Last Friday of Summer

I feel like it was someplace obvious, and then, nowhere at all.

The badgering memory of that same temperature many Augusts ago before the wedding on the bluff, through imaginary associations that give Alice in Wonderland a run for her money.

Ah, there it is. The endless cleaning, mopping up the mess. That was a line in a poem I wrote about my parents’ marriage. Except I felt like, at the time, I was the one cleaning up the mess, on a daily basis, as I over-achieved my way through junior year to be accepted everywhere I wanted to be and ended up going where I did not want to be confined. In the end, the confines launched a nomadic spirit and the end lies in its beginning.

So as I listen to advice that makes sense from my alma mater which I have come to be proud of in a way I did not expect when I was facing first year dorm with a wacko roommate whose boyfriend was at Notre Dame, but you sure couldn’t tell by the number of boys who crashed in our room. How do these things happen? If not for some sort of absurdist theater, then I could do without the psychos I have encountered and had to endure too many times, for too long, because I was trained to be patient, to wait it out, to make haste when you make you escape.

Today I decided could be a perfect day if I stayed to my Meyer-Briggs Strong Campbell Personality Career test results of “Army Officer” personality, architect mind, model maker precision. Then I glanced at the sometimes uncannily accurate horoscope which I do not consult on any regular basis but more as an amusement – unless the whole thing is a shitstorm, like today, then I think what the fuck, are all Virgos going back to bed right now?

Which is why I take so little seriously – we make the truths we want, see the realities we are programmed to believe and must break out of all constructs to even have a chance of knowing ourselves on any level deeper than your credit score, accolades, and measures of ephemeral wealth, to even understand there is another layer to the dread, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, insecurities, doubts, fears and existential angst that everyone tries to talk you out of because it’s just a drag, man.

“You’re clinically xyz…”

Um no, actually I am not. I know what the problem is and this is the way I have to address it because you are not me and although I appreciate your timeless and caring advice to get over it (because you’re over it), I have to process it through the means of my existence – because I want to learn and lead the best life I can before I die, and that’s not morbid, that is the most hopeful wish and belief I have ever had. I have a vision now. It is not close at hand. I must do many dreaded things before that. I hate wasting time on things that I don’t think matter–which are things that many people to think matter, like power, more than everyone else, self-worth equals net worth, social status, luxury items, adoration of fans — all are trivial to me. I know how much time there is in one life and I don’t know how much time there is in mine so I don’t want to waste any of it dealing with bullshit, anymore. And yet, bullshit, exists. Must be mired through. And so, I continue to listen to the webinar “Explore your financial goals and define your American Dream.” That is a worthy thought to absorb and I know that I am like no one else on this seminar, no one has to start over this late (based on the questions they are asking, based on the pedigree of my school — have I let them down? Not in merit, credits, experience — but in terms of success as measured by amassed income — no way. I have lived the glass ceiling under the concrete-woman, producer, in the worst industry there is in terms of fairness–entertainment. And here I am. Having made 1/2 of what my male peers make for my entire executive career.

And so it goes. I created much of it, not necessarily to beat myself up for making mistakes because has I known they were mistakes, I would have probably chosen a different course. That’s why hindsight is the most annoying of all sights. It’s pointless. Yes, now we know. Duh. I don’t want my life to be one big DUH.

So as I approach my mid-centurion milestone, I reflect on much of the torment and device means of working my through it like Charles Bronson in The Great Escape.

I am determined to make it work, and in the end, live to tell the tale — so that others can fast track past the crap and deal with the actual intensity that when it hits you can derail an entire well-laid plan, and to re-route can take precious years that you do not get back. If honesty can be the litmus, then I will consistently seek my own truth. That’s the best I can do, this last Friday of my 40s.

The 25th

was my parents’ anniversary although they eloped in March if that same year (1951) in March, so they could, you know…

38 years later a bitter divorce that wreaked havoc in the regulated insanity of the Walker lineage.  We lost our family home, which everyone always said hit me the hardest because well, I spent the most time there (I was a kid, we had 22 acres, which I explored with dogs, a horse, various rescue birds and a vibrant imagination for inventing stories of what I would tell Merv Griffin if interviewed on his talk show. This got me through endless chores. It was the country. It was the 70s-80s. When parents handed out chores like they were non-negotiable. Because they actually were.

