Warning! The following story is as true as I am capable of telling it. It is not for the squeamish, the zealously pious, or those with easily bruised moral sensibilities. Also, it should be mentioned, that I am not now, nor was I ever, a Devil worshipper. That being said
I was born in South Laguna, California, on June 9th 1968. My parents were hippies and traveled around like the feather that floated through "Forest Gump". My mom actually lived in a hollow redwood tree in Big Sur for a while when my sister and I were really little. She even had mail delivered there.
A litter of puppies in a garage in Aptos California. That is the earliest memory that I have of my life. It seems all blurry like something that was filmed through one of those soft lenses. I was four years old.
After that I remember taking a mouthful of gasoline from an apple juice bottle that was stored in a shed on the side of our house. I also recall picking wild chamomile so my mom could make me some tea to get rid of the taste. I think I was five. A friend of my parents, named Del, had six nipples like a dog. He was there that day.
There was a bright white-blue flash and the eventual smell of ozone that was produced when a squirrel that I had been observing got fried while running across a power line. We were in the parking lot of a restaurant called "Mother's" in Oregon. I remember that pretty vividly.
Later that same year I got bitten above my right eye by a standard poodle. The beast had been cordoned off, in a play pen, but I just had to pet the nice doggy. I Don't know if that was California or Oregon. I got a small scar from the incident.
It was 1973 when we moved to Hawaii. My parents rented a tiny little house in a very small town called Laupahoehoe. It was pretty much completely isolated within a few acres of cow pastures bordered by sheer cliffs that dropped straight down, hundreds of feet, to the beaches below. The abundant, wall climbing, native geckos were probably the coolest thing I had ever seen at that point in my life.
One day, while attending school, I either fell or was pushed off of a slide in the schoolyard. I landed on a rusty old chair frame that had been sitting next to the slide. I cut my eyebrow open in the same place that the dog had bitten me before. This time it required eight stitches.
Hawaii was freakin awesome. I even got to meet the musical duo "Seals and Croft" at a party that I attended with my father. Somehow or other my dad also had become acquainted with Tom Morey of Morey Body Boards. He also lived on the big island at that time. I remember going to his house and seeing my first Boogie Board.
We lived in Laupahoehoe for around
two years. I don't know why we left. In 1976 we returned to
California and moved in with my maternal grandparents. Grandma
and Grandpa Carey were as close to being perfect humans as is
possible. They may have had a couple of uneducated preconceptions
about some things but by and large they were the kindest,
gentlest, most loving, people I've yet to encounter.
I used to go out and catch lizards and snakes in the rolling hills that once lain between Laguna Niguel and Dana Point. I would go exploring for hours on end. It was really beautiful out there before all the housing was constructed.
My grandpa had a boat and we used
to go fishing a lot. Nothing fancy mind you but a heck of a lot
of fun. Of course that was when the fishing was still pretty good
off the California coast. nothing ever made me feel so special as
driving that boat.
When I was twelve years old I went to europe with my folks to visit some of my dad's family. For two weeks we toured around Germany, France, and Austria. I got to see Versailles, The Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and lots of other old castles and churches.
I was particularly touched by the art in the Louvre. I actually got to see the Mona Lisa, a few Van Gogh's, Rembrandt's, etc. etc. up close and personal. Truly a collection of masterpieces like no other on earth.
Germany was really cool also. I was twelve and I bought beer and girly magazines in a store. At the time I thought that was the pinnacle of all things groovy.
In Germany at that time there were cigarette machines on the sidewalks in residential neighborhoods and beer vending machines in the offices of the newspaper where my uncle worked. The day that we left Germany I got bitten on the inside of my left elbow by my uncle Dieter's leg humping dachshund "Vasel". Another little scar.
We returned to the U.S. and the condo my parents had purchased in San Juan Capistrano. We lived in the "goldenrod ghetto" about a quarter mile north of the San Juan Mission. It was here that I learned to smoke, take drugs, drink, steal, and play guitar while my parents were busy learning linguistics and psychology `
My fourth grade "teacher" at San Juan Elementary was named Mr. Johnson. He was a horror of a human being. He used to break yardsticks over kids backs, tell students to spit on other students, and throw things around the class. He once actually threw my desk at me in front of the classroom. Fortunately for me he missed.
That was pretty much it for a while. Nothing of particular interest happened for a couple of years. Till my mom caught me with a couple of joints that I had bought at school. It was right at the end of my eighth grade year.
Two weeks left of junior high school and my mom calls the principal. She gave him all the information that I had foolishly given her. There was a big bust on campus the next day and a few suspensions were handed out. I entered high school the following season with everyone thinking that I was a snitch.
I wouldn't go to classes at all. I think I probably attended two woodshop classes in my first three months of high school. It was awful.
My parents, striving to be bastions of moral fortitude, came up with the idea of accompanying me to school in order to ensure my attendance. Both my father and my mother, on two separate occasions, followed me from class to class and monitored my activities from a desk immediately behind mine. After those two days I never attended another day of high school if I wasn't compelled to do so by incarceration.
I was permanently expelled from Capo Valley High after one semester. C'est la vie. I was much better suited to the new school anyway. No one at Serra Continuation thought I was a rat. This is when I had an epiphany that would navigate my destiny me for the rest of my life.
I was an artist damn it. That's why all of the special classes for smart kids had failed. I was bored. I needed to be creative. I figured I'd start by recreating myself. In retrospect I suppose I may have trudged forth just a wee bit overenthusiastically. I started experimenting with painting, sculpting, poetry, music, psychedelics, origami, and performance art. I couldn't get enough... I was never good enough either.
I felt absolutely desperate to succeed. I needed to be wanted. I wanted to be loved. I wasn't good enough to be loved for who I was so I had to become someone else.