Sunday, November 14, 2010


My second "Vision" came three months after the Pleasure Faire. The following is a compilation of my journal notes and the chapter in ALL OF ME, entitled GAY MESSIAH. Since it happened on St. Nicholas Feast Day, which eventually became "Christmas," it seemed appropriate to place it in that context in my "fictitious" mystery novel – using "literary license."
ICDLITE - St. Nicholas’ Feast Day - 1969
On December 6, 1969, Herb and I went to Dave’s Baths in San Francisco, and both of us took tabs of ‘windowpane’ LSD, just before we left our car parked on a deserted side-street in the financial district, and walked the block or so to the steam-baths, tucked away on two floors of a warehouse.

The wet, black, reflective streets were deserted.  A nearby church was broadcasting recorded bells, playing Christmas Carols to the empty neighborhood.

Inside Dave’s, they had decorated for Christmas. There were festive scallops of silver and purple tinsel, down each side of all the hallways – with a sprig of mistletoe tacked, with a little lavender bow, above each and every doorway.

 In the background, The Rolling Stones were singing "Two Thousand Light Years From Home," and I was beginning to feel a sense of displacement. It was like stepping into an episode of The Twilight Zone.

 As I started toward my room, striding down the hall toward me was one of the most beautiful men I had ever seen! He was blond with blue eyes, with a short, trimmed auburn beard. His long, shining hair curled up at his shoulders. He was dressed as the attendants at Dave’s always dressed: in tight bell-bottom denims and a T-shirt displaying a perfect body. He seemed to glow.

His T-shirt was one I had never seen before and it shocked me at first – which it was surely meant to do: On the front was a copy of that famous painting of Jesus-in-drag with his arms outstretched, and two disciples clinging to his robes, with a cartoon bubble above his head saying "CUM UNTO ME!" Under the painting, in bright red letters, it read "JESUS WAS A FAG!"

On the back it had that other famous painting that hurt to look at, ‘The Crown of Thorns,’ depicting Jesus suffering excruciating agony, dying. Below that, the crude lettering read. "THAT’S WHY THEY CRUCIFIED HIM."

He whispered "Merry Christmas!" and kissed me briefly, on the lips, on his way to do something for somebody. When he kissed me, brief as it was, I felt a sudden infusion of brilliant energy. It started my engine! I felt young and supremely self-confident.

To this day I will not swear that he was a real attendant at Dave’s or an angel, or an Acid-induced hallucination. But I can remember him vividly, even now. When I turned to look back at him, just to make sure I had seen what I’d seen, he was gone.

But I was feeling much better. Kissing him had been like an injection of energy. My body was starting to feel really good. It felt like I was starting to glow!

There were only a few others wandering around in the halls or watching TV in the lounge, where an eight-foot cedar tree was gaudily decorated and colorfully twinkling with bubble-lights.

The dimly-lit steam room was empty, so I climbed to the top shelf and moved back into my favorite spot, the darkest, hottest corner of the room. My body felt as though it were shifting gears – from low, to second, to third, and then sliding into overdrive. I felt delicious!

It seemed like my mind was unfolding, like an enormous flower blossoming.
Walter Carlos, who went on to become Wendy Carlos, played Bach’s "Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring," on a Moog Synthesizer, far out in space! And a gigantic mollusk crawled across the hot steamy black tiles and slowly, hungrily, engulfed me.

The steam-room went away! I became aware of myself as a tingling, sparkling sphere of light, suspended in space, in a vast, empty darkness. At first I felt terrifyingly alone, but then, other tiny, sparkling lights appeared in the darkness – dim and widely separated at first, but then more and more appeared until there seemed to be millions of us. We were all moving to the tempo of the music – dancing in space – but it soon became obvious that we would all converge at the same point, where now I could see a brilliant white light, burning and pulsating – far brighter than the lights that were zooming toward it – welcoming us!

The sphere of light grew brighter and hotter as I flew closer, until it finally filled the entire range of my vision, and then I went crashing into it - and came!
The Universe exploded! Bach exploded – and became fireworks in space!

Then, dimly, a bearded face, surrounded with long blond hair that sparkled like a halo in the steam, rose up from my crotch and kissed me wetly. "Merry Christmas," he whispered, then vanished into the mist.

