Fielding Goodfellow has a background in Behavioral Psychology and has spent the past 35 years working in the children's mental health field. He began writing story telling in high school and is in the process of completing his first novel. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and five children.
Solomon Tate's Lesbian
Tate had no idea how he got there, waking up on Kew Beach, nestled against Jessica with a mouth full of sand. The last thing he remembered was leaving The Roxy Theater, totally messed up on peyote, after being immersed in the tragedy of Michael J. Pollard's 'Dirty Little Billy'. This was certainly not the first time he found himself face down on the ground with no idea of how the fuck he wound up that way.
So, here's what happened. In the mid 1970s, Tate was living in a second floor walk up that overlooked the park in a trendy, artsy neighborhood filled with writers, painters, and musicians, where their very existence was celebrated our existence with one party after another, fueled by copious amounts of hallucinogenics and beer amid the constant challenge of keeping the flying lizards and leprechauns at bay. That summer, as Frampton came alive and The Eagles checked into the Hotel California, Jessica Emery settled into this little piece of psychedelic paradise and moved into the apartment directly across the hall from Tate.
The world was scared shitless of homosexuals back then, and the fear that their very presence would turn the universe gay and ultimately bring about the demise of the human race was widespread. It was pretty fucked up just how much time and effort went into stopping the gay scourge then, when there were men in overalls dining on squirrel stew and drinking a gallon or two of corn mash whiskey, and then going out to the barn to bang the shit out of their livestock without anyone raising an eyebrow, or a shotgun. Jennifer was gay, a lesbian from Beaumont, Texas and was often subjected to ridicule and taunting from some of the community assholes who felt the urge to state the obvious in an attempt to display some sense of superiority based entirely on their sexuality. "She's a lesbian.", was often whispered with scorn and disdain.
Sometime in August Tate and Jessica were sitting on her sofa listening to Spirit, and getting messed up on mushrooms. Jennifer, like everyone else Tate involved himself with, was a writer. She had a weakness for the absurd, and was quite fond of Ionesco, Kafka, and Beckett. There was a wall in her living room filled with caricatures of Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Salinger, and Vonnegut. She was wonderfully beautiful, and was several years older than Tate. He thought she was the one of the coolest people he knew, and watching her move around the flat that day, braless, in a skin tight t shirt and short shorts that left absolutely nothing to the imagination, he believed that she was one of the sexiest. All the while Tate had pornography playing in his head. It was in slow motion, always in slow motion. There was something insanely hot about girl on girl sex, well, not something, Tate felt that everything about it was insanely hot, and despite the fact that he was sure he would never be able to take that trip up her thighs to get to the magic kingdom. he was more than a little interested in at least getting a ticket to the show.
The inside of her apartment was as cool as she was, with a wall dedicated entirely to caricatures of writers including Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Salinger and Vonnegut. There were plants growing in every room, and a fish tank hummed loudly atop a large coffee table in the middle of the living room. They ate dinner together, and then headed down to The Roxy for the Friday night movie marathon to catch 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory' , John Waters' 'Pink Flamingos', 'Dawn Of The Dead', and 'Dirty Little Billy'. All the way to the theater Tate wondered what the hell he should talk about. There was a series of random questions, covering topics that ranged from the fall of the Mayan empire to "So, how long have you been a lesbian?"
"Since I was a Freshman in college." Jessica responded. "Up til then, I always had boyfriends. But in my freshman year", she continued, "my boyfriend and I were watching porn and everything became clear. It was an Epiphany. A life altering moment." Jessica stopped and sighed heavily. "The first time I saw that pussy up close, I knew I was really into girls. I never really thought much about dick, but I couldn't stop thinking about pussy. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate dick or anything like that. I've got a bunch of fake ones stashed in a drawer. But just the idea of pussy gets me hot."
"Me too.", Tate told her."
"I'm sure it does.", Jessica laughed. " More than anything, at that moment, Tate wanted her. The film in his head began playing again Tate knocks on Jessica's door and she invites him in. She's wearing a robe, and as she invites Tate to sit on the couch, she goes to get him a beer from the kitchen. The Beatles are playing in the background, Revolver, side 1, when a completely naked woman comes out of the bedroom. Jessica appears with the beer and without the towel. The two lesbians lead Tate into the bedroom. With each screening, the script became more and more detailed, but that didn't really matter. What was important here is that there was always a happy ending.
