wonder • wander
a collection of thoughts, musings, and milestones
THE SPARKLE CHRONICLES
Hey, Sparkle, remember when we shared that apartment in Greenwich Village, back in the early 60s? And remember how we used to buy a “dime bag” of marijuana from Shawn Phillips but it was really a nickel bag because Shawn, the cute and talented twelve-string guitarist, always kept half for himself?
And remember the afternoon we hung out with Shawn and his famous friend Barry McGuire at the Hotel Earle, near Washington Square and smoked pot and Barry surprised us one afternoon (or was it night?) by snapping amyl nitrate capsules under our noses?
For the first time? Remember?
Days later (I’ll never forget) you and I went to the pharmacy on Sixth Avenue and bought tampons and then pretended like, “Ooops! we almost forgot--your grandmother asked us to buy something for her heart palpitations!”
“What was it? Amyal? Ameryl? Nite something, nite, nitrous? Oh, yeah, amyl nitrate! Yeah.”
And the pharmacist sold us a whole tin of it. For your non-existent grandmother. And we popped one ampule while we were walking back to our apartment and started laughing uncontrollably and fell down on the sidewalk. That was hysterical! Remember? Remember all of that? Did we--for even a minute--stop to think how stupid it was? No, we did not. Was it dangerous? Yes, extremely dangerous. Did we care?
Oh, and remember when we used to go uptown to buy cocaine from Ray, the impeccably dressed, exceedingly classy, and mysterious black pimp who had a brace of white Afghan hounds? And remember how we joked that he didn’t know how to pronounce his own last name? Prochez? Pershay? Pacher? Preshee? Did we think we were invincible? We did. Were we? It seems that we were back then, way back then.
When did the invincibility charm of wild youth wear off, Sparkle? When did the magic protection spell expire? When did the charm of stardom turn into the sudden and jarring alarm of has-been-ism? Is this pain and discomfort felt by two perpetual wannabes better or worse than the pain of becoming a “has been”? And is that more or less painful than living life as a “never was”? We weren’t “neverwases” were we?
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Wonder & Wander
A collection of thoughts, musings, and milestones from author, wonderer, and wanderer, Linda Durham.
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Linda Durham is a human rights advocate, adventurer, author of Still Moving, The Trans-Siberian Railway Journey, An Art and Friendship Project, and a Sixties Manhattan Playboy Bunny. She is the founder and director of Santa Fe's Wonder Institute, which sponsors art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and salons focused on discovering and implementing creative solutions to contemporary social and cultural issues. For more than three decades, Durham promoted New Mexico-based artists as the hands-on owner of contemporary art galleries in Santa Fe and New York.