All Talk RadioCarlos Amantea
Who cares for freedom...
I do not want wealth or even health;
I do not want beauty
I do not want intellect:
Let me be born again and again,
Amid all the evils of the world;
I will not complain, but let me love thee,
And that for love's sake.--- Hindu Love SongDriving with Ernest is like having All Talk Radio going throughout the day and much of the night. He rambles on endlessly about the surroundings, the thoughts that wamble through his brain, his ideas, his history, his experiences. He is enraptured by a half sunken fishing boat in the lagoon near Alvarado. He wants to make a movie there with the boat as the central character; or he has already made a movie there; or he has already scripted such a movie there, or has merely been thinking about making a movie there --- one can never be too sure.
While this monologue is going on, there are the accompanying commercial breaks. Women are Ernest's soul and life and heart. It makes no difference --- age, race, distinguishing marks, social rank, dimensions, or redeeming natural features: there are women he danced with, in the moonlight, "moonbeam" dancing; those with waist-length hair, hair he has loved (and combed)(and kissed); there are those who have those special breasts --- very very special, of a special luscious quality, great black casaba melons (one was black: Ernest is not only omnivorous but omniracial in his loves). There was the girl that wanted to marry him, everything was set, mother, father, all at the ready: then Ernest disappeared. With another woman.
The women the women the women: the ones from Russia, from France, from California. The woman who reads, the one who sews, the eighty-year old woman who plays the sax and dances the Twist; the one who sang all day, the one who cried all night --- all of them passing like tea (Constant Comment) with us in our march through Central Mexico, all of them described in all too tender awe. He loves the way they walk, the way they move, the way they grow, they way they think, are, see, grow old, love, laugh, die. They are to be taken to the beach, buried in the sand, then pulled from their warm graves and plunged into colorful warm oceans --- nixies in the sweet soft waters of the sweet soft sea.
Ernest is a Don Juan in the best sense --- he loves women because they are there to be loved. I regret that I did not fit the car with microphone and cassette, for our conversations, suitably transcribed, would go down as the Boswell-Johnson dialogues of the 18th, or the Miller-Durrell exchanges of the 20th, Century.
§ § §
After we arrive home, Ernest makes cheese quesadillas for lunch while he tells me about another of the books he is writing. I count twenty books in the oven as of today, on subjects as wide-ranging as Eastern love, right wing politics, and (what else?) women. "I'm going to put that bit about ants and roaches in my book on War and Tantra," he tells me. "Or maybe it'll be part of my book on Sex and Kali." I have this vision of Ernest's house (another trailer, on fifty acres near the central California coast) filled with half-eaten manuscripts in various stages of decay. He tells me about his various how-to-do-it books, essays, novels, screen plays, Broadway shows, and a modern opera --- in the mode of Gian Carlo Menotti. It's about crossing the border, and is called Exposito. The hero (Manual Labor) with his lady (Rachael Prejudice) confounds a bunch of villainous coyotes --- border smugglers --- then saves a village of migrant laborers from the depredations of a certain Sheriff Raul Diehl.
Ernest also claims he is working on a movie about three surfers --- dope smugglers all --- abandoned by an evil connection, in the middle of the Pacific, on their surfboards, thousands of miles from land. At the moment of ultimate despair, Jesus comes down to them on a Boogie Board, turns the waves magenta and gold and silver, and saves them from certain doom.
Ernest, when he isn't making movies and operas (and quesadillas), is into something called Ouroboros Breathing. He doesn't spell the word for me, to write in here, because
"You always twist my words around to say what you want them to say," he says. "It's called New Journalism," I tell him. "I take people's old-hat ideas and turn them into high art. You should be honored. Look at Tom Wolfe."
- he can't spell; and
- he suspects I will describe it all wrong, fucking up his karma.
Ouroboros Breathing, which he learned from Oscar Ichazo, when he was making a movie about him, or thinking about making a movie about him, or refusing to make a movie about him, he finally explains, calls for one to put the tongue up against the back palate (or uterus.) You then force air in and out of the nose --- going "snew, snew" (or "snee, snee"); from thence, you send energy jolts (or joules) up into and through the brain, down to and around the coccyx, and at the same time visualize a pair of snakes winding about the spinal column, through each of the chakras. "You're safe," I tell him. "I couldn't write about Ouroboros Breathing because I can't make head nor tail of your description of it. Besides, it makes me sick to my chakras to even think about it."
Ernest collects plants, such as the purple palm, the suffocating fig, the white ocotillo, and various exotic ferns (which if you but inhale the perfume of their lovely flowers, he says, will put you into psychedelic heaven for hours). Searching out these exotic seeds has taken him across Mexico and Guatemala on foot, boat, bus, trolly, ox-cart, motorcycle, donkey, wagon, DC3, and bicycle. While searching out seeds, he claims to have come across, and loved, many women of many ages, at various times and places, staying but one step ahead of irate fathers, policemen, mercenaries, revolutionaries, sons, uncles, brothers, and husbands, all with revenge in their hearts and murder in their eyes. He claims, however, another great lie, to love trees and botany far more than he does the ladies.
---from The Blob That Ate Oaxaca
©1994, Mho & Mho Works