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December 2, 2005

excerpts from my letters to jo(e) rabbit

Hey Baby! (may 27th, 1999)

Right now you're in your mom's tummy. You're probably only a few hundred cells by now. You're not even a lump yet.
...
You won't remember what you were thinking or what was going on right now when you're old enough to think about such things, so that's why I'm writing this. So you'll at least know what was going on from the outside.

I love your momma, and I'm glad you're going to be born. I'll be glad to see you. It's almost 9 months before I get to see your face. I can't wait!

Hi baby (may 28th, 1999)

I've started to get used to the reality of you. What a trip! A cross between your Mom and I. We are both so different!

People are so strange when I tell them about you. They don't know what to say. It's a little like some kind of limbo-dreamtime. Externally things are still the same. I'm still living in the same place and doing the same job. But now there's this secret undercurrent in my life. A seed has been planted. The seed of you, and your life, that must now ripen and come to fruition.

When I am almost 30, you will be in grade school...then, when I am about 40, you will be learning to drive.

Baby I am not afraid! (no date)

Fear is confusion itself!

This is not just bravado. I have been afraid and confused before and I will no doubt be afraid and confused again.

Hey baby, it's June 7th!

You're almost a month old. Your mom is starting to notice you! Her chemicals are all wacky and she's throwing up and has to stay home from work.

She can't tell anyone until she moves out of her mom's house, and so she must feel pretty lonely about it. She has you and me though. We'll take care of her. Her body will get used to you soon enough. It must be strange having you in her body.

It's so funny, it's so like me, I can't wait to touch you. I bet you'll have crooked teeth like me and my mom. Your mom has super pretty teeth but I think she has had braces...silly things. Crooked teeth aren't too bad. They've kept me from getting too vain.
...
Well, good luck with your gestation. I hope it's going well for you in there.

Hi Baby! June 9th, 1999

Happy one month of being alive!
...

Good Morning Kiddo (June 12th, 1999)

...
A couple here has a baby. They look so weird and squishy. I don't usually imagine you as a baby. I imagine you as 6 or 7 or so. I can see you as either a boy or a girl in the mind's eye.
...

Hey, little bug. (June 15, 1999)

We had an audience with Thrangu Rinpoche. It was very cool, about 20 or so of us in the living room with him and asking personal questions. I told him that you were growing in the womb and asked if he had any succinct advice. This was his response as closely as I remember (from the translation of course):

"The most important thing is to be loving to your child. This means not just showing your love with loving words and loving touch, but truly wanting the best for your child.

The difficulty is, that, sooner or later you will start to get an idea of what the best is, and because of the nature of expectations, it is impossible that the child will turn out exactly as you hope. So you must exercise patience towards what actually happens."

Hey Jo(e) (June 21st, 1999)

Your mom and I decided to come up with a "working title" for you. Some name that could be either sex, because we're getting al ittle tired of calling you "the kid" or even worse, "it". Cammy suggested "The Gipper" - but we finally decided on "Jo(e)". I think maybe there was more to it, but it works for now.

I was sitting here at 5 points 5th and Denny, at the statue of Chief Seattle, and the was a bearded guy in a skirt sitting next to me, staring at the water in the fountain, or maybe at the bottom of the fountain, or maybe the leaves in the fountain. We'll never know.

So finally, after about 10 minutes, he gets up and comes over to me. His skirt is long, a muted color. It hangs to his sneakers.

"I have a question for you," he says, "and it doesn't require an answer."

I sort of nodded, like saying, "Ok, shoot."

"How much freedom can you handle?" he asked.

I nodded again, aknowledging that the question had been heard and he quickly turned away. Attached to the zipper of his backpack I saw a small white feather.

My first instinct was to dismiss the question as a young man who thinks he has everything figured out, and perhaps read too many Robert Anton Wilson books. But quickly I realized...how often is it that you get such clear and straightforward messages from the guru. Not very often. And so I offer this question to you. How much freedom can you handle?

Jo(e) Rabbit (June 30th, 1999)

Yes, that's what it was, Jo(e) Rabbit. I don't know why. Your mom just has her ways about things and I never know quite where they come from.

We are moving into the new house this Fourth of July weekend, a house you could become very familiar with. You'll like it, Jorabbit, growing up on the beach. The idea sounds pretty nice to me.