When I finally regained enough strength to move, I went to the showers and turned one on full blast! It felt fantastic – like a deliciously-refreshing cup of cold spring water on a hot summer night. The splashing, bubbling water seemed to be drawing something out of my body and I watched in awe as writhing, slithering, little creepy-crawley cartoon-monsters came oozing out of my body to go, wildly protesting, screeching and screaming, swirling down the drain. They were my "Sins!" I recognized them!

When the shower was finished, I felt refreshed, renewed, amazingly clean! In a word, I felt "reborn!"

Just then, on the background music tape, Barbara Streisand was singing "On a Clear Day," and I had the most overwhelming impression that God was speaking with Barbara’s voice and that She was talking to me, directly, telling me to look around. So I did. I turned and looked into a room which seemed to be behind a large window behind the wash basins, where a long-haired, bearded, naked man stood looking back at me.

There was no doubt in my mind who it was; I recognized him instantly, easily! It was someone I had once adored, but had abandoned, many years ago because it seemed he had abandoned me! I had seen that face, that beard and long hair, in a thousand religious illustrations: It was Jesus! The Come-Unto-Me Jesus – Jesus knocking on your door – Jesus and the little lamb – even the glow-in-the-dark plaster Jesus who stood guard in my grandmother’s bedroom.

But then, the door opened and the "window" wavered, and I realized I was looking at my own reflection in a mirror.

Jesus grinned and winked at me, and God sang "See who you are!" 
 The conclusion was obvious: I was Jesus!

 The idea should have terrified me, but instead, something in my brain went click-click-click and I thought "Oh! All right. Of course! Why didn't I see it before?" Suddenly it all made perfect sense!

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild!

Then, through the open doorway, another long-haired, bearded, naked man came in. Obviously he, too, was Jesus! He smiled beatifically and nodded – a little almost-Oriental bow – and went into the showers.

As I stepped out into the theatrically-lit, purple-carpeted, tinsel-draped corridor, a dozen other naked and near-naked Jesuses – black ones, brown ones, tan-and-pink ones – were moving to the music like some kind of bizarre avant-garde ballet! In the background music, singers were pretending to be musical instruments, making a dance-tune out of "Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful!" 

 I joined the parade and went up to my room with a happiness welling up inside me, ready to explode.

There was something divinely ironic about learning all this in Dave’s Baths – the House of David. Homosexuality was the "Key of David!" Half of our Gay institutions were named after the King of the Jews who said of Jonathan, when he died: "Greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."

Many others were named "Lambda." We were the "Lambs who had gone astray!" The "first fruits of the Lamb of God!" Revelations flowed through my head like a river! We were the "last" who would soon be "first!" We were those "redeemed from the earth, who sang, as it were, a new song!" We were the "eunuchs" who had made ourselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. We were the seeds the Sower had sown, long, long ago, finally blossoming! In us were all the prophesies fulfilled! Jesus had returned, not as one man, but as millions of lovers of men.
I had the impression that I was the last one to discover the incredible Messianic-Riddle. ("Whosoever solveth the Puzzle winneth the Prize!") Today was like a very special "Surprise Party" just for me! It seemed that everyone else had been waiting for me to solve the final mystery, and then the celebration would begin! It was going to be the biggest party the world had ever known!

And then we were going to merge!

I decided my time had come. For some reason, I had been "chosen" – God knew why, even if I didn’t. I opened the door of my cubicle – ready to reveal to the world the answer to the riddle – the end of the divine mystery – and proclaim the Return of The Son of Man – by the millions – The Gay Messiah – and was almost engulfed by an enormous roiling, gurgling, anger. Pure fury! Something beyond terror was out there, in all those other little cubicles, just waiting to gobble me up and silence me forever.

I slammed the door and locked it, then frantically – my heart pounding madly, my hands shaking almost uncontrollably – I found the little pink tranquilizer I’d brought along, just in case something like this happened. (Herb called them his "bummer-stoppers.") I swallowed it dry and sat huddled in the corner of my bunk, clutching the covers around me, like a little kid alone in the dark, until I fell asleep.

