ross Perot a surprisingly impressive 8%.
“So,” Toby Jay reflected like a true prophet, “the prediction I made the day Z-Man announced that Bob Dole had captured the Republican Party nomination has actually come to pass.” All the while feeling a tremendous rush of liberal, egalitarian pride over the fact that William Jefferson Clinton, a neighbor to the great state of Oaklahoma, had just become the first two-term Democratic president since the New Deal days of F.D.R.
Bonus Diary Entry – Hustler/Larry Flynt
Later that evening, during the genesis phase of the twilight hour, Toby Jay ignited the Window Wisdom Mobile and headed eastward to the Alien Workshop to borrow the 1st Anniversary issue of George magazine; the one that David had so adamantly suggested he read, given the special feature on Larry Flynt.
Consequently, not long after Toby Jay returned home, he stretched out on the dragon sofa and began to thumb through the glossy folds of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s journalistic vehicle. In doing so, he hoped to encounter a new, revelatory side to the founder of America’s magazine. Fortunately, he was not the least bit disappointed. Indeed, David was absolutely correct. From beginning to end, the article contained one golden connection after another.
For starters, Toby Jay was instantly struck by the title “The Hustler” printed in glorious gold and the accompanying caption, “Country boy turned porn king, Hustler founder Larry Flynt has built a career out of offending mainstream America–and defending his right to do so;” both of which were juxtaposed against a photo of Larry posing in his gold-plated wheelchair, under an excessively ornate golden chandelier, as a big bad-ass Secret Service bodyguard stood right by his side.
Naturally the mere sight of Larry’s gold-plated wheelchair pierced Toby Jay right to the bone. For, of course, it was only by the grace of the Great Generator himself that he had been spared of such an unfortunate, confining fate.
Then Toby Jay locked onto the line, “Flynt, 53, claims he knew nothing of the First Amendment or the Fourth when he began publishing Hustler in 1974 from Dayton, Ohio.”
Of course, at that very moment, Toby Jay froze in a state of sheer, uncanny synchronicity. “Hey, wait a minute,” he instantly recalled, “Dayton Ohio…that’s the hometown of GbV…the place where Bee Thousand was born.” Suddenly, this startling connection flashed him back to the mysterious clustering of events that occurred on the day of Lughnasadh 1994. Back, that is, to when he heard Bee Thousand for the first time just hours after he had dropped Isabelle off at Will Rogers Airport so she could catch a flight to Beverly Hills to pose for Hustler’s Beaver Hunt Contest. Completely unaware at the time that his next-door neighbor, an old army gunner named Harold, was dead, rotting on the other side of his duplex wall. Until now, no doubt, this curious series of events had always eluded his understanding. But now he really got it. Now he truly understood. Since now, after speaking to Professor Merrill back on the night of the September Cursing Moon, Toby Jay realized that just as blackness was virtually always accompanied by the glory of gold, so too was the vile profanity of Hustler naturally attracted to its opposite, namely the sacred power of healing. Hence, in an intriguing sort of way, this mysterious cluster was like an instantiation of an ontological polarity principle, paradoxically stating that wherever there was Hustler, there was healing, and that wherever there was rotten black flesh, there was the regenerative light of “Mincer Ray”.
“Boy,” Toby Jay reflected, gratefully. “If it hadn’t been for Bee Thousand, I don’t know how I would have ever coped with Harold’s death.”
However, not long thereafter, he uncovered another improbable parallel when he learned that Larry was gunned down in cold blood on March 6, 1978.
“But wait,” Toby Jay recalled, instantly. “I broke my neck on March 12.”
Moreover, there was the phrase, “the intensity of his conspiracy journalism,” referring to Mr. Flynt’s publishing philosophy.
“So I guess Larry’s the king of American conspiracy theory, after all.”
In fact, Larry was sentenced to fifteen months in the Federal penitentiary in Butner, North Carolina for refusing to reveal the source that provided him with the notorious John DeLorean cocaine-trafficking videotape, which was eventually turned over to the authorities and aired on 60 Minutes.
“Looks like Larry really pissed off the FBI.”
Furthermore, the article went on to say, “the best account of the Flynt milieu of the ‘80s comes from Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern, who visited with him for three weeks, ostensibly to work on the screenplay for Althea’s never-realized movie about Jim Morrison. Althea believed Morrison was still alive. She was crazy about him.”
“Wild man, totally wild!” Toby Jay madly exclaimed.
Even more outrageous was the fact that Larry’s Bel Air mansion, which was formerly the home of Sonny and Cher, hosted such names as Frank Zappa, Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy, as ex-members of the Green Berets stood guard with Uzis.
“Freaking G. Gordon Liddy,” Toby Jay instantly erupted, “why he’s an admitted assassin!”
In addition, according to several accounts, during this three-week free-for-all, federal helicopters hovered over the Hustler mansion, seeking top-secret tapes of one of Ronald Reagan’s closest advisers, who had apparently been filmed performing lewd sex acts.
Lastly, Dennis Hopper, of Blue Velvet and Apocalypse Now fame, claimed that one of the Green Beret guards had actually offer him a grenade to fend off the Feds, while Flynt himself threatened to shoot for their throats.