Interview with Cleo Odzer Part Seven: LEAVING GOA
- Interview with Cleo Odzer
January 2000, Goa, India
By Marcus Robbin
Copyright: Marcus Robbin (©2000-2008)
This material is for private use only. Any commercial use strictly prohibited.
All rights of Marcus Robbin are reserved. Used by permission of the author.
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Cleo: By the time I got out of Tihar, it was time for the Season to begin in Goa. So I came
back, and I was still working with Sam, and he was giving me the drugs and I was selling
them, but the drugs were working on me. I was lazy, and I just could not keep it together,
and... [weeps] I knew I had to leave, I knew I had to leave Goa. I couldn't keep it... I was
going to lose my house... I had to leave. I knew it early, I don't know when I said it, I said,
"I'm leaving." I picked a date, I think it was March 25th, it could be any day. I said [weeps],
"I'm leaving India for good." I only told one person, but I knew I was leaving forever. It
just broke my heart, because I thought I had found... my life. I thought I found
everything... I thought I had found paradise. I thought my life was complete. I had
everything I wanted, and I had to leave it. There were about four or five months that I
knew that this was my last year "This is my last Season." And every night it just
happened. I would go to Gregory's restaurant, which was behind the rice paddy. And it
would just happen that when I was coming home, it was about sunset, and I would have
my dog. And today there is a paved road, but at that time it was only a dirt road, there
was nothing on it... never, no traffic, there was nobody on it, no motorcycles, nothing, only
me, and my dog. And I would walk down the road, and I'd think... [cries]
Interviewer: How did you spend the last day? Do you remember the last day, Cleo?
Cleo: Yeah. It was towards the end. The last... the last month... the last few months . . the
last weeks, it was the end and I'd be coming home and I'd see the sunset from the road,
and I'd stop in the middle of the road, with my dog, and I'd sit on the ground, and I'd hold
my dog. And I knew I'd have to leave my dog, because I knew I didn't have the money to
take her back to New York. So I had to leave my dog, I had to leave Goa, I had to leave my
house, I had to leave my dream, I had to leave everything. And I would just sit on the road
in the dirt, and look at the sunset, and it was so beautiful... and I just... it was such a loss;
it was such a loss. And that went on for a few months, a few weeks, `cause I knew it was
coming. And then it just got worse and worse. I ran out of money. I couldn't feed the dog.
The insects took over the house; there were bugs everywhere. Lice, I couldn't afford a flea
collar, so there were lice everywhere, and they jumped all over. (laughs) Bugs, ants,
cockroaches. If you live in India you really have to control the bugs. But I had the date, and
I was waiting for that date to come. And it came (weeps) and I left my dog. And I left, and
that was the end. I thought it was the end of my life.
Interviewer: The end of Goa?
Cleo: The drugs... the drugs ate up our culture, our ideals... the ideals were never to steal
from one another, never, and the drugs, the drugs made us go against that. We started to
steal from each other. I didn't, I didn't, but... I say "we" because... maybe I would, maybe I
would have we were, we are a "we." So um, it just, it tore down our values, the drugs tore
down our values, against being enemies of each other, against telling policemen how to
arrest somebody, this, this was a very bad... you know, you don't do that... you go to jail
rather than tell on somebody else and let them go to jail, but this... this value? We threw it
away. So a lot of people were going to jail because some people informed on them. And
some people got ripped off. They were supposed to get money, and they didn't get
money. And some people went nuts over the drugs, some people died of overdoses... not
overdoses, because our drugs weren't... I mean, we weren't injecting, and you can't really
overdose when you're smoking it, but you go crazy! You don't eat, you don't sleep... you
go what I call "Coke-Amuck"... All you want is coke, coke, coke. No food, no sleep, just
coke. So in this way, they died. And a lot of people made mistakes because, with the
heroin you get lazy. "Uh, I should check on this, but no, I'm too lazy to check on this." So
they go to jail, they ended up in jail. So... ultimately, our society died.