“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit.” ― Ronald Reagan

"LETTERS TO BANGO"
I wasn't sure the scribblings of an old man would be of interest to anyone, but Nancy says I should reach out to the kids. The truth is I've changed a bit. A few years ago Nancy and I took a trip to Greece. We stayed on a secluded island and ate some little papers with cartoons on them. The gates opened and we walked through. I looked back and my shadow was long and sad. It follows me to this very day. Oh well. I guess I've learned a thing or two. This year I made it to my favorite corporate desert retreat. A fabulous place of tears, clowns, and dirty colored lights. What follows are a collection of letters to my dear friend, and fellow patch member, Bango. For maximum effect consider reading these with cheap sunglasses while dehydrated and naked. Namaste.

DAY ONE

Dear Bango,

I write you this letter from one of the filthy couches at the Sbarro® in center camp. My feet covered in mud. My head full of chocolate balls. My wig blown. I am merely a crayon in God's shaky hand. What a rush. Molly and Motorhomes® has exceeded all expectations. I know some of the yuppies are still locked out of this mud pit. To them I say, "Leave your RV, your food, your clothes, and your comforts. Walk naked through the desert and head to the lights. Nirvana awaits". Broke in to an abandoned Uber car and found an ill fitting costume and a few power bars. I'm set for the week. Stumbled in to Camp Zuckerberg and was roughed up by security. After the nasty exchange, one of the older camp members recognized me as former leader of the free world. Apologies were made. One of their sherpas lead me to the spa were I cleaned up nicely. Brunch was amazing! Boys dipped in gold, oyster towers, glass chariots, battle re-enactments, and endless dope. I personally thanked my host with the old "San Quentin Handshake" (crotch dipped hands) while he licked his shrimp covered fingers. The medicine really kicked in during the third thunderstorm this afternoon. I giggled at the sky and made mud angels with first-time-burner-girl. Her spirit strong, wild and pure. We got matching FUNLV henna tattoos and parted ways over grilled cheese and public sex at The Smut Shack. I'm sure I'll see her again. If only in my dreams. Well.. these sacred symbols aren't gonna spray paint themselves. Free Love. Fuck the Group.

Love,
Uncle Ronnie

DAY TWO

Dear Bango,

I write you this letter from the safety of one of the many green time travel booths. The smell of human waste and broken dreams fuels every key tickle on this tablet. Each question opening up in to another. The sounds of hairless monkeys, pushing out hard earned dope and animal remains, surround me. I am home. This morning I woke up at the trash fence. I was clear pissing my Earl Grey when a white truck pulled up next to me. A pig disguised as a man approached my aura. I tried to escape judgement by playing with my penis and claiming primitive expressionism. He told me such conduct was no longer tolerated at Molly and Motorhomes®. Swiftly, I found myself face down in the mud while the pig man searched my nap sack. He fumbled with my medications. I warned him these were CIA grade answers. He didn't listen. The brown lighting began spilling on his untrained ham hands. He looked at me with a combination of triumph and innocence. I could see the wires melting inside his coconut. In the blink of a dick trap he began to cry. A crowd gathered as he began to curl in a ball. "Nothing to see here friends. Just a man having a good time. Move along". I took pity on the wounded beast. His donkey mind unprepared for such events. But, I had work to do. As I cinched the zip tie on his thumbs I whispered in his ear, "You're safe. You're going to be alright. You've just taken some really strong medicine. Try to ignore the bugs under your skin". I pulled the wool over my eyes and made my way to Nancy and her loving mushroom tea. We caught the sunset and held each other. The sounds of frogs beating in the wind while I gently cried. Sober burn. You're doing it wrong. When in doubt follow a lost sparkle pony.

Love,
Uncle Ronnie

PS. If you ever make it out of your room at the Peppermill® there's a dirty fur coat and a candy necklace waiting for you.

