Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Miss C" Morning Glory Zombies

by Richard May

(Cautionary Note: My own views do not necessarily bear any resemblance to themselves. Any relation between the world and reality is unintentional and purely coincidental.)

"If you remember the sixties, you weren't there", attribution unknown. In the sixties between ages twenty and twenty-five a hippy/student/townie rathskeller near a university was my home, sometimes quite literally! Alcohol and, sometimes weed, helped me to become more socialized. But grass usually caused me to become too introspective! And one had to conform at least as much to be a hippie as to be "straight," as the term was used in those days. Generally I was too "straight" for the hippies and too hip for the "straight" people.

William Borroughs should have written about this bar. I'm sure there are old files on me in various agencies, because of the people I was acquainted with then. I remember an alleged actor who supported himself by stealing sports cars, but claimed as his cover story that he sold marijuana for a living, was among the denizens.

Everyone hung at this rathskeller from frat boys to Students For A Democratic Society members and junkies. Some individuals ate the then amphetamine-rich contents of Dristan inhalers and wrote poetry. A brilliant friend, who had been admitted to Harvard University but later rejected, when he was busted for taking the SAT exams for others, ate "Heavenly Blue" and "Pearly Gates" morning glory seeds (containing an LSD-like chemical) and hung out "tripping." Upstairs in a borrowed apartment I got it on with a pregnant Polish lesbian!

The rathskeller/inn is gone now physically, but its essence would be gone now anyway with the changed Zeitgeist. Most of the bar tenders were black. The head bar tender, a really nice guy, used to say that there were only two thing he never would get involved in: murder and drugs. On weekends he would go to N.Y.C. and pick up large amounts of presumably stolen fashionable clothing, which he sold very cheaply on the side at the bar. Often I would run errands for him as a favor and be rewarded with a steak dinner from his wife, who worked in the adjoining restaurant.

Once, when I was tending bar there, a very attractive young redhead was sitting at the bar smoking, so I asked her if she wanted anything, meaning a drink. She looked at me smiling and said, "Yeah, you!" But the poor girl had to wait several hours till the bar closed. This was in 1968, when Mick Jagger was a sex symbol and finally at age twenty-four it was not to my disadvantage to be thin and not macho acting!

Of course, pitchers of beer were served there, but it was not uncommon to see people drinking pitchers of screwdrivers or even pitchers of zombies with 151 proof rum, and getting so trashed! A young woman we knew only as "Miss Cunnilingus" or "Miss C" danced lasciviously to the music of the Rolling Stones or whatever was playing on the jukebox. We deliberately played her favorite songs just to be able to watch her spontaneous show. People I knew personally would often come in "tripping" on LSD, which I never took, fortunately recognizing that it would not be helpful to me.

The rathskeller was frequented by literary types, liberal professors, grad students, and quite a few high-IQ types, among a menagerie of others, including thieves and drugs dealers. Discussions of free will, refutations of the proofs of the existence of God, Camus'Myth Of Sisyphus or of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism could sometimes be heard in the clamor. Once I bumped into Allen Ginsberg there after one of his poetry readings on campus! Also I tried once with unsuccessful chutzpah to get actor Lloyd Bridges, who was just passing through, to buy me a drink! It was here that I watched men land on the moon and sadly learned of the assassination of Dr. King.

My male friends often thought that they were poets or writers, and seemed to view me as a curious subject of study. One was a sixteen year old with more than 160 I.Q., who passed as an adult and eventually dated a woman about ten years older with her knowledge. Never having dated at all in high school I managed to loose my virgin status in my room upstairs in the inn above the rathskeller with a girl I'd only known for about two hours! (I'd been trying to get deflowered since I was a zygote.) Incredibly her father knew my father. She was only the second girl I'd kissed, so I clearly had a high-IQ learning curve.

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