Chapter Notes


...or else has bloomed too late.

A lot of people are hoping for a fresh start when the years zero out. How many times have you heard it said, one way or another: "The year 2000 signals the dawning of a new age." I hope it's true, and I'll do my best to see it happen, but Moore is right: if things still suck this bad on 2 January 2001, a lot of people will lose faith, figuring we've gone too far to make it back alive.

And a massive loss of faith could be one more dose of bad news for the human race.

As Robert Anton Wilson says, "If we don't have a New Age soon, we might not live to have an Old Age."

Back to Foreward

Kerouac's "Belief and Technique for Modern Prose":

According to Mark Noferi's " Jazz and the Beat Generation," Allen Ginsberg had "Belief" tacked to the wall above his bedstead the year that "Howl" was written.

Back to Belief

Chapter 3:

Mouse is based on a woman I met briefly at the 1993 Rainbow Gathering in Alabama. She was my size, medium height and skinny, with short blond hair. She wore overalls with no shirt underneath, casually revealing her breasts, and approached me looking for her lost kitten when I was working the information booth on July 4. She was beautiful. I never knew her name or anything else about her.

One of those incidental people that somehow stays with you. (Good luck, Mouse. I hope you found your kitty....)

Mouse and Alison meet and part company under circumstances similar to Alison Bechdel's story "The Crush" - which as I gather was a true story. "The Crush" was the inspiration for both characters, as well as Alison's name.

However, Alison has grown. I see her now as equal parts Alison Bechdel in "The Crush," Peter Parker, me, and Dayna Jurgens from The Stand:

     "...She was a jock in college, you know. Tennis and swimming were her
biggies, although she played them all. She went to some small community 
college in Georgia, but for the first two years she kept on going with her
high school boyfriend. He was a big leather jacket type, me Tarzan, you 
Jane, so get out in the kitchen and rattle those pots and pans....
     "[When she told the caveman boyfriend that she was a lesbian,] it
blew his wheels, and he came after her with a gun. She disarmed him. She
says it was the major turning point of her life. She told me she always 
knew she was stronger and more agile than he was - she knew it
intellectually. But it took doing it to put it in her guts."

- Stephen King The Stand

Dayna leaves on a motorcycle one dark morning to spy for the angels, and later, captured by the dark man, does something astonishing. One of those incidental characters that somehow stays with you.


Subject: Re: message from Alan Rankin, master of time, space, etc. (esquire)
Date: Mon. 13 Jan 1997 17:39:54 EST
From: (Groove L Dog)

Rat in a drain ditch, dogs in a pile,
Nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile...
- Grateful Dead

On Sat, 11 Jan 1997 01:18:50 Alan Rankin ( writes:
>Oh wise one, I come to you seeking knowledge!

(Big "SNIP!" of Alan's jabbering here)

Ah, yes...I see my cyber-insult of not being cool unless you could contact me by e-mail has paid off.... As for your questions, my two Deadly ramblings amongst the Deadies should have provided me with all the answers you require, so here goes:

>The questions:
>About how much did the 'heads usually charge for the homemade t-shirts they sold
>at the shows?

That varied tremendously by the artistic content. Most went for what we sold them for - $15 - but some were tie-dyed to great extremes, were hand silk-screened, etc., and could go for nearly 30 bucks at times. There was also a huge bartering system in place at the shows. If you had a wad of hand-rolled incense that some t-shirt guy wanted, or were cooking vegetarian breakfast tacos one morning or something, there would probably be a trade.

>How many shirts could one booth expect to sell per show?

We made 100 and sold about 75 of them over three days at the Inglewood, Ca. show. You must remember that bootleg sales, though allowed by the band itself, was outlawed in most municipalities in the mid-80s. We nearly lost all our shirts in the first hour at the hands of the cops, who were actually pretty cool and just said stay out of their sight. It is an operation that is covert. I would suspect that the most aggressive bootlegger could sell about 100 per show in the $15 range.

>Do you happen to have the lyrics to "Ripple"? I just need to know the last few
>lines, starting with, "And if you go, no one may follow/that path is for your
>steps alone."

Yes I do, but it is in a songbook at my sister's house in Tyler.... What an absolute killer song, though.

>Well, gotta go. Jyme says hi. (Actually, she says, "It's two AM, get off the damn
>computer!" But I'm sure "hi" is what she meant.)

Ah, yes, the same shy, retiring wallflower that I remember.

- thanks to Chris Carpenter

Back to Chapter 3

Chapter 4:

Annie came into being after I picked up an old anti-New Age tome at a library book sale a while back. The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow (you can see why it interested me) is by Constance Cumbey. According to the author profile, Ms. Cumbey is "a Christian attorney from Detroit, Michigan. She has thoroughly researched the New Age Movement having read hundreds of books on the subject."

That gave me a good laugh. Then I started wondering what would have happened if she had really researched the subject, instead of playing armchair inquisitor in a court of her own mind. I mused on this idea for a bit, and a little while later Annie came along.

Back to Chapter 4

Chapter 7:

Self-defense footnote: Alison's Plan was a good one under the circumstances, but she should have told Brad to look at the right rear tire; that way she could have pulled away safely. Hopefully none of my readers will ever be in a situation where they need Alison's Plan, butů.

And there is a real Colorado Rennaisance faire - but this is not it. I have taken many liberties, combining my experiences at several faires across the country. However, it's true that the Colorado faire does fall in late June, and that in 1994, many Rainbows stopped there en route to the Gathering.

Like me.

Back to Chapter 7