Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Banana Peel Serial Killer

Since I received that cease and desist letter taped to my front door by my neighbor, I have had one very awkward encounter. I put his note on here under "The Banana Peel Incident." Shortly after that happened, I bought a new smartphone with text message ability. Recently my texting abilities were revoked.

I sound like a kid. I can't text anymore. It's a bad function for someone with no current job and too much time on her hands. I always feel like I should be drunk when I'm texting. It's just too easy to reach people. When a thought pops up, I grab my phone and share it. Not always clear and concise information. There is more then an electronic pong game going on in my head I'm sure. Insanity has nothing to do with intelligence. Intelligence makes insanity worth sharing for entertainment purposes only.

Before I got my text messaging revoked because of misuse, I wrote the author of the banana peel letter a lot of text messages. He was a good friend of mine for over a year and I was trying to reconnect with him. At the very least, I wanted to suppress any irrational fears on either of our parts so throwing the trash away would be hassle-free.

Long story short, I was taking out the trash a few days ago and I ran into him while he was standing next to the only community trash can while talking to a middle aged woman. They both ran like chickens without heads in separate directions and left me scratching my head.

The power of avoidance moves me to accomplish great things. I stopped drinking and started attending alcoholic's anonymous because this banana peel fearing neighbor (Ian) was an outspoken recruit and he chain smokes next to the only community trash compactor. Its annoying. I started piling up my trash to avoid him. Then I tried to get brave by mentally mapping out times he smoked and correlate when I could safely be out and about. I hid behind a parked car once to avoid him. He eventually ambushed me. Now I'm sober.

He is a lawyer by training, and he's also a modern day Rain Man. He can memorize numbers; he knew my whopping four digit apartment number for a good six months before taping a note to the door. I know he has some form of autism. I really liked the guy a lot. Which is why I kept texting him (with no reply) to please talk this out; at least for the sake of my trash pile-up depression. I warned him by text message just days before this happened; that one day I might run into him and it would be awkward.

I had a thirty pound bag of used cat litter in one hand and a little shopping bag with lint (for all I know, one neurotic tick of mine is picking up cigarette butts, and type of trash; I like the woods to be free of litter.) I saw him talking to a woman and I started to turn around. But I noticed he could see me, and I did not want him to feel like he could bully me and I had to be fearful. So my gait switched from causal stroller to angry power walk and I went for it! I walked right up to him and this woman with my trash in hand (smelly urine soaked cat litter...oh man...I'm already called the crazy cat woman by many) and I yelled, "This is what I mean by an awkward meeting!"

Now, I can only assume what he said to that woman when my ears were ringing as I touched the trash can as if it was my safe home base, but after the trash went in, I calmed myself down and slowly turned around to see them running helter skelter in separate directions. He is at least six feet tall. I'm a puny little nerd; the type of person that was the last to be picked in every grade school sports event. When by default I was put on someone's volley ball team, the ball would bounce right in front of me, or hit my head as I was looking at the clock on the wall to see how much more gym class I'd have to take. I peed my pants in gym class once because I could not stop laughing. My shorts never fit my hips and the elastic was not tight enough to keep them from falling down. I'm not a butt crack girl. I'm a pancake no-butt girl who gets hit in the side of the head by soccer-volley-kick all types of balls. That makes classmates double over in laughter that I analyze for the next four grades with a secret deep seeded resentment that one day comes out in a $200 therapy session as the root cause for why I did in fact inhale.

There goes my political career.

To find a person from the same culture who fears me is...awesome! But definitely a mistaken emotion that is completely wasted on someone like me. I am far more fearful of him. I don't have the nerve to tape a note on anyone's door accusing them of harboring a murderous intent via banana peel. That's fucking crazy.

And it is refreshing for me to label a duck a duck and a crazy note just that when the subject is about random banana peels causing intentional pain for my, 'entertainment and giggles'. No one in any of our mutual circles has laughed about this entire thing. They are actually trying to understand him. Not me. The man is afraid of a banana peel and a 120 pound woman whose arm has never bent a tiny amount when I had to attempt a chin-up in school. Throughout my entire painfully mandatory gym class career my arm has never moved a minuscule amount when forced to try for a chin-up. My arm has never slightly bent.

He is afraid of me?

The woman ran one way, he ran the opposite way and hid behind his truck. My heart sank when I saw that. I'm human and that hurt my feelings. I composed myself and aimed my walk intentionally at him to confront him and tell him to stop this craziness. But when I took that first step in his direction from the trash compactor to him, he took off with more running, and this time a fast sprint out of sight.

About an hour after that, I received a text message from someone whose apartment window faced the parking lot this took place in. The cryptic message implied that I am a bully. I have been throwing away my trash at 3am for the past two weeks. I got brave...and threw away the trash in broad daylight. I am in my isolated apartment (with insomnia and blankets tacked to the windows) so often lately, when I come out and people scatter like that, I am left to try to make sense out of nonsense. Which is why I am writing this down. Now it's down and its out of my mind. There is no sense to be made of it.

I should buy a large banana costume and wear it to take out the trash. Things could not get more bizarre then they already have over nothing.

That's all I have for today.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Morning Roar

(Family DO NOT READ. It will scar both of us for life.)

Today is my last day of a full month in Austin. Barton Skyway oozed into me taking a stand your ground approach to my decadent and lazy lifestyle. In the past I had issues with having no accountability, responsibilities, and places to be. Now that I am a convicted felon (how did I fuck a good thing up that bad?) I have to leave.

I don't want to do anything until I am ready to move. I want to buy everything pretty on-line, and lay in gold and silver jewelry like The Dragon Smog. I want to be both Gollum and Smog until my family comes and gets me and drags my pancake butt back to California, where people hate guns and I can see the ocean. The more expensive Holly Yashi jewelry becomes, the better it looks in my mailbox. La Perla Brazilian bikinis (an overshare?), this is war! I am drinking an entire two litter of Pepsi a day. Red Bulls, calling in refills of prescription feel good fast runs with twenty minutes of social interaction for whoever drives me to and from the nearest Wallgreens. I am careful not to use the word "I" too much; which is hard when having only twenty minutes out of isolation to get these medications.

Also, the reason I felt the need to write as soon as I got up this beautifully humid Texas morning, is because I was just put on new sleeping pills. New for Austin, not new for me. Soon I won't be able to think clearly. But my bedroom window has four ornate Asian blankets tacked over it as if I am a tweeker. A tweeker without the benefit of ever getting high. So throw that into the mix of having no responsibilities. I put Christmas lights over the blankets to distract myself from looking directly at this light blocking insomniac idea. I have not slept more then three hours a night for the past two weeks. My doctor remedied that, and sleep is a nice trade off for a curvy figure and fewer lucid thoughts.

One of my favorite things to do in this soon to be past tense directionless life: Getting dressed up to go out to the movies. I stop at Sephora and have false eyelashes put on. I love the Sephora 'Regal' false set. Going to the movies, false eyelashes in, and buying sugary drinks. My tin pillbox in my purse has one five hour pain pill. I take a ton of photos that stretch out as examples of my social life on Facebook for the next week. A horror movie tonight. My boyfriend and I get along best when we go out. I have to plan everything because he is a worker bee. I envy him.

