The Circus

Broadstreet as that time in our lives came to be known, started with a party. In point of fact Broadstreet was a party, the biggest, longest, most bodacious party I’ve ever experienced in my life.

But that first soiree that was just a nice little affair. Maybe because most of those in attendance were female. Shorty was there, of course, alongside Fishetti. And his pretty young cousin Flynn, from New York, was there with a girlfriend, as was out prospective roommate Squirrel, though her guest’s identity now totally eludes me. It might have been all the beer and wine we drank. It certainly wasn’t anything else. Out of deference to his realative, our host had foresworn any controlled substances. We had more than a good enough time anyway; laughing talking listenig to music and drinking profusely.

Sometime well after midnight I decided that I would have to leave, as our rooms weren’t ready for occupancy yet and if I stayed any longer I’d lose the ability to walk back to Mary’s. Tim, however was too far gone for even perambulation. My final image from that first party is of him crawling blindly down the hall to collapse on a heap of rags in the corner of his room.

Later on that week I got a call from Fishetti.

“Hey man, what’s happening?” “Well, we got the house cleaned up enough so you guys can come in whenever you’re ready.” “‘You guys’? You mean me and Squirrel?” “No, That didn’t work out. But I found somebody else even cooler, this guy from the City. He’s a student like us, on the GI Bill. A real freak too, you’ll dig him. He’s coming up Friday. Says he’ll bring something special for the housewarming.” “Another party? Right on! I guess I’ll move in on Friday, too.” “Okay man, see you then.”

Mary dropped me and my few possessions off late that afternoon. The house was indeed very clean (and freshly painted) though it now seemed cavernous from a lack of furnishings. The three of us decided to smoke a joint and drink a few beers before getting to the tasks at hand.

“So who is this guy, Eddy?” “His name’s Jeff. He’s from Yonkers. Sort of looks like Jesus.” “Far out. You meet him, Tim?” “Uh-uh. But I’ll tke Fishetti’s word for it.” “He’s cool, CB. Just got back from California. Hey, you’ll like this, he used to be in the Air Force too.” “All right, now us Zoomies will be in the majority. Does this mean that we won’t have to listen to any more war stories about Ground Pounders and Squids?” “Fuck you,” chucled Ti and passed me the roach, whick I promptly hit had. “And my horse, too? So which room does he want. I’m flexible.” “Say’s he’ll take the little one next to Tim’s,” grunted Eddy, holding down the last toke. “So I get the big room and the balcony? I can feature that!” “Be careful on that balcony, man. The wood’s rotted and I don’t think its safe.”

We went to work on getting our quarters squared away. I found a mattress and bed frame in the attic that I assembled and installed in my new, very large, very empty room.

The downstairs rooms were another matter. Eddy’s odd assemblage of pots, pans, dishs and utensils were in the kitchen and a small picnic table with two benches was placed off center in the dining room. So, we could at least eat with something resembling normalcy. But the living room was not yet livable. We noticed right away that, while the French doors looked classy, unless they were left wide open it just got too damn cold in there, even with the wall to wall carpeting covering the un-insulated hardwood floor. Another found mattress, a big one, folded up 90 degrees against the blank wall and covered with an India print, formed a couch ut the only other thing in the room was a small floor lamp. Clearly the night’s festivities would be held in Fishetti’s room. Again.

We were there, just lighting up our last number, when we heard our fourth party come in the front door and up the stairs. With wavy black hair down past his shoulders and a wispy, young man’s beard, he did look like Jesus, with maybe a little Cat Stevens thrown in to soften the image. He work a freak’s standard winter-issue; jeans, a sweater and a jean jacket.

“Hey Jeff,” Fishetti yelled, “smoke this!” “Let me throw my shit in the room,” he responded with a beatific smile, “and I’ll be right there.”

He came bck wiping the fog from his aviator style glasses and sat down, cross legged, next to me and Tim on the carpeted floor. Eddy sat nearby and slightly above us on his floored-mattress, like the groovy guru that he was.

“Here,” he said, passing the nice Camel-size joint to our new roommate. “Enjoy it. That’s our last one.”

Jeff took a gigantic hit, held it, then reached inside his lamb’s wool lined jacket.

“No its not,” he replied through clenched teeth and flipped a huge baggie of weed onto the carpet between us.

Tim an I threw a couple of sidelong glances at each other. There had to be nearly a quarter of a pound in that bag.

“Go ahead, roll up some doobies,” he said exhaling. Then with a sweetlysly, sarcastic smile he suggested, “make ‘em big ones too. I like pin joints as much as the next guy but this is a party, right?”

Tim and I didn’t need to hear any more and pounced on the pot like rabid wolves. It looked and smelled better than the stuff we’d just run out of, deep green with flecks of light brown. There was a sharp, piney tinge to the earthy aroma that instantly told me its origin.

“What is that?” I asked, passing the bag to Tim. “I mean, I know it’s Mexican and it’s not Gold but it sort of smells like it.” “Zacatecas, I think.” said Jeff. “Almost as good as Gold but nowhere as good as Oaxacan. You seem to know your grass.”

Stay tuned for more adventures from the Flying Circus…coming soon