It was Summer 2010 in Denver. Brit Hume was just back from Mombai where he had been compiling footage for an upcoming report on the Buddhist warlords of Ladakh and was jonesin' for a Big Mac. He picked me up in his 1969 Granny Smith green Dodge Super Bee wearing a Sikh turban and sporting a month-old beard that smelled of coffee and soft cheeses. His Super Bee was cherry as cherry gets; it had a snow white Naugahyde upholstery and was tricked out with the finest DeModa "Opera" wheels and a white Flat Spider convertible top.
I hopped in without even opening the door, landed in the passenger seat and gave Brit a long, incredulous once over, commenting on his getup with my left eyebrow raised so high it disappeared under the rim of my Stetson. He was incognito for the weekend and was hankerin' to hit some of our old hangouts along South Broadway. We cruised Federal for about half an hour until we came upon our old friend Chucho. We followed him on down to the domicilio at 38th and Umatilla and scored a quarter bag of primo kill bud to get us through the weekend.
It was already 11:00 when we parked the Super Bee in the back lot at the Compound and lit up a fatty. Brit was doing his best not to succumb to jet lag after a marathon international flight and thought a quick handy might get him over the hump. I proceeded to pettin' the hothouse cucumber while he held the fatty to my lips for another drag.
Brit climaxed into a Lufthansa moist towelette and put the top up. We rolled down the windows and spoke of the viability of Petraeus' Afghanistan strategy, coming to the conclusion that we were gonna be there for a long time to come. Brit quoted his favorite political philosopher, Antonio Gramsci, to cap the conversation: “I turn and turn in my cell like a fly that doesn't know where to die.”
A hard driving beat emanated from the back entrance of the Compound and we decided to go on in and sweat our prayers on the dance floor for a while. I rolled up the window and, just as I was about to open the passenger side door, a gaggle of Mexican drag queens knocked on the glass with their oversized costume rings, motioning for me to roll down the window.
They raved about the Super Bee and asked us what we were doing the rest of the evening. We said we were headed inside to, hopefully, engage in some authentic movement, assuming the dance floor afforded us ample space in which to do so. They gleefully followed us inside where the music was thumpin' and the crowd was stompin' in unison to the sickest of tribal beats coming from the the record needle of DJ Zack up in the crow's nest.
We moved with the Mexican queens until we could move no more, said our farewells and headed back to the Super Bee. Once outside, Brit took another Lufthansa moist towelette out of his pocket and wiped deep purple lipstick from my lips and cheeks. At that moment our eyes met and we kissed long and gentle in the parking lot until passersby started whistling like prairie dogs. I took off my Stetson and we got back in the car. Brit was still feeling pretty paranoid and decided to leave the turban on as we drove around Cheesman Park talking of what happens when we die. Brit parked the Super Bee, turned off the motor and began to weep softly.
I placed my hand on his right arm and he looked at me, eyes full of tears, and said India had cracked him wide open. He didn't know where any of this was headed, but his heart was full and he looked forward to starting his spiritual journey right where he was, unafraid, hopeful, and with a profound sense of awe and humility.
It was clear he was in free fall, and I didn't want to insert my own ego where I knew it would do more harm than good. So the two of us just sat there for a good hour holding hands in silence, looking out at the moving trees as the warm, dry wind caressed their branches like a lover.