Right now he is in love with my 23 year old, Tim Burton-ish, glowing- like there is uranium in her apartment- neighbor. I noticed my nemesis, a good-looking Lit grad with a questionable tattoo that I will never get to ask him about (tattooed a spine on his back? Is he saying he is spineless?) ; I noticed he likes her too. My boyfriend is doing funny things to grab her attention, like banging on the widow that is directly in eye-shot of her balcony for five minutes (instead of turning the door knob like usual.) I told my dad about this funny business with him lately, and his reponse just added to her charm. He said, "If he thinks he is lucky to get you, Wow! I mean he has no chance with her! She is gorgeous." I know. So I threw in the towel and fell for her too. If that is what women in Iran look like; if that is a big conspiracy or best kept secret, I am in! She's such a sweet woman. Her nails are flawless. And every time I see her I feel like a fat, balding, beer drinking American.

I told her she reminds me of Liv Tyler's character in the movie, "One Night At McCool's" and she said she would watch it. I immediately felt stupid for mentioning it because she's going to think I'm a trashy American. For example, my one night out in Austin with her to see a concert (she learned English from a prolific American band that she took me to see at The Moody Theater.) She has black hair, and a Russian-ish accent (I'm embarrassed to admit that I assumed she was from a Baltic Country.) Its embarrassing because she is highly cosmopolitan for such a young age. She knew how to work the GPS! The word 'lovely' fits her perfectly. Yet she is whip smart, always smiling, slender, and the first thing I notice is always a unique smile. She's got a cool name that literally translates in English to phonetically sound like: Hell Yeah! I have to put my arm and stomach into the pronunciation. I am not joking about her name. She is a perfect person. And she loves my cat, Lucian Price.

Tangent...Oh, I was explaining that when my hot Persian neighbor and I went out, people kept asking her if she was from Mexico. I was quite proud of myself for being able to name one actress that came from that region (and yes, I had to look up the correct spelling, and usually I don't care about spelling, grammar, incorrect punctuation, any of it. I'm a grammar anarchist until put on further notice.) Shohreh Aghdashloo. There you go. The movie The House of Sand and Fog. One of the most depressing movies I could imagine watching. She was lovely too.

Opium rich colors type beauty. Dark and polished. Blood red lips. Sex sounds vulgar when applied to her. She wears Mac Jacobs Daisy perfume scented lotion. Every time I see her smile she is on her balcony with a cigarette in a delicate hand. Pine tree sap from a tree that grows strong beside her balcony hits me every time I see her. She is an experience, not just a person.

If there is any meat or meaning in my thoughts lately, its in thoughts about my departure from Alcoholic's Anonymous. I wonder if being maladjusted is a clique fit too. Alcoholism. Drugs. Depression. Yes I love Morrissey (damn proud of it.) Everyone is afraid to be put into a box and I am no exception. Blanket terms for mental illness with symptoms like 'anger' or 'vindictiveness', are emotions that I imagine everyone feels. If I could pick and choose what symptoms I have and leave some out, I would have all of them. Anger is a healthy emotion at times. It is in our brains because of some evolutionary necessity.

When I was in jail I withdrew from Valium (Klonopin actually.)  One month in jail (28 days; like the movie...lots of movie references, I have movies on the mind.) I was too thin, stupid and shaky. The doctor assigned to me (was a compassionate man) said that jail will be twice as hard for me due to withdraw. He explained that fear is a healthy emotion that is necessary to adapt in a foreign environment. Benzos like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin: they suppress natural fear so one is not aware of their surroundings (that is why 28 days later employing Valium as a tool for Carl Lewis- athletic zombies was a good fit.)

Side Note: That red dress in the dark with the tulle combined with that music and the idea of relaxation was beautiful. The image of that red dress on cream skin, or the angular beauty of the catlike black actress; perfect effect. My new word is PERFECT.

Alcoholics Anonymous goes against everything a literature student should embrace. I believe I am missing the point because I am not happy. Some of those people are damn proud to yell their name with their affliction. Rose! Addict! Alcoholic! One time, one of my last times there, I 'shared' with the group that I have so much anger sometimes I do not know how to channel it. I was blowing off steam by sharing that as I don't often feel that way. Afterward, I messaged the chair of that particular group and apologized if my share was inappropriate. He said no. I can say whatever I want. But he does not have to agree with it and he does not agree with me. That just made me more angry.

I think of Alcoholics Anonymous the same way that I think of Christianity. Let me explain the similarity to me. Christianity is a beautiful religion if you actually follow it. Don't judge other people. You have to pull the plank out of your own eye. That sort of thing. I'm simplifying highly complex topics, I know. Oh well. The book, The Bible, is beautiful. But people get crazy and misuse its purpose, to me, is about love. Well, I feel the same way about The Big Book (our A.A. handbook.) It's well written. I read Bill's Story in jail and the phrase Lord of Light stuck with me. Maybe not 'Lord'. Something powerful associated with light. What I got out of a year and a half of alcoholic's anonymous meetings was that there are many beautiful recovering alcoholics who put their eyes to the ground and do daily personal evolution practices.

But there is a huge turn off effect on me when someone misuses that Big Book and quotes it to feel morally superior to me.  I saw that way too much in my end days being there. I saw hypocrisy, politics, people picking favorites and ignoring others. I saw people who used a group that is really about life and death and pervert it in such a disgusting way, I actually drank a bottle of wine last week. They call that drinking poison to hurt someone else. Or 'a case of mistaken identity' in who is the intended target. I had a falling out with one of the people that I really loved at one point. He was a father figure as I have collected them throughout my adult life. He began to text me quotes from A.A. that he used as a sword and a shield and a sponge to absorb any responsibly from moral wrongdoing. I thought he had independent thought. If he did it was clouded in blanket statement catchphrases. I asked him if he could think for himself and his answer was another A.A. catchphrase.

They fucking judge. When I drank the bottle of wine I told people. Every one of them said that they would keep my secret safe. I'm 37 years old! I am way past the legal age of buying alcohol.

Domination, moral or otherwise seems like the backbone to a lot of concepts. Sex sex sex. I've got so much pent up passion, my next orgasm is going to shatter every glass window.

To my core I will confess that it was painful to be treated that way by someone who once shared stories of his family with me, and his hopes for recovery in others, and his humor and past pain.

I can't even bring up a subject without it being shot down as a conversation because so many of these people have sticks up their asses (I have never used that expression before in my life!) I was outside with the chain smokers waiting for a ride one rainy day and I said to a long time member, "Did you know that Charlie Sheen was against A.A.?" I did not give it much thought but I had heard about his complaints against alcoholics anonymous earlier that week. Someone said, "Who cares!" You can't have a conversation without getting nervous that something is offense. That environment is a killjoy for spontaneous and creative expression. An alcoholic mind needs to keep limber with sober expression or anger builds and clouds and your are not worth your salt in a conversation.

A reoccurring fear of mine is that I have to always be "On" or else my entire personality is disposable.

The final thought that I shared with my A.A. home group (find the right group!) is that the woman who contributed to my felony record came to stay with me because her company with alcoholics rusted to the point of hanging out with a quality of person who committed suicide while drunk at a party. That's the origin of my felony story; taking in this particular woman. I was helping out a person I had not seen in fifteen years who freaked out because she saw her friend shoot himself in the head. When I shared that story, someone walked out of the room in anger. How dare I bring that up and taint the group collective with gutter stories?  Her stories were about firing her accountant after knowing her for fifteen years. I can't relate to that. I can not relate to someone shooting themselves in the head at a party either! That does not mean that either of those topics are invalid. I saw snobbery among people who were desperate to be understood. I walked away from it all; the good and the bad.