My father just died in March and my mother (who recalled the date but didn’t seem happy that I did) cried for a few days, she said, until she was over him (again). It was, as I mentioned, acrimonious. I still don’t know exactly when it went wrong but looking back I can patch work an idea of my mom’s meltdown caused initially by debilitating back surgery, my dad’s frustration with her martyrdom and passive-aggressive manner of not communicating (he never forgot how she took a sledge hammer to a wall to say she was giving my brother a bigger room – I was not there but as he tells it, it was a direct affront, a real F-U directed at him. Sledgehammer to dry wall. To prove a point? 
Who knows. All I know is like all good kids of the generation x years (read Doug Coupland & the Harvard Center & university of Michigan) born from 1961-1981, we had the sinking feeling (due to being wee tots I. The 70s – Nixon & coming of age with the promises of trickle down while deregulating our “safety” with that actor, the aw-shucks voiced cowboy, alien-referencing UN speaker, astrology-consulting wife influencing when to use the red phone, Reagan, who some still eulogize but his presence was more solid than his economic and social policies and how they shaped where we are today. A lot of bullshit. Trickle down theory: pure hogwash.
But those were our leaders. They lied. They were manipulating the world to a view that is purely propaganda and power, an evil swill. Now things are more complicated. We all feel these assholes have wasted enough time of our time lying and positioning with slogans and logic that always fails because our politicians are no longer “of the people” (if they ever were) but purely pawns in some sick and twisted agenda from either fucked up humans (Rothchilds, Illuminati, The various committees of white men who run things for what end I don’t know cause it’s not money- unless it’s holding on to vast fortunes which have been amassed by taking advantage of others) or some far worse inter-galactic blob (in my nightmare,  it would be the Borg from Kathryn Janeway’s ship-perfectly evolved parasites so desperate for what we humans have–but so lacking in actual feeling, which is the thing that humans have.


So with all this in mind, picture a girl at the height of her optimism about life and love and family, leaving home for the first time on a grand adventure when her father leaves her mother for a woman he’d fallen in love with – over seven years.

Okay, so…she was at my graduation? Alright, so her daughter was tragically a suicide. That never leaves a person. But we needed you too and you kind of couldn’t be in both places at once so it felt like you gave up on mom when she was more pain in the ass mode than the woman who stood by you through poverty, medical school, who eloped with you so you could sleep together before your church wedding, who I know you were happy with for many years. Before you grew apart. Resented each other. Stopped communicating in any real meaningful way-it was the 80s. You talked about seeing a marriage counselor. But you didn’t go. Except as a token gesture if that.

The disillusionment I felt (I had thought they were getting along better! Had made it through a right patch! Of course! Dad was having a torrid love affair with a woman who he did love–but who didn’t have any of the “problems” my mom had which were basically familiarity breeds contempt – unless both people have the same commitment to emotional honesty and working on their own shit, not blaming the spouse for this, that, tit, tat. Years of listening to your parents shit talk about the other is something I would like to skip next time around. If we are reincarnated after all. I would like to go straight to the good life on easy street, for the record. Used up all my hard knocks passes this go-round, fella.

You begin to believe you alone can fix a broken marriage. In its theoretical form-meaning you will NOT do what your parents did four months after you began your adult life and decide to be selfish and tell you at 5 am in Australia that Dad was leaving Mom and his mistress’ husband (in process of becoming ex-husband) had called Mom to say: your husband is having an affair with my wife 
You say, at 22, 23, your whole life of love before you: well I won’t do what my parents did wrong.
You read Harville Hendrick’s getting the love you want and other such tomes on how not to fuck up your lives like your parents. 

