Triumph, the failed experiment
I went through a festival phase, I admit. I had grown weary of feeling alone within a community and so I sought out experimental sub cultures that met briefly in strange, barren parts of the world to see just how weird and free things can get. Some of the first people I met a were young couple at a mobile bar. They gave me some kind of mystery pill.
“Take it at sundown and meet us back at our camp,” she said.
I’ve never really been one for swinging (and who knows what they really wanted), but at 20, in an experimental and bizarre place, I thought, why the hell not? Try everything at least once, right?
So I took the pill at sunset and went to their camp. But they were nowhere to be found and I was suddenly feeling very alone and uncomfortably high—that awful, not-quite-loaded-enough feeling that I’ve dubbed “the dreaded underdose.” I walked back to my camp and attempted to drown the feeling with piping hot Old Crowe, but it only kind of worked. Rather than sit still with my thoughts, I decided to go out and find some distractions.
This is how I met Triumph, the pixie lesbian.
I doubt “Triumph” was her given name but everyone out there went by nicknames. It’s part of reinventing yourself in a temporary community so as to cut through the layers of ego one has associated with the default world, thus unearthing a truer self that’s detached from the trappings and disciplines we typically live by. For reasons I cannot recall, everyone out there called me “O Captain My Captain.” It may be a bunch of new-agey crap, but I suppose anything we attach meaning to will have its own sort of power, regardless of the bullshit factor.
Anyway, Triumph, the pixie lesbian, was 16 years my senior and I looked like a guy who burned her bad when she was 20. At least that’s what I figure. A woman who hasn’t been with a man for that long doesn’t go after him because of his looks or personality; no, she was working out her demons on me. People are funny that way. And you know, far be it from me to throw a monkey wrench in someone else’s ass-backward exorcism of their past’s ghosts.
Next thing I knew, we were rolling about in the dust, sloppily mashing our drugaddled bodies together. She bit my lip so hard it began to bleed and she kept trying to roll me over on my stomach. It was more of a wrestling match than a sharing of passions. As sunrise neared, we went back to her camp and crashed, spooning outside her tent.
I awoke to her girlfriend kicking me with steel-toed boots in my ribs, rattling off a litany of insults and threats at Triumph.
Part of me felt I should stick around to defend Triumph, but I thought better of it. There’s nothing more foolish than getting in the middle of a lovers’ quarrel—especially when they’re both women.
I hobbled back to my camp in shame as the sun poked above the horizon, doubled over from the throbbing in my ribcage.
“O Captain My Captain!” a camp mate yelled. “You find what you were looking for last night?”
“No,” I said. “Got shipwrecked by a bull dyke.”
“Groovy,” he said.
I’m not sure he knew what he meant by that, let alone me.
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