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21. Sauren to New Heights

21. Sauren to New Heights

Sitting in Beckman’s Cafe with Bob, is a man in his thirties who looks straight as an arrow. Bob introduces him to me as Bill, and explains that he is the son of the College professor who had had her liver lesion shrunk by an ayahuasca cure.

Bill tells me the story of how his Mom, having nothing to lose, had agreed to try the Amazonian cure at his urging after her doctors threw up their hands.

“She said that on her plane trip, before landing, she glanced out over the jungle and felt an overwhelming power emanating from below.”

We spoke about what Bob and I were planning, and whether or not it was worth trying the cure here surrounded by my redwood trees, or going to the jungle for the “real thing”. He told me that it is indeed outrageously hot there and that there is no air conditioning.

“What about electricity? Do they have that?” I asked.

It turns out they did, and we discussed the possibility of buying a window air conditioner in Lima and bringing it out to the jungle with us so I would have some escape from the heat between sessions.

It turned out that Bill’s 17 year old nephew is suffering from Juvenile Diabetes so badly that it has essentially wiped out his life. Bill is trying to convince him to go down to the Amazon for a cure. He is a super rationalist and thinks it’s all crap. I would hope that Bill’s mom’s experience would convince him to at least give it a try.

Bill mentions that he might be interested in making a documentary film about this.

I take a long moment to consider this. Would the presence of a documentary crew asking questions and filming help or hinder what I was trying to do here? Is it really that different than me writing about it? It is and it isn’t, of course. Just like everything else, it depends how you look at it. But it occurs to me that if I get others involved in the process, it is likely to help encourage me to proceed with it where I might otherwise get cold feet.

“I think it could make an amazing documentary.” I said. “Especially if you can convince your nephew to come and track us both through the attempted healing.”

Bob had to leave for an appointment, so Bill and I retired to sit at an outdoor table where we could smoke while we drank our coffee.

He and I were talking about MS and the various possibilities being offered by Western science to battle it.

“Alkalinity!” A voice called from a table across from us. “You have to change your diet and make it alkaline. It saved my life!”

I looked over to the source of the voice and saw a handsome, thin, man about my age or a little less. His skin was darker than standard white and his hair was jet black. He was leaning back in his chair sipping his coffee from a paper cup.

“Come join us,” I called out to him, and he slid into the third seat at our table.

“Now tell me about what saved your life? What happened?”

For five minutes I sat there and listened to his particular story of woe. Lymphoma metastasized all over the place. The doctors said he had at most six months. That was nine months ago.

“If you think I’m skinny now, you should have seen me,” he grinned. “I was twenty pounds lighter…”

OK, I thought to myself, which would have made you look like an Auschwitz survivor at the time. I asked him about the Alkalinity diet.

“Just look it up on the internet, it’s everywhere…”

He then launched into a stunning disposition on the subject which I couldn’t reproduce here even if I wanted to. But what intrigued me much more than the “cure” was the man talking. The way he spoke, the honesty which poured out, the incredible intensity that he put behind every word.

We just kept talking. He would stop and I would start. Before I would finish, he’d jump to the end of what I was going to say and add on his view. I found myself doing the same with him.

I am now 54 years old, and I can say with absolute conviction that I have never met anyone in my life with a mind as close to mine as this strange, sick man.

His name was Sauren Crow. He was not only as smart and quick witted; he was deeply knowledgeable in both areas I was familiar with as well as others like music and art with which I am less conversant. When he started talking about quantum physics intelligently, I knew I had found something very special in my life. A new friend!

“Hey, I saw you came on a bike. If you live near here we could go to your place and smoke a bowl, my treat…”

And we were off. Him on his bike and me trailing him in the car. We arrived at his place and he opened the garage with a remote.

There was a couch on one wall and I could see a loft in the back with a bed on it.

“You live here? In the garage? How much do they charge you for this?”

“Six hundred dollars,” he said. “It’s not too bad, it’s just the goddamned cold…”

Not too bad? A freezing garage with a cement floor for $600? This amazing man? What the hell?!!!! None of this made any sense. He was a goddamned indigent? Lived from dollar to dollar, from day to day?

We sat, side by side on the couch doing bowl after bowl, barely stopping talking as we puffed. Hours went by and we just kept going at it. Both into Buddhism, Taoism, scuba diving, and any drug we could get our hands on. We started talking about art and he pulled out a ream of slides in plastic jackets filled with pictures of gigantic, beautiful modern art displays he had had commissioned in New Mexico.

“Hey, this would be amazing for Burning Man! We should submit these slides with an application. They might give you a grant!”

Then we started telling each other about our backgrounds. Me, with Columbia Law, Israel Navy, film production, dropping out, internet business.

Him: father a full blooded Sioux asshole alcoholic, studied math and physics at Berkley, got into play directing, got addicted to heroin and ended up living on the streets in downtown LA. As one of the only white derelicts in the area, most of the blacks stayed away, figuring he was either crazy or had a gun.

