By Margie Keane
The instant I stepped off the Golden Gate Bridge I knew that Timothy Leary was a liar. He said, “Eat enough magic mushrooms and you can fly.” Or did he say you will feel like flying?
I wanted to go up and grab a star and soar around the earth, but that wasn’t happening. Here I was plummeting down like a goony bird. Maybe I should confess my sins while there’s still time. “Listen God, I have to make this quick, so if I forget anything maybe you can cut me some slack. I don’t know if free love is a sin.”
“One of the commandments is ‘love thy neighbor as thyself,’ and that’s what I’ve been doing. Or maybe not.”
“What’s the difference between free love and fornication?
“Oh, well too late now. I know I have caused my parents pain. They didn’t want me to go to U.C. Berkeley, said I’d get into trouble. Maybe if they had given me some freedom when I was in high school I might have handled things differently. My roommate, Janie, at Cal, said, ‘Let’s get a pad on Fillmore Street!’ I have to say it was a blast! All that grass and Boone’s Farm wine. I can hear my parents now, mother whining, ‘I’ll be disgraced. The women in the Episcopal church will shun me.’ Dad will be ticked off because he wasted all that money on my education and he won’t be able to yell at me because I’ll be dead and not grateful either! So, God, if you could please forgive these sins . . . oh, and I haven’t gone to church, but I have prayed a lot, especially after I moved to Fillmore Street.”
I wonder if there are sharks in the bay. I hope not; I want to be buried in one piece. I don’t want my epitaph to say, “Here lie some pieces of Betsy.”
Wow! Here’s the water, my feet are touching, all of me going under, bubbles all around me. A vapor wrapping around me. What’s happening? I’m not sinking anymore! What are these silver things floating next to me, hanging on to me?
“Who are you?” I shout.
“I’m Faith,” says one. “I’m Hope,” says another.
“Yeah, yeah. And you grabbing my leg, I’ll bet you’re charity, right?”
“You crazy? My name’s Lowanda. Listen, girl, I was working on my second bowl of ambrosia when we got the call.”
“The call to come down here and save your soul.”
“You mean I’m going to heaven?”
“You get a tryout. See, God knows you weren’t trying to kill yourself when you jumped off the bridge, right?”
“Right. I thought I could fly. Timothy Leary said if I ate enough magic mushrooms, I could fly. What a joke.”
“Yeah. That guy is causing us a lot of extra work. So, anyway, God sent you some wings.”
“You mean I get to fly?”
“Do I look like a pack mule? You comin’ with us, you best be flyin’.”
We shot up to the surface and I started flapping my arms. I was flying! I was really flying! “Look, Mom and Daddy, I can fly! I’m an angel, Mom, so tell that to the Episcopal Ladies Friendly society!”
“Come on, Lowanda, I’ll race you to the stars.”
A story appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle about a strange phenomenon. It said in part
“. . . many people who witnessed a girl jump from the Golden Gate Bridge last night said they saw a strange sight. Supposedly, four vaporous forms emerged from the water at the exact spot the jumper went in. They all agreed that the forms ascended into the stars. A nun from Our Lady Star of the Sea Convent said she was sure they were angels. The Vatican is sending Archbishop O’Malley to investigate the incident.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com