This is the full 21st of my book Paper Squares and Purple Stars: My Life as a Rave Outlaw. I have decided to share the whole book here for free. The book is already available for purchase at www.raveoutlaw.com, and the mobile game is coming soon, www.immortalgames.co.uk.
Chapter 21 - On the Run in the Summer of Love (Summer 2009)
In the midst of all the drama with Gordon, we decided to get out of town for a bit since I really had no clue what that guy was capable of. He was making all sorts of threats, from telling me he was going to kill me, to saying that he was going to snitch on us. I started getting worried that the club or my apartment might get raided, or that he would show up one night and try to do something crazy.
He had the potential to do a lot of damage because he had so much private information about my life and what went on behind the scenes at the club. I felt that my best bet was to make sure my house was clean and get out of town, this way I would have the upper hand and not risk any danger or charges if a raid did end up happening. It would also give Gordon some time to calm down and hopefully find something else to obsess over. So, I packed up everything illegal in the house, and Caylee and I hit the road, hiding in plain sight, touring hippie festivals in the midwest and northeast. I had a thousand or so pills, which would provide a steady flow of income during our travels. We had to watch our backs on the road, but we were safe inside the festivals, and hours away from the troubles back home.At most of the festivals that we hit that summer, I just kept my head low and slowly sold off my stash over time. We tried to keep as low of a profile as we possibly could, which wasn't easy now that I had developed a reputation. The best festival we stopped at on our trip that year was Camp Bisco, but it wasn't the party that was great, it was what ended up happening. The party was actually pretty bad, the place was overrun with junkies, there were thunderstorms all weekend, sets were being canceled, the entire venue was a mud pit, and our tent was constantly flooding. There were some rough scenes there that weekend, people getting robbed and ripped off, a lot of fake drugs, and a lot of shady people. On our last night there, most of the sets were canceled, so we spent the majority of our time back at the camp. We did at least get to see Nas and Damian Marley perform, which was about the only set we were able to see, but it was so good that it was worth the whole ticket. They played just as the sun was going down, and me and Caylee just hung out in the mud enjoying the show.
Later in the night, when the thunderstorms stopped, I left the campsite by myself for a while to see if I could catch Shpongle’s set. The crowd that night was sparse, and it was impossible to dance because there was so much mud. Eventually, the clouds parted, and the sky was finally clear, so I sat on the ground looking up at the stars for the entire set. I reflected on the wild ride I had been on and the things that were truly important to me. I gained and lost so much since I started this journey, but my relationship with Caylee was the only thing that was truly important. From the moment we met, it felt like we were waiting a lifetime to find one another, and I couldn't imagine my life without her. She had been making small comments about the possibility of marriage for the past few months, and although I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, I was hesitant about the idea for philosophical reasons. I don't trust many traditions or cultural norms, besides, we all know that marriage was originally a social construct that was designed to control women. Still, I knew that she wanted to start a life together, and maybe even a family someday, and so did I. We had a special connection that I never felt with anyone else in my life. We were on the “same team” in a way that I never experienced before. Even when we disagreed about things, it was still a priority for both of us to make the other person comfortable and happy. As these thoughts swirled through my head, I made the decision that I would propose to her, right away. Before the set finished, I walked back to the campsite, where I found Caylee inside the tent reading a book. Before she got a chance to look up from her book and say anything, I fell into the tent and said, “Sooo, you know, I think we should get married, if you wanted to, you know, sometime in the future.”
“Uh, excuse me? Are you asking me?” she asked, as she sat up and put down her book.
“Yeah, I want to be with you for the rest of my life, and if you want to do that we can formalize it however you want,” I said.
She laughed, “Is this seriously how you are asking me to marry you? Are you fucked up? Are you sure you won’t regret saying this? You are hilarious!” she said.
“Yeah, why do everything the old-fashioned way? Screw tradition! We can bypass that weird proposal ritual by just having this awesome conversation, I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” I said smiling.
“Of course, I want that too, but we are going to have this conversation again tomorrow to make sure you are serious,” she said.
“We can totally talk about this tomorrow, but I’m serious. When the universe speaks, I listen, and tonight the universe has spoken, it doesn't matter if I’m fucked up,” I said.
