" I've been through the desert on a horse with no name It felt good to be out of the rain In the desert you can remember your name 'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain La, la ... "
Ah the good old days. Remember that oldie? Well, it was a pretty weird song to stay the least!
But, it was not too weird for 1999 on Aurora Avenue in Seattle. As you know by now, I never knew what I was going to see next on this street. But, you also never knew what you might not see. Let me explain.
It was 5 PM on the Ave, and the traffic was doing it's usual slow snake dance all the way from 85th up to Lynwood. I was just coming on for the last 8 hours of the night, and had just bid my desk clerk a good evening when the lobby door came crashing open with a loud bang. There to greet my surprised eyes was a man with flowing long hair and a beard in a kind of a squatting stance, one hand kind of between his legs, and the other hand slightly above it. Now if any of you can go back to your childhood for a moment, and picture those wooden stick horses, you can get the image of how this guy was postured. As he came towards the desk he was even yelling "giddy-up, giddy-up". and then "whoa! "
Well, it would have been strange enough as it was, but think again back to those wooden stick horses, and picture it. Yes, he was in the right position, and yes, he was yelling giddy-up and whoa, but you see, the problem was not only this comical sight, but that there was not even a stick horse. My friends, that is real imagination !
As the rider and his "horse" came close to the desk the mam was muttering and then spurring his "horse " on. I am sure my mouth was agape by now, and my desk clerk, Sonia, was laughing so hard that she was almost doubled over. I didn't know what to say. And here is the understatement of the century, I was dealing with someone not playing the right tune. And then it hit me. This guy was a left over from the sixties. He would have been about the right age for that era, and the imagination was real for him, only we call it hallucination! It could only be one thing, Acid, LSD, the drug of the sixties.
As I was reaching for the phone to call 911, the horse and rider bolted through the lobby, back out the front door,and into the rush hour traffic on Aurora Avenue. I thought for sure that I was about to witness the man being crushed by the on rushing traffic, but luck was on his side, or maybe it was the ghost of Timothy O' Leary watching over one of his followers, for the light on 85th and Aurora Avenue had just turned red.
Still watching in stunned mirth, I watched the rider jump onto the hood of a car driven by a young woman. She starred in utter disbelief as the man lay prone on her hood. He then bolted from her car to another car, and then another and another. By that time every cell phone for about ten miles was out as stunned motorists were dialing 911.Within a few minutes , the place was crawling with Seattle Blue, and the man and his "horse" were loaded into a special van and driven away. I never say him again, but I have often wondered about the horse, I hope that they found a good home for him.
" After nine days I let the horse run free 'Cause the desert had turned to sea There were plants and birds and rocks and things there was sand and hills and rings The ocean is a desert with it's life underground And a perfect disguise above Under the cities lies a heart made of ground But the humans will give no love You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name It felt good to be out of the rain In the desert you can remember your name 'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain La, la ..."