I wonder if you will have little Tulalip Indians for friends? It is possible. I don't even know what the Tulalips are really like. I've never met one, but I'm sure that I will.

Joe Rabbit (July 14th, 1999)

I don't think I'm going to close this notebook. Not just yet.

It's just that it's getting a little hard to continue to write to you not that I know I may not meet you face to face in this lifetime, unless you are born again into this world and time. It's not impossible, but it truly doesn't seem like this was the time for you.

So now you and I are equals again, just another two beings wandering in samsara, with me not there specifically to guide or protect you. Part of me wishes I could. I was prepared to. God knows!

I will go live with your momma now, though, and hopefully we will live in the spirit of you and in remembrance of your beauty.

January 14, 2002

letters from cammy VII: i am so tiny

I hear everything AND
I know nothing.

Maynard and I am soulmates, he taps right into my insanity.
What matters after that.
WHAT MATTERS
WHAT
WHAT

Don't we all seek the perfect circle.

Church boy is still running after me
GOOD FUCKING LUCK, SORRY i SAID A BAD WORD, CAN I BORROW YOUR JEEP,

I have failed a thousand times
go away, i am killing you
for what
for christ

and you my Daniel,
You are always obvious, I am, I am,
isn't it difficult to feel passed over.
i LASTED WAY LONGER THAN I SHOULD HAVE,
ARE YOU naked, lost.

don't see me
don't see me
don't see me

Eyes of a tragedy,

i see through it all
i see you
the obvious,

behind me
behind me

oh well
APPARANTLY NOTHING
APPARANTLY NOTHING
NOTHING AT ALL

YOU KNOW YOU DON'T SEE ME

YOU KNOW
YOU KNOW
YOU KNOW

YOU DON'T SEE ME AT ALL

IN JAIL IN THE CRAZIEST MOMENTS, THAT'S ALL THAT GOT THROUGH
YOU KNOW
YOU KNOW
YOU KNOW
YOU KNOW

SO MANY JUNKIES TO MEET SO MANY PEOPLE SO LOST
A FIREMAN, TULALIP BAY, RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER

POOR MAN

ALL MEN ARE LOST TO ME, i HATE THEM,
I FEAR THEM, I CRY AT THEIR FEET, THEY LOVE THAT.
I WILL LEAVE, I AM SO TINY AND IN NEED OF THOSE BIG STRONG ARMS,
THEY SEEM SURPRISED AT MY RAGE.

I WILL FIND THE CENTER IN YOU, I WILL CHEW IT UP AND LEAVE,
I WILL I WILL I WILL I WILL

GOD HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL
I AM

January 13, 2002

letters from cammy VI: unravelled

WANNA KNOW WHAT I DID ON THIS BEAUTIFUL $15,000.00 DAY
WELL .......
MY BOYFRIEND TOOK ME TO RAYS BOATHOUSE FOR A LOVELY LUNCH ON THE WATER AND
THEN TO THE ATHENIAN OVERLOOKING ELLIOT BAY AND TO BELLTOWN PUB AND THEN WE SHOPPED ALL OVER BELLTOWN
AND WHILE I GOT MY HAIR CUT HE ASKED ALL ABOUT YOUR SO CALLED
LIFESTLYE...........what could i say just the truth.......
I THINK THE WORD WAS "NEEDS ASS KICKED" BUT I SAID 'NO MR. L.A. NO NO
HE HAS WHAT HE DESERVES he sleeps without me......

BALD BALD BALD BALD BALD BALD BALD BALD BALD what what

SEE HOW THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING

SO PROBABLY YOU WILL BE HEARING FROM HIM.
NO BIG DEAL JUST A 'man' to MY MAN....
CANADIANS RULE

OOPS THIS IS PROBABLY CONSIDERED WHAT WAS IT HOSTILE OFFENSIVE ABUSIVE YES
THAT IS THE WORD ABUSIVE ABUSIVE ABUSIVE ABUSIVE ABUSIVE OH AND WHILE I AM
AT IT ......

