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Farting Chanting Marvin
by Jilliana Ranicar-Breese

Marvin was a lean attractive man with silvery streaked hair in a pony tail possibly in his 40s. Jewish from New York, his unusual job was that of a porno projectionist in a Times Square cinema. It was the mid 70s at the time of 'Deep throat' and 'The devil in Miss Jones' and soft porno feature films like 'Emmanuele' were just about legalised and played to packed audiences in San Francisco.

We met on my birthday, the 30th December in Oaxaca, Mexico in the same guest house. I had arrived without any bed reserved. This was normal in the 70s with only the American bible, 'The Frommer guide to South and Central America on $5 a day' for travellers like myself. I met a German on a horse, who suggested renting a room with 2 German ladies he knew on the edge of town. I espied the little white painted house with typical Spanish arches and a front garden with a manicured pathway up to the pink front door. Everything was neat, tidy and spotless. However when I encountered the 2 ugly unfriendly sisters, I instinctively felt they were escaped Nazis. I shuddered and beat a hasty retreat. Somehow I found a guest house in town and settled in for a short while.

Marvin invited me out to a local restaurant in the colonial dusty scruffy downtown to celebrate my birthday. He explained he had $1,000 to spend in cash and asked me to help spend it! I moved in with him and we went to markets together exploring the area. He was a photographer so we went out on photo shoots and I joined in, however the Indians thought the click of a camera would take their spirit away so they hid their faces and ran away. Marvin treated me to a long white typical hippy 70s dress with hand embroidered flowers stitched over the sleeves plus a poncho made of wool from Guatemala. In those days I was interested in ethnic textiles and local terra cotta ceramics. My favourites were the wonderful ceramic 7 branch Tree of Life candlestick in tropical pinks and yellows and the colourful devils of Ocumicho. However, we just could not spend his dollars as there were only handicrafts to buy.

One memory I have is of Marvin chanting the 13th Century Japanese Buddhist chant 'Nam myoho renge Kyo' waiting for the village bus that was slow to arrive to take us back into Oaxaca. It would then arrive!

Marvin had a medical condition and had to take calcium tablets daily which made him fart especially in bed. Not very sexually exciting and I don't think he watched the movies he projected either so after a week or so I gave him the boot and left the town to continue on to Chamula.

It would be 40 years before I heard the same chant at the Brighton Chapter of the SGI.

Written on the train from Blackfriars, London to Brighton. 14.8.17.