by Fielding Goodfellow
I met Neanne sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s, but I can’t be certain of anything any longer. I was caught somewhere between the excessive drugs and a a chronic reluctance to accept and adapt to the bullshit that was falling around me in the guise of manna from heaven. When both joy and despair danced around my head like Fred & Ginger, tugging at my sanity to a degree that would make any bipolar disorder envious. The effects of the copious amounts of hallucinogenics I had been dabbling in were wonderfully bizarre. Every now and again there would be a flying burrito doing figure eights above the kitchen sink, or the chameleon who lived next door would bring home a penguin he had recently started dating. And when it all seemed about to implode, she wandered into my world. She was tall, blonde, and exactly what I needed at the time.
Neanne came from a small town north of the city, and she was a prostitute trying to get out of the life. She was the perfect distraction at a time when I longed to be distracted. We became friends, and when she left the business a short time later, we began a relationship based entirely on each one of us getting their needs met. She needed someone to love her, and I needed someone to keep me safe from the Blue Meanies. She turned me on to all kinds of weird ass sex, and I got her into all kinds of weird ass drugs. Our entire existence as a couple revolved around sex and drugs. In retrospect we were the Sid and Nancy of the bagel crowd. We were either getting high or getting laid, or more often than naught, getting both.
I was working for a small, local record label in those days, working on projects with some larger Independent labels, scouring the land for marketable talent. Neanne went with me to a small community just North East of the big smoke, where we rented a cottage on the lake. We traveled around the area, catching shows at various bars while insanely stoned, and returned to our rented rooms to engage in coitus stupendous. On the third day of our talent search, we ran into an older gentleman, dressed in a suit, looking like a lawyer, or perhaps a bank employee. And while neither Neanne nor I had any idea of who he was, he was certain that he knew Neanne. It seems that during one of his sojourns to the big city, he had enlisted the services of a sex trade worker, and he was sure it was Neanne. Before long, the entire bar was looking over at her, and she was being propositioned by most of the men present, with the server delivering notes and drinks to her. It was becoming overwhelming for her. I on the other hand, was devising a plan to send the giant lizard men who were standing by the car in to eat the little bastards. “I want to leave.”, she told me.
“Okay.”, I said.
As we drove back to the cottage, she had asked if I would take her to her parent’s home, about an hour or so away. I agreed. She talked the entire time, relaying tales of how this sort of thing happens regularly. There was always an ex client who recognized or remembered her and was seeking something now. She had had enough of it, and wasn’t sure if she could stay around the city. Even out here, in cottage country, she was being recognized. I felt bad for her, but man did I want to take her now. It occurred to me that I was getting for free what everyone else had to pay for, and that seemed pretty cool, with a cloud of opium sifting through my brain.
We spent 24 hours at her parents’ home, giving Neanne time to settle down, talk with her parents, and try to come up with a plan to move on with her life. She had decided, with the help of her father, who went off to work each day with a lunch pail in on hand, and a bible in the other, that she was going to find God, and devout her life to helping others. A noble quest, indeed. But the only thing my drug soaked brain could focus on was how would this interfere in my getting laid.
I understood her need to find something more. I myself, had traveled down that road on more than one occasion, seeking God, or a reasonable facsimile. I searched everywhere I could think of, at the beach, in the mountains, at the bottom of a box of Fruit Loops, but found nothing. But Neanne was determined, and I was certain her father had the address to some secret location where God could indeed be found.
I stayed with Neanne until she figured out that she wanted to be a clown. “Are you serious?”, I asked her.
“Yes,”, she said. “Its perfect. I would make people happy.”
“It seems to me that your previous occupation made people happy too.”, I replied.
“I can’t do that anymore.”, she said. “It didn’t make me happy. And besides, I think I love you.”
The sarcastic laughter and comments from the giant lizard men sitting in the back seat of the car, startled me at first. “I really need to stay straight long enough to know what the hell I’m doing.”, I thought.
We parted ways shortly after, I mean I didn’t love her. I loved the sex. And while, at the time, I didn’t know there was a difference, I figured it out. Neanne did indeed venture into the world of clowning. She got pretty good at it, and eventually started her own business providing floppy shoes, baggy pants, and big, red noses, to parties, school events, and children’s hospital visits. I saw her a few years later, and she was happy. I was happy for her. I traveled on, discovering new ways to antagonize the universe, and simplify my life. I moved on to new worlds, discovering that while there was no need to search any longer, it was still wonderfully exciting to look for the prize in the box of Fruit Loops.