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There Are Limits A friend of mine from the early seventies and our… - ghost train [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Aug. 13th, 2007|10:49 pm]
There Are Limits

A friend of mine from the early seventies and our crazy-wild Kerouac days of waitressing late and then open miking poetry late and howling down the streets of Berkeley and San Francisco called me yesterday as I was weeding the broccoli and told me she had up to a thousand dollars to give me to come visit her on Washington's rain forest peninsula. Just add up the gas miles my old and i mean old, bench seat American car would need, plus a cuppla nights at a motel and some food to get up to her little town that had less people than my little town has. I thought about it, I talked to Dan about it and then I went back to working in the garden. I started cutting down the evening primrose and tiger lily stalks and then I stopped and sat in the tree house and read some more of "Sons" by Kafka, because it was time to do that again now that my two sons are adult. Then I stopped, my mind went blank, like a television screen and I saw my brothers as children with their pants down around their ankles leaning over the couch filthy with the hair grease of my step-father and I watched him beating the shit out of them for nothing, they had done nothing, and my skinny little arm couldn't pull his arm away from its motion and finally he slammed me up against the opposite wall so I could see my efforts were pointless...

After pulling up all the stalks in the garden and cutting them into a size that I could make a small bonfire with in the autumn, that night in bed, hardly able to move because I had fallen the night before so hard on the crowded wet laundry room floor, that I honestly thought I'd broken my knee caps, I remembered how when I woke in the night as a junior high school girl and the absolute terror of living, just plain living, came over me, I would crawl into the lower bunk bed of my brothers', even though it was wet from his urine, and I clutched his shoulders as I carefully kept my hips and belly as far as I could away from the warm wetness, while grasping as much comfort as I could from his bony collarbone and his slight snore. I stared for hours out the window at the street lamp covered with moths and saw how relentless that kind of light was...as eternal as the light at the cop shop where I knew I couldn't go even though the second story roof of our apt had a drain pipe I could slide down and run a few miles and TELL; I knew it wouldn't make any difference. They would maybe call whatever version of CPS there was back in the mid-sixties and someone might come out and investigate, but if they left me alone with my mother and the step-father, or even just my mother if they took the step-father away and put my brothers in foster care, that death I thought about when she beat us? It might happen that night. She honestly might lose the control she was convinced she had and maybe she did have a certain amount of control and maybe I was lucky she hadn't lost it one of those other nights. I wouldn't have grown up to be able to tell anybody about this just one-of-many-incidents, that I needed to talk about. She always prefaced an evening of hell with "And I don't want the neighbors hearing you or you'll get it worse, do you hear me?" So we were as quiet as we could be as she flailed us with kitchen utensils and sauce pans, madly leaping out of the way in pain, as a st. vitus dance overtook us to find air clear of torture tools.

It stopped when I was fifteen and she wrapped my down-to-the-waist hair one,two three times around her fist and started in with the big spoon, calmly, as hard as she could on my ass, and I stood there, stock still, not a move, not a sound, and she saw for the first time, I wasn't gonna be broken, no matter what. It was then that I knew I could undergo anything. Because when she finally let go of me, more out of weariness than anything else, and saw my dead face,void of any emotion, she knew it was over. I had won. I let my hair cover my face like a shiny wet greasy shower curtain and I allowed myself a tiny smile of victory. I dared not give away more than that. But I needed some satisfaction, I needed to say "Mick, you lied."

And I told Dan the next day as we inched into the gas station for one gallon of gas, "Hey hon, I don't wanna go to Washington. Do you mind?" And he shook his head, he knew my home was my sanity, was my yoga, was my Bible story and I needed to stay close...I had addresses for my sons, for my brothers and they were all within a few miles of me.