After we left the festival the next day, we stopped for lunch, and I was finally able to convince her that I was thinking clearly and still wanted to get married. I apologized for not having an elaborate or romantic proposal, but I just had to tell her how I felt in that moment.
After a month or so, we were getting tired of life on the road, so I made some phone calls to see if the situation back home had calmed down. There was no word of trouble, and I managed to sell off my whole stash, so we decided to return home. On our way back, we made one more stop in Philly for an underground party that was taking over an entire Econo-Lodge hotel. As we walked in, I noticed a sea of familiar faces, all having the time of their lives. I'm not exactly sure who was behind the show that night, but when I got to the door, my old friend Juggalo was working security, and he ushered us through without a pat down or an entry fee. There were three areas of sound spread out throughout the hotel, one in a banquet hall, another at the hotel bar, and a third outside by the pool, which seemed to be the most popular.
There were also packs of fucked up ravers walking through the hotel, back and forth between each area. I was certain that the hotel staff had no clue what they were getting themselves into when they agreed to this. It was basically like God’s Basement took over this hotel for a night, and they couldn't do anything about it. While we were exploring the venue, I was approached by someone who I hadn't seen since the God’s Basement days, that dealer Enzo who hooked me up with all the free drugs that night over a year ago. “Yo, you lookin for some rolls and some L?” he asked.
“Yeah actually, whatcha got?” I asked.
“I got blue dolphins and white on white, I'm gonna have to charge ya this time though,” he said.
“Of course, I'll take 5 of each,” I said.
“Cool give me like 50 bucks,” he said.
“Are you sure man? That’s a killer fuckin deal,” I said
“Yeah man, I just need to cover my costs, you’re good, I'm still waiting for you to introduce me to the owner of Galaxy though, I heard that your product ain’t been too great lately,” he said.
“Yeah well, I've been outta town for the summer. I had some asshole who was threatening to snitch, so I had to lay low, but yeah we lost our supplier the last time we had trouble with cops at the club,” I said.
Amber got spooked when the cops came in a few months ago, and she just disappeared. I really don't blame her though, being a supplier for Galaxy was a huge risk, and I probably would have made the same decision if I was in her position. Enzo didn't seem to mind the risk even after I mentioned the cops, he seemed like the type of person who thrived on danger and sought it out. I promised him that I would set up a meeting with him and Charles as soon as I got back home. It would be in my best interest to bring him in anyway because he was right, the quality of the pills at the club had gone downhill since Amber took off, and we really needed to get quality stuff in there if we wanted to rebuild our crowds.
“Yo, why don't you guys come up to our room and we can talk business? I got a few tanks up there too,” Enzo said.
“Yeah, cool,” I said, following him down the hallway to the elevator.
A few minutes later we were in a smoky hotel room filled with as many nitrous tanks as there were people, which was about six. Enzo handed me a balloon and started telling me about how great his drugs were and how he should be supplying Galaxy. He wasn't wrong, his shit was excellent, and our current supply had been weak since Amber left town. There was something I liked and trusted about the guy too, he reminded me of a stereotypical gangster or mobster, but he was extremely nice and generous. He pulled out a giant bag of weed and rolled me a blunt, and when I asked him why he wasn't smoking, he told me that he couldn't because he was on probation, but he kept it around just in case his friends wanted some. He did pull out a bag of coke and cut himself out a massive line though, since that is out of your system in a few days, while cannabis is in your piss for up to a month sometimes. I have often seen probation push people towards harder drugs that are more difficult to detect in drug tests. I’ve watched potheads who would never touch anything else turn into straight heroin addicts or alcoholics after getting on probation and losing their ability to smoke.
“Why don't you come to my party in a few weeks? I know Charles will be at the club and I’ll be able to introduce you guys,” I said.
“That sounds good, I’ll bring some for him to test and I'll bring plenty for him to buy just in case too,” Enzo said.
We sat up there for a while, smoking blunts, doing lines and sucking down balloons, until I noticed red and blue flashing lights on the window, coming from several floors down on the parking lot.
“Fuck... We got bad guys,” I said, peering out a crack in the curtain.
“Are you holding anything?” Enzo asked.
