Popcorn Girls

I met the girls where I seem to have met a lot of people in and out of my life that summer. I met them with a person I had known to be trouble for a while. They were calling him dad, and said that he was thier street father. There are moments in our lives where we don’t know what we did and why, but there is a knowledge that the end was right. This being one of those times for me, I remember talking to them, then I remember we left San Francisco, and he stayed.

The first couple days were slow, the girls said they were boring. Now it would be far too easy for me to keep on calling them the girls, because I don’t remember their names anymore. However I shall name them now. One had darker hair and she was slightly older, I believe she may have been 15. The other had light hair and she was a little shorter and younger, I believe she was 14. I will call the 15 year old Lori and the 14 year old Laci.

The two of them had come from some place in the south. I want to say it was Santa Barbara, but the point is mute, because where ever they came from the reality they came from was remote from the reality the came to. I don’t know why people get ideas into their heads, and why these girls ran away. I remember Laci once told me that it was because her dad got angry at her for feeding popcorn to the dog. I never told the girls to go back, and I don’t know if I should have. I imagine that somewhere out there they had real parents that cared about them.

I took them to Santa Cruz, and I was happy to have gotten them away from the city, and away from a person they called dad, but would have just as quickly screwed them, in more ways than one. When we got to Santa Cruz they would complain to me, this is boring. They were now calling me thier street dad, which I allowed with little or no resistance, it occured to me that emotionally they felt they needed that, and I imagined that they could do worse for finding someone to attach themselves to.

I don’t remember time lines as far as how long we were in Santa Cruz. I know that a friend of mine took one of them home with her for a while. It was more of an act of wanting to create an impression for me than anything though. I found out later it was me she had wanted, wanted in a sexual way (and she never got me). The first couple days, the girls would say this is so boring, and I would tell them. “Boredom is a state of mind”. It was over and over for the first couple days like an automatic refrain every time they would say they were bored.

The one clear tale that sticks out in my mind was one night. I had gone somewhere, and told them I would be back at a certin time and place. I walk back onto the mall in Santa Cruz and I see Laci walking down the street. She does not look right, and when I encounter her she isn’t acting right either. I try and talk to her, and find out where her sister is (not really sisters by the way). Her eyes are glassed over and I am having a hard time understanding what she is trying to tell me at this point. So I walk her down to the corner where I was to meet them, and there are always lots of people on the corner there. At that time it was pretty much a vacant corner, people called it ‘hippie corner’ or ‘the cage’.

I had run into a friend of mine while walking down to ‘the cage’ and he seeing that things weren’t right followed me down. We searched the crowd and were able to find her sister Lori and pull both of them to the side. We talked to them, and did some asking around and found out that someone had given them LSD. Now there was a girl that Lori mostly had hung out with that was bad news in my book. She was there with us, trying to contain the situation, and she immediately starts trying to cop a buzz from Lori.

Not liking the crowd, and the influence of this girl, me and my friend start to walk the girls down the mall. We know what the problem is and now we can start to address it. I have little to no knowledge of drugs and LSD, so what we needed was to find someone know would be a could trip sitter for the girls. A trip sitter is basicly a person who acts to control your tripping to keep you safe and prevent you from having a bad trip if possible. On the way down the mall, we run into my sister (not my real sister) Raven. The three of us take the girls to the bottom of a near by Parking Garage, and Raven says she will watch them while we search for a friend of ours who is known to be a good trip sitter.

Now Lori, and Laci also, but more so Lori was acting like a bird from the time we first found her. Putting her arms out and talking about flying. I have not tripped on acid, and I don’t know that I want to. Such cases and people I do not know how to deal with and I don’t understand what is happening inside their head.

We went down the mall, me and my friend, and it didn’t take us long and we found who we were looking for. Our trip sitter followed us back to the parking lot, wanting to help. Most people knew me, and most people respected me, and knew I was taking care of these girls. There are certin things that people assume about homeless people, and it is true for some of them, but not for most of my friends. I trusted this person because while he supported acid use, he also was concerned about the fact that they were given it so young, and that they might not have been told what it was.

We get back to the parking garage and go to the bottom floor to find it empty. We go through a mild panic and then start to search for them. I take the elevator to the roof, and there they are. I don’t know why Raven was thinking when we had taken them to the basement of the parking garage for the very reason it was a safe place. The roof was not a safe place. The first thing I saw was Lori was walking along the wall around the edge of the building. One mis-step would have meant a four story fall to the hard ground, which in her state a mis-step wasn’t so unlikely.

The tale ends in a much lower note after that. We get them down off the roof, and they soon talk about being tired. Our trip sitter says that sleeping it off might be the best thing for them so I take them back to our camp and we go to sleep for the night.

If you recall, I don’t remember how long we were in Santa Cruz. However after sometime there, the girls talked me into going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I remember while we were hitch-hiking out of town they were throwing rocks into my jeans. I had these really big jeans I was wearing, with big hole at the knees, the fashionable kind of holes. Well they were trying to get the rocks in the holes. I told them to stop and they started to sing. ‘Dante angry Dante…’, which I wasn’t but it was so cute I couldn’t say anything else.

They told me during that time that they would miss Santa Cruz. I asked them, didn’t you think it was boring. In reply they both stated, ‘boredom is a state of mind’.It was touching in a way that maybe something I had said mattered, or changed the way they thought of things.

We got back to San Francisco, and they met their former street dad. Well they told me that they wanted to travel to New Orleans with him, and then they left town. I don’t know where they ended up, I like to think that they returned in the fall to their families, however they could just as easily be strung out under a bridge somewhere, or dead. They weren’t my real kids of course but just that time with them I had grown to care for them a lot, and even today I have a certin amount of concern for the unknown that they face. It made me want to have my own kids, that I could teach, and give the tools to make themselves and the world a better place.

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