And then you set out to fuck it up in entirely new ways, and discover the meaning of overcompensation.
1951-2015 August 25 

My adopted parents married 64 years ago. My father just passed away a little over 5 months ago. My mother still believes he got some perverse pleasure out of his double life. I know it wasn’t about that at all. He wasn’t trying to hurt her or us. He wasn’t even really thinking of us (or anyone but me as he waited til his youngest was out of the nest to implode the family farm) and was drawn to a woman who was cloyingly approving of his every action and word (annoyingly at first, the glad-handing and overly effusive can-do-no-wrong was laid on a bit thick but I got used to it, just “had to take my saccharin” as my diabetic grandmother used to say over effusively constant complimentary ass-kissing sweetness. 

I adored my father but by God when his mistress comes along and says he is perfection in the flesh, it gets a bit hard to take. Sickening sycophantic unctuous wheedling to get the good doc to contribute quite substantial support to a family grieving the loss of one of their own. 
I felt like to get anyone’s attention around here, what? Do you have to kill yourself? Because all my “warning signs” were unheard and I was on my own (in terms of family mentorship on things emotional and my prospects as a woman who “was just gonna get married anyway” so why should he pay such exorbitant costs for a college when our state school was just a good. 
I was a good girl. All I ever did was obey. Unless I was doing something bad (once in a while – you can’t really help it, all that pent up perfection bottled up, so much pressure to keep up the idea you have of what you are supposed to be – but very few clues on how to get there and quite a few misleads from fucked up adults who give a lot of bad advice at very impressionable times.

To say I knew my mother would be her slightly bitter and eternally broken-hearted mother would scoff at the mention of the anniversary is accurate but I had hoped (no idea if it got conveyed – she is stubborn, as always!) to get across that I was thinking about her on her anniversary – because this is the first year he hasn’t been around and all we have left are the memories we carry of him-and I’d like hers to find their way back to the good. Not sugar-coated and not denial but it’s been long enough I think or I hope not to carry the hate from hurt around. It’s a tall order. She was married at 19 for 38 years. That’s a big chunk of your soul – the wonder of youth and the way you love then – you never recover when someone just walks out.

I would like her not to regret marrying him because then I wouldn’t be in their lives and I can’t imagine two better parents for me. 

The Monday Morning Confessional

I thought that might be a good name for an early morning radio show, across the country, call me and tell me about your weekend, I tend to sleep on weekends and get up at 5:45 a.m. every Monday — force of habit. Country girl, has chores to do, always.

The idea started as this: I read the news today oh boy

because, indeed, the first news I read was about a murder, which is not the unusual part, as I live in Los Angeles. I learned what a ‘crime of passion’ was when Richmond, Virginia was tops for violent crimes for a blip in the radar, when I happened to grow up there. Always attracted to danger, one could propose.

Except this murder was Shakespeare.

Or mental illness meets USA twenty-first will be the thirstiest century.

For our blood.

So the pitch is a concept where human blood fuels zombie takeover except then Philip K. Dick comes in and the whole thing turns upside down. yeah, that’s the story…

as a writer, you should not judge 

As a man you know who is right and who is wrong. You have to make decisions and enforce them. As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.

Listen now. When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis or motor cars. There are a thousand ways to practice. And always think of other people.”

Ernest Hemingway 

Lullabies of butterflies 

And then she left.

No one gets over a selfish mother. 

It takes more time than one life’s got

To mend

Such meaninglessness 

So the poets 

And the painters,

The doctors and 

the pastors

Rush bedside 

To eulogize the moment 

of your 

Enlightenment 

in passing
Gentile still

Mother goose

with a quill

sings your

story to

thr world

butterfly dreams 

fall softly 

now 

There is no 

time to wait



The echoes faint

Everything eventually 

Disappears

Which seems 

to be 

the primary 

cause of fear

that of losing 

what you know 

is going to disappear

But never being

ready for it

No matter how 

Much you prepare

No matter what homework 

Assignment life hands out

There is no right answer 

So don’t insist upon

Another’s reasons

Fitting yours

Don’t fix 

What you 

Don’t  break 

Monday

Mondays come and go, and now I finally feel ready for the insufferable heat. In this countdown to the middle, the halfway point of the center does not hold. It’s enough to make you wonder if all those times you were unhappy if you were delusional, or is that the case now that the world has lost its influence on your heart? Whatever keeps things in motion deprives the emptiness from taking hold, and that is all I know this Monday past the middle of a desperately dry summer.