Dear Dirty America


Manifesting Money with An Old Friend Amid Numerous Distractions in Downtown L.A.

Manifesting Money with An Old Friend Amid Numerous Distractions in Downtown L.A.
March 11
21:00 2013

Los Angeles

A slice a day keeps death away…I hadn’t seen Johnny in over a year. One of the last times, he’d played on a battered guitar a howling rendition of Devendra Banhart’s “A Sight To Behold”. He’s since moved downtown, away from Hollywood and out from under the freeway overpass. For his safety, I cannot disclose where Johnny mostly resides. He walks around most of the day and lives off only what God grants him. Mostly, that means the random piece of pepperoni or vegetarian pizza bought by a good Samaritan walking along Broadway.

“You can live off of one slice a day,” he said, “but I wouldn’t recommend it for folks who aren’t used to going hungry very often.”

My reunion with Johnny was a serendipitous one. He doesn’t have a cell phone. He’s difficult to contact. You’ve got to run into him. Which is why I hadn’t seen him in over a year.

His long-sleeve flannel shirt, with its black and purple checkers, has a few holes and is very worn around the edges. His pants are the waterproof kind snowboarders wear. When God grants him a new outfit, he’ll take it. Until then, he’ll reside within the threads he’s wearing.

You’re like Jesus. That’s the first thing I said when I saw him crouched beside the entrance to an underground parking garage. He recognized me at once and shook my hand. I sat beside him. You’re still living like Jesus, I told him.

“Everybody knows Jesus had blonde hair and blue eyes,” he said. “Jesus wasn’t black like this.” He stretches his dark arm past the unraveling cuff of his shirt.

You make Jesus sound like a Viking! I shouted. A Chinese family looked at us as they passed by. A cute man and wife with nearly identical faces. Both wearing thin wire-framed glasses. Their son and daughter, it was obvious, would grow up to look just like them. You people must be lost, I said. If you need advice about downtown, we can help. They hurried away.

Did you hear about the new bathroom area for downtown homeless folks? I asked Johnny.

He nodded his head. The few loose threads on his black beanie wiggled. “It’s filthy,” he said, “and not fit for cats or dogs.” Most of the time, Johnny told me, there are half-a-dozen mental cases, who quit taking their meds, scooping sand and dried turds into mounds like grade-schoolers playing with construction equipment in the sandbox.

“They pretend they’re building castles or mountains or are in charge of some sort of gravel company in North Dakota,” he said.

The celebrity mayor thought it would really be a marvel, I said. A big sandbox to piss and shit if you’re without a proper residence. It was meant as a favor for the disinherited Angelenos. This city really knows how to take care of its fifty thousand plus homeless people.

Anyway, I said, I’ve got this new technique for making our lives better. We can get past all of this. It’s called ‘manifestation’. I’ve been working on manifesting my dream home and car with my thoughts.

Johnny lets out a long breath of air. His lips lightly flap together.

You incredulous bastard! I said. I know you’ve got everything you want already, but goodness, man, you should try to at least conjure up a little disposable cash. So you can buy your own pizza and stop bothering these good folks who wonder along Broadway all day.

“It’s not good to have a lot of cash on me,” he said. “Dangerous around here.”

Give it to me, I told him. I’ll keep it in my sock drawer until you need it. I can bring you a five or a ten each day. Either way, we could both use more money. I just got out of graduate school and am poor as you are, but with a hundred times more debt. Let’s pray for success, I said. Come on, come on, come on!

Finally Johnny agreed, but not because he would stoop to asking the Universe for wealth and material fulfillment, but because he wasn’t doing anything else, and he’s always up for a new experience.

No peace when you’re trying to pray…

We crouched in an alley not far from where Johnny sat. Johnny stooped to his knees. I dropped to mine. I explained to him about manifestation. The astral realm, I said, is where our thoughts instantly take form. Over time, with the right amount of effort, your thoughts produce tangible results on this physical realm. I know it’s outside of the bounds of what most of us have been taught, but I’m working on a car and a house at the same time, I said, and I think it’s about to work one of these days. It’s like praying for what you want, but intensely. In fact, I mentioned, I know a priest who shoots a prayer to Heaven during his orgasm.

Joe Mabel

“Why are there so many homeless hungry kids in America and around the world, then,” Johnny asked, “if it’s so easy to get wealthy?”

It ain’t easy, I said, holding the ‘e’ extra long. Those people clearly don’t know the secret, and possibly they haven’t dedicated enough time to using their imaginations. In fact, the manifestation technique is not hard to find. It’s all over the Internet.

On the other side, we’ve got politicians in Washington mishandling our money, and putting most of their lives’ energies into creating poverty, war, and distrust among us. We couldn’t hope to fight that power unless we had everybody packed into alleyways all across America asking for health and goodness and refusing to go to work until it happens.

Johnny scratched his head through his dusty black beanie. “Ok, boss,” he said. “So how we do it?”

