Bohos, Mojos and The Pinus Arista

by Lynka Adams

If one were to compile a newly revised list of the Seven Natural Wonders of the existing World, you might include the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Carlsbad Caverns, perhaps the great vastness of the Gobi Desert or the shocking dense liquidity of the Dead Sea… or… or… or… Certainly none approach on a cosmic level, the self contained, organic simplicity of the California redwoods. I refer, of course, to the nearly mythic arboreal leviathans of the Pacific Coast, the Sequoia Gigantica, tallest of all living things, measuring more than 270 feet in height and weighing more than 220 tons. By pathetic comparison with another earth bound, oversized species, the largest African elephant would bring to the scale no more than a paltry five tons. The average girth increase of a giant Sequoia is approximately one inch in diameter per century, and if after falling victim to the woodsman’s saw, would provide enough building material to complete 35, five-room houses.

There is no doubt that these Methuselahs are the oldest living things on earth. They were growing before Moses received the Ten Commandments, before Charlemagne, Hannibal, Napoleon and Lucrezia Borgia forced their sophisticated wills on a simple world. The beaming light of now collapsed stars was caught in the same branches that perfumed the air for humble species long since vanished into the ethers of extinction. Gnarled, burled, and bent, they endure at elevations up to 11,000 feet. Nature’s laborious rivalry pits ice water winters against wind and fire. These immortal battles have sculpted the trees into living driftwood and so fierce is their will to live that they are sometimes found, roots mostly bared, growing almost parallel to the ground, as if praying for one more tomorrow.

The efforts of timber barons, architects, and simple housewives (who long for decorative furniture that will withstand the harshest of inclement climates) have more than decimated the proud nation of the redwood. If not for the vigorous refusal of tree hugging, breast baring, platform sitting, hemp wearing, urban activists, with winged insect names, we would have only a few acres, of museum specimens of this once dominant and highly adapted plant, left in all the world.

And somewhere north of San Francisco, along the banks of that watery juvenile delinquent, the Russian River, in a quiet refuge preserved from the fin de siecle trends of shabby chic, ginkgo biloba, speed dating, and drive-through Kabbalah classes, grows a sprawling village of these tranquil giants. Here they are revered as the Emperors they are, as the wise Gods that Nature intended. Here the Pinus arista reigns supreme over Homo sapiens. Cell phones cannot penetrate the canopy. Electricity is subject to abrupt dismissal. Here the dominant phallic shape of these heaven kissers corresponds to the humans who periodically dwell beneath their shelter. For this is a Grove of Men as well as trees and women visit on invitation only.

* * *

Corinna sat in the passenger side of the dented Japanese import dressed in her quirkiest rich hippie attire and feeling like beluga caviar among a plate of defrosted brine shrimp. She didn’t know the people with whom she traveled. Andrew had arranged the ride. She didn’t much know Andrew either, having only met him the week before at the Anon Salon party South of Market. He caught her attention by making a minor fuss over her see-through lace blouse and offering her a toke on some fresh Mendocino bud. She hoped she would recognize him when they arrived, recalling only that he had a brilliant set of white teeth, was tall, and under a ludicrous green felt hat, was as bald as a baby lima bean.

Andrew had not impressed her enough to be given her home number. She handed him her business card and he was forgotten by the time she arrived home. Several days later a package arrived at work containing a CD and a short note. “Told you I played a little guitar. Not as well as you play Lace Blouse, but hey! I’m trying.”

With little anticipation, Corinna fed the disc into her car deck for the carnivorous drive home through the raging jungle of 101. Surprisingly, she was caught within the first twenty-five notes. Oh my, she thought, as nylon strings turned into a choir of cat gut melody quivering her cochlea and anvil. Oh good heavens. Oh dear, I’m in deep trouble now. The resonant, warm, tingling tones of his classical Spanish guitar washed over like a hundred-dollar mud wrap from La Costa. The pinging harmonics and angelic choral arrangements reached down to flip the fast forward button between her thighs. She danced her sports car between lanes of rush hour traffic, sliding easily along the asphalt while imagining his fingers gliding up and down his instrument’s neck. Oh god, I’m such a guitar whore, she sighed, flushing pink and juicy from his music.

That night she stopped screening the telephone and when he called coyly accepted this date for a picnic at The Bohemian Grove. Some nonsense prevented his driving her himself, but he provided her this ride instead.

Passing through Guerneville, the driver told her that only a quarter mile beyond the rickety wooden bridge, were the gates of the legendary 134-year old men’s club. A guard posted at the entrance took his time confirming each and every name of the car’s occupants and instructed them to park and wait for the bus to escort them to Zingaro Camp.

