If a 24-year-old Ali MacGraw had walked into the room the evening would have been complete. “History is a reality.” What? I was in the Malibu Colony and history was about to be obliterated whilst Shirley Maclaine and I watched. Someone had invited me to a “party with a healer” and I just couldn’t resist. Two things were key selling points; 1: a party on a Saturday night and 2: the Malibu Colony. The healer thing I just ignored. I mean if you pay attention to little details like that you will never go out.
I’m about to be cleansed! My body is going to get lighter (God knows it needs it); I must open my hands upwards but I can’t use both hands because I refuse to put my wine down. Actually, I can’t put either hand up because the other hand is writing. Okay, okay I feel the room staring at me, I will put one up! I glance around the silent room. The waves are crashing outside and I can’t believe no one has told the ocean to be quiet. I look at my friend who came with me and she looks 17. Two dogs outside need cleaning for sure but they look happy enough. The Latino caterer wold probably like a clean shot of tequila with his girlfriend, instead he stands at the back of the white washed room full of dumb-dumbs yearning for magic to wipe all of their problems away.
Sitting on the floor listening to nothing in particular, I think about what would really heal some of these people. If on a daily basis anyone of these hopefuls would open their Botox eyes and just watch the grass grow or laugh so hard they intentionally induce crows feet, I feel they might have a chance. I look around the room again knowing full well that these same people will cut me off on PCH because I drive an old pickup truck, that the love they feel now is nervousness and heat because they are being put on the spot by this “southern” fruitcake who bares a striking resemblance to Bill Clinton, and a drunken painter friend of mine.
There was a line by Max Von Sydow in Hannah And Her Sisters that goes something like this: “If Jesus were to come back today, and saw what was going on in his name, he would never stop throwing up.” On the eve of Easter Sunday, I’m having a very hard time watching, listening and keeping my mouth shut during this special “healing” event. I think of myself as a fairly intuitive person, open-minded and sarcastic. I’ve done my time in church, yoga, meditation, tai chi, and I’ve creatively visualized myself right into therapy. I know one thing for sure, that this puffed up fella does NOT have the touch. And of course this makes me hostile. I want him to call me out and ask me what I want healed. I might say; “the bruise on my hip please” or “the corns on my toes.” The way I see it, is that life simply has its ups and downs. Sometimes I feel happy and blessed and other days doomed and depressed. Big deal.
The caterers face is proving too much for me to look at without laughing. At least he is getting paid. My friend is doing her best to keep her hands open in a “healing ” manner but the broccoli she keeps dipping is hindering her. As she crunches her way out of the room I tell myself that at the very least this is entertaining.
“We are 100% energy”, the man proclaims. “We must cleanse ourselves of the burden of our lineage!” Now just how am I going to do that? Why should my grandfather apologize to his father? Why should I forgive my father? What about my great grand father? I never knew the man, and as far as I can tell, I should thank my ancestors for coming over on the boat and getting good jobs…(legally!!) Life is hard folks. Make a great meal, dance, sing, cry and TRY to be a nice person. This is what I want to say to the very tan man at the front of the room.
And as for Shirley? How the hell can this be Sweet Charity? Where is that amazing smile? Why does she feel the need to dye her hair that very unnatural color? Why is she giving the stink-eye to people whispering in the back of the room? Shouldn’t an “enlightened being” smile gently and let things happen, let people become “aware” in their own good time? And where is Burt Reynolds when you need him?
I suppose when Shirley was wearing feather boas and dancing her heart out she never really thought of her future. I suppose as most young people do, she was just living. Now she sits on a make shift throne holding court for a group of hopeful actors, jesters and cynics like me. Ah but she is untouchable! Being invited to a party in Malibu where some healer is going to throw down some good vibes, could I have really asked that Ms. McClain be there too? What are the odds? Good ones I guess.
Familiar faces begin to take shape in the mystic cloud that is this room. Only the “dream catcher” hanging in the upper left corner is a true witness! A painter I once lusted after and idolized materializes before me. He is in a crumpled suit, his hands shake and he will not speak to me. Drugs? Booze? He now lives in a beat up RV in a parking lot in Venice. He isn’t living the life of Julian Schnable. What happened? He sits next to a girl I knew from high school. Although I suspected she was losing the fight for sanity years ago, she was once a great beauty. Now she is at least 100 pounds over wight and speaking jibberish…not in tongues. My heart breaks for her. Another casualty of any number of things. How do these people try to put their lives back together? Perhaps an invitation to a “healer” will give them hope for a day, an evening? What then? What happens if this girl doesn’t have a computer so she can go to Mr. Healers website?
People want to be touched or pet like a cat. Told how wonderful they are every once and a while, walked, fed, made to feel wanted. But we can’t go around treating people like dogs can we?
My friend and I finally sneak out the back door. Mr. Healer had lost half the room by our accounts. He had gone on and on about his ability to cure the sick for 2 hours. I can’t sit through a Brad Pitt movie for that long. Although I feel Brad has more restorative qualities.
As we drive home we tell ourselves that at the very least, we went out! We took the risk in order to have a good time and maybe meet Mr. Right. Of course if Mr. Right had stood in the middle of that vortex turning around slowly so that our eyes could heal him, we would have probably dubbed him Mr. No Way.
Our one mistake was not allowing the healer to take care of my friends cough. It would have spared her the doctors visit.