The Hippy Chick
The Hippy Chick
Conversation between Ralp and Reg
Ralp: Did I ever tell you story about a hot hippy chick I met?
Reg: No, I would have remembered if you had met a hot hippie chick.
Ralph: I was walking by a river in this small town I was passing through in my travels when I saw a crazy far-out looking chick, she was dressed in a hippy dress, and she said it was Nepalese. She was a flower child but there was no flower in her hair. Maybe it died being near her crazy brain, I don’t really know, but any way when I saw this chick I said the first thing that came into my brain, it was something like, hey hey hey!
Reg: No surprises there. So how did she react to your intro?
Ralp:, We just walked and talked, she told me her name was Anna and talked for what seemed like ages about her life, how she was brought up by hippy parents, she travelled and lived in communes and rode horses bareback, even stayed at a nudist colony. She told me how much she loved painting horses, flowers and old people. On her travels she actually stayed just outside of this town. She pointed to a church up on the hill above the river, she liked going to church. She thought the people there were funny, it amused her.
She would put some coins in the collection plate - not intended as a donation but to pay for her experience, as we would pay to go to the cinema. She even joined in the hymns, and sang a few to me that she learnt. She was pretty good, she must have gone a lot of times, she had no hymn sheet, she learnt by listening.
As we walked and talked I noticed she had this sort of smile, not a smirk, kind of smile of satisfaction. I got onto the subject of boyfriends, she must have been hit on a squillion times, but she didn’t give me a brush off, no instead she played along, as if that’s how it is being around guys. So like any hoping-to-get lucky guy I tried played my cards, but my hand was no good, she changed the subject.
But her smile did start to change into a smile that only a pretty girl could have, knowing every man in the world desired her.
Reg: Yeah, oh come on don’t stop now, do tell, and do tell the rest, you tease.
Ralph: We walked along the river’s edge, trees lined the other side, it was sunny and blue sky and I’m walking with this hot chick.
Reg: Ok and?
Ralph: We just walked and talked, being modest the modest man I knew I was just some guy that she saw something in me that made her feel relaxed and open up a bit and be herself.
Reg: Oh come on! The real reason is because you are so dam ugly that she can be herself, and not be self-conscious. You know what I keep saying about you and me, and our luck with chicks. It’s cause number 1, we are unemployed and unemployable and 2; you and I are no oil paintings. If we were oil paintings I would be given to a charity shop, and your picture would be used to hold cat litter.
Ralph: Do you want to hear the rest of the story or not?
Reg: Yeah sure, ok sorry, please do tell the rest, what happened next?
Ralph: Our conversation drifted to hippy subjects, you know? The green movement, love and peace, self-sustained living etc. Then we got on the subject of relationships, and that’s when her mood changed. she went really sad-ass about something so I teased it out of her.
Any way she told me she got mixed up with some hippy type guy and they travelled in his house-bus with another couple, he was into growing magic mushrooms and dabbling in psychedelic drugs. But that wasn’t enough. That’s when he started experimenting with heavier drugs and overdosed. She found him on his knees, hunched over their bed, bloated and blue.
Reg: Ooh yuk man, bad trip.
Ralph: Yeah, the way she explained it to me I could feel the the bad buzz, and it must have got to her so bad she caught a bus and found herself back in this small town’s church up on the hill. She walked into the service, sat down and for the first time in her life she prayed, and she meant it.
Reg: Then what happened?
Ralph: She went all religious for a while. An elderly couple from the church took pity on her and took her into their home and looked after her, and she studied the bible and repented and all that stuff….
Reg: So went all goodie two shoes all of a sudden?
Ralph: Yeah and there’s a good reason for that.
Ralph: She got into the club scene and that’s where her boyfriend was introduced into heavier drugs and she actually bought the drugs he overdosed on.
Reg: Tough break man! She indirectly killed her boyfriend.
Ralph: So any way there she was in this church praying and starring at the altar, she starred at the statue of Jesus, and then she felt a feeling of calmness and comfort. As she told me this she had a beautiful smile and looked at me. She said she once read something about atheists, and how some of them start praying near the end of their life.
Reg: So then she lived happily ever after at this old couple’s house?
Ralph: Not exactly, she said several seasons had changed while she stayed there and read the bible and did gardening to keep her mind busy, then the day came when she was stronger and felt she had come through the other side of this ordeal.
