November 4, 2009

To the Beach

”May 1, We move to the beach! Whee!” Volume 1.

Himself: Vastly better. Little energy, but his sense of humor has returned.

Herself: Easily tired.

Reading: Newsweek, Harry Potter 1, and anything else printed.

Balance: Window shopping for an hour.

Life always changes rapidly. Perhaps I didn’t know that from my window’s viewpoint.

Almost as soon as I had taken a caretaker’s job at a Front and Fir Victorian for a historical organization, the Garrison house burned. My ex had moved north. I sold our beach house so I could have an income. I was nursing drug induced hallucinations, paranoia, plus hangovers while doing drugs with my delightful next door neighbor and hosting parties every night.

I don’t recommend it.

My dear friend Jo, who must have seen something in me that I didn’t, suggested we go north and get daughter Lessa.

One child, Lenora, was round and looked healthy but liked not going to school. Lessa was yellow, bone thin, frightened and wild…a wild child. It was the saddest, most tragic thing I had ever seen. Jo, her daughter Ronnie, Lessa, and I came home the slow way. Thru the city, down the coast hoping the beauty of the world would soften life’s reentry a bit for Lessa.

She was still a wild and frightened thing when she started back to school after a three year hiatus. I was able to keep food in the house, and once the Victorian found a new owner, I was able to stop doing drugs. For a while.

Living with great amounts of partially burned furniture from the Garrison house, one kid then two, and walls of boxes all crammed into a tiny studio didn’t work. One of Jo’s friends was moving, and I was able to take over his apartment in Ocean Beach. It was a coming home. Naively, I thought the beach would be a good place to bring up one or two children.

The entries in my journals grew a little longer. There were more drawings as I began to feel my way back into a visual world. Even as my ability to draw returned, I still drank and I did drugs. I saw a therapist and rejected AA as a solution. My child ran wild, then when Lenora returned, both my children ran wild.


  1. Writing memoirs, whatever form you choose, can be very cathardic. You show a certain flair for memoir writing from what I've seen so far. Keep going.

  2. When you read back those entries, do you see yourself or is it another person? I listened to a podcast for This American Life on infidelity. The one piece was an interview of a women, her daughter, her ex-husband, and her ex-lover (who used to be her husbands best friend). There was one really poignant part when the mother admitted to her daughter that she didn't really see her daughter's suffering while all was well with her love affair, it was only when the affair broke up and she began to suffer that she say how much the affair had destroyed everyone's lives. Do you think this makes sense?

  3. I think you are very brave and wonderful. I hope you can take pride in how much you have overcome. Bravo!

  4. what a process! I love how you don't reject any of it, Mage.


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In honor of Captain Poolie, the museum held a Steampunk Show.   She loved steampunk.   Here are a few shots from last night.   We had ...