I carry pepper spray now, and the effect is an instant shot of self confidence. Maybe subconsciously I am scared of people. I don't know. My main man has an open carry permit for a gun. He always has a handgun with him and this fellow has an amble amount of charisma and self esteem. I get it now even though I loath guns. You have to have been pepper sprayed yourself to understand that pepper spray is all you need to be safe out there. I was pepper sprayed at point blank range by a rouge cop when I was a 23 year old honor student going to San Francisco State, and I can tell you that it will stop the strongest of the strong. You see only black and feel pain. I distinctly remember everything stopped and went black and my last thought before I let go was, "I am sorry." My purpose was helping a friend, and it stopped when I got pepper sprayed. I could hear her screaming and all my momentum let go in a snap; then instant darkness. Pepper spray is all that is needed to keep the society that I operate in safe for me.

I think I am mixing up the order of verbs, nouns and subjects in my writing. Sleep pill side effect? I would stand in a long line to turn in my personality for happiness and healthy sleep. As long as I get to keep my compassion then I still have my humanity.

My last thought for this blog in Austin is that I just want to leave as quickly as possible. l am leaving as quickly as possible. My future is in limbo now, and it can go either way. For now I have the power of the metaphorical middle finger by being in limbo and saying Sayonara suckers and mother fuckers.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lawsuits Are A Load Of Fun

Separate then freedom fighting lawyers in criminal defense, there is no better fun then prolonged lawsuits. I've stayed in Austin for two years for two separate court cases, the first being for money, revenge,and principle.

Christian Bale's loud and angry Ha! after he throws the chainsaw on the sweet blonde prostitute who almost escapes would be how I describe winning a lawsuit. That's how I knew he was such a great actor. That's anger/ disgust/ victory with no mercy. People have made that exact same declaration to me regarding money. For me it is never about money, it's about crushing their will and spitting in their face legally.

This blog is about my first lawsuit ever. It was against my employer. Her name was Carol. I never want anyone to meet any version of this woman. My first lawsuit felt like a David and Goliath challenge.

I have extreme anger issues, which I acknowledge. But I'm also one of the sweetest people you'd ever meet. When I worked as a cocktail waitress (hooker basically) I took the back room, The Twilight Room (which the employees called "The Tweeter Room") because no other waitress wanted to cater to the poor. I should write a separate blog on how opposite my personality is to that of a bona fide waitress, but for now let me say that I'm not competitive and treat people like human beings. The girls fought tooth and nail to go to the Poker Room, which guaranteed any waitress a minimum of twenty dollars for a single three to five minute sweep. I did not like fighting for that room because I'd rather post half nude photos of myself then get paid for sloppy drunk men to get my name wrong while making crude comments about my legs. Instead I stayed in the 'Tweeker Room' with people who do not tip. I'm a people person. They shared their speed with me for my long night shifts (this was years ago) and I'd use the money we all started our shifts with to buy birthday drinks for the customers. Money is not an issue with me, unless it is an issue to someone I don't like. Money is not worth being mean to others. Ever.

My employer's name was Carol, and she was a bitch. When I say bitch, I mean paranoid, dishonest, and generally horrible. I got that job from my next door neighbor, who was up at five in the morning walking anxiously outside when I asked her if she wanted to have a cup of coffee with me. My neighbor told me she had an abusive boss. She told me she hated her job even though it was working with a mentally handicapped adult and a five year old adopted girl. I thought she was being dramatic when she said her employee, a mother, was a viciously abusive woman.

My theory that my next door neighbor was a drama queen cemented itself in my mind when I met this abusive mother. Carol had a slim figure and soft spoken nature. Imagine Anne Coulter's slim body and mousy face on a shrinking violet. That is Carol at face value. She adopted a five year old girl from China, and bought this beautiful girl only ornate Asian themed outfits for school. I thought that was stupid. Her son was barely twenty one. Carol never told me what was wrong with her son but there was something severely off with his communication skills. Neither me nor my neighbor ever knew what was wrong with her son because Carol successfully hid this secret by shipping him around different boarding schools in multiple countries.

Carol had a bullshit cover story that a doctor made him 'that way' by giving him Seroquel. If I were not an insomniac, I would have believed her. When I asked her questions like why any doctor put him on that medication to begin with she would cloud the answer. I reserve the right to think he was a questionable character because of his mother's overbearing nature.

On my first day of work Carol insisted that I drove a car alone or rode my bike to her house. This was because she was paranoid about who knew where she lived. She lived in a different town and since I don't drive I took a bike ride there; over an hour one way.  By bike it was literally a little over an hour and twenty minutes. On my first day of work, her son let two wild horses out in the backyard, which was dangerous. She lived right next to a busy road. Her daughter was running around outside with these wild horses near her in a closed back yard. I have seen the end result of a horses back legs to someone's head. It paralyzed a neighbor I had growing up in Maryland. My first day of work sucked.

That day and every day I worked, I had to empty my pockets and count out every penny and hand Carol every receipt from the twenty dollars she gave me that was never enough to treat her two children to lunch, put gas in her car, drive one to school and the other to college (yes, he was enrolled in college, but with closer inspection it was a subject held in the college but not affiliated with the college; yes I said that right.) By the end of the day, I was paying to work for her. I'll get to that later. My first day was bizarre.

After putting the girl on my shoulders while completing the most ridiculously long list of things to do, while also bringing in those horses that day, and counting out the money I spent on their lunches back to Carol, I grabbed my bike and headed home. I was about ten minutes from my front door when Carol called my cell with bad news. I left my house keys at her house. My heart dropped, because I was exhausted and dehydrated. I automatically checked my pockets thinking they would be empty, when out pops my house key on my custom made key chain, my last name framed with it's Irish crest. I told her that they were not my keys thank goodness! What followed was the first sign that something was off with my new employer. Her tone changed quickly from sinister to accusing; Carol asked me why I would say that they were not my keys. (Because I have my keys in my hand.) Her tone got more stern and more angry when she asked me whose pink key chain would be at her house. I don't know what she was accusing me of, but after a good five minutes of telling her, then explaining to her, then pleading with her not to cause me to go back there, her son finally piped up and said that they were his keys. She did not apologize, and quickly hung up after only saying, "Oh."

When someone acts in a way that seems off like that; and it feels like a warning, I never pay attention. I live in a world of honest people. I've taken basic psychology. I know about mental illness. What Carol had was a viciousness that she hid well, but slowly, when she stopped caring what others thought, the mask slipped off to show a mean spirited horrible bitch of a person.

Example: This was in an economically deprived town. So having a job was very important to people who were not surviving on financial aid like I was then. Carol put out an ad for a house cleaner, and offered them ten dollars and hour. She hired an elderly woman, and gave her the task of deep cleaning her bathroom. This woman was close to seventy years old. Carol told me she got on her knees and scrubbed the tiles. She cleaned the toilet. She bleached and disinfected the entire bathroom. It took her three hours. Carol never intended to have whoever answered that ad actually work for her, and she knew very well that the first task she gave to her 'new employee' would be one that was thoroughly done. She paid the woman thirty dollars in cash and told her she did not need her anymore. Then she laughed to me that she really worked for that thirty dollars. Carol was an evil bitch.

She never gave me enough money to pay for the food she wanted her children to eat, so I paid for their meals with the money generated from working there. Carol told me that she wanted her son to eat the most satisfying burgers because she believed any happiness in his life, no matter how small, was important. So I started taking him to what I was told (as a life long vegetarian) was the best burger spot in town. I paid for his lunch. When her daughter wanted to go shopping for toys, I bought her the toys with my own money. Carol was very aware that I was doing this because I was never allowed to leave the house without explaining how the day was spent and counting back her money, showing her what I bought her to make sure it was mother-approved, and then I was off on my long bike ride back home. About half of my paycheck went to buying her children gifts and good food. I loved her five year old daughter, and I liked her son.

