March 3, 2008

Volume 12: 1982-93

1983, January 28. Day two of the flood. One block from the ocean. Day one, the water was to the top step.

Duck: Fading even more.

Me: Food allergy. Too many M&M’s equaled a sick me for two days.

G: Just fine.

Work: Padre’s 2008 Schedule. We only have to work 77 out of 84 games this year. Wow.
My free days are getting shorter now. I’m living life focused on completing one last big project before the start of the baseball season. I count and find there are still five journals left to scan and so let go of the quilt project. I’ll begin that in a month or so.

It takes a day, sometimes two, to scan the photos and doodles in one of my hardbound journals. Uninterrupted days that I don’t always have. These old journals are large….11x14, and they are awkward to position over the scanner. Even though I take the top off the scanner and prop one side of the journal or the other up with staplers, jars, and doorstops, it’s still awkward. And I am slow.

I take into account my funky wrist and wear my brace. I keep an eye on my back/hip and don’t stay sitting unmoving all day long. I don’t twist. I use my left hand to work the mouse…once I discovered a wicked shoulder ache from reaching. I’m stretching here, and doing things there….keep that PT lady happy. I’m getting the project done and reliving some of the worst of my drinking.

This last week I have been wading through the journals of 1982 and 83. 82 was my first one woman show, and the year I taught swimming, scrubed the plunge, sold tickets, and hovered in the locker room with an infected sinus. February of 1983 was the year of the big flood in Ocean Beach.

I’d drank a lot the night before. In the morning, lifeguard friends had paddled by my bedroom window on their boards and banged on the side of my cottage. I had slept through this bit of good cheer. Only when I heard police radios outside did I wake up and stick my head out my window. The world was all under water.

“No smoking,” said one cop. Oblivious to the gas floating on the surface of the water, I lit up a cigarette. Hangovers know no boundaries.

Someone took a few photos that first day, but most of the pictures I have are from the second and third of these wet, sandy, chill January days. I was grateful that the water came “just” to my top porch step. Once I got sandbags, I joined others who were busy pushing cars out of the water, saving friends things after the surf stopped crashing through their living rooms, and helping where I could. Once I chased down the fool speed driving his 4x4 that sent a wave into my living room. Briefly I visited Lenora, who living in her studio apartment closer to the sea, was two feet under water. Slowly my hangover went away.

January 28, 1983. The wooden boardwalk washes away. Photo taken from in front of the new lifeguard tower. Then there was rip-rap, now there is a sea wall and cement sidewalks.


  1. saying hello. Will you put your drawings on line once they are complete?

  2. hey, here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra cash, I was making about $900 extra a month...
    check it out ..

  3. hey, here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra cash, I was making about $900 extra a month...
    check it out ..

  4. Can't imagine what it feels like for you to read through those journals. Can't imagine years of experiencing the mundane and the monumental in an alcoholic haze. My father drank a lot and consistently. I sometimes wondered if he experienced life in a cotton baton box.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...