The woods were as dark and hidden as a beaver’s belly button. The midday sun, so strong by the river, was choking to reach the ground and Corinna realized she would have to take off her sunglasses to see anything at all. The ancient school bus, its top and sides peeled back like an abused banana, slipped its way up a steep macadam pathway erratically lined on both sides by handmade “encampments”, that reminded Corinna of Disneyland’s Swiss Family Robinson Tree-house. Outdoor living rooms with river stone fire-pits, bars and sleeping platforms were built closely into the redwoods and utilized the living giants for partial walls and cubicles. Beat Era sculptures of owls, dragons, bare-breasted maidens, goblins, geese and growling wolfhounds, nested inside knotholes as big as Kansas. The bus slowed to a stop before the twisty, moss covered staircase of one of the smaller Boho hideaways. Zingaro Camp clung hard to the Sequoia branches with the rude charm and absinthe green drunkenness of a half century’s worth of single malt whiskeys, hand made music, farting and cigar smoking that could only occur when men were sequestered, hell was raised and no scolding woman held dominion.

Andrew loped down the stairs to meet the bus, his teeth blazing like shotguns chasing a covey of quails. His diamond ear stud winked from under an embroidered beret and he wore a vest that could best be described as ‘Sonny Bono does goat hide’.

“Corinna! You came! I’m so happy you came. Isn’t this amazing?” and he windmilled his arms to encompass the full splendor of the redwood grove in all it’s Peter Pan, jerry rigged, wackiness. “You look great,” he said and sucked her into a full body hug as deep as Barry White’s voice and twice as sensual.

Corinna’s head swam with the scents wafting from his body. Having inherited a nose like Sherlock Holmes’s bloodhound, she could individually identify: sweat and scotch, fern leafed cycads, the tiny convoluted clitoris of a newly opened rosebud, a tinge of My Sin or Tabu or some other 1950’s perfumial remnant from an aged vamp’s cheek kiss, and a hint of maple syrup morning and sticky dog lick afternoon mixed with the usual shaving cream and cannabis deliciosa. But wafting under all of these pulse pounding, swoony tune smells, lurked a completely unidentifiable scent, unique to Andrew’s corporeal self; a reeking DNA bouillabaisse absolutely stewing with pheromones and sex and overpowering enough to cause her to ignore his embarrassing outfit. Oh shit, she thought. No nooky since she and Ozzie had split up six months before and here she was up a creek without a rubber.

Now, truth be told, Corinna was not the type to put-out large on the first date. She had been raised with the attitude that guys should be tongue dripping, fur ball coughing slaves of adoration before they got even a taste of the divine honey pot. “The Golden Pussy Syndrome” is how a college friend once termed it. I.e. your pussy is so fine that only the best and brightest, driving ‘vettes and XKE’s get to pull into this garage. But that was in another land, far and away, and time and a lengthy relationship, not to mention a very strong sex drive, had made her reconsider the idea of bait and tease. Quite honestly, she was as horny as a cricket on crack, as randy as spring roots penetrating the cloven furrows of the field, as ripe for rutting as Ted Bundy with a dead co-ed. She had not come here expecting anything more than a peek into the hushed bastion of white, Christian male, world control, but lo! She was certainly willing to give more than peeks of herself now.

There were more than twenty people, aged early 20’s to a couple 70-somethings, gathered on the deck of Zingaro, eating, drinking, smoking (both legal and illegal) and contributing to the potpourri of music that is an historical staple of The Grove. From the in-crowd professional musicians to the tone deaf but happy supporters, everyone held a tambourine or a pair of maracas and shook, rumbled, twitched and bubbled to Andrew’s outpouring of Beatle tunes, medieval monk drones and the malagueña. Corinna found herself sliding a thick twig up and down the mottled surface of a painted gourd and dancing across the deck like a Hare Krishna with crabs. Scriiiiitch. Scratchy atchy atch scritch. She was happy. She felt childlike and goofy and safe. This was further encouraged by two large mouthfuls of magic muffin that Andrew had fed her after lunch. She felt the herbal high roaming through her system and sending the very last of her Golden Pussy inhibitions to the puritan deep-freeze where they belonged. She and Andrew had been exchanging lusty looks that fairly dripped with the promise of future co-rub-itation. Every now and again, he would dance over and pull her back into another delicious whale hug. She could tell he was packing a nice, firm one that was impatient to slip the bonds of his purple cotton yoga pants and come dancing out of that basket like a cobra frugging to a sitar raga.