When she saw that her children wanted me around she developed what she called a, "Free Friends Friday" which was to show her children that I was not just there for a paycheck. I worked for free every Friday, for months. Then I started working on the weekends for free. I worked often, and rode my bike whenever she changed the schedule at the end of many impulsive phone calls. I was always there when she wanted me there, and I was very good to her children. Working long hours like I was, it was only a matter of time before my body gave out from the long bike rides to and from her home.

There were a few days she asked me to come over for free, then changed her mind after I got there.

One day I was drinking a cup of coffee at a nice cafe directly before riding the extra mile to work. I stood up and fell down. I woke up with my head in between a set of grand mother breasts. I had fainted from exhaustion which has never happened before or since. Someone called 911 and the paramedics were asking me what day of the week it was. Who was our President? Then Carol came by because her number was the first one on my cell phone.

By this point my relationship with her was so fucked up, I was profusely apologizing for fainting. Her son had rode my bike from the coffee shop to her home. Carol drove me home. Nothing was said except from me, and only that I was sorry. She dropped me off, and I did not know that I would not see her for another half a year, and only once more.

Then next day I received an e-mail from Carol saying that I was fired (for fainting) because she believed I was hiding a history of seizures due to epilepsy. What a bizarre claim. A false claim. I did not contest her decision.

Side Note: I've had more then one seizure in my life, all stemming from breaking my butt. This happened in an attic in my mid-twenties. The story is funny to me: I kept telling friends who visited that someone could break their neck on the ladder to the attic. I said it often. Well that someone was me, and it was after I put on cashmere foot glove socks and slipped on the first rung after eating a bunch of xanax. Karma? I launched into the air and landed about seven feet below...on the corner of a metal space heater. Shattered my tailbone. To this day my butt hurts when I sit down for too long. Maybe I can use that as a reason I need a prescription of morphine? The next time I fall it won't hurt so bad. Also, I fell while skating at the lamest skating rink and had a bonda fide acid flashback. But I definitely do not have epilepsy.

I worked two days before I fainted and Carol refused to pay me for those two days. So my first lawsuit was for exactly $43.70.

That's a hell of a lot of foreplay to get to the part about suing bad people. Yes, I get cynical often and write blogs about "My Jesus Christ Heart", but in reality I am actually a very compassionate person. Nice people often get exploited, but I have never been exploited to this degree before. I paid to work for a woman whose children I loved. I often took them to state parks, bought them ice cream, had them feed ducks, and cleaned every inch of the house. I cleaned her home with her daughter on my shoulders because the list of chores in the time frame I had to complete them was absurd. The problem with suing Carol was that she had my time card, and I doubt she would bring that with her to the court date.

This is where I spell out how bad of a person Carol was to her employees. Yes, she exploited me, and my next door neighbor, and an elderly woman before me regarding work. I only asked for her to pay me $43.70. If I calculated all of the free days I worked, or money I spent from my job as her employee or my college financial aid I'd have hundreds of dollars owed to me. I only asked for the two days that I worked for her. I'm an honorable person. She responded by not responding to my one phone call and one e-mail a day for two weeks stating that I want my $43.70. I wrote the California labor board and turned in all of my work information. My work routine. My pay. What days I worked to earn that money.

Carol responded by writing the labor board with three ugly lies. The first lie was that I stole money from her home. Lie number two was that I had crashed her car that I used to drive her children to school, and for games. Her third accusation was that she paid me every penny she owed me to date even though I was working under the table for her.

The labor board noticed the comment that I worked under the table for her and wrote her and me a letter stating that a contract is valid regardless of the circumstances of employment and for me to counter her accusations within the next week. So it began for a good six months that Carol would lie about some new claim and I had to go to the public library to print out my typed response then send that response as a certified letter to the California labor board. If I waited longer then a few days, they would have thrown my case out. It was so easy for her to lie and so stressful for me to come up with proof that it was a lie.

Finally a date was set for the court to deal with the issue of my former employer, the mega-bitch Carol, (Goliath) to stand before a judge. The labor board turned that $43.70 into $1,600. I can only assume that small amount of money was calculated on a scale of my complaint versus the ordeal of getting her to pay me. I would love to believe that whoever read her slanderous letters versus my normal letters saw past her bullshit and set the price so high because you can not treat people like that and get away with it by law.

Not relevant side note: My older brother sews his own clothes because he does not want to support sweatshops. He's a first world worrier. He can afford to worry about who is being exploited and try to make a small difference. That's his deal. All of my siblings are great people.

How did my first lawsuit end? Not well. I was terrified to be in a room with Carol and I had very little support on my side. I had one gas station attendant to back up my claim that I filled up her gas tank the week I worked for her with no pay. He was telling the truth, but his many tattoos, missing teeth and drugged out appearance did not go in my favor. I told him that she will do everything she can to intimate me, so regardless of what she says to me, let me go before the judge!

Side Note: I forgot the biggest complaint. Carol said that she believed I had epilepsy (to the labor board, who did not care) and that I was a paranoid schizophrenic. It was a low blow because I had confided in her that my aunt was (and is) a paranoid schizophrenic because I was talking to her about medications her son had taken and what I knew about those medications.

The freakin judge was not prepared. She told both of us waiting in this tiny room that she was running only five minutes late. In those 5 minutes,  I looked Carol in the eye and spoke, which was my downfall.
-Why did you tell the labor board that I stole money from you?
-Why did you say I crashed your car?
-Why are you doing this to me?

Her response was no response. Instead she reached into her over sized purse and pulled out a two inch stack of freshly printed papers. She said that a reference of mine (a friend of mine who became a child psychologist) was stalking her online and she had the paperwork to prove it. I was baffled by the claim, which was the desired effect. If I had looked at the paperwork I would have instantly seen that it was a ploy. There was nothing there. The friend (child psychologist) e-mailed Carol a reference for me. Later that friend had gotten a computer virus that sent a discount for a certain brand of shoes to everyone she had ever e-mailed (including me, by the way.) I am good with panic. I should be by now. I realized there was nothing I could say to her, so I stopped talking. Then it came out; Carol's trump card: Please don't do this to me. I have kids! Think of my kids!

That's all she had to say and six months worth of work to get my $43.70 turned into $1,600 was ruined. I told her to pay me what she owed me and I'd walk away. Her response was, "This is all over $43.70!" What was interesting about that response was that I never told her how much she owed me. I told the labor board. In my e-mails I simply said I worked Monday and Tuesday. Carol had the time card. She knew to the penny how much money she owed me. I asked her to double $43.70, to pay for the certified letters I had to send to the labor board to debunk her lies about my claim. She became indignant and flatly refused. I relaxed and said, "Well, I'll see you in there." She yielded at that and took out her check book.

Instead of $1,600, she paid twice the amount she owed me, which did not even cover all the certified letters cost. When the judge came out of her room to call us in, Carol happily said that we were settling out of court. The judge said, "Good. Because one of you would have left very unhappy."

On principal alone, I won this battle. I took a bully to court. Someone who exploited elderly women eager to have full time work. Someone who lied about owing chump change to skinny little nerds who love children. The cruel behavior that my next door neighbor went through was not completely in vain. The bully went to court and she was scared.

I wish I could say that it was enough.