YOUR SLUTTY FRIEND CARA WITH THE CRABS SHE STOLE THAT LINE
'DICK, DICK, DICK, DICK, DICK' FROM RESEVIOUR DOGS ..... LIKE SHE COULD BE
ORIGINAL ,,,,,,,

WHAT AN IDIOT I HOPE YOU TWO LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. DOES SHE MAKE YOUR SHOES YET. HAVE YOU MOVED TO HER COMMUNE YET HAVE YOU BEEN TO NEPAL YET ARE YOU A MONK YET NO NO NO NO NO NO WILL YOU EVER FUCK NO DREAM ON STEVEN, DREAM ON DREAM ON DREAM ON BYE STEVEN

January 12, 2002

letters from cammy V: sometimes

Sometimes the girl knew me far too well for my own good:

There's something I've been wanting to say to you, now is probably a good time.

I've known you for along time and I know that you have a good heart and if you acted with as much mindfullness in your day to day life, as you do with your shrine room and your dharma books, life might be a little easier with Less conflicts and suffering and all of those Dramatic frustrations.

You act with great care around the "Official Dharma items" but with other things in your day (some of the time, not all of the time, but enough) you act as if your actions do not matter, or you are completely oblivious to the person or item that you're bruising, in the end the lack of mindfull ness causes you more suffering. I become so frustrated when you just pay no attention.. I think I have pelted you with vicious attacks bout your selfish me, me, me-ness and about pushing me out of the way and spilling things on the carpet, but those really aren't what is at the root of things...

Remember when I got so mad at you when we were at the lama's and you had your shoes on in the kitchen and i said you should take them off. that's what i'm talking about. and i feel so sad when you are confused and hurt, and then i get madder because i can predict what's going to happen. i see where a huge samsaric tidal wave crashes over you.

My intention is not to hurt you Daniel. This is not an attack. I love you and maybe I am so wrong and full of my own puffed up feathers. I only want peace for you and for our household.

I also had a wonderful time over the holidays. you little tender nugget

January 11, 2002

letters from cammy IV: me and my advice

This was the Email from her:

Oh, oh, oh Chicken dinners are not good at 8:30. Especially topped off with Ben and Jerrys. EEEEEEEEESSSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!! Bad, Bad 4am grouchy. I keep having bad dreams i think i will talk about them with you because almost every night i wake up in a panic and they are the dark scary kind of dreams. Could it be eating late??? Feeling better now but my head still hurts. Wait, who said I listened to Wham? Oh no not me. My brother would have disowned me.

Fiona Snapple and her 90 word album title. I don't know. Maybe if she eats
something soon.

I would love to see Being John Malkovich tomorrow and go to Larry's and the
PCC. Won't you be, Won't you be, please won't you be my Daniel.

loving you, longing to be loving on you
c

and part of my reply...

No doubt that a heavy meaty, fatty meal eaten 1-2 hours before bedtime is a
sure recipe for nightmares and fuzzy head in the morning. Ice cream and cigarette's too. There's a King Crimson song called "The Grand Deciever" where he's making fun of "Health Food Faggots" and the lyrics go "Cigarettes, Ice Cream, Cadillacs, Floozies." I spose a lot can be said for those things, but more so when you're a rock star.

Speaking of health food faggots, some kind of vegetable really helps your body to process the other food. And in some variety...if only we could exclusively eat mashed potatos. But it really doesn't supply everything you need. Sometimes you have to have yellow veggies and more than sometimes you have to have to eat leafy greens and edible pod peas. They're like the staff of life. They're SO good for your body. Last night was such a good meal, however. I did really enjoy it and the whole evening in fact.

January 10, 2002

letters from cammy III: car stolen

This is from when we lived on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. (Our cars were both stolen...hers, twice. Boom City is the big field where they sell fireworks to tourists on 4th of July and New Years. They are only legal to sell there.):

Car stolen, sherriff responds, says "I'll find your car somewhere on the rez. Someone just needed a ride home." Within 2 hours the alledged stolen vehicle is found full of empty bottles, a Tulalip Tribes Basketball Tournement Championship Jacket, and a picture of the thief and his girlfriend, where might you ask, BOOM CITY.

January 9, 2002

letters from cammy II: lassie

My boss Carrie is new grandma, her grandson was born yesterday, his name is Tyler Joe. The escrow department is giving her a gift of what stories, What we remember most about our grandmas.

