Barbie on the Rocks

Barbie on the Rocks

“WOW! Did you see that Barbie on the rock and there was a timber rattler right under her!” The young man ran up to me, sweaty, flushed, with wild eyes. The young woman with him looked calm. “Man, it was so cool.” 

I figured it was probably a garter snake. Or a stick on a ledge. And Barbie? Probably a fairy vision brought on by ingesting a white-spotted red mushroom…the ones that make you fly. But I thanked him and walked on up as they walked down the trail.

Didn’t see Barbie or a snake on these rocks.

Of course, the entire walk was spent looking for Barbie sitting on a rock and naturally, a timber rattler. Even though the trail is very wide—wide enough for a large pickup truck to drive up as it’s an old roadbed—I kept a close watch for the snake.

As I walked, I thought about his suspected hallucination and how it seems our society is living a massive hallucination. What if what we think really is our reality? Then the dude was actually seeing Barbie and a rattlesnake even if I never saw her or her slithery friend. But there was nobody to join in his hallucination so it was relatively harmless. But the bigger hallucinations—those can get scary and bring a lot of chaos or maybe we could all dream up calm and peace.

No Barbie or snake here.

It wasn’t the most relaxing walk. I was picking up beer bottles, plastic wrappers, cigarette butts and while the flowing water was clear and clean and beautiful, I kept thinking about Barbie and her fanged-friend.

No snake or Barbie here either

How much time do we spend on fear generated by someone else’s hallucinations? How do we, as a society, become so sure of things that perhaps aren’t even real? And what makes them real anyway? Maybe something is ‘real’ only if enough people believe it in their minds.

I have no answers to these far-out questions. For late afternoon, there were many people out walking. A mushroom eater (?) and a lot of larger groups who refused to yield the way. I could step off the trail and fall down a very steep slope or worse step on that timber rattler or I could clear my side of the trail. So I started swinging my bag of trash like a priest swinging an incense censer to cleanse a holy place. It worked. I don’t need to explain any of the similarities.

It became quite obvious, by the end of the walk, why I prefer to walk at sunrise…before the crowds and kooks arrive. And by the way, I’m super-disappointed that I didn’t get a photo of Barbie and the monstrous timber rattler frolicking.

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