Herb woke me sometime mid-morning, waited while I quickly dressed. Both of us were silent on the way home, but when we got there, and were in the kitchen, fixing coffee, Herb asked "What's wrong? What happened?"

I said, "I need to tell you something." We sat across the table from each other and I took his hands in mine. "I found out something tonight."

"Oh, what?"

"Who I really am."

He nodded patiently. "All right," he said, "and who would that be?"
"Jesus," I said.

"You're kidding, right?" he said.

"I never knew who I was before, but now I know!"


"Isn't it wonderful?"

"Oh, Shit!" Herb said softly, putting his head into his hands. He hit his forehead with this fist: "What have I done?"

"No, no, wait!" I grabbed his wrists, pulling his hands down from his eyes. "You don't understand. So are you!"
 He pulled away and looked at me as though I had gone totally insane.

"We all are! All Gays are Christ! 'The last will be first, and the first will be last!' 'The meek shall inherit the earth!'" I laughed happily. "Look out, world! Here come the meek!" Herb put his head into his hands again and sighed wearily. "Oh, God, Dirk!" he whispered. "I'm so sorry! I am so very, very sorry!"

"Sorry? Why? It’s wonderful! Herb? " But as I studied him, waiting for his response, I realized that, to him, something seemed to have gone terribly wrong! He was thinking I'd had a "Bad Trip." "Acid-Burnout." To me, that experience had been the most incredibly beautiful thing that had ever happened to me! But to him, it was insanity. Raving madness! And he blamed himself: for talking me into taking Acid in the first place!

Herb was Jewish and considered anything to do with Jesus as "Christian nonsense." We never discussed it again. It became one of those subjects we couldn’t talk about.

In the days that followed, I decided that, somehow – even if Herb didn’t understand it – I had been selected by some higher power – God or Fate or Karma – to tell the Gay world – or maybe the whole world – the story I’ve just told here – but after I’d come down, back to earth, I discovered that my "task" was not going to be easy to accomplish.

If I had the courage, or stupidity, to tell my wonderful story to any of our friends, they all acted as though they had forgotten appointments, or had just remembered crucial errands they had to run – or dogs to walk, or places to go – and they would then keep forgetting to call for months on end. When we met in the bars they would tell me how busy they’d been.

It was like being Queer and being rejected, all over again – deja vu on a higher level!

It took awhile, but I finally realized that I sounded like one of those crazy, wild-haired, bearded Acid-freaks, out on the street corners, babbling about The End of The World! I was talking about Jesus, and nobody wanted to hear about Jesus. They had left all that religious bullshit behind when they stopped going to whatever brand of church they had grown up in. As far as my friends were concerned, Jesus was a phony-baloney boogie-man invented by the new kind of Medicine-Men – Religious Priests – to scare the ignorant savages into behaving themselves – and paying their tithing – or the various equivalents. Faith in Jesus paid the salaries of psalm-saying hypocrites and child-molesters. My Gay friends had all outgrown their religions and wanted nothing to do with my "new one" – which is what it sounded like to them.

I finally decided that it didn’t really matter what I did, or didn’t do, if my "vision" were true, it would happen without my announcing it. If it were not true, then it would be less embarrassing just to shut up about it. If it were true, then that also meant that, two thousand years ago, some guy named Jesus actually knew what he was doing – "sowing the seed" – and that – if that were true – then "harvest time" was nigh....
That was forty years ago, and, as far as I know, I haven’t been harvested yet. (Or maybe I have and just don’t know it!)

But had I not known that my Jesus-trip was the result of LSD, I might have totally believed it, and tried to start a new religion, with Dave’s Baths as my designated Holy Place, incorporating "my vision" like Joseph Smith, and Paul of Tarsus – and who knows how many other Prophets and Seers and Revelators? Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, Psyclobin ‘shrooms,’ Peyote, Grand Mal seizures, and Lysergic Acid Epileptic Grand Mal Seizures, Peyote, "Shewbread,"  "Soma," and LSD, all are keys that open the same doors, give you variations of the same visions. They only show you what is in your own head – so it remains completely possible that the entire experience was totally a product of my own, vivid imagination.

But, to me, to this day, it still seems to be the most real and valid experience of my life.

It was "My Vision." That’s who I think I am – and that’s who I think you are.

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