THE LOWER EAST SIDE OF NYC: Me and my Harley “Sally The Bitch” in 1969.
DISCLAIMER Parts of this memoir are fictitious, although the people mentioned are real, as are the locations mentioned, as well as some of the events.
It was a clear and hot night in the East Village of NYC. A night punctuated, by the starkly loud blasts of Harley motors. Straight pipes bellowed….“BRRRAAAACKAAAAaaaaaa!”….as the motors fired up, hot and bothered and rarin’ to go!
Moments before the two Harley mills fired up, the two bikers discussed the ride they were about to take. I was one of the bikers. The other was Arthur “Steppenwolf” Sellers. I was an “independent,” which in biker subculture jargon meant, that I belonged to no motorcycle club.
Arthur is an interesting guy. A hardened One Percenter, Arthur was a member of the Rat Pack MC, although he had previously left the Pagans MC to wind up with the Rat Pack MC. He was also an aspiring actor, and later became a successful Hollywood screen writer.
At midnight, Arthur and I talked about riding up to The Cloisters. The Cloisters is a park which houses a museum in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan, that is mere minutes away from the Upstate New York border, which features European medieval architecture, a beautiful place.
Specifically, it was a beautiful place to smoke weed and drop acid, on a moonlit summer night. Which is exactly what Arthur and I aimed to do.
I had a pocket full of joints and Orange Sunshine LSD. Arthur and I stood on the right side of our bikes—Arthur on his Harley Panhead and me on my Harley Sportster—and kicked over our bikes
We peeled away from Arthur’s crib on East Sixth Street between First and Second Avenues, and headed west toward the West Side Highway, which led up to the Henry Hudson Parkway. Our bikes sounded and ran great!
We arrived at The Cloisters after 1:00 AM, well after The Cloisters closed for the night. We rode into The Cloisters and parked our bikes by some foliage, and went walking around. After a peaceful few minutes of partaking of the herb, a cop surprised us by materializing in front of us…..
“What are you guys doing here? Don’t ya know the park is closed? I saw your bikes over there. Why do you wear that wrench on your belt?”…..he asked Arthur. Arthur had a 12 inch crescent wrench hanging from his belt.
“Why officer,” Arthur said, “I use it to make repairs on my bike on the road…”
The truth was, that Arthur used the hefty wrench as as bludgeon, better to calm irritated adversaries down, in exigent circumstances. While Arthur was giving his threadbare explanation to the constable, I reached into my pocket and dropped some dimes and quarters on the ground. As I reached down to ostensibly pick up my change with my back to the cop, I reached into my other pocket and threw the marijuana and acid tabs under the nearby bushes.
Later on, after the cop stopped hassling us, I said to Arthur, “Do ya think he saw me dropping the drugs?”
Arthur replied, “I don’t know, but maybe you can visit that fortune teller on Second Avenue, to see what places we should stay away from, to avoid The man!”
I said “Yeah, maybe I will.”
And so I did. The next day, I approached the Romani (commonly known as “Gypsy”) storefront on Second Avenue and Third Street. The window had a large hand with a question mark centered on the palm. Cheesy but effective.
The Gypsy storefront on Second Avenue.
I knocked on the door. A moment later, I heard the turning of lock tumblers, and then the door glided open on hinges lubricated with 3 In One oil—I could smell it. I also smelled the musky smell of the store, intermingled with the odor of cheap incense, that was probably purchased from the psychedelic store down the block.
The proprietor, the fortune teller I presumed, was a handsome woman in her sixties, who had a comforting and warm countenance. She said…..
“Come in my son, what brings you here?”
I explained that I wanted to have some idea of what would happen in my near future. She said reassuringly, that I came to the right place. We sat down to a table, with a large clear orb in the middle. The crass and skeptical, might call this a crystal ball.
We sat in silence for a few moments. The Romani fortune teller squinted her eyes, and gazed intently into her crystal orb. Then she said enigmatically…..
“Pardon me, but you know what a ‘Twin Flame’ is?”
I replied that I did not. Not a clue. What was that, a two burner stove (“hob” in England)? She then said….
“My son, you will have to wait almost five decades to solve that mystery. Some mysteries of the cosmos require self-discovery, and defy prognostication. But I can tell you this much. I see the birth of a child, a beautiful blonde child, in about a month from now. Her name will be….Lucy…no…it will be Lesley. But she will be known by her sparkling, twinkling personality. Her nickname as a matter of fact, will be ‘Twinkle.’ She will be born in England a month from now.You and this child have known each other before, in past lives. You have loved each other, like no others. You and this girl child, wear the Sign of The Bear. Remember this my son, and go forth in your life…”
I left the fortune teller, intrigued but bewildered. Isn’t that the human condition?
I love you, Twinkldebear Lesley Maclean
Forever and a day
Twin Flames, Podmates always
Bear Pact Forever!
12 12 12 in every way
SCOTT “SOOKYBEAR” WONG