“She asked where he lived.
'Second to the right,' said Peter, 'and then straight on till morning.'
She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Ah…I remember. Before the siren call of the beach boy, there was this other boy that initially lured me to Santa Cruz. Perhaps it’s completely obvious to you by now, but I’ve always had a hankering for that thoughtful, brooding, tortured, soulful, and cosmic boy, also known in these parts as an Artist.
But first, a preface (of sorts): after years of living in what I like to call Sillycon Valley, I enrolled in some industrial-strength spiritual awakening/improvement-type classes and workshops. In many ways, it was that kind of personal work that prompted my move to Santa Cruz, pretty sure that I would find like-minded souls who already knew about Deepak Chopra, yoga, and organic produce, and could also discuss astrology and the benefits of chakra alignment without batting an eye.
Once you're in town for any amount of time, you'll come to understand why Santa Cruz is such a mecca for artists -- there is so much magnetism, electricity, expectancy, and passion in the (constantly fresh) air.
I have very limited art skills myself. So when I see a painting that moves me, I feel compelled to learn the story about the person who created it.
And so it was that I met Brent. Sexy, rakish, talented and poetic beyond measure. Did I mention sexy? Sigh! Color me fan girl.
His paintings reflected a utopian dream world, inhabited by shamans, goddesses, spirit guides, animals, and fairies; so much loving attention paid to the expression of the divine feminine.
What could go wrong?
Of course, my observations are my own, but being as "Brent" is actually a composite of several I've encountered, I can say they all share these characteristics:
- Chain smokes only da Cruz-approved version of Marlboro cigarettes, i.e., American Spirit.
- Rides a bicycle as his primary method of transportation, because (and only because) he doesn't own a car. It's too bourgeois, you see. But he will gladly borrow and drive your car; in fact, he insists on it whenever you go out.
- Wears a black leather jacket, heavy and worn. Not only is it sexy and attractive, it is is also practical attire for bike riding in the rain or cold.
- Is broke. Always. Doesn’t mind at all that you pick up the check. Always. Might even come to expect that some day you will always pick up the check.
- Has a tattoo and/or piercing and/or wears jewelry. (I actually like that part.)
- Is SO into you, he sends you constant flowery emails and text messages that make your heart flutter. He might even use you as a model for his drawings on some occasions.
- The IRS and his landlord seem to have a great deal of interest about his monthly income.
But more importantly...
Loves women a LOT. As in, can't be with just one woman. Ever. In my day, they called it "playing the field." Nowadays, they call it "being polyamorous."
My, Peter Pan! Look how much you've grown.
p.s. Private to Brent/Peter Pan -- I'll always love your art.