“I got two of them pills left, I ate everything else. Do you mind if I leave them with you and try to get out of here? I just spent way too long on the run I’m not really trying to fuck around,” I replied.
“Yeah that’s a good idea, we’re gonna leave my shit and come with you too. This room is registered under a fake name. Worse comes to worst we lose a few tanks and our stash for the night. Ain’t nothin but pocket change anyway,” Enzo said.
We walked out into the hallway and towards the elevator but noticed that it was going down. We decided to take the stairs just in case it was a cop that called the elevator. It was a quick run down the stairs, and when we got down to the bottom, we saw cops all over the place, trying to find where the different rooms were set up. There were also two cops with their backs facing us waiting for the elevator, good thing we decided to take the stairs. We ducked back in the stairwell until we heard the ding of the elevator, and after checking to see if the coast was clear, we slipped out into the lobby where there was a crowd of people leaving the building. We blended in with the crowd and tried to act as normal as possible since cops were snatching up anyone that didn't look right to them. We managed to escape the predators by sticking with the herd, but when we got out into the parking lot, it was chaos. People were being questioned and arrested, cops were trying to evacuate the building, and everyone was doing their best to get back to their cars before they got caught up in the madness. Halfway across the parking lot, we parted ways with Enzo and his crew. I never heard exactly what happened behind the scenes or what consequences came to the promoters since I didn't know who was responsible for it, but quite a few people did get arrested that night. Enzo said that he never went back to check on his drugs in the room because he didn't want to risk it, and we did end up hearing that cops were searching rooms so maybe that was the best idea. He said that there was no way they could tie him or his crew to the room, they always had their bases covered with stuff like that. He said that he even had a hacker encrypt his phone to keep the cops off his trail, and this was before Snowden when that kind of stuff started becoming trendy. He was definitely the right guy for us.
A few weeks later, we met at Galaxy for one of my shows, and the place was empty. It was embarrassing, but not devastating like my anniversary show at Elements. I was now beginning to understand that failure was a part of the job and a part of growth in general. Enzo showed up for that party as promised, and he brought the same acid and pills that he shared with me at the hotel party. Enzo and Charles hit it off really well, I guess they were both very business-oriented people who were willing to take significant risks, so it was a good match. Attendance at the club dropped off over the summer while I was gone, and the money I made while I was laying low wasn't enough to live on for any length of time, so I found myself broke again. Things had fallen apart, and I was determined to find a way to put them back together, but fixing our supply problem was a good start.
Good Vibes may have been hemorrhaging money at that point, but luckily Caylee had a decent job to keep us afloat. We had enough money to move into a slightly nicer place not far across town. It was one of those row townhomes, which gave us more room and privacy than the apartment. It was time for a change anyway, the constant visits from unsavory characters at my old apartment were beginning to catch the attention of my neighbors, and we really didn’t want certain individuals to know where we lived anymore. When we moved into the new place, I wanted to make a good first impression with the new neighbors, so I didn't have that problem all over again, and it actually ended up being much easier than I thought. We lived in a corner house, so we only had one set of neighbors, it was a couple who were maybe ten years older than us. They were very friendly people, and they were also extremely religious. They were involved with some denomination of Christianity and very active in their local church, since the husband was a preacher. As soon as we moved in, they invited us to dinner as a way of welcoming us to the neighborhood. We accepted the invitation, not just because we wanted to make a good impression, but also because it would have been rude to turn them down. We had dinner with them the first week we were in the house, and it was a great opportunity to make some excuses for the type of activities that would be going on next door. I told them that I would try to keep things as quiet as possible and if they had any problems to deal with me directly, instead of calling the landlord or the cops. I also mentioned that I was a nightclub promoter and got daily visits from my “street team” who would pick up flyers and get their work orders for the day. The story was so close to the truth that even I almost believed it. I’m not sure if they would have cared either way though, on the surface it seemed like they were from a different world than us, but in reality, we had the same basic ideals, we just used different words to describe them. They didn't judge us for the way we looked or the culture we came from, and never even once asked us our religious beliefs or tried to convert us. I think that they were just grateful that we were nice people that kept to ourselves, so they never really gave us much trouble.