Narcissus Pacificus

RANGE: You will find the West Ghost anywhere you go looking to find
yourself—from the organic taco stands of Chula Vista to Ken Kesey’s
contented cattle ranch in Oregon. In search of cool, the W.G. occasionally
drifts as far north as the goose-bumpy nude beaches of Vancouver. From the
Rocky Mountain High Sierra clubs to the Hodaddy-clotted breakers off
Catalina, in the waterbedrooms and extremely bored rooms, touching,
relating, sharing, taking lunches and giving phone, the West Ghost does his
thing, always here, always now.
HABITS: The West Ghost lures his victims out to the earthquake perilled,
partially reclaimed desert, with rumors of gold and legends of promiscuity.
Once they are on his surf and turf, he implants in the sun-stroked minds of his
prey the notion that a soak in a barrel of sweat with a coven of fellow
Californians is a pleasant way to spend a couple of days. He enables one to
enjoy listening to an entire game on the car radio while driving to and from
the stadium. He inspires palimony disputes after the break-up of group
marriages. He implants dozens of absolutely outrageous ideas for High-
Concept situation comedies in the Perrier-addled noggins of his protegés. In
return for feeding him five pounds of ocean temperature raw sea urchin, he’ll
slip you the home phone number of a studio exec at Fox. He gives you a
sunburn where the moon don’t shine.
HISTORY: The West Ghost’s trendy—and ever-changing—appearance
materializes out of a dense, deadly, drifting smog, composed of the exhaust
of Okies’ model Ts, steam released by the 750-foot papier-mâche volcano in
Disneyland, a mist of genelethal insecticides, smoke of a thousand movie
moguls’ cigars and the incinerated dreams of ten thousand Midwest
bottleblonds, vaporous exudations of beached whales mingled with the reek
of hair oil, salad oil, sun-tan oil, snake oil, extremely crude oil, oiled palms,
and oil of LA.
SPOTTER’S TIPS: The West Ghost is invisible when viewed through
sunglasses. Thus, it can be seen only by recent arrivals from the East, which
explains the look of terror on their pale faces as they dodge from shadow to
shadow down the palm-lined sun-blasted boulevards.
The West Ghost is rilly, rilly, like, into his California life-style, y’know?

1 Comment

  1. Robert McDermott

    I feel luck to have grown up in that place at that time. I’ve never seen the ghost myself, only the lack of it having left my mellow homeland in the middle kingdom. I think Ken Kesey is the key here (pun intended). He wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1962 and Sometimes a Great Notion in 1964. Both are worth reading.

    This too


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