I had first met him a few days back, while hiking on the 101 past Humbug Mountain. He and another man sat beside a badly dented car on the other side of the road; he was trying to wave down a passing car for a jump. I crossed the road to see if there was any way I could help. ”Do you have any weed you can trade for mushrooms?” he asked conspiratorially. I didn’t, and apologized.
Several days later, I found him at a laundromat in Brookings. I went over and chatted with him for a few moments. he introduced himself as Grass Shoes. I took that at face value, repeating it once to be sure that I had heard it correctly. It was a fun name to say.
This time, there was no offer for drug exchange. He had a few buddies around the corner, drinking beer, but Grass Shoes had recently gone sober. How many days? ”Eleven,” he told me. ”I made it to twenty four once, but this time feels better. I had an epiphany and I think I’ll make it.” I asked about the epiphany.
”Well, me and my buddies are living in the forest by a huge mushrooms patch. I had been eating mushrooms for five days straight and I was getting really sick, puking and shit. We were all sitting at the side of the road, and I was in bad shape, man, all hunched up in a sleeping bag. And then this woman came up to me – not to my friends, but to me – and asked me if I wanted a shower. So we stopped in a bar on the way to her place and had a couple beers, and all of a sudden I realized that I didn’t want to drink any more. She asked if I wanted another round, but I said no. So she took me home and gave me a shower and made love to me. And that’s the last time I drank.”
I was amazed. ”Yeah, man, the universe provides for all of us, it always gives us what we need. And after this, I thought to myself, if this is what happens, if the universe can be so giving when I’m not trying to help it at all, what if I just gave 10%? Can you imagine?”
I thought that was really inspiring and said as much. What if we all just gave 10%? I thought about it, and then I walked to California.