A year later I wrote Carol for the first and last time since the court case, telling her I was no longer satisfied with the merger pay out because of her bullying, manipulative and dishonest behavior to avoid the court room and ultimately, accountability. Five minutes after I sent that e-mail, my phone rang. It was her. I did not answer the phone and Carol left no message.

That was my first lawsuit. Since then I realize that there are adult channels for cruel behavior. As my Chinese stepmother said to my father recently over a person taking them to court: American laws are based on fairness. Ironically before she answered the question of what is the foundation of American laws, my father gave an impassioned speech that did not come close to the word 'fairness.'

Years later control freaks who seek ninja type justice just hire a damn good lawyer and know the truth will bring some sort of accountability for cruel adult behavior.

An Afterthought:
My dad was late in coming to support me that day in the court waiting room. Now he is up against a similar lawsuit as the defendant. Empathy is a beautiful thing. My dad was not supportive at all about taking Carol to court. American justice. I only know what I was taught myself, and what I learn through my own experience. I have to forgive my dad for teaching me jackshit.

Barton Skyway

I took my last pure buprenorphine pill because I'm celebrating. This is my last day in this apartment; and it's pouring rain. Thank you God. I'm on the bottom floor and it's dug into the ground so that the bottom of the kitchen window is where the dirt ends outside. This was my hobbit home for two years.

Lucian was out on someone's back patio, so I ran out in my Christopher Robin attire and tossed him over the patio wall like a football. We were forced out a bit early (again) by a neighbor whose actions caused me almost a thousand dollars in vet bills. Lucian is a resilient, jovial butter ball. We are going to be just fine.

If this apartment was once cursed, the mojo that I brought to it evened everything out (for the next sucker to over-pay). The trunk in this photo was given to me by a maintenance worker here. The roses were a gift for our departure. Los Vegas was an idea. We don't know where we will ultimately go, but as far as our home on Barton Skyway, we have reached our end.

                            Because I can. It connects.

My life is perfect now. Everything is as it should be. My cat outlived every wacky neighbor in the past 18 homes he has had in his eight years of life. We are a traveling duo. I am healthy. I have not had a drop of alcohol in a little over nine months. I feel great.

Facebook has this 'share your memory' link that has been interesting. I was drunk last year. My post this time one year ago was on the 20 million Russians who died that have not yet been acknowledged by the mainstream media. I could have been more tactful when I wrote that post due to the holiday it was written on.

My friend died this past week. I found out the hard way. She was very young and had two children. Her stomach hemorrhaged in her sleep, and she bled to death. I did not want to hear any of it, and it was crushing for a time. But I do this thing every night that helped out. Since I was very young I've had people and pets to honor in prayer before I go to sleep. I'm a very superstitious person. I added her to the list. My brother turned 31 yesterday, so my prayer was for him to give her a hug. The thought that they were in peace and silence somewhere that human thoughts only reach in prayer, and even then only in quiet gave me a new way of breathing. I relaxed my muscles completely. And I've been sleeping sixteen hours a day just to be with them. Even if I can't remember my dreams, I would like to think I'm helping her get adjusted to her new home, where memories go. Where light is soft.

My uncle talks to himself in deep conversation when he does not know that others are eavesdropping. He told me he was talking to his angels once. So I've been making it easy for my friend to see what we do with our time. My god awful dancing has increases since she died. That's for her to laugh about.

A bunch of us celebrated her memory yesterday. There is always some over emotionally completely shallow, hollow fucktard there that corners me when I leave the room to get that mud-thick A.A. coffee. They hug me and cry and then run back in the room and read poetry from their Internet searches. I did not want to cry about her so I left early.

A lady who I can only describe as a vampire followed me with open arms to steal a hug. I literally ran from her. I left her alone cursing on the steps about my rude behavior. Some days I don't feel like acting along with them. I'd like to be left alone.

When I came in from the rain the Internet found this song, that I've never heard before from every humanity student's favorite band.

                         Lucian Price, my only vice.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Waiting For My Angel Wings

So true. I danced to Andre Thierry on a butter smooth floor with good friends together in Austin. I snapped the photo above the dance floor that summer day.

In the next three weeks I have to write down any thoughts, because at the end of the day, all the noise, facts, images, and space turn into mental waste. Writing is my fiber and this page is my toilet. How poetic. No need for emotionally blockage. The three weeks before my big move to Spain (or the moon, who knows?) are full of hot-blooded chaotic angst that needs a filter. Physiological restrictions be gone! Everyone needs a healthy bowel movement.

Recently I passed another anniversary of a family death. I had a loved one with me this time around, and in twenty six of these days that come once a year since the loss of the person who loved me most in the world (my mother) this last day of reflection was the first day ever that I was not emotionally raw. Every April 10th, I hold my breath and watch the clock. Where ever I live, I use East Coast timing, so at 11pm last night I exhaled and slept. I have one major point to poop out about that subject (excrement metaphors completed.)

In college, when I was pretty but awkward and scared of my reflection, a professor read an essay by Flannery O'Connor regarding talent versus experience. I was a different person then. My memory works best for emotional lessons, so I remember the main point of her essay, which was that tragedy does not morph any average Joe (or Jane) into the next Hemingway. Or the next Tarantino, since this culture seems to celebrate screen writers more then Gary Shteyngart. By the way, I finished The Hateful Eight for the second time this morning. We certainly should be honoring Mr. Tarantino. Gary Shteyngart is a beautifully decadent writer. One is known more then the other, both are great talents, and I'm getting away from my point.

To paraphrase the essay by Flannery O'Connor (who died before 40 from lupus, and had a quiet yet brief life), when asked if writers should embrace their differences from what is considered a 'normal life' (uneventful perhaps?), then refine and develop their pain from emotional times (i.e. death, trauma, or unique life event) to use to transform into an asset; ultimately developing Post Traumatic Stress sufferers into sophisticated writers. That was wordy. Does trauma translate into powerful writing talent? Wordy still. In short: Does O'Connor think that writing students should harness their sad story (or many sad stories) because they have a better perspective being survivors of emotional turmoil? Does closeness to death or trauma make for a great writer? Should a creative writing student harness this personal pain to create quality writing (one) and is that premise even accurate?

Her answer was of course a harsh "No." In fact, she wished the myth of the suffering writer would die with the notion that proximity to death forces evolution in verbose form. This essay was read out loud over a decade ago, but I remember her belief that many colleges are full of creative writers with no talent, who think that they became good suffering writers after any struggle, death, or pain was overcome. Writers are disciplined, well read, and prolific. Exploiting (I need a thesaurus by now for that word) a personal hardship does not mean that PTSD suffers posses any epiphany to sustain excellent writing. I knew she was correct, though she did not sugarcoat the fact that too many people think any brush with love and death combined will give them a secret that becomes the foundation for flawless writing. The death of a loved one being some type of edge to talent in writing is a ridiculous misconception. Wow, did I prove her right in that awkward paragraph alone? Yes. My shared belief with her, though painful for an insecure writer like myself, is my subjective truth. Trauma does not make for excellent drama in writing. See how I rhymed there?

Side Note: Billy Joel, according to VH1 Behind the Music, checked himself into a mental hospital after realizing that not only did he have no faith in his musical ability (before he was a dinner table name) but the alternative idea of purchasing and wearing gleaming white shoes so people would at least notice his dancing moves proved futile. In my case, if I can't write well, at least I can rhyme. I'm hedging all bets and making my back-up plan a solid rap career. Better move to Detroit, where spontaneous break out rap battles land record deals and movies about those record deals. If one fails, I'm still golden!

