shes gonna be ten million years old.
which means we’ve known each other 9 million years.
jeanine was not the type of person i thought id know and be close to for 9 million years. she was soooo shy when i met her. her hair was so long. and over her eyes.
shed wear mens suit jackets over tshirts and jeans. everything baggy. everything covered. everything closed off.
isla vista had opened me up to the sun, and for some reason it didnt do anything for her – till we met.
i first read her school district stories in the paper, then i saw her, then i said hi, then we chit chatted. for some reason dating for me at ucsb was simply hi wanna go out and 10 times outta 10, unless you were named stacy sullivan, the girl would say hell yes tony pierce. so even this little closed up freaky quiet girl said yes.
our first two dates were out of stinky IV. downtown santa barbara was only 15-20 minutes away but it couldnt have been any more different than the most densely populated one square mile of IV. we went to the Rose Cafe which was a nice enough restaurant. we ate, talked, and there was zero chemistry.
but we went for it a second time. i got free tickets to see The Never Ending Story Part II. i was the arts editor of the paper. notice the perks. the movie was terrible and the date was worse. jeanine had a force field around her. it was impeneterrible.
you dont understand. i was at my peak. i was way funnier then than now. i was alive. id do anything. id try anything. i was taller, i was tanner, and my fro had the ability to block the sun and heal the sick. surely i could melt the ice cold exterior of any co-ed, and at least get a conversation going with her, but with jeanine, i got nothing.
until one day it rained. i have no idea why, but i knew jeanine played the guitar. and one day it rained and i called her and i asked her if she could come over and teach me some guitar chords and she did, and her wall fell down, and her heart came shooting out of her eyes and her spirit spiraled around us in that crazy small bedroom, and i was all i wanna f that spirit! or at least make out with it. NOW.
i didnt learn one chord that day but i realized that she needed to be drugged.
luckilly for me, she knew it too. her dad was a famous doctor, her brothers were no stranger to the dark side of the moon as they had grown up rich in LA, and jeanine was definately sick of being stuck in her rut.
she asked for lsd and i knew a kid who knew a kid and bing bam boom there she was tripping hard and staring up at the ceiling and there i was sober, holding her hand, letting her know that i was there to protect her and wait on her hand and foot and keep her safe. and all she could say was i need to reach out i need to get out i need to come out.
so we walked around, her pupils as large as manholes, and we listened to a band, and we sat by the ocean, and we went back to my place, and she spilled her guts, and i dont even know if she knew i was even right there with her for most of it, but at some point she kept repeating i need to reach out. and i said are you trying to say you want to kiss? and she said she didnt know. so i said lemme just give you the tiniest of all pecks.
and the world changed cuz she said ok.
happy birthday sweet california girl. born not that long ago about 9 blocks away from where ive been living for the last 9 years. i cannot express how happy i am that we’ve not only remained friends, but stayed close. you are so important to me and my life and have always been there and have always inspired me.
and if i ever do learn how to play guitar, i hope you will be the one who teaches me.