So beside bad cooking, I have been searching my memory and telling Janine and Patricia little tidbits of the Farm. The winning story is my first job feeding the chickens, I earned a quarter a day. Little Farm Girl Stories amuse my coworkers.

They didn't laugh about my story about wanting to marry Lassie. Janine said it was a tear jerker?!

letters from cammy I: the kitty stories

I'd like to start with something nice, because I've presented Cammy as a pretty intense lady (and she is), but I fell in love with her for a reason...she is one charming lady!

Okay, so here's a part of an Email after I didn't live with her anymore. (Eric is her little brother...):

I want to be a cat. Eva and I just had some tuna, so good. Poppy is POPSTAR, the stunt cat. she loves to ride on the hood of the car. and she thinks that she is a champion swimmer. Grometer is a big furry beary baby. So needy.

We made a kitty box condo in the living room and they try to pin each other down. the kitty sleeping post is that funny chair you threw in wood pile. Poor Grom, He has such a loud meow. Eric says that I encourage him because everytime he whines I kiss him. well he needs to have reassurance that he is a good cat. and that he has an important place in this family.

Eva is my baby, Poppy is such a POPSTAR that everyone laughs at her and so Grom will just eat and eat. So I don't want him to have a complex about his chubby belly. He is so chubby that falls over when he tries to clean himself. Poppy sees this and she pins him down to clean him. She cleans me too now, in the morning she likes to clean my sweaty face. I know all 6 cats in the dark just by their sounds, even their tiny breathing is distinct. Eric doesn't like to share his food with them and they could care less if he sprays them. they love spagetti and Amy pizza and poppy LOVES my blackberry jam and my pumpkin bread, she ate the top off.

Grom ate some chili with me and then puked all night. what a sight. they like to puke off the side of the couch or the bed. it must be easier. Horray for Resolve, I go through a can a week.

letters from cammy: intro

I got a call from Cammy this morning. She is in some kind of facility in Cashmere (instead of with some drug lord, which is good) and she was saying she found some old notes of mine. She read me some. It was kind of intense.

I told her I had been writing about her on the tinyblog. She asked if I had any notes of ours, and said I should post them! Well, at first I couldn't think of any, and then I remembered I have only about a hundred Emails from her on my hard drive at work. I felt as if I had permission (she was unusually sober and lucid), so I'd like to feature some parts of her Emails to me and some parts of my Emails to her, in hopes that it will give a little insight into me, her, and perhaps even Borderline Personality Disorder, and Dissociative Personality Disorder, which she has since been diagnosed with.

So, without further fanfare...

September 29, 2001

I felt choked off from love

I was just laying in bed, unable to sleep for the longest time. I am getting up with Cara to go get her future husband from the Airport and it will be in just a few hours.

So I laid there...not feeling tired but knowing this was my chance to sleep, and all of these feelings came to me...feelings I had no name for, and I let them just hang around and morph and flux until they arranged themselves into memories.

I remembered being with Camella, laying there at night and just feeling so lonely beside her. Lonelier than I could have ever felt even being by myself. Things got so bad, and she would withhold affection...and sex, for so long. And she knew how much both of them meant to me.

I would get so desperate and horny laying there beside her, and after a while I knew she just wasn't going to be into it...or be willing to try to get into it. So I would just go in the other room and quietly do my thing, because I knew there would be wierdness and aggression if she knew. It's amazing how things can be so fucked up at times in one's life and still just feel sort of normal at the time, I know.

So one night, I was lying there awake, and she was asleep, and I just wanted her so bad. I just started to rub up against her and whisper in her ear, sweet one let me make love to you, and all of those things. I was getting so excited just by her body and it eventually roused her a little. In her half-asleepness she finally groggily said, "Do it to yourself!"

So I did...just simple and hot there next to her. It wasn't what I wanted but at least it was something...her acceptance of my at least being a sexual being there next to her, even if she didn't want to participate...it was still better than nothing.

I finished...and had just been laying there silently for a moment, when she asked me if I was totally finished. I said I was. I was exhausted on 100 levels.

"Oh," she said, "Cause I was just starting to get a little tingly."

Hehehe. And people think me silly because I choose to be celibate.

