MILE 32 "The turtle & the mud"
LOCATION: HIPPY HILL IN GOLDEN GATE PARK
An ex-patriot from the UK. An original participant in the summer of love. Smoking in the park.
(He is smoking)
I came across a tortoise once, when I was young. I'd just gone up to university. Oxford. It had lived in the college courtyard since... It seemed like forever. It looked as old as the surrounding brickwork. This had been its home for as long as any of the dons could remember. Except that the turtle could remember the banks of the river Isis... where it was born-And subsequently plucked. Destiny and tradition had determined that this creature would become the college's mascot. It slept in the warmest hay and was fed the finest fruits and vegetables from the University's gardens. In short, it wanted for nothing. Living out its quiet existence crawling across the immaculately well-kept lawns of Balliol. In peace and contentment all the days of its life. Amen. Some would say, as some always do... That the poor thing was much better off than if it had been left alone in the mud of the riverbank to fend for its self. Almost certainly living a more healthy and prolonged existence than it would have out in the wild world. But then one day it disappeared. The gardener discovered a hole just large enough for George, to escape through- The poor thing was called George you understand- However, an extensive search was made and no trace of the errant mascot was discovered. This led to the adoption of two widely held belief systems forming on campus. The first and more popular explanation was-That a band of cricketers from a rival college had absconded with the little blighter. This rumor was given validity by the appearance of "mock turtle soup" on their menu the following evening. However since not so much as his carapace was found-The matter was dropped. But it is still a point of contention to this day. The other more doubtful solution to its disappearance was-The assertion that it had gone away of its own accord. In search of others of its own kind. This premise was given credence...By a number of "Beasty-sightings" in a nearby pond. But since none were ever satisfactorily documented...By sober witnesses. The matter was put to rest by- The expediency of several of the undergraduates purchasing- George's replacement, "George the Second" from a pet shop. I am happy to say that…I did not contribute one "P" to the cause. Upon graduation, I left Oxford...And the whole of the UK behind me. I moved here during the summer of love. And I've lived in the Haight ever since. I'm often asked why I prefer to remain here on Hippy Hill. A drop out by society's terms. Why I still do this…Even though I know better. Another day, another fix. I know it's killing me. But this ride is enough for me. Just to feel like this forever…I've got everything I need, right here. I tell people… I'm a rational human being. But I can't kick this habit. Because I don't want to…I simply tell the story of that little fucking turtle...And ask them whether they believe it was better off in the courtyard or...On the riverbank. As for myself...I prefer the mud.
Mile 32 Hippy Hill G.G. Park
LISTEN to a clip from 49 Miles
Performed by Clive Chafer*
Produced by black box theatre.com
music by Curious Quail
"Apart we are together"