I sat next to Zack on the plane back to So Cal, counting money. I had sold about 200 zines for 2 bucks each, and Inside Out had sold some shirts and Shelter had paid us something from the tour, so altogether I made about $600. I put it all back in its envelope and put that envelope in the seat pocket in front of me. We were all pretty jazzed that we had made any money at all from doing something so fun.
I fell asleep.
We landed in LA. Mom and dad picked me up at the airport, and we drove Zack back to his mom’s apartment in Irvine. On the way, dad asked if we made any money.
“Yeah!” Zack and I said.
“He made a lot more than me,” Zack said, “Because he’s a ‘zinester. You should’ve seen him selling those zines. You would’ve been proud, he was really hustlin’ out there.”
Meanwhile, as everyone laughed, I checked every pocket and looked into my big shoulder bag from India (got it from the devotees on tour I guess) trying to remember where I had put the envelope with the cash in it.
You know that feeling when there is some possibility that something went wrong, and you slowly realize that its not just a “possibility”?
“Oh fuck.” I announced, attempting to eloquently sum up the entirety of the issue without having to actually say what happened.
“What happened?” dad asked.
I really didn’t want to say. So I just said, “…shit…”
“You lost the money?” dad asked rhetorically.
“I lost the damn money.”
“You left it on the plane?” he asked.
“I left it on the plane,” I groaned, “in the freaking seat pocket.”
“How much was it?” dad asked.
“Six hundred dollars?!”
“Six hundred dollars.”
“Wow. I’m impressed.” he said.
“You’re impressed that I lost six hundred dollars?”
“No,” he said, “I’m impressed that you made six hundred dollars.”
Zack started laughing.
“Four hundred from zines,” I explained. “Eight hundred from the tour and shirts, split four ways. So six hundred altogether.”
There was silence for a few moments.
Then Zack cracked a joke, “Hey, now I made more than you!”
Everyone was laughing. Me too. I didn’t give a damn that I lost six hundred dollars. I just felt embarrassed to be so obviously distracted and irresponsible. My head was still up in the clouds, flying in a holding pattern. There was no schedule for its landing, no gate for it to pull up to. I was becoming a Hare Krishna. It was just a matter of a few weeks ‘till Ray would show up in San Diego with a van and some people to play drums and bass, and then I would become one of them and exit the material world.
How could I possibly focus on anything else?
An excerpt from the first draft of
Train Wrecks and Transcendence:
A Collision of Hardcore and Hare Krishna
by Vraja Kishor