September 27, 2007

Captain Cod

There are many many kinds of yoga. There's one type of yoga called "guru yoga". The idea behind guru yoga is that every living person, every item, everything that exists in the universe can be your guru. I think of it something like "Existence Yoga". And that some things and people really do come into your life for a reason. I've had all kinds of weird experiences with people, with certain kinds of trips, who came into my life when, where they were coming from was just what I was needing. And it's not really a good idea to try to reason ahead what the reason is. Do what you think or feel is right and things happen how they're gonna happen.

Surprise, I lived in Berkeley. In Berkeley (and the bay area) there's a chain of coffee shops called Peets Coffee. If they had Peets here, my buddy Chris who owns a coffee shop would be hard pressed to keep me coming back to his shop.

Going to Peets was part of my routine. I was a pretty early riser back then. Out of bed @ 530. Maybe have a couple packets of oatmeal. Then I'd head down to Peets. There are several Peets in Berkeley. I went to the one that was a few blocks away in Emeryville. Down on 4th street. Lots of upscale hippy dippy shops there. There was one of those trendy cooking stuff shops, cant think of the name. El Something. Le Table. That's it. NO, Sur Le Table ("for the table", in french. Mai Oui!) And I cant really bag on them for being trendy because I bought stuff there.

Anyhoo, I'd get to Peets and first thing, grab one of all the free papers. I'd get in right as they're opening the door, get a 20oz (not a beer can, coffee) and a cinnamon twist. Then I'd go sit outside, read the free papers and drink my coffee. And people watch. Occasionally start jabbering with someone. They'd jabber back.

One day there's this older guy there, santa fat, beard. Missing teeth. In shorts, a wifebeater, and sandals. Not what I'd call dirty. His clothes were really clean. But he had this "I live in my van" vibe (turns out I was right). He usually had his handcrank powered radio with him. He'd get free coffee in exchange for cleaning the bathrooms. Had to be mid to late 60's.

So somehow me and him wind up talking (haha. surprise!), and he turns out to be a really interesting cat. He called himself "Captain Cod". We hung out there together every morning at Peets for a couple weeks. Had all kinds of crazy, wacked-out conversations about auras and reincarnation and hinduism and and all that stuff. We'd walk out to the parking lot to his van (house) and smoke up. He had a dog with him. Can't remember her name, which makes me feel a little shitty. I'd drive him around on errands and shit so he wouldn't have to uproot where he was parked. One time we drove up to just north of Sausalito. Looked at some dock that I wish I had brought my camera along for.

I had this really wacked idea going on at the time that I needed to be punched. I'm not talking an analogy here. I mean punched. Not beat the crap out of, but just a good solid punch in the stomach. He thought I was a nut when I brought that up, but when he realized I wasn't kidding, he suggested we go out back and he'd pop me. I declined. He seemed just a little too enthused by the idea.

I moved to Montana less than a month after I met him. And this all is happening just after I got busted for pot and had to spend 5 days in jail and shelled out a whole lot of money for legal shit, and missed a lot of double-time work (to the tune of a a few grand), and had a bunch of family and friends die the previous year, and was having a fucked up time with this chick Lori who if possible was more messed up than I was. I'm working on writing that one up, but there's a lot of shit going on around that time, and it aint easy. I could very easily incorporate this story into my pot bust story, but Captain Cod was an interesting cat and deserved to be more than a footnote.

I gave him my cell # (back when I still used a cell) but he never called me.

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