I Can’t Wake Up…2

…The jobs just seemed to come our way: by chance, by rote, or by sheer luck, perhaps madness, although Timmy could really put on the charm. One homeowner, happy with the job we did for him, owned a strip mall in the local area. Would we be willing to take that on? You bet. And on and on she went. Just like that. All the customers that we landed wanted us to come back regularly, say every four to six months. Before long and by word of mouth we had quite the catalogue of clients, our own body of work.

We were working, making money, growing. We would leave our digs every morning around 7am, drive down 4th Avenue by the local am radio station and the Last Chance Saloon, a favourite hangout for the local hippy clientele. I always wondered how they stayed in business for most hippies I came across were always broke, panhandling, begging for loose change. One of my future naval colleagues, he himself a hippy at the time, used to sell pencils in the downtown core of this same west coast city. He was pure Officer material for sure.

Yet here they were hanging out at their Last Chance Saloon, appropriately chilling out in their drug induced Purple Haze of life. The real stoners would crash on the front lawn and terraces of the radio station, which was adjacent to the Saloon, which fronted 4th Avenue. We would pass them every morning on our way to the north shore, stoned, crashed, bellies up toward the heavens, like sea lions on the rocks except there was no squawking, no squealing, no cawing from this crowd as they appeared to be comatose. On our way back to our flat from a hard days work these same stoners, these same dudes, these same mans, were still laid out across the green expanse of the radio station. “Hey man, what a life man. Want a toke?” Good gawd. And if they were really bored or stoned they could go up one block, turn left, walk about a half mile and crash at the local Kool-Aid. Man, what life has to offer to a stoner: from Kool-Aid to the Last Chance Saloon. “What a trip man, dude, toker…yeah smokin dude!” And if they were really, really lucky they could catch up on the morning’s children’s show at the Kool Aid, and tune into the show sponsored by the letter “M:” “yeah man, cool man, hey man, what’s happenin man, chilling dude. No man, the letter “D” doesn’t come on til tomorrow man. Far out!…