Pre-amble. Are you wearing that bra with all the padding again?
Thanks for the beer, mate.
Is she rolling, Johnny? Well, we heard some of what Belle remembers about Bartooth; now it’s my turn. One time we were in this big toilet room in a cinema. He was taking a leak, and he shouts over to me, “Heron, come and take a look at this one!” There was this short, clean-cut guy in a suit and tie, standing next to Simon at the urinal. Simon gave him a big grin, and said in a buddy-buddy voice, “Gidday, mate.”
The executive type fired a suspicious sideways glance at Simon, then looked at the wall. He muttered in a low, quiet voice, “Hello.”
Simon acted very enthusiastic. “God, for a short dude… Hey Heron, you gotta look at this guy’s dick.” Simon held his hands about half a metre apart. “For a little guy, he’s got the biggest almighty dick you’d ever want to see!”
I didn’t get to peek; the guy was really fast – fast at shakin’ off the after-piddle dribbles, and stickin’ it away out of sight.
I knew Bartooth only for about nine years, them outrageous hippy years. At that time, “outrageous” was a high compliment, like “far out”, “wild”, “too much”, “off the edge”. “Outrageous” was one of Bartooth’s favorite words. And if you look up in the Funky Wanker dictionary the definition of “outrageous”, it only has one word: Bartooth.
As you have requested, I am about to relate to you… the Tales of Bartooth. (Though when the stories start he was called Simon Bishop, same as what’s on his birth certificate.)
Simon liked to get high. He tried lots of ways to get high, and his story must needs be the story of a quest – the quest for transcendence, the quest for a state of continual tranquility and clarity of mind, in all things, at all times. That was his goal – but he sure had some weird ways to walk that road.
For Simon, eliciting a laugh was the top priority. When he meditated, he used to chuckle secretly to himself sometimes, and I’d open one eye to check him out. I knew he’d just come up with something that he’d spring on some unsuspecting person later, at the perfect moment.
Being a hippy meant a lot of things, but first of all, it was fun.
Simon had this way of finding everything exciting. Like a five-year-old. We’d be walking past a playground, and he’d shout out “Swings!”, then run over and jump on a swing and start swaying away like he’d never done it before. Then he’d shout, “Look at me, Heron! Look at me!”
So I mutter, “Oh, gawd!”
And he shouts, “I’m swinging! I’m swinging!”
I sit down and look at the clouds or something, trying to ignore him. A minute later he yells out again, “Look at me, Heron!”
So I say, “Are you swinging?”
And Simon shouts, “I’m swinging! I’m swinging!”
Up the road from the ranch on Granite Creek there used to be this awesome rope-swing. When Simon found that, you’d think he’d just discovered Montezuma’s gold mines. He spent about half an hour on it, taking turns with the neighbourhood kids, swinging back and forth across this gully, about 10 metres above the creek. Screaming like Tarzan as he swung. The kids all laughed when Simon had his turn.
When we worked together in the hospital and we were riding in an elevator with other people, and it was very silent, you know?... he’d stage whisper to me, “Where did you put the bodies?”, or “How can you live with yourself? How can you sleep at night?”, or “Are you wearing that bra with all the padding again?”, or something like that which some people might consider embarrassing. Me, for instance.
One time after he’d embarrassed me (again), I asked Simon, “Aren’t you ever concerned about what other people think of you?”
He pulled out one of those tiny slips of paper that you get in a fortune cookie. It said, “You wouldn’t care what people thought of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
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