One day a huge black guy tried to start up with him. Did I tell you he was a Jeet Kundo expert? Anyway, after disassembling this huge villain he acquired the nickname downtown as “White Lion.” He broke into a perfect female black dialogue, “You know who you messin with? That there’s the White Lion!” He laughed with complete pleasure, “You shoulda seen how they backed away!” He was standing and waving his arms around as he spoke. The same way I always do.

Not to be outdone, I had to tell him the story of how I dropped acid while having rockets drop on me in Israel. He was rolling with laughter. “Shit… Wars! Do they ever suck!!”

Turns out he had been assigned on some kind of UN mission during the Bosnia wars. He began relating some hilarious bureaucratic stories and then started in on some horrible stuff.

“I don’t want to hear it.” I held up my hand. “I’m sorry; I just can’t take listening to that kind of shit. I won’t go to a sad movie. I won’t even listen to a sad song. I’ve been depressed, and don’t want to go back there…”

“You’re absolutely right!” He said. “Fuck that shit. We have only goodness here…”

And I knew he was right.

“Look at this tattoo.” He said holding out his hand. On the back was the figure of some sort of multi pointed arrow. “That’s what you get after the vision quest.”

He told me how at one point his Sioux heritage got a hold on his mind and nothing would do but to pass the vision quest. Four days on the top of the mountain, no food, no water. By the third day, the hallucinations begin. By the fourth you are completely at one with the universe and know that you are a part of the whole.

“Cool…” I said. “But what did you get out of it besides the truism that I instantly understood the minute you told me?”

He looked down and thought hard for a minute. “Nothing, I guess…” He shrugged. We both rolled in laughter for the uncountable time.

Suddenly he doubled over and ran out the garage door and began walking in a circle in the middle of the street.

“Hey, you OK?” I shouted. He lifted his arm and waved to signal that he heard, but he could not speak.

“Is it the pain?” I yelled. He nodded in assent. Well maybe his diet had improved things for him, but that pain showed he still had the cancer. What can I do to help him? And then I felt the little dropper bottle in the pocket of my sweatshirt. I had gotten some THC tincture from a Medical Marijuana dispensary the day before. It was the best thing I knew of for pain.

I called him over and made him take a dropper. He stood as ridged as bronze, and I watched him turn back into flesh and blood in about 30 seconds. “Take another…” I told him, and he quickly complied.

“Finger of God, man… Thank you, thank you…”

“Keep the bottle.” I said. “You need it a lot right now, and I’m pain free at the moment… Buddha nature!”

After a few minutes we resumed our animated conversation. I told him of my plans to try and “cure” this PRMS through ayahuasca. He was all for it and offered to help me get to the jungle. Help me? He needed the cure a LOT more than I did.

He told me how nine years ago he had decided to go transsexual and had started on hormone treatments. He never finished the job though, and had now given up on it. “Who wants an old broad anyway,” he laughed. “I’m 59…”

“You bastard!” I shouted, you look younger than me! He did too, though that may say more about me than it does about him.

“This is all that’s left from that effort.” He lifted his shirt. “Not much, but a little…”

“Jezuz fucking Christ who the hell ARE you?” I shouted. “White lion with tits!”

He really liked that one and we rolled around in mutual merriment again. This was my kind of man. Knows as much as possible. Takes nothing too seriously. Knows he’s really clueless…

I had to go get Zohar from school. Exchanging numbers, he promised to call and remind me to come back at 4:30 so we could continue our fun. I’d been doing the Memento bit lately, and was afraid I would forget.

In the end, he couldn’t call because his phone had run out of minutes. It took me half an hour to find his house as I had completely forgotten how I had gotten there, though I remembered that I had been. When I finally found it at around 5 PM, nobody answered at his garage door.

Driving home, I wondered if I had imagined the whole thing. I knew that couldn’t be, though. MS or no MS. But it was incredibly strange, none the less. It was as though I had ordered the perfect friend to be designed and built by God and delivered to me via Federal Express. It had NEVER happened to me before. Nothing even close. I have never needed it so much before either. Rule of 23s? This was no 23. This was a unique occurrence in my life.

In legend, Bodhisattvas tend to show up in all sorts of disguises, most of them lowly… Hookers, tramps and the like.

“What the fuck is going on here?” I wondered to myself, “The first thing he tried to do was help me heal. And then he turns out to be everything I want. Coincidence? Must be. What else could it be?” I kept wondering as I watched a line of pelicans fly in formation West over the Pacific into the setting sun.

July 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. you describe sauren well, she is my friend also:) 2-25-2010 meeting for coffee in that ol’ paper cup this afternoon:)

    Comment by ronee curry | February 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. He /she seems like your best friend because he has the ability to read your mind…he matches you at every turn. He reads your thought half a step before you think it

    It is part of his DNA .

    it was all an illusion

    Comment by no name | September 15, 2011 | Reply

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