Last one was here I can’t remember where it went before that.
I guess you could say I was shocked. I guess you could say I was questioning what my eyes were telling me. But it had been that way since I’d opened my eyes and saw Janis Joplin playing to the Woodstock crowd, which for those who don’t remember was August 1969. Is it any wonder I was questioning things?
The next thing that shocked me was when my brain told me to flee from the old woman dressed kind of like a gypsy and I basically fled straight into Téa’s arms. Well not quite, I walked between two tents and she yanked me down under a table and told me to be quiet.
I sat there looking at Téa as we hid under the table. Because we lived on opposite sides of the world seeing her at any time would have been a shock, neither of us travelled abroad like we used to when we were younger. But seeing her inside that tent even with my brain trying to tell me the world outside had to be a dream was still a huge shock.
Despite knowing that the Janis was still on stage, I’d seen her Woodstock set many a time and knew that if she was playing Kosmic Blues she still had four songs to play before the stage would be quiet, I could barely hear her. Kind of like when I arrived, wherever I was, when I could hear the voices but not the music.
Téa was holding her finger to her mouth reminding me to be quiet, I didn’t really need reminding but I had so many questions that remaining silent was difficult. I sat there, only inches away from Téa, looking at her. It had been just over three years since we’d last seen each other and she’d barely changed a bit. Well she had a few more wrinkles around her eyes and there was a few more streaks of grey in her hair but I was too much of a gentleman to mention such things to anyone.
“I think it’s clear now!” Téa said as she dropped her finger from her mouth thirty seconds later.
How she knew it was clear I don’t know, we were both under the table and could see the same thing.
“What the hell is going on?” I asked, concern in my voice clearly evident.
“And hello to you to. Don’t I get a hug, it has been three years and I sent you a present.”
I looked Téa directly in the eye, she was no doubt breaking the ice with such words and I couldn’t help but laugh at her, not loudly of course, I was still a bit nervous, but I still laughed
“Yes Téa. Hello.” I reached forward and put my arms around her. “It was so nice of you to send me the present, you really are a thoughtful and caring person.” Letting go of the embrace I continued. “Now would you mind telling me what the hell you sent me?”
“I will, I’ll tell you everything, but not here.” Téa said as she leaned forward, pulled the canvas sheet hanging in front of us to one side and peered out. “Come on, the coast is clear.”
Absolutely none the wiser as to what was going on I followed Téa out from under the table. Not that we stood there long but we were in a tent, I don’t know exactly what was happening inside the tent and I’m not going to judge but what was happening wasn’t an issue. Téa grabbed my hand and headed outside pulling me along after her.
As Téa led me across the field, we walked fast, side stepping one way, back stepping another, side stepping another trying hard no to step on or run into anyone. Although I couldn’t stop several times I risked stepping on people by looking up at the stage to see Janis belting out Piece Of My Heart it was a sight I wont soon forget.
“Where are we going?” I called to Téa who was still dragging me by the hand.
Téa didn’t answer me, she just kept moving, my choices were few so I followed. We were getting further away from the masses, people were still milling, dancing, sitting in a smoke haze and sleeping but they were getting easier to avoid because the clumps of them was getting smaller. The sound from the stage was also getting quieter and when I turned around for another look at Janis we were too far away for me to make anything out.
We hadn’t been walking that long, it felt like because of the uneven ground and all the side stepping but it wasn’t, when Tea finally stopped. She looked around anxiously. “Over here!” she said and ran towards a motorbike.
I probably should have been surprised that Téa was borrowing a motorbike, maybe even surprised she could ride one, but with all the other things that had surprised me in the last half hour or so I wasn’t going to let my mind get stuck on the idea of a borrowed motorcycle, or whether Téa could ride it.
As soon as the engine roared to life I leapt on the back of the bike behind Téa and put my hands on her shoulders. As the bike took off, slowly at first, I turned to try and get one last look at Janis but like the last time it was not to be. However what I did see was the old lady, I’m sure it was the same old lady who I had run from before meeting Téa. Like I said she looked a bit like what you’d expect at Woodstock yet something about her was out of place, out of place enough to make me feel uncomfortable. I turned quickly as looked of Téa’s shoulder. I didn’t bother asking anything again.
Had I actually had any thoughts about Téa’s ability to handle the bike they would of course have been unnecessary, she rode that bike like she stole it! Ok maybe not the right pun but it will do because Téa was pretty darn good at steering that thing through the fields, through the gates and eventually out onto the road.
Twenty minutes later Téa had paid a pump jockey at a roadside diner forty bucks to return the bike to the exact location we took it from. I was sceptical about getting her money’s worth but then she reminded it me it was the 60’s and peace loving hippies were a lot more trustworthy than our 21st century counterparts.
With the bike headed back to it’s owner we went inside and sat down at a booth. Almost immediately a waitress come up and asked us for our order, Téa ordered for the both of us.
“What the hell is going on?” I asked as soon as the waitress was out of ear shot.