Hangin’ at Bench Two


Now I’m hanging out at Bench Two on the Berkeley campus. Like so many spots in this damn town it culls up a thousand ghosts, a thousand memories from days and nights past.

I’m thinking about the memorial we had for Yume at this spot in January 1994, almost exactly 23 years ago.

Yume was this cackling gay hippie in his 60s who looked like a wizard. Long gray hair and beard. Rings on every one of his boney fingers. Usually adorned himself with exotic pendants and magical potions. “Time for another ciggie!” he’d cackle, and light one up on this very bench.



About 50 street people showed up for the memorial. It was a quiet, soulful occasion. We banged a gong and lit incense and passed out individual ciggies from Yume’s favorite brand, milled around smoking them and sharing zany Yume stories.

Then the Infamous Bones took out his guitar and him and his crazy girlfriend bashed out a couple of frenetic rock songs in honor of Yume. Claire — the Human Tripod (so named because she documented just about everything that happened back then on the Telegraph street scene) (she’s dead now too) — filmed it all with her video camera. I still have a copy of the VCR cassette tape in my storage locker somewhere. Me, Duncan (also dead), Blue (also dead), Ben (still alive but barely), Krash, even Alex showed up briefly, a bunch of others from that time and place and scene.

It sticks in my mind because it was a soulful beginning, January, to what would be one of the weirdest and most eventful years of my life. 1994.

It’s all gone now of course. But this goddamn bench is still here.








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