DAY THREE

Dear Bango,

I write you this letter from the come down tent. The answers were strong today. Soft music tickles my ears as I marvel at the sound of my beating heart. My piss is clear. My heart is pure. My naked body covered in dust. We are all one. We are all love. It's all a dream. The day started out innocent enough. I managed to mark six motorhomes with "Steve Jobs was an Asshole" before some do-gooder asked me what I was up to. "Radical exclusion", I replied. I saw the gears turn in his melon. With a smile he took my spray paint and finished the remaining offenders on the block. The hydra has many heads. I headed down to the porta-potties (time traveling booths) to panhandle. Freedom isn't free and neither is chai. I had about 4 dollars before some frat boys in fairy wings showed up and told me to "fuck off". Which I did. Four dollars is plenty for hippie brew. As I was tidying up my belongings at center camp, an art car filled with New York models and Valley Boys pulled up. I recognized the music was difficult to listen to. Not difficult in a John Cage way, but difficult in a crappy music way. While the crew was busy taking selfies I approached the DJ booth. It's amazing how much damage a liter of Diet Coke® can do to sound equipment. In the corner of my eye I notice a dancing bear. This bear has been following me for months. Long before Molly and Motorhomes®. It was time we met. I put his paw on my chest and let my heart do the talking. He smiled his bear smile and put a piece of paper on my withered tongue. "Follow me if you want to live". We walk for miles until we reached a cluster of dirty people and dirty school buses. Nag champa burns. Jerry's soft voice fills the air. Children laugh. Wind chimes cackle at one another. I am home. Again.

Love,
Uncle Ronnie

DAY FOUR

Dear Bango,

I write you this letter from the comfort of my furniture pad nest in center camp. The wi-fi is excellent here. My chai cup is constantly full thanks to the confusion surrounding the "Pick Up" window. I simply nod every time I get a random drink. You got to be quick - but no one has caught on yet. As we all know this place is crawling with narcs. But I figure they need fun too. Take today for example. I was busy painting dicks in the dirt when the bell of an ice cream truck caught my attention. Who isn't a sucker for a popsicle in the desert? I approached the truck and was greeted by tattooed man in dreadlocks and Oakley® blades. He was giving away ice cream to the sparkle ponies and donald-duckers. From a distance one could argue he was a kind rainbow traveler, but upon closer inspection you could tell he was a Judas. A narc. A pig. A rat. It's all in the shoes. Those puffy comfortable shoes. You can always spot a traitor by his shoes. You can also spot a traitor by the way they dance. A narc has no rhythm because he has no soul. Anyways. I took one for the team and drenched my hand in medicine. Consequence be damned for both of us. Due to my heavy training I figured I had a little more tolerance than Washoe's finest. "Free ice cream" he smiled, "Thanks bro" I squealed as we clasped hands. I really hung in there. He tried to pull away. I went in with my other hand and a namaste hug to seal the deal. Before he could say anything I hopped off the running board and scurried in to the dust. I could tell he was caught off guard. No chance to ask my name. No chance to ask where I was camping. No chance to ask where to get some liquid (You're soaking in it dipshit). I knew Leary's worst was making a bee line to my mind. I got him good but friendly fire had hit me hard as well. Luckily, I made it to safety of some hippies before the ride became unmanageable. Extensive candy necklacing and sage burning kept my cheddar on the level. I saw my fellow tripper again a few hours later. Truck on its side. Ice cream scattered in the dirt. The sneak was busy cave painting the wreck with his own poop. "Have a great burn" I yelled and fluttered away. He didn't hear a word I said. His mind was blown. A crowd of people stood and stared.

Love,
Uncle Ronnie


 

