Trippy Tribe Jive

Buddha Lou, Chava, Space Hippie, Caveman, Earthman, Yaima, and the rest of the gang get down Sundays in the Grove. Let Them Be.

Space Hippie joins Kunga, who is wearing a large red Santa cap, strumming guitars in a Beatles sing-along: "Yellow Submarine," "Revolution," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."

On the third Sunday in November, the potluck meal of choice appears to be Pixy Stix. Overcast, with occasional sprinkles, the day has attracted a smaller group but more musicians. In addition to Kunga and Space Hippie and another man on guitar, there is a blond woman with a hand drum and two men who take turns blowing wood pipes. A man juggles sleek pins; at sundown he tosses them aflame. The ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum of the drum accompanied by the high-pitched pipes sets an enchanting and whimsical mood.

Like the previous week, little time is wasted firing up the bong and passing it around. Whip-It capsules (nitrous oxide) are laid out too. Chava mixes some of Space Hippie's Burgundy in her quart bottle of Twister Strawberry-Orange-Peach drink. He tests it first and approves: "That's really good."

A group of young women break out a bag of tortilla chips and Sloppy Joe's Old Town salsa. Nineteen-year-old Susan just got fired from her clerking job in an orthodontist's office. That makes all four girls in her family unemployed now, she says, leaving her mother struggling with four jobs. Her father is in prison. She says her mother knows about the group in the park and calls them bums. "I don't consider them bums," she protests, scanning the faces. She points at Caveman, who is stretched out on his side: "That man is smart."

Susan says she dropped out of high school because she was bored -- it was too easy -- but she does plan to get her GED. "I'm going to work with Disney, to make movies. Something better than Toy Story," she boasts.

"Whoa, Susan," interjects Chava. "Making movies is really tough."
"Hey, she has talent," replies Cindy, a high school sophomore who lives in Kendall. Cindy lies to her mother about where she goes on Sundays, telling her that she strolls CocoWalk with friends.

"I have, like, a lot of talent that I haven't used in a long time," Susan explains. "No, man, I want to do what I like. I don't want to go to work and think that I'm bored."

Cindy takes off her way-big granny sunglasses and places them inside her rough leather handbag decorated with pen-drawn peace signs and tiny yellow smiley face stickers. She pushes her long, dark hair behind her shoulders and says, "It's not only that, Susan, it's that everybody expects you to not succeed."

"Bingo," says Susan.
"That's why I want to succeed," says Cindy.
"Yeah, me too! So I can say fuck you!" shouts Yaima, lifting her thin frame and flipping the bird with both hands.

The young women start talking all at once.
"Unless you're like a cookie cutter, everybody thinks you're a freak," complains Chava. "If you dye your hair purple, you're so weird."

"Society! Society!" yells Cindy, trying to squeeze in a comment.
"If we're not like what they think -- that's it, I'm sorry, we're fucked," laments Yaima.

Susan's voice breaks in over the din: "You want to know something? If a lot of kids thought the way we thought, this generation would be one of the best."

"Hell, yeah," adds Yaima.
Susan continues her point: "It's just that it's gotten to so many kids -- the way they've been treated, the way they've been put down and told, 'Oh, you're just slackers.' It's gotten in their head. A lot of kids now think, 'Oh, let me go smoke, let me go not do anything. I'm a slacker anyway.' You're not going to get anywhere like that."

"Weren't you listening in high school how we weren't going to make more money than our parents?" Chava mockingly reminds the group. Chava's mother is a nurse, her father a retired free-lance photographer. "We just think we're doomed anyway, so that's why we don't give a fuck and we're not trying to live up to anybody's standard."

"I'm going to make more than my mother because she makes shit," Yaima spits out. "She's a cashier. She works like a fucking animal, man."

The conversation turns to Sixties culture. Yaima pulls out a Syd Barrett CD, the second one she's bought in two weeks. Barrett founded Pink Floyd, and his acid-inspired lyrics were the soul of London's 1967 Summer of Love. He was dismissed from the band for erratic behavior, spent time in mental hospitals, and has been in seclusion since the Seventies. Still, these young women all agree he's the greatest. "His music got to everybody," Yaima murmurs. "Even me, and I was born too late. I wish it were more like the Sixties today. There's so much shit that I want to do now that I can't do because it's not safe. And you could have done it back then, and just chilled, man. I could have had sex with everybody."

"But," Susan interrupts, "they hated hippies back then."
"Not like they hate us," snaps Cindy. "We want to be different. I don't want to be like everybody else. I don't want to wear the same shirt as everyone else on the street."

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I know this was a while ago but you guys really should do better research. Luis is not only not a Lama, having never been ordained in any Buddhist tradition, but is a convicted criminal with a long record of fraud, drug charges, stalking and abuse charges, including violence against women. Check with Broward County and see his arrest and court records for yourself.

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