I walk out of this little coffee shop in Linda Mar where I catch the bus to BART- the second leg of my bike, bus & train commute. The asian expat proprietor has a rack of silly little stuffed animals and one of them is voice activated to do this thing where it says "I love you" and then breaks into peals of giggling chipmunky laughter. For some reason I always think of my old friend J.G. at this point. I just know he'd have some darkly humorous wisecrack to offer; something along the lines of what he said a couple of decades ago at a Dead concert while surveying the happy swirling hippies enjoying the show. "If we were in Russia these people would be landfill."
Maybe not, though. I'm afraid J.G. doesn't have the sense of humor he had back then. A lot has happened over the years since those crazy days in Boulder in the early eighties when we used to have rambling philosophical discussions over Tooth Sheaf lager. We formed a band, my first, and J.G. taught me to play the bass. A year later it all came tumbling to pieces and I became his enemy along with the lead singer of the band when we found we couldn't work with him any more. He kept threatening to quit and go to law school so we ended up helping him take the plunge.Things didn't go so well for him after that and it seems he never found it in his heart to forgive us for cutting him loose. It's a shame really, because the guy had a huge brain and considerable artistic talent. He was a primary character in the mad assemblage that formed the core of our young adult lives while we struggled to try and make sense of the world and all it had to offer. Another strong memory of J.G. is when he served as my sober guide (yes, really) on the occasion of an astounding mystical experience I had in the Rockies while skiing, a day I honored for years as Cubensis Day. I considered him a good friend, and in some ways I still do.
Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be reciprocated. He's been barred from posting here due to a pattern of hostility and abuse of fellow posters. I gave him a few chances to reform, but he kept reverting to form. He also seemed to have a chilling effect on discourse which I found I'd rather do without. I'm not giving him any more chances to join the fun here, but I do still feel bad about it. One reason is that he really hasn't gone away. He seems to never miss a word that's posted here and usually responds with vicious, hate-filled diatribes that get no farther than the moderation queue. I find myself drawn to reading these for some strange reason, though the frequent insults and claims of Stalinist censorship, etc. have little effect on me. I enjoy them as entertainment, though sometimes I feel bad when I realize there's genuine pain there and wish I could do something for him.
I will do one thing, which is to refer readers to J.G.'s blog, Contingencies, where he writes voluminously and often lucidly. The man can obviously think, and he does have a perspective that I sometimes find useful, though I seldom agree with. He also tends to behave himself much better on his own blog, so I may even engage him in conversation there if I ever find it fruitful and if he doesn't return the favor of banning me.