DAY FIVE

Dear Bango,

I write you this letter from the darkness of a U-haul® trailer. The sweet smell of burning couches fills the air. Random explosions and muffled discourse about avoiding an 8 hour exodus feed the rhythm. Drones circle overhead and transmit our every move to a default world of healthy lips and bloodless boogers. Molly and Motorhomes® is a raging success again. Coffers are filled with money. Coolers brim with water soaked food. Unused costumes are still safely tucked in their plastic bins. Unopened bottles of college grade booze litter every kitchen. Friendships are broken over previously unmentioned camp dues and failure to participate in ego driven schemes that made more sense where sleep and shade were abundant. Timetables are calculated to avoid being stuck with countless bags of leaking trash. Thieves work in to the night while moths are drawn to the fire. Thoughts of work and war and Sprint® bills begin to trickle in the minds of the unfortunate. Luckily for me I have shed most trappings. A dirty coat and a candy necklace is all I brought and it's all I will take. Apologies in advance to the owners of motorhomes with freshly sugared gas tanks. In a moment of radical clarity I found these deformities to be intolerable. Your dizzying generator fumes. Your formica countertops. Your gently dripping air conditioner. Your continual reminder of all that is wrong. Mechanical magic will happen the minute some tired sun burned jockey turns the key, sweet sugar will flow, and you will never block my sacred mountain again. Enjoy the night my friends. Enjoy the freedom until dawn rears her drunken tequila sunrise head. Perhaps you've been lucky this year. You avoided watching the PETA video for hours on mushrooms, that shows you where Subway® sandwiches really come from. You avoided poorly lit rebar and giardia laced sippy cups. You avoided being caught with dope and having sex with your camp mate. You kept your cuticles and your bike and your sense of self. I salute you. This place isn't for everyone. At times I wonder what I am doing here myself. But as long as there is work to be done. I will be here. As long as there is a dick to be painted. I will be here. As long as there is a dragon fly to be marveled at. I will be here. As long as there is a "Jane Fonda Traitor Bitch" to be uttered. I will be here. Tomorrow the temple burns. See you at midnight. As usual.

Love,
Uncle Ronnie

 

EPILOUGE

Dear Bango,

I write you this letter from the back of a dirty school bus heading for Oregon. "American Dream" softly murmurs from an old tape player. Dogs snore and twitch their dog dreams. Hippies whisper loving words while our gentle giant surfs the great highway. Sorry I lost my shit at Temple Burn®. Again. It wasn't the medicine. It wasn't the shitty tribal music from Goa. It wasn't because I was still pissed about losing my candy necklace. It's wasn't about you being a dick for not taking all my free bikes back to Santa Barbara although I really think they would have fit if you had just let me ratchet strap them the way I wanted to. It was me. Again. As I watched the temple burn, my coconut opened and I began thinking. Again. It's like this every year. I thought about life. I thought about death. I thought about car loads of guns and dope mysteriously appearing in our ghettos. I thought about my close friendship with fascism and atrocity. People so devoid of humanity they make God cry; Kissinger, Thatcher, Pinochet, Hussein, Pahlavi, Cheney. I thought about how I stole an election from a peanut farmer with a scheme so insane it had to work. I thought about how I ignored an epidemic that ravaged a nation because it just didn't affect me. I thought about the farce of trickle down economics and the millions of people I've screwed in perpetuity. I thought this and much more. Much more. Sometimes I stare in the mirror and wonder why John missed. But I am still here. There must be a reason. No. I am not the same loveable guy I used to be in the 80s. Yes. I've changed. Yes. I've gone to therapy. Yes. I've done vipassana. Yes. I look forward and do the best I can with what I the rest of my life. The temple burns. Nancy sees that familiar look in my eye. She turns to me in hushed tones, "Let go Ronnie. Let it go". I stare in to the fire. She is so kind. She does this every year. And every year we both know it's impossible. Even though I am truly sorry for everything. I can't let go. I would ask for forgiveness but that seems incredibly crass and out of pocket considering the ghastly deeds I've done. I only hope to be a force of peace and light and love with my remaining years. A rainbow in the dark. I came by your camp to say good bye but you guys looked really busy. Took some money out your tent and hid a bunch of medicine in your van. I'll get it from you later. If you do find it please don't open in front of any cameras and save me at least half. Thanks for for letting me raid your cooler. Thanks for the wig. It really keeps me warm. Thanks for being a treasure of a friend and a great inspiration. I simply couldn't do Molly and Motorhomes® with out you. Can't wait for next year. Until then. Free Love. Fuck the Group.

Love,
Uncle Ronnie

© 2019 IVAN URANGA