September 08, 2013

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There was no good leaving as persuasive a character as Mickey inside the California branch of the creed and clan that is found in Auroville. I’ve seen enough to know that A-ville is not for me and not for Mickey, either. It was imperative, therefore, that we get him out of this particular entrance to the New Dawn religion. This is how it played out:


I dip down into the bushes and move along to a window. I peer in to see:


Fifteen MEN and WOMEN are rolling around on the floor, banging their fists on judo mats and HOWLING like newborn babies. No sign of Mickey here, however. The INSTRUCTOR, who looks like Matt Damon, only wearing a Lacoste shirt tightly buttoned up all the way to his Adam’s apple, spots something at the window.


I drop back down and continue shimmying along the wall. I see a half-open window (but it’s an exposed section of the wall) and two MALE ORDERLIES, security-company badges on their chests, are standing sentry on the spot.

I go for it, making a dash. Then I falter, hesitate, and retreat. The orderlies keep turning around, scanning this way and that. I pretend I’m a resident, just talking to myself on my break. No big deal.

That second, the orderlies’ radios CRACKLE with VOICES. They sprint off to a nearby tree.

One of them bounds up the trunk and seconds later pulls down the leg of a Brazilian PAPARAZZO (22) who’s holding an impossibly long zoom lens. The two orderlies set about roughing him up.

I see my chance. I struggle in through an open window and fall into:


Head first, ungainly, I tumble directly into the cubicle. I pick myself up, FLUSH, then stride confidently out past three curious URINATORS (mid-40s). Two of them stare at me but dare not question”€”they have enough shit of their own to deal with, I guess. A third pretends focuses on a spot on the wall instead. I’d recommend Finasteride 5MGs for all three of them.


I step out into the corridor and attempt to blend in with the PATIENTS, ORDERLIES, AND DOCTORS while sneaking glances through the doors and windows of various therapy rooms. I come to a door, the sign outside which reads: 12 STEP GROUP. 1PM-2PM.

I peer in. And there, seated among the rows of men and women, is Mickey!

He’s listening intently, it would seem. I chuckle to myself, vindicated. What a stroke of genius. What better place to hide, where better to escape, than a cult?

Discreetly, I open the door into:


Up front, a wizened DUDE (45) with a goatee is talking. He’s an old hand at this stuff. I slide into a back-row seat.

…so what was the consequence? I wind up in a real mess, that’s what, baby! Hell, I told myself: I only did drugs two times! Daytime. And nighttime.

People laugh, CLAP. This is an easy audience. Lost souls, most of them are simply amazed they are still alive. God is in the house. The laughs are a welcome extra and Mickey claps for the speaker as enthusiastically as them all.

That’s all I got for now, people. Be cool. Thanks.

APPLAUSE. Dude sits down. From the front row, the GROUP LEADER (33), conspicuously well-dressed compared to the group”€”like he has a lot of disposable income”€”stands up to address the room:

Anyone else like to share with us today?

I hesitate. Then I put my arm up…

Well, Gato, it may not be a surprise to you, but it sure as hell was for Mickey. I have to leave you here. I’m going to meet a guy about a Hawaiian driver’s license. (I lost mine.) He’s doing them for a hundred bucks, only with a six-month expiry date. It’s long enough for my needs.

I’ll hit you back next week and tell you exactly what went down in the New Dawn center. It’s some kind of Fear and Loathing in Rehab. But what are you gonna do? Leave a friend in a time of need?





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