By Eino Hill
What a day. It started off bumpy, waking up to an oozing hangover and having to drop my girlfriend off at the airport hours before I wanted to be awake. But over the next few hours, my mind was about to be blown on several occasions.
I’m not from Venice…yet. Every day I live here, I get one step closer to being gratefully able to claim it. I’ve hopped around this great country many a times, to the point at which I have no technical “from.” In a miraculous sequence of events, I’ve landed in the eccentric little bubble called Venice, and I’ve happily resided here for the past six months.
I pop into Café Collage on my way home from the airport to grab a coffee and a breakfast burrito (even though it’s actually a wrap). Picking up the latest Beachhead paper, I peruse the pages before settling on a group of poems to read as I wait for my “burrito” to be made. One poem really struck me, so much so that I cut it out and slid it under my glass-top table that displays some of our experiences in Venice thus far. Usually I don’t even like poems. I typically think they are self-righteous and nonsensical in nature. So the fact that I liked this one immediately made it my favorite poem of all time.
After a visit to my local dispensary to get some much needed groove back into my soul, I decide to wander the boardwalk solo (for a change) and just become one with the scene in front of me.
Apparently there is a “Going Green” festival of sorts, with pop up tents filled with many different people pushing many “green” products.
The first tent I approach is a tent promoting the Beachhead. I let the two individuals working the Beachhead tent know how much I appreciate the paper, saying that it catches me up with the Venice vibe better than any other source out there other than my first hand experiences. I further go on to say that I particularly liked one of the poems in the latest edition.
One of the fellows asks me which one.
I point the poem out to him, and he says, “Yeah, I wrote it.”
I couldn’t believe I had a new favorite poet, and within hours I actually met him in person! That was too wild for me not to get real excited about. I buy a shirt, I shake Jim and Karl’s hands, and I tell them I want to write for the paper as well. Start spreading my Venice love as a newcomer to this pleasant paradise. If you are reading this, looks like they’re letting me.
The very next tent I go to is a soul-altering experience. A woman and a girl was offering free consultations to see how toxic I am. I tell them I know what I put in my system ain’t too good, and I’d rather not know how specifically frightening my toxic levels were compared to somebody who doesn’t smoke and drink on a regular basis. As we continue conversation, the older lady asks me what’s my sign and age.
“Aries. Twenty-six,” I tell her.
For the next 20 or so minutes, this woman (by the name of Barbie Fox) proceeds to break down everything about my life to an absolute T! Scary accuracy. I never really bought into the whole astrology thing, but I was convinced after her breakdown!
Barbie then tells me, “It’s not just astrology. I’m also a psychic.”
Funny enough, I never believed in psychics either. But I certainly do now! As she keeps telling me my life story and the future to come, she starts weeping tears of sadness for me. She tells me nobody will ever praise me enough for how amazing I am going to be. I tell her she obviously has never met my mother, but I almost started crying myself realizing she was probably right.
After her free, off-duty reading, she goes on to tell me she also does masseuse work. I ask her if I can get a reading while getting a massage. She says she does it all the time.
I only made it to two tents that day, and I now have my first favorite poet that I’ve met, a strong belief that astrology and psychic powers are real, a new favorite masseuse, and I’m being published in my favorite newspaper! Such amazing greatness can only be attributed to the overpowering effect Venice has to those that will allow it to happen.
The aforementioned encounters were but a sliver of an otherwise incredible weekend that seemed like it lasted for weeks, not 48 hours. I say weeks because I evolved so much in such a short period of time, it’s hard to remember who I was before the weekend began. I’m officially a shell of my formal self. That, or an enlightened and enhanced version of the previous me. Either way, I’m not complaining, and I’m not holding back. I am at the mercy of the town’s stranglehold, and I’m not struggling to fight it.
The aura of Venice is very, very powerful. It’s life-encompassing. The creative energy all throughout the area consumes you. It chews you up, spits you out, and what is left is who you really are. Who you’d rather be. It’s a town of self-awareness, very little self-doubt. As Barbie told me, this is my time, this is my place, this is the city, and this is my life.
Thankfully, she couldn’t be more right.