They’re gone. My beloved moccasins that took me to many a Dead show. Gone. I’ve held onto them for years and finally decided the space they were holding was greater than they themselves at this point in my life. So I tossed them. I didn’t think to take a picture of them first, now I wish I had so I could share them here. All I have are my words to share of them. How many hours they waited on line with me to get the tickets, how many hours they faithfully held the pedal to the metal to make it to the show on time, how many steps they took to get me to my seat, how many thousands of beats they came down on when they made contact with the floor in step with the dance. The dance of my soul.
I loved those moccasins. Fur lined fringed ankle boots that are actually in style now. They weren’t in style then, in 1983. Far from it. That’s precisely why I loved them. Unique. Different. Fun. The only other person I knew who owned them too was my BFF. That was before everyone had BFF’s too. Before moccasins and BFF’s became trendy. We were moccasin wearing BFF’s long before anyone. She loved hers also. Those moccasins took us to Terrapin and back one-thousand times, through a thousand notes of a thousand songs.
Now “it’s all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.” The moccasins can’t take me back. Only my words can. To the days when we would “walk into splintered sunlight, inch our way through dead dreams to another land.”
We went truckin in style along Sea Cliff Avenue with our moccasins looking for an estimated prophet and found a friend of the devil instead. He showed us a fire on the mountain so we went dancin in the streets towards the promised land, planting scarlet begonias and sugar magnolias among the ramblin rose bushes. When the china cat sunflowers whispered “here comes sunshine,” we had a box of rain and we let it grow. We had ourselves a high time in the morning dew and the music never stopped. Often, she would take the wheel and I’d be the passenger. Sometimes we were going down the road feeling bad, but we were sure we would always beat it on down the line, following the dark star till the morning comes, waiting for the bird song.
We were wharf rats sitting on top of the world, throwin stones in our cream puff war. If I had the world to give, I’d lay me down in Franklin’s tower for one more saturday night that would not fade away at sunrise.
We walked along in the mission in the rain, needing a miracle, doing the mississippi half step on shakedown street. We met Tennessee Jed, Black Peter, Jack Straw, Casey Jones, Stagger Lee, Mr. Charlie, Peggy-O, and finally St. Stephen on the golden road to devotion.
We got the cumberland blues, the mexicali blues, the viola lee blues, the new minglewood blues, dupree’s diamond blues, and the U.S. blues that were so hard to handle but we always knew there was help on the way.
We had sage and spirit when we encountered the saint of circumstance on the new speedway boogie. Cosmic Charlie and the candyman were hanging around with their money, money waiting for that deal to go down. We would always allow space for Stella blue, Loose Lucy, and Bertha to come around with the brown-eyed women. They told me and my uncle stories about the big river alligator on an alabama getaway who found himself with a dire wolf and that C.C. Rider. I know that rider; he’s a loser in uncle john’s band. We learned of the other one playin in the band but quickly found out he’s gone on a west L.A. fadeaway, just like dear Mr. Fantasy. Now they’re all making slipknots with the lost sailors on that ship of fools, singing aiko aiko all day.
Samson and Delilah told us about the eleven who came from the mountains of the moon and crossed the serengetti to bring King Solomon’s marbles to a lady with a fan in the south of france. The drums played blues for allah in the weather report suite while the little red rooster said, “don’t ease me in some dark hollow on a good morning, little school girl.”
Mama tried to raise me better. She said, “caution: do not stop on tracks in the cold rain and snow, for always there will be a touch of grey when it looks like rain.” I found that whenever there’s a ripple in still water, you’ll find an easy wind if you reach for the gold ring down inside with your crazy fingers.
I told Althea there comes a time when you feel like a stranger in a brokedown palace. Althea told me, “let me sing your blues away with some good lovin, and then get down and row, row, row, row, row.”
It must have been the roses in the attics of my life that caused that nine mile skid on a ten mile ride. But it’s all over now baby blue and you know it hurts me too. It was the greatest story ever told and you might as well turn on your lovelight and leave it on so you can wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world, china doll.
Shake it up now Sugaree, I’ll meet you at the jubilee. Light the song in sense of color, hold away despair. If you get confused, listen to the music play…..