The lost of my mother twenty six years ago did not make me a good writer. The heartbreaking reality is that losing her actually stunted my growth. Self pity gave way to justification over addictions that did brain damage now that I can't calculate or qualify. Only in the past year have I chose to mend the damage done from fear, confusion and every pill, potion, cocktail, powder and capsule that mixed with my blood like Soma from Brave New World. I no longer avoid reality, I breath in it's beauty. The sky sets in purple and orange fire every night, then repeats those awesome colors again and again. I can no longer be blase about Our Creator being both a magician and a painter. As long as beaches smell like salt water; that alone makes me feel like a fool when depression touches me. I think if depression was a creature, it would be a parasite that affected the senses. I have my senses still. I too am going to try for the kingdom.

My mother died when I was not yet a teenager, while brother followed her much later. What her death did do to me, as far as creativity goes; it did allow me to see the world from a different angle. Just as I believe the Jewish race is a very powerful and beautiful group of people because (among other factors) they were ostracized and (even in our civilized age) often rejected by major groups (there were not many football players that were dating cheerleaders who were Jewish, in my high school at least.) Rejection because of different world views can make for different writing, but definitely not superior writing. A slant, or angled view is still a valued vantage point. However, the similarities between the Jewish race and my unique life story end with being ostracized by others. I have never met a Jewish person that I did not find beautiful in spirit. I'm sure I can be an angry person. I am not traditionally maladjusted as a clinical label. I was given the diagnosis recently of Adult Opposition Defiant Disorder. That can explain a lot about me. If I deem society an authority, that could subconsciously be the reason I fight to stay unemployed. I want to do my part to help others in spite of my hangups. I love my fellow human race.

Another Side Note: If this blog is feels scattered, there is a good reason for that. I keep getting phone calls and text messages that break my concentration. Lo Siento.

I did not expect to spend so much time on one idea. This blog's main point was supposed to focus on my preoccupation with time. Time wasted versus quality time. In the 1960's, to my understanding, there were 'happenings' where the right group of people together made spontaneous art. Happenings still exist I'm certain, they are not advertised like they were in the 60's. Art does not have an expiration date.

I've said in previous blogs that I spent about a month in jail late last year. I became a felon in October. I'm going to blame my sloppiness on mattress labels if anyone of importance asks. Jail had one all consuming, pressure; time. Time felt like a tangible force against my thoughts. I can't speak for everyone in jail, but since I knew the exact day I was to be released, time was an obsession.

I've also said in one blog (The Banana Peel Incident) that I am being tapered off of Klonopin by an addiction specialist doctor. My last complete detox from that nasty, disgusting drug was seven years ago (the great house fire of 2008 caused a relapse.) I kept waiting for something to happen. In all seriousness, I had this bizarre thought (pain while in thought causes bizarre notions) that I would recover from all pain and discomfort after a certain amount of time on a random morning, and I imagined being a contested on a Los Vegas-type set of The Price is Right game show. "Come on down...this is your new life!" Bells, whistles, and a thunderous applause. Life is epic if you believe it to be epic.

I waited until I felt I could enter a health food grocery store without feeling the ceiling lights and the noisy atmosphere were lethal forces against my always-too-far-into-the horizon unrelenting recovery. I distinctly recalled the lights were so bright in this particular health food store, I can only describe them as feeling like I was in danger of being attacked by light. One day I went to the doctor who cut me off of the 'beer in a can' pill known as benzodiazepines, and candidly said to the nurse taking my blood pressure, "I think I have this addiction beat. But I am waiting for something to happen now. This can't be it. I'm waiting for something." Her response was that this is what life is; welcome back. No light shows. No 2pm calls to hotlines regarding the pain...ever again in my mind. No more clunky thoughts. Awkward times waiting in coffee shop lines were now surprisingly uneventful and comfortable.

Then being comfortable with being comfortable after years of anxiety was a some-what difficult adjustment.

I realized two things after months without any sedatives. One was that I better get use to this being my life. There is no better or worse. The expectation of anything amazing: Will I be discovered as if I was 17 again with no map of stress lining my face now? No. Will I marry wealthy because I am young still? No. What am I waiting for? In jail, to keep us looking forward to something, there was The Commissary. That entire idea worked wonderfully. I became so obsessed with the candy bar I ordered four days before the commissary hit our section of the jail, that I cared more about the conquest of the candy bar then of my release from prison two days afterward. Looking forward to something that delights the senses worked wonderfully in dismal jail. Time and private thoughts began to weigh on me, until the structure of the jail set up was what I based my days on. After the last meal (slop, also called,"Trays ladies!") came around 4pm. I would wait until trays came by then knowing how I had to bounce around thoughts until the next event, which was a nurse giving us our sleeping medication. Time and structure were saviors, but only in small doses. I spent just one full month in jail.

After I completely withdrew from the Klonopin years ago, my (then) fiancee and I went to a restaurant for pie. That was on Christmas Day. As I was bringing the pie to us at our booth, my fiancee made a comment that he had no need to keep a journal now, because these were forgettable days. I disagreed, and since I loved him then, the comment stung. What could be more important then Christmas with my (then...he is in L.A., probably still believing he will get a record deal after 40) future husband and I driving to a near-by city and stopping in a Mom & Pop shop for homemade coconut cream pie. I made the comment that I've always wanted to get hit in the face with that type of pie. His annoyed response: Why? I was not trying to make a 60's type 'Happening'. I was trying to connect with him because this is life in the here and now. I knew once he said that these days would be forgettable that that particular day would stick with me. I am alone as the owner of a shared memory.

Am I waiting to move to Spain because my life will be filled with perfume scented invitations to decedent parties, like in Eyes Wide Shut, where I'll have many admiring eyes notice my two miles a day slim body? What am I waiting for? When my Klonopin addiction is finished, will my thoughts go to higher topics? When will something happen?

I know that answer, just like everyone who is honest knows that answer about their life.

My ex, to this day (seven years later) never became a household name for his music, which he put above his lover. When we lived in the same home together, we began to separate in the same medium sized house, and dream separate future lives. Then after dark and after my three 7 and 7s, we would lay in the same queen sized bed. As our lives separated because of stress and feeling at ease with each other, he began sleeping on the far end of the bed while I laid on my back until sleep thoughts took over my mind and I sunk into a dramatic action hero world, navigating through colorful backgrounds in my usual six hours of unconsciousness. We stopped sharing our night dreams after a while. I secretly used his dullness as a spring board for a secret move to Spain (seven years ago was the inception of the idea to live there.)

The conflict-free diamond wedding ring from a pawn shop was when I thought my life had begun. The real (unromantic) story is that I took our cat and moved six miles away, threatening a permanent break-up if he did not propose before my thirtieth birthday.  But what I remember is not my ultimatum of a marriage proposal or a break-up. Nor that our combined private issues overpowered our love for one another. I remember the ring from the pawn shop being perfect for me. I remember the pawnshop employee (who later gave me $200 in cash after he saw me pawn that ring due to that house fire that claimed all of my material possessions.) I remember how that pawn shop employee telling my (then) fiancee to be romantic and put the ring on my finger in a natural setting. I remember that my fiancee quickly walked me to the pier overlooking the Eureka bay, and he quickly dropped to one knee and asked me if I'd marry him. A homeless man was passing us before he got on one knee, and the words were inaudible. I was hung over, and asked if we could get a drink in a better bar in Eureka before we did the ritual. He said no. Even after the forced and mostly contrived attempt at some prepacked American fairy tale, I still let him slip the ring on my finger, and screamed to that homeless man, "I am getting married!"