Nothing unusual happened at The Roxy. They sat in the last row, as Tate always did, aisle seat, did some more peyote and watched the films. By the time Willy Wonka was over, they were totally messed up and Tate was lost in the world of Dirty Little Billy. He had once said "You can get lost in your own mind, but don't worry about it. The journey back will surprise the fuck out of you.", and for Tate, it always did. After the screenings Jessica wanted to watch the sun come up at the beach, so they headed off to Kew Beach with a little time to spare. They walked along the shore line, chasing the waves and finishing off the peyote. They took their clothes off, and went into the water, splashing around like a couple of seals in heat. When Jessica ran up the beach, Tate chased her, and tripping on a piece of driftwood knocked himself out cold. He didn't see the sun come up. When he woke, he found himself and Jessica laying on the beach naked and apparently spooning. He tried to get up, but his arm was trapped under her head,. The movement stirred her awake. "Any idea what the hell went on here?", he asked her.
"I suppose that you took advantage of me.", she said.
"No.", Tate said. "I'm sure I'd remember that."
"Well, then", Jessica answered, "Maybe I took advantage of you."
Really?", he asked. "I'm pretty sure I'd remember that too."
"I wouldn't worry about it.", she told him. "Shit like that happens." But Tate did worry about it. For days he tried desperately to locate that information locked somewhere in his mind, underneath all of the drugs and alcohol, but he couldn't find a thing. Not even a trace. That movie kept playing in his head, over and over again, as Jessica ran naked along the beach with Tate in pursuit. But that's where it stopped. There was nothing more. About a week or so later, Jessica arrived at his door, braless in a skin tight t shirt and short shorts that left nothing to the imagination. Tate stood at the door following the curves of her body with his eyes. He followed her legs up to her thighs, and lingered there for a moment, and then moved up to the outer gates of the secret garden she seemed to be taunting him with. "Nothing happened at the beach.", she told him. "I wanted it to, but you got hurt, and so, nothing happened." She took him by the hand and led him to her flat. "Have a seat.", she said. "I'll get you a beer."
Tate watched her head into the kitchen, mesmerized by the movement of her hips as she walked. The Beatles were playing in the background, Revolver, side 1. A naked woman emerged from the bedroom, just as Jessica returned with a beer and nothing else. She was totally naked. The two women kissed, and Tate felt the massive hard on that has developed in his pants. It all seemed to be in slow motion. The two lesbians led him into the bedroom, and from what we gather, there was a happy ending for all. This arrangement lasted just over a year, about the time Ramona moved in with Tate, and Jessica found herself in love with Stacey Hollis. Sometime in the late winter, Jessica moved out of her flat, and Tate never heard from her again. But that didn't really matter anyway. What was important here is that there is always a happy ending.
Aristotle Never Went To Amsterdam
Sometime in the early to mid 1970s, I off to find myself, although I wasn't even certain that I had been missing. Armed with pen and paper, and with the words of Kerouac, Salinger, and Thompson reverberating in my head, I headed down the psychedelic super highway of hallucinogenics. Hurtling headfirst at record breaking speeds, I found myself in Amsterdam, careening through a maze of idioms & isms, made palatable by copious amounts of sex, and drugs, and rock and roll. I was determined to ingest and inhale everything this deliciously, sordid city offered, fueled by the hallucinations brought on by my drug addled mind.
I checked into the Hotel Cok, on Jan Luykenstraat, renting a single room on the top floor with a view of the canal. There was a bar in the hotel basement which was run by Julian, a drugged out, French ex-patriot who introduced me to lager & lime. I spent a great deal of time hanging out with Julian, and we shared a fascination with drugs, and a love of music. We spent some afternoons in the bar as Julian introduced me to Moving Gelatine Plates, Magma, & Art Zoyd, while I flooded his brain with The 13th Floor Elevators, Spirit, and The Blues Magoos. We listened intently, having sampled the newly arrived hallucinogenics, and took turns chasing away the pterodactyls who had congregated just outside the door. And in The Hotel Cok, one summer morning, during a bout of existential ennui, I met Tessa.
She was insanely beautiful, with long blonde hair, green eyes, and legs that never seemed to stop, and worked as a maid in the hotel. We became inseparable after she walked in to my room to clean as I was standing there, naked, having just emerged from the shower. While I was uncertain what I was supposed to do next, Tessa was quite willing, and more than able to perform on her knees. We spent all of our time together from that moment on. She referred to it as dating, and who was I to argue with the older woman who was consistently offering herself to me. In the mornings we would head over to the Amstel Brewery tour, sampling several types of beer, and at night, we hung out at The Melkweg, a club located in the Leidseplein, the hub of Amsterdam's night life, lingering in the hazy fog of the drugs that were readily available.