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[User Picture]From: robin_rule
2007-08-14 05:53 pm (UTC)
shit, christy, i''d have to go back to that year's journal and look at what was happening...i AM putting something together.i have three fires burning, but two don't need to be burning right now, this is the one i've been giving the big energy to. i wanted to see what people who read just one essay out of the bunch and what it made them think.

i have a new friend, he's 84 and one of the wisest people i've ever met. he's helping me alot acknowledge who i am, because when i'm completely naked and honest he tells me how beautiful i am. (ain't it just like a woman to have her vanity stroked to kick her ass into gear?!). no, it's honestly not like that. he just validates me in a way my father didn't very often and my grandfather did twice, the once when he took the nancy drew type fiction out of my hands at age nine and gave me jack london and right now i forget the other, but it's written down somwhere and Imporatnt.

i don't know...I don't want to be looked on as yet another victim anyfuckingmore. i just need to get it out of my system. let it go poison the person who made it happen, or better yet, let it drop into a chasm that opens into hell and then closes up...

my goal, is i've pulled all the good entries out of live journal and from my own personal diaries; i've copyrighted them already and i'm going to hone them down to a fine knife edge that andrew vaschss would be proud of and then I'm going to look for a publisher. they say women hit their stride in their fifties (that's not true looking at kathleen winter and others and look what gloria steinem was doing while I was attending highschool: i've got role models to help me out of the morass and i'm gonna make them my 'friends' in the midnight hours), but women like muriel rukizer who took something like 17 years off her writing to raise kids and then came back stronger than a whole hell of alot of men. this is my goal. it's time i blew my doors in for younger women, for women my age who can't voice what happened, for the boys who grew up always afraid and thus take it out on women, the all consuming icon of Mother.

i have alot more to say, but i'm holding off for now.
thanks for reading. it IS a book, and i hiope soon.
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[User Picture]From: robin_rule
2007-08-15 02:53 am (UTC)
i've held it in check. it's brutal, it's ugly and it's frightening.
thank you thank you for being willing to accept what is. who's me. it's why all those parts of me you don't like.
i'm a fire engine siren inside. i'm going to open my mouth.
it's going to be LOUD.

what will be gratifying, what will make me know i'm on the right track,
is knowing what men think. and not men like nils or jake, who have been raised sensitized by the kind of mothers they have. i want to know what a man who was raised by june cleaver thinks. someone who, if he is in touch with his inner self, did it on his own. that's the final victory.
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[User Picture]From: curiouswombat
2007-08-14 12:35 pm (UTC)
I am not sure that many of us have story-book perfect childhoods - but when I read of the sort of childhood you had all I can do is admire the way that you survived it, and be extremely grateful for reasonable chastisement when earned, a warm bed, and parents and grandparents whose behaviour was dependable.

I also fully understand the wish to remain in your own place - I travel only with some discomfort at leaving my own few square miles.
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[User Picture]From: robin_rule
2007-08-14 07:49 pm (UTC)
thanks, i'm hell for my husband who likes to travel by car to anywhere north but going east and west to get there. i love it too, but i'm a nervous wreck...
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-08-14 07:35 pm (UTC)

stories in life & travel

hi bird. i finally have enough downtime to look here in livejournal again. how do you remember things so clearly? i guess that is the sign of a writer. i have to photograph to remember. do you think going over all this will help clear things for you? i know that with nightmares, if you say it outloud to someone else that the sharing helps it fade away in your mind - perhaps this will do the same for you. i think staying in the present is also another way - perhaps that's what meditation/praying is all about.

and by the way, you are lucky you came out of that trance of no emotion.

peace, love, hugs

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[User Picture]From: raingirl26
2007-08-14 07:37 pm (UTC)

Re: stories in life & travel

uh, yeh, it's me - i forgot to login.
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[User Picture]From: velvetviolette
2007-08-17 12:47 am (UTC)
Oh, oh, oh. Wings of peace and comfort enfold you, soft lady arms tuck you loving and cozy into bed.