A week after my L.A. ex made that comment, on Christmas, at a pie shop that these were forgettable days, I immediately chose to remember that day simply because it meant nothing to him. So I treated it as if it was the most important day I've had so far. The weight I put on a day, contrived- forced- borrowed- is my conscious decision.

I never expected to be an adult with many mother-figures but no real mother. I can write with certainty that losing my mother when I was quite young did two things to me that I  notices other people don't do. At least to the level of obsession that I have. One is that I do not cut people out of my life at all. I value each individual way too much. Only under extreme circumstances do I deliberately stop communicating with someone. I find it stupid and petty that when a person has made up their mind to cut me out of their life, they can't answer a question to an event that we shared together, as a crass example. Some people are very stubborn with booting others from their life and never speaking to them again. I have done that before, but if someone asks me a question who was mean to me, I'll be polite and answer. It's silly to decide never to speak to anyone again. People are too unique to dismiss. The other thing that I do that others don't do is collect mentors, mother figures, and father figures. I learned how to become an adult with the input of so many good people because my mother died too early. People teach by leading their lives and allow me to observe their choices to live the best life possible, for better or worse. One honest person can teach me more then any single book. I have always been only an observer, which I would not trade for any social eloquence. I record time by lovers and music.

I have two photos of me at taken at Madriver Beach outside of Arcata, California. The quick story behind these photos was that I was in love with the photographer.  He and I were Literature students together, and we often laid in bed drinking coffee and sharing stories instead of unlocking our limbs, getting dressed, and taking the short hike to an early class lead by a pretentious professor. We didn't need anyone else. The other photo taken is my new (mid-life crisis) avatar. The sun was setting as I was clasping the hook to my bra. "As dawn goes down today..." Robert Frost. Down goes the photo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Murder of Maud Edgell

I'll start this by saying that my writing talents have diminished to the point of being a moral hypocrite just to get something written down. That blog on Ron Launius is ideally how I feel about exploiting a death by murder. There is no way I can write about Ms. Edgell without exploiting her death. I acknowledge that my mother raised me with morals, and at least I can redeem myself by starting off with an apology to my mom's side of the family.

When I lived with my grand mother, who was a perfect person, I found a manila (why not settle on the word vanilla?) folder in my bedroom that contained close to two hundred poems typed on an old fashioned type writer. They were on the bottom of a bookshelf in my bedroom for who knows how long, completely tucked away. I grew up with the story of Ms. Edgell in my mind, so my thought went to depression about her life. Her life was depressing, she was violently murdered, and all her poems were on the bottom of a dusty bookshelf with a ton of Catholic propaganda that kept me away from shuffling through that mess to read what was in her mind before she became a reclusive alcoholic who lived in the woods on my family's property.

I remember thinking that I wanted my life to be more then a folder of poems found by a twenty year old woman who only knew about the worst of me.

I can wait forever to become a good writer to honor her, or I can just write about this and bring up a few issues that her murder raised and pretend that I'm not exploiting her death, I'm explaining how factors like guns and police can not help in every circumstance. Ms. Edgell's death could have been prevented by her loaded guns. Ms. Edgell's death could have been prevented by the three 911 calls and three police trips out to check on her while she was in fear the night she died. Ms. Edgell's death could have been prevented by the many guard dogs she had for protection (who instead delimed her after her murder due to hunger.) Finally if the Crownsville mental hospital kept a lock on violent patients, none of this would have happened.

Separate from the thought years after finding her poems that I wanted to celebrate her life (this is not a celebration,) I've been watching these scary Youtube videos that claim to be true stories about scary events in the woods. I'm waiting for someone to bring up my family. Superficially, they can give off a abandoned cabin in the woods-type vibe. We happen to have an abandoned cabin in our woods too.

I grew up in a loving home on a colorful organic blueberry farm. The walk to the bus stop was about a quarter of a mile, and when I was young I remember passing my grandparent's colorful garden that lined the driveway. The flowers that bloomed in the Spring attracted butterflies. I wish I had known then how lucky I was to have that view for so long. The last stretch of woods before the bus stop had honeysuckles lining the edge of the road, and the smell was intoxicating. We were taught how to pull apart a honeysuckle flower to get that little bead of dew, which, in retrospect (and a lot of therapy) was meditative. My grand mother grew peppermint and spearmint to add to her flower bouquets for the farmer's market. The grass before our granite rock driveway always had dew that made my shoes muddy by the time I got to school. I was once teased about that dirt on my shoes. Then it was embarrassing, now I know about D.H. Lawrence, class wars, and the money ladder that manners should instill in others.

The nightmare of this story should be that the woods outside our 48 acre farm were cut down by yuppies lacking any creativity. Now instead of woods, we have cookie cutter McMansions. All our childhood trails are gone. The ponds have drained. A walk in the woods usually includes a hunter on our property now, even though its not quite fair to the deer when the trees have thinned out. I've never consciously cried about the yuppie invasion. It's a bummer though.

Before the yuppies invaded and upped the stock of The Gap and J.Crew in Annapolis (Google Epping Forest get an idea of a community next to ours), there were acres and acres of thick woods between our isolated home on the edge of our family commune (it basically is a commune) and the states biggest mental hospital. Also, the country's first nudest colony. The mental hospital, Crownsville mental hospital, closed down about ten years ago. But in the 1970's, my goodness did I hear some terrifying stories. And yes, the mental patients did get to go to the nudest colony years ago. My mother once threw a bag of clothes over the gate.

The mental patients were allowed to roam free. As a child I did not understand mental illness. Children don't need adult problems. Children have no need for religion. As an adult now I know that there was the worst type of mental illness very close to home. One of my aunts is a paranoid schizophrenic. She never asked for that illness. I am not a religious person, but do believe in a great light in the world. The idea of compassion being paramount to the designer of mankind can be severely questioned with the words: Paranoid Schizophrenic. Despite having that degenerative illness, my aunt is one of the most fascinating and loving people I have ever met. She built all the rope swings in the woods that we had so much fun on as children. She built a two story house made of the rock around her (I have a blog about The Rock House) and used it to give troubled teens an escape from their homes. She and my mother volunteered at the mental hospital (yes, my aunt eventually became a patient) and they gave out cigarettes and candy.

Some random stories from the Crownsville woods when my mom was a kid herself include:

-A mental patient who somehow found sets of women's clothing. He dug deep graves and put the woman's clothing in the graves. Then he buried the clothes. He probably got the clothing from stealing it when he was in the Crownsville hospital (or nudist colony) and his burial ritual was observed by my aunt, uncle and their friends, from a distance. No one was missing, so his ritual was allowed. Like I said, in the 1970's-early 80's patients roamed freely through the woods.

-Three patients at separate times were killed by a pack of wild dogs. My mother and her sister were expert climbers. In fact before my aunt (the paranoid schizophrenic) was beaten in her own home with a metal chair that shattered and permanently deformed her arm, she could do over 15 pull-ups. She has the body of Linda Hamilton from Terminator 2.

Side Note: That attack on my aunt, which nearly killed her, was the catalyst that caused me to try the heroin my next door neighbor in Arcata was just getting into. Her attackers were people my uncle took in from a bad neighborhood. One spent less then a year in prison, and in his trial his lawyers tried to use her paranoid schizophrenia as an excuse for violence to that extreme. What happened to her attacker when he got out of jail? He lives with my uncle still. The damage one person did was like Hiroshima to our lives. That's why I don't live there now. Ironically I wasted two years of my life addicted to heroin because my aunt was attacked by a heroin addict. Yep, that irony is not lost on me.