Shut your eyes, I told him. We both faced the wall. The imperious scent of urine streaked through our nostrils. Don’t let the smell distract you, I told him. Don’t let it throw off your good vibrations. Instead, use it as a grounding mechanism. What is closer to the earth than piss? That smell is our ticket inward, I said. There are members of the English royal family who drink their own urine, for some esoteric reason, but they don’t do that often, because their eyeballs turn yellow and then conspiracy theories pop up online that they have lizard DNA in their blood.

Johnny was further inside the alley than me. A few feet away, people walked by us on the sidewalk. “I don’t smell piss,” he said.

Focus, I said, on money.

“What about women?” Johnny asked. “That’s more pressing to me than money.”

That’s trickier stuff, I said. That includes lust and love. You’ve got to be in a pure place before you start that meditation. If you’ve got overcharged seminal vesicles, for example, and you’re manifesting a particularly attractive and willing place to deposit semen, you’re going to load onto yourself awful karma. Especially if you imagine you’re searching for love.

“I’d like a good companion, mainly,” Johnny said.

That’s fine, I said, firmly, but today we’re doing money. So straighten your back and start picturing the green stuff. However you wish. Greenbacks. Maybe you’ll picture thousands of big bills stuffed in your pockets, sewn into the insides of your snow pants, and jammed into your underwear. While you picture this, remember it’s all about details and steady, concentrated breathing.

Johnny’s eyes lightly closed. Keep your back straight! I yelled. A couple beads of sweat popped out on his nose. He looked like Jay-Z bred with Puff Daddy. A handsome man with just a few rotten turns in life, instead of a couple fortunate boosts. I closed my eyes, too, and got started on it. Let’s chant, I suggested. Money, money, I said, come to me.

Impossible to get a peaceful moment in the big city…

Money, money, come to me, we both said. Again. After ten times, or so, I told him to be quiet and concentrate. I took a deep breath and settled into imagining stacks of one hundred dollar bills in my apartment. I took one in my fingers and felt its papery edges. I pulled on its ends to test its strength.

“Excuse me,” somebody whispered. A Chinese man carefully tapped my shoulder. He held a rolled up bill in his hand. A clunky black camera hung on a strap around his neck. “Here,” he said. He shook his hand and extended the bill to me like it was a cigarette.

Jesus! I said, we’re trying to concentrate here. Don’t you see us busy with something?

The man’s eyes widened. He stepped back. His bare skinny legs poked out of his khaki shorts. The man watched us. I turned to Johnny. Get back to it, I said. Or else we’ll break the spell. We need extended concentration here.

I breathed in, out, and resettled my heart. Calm, I told my nerves. I was back in my apartment, surrounded by one hundred dollar bills. Enough to pay down my unbelievable amount of school debt. Enough to buy a modest house with good shingles and new siding to keep the elements out, and inside was a stereo, and rooms filled with books and computer equipment and plush furniture, and also a room with a bed, and outside a backyard with a garden that I could tend to during the morning hours.

“Sir?” a female voice said. “Sir, if I can….”

I slowly turned my head in her direction. I opened my eyes as wide as I could and saw a Chinese woman holding a rolled up bill in my direction. Her fingernails were unpainted. Her fingers were delicate and light brown. She poked the bill at my face and implored me to take it. Her eyes stared into mine. Curious, unashamed.

For the love of God! I turned to Johnny. We clearly can’t get any peace here. It’s no wonder why there are so many impoverished people in downtown Los Angeles. Nobody can get a moment to imagine what they want in life.

We’re trying to pray, I told the woman, for abundance and wealth. Can you give us some room?

She took a few steps back. Her husband, the man who’d first offered the bill, grabbed her arm. They spoke in fast staccatos. Behind them, men and women strolled along the sidewalk. Some wore suits and business outfits. Others wore over-sized polo shirts and baggy jeans and hoodies and stretched t-shirts. The Chinese couple, with their children, merged into the flow of pedestrians and disappeared.

Manifestation takes a long time to work, I explained to Johnny. It’s not instant. Thoughts take time to accumulate and produce results in our physical reality. But it’s awfully difficult if you can’t get a few moments by yourself. Don’t get discouraged. I pointed my thumb over my shoulder. And don’t let yourself get distracted around here.

Johnny said his knees hurt. I admitted mine did as well. We’re not cut out for this kind of work, I said. I escorted him around the corner to what he said was his normal spot those days. He assured me I’d find him there again.

You disappeared from me in Hollywood, and that didn’t make me too happy. What if I’d never seen you again?

Johnny smiled, but faintly. “It’s no thing,” he said. “Orbits cross, or they don’t. It’s not up to us.”

It’s in the hands of higher powers, I know, but I’m going to make sure I see you again real soon. I’ve been a recluse for too long — holed up in my apartment writing about politics and fraudulent bankers, and trying to be serious about life. Trying to play society’s game while exposing it. Well, enough of that, I told him. I’m onto following my instincts and letting destiny yank me forward. I’m going after big money and success.

I patted his shoulder and walked to the train, but not before I stopped in at Grand Central Market for an ice cream cone. Real, authentic ice cream. Not the genetically-modified stuff.

“Like” Dear Dirty America on Facebook

Related Articles

1 Comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Brave Media


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Dear Dirty America Copyright

© Dear Dirty America, 2011-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dear Dirty America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.