August 7, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Final

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellaFINAL
He confirmed the existence of said banditos, but painted a different picture. Bandito Boss had never been to her house, he said. I listened, now stunned, as he told me she had laid down rules forbidding him to work for or associate with Bandito Boss and he had agreed to follow them. He actually appeared pretty whupped all of a sudden. I turned to Cam for confirmation and she just sort of lowered her head.

Well, what about the guy who followed her home from Shari's? Where did he fit in? Cam lowered her head even more. It was him, she said quietly. Oh, I thought...so not some random guy who followed her home from work. It was her boyfriend that she just didn't want to admit to having when she called me. And he had never beat her, they both confirmed...and the violence had most often been started by her, they both confirmed. When the cops get called, the first 2 times by her, and the second 2 times by a neighbor who heard the noise, they just arrested the big guy.

Please understand. As someone who outweighs her by a great deal, I feel he holds a greater responsibility, but I was a little dismayed to find the whole situation so different then I had thought that morning. It seemed to me now like two tumultuous people in recovery, both with fucked up pasts, but who clearly loved each other. I didn't realize she had been abusing drugs and alcohol so recently, and, well...I know how she gets. I started to feel like perhaps they weren't such a bad match.

I was dismayed, and I said to them, "Well hell, good luck to you both, then. I could never figure out how to make it work safely, and I hope you two can." I started talking to Cammy about the end of our situation, more candidly than we perhaps ever had?and suddenly we were arguing about it. About the same things we had argued about a dozen times before. I sat there as we both made the same bitter case to each other. He looked on, dismayed as hell, and not sure how it had come to that.

At last I stood. "Look, Cam, nothing is going to be resolved tonight. We?ve been through this before. I love you, I'm no longer afraid for your life, and it's 10:30 and I have 150 miles to drive tonight."

She was confused and upset, but I just couldn't get caught up in it again. I knew she would calm down and we would talk again. I bade her ol' man well, and slipped out the door and got in my car with the bittersweetest of feelings. Life is not some cut-and-dried way. It's insane. There?s no solution, just a path, and I swear to God I am trying to walk it.

end! thank you to anyone who read the whole damn epic!

August 6, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part Six

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartSIX
The tone had changed. In only a short time I could see that they truly loved each other, and had a little insight into how things might have gone down. I don't think Cammy realized I had confronted him so directly, but the whole atmosphere had lightened. She could tell the immediate sense of doom had lifted. We started talking a little about Buddhism and where we were going to eat for dinner.

We went for Mexican and it was good. We got along famously. After dinner they took me to their favorite park in Wenatchee and we sat and talked for a long time. I felt like a father figure to both of them somehow and I talked to her boyfriend almost sternly, in the voice of my sister, "Once you put your hands on her, it's already out of control." We talked and reminisced for hours as he looked on a little, like someone who didn't get all the "in" jokes.

It's not had this feeling like: Oh wonderful, what a wonderful man, and what a wonderful situation she's in. But I felt safe knowing I would be leaving that night, and not feeling as if her life were in immediate danger. More, however, came out when we got back to their apartment.

That was when I started to have a little bit of a funny feeling about her stories in light of meeting the person she was talking about. I wanted to ask them what the details were when they were both in the same room. I had come to find out what the situation was and now that I had their confidence I asked very specific questions.

I asked if it was true that he had never raised his hand to her. "I only ever just held you down!" he said, "But I did make some pretty nasty threats."

"You bit me once," she protested.

"You were punching me, and you put your hands in my mouth," he weakly rebutted.

I found out that Cam had relapsed more than once since she'd been in Wenatchee (which she never mentioned) and that she had been drinking as recently as the previous Saturday - and now she was on Valium. Could it be that in her confusion and hysteria things had gotten blown a little out of proportion? It suddenly made a little more sense why she had lost her job.

What about the banditos, I wanted to know. Was it true? Were there such people? Did the bandito boss really exist? What was the story? Wasn't Cammy's life in danger with all of these unsavory characters coming to her house?

to be continued...

August 4, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part Five

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartFIVE
He knocked in about 15 minutes. He came in looking a little sullen and like he had just got out of jail. Cam was nervous and Valiumed and looking guilty as hell. "Please don’t be mad," she said, and other entreaties for him to not misunderstand why her ex-boyfriend was hanging out in her apartment while she thought her ‘ol man was going to be in jail.