In the afternoons, as both Tessa & Julian worked, I was free to roam the city, seeking inspiration and motivation to continue my quest. One particular afternoon, I went to The Stedelijk Museum where, after having dropped yellow submarines, I stood in front of a painting of penises. There were hundreds of them. Some were riding bicycles, while others were eating carnival foods. There were some in top hats, and little ones, running with balloons. I have no idea if what I saw was really there, but it was an enjoyable piece, whatever it was.
When I returned to the Hotel Cok bar, Tessa informed me that there was a free concert in Vondel Park that night, with Golden Earring set to perform. By the time we arrived at the site, thousands of people had filled the park, setting the stage for what I hoped would become the Dutch Woodstock. We found a spot on the grass, and sat back, drinking mushroom tea, and drifting in and out of places I had never been before, or after. There were Police on foot and horseback, patrolling the grounds, presumably to keep the paranoid schizophrenics, and, I hoped, the dragons at bay. The atmosphere was wonderfully psychedelic, with people dancing to music that had not even begun to play. There was a roar from the enormous crowd when the band took the stage, and I sat in awe, as they opened with a 45 minute cover of The Byrds' "Eight Miles High". Sometime during an intense solo, in a foolish attempt to reach the heights being sung about, Tessa & I ate peyote buttons, that Julian was able to obtain through a smarmy, South American Art Dealer who appeared to look like a goldfish. I have no recollection of how many we ate, or for that matter, any thing else that happened that night. I awoke the next morning in Vondel Park with Tessa in my arms, and my pants nowhere to be found.
On the days when Julian had to work, Tessa & I would borrow Julian's Vespa and head out to wherever the road took us. Inevitably,we found ourselves at some point in the day, hanging out at Dam Square. the meeting place for all of those who had no idea what they wanted, and really didn't care to find out. It was filled with hippies, musicians, and artists, all banding together to protest against war, or taxes, or some plan to stifle their freedom of creativity. They were peaceful protests, the kind of protest one would expect from a crowd who had heavily ingested hits of acid that were being passed around in small wicker baskets. There was chanting, and singing, and the occasional panic stricken scream from someone in the midst of a bad trip. Tessa and I would occasionally wander off to the Damrak and contemplate threesomes with some of the hotter girls that she would pick out, sitting in their windows, dressed in leather, or lace, or both.
Trush, a Danish tourist from Copenhagen, had recently left her husband, and was trying to start a new life. She had been sitting alone at the bar most of the morning, Julian informed me. Tessa went over to speak to her, and before long, Trush had joined our little group of misfits. Julian said that he was attracted to her mind, that she gave him a mental hard on. It didn't matter to Tessa or I what he said, we both knew it was her enormous tits. Julian made Mushroom tea, and we all sat around for what seemed like hours, drinking tea, listening to music, and watching the giant iguanas crawl across the walls. Bad Company was playing on the bar's stereo. We drank lager & lime, and ate Bitterballen, a weird, deep fried meatball, which surprisingly tasted better than it looked. We ate, and talked, and drank more magic mushroom tea. As the title track of the album began playing, Trush started dancing, swaying back and forth to the music, and removing her clothes. Julian felt the need to stop her, although I suggested that we let her dance. I must have drifted off into some far away place where Trush was completely naked, brought back only by Julian insisting that Tessa and I take her to her room. As high as we were, we scaled the 4 flights of stairs, and managed to get Trush into her room still partially dressed, and safe. Once inside, Trush continued to remove her clothes. She was beautiful naked. Tessa and I were both staring at her incredible body. Tessa and I looked at each other. It was decided. This was the dream. I had heard that Danish women had no inhibitions, and it turned out that Dutch girls don't have many either. When we left her, we returned to the bar, but quite exhausted. I was certain that Julian knew exactly what we had done.
There was a boat that toured the city through its myriad of canals. Julian & I had ingested Peyote buttons, that he had secured from his South American Art Dealing goldfish. As we cruised through canal after canal, the buildings that lined the streets seemed to melt, falling backwards, and dissolving in the blue and white hues of the late afternoon sky. The sun was hot, incredibly hot, creating a haze over the city, and I felt like I was looking through a cellophane filter of assorted colors. As the boat passed The West Church, the hands of the clock which sat on on the less than impressive tower, which protruded into the air like an enormous erect penis, began to spin erratically, changing time, and changing faces. It would smile, and scowl, and then grimace. I took out my notebook and wrote 'time is quite emotional' in large letters. It sounded wonderfully brilliant and poetic at the time, and I was certain that I could use that line somewhere in my work.
