A piece from a memoir in progress “Baby Darlin'” by Ayne Rhodes (Alycia Vreeland)

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                                                                         Baby Darlin’

                                                                           Chapter 1

           Blue for the very first time.

           There would be two others that I know of. Rushed to the hospital at 2 years old, I was blue alright, my lips fresh berries, dripping down my neck the powder caked to the crusty corners of my face. Damn I was must have thought it was that yummy jello powder makes sense beautifully package hippy magic RIT inscribed in a kid friendly font in the cupboard under the bathroom sink perfectly displayed at crawling level with lots of other desirous colors! I’ve always been partial to blue, Picasso has a period of it too after a death of a friend and of course I’ve been singing about the blues in my head for years.  Oh, calming Cerulean makes for a great sky on canvas, Prussian for a disturbing sea, Windsor to drape the stage, Cobalt Turquoise to turn me on, deep breath, sigh. So we arrived at the ER and the angels in white pumped my stomach to rid me of the ingested deadly Indigo Blue.

             Blue for the second time.

             I was face down in 12 inches of muck, at the edge of a popular waterhole for the local L.S.D. trippers Red Rock, behind Santa Barbara the Chumash’ indigenous city stolen by the greedy Spaniard. It was a day of mass consumption for the tall ones, cans of Bud, pocket size amber whisky,  weed filled bongs, psychedelics,  magic white powder, baggies of fungus was among us and I was dragged out of the sludge by a long haired man I could smell the familiarity of lavender aftershave the sun cast a beam of soft love around his fading silhouette. I was supposed to believe in God I was baptized Catholic I went to church on Sundays with grandma Mella. I could not recall what God smelled like. Does he walk with a scent wafting through the air or is he so great and pure that he has no scent does he smell like Gardenias, fresh strawberries, or maybe dusty books because he sits in a library and reads leather bound books. He must read a lot for research to guide us through our daily lessons.Today he smells like sweet lavender. My face was a shade of blue, a light orchid pale violet blue, my lips a pale boysenberry blue. I forgot how to breathe. There was sludge stuck in between me and my much needed oxygen. A slam on the back of my my carcass and I was sputtering up the trout’ home. Many deliriously relieve faces surrounded me. My mother tried to grab me but the man smelling of lavender held me in his arms and wept gently. I clearly still do not understand how miracles happen but I think God notified this sweet smelling man that I was up at the Red Rock with mama dying in sludge.

            Blue for the 3rd time.

           En route to Big Sur the tall hippies and I stopped at a souvenir shop to buy some goods. We all pick out one special funky item made by some local gypsy that would remind us of the fantastic trip to destination psychedelicville . On the way to the car I notice a turning rack full of brightly colored cards. I was not leaving without a collection. My dad did not agree, and reminded me it was time to get in the car no cards for me. I was a determined and stubborn 2 year old held onto the cards with slick writing and magical colors for dear life fell to the ground kicking screaming, flailing my small fist turning purple blue from my grip around my treasures. I held my breathe, I would die before I let those post cards go. I turned a shade of blue and lost consciousness. Another trip to the ER. where the angels in white told the tall ones. I was going to be o.k. the amount of oxygen  loss was not a sufficient amount enough to warrant brain damage but to be aware that I had quite a temper and that this surely could happen again.

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