He actually seemed quite calm about it, and just looked more sad and dirty than homicidal. I looked him in the eyes, "Hey, are you coming to dinner with us?"

"Uh, yeah. Let me take a shower," he said. I knew that any kind of immediate danger had passed. He took a shower, and then Cammy did, and there we were staring at each other across the room.

He admitted he was confused about me being there, but wanted to reassure me he was cool with it. I said I was glad, but I figured as much, and if he were going to kick my ass he would have already done it. Besides, I explained, I knew my own intentions and Cammy and I were far beyond ancient history. She was just someone I very much loved, and was really concerned about.

I pushed my luck a little and said that I thought there was ample reason for my concern. To my surprise, he just looked at me and said, "I know. I know. I’m just trying to be in it for the long haul, though."

He was so sincere and it wasn’t what I expected. I grew bolder, and asked him something to the effect of why he was kicking her ass, then. "I never raised my hand to her," he said. I did my best to not alienate him by being judgmental, and tried to identify in some way. Turns out it wasn’t too hard, and I recognized in his story one similar to my own.

I asked him if I could take he and Camella out to dinner. He brightened and said, "You know, actually, that would be really nice. We’re both broke." By the time Cam got out of the shower we were swapping stories and talking about the various rewards and challenges of living with her. We grinned a little as she came in the room.

to be continued…

August 1, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part Four

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartFOUR
Eastern Washington is nothing like the Puget Sound area. Seattle is protected from extremes by water and mountains, but in Wenatchee it was 95 Fahrenheit or so. After a sweaty drive (my poor cast!) across Stevens Pass and all the way to Chelan county, I pulled up outside of her apartment, upstairs from the office of the Thrifty Nickel, a classified-only newspaper published locally everywhere in America, I think.

She was looking much better than the last time I saw her. She was pretty emaciated last time I had seen her in a courtroom, and now she had put on a bit of weight, and had some color in her cheeks.

She was a little loopy, and this time, when she told me about what her doctor had given her, she said it was Valium. Her manner was a bit confused, and I looked sadly at her…such a broken woman. She wanted to know what was going on with every person she had known in my life. I got comfortable in her coziest chair when the phone rang. I knew immediately who it was.

I heard snippets of the conversation, "…no, Daniel is here…not like that…"

"That was him," she said, when she walked back in the living room, "he just got out of jail."

"So he’s coming over?"

"Yes. He said he’d be on his best behavior."

to be continued…

July 31, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part Three

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartTHREE
So, I was crushed but not completely surprised at what had happened. I envisioned this vicious biker, lackey to the Bandito Boss, and a serious threat to her life. How could she have gotten mixed up with him, I asked her. She told me she had met him in recovery, and he had really seemed to be on the up and up. I hung my head in my hands. She said her mom was coming down to visit her soon and her doctor had given her a few lorazipan or something to deal with the stress having to deal with her. She told me she had recently lost her job because she was too shaken up to go to work for a while, and then one of her supervisors had got addicted to crystal meth and accused her of dipping into the till. She walked out, she said.

Thursday morning, when I got home from work, and saw two full days off stretched out before me, I realized I was going to Wenatchee. No, I didn’t think I was going to do anything heroic. I knew there was nothing I could do, that she was making her own choices. I just thought that perhaps it would be some help for her to be around someone relatively calm and sane (I say relatively) who loved her; just to be some sort of support for her, and see what the situation really looked like.

Now, I knew that I was putting myself in a potentially dangerous situation. I think some people might say that it was just fucking stupid. Who knows what the real situation was, and who knows, her boyfriend could get out of jail, or I could meet up with the banditos. It was important to me to go and see what the situation was, and I had a kind of calm little sense of safety like I would just deal with whatever came up as best I could and it would be alright. The worst that could happen is I could get killed, right? I’m joking, of course, but I felt such a strong resolve that I called her.

She stammered and said she’d think about it. A few hours later she woke me up from a nap and said I was welcome to come over if I bought her dinner. I dragged my ass out of bed, threw a bag full of crap in my car and pointed it east.

to be continued…

July 30, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part Two

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartTWO
"Guh", I said.. Violence had often been a part of her life. From her step dad, who started tossing her around when she was three, through a string of various boyfriends. Even we scuffled when we lived together, something I never thought myself capable of.

