Even from the car it differed from all the other coffee houses Juno knew in at least one respect, by being real conspicuous. It occupied its own building, and you couldn’t overlook the name in giant lettering across the front. Seemed like folk was on the menu in Hollywood after all, just like giant lettering. At least it was all happening above ground.
The second she walked inside, Juno knew that this wasn’t the only difference. She and the guys hadn’t even got as far as the lounge with the stage yet, only a kind of lobby, though a couple people sitting around out here were playing guitars. But it hit Juno right there and then like a bolt from the sky. She just knew that the air was habitually different in this place, that the supple, kind of buoyant but at the same time super-dense vibe she’d been feeling in varying degrees of strength this past year was so inherent here as to be practically at home.
This was a source.
After that Juno drifted in a trance. David took her by the hand and led her through double doors into the main venue, where there was a group onstage. He introduced her to lots of people. The only names she remembered were those of Chris and Michael, the two new Beefeaters, but after a couple moments she couldn’t have pointed them out. And the only face she kept in mind was that of the place’s beanpole owner, ’cause it was so high up. His name escaped her right away, though. She finally found her feet again when David sat her down at a table beside a cute brunette with a strong southern accent surrounded by a bunch of guys and said, ‘I gotta go play. Don’t go away!’
The Beefeaters were strapping up their guitars onstage and arranging themselves ’round the mikes, like Juno’d seen so many groups do. But again something was different. The guitars didn’t look like Peter Elbling’s or Ian Tyson’s. They were the kind The Beatles had. Juno hadn’t caught sight of these in a folk club before. And then The Beefeaters started playing.
The first few moments Juno didn’t know what to think. It was definitely folk, but then again it was kind of like The Beatles, too. It sure was different. Different with knock-out harmonies. It also made Juno feel different, different from anything she’d ever experienced in her life with the exception of one time, on her sixth birthday. Juno became aware that again she was on a high from seeing the future. But this time it wasn’t a flashahead. This time the future was right in front of her eyes there and then.
She rose real slow as David looked at her imploringly from the stage, singing to her in his silky-smooth voice that she was the only girl he adored. Juno looked around the room as if in a dream, turned and walked slowly past all the tanned, grooving people, walked on through the lobby with its strumming and laughter, walked out onto the night-time street where open-top cars were cruising in the Pacific breeze gently stirring the palm trees. When she pulled the duvet tight in her bed back in Hastings-Sunrise shortly after, she knew her days there were over.
Juno had found her spiritual home.
Juno was going to Southern California.