One weekend, Trush suggested that we go to Copenhagen with her, and visit Tivoli. Julian and Tessa had to work at The Hotel Cock, so Trush and I boarded a train, and ferried to Copenhagen. Tivoli is an insanely wonderful place. If you have never been there, I suggest you go on LSD. Or peyote. The movement, the colors, and the sounds are excruciatingly mind blowing. There were clowns floating on stilts, eight miles high, with crazy smiles and red noses, laughing manically, as they leaned down to pat you on the head. I have been told that there were in fact no clowns when I was there, but I saw clowns. They had a magical wheel, that spun around high over our heads, with lights pulsating faster with every spin, and there were screaming people who seemed to be trapped on it, begging to get off, until finally it slowed to a stop, and they went scurrying off in all directions. The entire weekend was filled with drugs and sex, and I can say with certainty that Trush was as incredible in Denmark, as she was in The Netherlands.
We returned to The Hotel Cok. As my money began to run out , and I had no desire or intent to leave Amsterdam, Julian arranged a job for me at the bar. He taught me how to pull beer from the taps. It was a wonderful gig. We were high all of the time. I was making enough to cover my expenses and keep me on the far side of the moon. Things with Tessa and I had changed, at least that's what she told me. She was upset over my jaunt to Copenhagen with Trush, and felt that she just couldn't trust me. It didn't matter, really, we were still sleeping together, and so were Tessa and Trush. The three of us continued to share my single room on the top floor of the Hotel Cok. There was an endless supply of psilocybin, peyote, and acid, and I somehow became quite a fan of Van Gogh. When Tessa worked, Trush & I spent hours at the Van Gogh Museum, not far from the hotel, lost in the madness I saw in the paintings. When we returned to our room, Tessa would be waiting with mushroom tea, and peyote buttons. It is interesting, I think, that I don't remember eating much during this time.
That night we all went out to catch a screening of Rosemary's Baby at the Cinecenter. While waiting in line, we met 2 American soldiers. They were stationed in Germany, and were on leave. They asked for directions to the Red Light District, and inquired if we had any drugs. Julian provided both directions and a couple of hits of hits to the men in uniform. In the theatre, Tessa had a difficult time dealing with the movie. It was freaking her out. She had been raised a Protestant, and the references to the devil were unbearably frightening. I was sure the the grab bag of hallucinogenics we had taken, did little to calm her down. She was experiencing a bad trip, so I took her outside, and we sat on a bench outside of the theatre, where we waited for Trush and Julian. I held her tightly, while I watched the flying monkeys circle the Melkweg, which was just down the road. "Good thing we didn't go there tonight." I thought. She was getting cold, so I took her back to our room, put her into bed, and lay down beside her. Trush returned a short time later, and informed us that she saw those 2 American GI Joes whom we had met earlier get arrested for refusing to pay one of the prostitutes for services rendered. It seems that they objected to the fact that she made them cum too fast. In her defense, which she shared with the Police, how is that her problem? As she was hired to provide a service, and not contracted for any specific length of time, she met her obligation and they were obligated to meet theirs. Days later, Julian told us that they had involved the American Consulate, who arranged for all charges to be dropped, and the 2 men were returned to their base in Germany for disciplinary hearings. Furlough cancelled.
I began to wonder about my reason for coming to Amsterdam. I had set out on a journey of discovery, and while I did learn much about myself, I was now thinking that I may really need to find a place for recovery, It felt like it was time to move on. It had been one hell of a party, with an insanely wonderful guest list. I doubted that I would ever be as close to anyone as I was to Julian, Tessa, and Trush.
Julian stayed on at The Hotel Cok, acting as bartender, drug dealer, and companion to many tourists for many years to follow. I stayed in touch with him for several years, but then, as it inevitably happens, we lost contact with each other. Trush left Amsterdam before I did. She went fully clothed, and rumor had it that she had returned to her husband in Odesne, long enough to relieve him of some of his money, and headed out to The United States to begin a career as an actress. I suspect that she would have wound up in porn, as that seemed to play directly into her skill set. And Tessa, well I guess I realized that I was never really in love with her. I cared for her, but it was just about the sex. She must have realized it too, and she moved on, finding employment at an upscale, 5 star hotel as a hostess. We wrote letters back and forth for a while, but I suppose neither one of us really gave a damn anymore.
And me, well, my own memory, which I was pretty sure I would have lost in the course of my journeys through time and space was not to be trusted, and I was forever glad that I had written it all down in the notebook I carried, recording it for posterity. I left Amsterdam, content, tired, and totally wasted, still searching for whatever I would find.
Mr. Lewis & The Garden Gnomes