"Mick, you lied." - ???
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[User Picture]From: robin_rule
2007-08-17 01:32 am (UTC)
i can't no, I can't no, I can't no no no, i can't no , i can't
get no sat-tis-fac-shun...oh no, i can't get no, no no no, I can't get no, no, no sat-tis-fac-shun...

i know you work in a forties club, and are younger than me, but the Rolling Stones ARE still touring, you little girl
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[User Picture]From: velvetviolette
2007-08-17 05:45 am (UTC)
Hey now, you have to admit that was mighty cryptic. I think of Sympathy For The Devil first when I think of the Stones, anyway.

pleased to meet you
hope you guessed my name

...and it's easily the best. In my opinion it makes up for Mick's hubris and grotesqueness. Plus all that excessive repetition.

Also, while I'm venting my opinion, I absolutely love and admire Charlie, even more now that I've read his Wiki article. I could see that secret behind his eyes when I first laid eyes on him, in a music video, yes, sorry, but again I've never been a Stoneser. With every glance he says "this is my day job."

You may know the story to this quote:
"Don't ever call me your drummer again. You're my fucking singer."

Absolutely brilliant.

And that, my dear, is why one must never assign me a pigeonhole. I do not fit into single boxes or zodiac slices. Sorry.
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[User Picture]From: velvetviolette
2007-08-17 09:31 pm (UTC)
Yipes, I read this over again and realized I sound a bit curt, which I didn't mean to do at all!! I don't know what it is about writing late at night, but I start sounding all hoity-toity. Sorry about that.
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[User Picture]From: robin_rule
2007-08-18 07:01 pm (UTC)
thanks, ya see, it just went into the essay. i got satisfaction over my mother by not screaming and moaning and crying out and it was a turning point in my life as a woman (at 15? i was bleeding...) of dignity. dignity is my most sought after human "emotion". emotion isn't the right word, but melissa will know the right one.
i think attribute might be right.

like when i was nine and the radios were all blarking(see footnote) "help me Rhonda" by the beach boys who I have always hated and even then i grokked it meant terrible things, if i was hearing the words right, "help me rhonda helphelp me rhonda, helpme get her out of my life, help me get this girl out of my life...' (paraphrase). man,i was nine and wanted to scream, 'you don't use one woman to get another one out of yr life, you creep!

footnote: "blarking: a combination between blaring and barking, made up by yrs truly.

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[User Picture]From: velvetviolette
2007-08-19 06:10 am (UTC)
Peace always, dear.
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[User Picture]From: robin_rule
2007-08-18 03:46 pm (UTC)


aw, i wasn't puttin' ya down, honest...you are one of my heroines....i'm sorry ya took it that way, i was jockin' wich u, cuz yr my friend.
i'm not a stones fan, though at one time i was when i was 17 and i love stray cat blues, there was this girl, see, and she was to melt over...

tell me yr not mad at me...pretty please...
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[User Picture]From: velvetviolette
2007-08-18 03:48 pm (UTC)

Re: apology

See the comment below yours, darlin'.
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[User Picture]From: velvetviolette
2007-08-18 03:50 pm (UTC)

Re: apology

Er, I mean, see the comment above yours.

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[User Picture]From: _onlysky_
2007-09-20 06:06 pm (UTC)

You are so beautiful, I know this is sudden, strange, I feel as though I've found a longtime friend --

In true awe, (see your footnote on your profile) of your eloquence, your incredible hold on truth, your braveness, I hope I can be as courageous as you, you solider of truth.

I am so grateful I can read you - Thank you.

[also, I'd like to add you to a filter I have, I know its early, but I feel like you ... get it.]
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[User Picture]From: robin_rule
2007-09-20 10:12 pm (UTC)
this is so scary it's beautiful and so beautiful, i'm scared. yes, iwill go to this plce you speak of,tho i might not know how to ue it it yet, i'm a techno-moron, but i too have a feeling, there's a connection that most people wouldn't want to even know about...i thank you for yr trust to give me a place in yr journal so soon.

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