* * *

It seemed forever until the guests began leaving. Club rules said that all women must vacate the premises by 9pm. It was nearly the end of June and the night was late in coming, but when the redwood branches closed over the last of the summer sun, a moon rose, bright and beautiful.

“Full moon,” Andrew cooed into her ear, licking her lobe. “It’ll be a nice walk back to the car” They contrived to linger long enough in putting on their jackets and collecting their belongings that finally they found themselves alone on the path below the tree house. Andrew slipped her hand into his and squeezed the flesh in a simple, kid kind of way. They stumbled down the twisty trail; laughing and banging into one another which provoked much stopping for slippery kisses and groin bumping.

“Here,” he said, pulling her through a wrought iron gate welded into the image of a jeweled peacock. “This is one of my favorite camps, Bijou Bizarre. At the Summer Encampment performances, the men all wear huge peacock tails over their clothes.”

“It’s a gay camp?” she asked.

“Nooooo! They’re just having fun.”

Corinna found the idea of grown men cavorting in the woods dressed as peacocks with only other males for company, just a bit more than Bijou Bizarre. She figured there had to be some serious bone smoking going along with the cigars, and was just about to ask him this when he sat down on one of the split log benches and pulled her on top of him.

His lips spilled onto her face like a plumeria sunrise over Kauai. She kissed him back with equal delight and put up no resistance at all when he unhooked her bra, unzipped her pants and undressed himself, moving with the practiced smoothness of a shimmering, multi-limbed jellyfish.

“Ooooh baby, what’s got into you?” Andrew laughed sliding his Pokey inside her Gumby.

* * *

Sex is strange, thought Corinna while she and Andrew ploughed the back forty of the Bohemian Grove. Sometimes you know a man for years and yet you’re so mismatched you can’t even dance the box step without someone’s toes getting stomped. Yet here was Andrew, known for only five hours and hoofing in her box as if they were competing for the Grand Pacific Ballroom Prize. She pressed her hands to his head, all bone and hot skin, then squeezed her insides, just a touch to mold better, and that simple little sidestep kicked her nicely into orbit where she circled the rings of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, took a long, sultry fall through the clouds of the Milky Way and finally felt herself break down completely, into pieces of tinkling glass stars. The sound of this breaking reached her ears as a high pitched Siamese yowl and she heard Andrew, who had landed back on earth just a second before her, ask “Hmm. And I thought you were an alto.”

* * *

The moon molded fairy tale creatures from the malleable shadows of the giant pines. The loamy, tangy scents of the forest seemed to touch the bare parts of their bodies with palpable lust. Though the wind was light, it seemed that everything was in subtle motion. Off in the corner of the camp, below a large dinner bell of indeterminable metal and shape, Corinna could swear she saw yellow glowing eyes, a furry human shape and cloven feet?

“Oh my god!” she said to Andrew. “It’s Mid-summer Night. I can’t believe I forgot that.”

“No wonder,” he said, covering her again with his body. And the purple-headed custard chucker, the love steak, the beaver cleaver, the pork sword, Dearest member, sweet meat, mud snake, nob-nozzled, blue veined cigar, found that heavenly Venus highway. Corinna’s fish lips pulled him deeper into the rattlesnake canyon, the pink velvet sausage wallet, the hairy doughnut, the fuzzy lap flounder, the spasm chasm. And loins ablaze, they zazzled along from camp to camp, locked onto the turgid horns of Pan, spreading spooge and baby gravy where they would, working the bald mojo deeper, darker, warmer, until all the physical boundaries were obliterated and dawn began to rise. The mists of the ancient groves seemed to lift directly from their bodies as if it was their energy the trees were forced to drink. They were thirsty too. It was this knowledge that ultimately released them, one from the other, reminding--- that the needs of man are different than those of trees.


Lynka Adams: formerly a Miami surfer girl, photographic model, Oui centerfold, and editor at Harper’s Bazaar magazine, is currently an antiquarian book dealer with She earned her MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco where she still lives on Potrero Hill. Her historical novel A Skeleton at the Feast, being a Fanciful Account of the Early Years of Edgar Allan Poe has just been completed. A second novel, The Wave Organ, written with four friends, is in the final editing process. She is a resident of Black Rock City, Nevada for one week out of each year where she contributes to the alternative newspaper Piss Clear under the nom de playa, MoonTrout.

email Lynka Adams

Bohos, Mojos and The Pinus Arista
© 2006
by Lynka Adams






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