Anyway, the wild dogs were killed when a pack of police officers took machine guns into the woods. That ended that problem. I was told that wild pigs were in the woods, and my dad was almost attacked by one in a story that always makes my aunt laugh. She laughs because the woods are her home and she adapted extremely well to climb trees with no branches like an inch worm. She had to distract the pig because my dad could not climb trees like her or my mother.

Mr. Amous was another death, but I don't know much about him. He was an alcoholic, like Ms. Edgell, and like Ms. Edgell he lived for free on our property. He had a feud with the teens on the other side of those woods who had dirt bikes, so the only strange thing about his death was that when he was found face first in a five foot well he dug himself, there were fresh dirt bike tracks near him. Growing up I was always fearful of dirt bikes (even though I rode them often...other dirt bikers) and guns. So before I forget the subject of this blog, on how guns, dogs and police did not save Ms. Edgell from a preventable murder at the age of 92.

It's worth noting that I am extremely superstitious and have a great deal of respect for the dead.

My older brother was there when they found her body, although he was only two years old and remembers nothing. The story has been told to me many times, but as I get older I don't ask questions. Maud Edgell was a dear friend of my mother's and my aunt. She lived in a little home on our property in the woods (or off but near our important issue because of an alternate theory about her murder.) She was once the head of the Annapolis Poetry Society. She was religious. She drank a lot of alcohol and she was kind enough to have a patient from the Crownsville mental hospital (who had a pass to walk around) do work on her garden for money. The patient was a man named Sunny. I know very little about him. He was in and out of the mental hospital. He was described to me as,"sex crazy" according to a relative who knew him. Also, he was an alcoholic.

The day he got his government paycheck, he bought some hard alcohol and tried to break into Ms. Edgell's house. She called the police, who came by and looked around. That was her first of three calls to the police that night. Sunny went into the house of another woman because people like us kept our doors unlocked. That woman was not home, so Sunny went back to Ms. Edgell a second time. The second time she fired a shot into the air and called the police. They came by and did nothing. They told her to keep her door locked. She had a glass sliding door. I know that the police told her to do this because the same police were annoyed that my mom and her sister reported her missing. Initially the police assumed Ms. Edgell left her home due to fear and they did not want to look for her. The third time Sunny came by, the police gave one last look and stopped believing she was in danger.

The lesson with Ms. Edgell is that she had a loaded gun, but she was so scared the bullet holes were noticeable in a circle that penetrated walls and the glass door. I've always imagined her with a gun in the dark yelling for this man to leave because she has a gun. Her own attempt at scaring him shattered the sliding glass door which allowed him inside access. She had three big dogs whose purpose was for protection because she was a 93 year old woman living alone in the woods next to the county mental hospital. I do not know how she was murdered. She was delimbed, but later the coroner said that her own dogs delimbed her out of hunger. So they did not help her. Her gun was found empty on the floor. My mother and her sister were worried when a routine trip to bring her food reviled the shattered glass and empty gun, but no Ms. Edgell. They refused to allow the police to leave until they found Ms. Edgell, Her arms were the first body part to be found some 200 yards away from her home. She was chewed in pieces by her own guard dogs, which were missing. This was not the same year as the wild dogs though.

Maud Edgell was a distant relative of Francis Scott Key. When I was younger I would get him confused with F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her poems are in the spare bedroom of my grand mother's house in Maryland, collecting dust. I wish I knew more about her to honor her life. To me, this story cemented the futility of owning a gun, having dogs as protection (my cat would step on me to get away first!) and the police failing to protect an isolated old woman who called them three separate times. The police were also called to the house of the woman who was not home when Sunny came by. She was lucky. Ms. Edgell knew very well who her murderer was, and she told the police she was terrified. This story has always made me feel vulnerable.

One (ridiculous) theory is that a real estate developer (Perry? I think that's his name) hired Sunny to kill Ms. Edgell so he could demolish her house for more McMansions. Or more homes; this was way before the age of cookie cutter brick homes. My dad buys into the theory that Perry had some involvement because he was known as a shrewd and abrasive business man who had quarreled with Ms. Edgell before. I don't believe he would hire a known violent offender to kill a 92 year old woman. She only had half a decade left at most before a natural death claimed her, if the alcohol did not get her first. However, Perry did build almost immediately after her death, and their quarrel was about land.

These horror stories did effect me growing up. I still hate guns. I had the best dog on planet Earth when I was growing up. Best dog ever. Best cat ever too. I know that my mother was scared to be in our home at night when my father went to work. The woods were scary when we went too far. Now when I go home to visit, I'm more worried of a stray bullet from a hunter then I am of something happening to me.

One more sad thing about these woods are the unmarked graves of the mental patients who died without a proper family burial. There is only one wooden cross to let anyone know that they are standing on a grave site. The mental patients kept horses in large stables next to this graveyard, and the colorful graffiti on the walls to this day interested me. I was raised to fear these woods because of what happened to Ms. Edgell, so seeing normal peace signs in bright colors in this abandoned horse stable made me wonder what these patients were thinking. The idea of them burying woman's clothing was such a contrast from engraving the word 'Love' into these stalls.

These patients were always different from anything going on in my world. We were children and did not understand why anyone would hurt anyone else. Of course not all patients are dangerous; and the stigma is heartbreaking to realize when applied to my own aunt. The notion that someone could see her as someone like Sunny breaks my heart. When I was in the 9th grade, a classmate asked me if I had heard of a crazy person in the woods that carries a shotgun and walks with a black dog. Shadow, the coolest dog on planet Earth was black. And when he said my aunt's name with the word, "crazy" in front of it, with laughter...that was the first time I realized people misunderstand mental illness.

The last thing I'll write down is a memory I have from before kindergarten. My mother would drink two cups of coffee with my aunt in the morning. My aunt would come over for this ritual. I remember spying on them while in my Rainbow Bright pajamas. I clearly remember my mother pleading with my aunt, and my aunt yelling before slamming the door. That was the onset of her schizophrenia. It is convenient for God to always have our back; my God is Creation, void of human prayers. To hear my aunt talk about a summer night with such detail, just to get my lazy butt out of bed to sit on the steps and talk, humbles me greatly. I'll never understand why she has to suffer every day, and to be misunderstood by the very people she loves.

She had long blonde hair and a sincere smile. To love someone so much, who looks like my mother, and know that her disease ruined her in every way is painful. I don't understand why she got that disease and others can go about their lives never knowing the weight of her thoughts. In my 20's, shortly after finding Ms. Edgell's poetry, my aunt picked me up from college because I was in tears over a grade in some forgettable class. She told me to let it all out and feel blessed that I can still cry, because she had no more tears left.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Jesus Christ Heart

"Sometimes I think the only reason why I have not murdered anyone yet is because you can only kill someone once. Unless you keep reviving them."

That comment slipped out after calling the police over a stalking incident. Obviously, I was upset.

I save all the paperwork I receive from police over incidents when I go the non-cowboy route, and I have started framing their responses. With that particular stalking case, they sent me a letter saying the stalker was not, "annoying enough," among other things. He sent me a death threat, but the officer, God bless his broken heart, spent a good hour and a half going over all my texts to distinguish my threatening comments from said stalker. I was just fucking with that guy. I sent him off with a compliment that he was a good looking man and to be safe out there.

My problem is not with authorities. We have to have police in this world.

Charles Bronson was Lithuanian. One quarter of me does not want to read people their rights.

Some topics are better left for times of reflection.