Afterwards she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. When I read the symptoms and diagnosis criteria online I was stunned with realization. So that's why the sweetest, silliest, smartest girl would suddenly see me as a demon and follow me through the house, screaming and accusing me of the worst things she could come up with. No one ever said the kind of shit that came out of her mouth. It was astounding. And it got out of control.

One day I realized that we were wrestling desperately on the floor as I was trying to drag her out of the house to get her to leave me alone and I heard myself wailing, "This is so fucked up. I don't want to live like this," over and over again. I could never understand how this happened. I could never see myself as someone who would fight physically with someone else.

"She attacked me!" I said to my sister, "I was just trying to restrain her!"

"You could have left," my sister said solemnly, "the moment you put your hands on her it's already out of control. You can only take responsibility for yourself."

Ultimately I did. I had decided to leave. She tried to physically stop me as I gathered clothes and I told her if she didn't sit down I was going to call the police. I drove to a payphone in my bare feet at midnight and called the sheriff. She ended up being convicted of resisting arrest. It was my last stand against our violence, and even though it caused almost more trouble than it was worth, it put a definitive end to our romantic relationship, to say the least.

to be continued...

July 29, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part One

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartONE
I drove 300 miles yesterday. I'm glad I did it, but I feel a little like Don Quixote.

My ex-girlfriend Camella called me a few months ago and told her that some guy had followed her home from Shari's, where she waitresses in the small town of Wenatchee, Washington. She said he was in her apartment when she got home and wouldn't listen to reason. She said she called the police and they were unresponsive. A couple of weeks later she called again and told me she had come home to this man again and that he attacked her. This time, however, he was apprehended by the police shortly after. She said she was afraid to get the police involved because she sort of knew this man, and that he was affiliated with the banditos, the roving motorcycle gangs in Wenatchee.

Omigod, I thought'my little Camella! She is an addict and an alcoholic who I loved and was with for two years. Some of the time we were together she was sober, but much of it she was using or drinking or both. Her schizophrenic addict brother, and her bizarre queen-of-denial mother really made any meaningful recovery hard for her, and I was overjoyed when I found out she had moved halfway across the state and got into transitional housing for addicts. Even being on the street, I thought, was better than her being around her family all the time.

It certainly seemed to be so, and she told me the story of her recovery scene, the various housing situations she was in, finally her own apartment, and her waitress job. I was so happy for her, and felt like maybe even though our love had been too much for me to handle, perhaps it had done some good in the long term. She seemed to be leading a sober, simple life, and I felt a deep sense of contentment that she was doing well. There had been even some understanding and forgiveness for the way things had gone badly in the end.

I was so content, even in light if her disturbing attack, that I didn't even think of her for a couple of months, until a few days ago when I, for some reason, stared at her entry on my cell phone for a long, long time--and didn't call her. The next day she called me.

She was upset again. Evidently she had a boyfriend and had for a few months. "Only we don't say boyfriend around here," she said, "we say, 'he's my ol' man'." Evidently her ol' man was in jail for domestic violence. Against her. Evidently this was his fourth time. Evidently he was involved with the banditos as well, and she had been told by one of the meanest, most serious of the banditos, the Bandito Boss, to quit calling the cops. Or else.

to be continued...

December 4, 2000

let me bring y'all up to date

Let me bring y'all up to date. I'm about 3 months out of an intense relationship with a beautiful and elegant alcoholic. She's in Wenatchee, WA (known affectionately to some vulgar residents as "Wesnatchee") doing an outpatient program there. Half a state away.

It was all painful and everything. I moved out, the police were involved. I really wouldn't recommend it. If you find yourself drawn to alcoholics or addicts in a habitual kinda way, or are currently with one, I really suggest you go find an Al-Anon meeting. I know that 12-step crap may seem cheesy, but it's at least as good as therapy, and it's free. Plus, there's actually an amazing community of people that are interested in being honest about their own human fragility. There's meetings in damn near every city in the world.

Oh, and I added an Email link...email me if you're moved to do so.