November 13, 2009

Dead Dogs and Murals

Jo and Maggie with Jo’s new Rabbit, 1977.

Himself: Job hunting. Painted the old white bookcase.

Herself: Writing more important than a clean computer room. I will have to do it later. I must be better overall tho as the bed is made, house picked up, and dishes done. Got cookbooks all dusted and packed.

Reading: Still the new Robb mystery.

Balance: Poetry workshop where they were kind about my endless journal writing here.

Once again, I changed journals. From the 8x10 hardbounds, I now expanded into 11 by 14’s that offered greater space for drawing and pasting in ephemera.

June 6:
Are there days you walk upon the beach and all the people look like someone that you had expected to see, that you know? Are there days you walk upon the beach and all the seaweed piles look like dead dogs? …those days you cannot bear to crunch a seashell although the sand is made of them?

July 8:
While sitting in the alley jawing and drinking beer with the magical people who live next door to the Purple Palace, I got to thinking that these are the good old days. We talked about everything from Greg and his dreams of going on the space shuttle to the details of how to fix an automatic transmission. I don’t think I have had two cans of beer like this since high school, but today all that mattered was being here. Listening.

July 15:
I am having fun. As I told Jo, I am playing at being a middle-class mom. My dear mother thought it important for the kids to know how to sail, so every morning I am up and at ‘em getting the kids to the Club on time for sailing lessons. Every evening at five, I am there at dockside to pick up the kids. I don’t visually clash with the other mothers too much as I try to match my clothing to theirs. I always have lipstick on. How different this life is now.

August 2:
Lenora in and out, in and out. She wraps a scarf on her foot. She wraps a scarf around the cat. She comes in with a scarf wrapped around the other kitty. All this makes poor old Pico look like Morris, and makes me think my kids need a lot of love tonight.

Jo is back from her long trip north with her lover. It was to have been a wonderful relaxing journey with no kids, but Jo became ill, and her husband went north to pick her up. Jo got me a mural commission this week. I am to paint a tree with fruit on the side wall of a yogurt shop. I appreciate her remembering me right now, for I know how badly she feels.

August 25
Hal, an old lover, has gotten me a nice big mural job. After the accident in the borrowed car, I certainly need some income to pay mother back for the repairs. Instead of starting on the mural, I have been finding mold and cleaning everything out to get rid of it.

The sailing lessons have ended on a sad note. Lenora let her mouth run off a bit after she was strongly criticized. The young instructor kicked her out. Lessa reacted in kind and quit. An ignominious end to a great experience. I am sorry it had to end this way, but they both did learn to sail.

I must have been overly tired when I went to bed last night from all the mess of the accident, for I had another, and very terrifying, hallucination. I awoke suddenly to see a one armed man with a badly scarred face standing in my doorway. Slowly he moved his head side to side. I lay in bed with my eyes wide open, and, truly, my heart was in my neck pounding. Gradually he began to fade, and the sounds of Milaka getting home from baby-sitting filled the void.

How long will these flashes of madness last? Will these hallucinations continue for years? When I am tired, will all the seaweed on the sand continue to turn into dead dogs? The brain damage from the drugs was more than I ever dreamed of. I pray that I can live a normal life soon for the kids. For me too.

August 31
Mother is much worse. Her one good kidney is failing. At the hospital this evening, I watched Bob as he was actually physically cruel to her. She lay there helpless as he tweaked and pinched her toes until tears came to her eyes then he treated her as if she didn’t matter. What a frightening way of expressing his anger. I tried to react, to do something, but they both brushed me off. How can she be so calm? Out in the car now, I have been crying. The ruthless unkindness of the man frightens me, and I am so afraid for mother.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Your mother's old white bookcase?

    I am telling you, these entries are so astounding, so moving. I am proud of you then for writing and drawing, and I am proud of you now. I think what a wonderful place this world is, that I have met you and am learning more about how incredible you are and always were.

    (I removed the prior post due to misspellings, the cause of too rapid typing. Egad. Here it is again, much easier to read.)

  3. I always knew you were special from the beginning when you were heavily into the Duck writing. The more I learn, the more I know I was right. You also have guts! (Uh, I'm sorry, I should say "intestinal fortitude."


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


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