Ralph: When she was ready, she stood in front of the congregation and told her story, she said some were horrified, some were indifferent, and some were clearly touched, she then walked past the congregation to the main door, turned back, in that instant she felt released, and she realised how much she loved this man she lost, she did it for him.
At that point she couldn’t hold it in, she burst into tears and sobbed everyone looked back at her, but she managed to compose herself and started to sing a hymn. The priest enthusiastically joined in then the rest of the congregation started to sing along, then when she was finished she turned and walked down the steps smiling with tears streaming down her face, and when the elderly couple came home they told her it was best she moved on the next day.
She told me how that night she cried staring at the moon all night with the deepest sorrow, and pain in her heart, how she missed him, her pillow soaked from her tears, shivering from loneliness and missing her love lost with nowhere to go.
Reg: So this couple were going to chuck her out for bringing their good name into disrepute. What happened next?
Ralph: She pointed to the church, and made me promise that if anything really bad happened in my life I was to go there and stand in front of the congregation like she did and tell them my story, and tell them she sent me. She then took off her necklace, and put it around my neck, it was a silver chain with a small silver cross. Then she kissed me gently on the cheek and said I have to go, and that was it.
I yelled, how I can find you, she said you will, you will.
Reg: At least you got a kiss on your first meeting, not bad for a loser like you.
Ralph: That night my travel companion, James was drunk and stoned out of his tree. We ran out of beers. He was too drunk, but I persuaded him to drive into town to buy some beers. He never came back.
Reg: What? You know what this means, you indirectly killed James (long pause) sorry Ralph, I didn’t mean to make it sound like that, oh man this is heavy.
Ralph: If it wasn’t for my selfishness James would be alive and drinking a beer right here with us now. After the funeral I remembered my promise to her. One day I had this powerful urge to go there, so I caught a bus and found myself at the door to this church, I could hear them singing, I could smell the wooden pews, just as she described, I walked in and sat down. After they had finished singing I stood up and walked up to the altar and spoke softly to the priest, I looked him square in the eye and told him, I have something very important to say.
He must have sensed in his years of listening to people that what I had to say was in the spirit of the day, and he seemed to trust that it was important. And then he asked my name and announced to the congregation Ralph would like to say a few words.
Reg: Talk about déjà vu. What did you say?
Ralph: Told of my meeting with Anna and her story, and the promise I kept, and then I told my story.
Reg: How did they react to that?
Ralph: Anna was right, I saw horrified faces, some were sort of nonchalant, and some were sympathetic, I even saw an old couple crying. Then when I finished there you could have heard a pin drop. I turned to the priest; his face was white as a sheet.
Reg: I would be too; it’s pretty heavy stuff, so go on the suspense is killing me.
Ralph: The priest seemed in a state of shock and thanked me, and gestured me to sit and join the congregation, and after the service the priest came up to me and asked me if I would like to walk with him down by the river.
Reg: I’m trying to picture you - Ralph, a dope-head, with gothic tattoos, with piercings on your nose, mouth and ears walking and talking by a river with a priest. Sorry, Sorry just give me a minute to make sense of that image.
Ralph: It gets better. The priest stops at a spot by the river and drops a massive bombshell on my head. He said Anna just walked into the river on a full moon, and drowned herself. It happened at this very spot a year ago.
I started shaking, and nodding saying no no I saw her, I spoke with her right here, jabbing my finger to the ground repeating the words “right here”, this very spot, this is where we parted, I started holding my head, I felt like my brain was going to explode. The priest put his hand on my shoulder to calm me down, eventually I calmed down.
He saw the small cross around my neck. He seemed to recognise it. I took it off and said she told me to give this to you. He looked at the back, it had engraving “To Anna, God Is With You - Father Joseph. I asked him “Are you father Joseph?” He nodded and even managed a painful smile “Yes” He started praying for her, and then I asked him if he remembered the hymn she sang at the door before she left.
He took out a small hymn book I stood beside him and sang with him. It was getting dark when we were about to turn to leave I looked up and we stood quietly arms over each other’s shoulder watching at the wonder of the full moon rising above the trees.
Then before we walked away we both quietly said “Rest in peace Anna”
Reg: That explains why you went all back to school, and studying so hard instead of socialising , you got a message man, you’re a believer now!
Ralph: It changed my life, something good came out of it.
Ralph: Amen brother.