At that time I felt like a stone in a river. I rolled by as the water flowed down. And if the river was dry, I stood still, waiting for the rain to come.
To be raised in a large family, had taught me, at least, to survive trying to be invisible and escape or fight at the right time.
I became a close friend to Erminio and all his friends became also my friends.
Franco had a wonderful girlfriend, half Italian and half French. They had a nice flat in West Hampstead (or it might have been in Finchley Road), where we often were invited for diner. We had clever conversation, while dining.
But mostly we spent the evenings smoking and listening to music. My thought flew in the air following the guitars’ sounds of blues songs or twisting happily around rock’s riffs of skilful fingers. Then I soared over the world and I thought there were spaces for my soul to be discovered or detected, somewhere in the world .
Then I would abandon myself to the currents of the wind like a wingshed bird, hoping to applaud in a timeless land where my soul could dine for ever.
There must be such a land somewhere ! I dreamed of that, evening by evening, day by day, night after night! I didn’t dream of money or richness assumed that I had enough to live through. I was spirit more than flesh in those days. I had a vacuum to fill up but I didn’t know how.
There were a lot of people, coming and going in that place, at any time. Though Franco and his girlfriend could be considered a conventional, may be even a bourgeois couple, they were very opened mind and always ready to add a dish at their table or to open a bed in the guest’s room for anyone who might enter in their house.
Once Marco came with a girl. A nice one, named Susanna or Simona, I can’t remember now. She was supposed to be his girlfriend, for they said were going to get married. Nevertheless, after diner, she wanted to make a dance for us; a sensual dance, so sensual it was that afterwards she took off even the last of her clothes, looking wonderful as her mother had made her. I enjoyed that very much but I knew she was Marco’s girlfriend and anyway I thought since then that making sex was a matter of love and affection, not just a carnal contingency. There was also a friend of Franco’s (named such as Rocco, or some similar name) watching that sort of Salome’s dance. He didn’t see the thing like I did and so made some rude advances with Marco’s girlfriend, assuming she was looking or provoking for something. He totally misunderstood that strange behavior. He never showed up again in the house, after that.
Another friend of Franco’s came one day, along with his girlfriend, from the wonderful Liguria land. This was a better one; a man of good spirit, a searching soul, like I was. I'll name him later on in the story.We sympathized immediately.
He handled some books of Carlos Castaneda to me. They were three books.
I fell in love with those three books. They spoke of the initiation of a young Western intellectual by an Indian wizard, somewhere in the Sierra Madre’s mountains of Mexico.
Though they are called Huichol, they called themselves “The people walking with the Gods” because so they feel through the ingestion of a green mushroom, called peyote, which contains a lot of mescaline, a powerful hallucinogen.
We spent a lot of time, talking about these books and planning to go to Mexico together. He also talked to me about a book he knew very well: Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception. But he told me he never wanted to take LSD, because it was a chemical substance, and as a such, he didn’t trust it. He wanted to go to the desert land of central Mexico, where those mushrooms grew. May be it’s thanks to him if I never wanted to tried LSD or other chemical stuff that in those times were in vogue among young people. May be he was the river that moved the stone that I was in a certain direction, instead of another. But he never reached Mexico. He died in a strange way, somewhere in Italy, though I knew it when I came my back from my trip to America.
4. to be continued...