Sunday, May 26, 2013

It is funny how little people write anymore. A response.

I am known for what has been coined as the epic email writer. When I was a kid we'd write, it was called a letter, the longer the better, sure I can create amusing synopses for my facebook posts, breaking words and stories down till a pentameter that resembles poetry occurs, but long form descriptions of our lives is something that people just don't take the time to do anymore.

I am happy that you have begun the recovery from your harrowing experience, I do hope that all is going smoothly. Shock, well I can say that there was once when it did occur, not a very pleasant story, my dad killed himself when I was 16, gun to the head. I was with my sister and her band of musicians in Las Vegas, New Mexico, the troubadours. They  would play for the underserved, they once played for this mental facility in Albuquerque. I would tag along and help out, kind of like a roadie. Well the attendees that day were all types that one  would expect.

I had grown up in a home where everyone was a little off, but for some reason I was prescribed as crazy, it was a moniker that I accepted and wore with pride, really the only things crazy about me was that I was born with a vision, yeah I am going to grow up to be an artist. Sure I was a sensitive kid, and not like anyone else in that huge brooding clan, but it was that label that saved me, at least I could be open about my dreams.

Anyway at the performance in institution all went well, but I had a bad feeling suddenly as the band wrapped up and began loading their instruments. I walked behind them as they left the facility, somehow I got separated, the automatic doors closed behind them and in front of me. A nurse came up and said "now where do you think that you're going?" Maybe I am crazy, maybe this isn't a nightmare. I watched through a small pane of glass in the door that cut me off from my freedom and my sister and her cohorts as they walked away. "I'm with them", my sister looked back over her shoulders noticing that I was not there, saw my face pleading for rescue, she came for me. That was panic.

Well the shock story, yeah so we all woke up in that rambling home in the downtown area of Las Vegas, the home was weird in the way that the doors were not locked, that whoever lived there, our absent hosts, left everything in a very trusting way, out and in the open, money even. I have aspired to live like that here in Santa Fe if you ever need a place you know that my door is open and you take whatever you need and then some.

It was that brilliant New Mexico light, the high altitude that brings us closer to the sun, this natural light that propels me to paint, to serve my friends, to live openly and create. The musical performance was scheduled for later that day. Everyone was preparing themselves, laughing, singing, someone was making breakfast. The phone rings.

They give the phone to my sister. Something has happened. She takes me into the bathroom, she begins to fix her hair then begins sobbing as curlers fall, mascara running, she was so vulnerable, so raw, I don't want to know. The show must go on, I must Perform.

My dad was some kind of hero to the poor, a community activist. I come across folks here many years later that tell me stories about him, how he was like a father to them. Really because he was kind of an asshole to me. I do realize and appreciate the gifts that he did share with me, literature, words, books, ideas. When I was around six and my sensitivity became apparent and he for some reason decided that I should get the brunt end of the stick. He was a good man but in retrospect I am sure that he suffered from depression.

My sister in the bathroom mirror, tears streaming through mascarared eyes told me the news, you're dad is dead, he killed himself. I went into shock, I didn't speak, I didn't cry, I went into myself and stayed there. She was preparing through tear stained reflections to go on with the show, one of our troupe insisted we get back to Albuquerque, we got into the van and drove through that desert landscape that is encrypted into my soul, the heat bearing down upon us as the van rolled through dried hills.

My reaction to the whole thing was one of a bystander. How would this event really affect me? I did not speak. Then there was that wake, the open coffin, the recitation of the rosary, my dad's mom, we were close once, but this calamity would tear us apart. The flow of dad's friends, the Chicano community pouring in, solemn condolences that seemed barren to me, oh he was a great man. One of my other sisters and her friend took me outside to their car, here take this, half a quaalude, sure.

Back to the greeting line, I saw my high school art teacher walking towards me, we are still friends, she comes up every once in a while, a truly beautiful woman. When I saw her, my friend, my pal, my mentor, when she came up and hugged me with tears in her eyes, knowing all of the shit that I put up with in school, for just being myself, I finally broke my silence, the quaalude kicked in, and oh how I let go of that story that had clogged my mind, the one of my father who would no longer be there to torment me. His style of child raising may have seemed appropriate for the time, and maybe it did give me some bearings as far as who to fight and when, and that never to back down from an oppressor, but really some occasional kindness would have been nice.

So there was a few days of people coming through the house, the ceremony at the church, even though dad was damned to hell because he killed himself. There were promises from the community, that never came to fruition, my grandma freaking out, kicking us out of the family house a week later mom rising to the challenge. We stayed at her mom's house till the trailer was bought with a down payment from an insurance claim, the double indemnity clause somehow overlooked. Cast from the land where I grew up and then thrown up to the mesa in a tin house that rattled when winds blew.    

I skipped school for a month. One of the art teachers would give the students his reports at year's end, the private messages between him and the administration. I remember his notes, "I understand the situation but really this is too much."

I wrote daily in my journal prior to that event, had two diaries, one that I left for my dad to find because he was famous for going through our things, one journal was where I wrote passionately about being unsure of being gay, that I was bisexual or maybe it was all just a phase. That month is mostly a blank, there is a note in one of my journals from that time, one month later, dad killed himself.

It would be just under two years later that I left that creaking home that was never laid properly on cinder blocks, New York City, my life, freed from expectations, free to live my life, and thirty years later I return to New Mexico. I still cannot find comfort in Albuquerque. I did though find and make a home and life in Santa Fe.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sping Fever

I have a fever and it is spring, I must have spring fever then. Came on last night. Maybe it is some other allergy that I have caught here recently. I may not be the best at taking care of myself, and may have continuously exhibited the poor health of a rabid artist. Or maybe I have caught that hantavirus from that scrambling mouse in the plaza that Harrison and I saw and that I wanted to rescue after seeing the Met opera broadcast of Handels' Julius Ceaser at the Lensic.
I couldn't stay for the entire four hour broadcast, there aren't many things that I can do for four hours except maybe paint and drink. Oh and enjoy the company of my lovely friends, but it has to be at my house. I like my place, it always has taken me a while to warm up to my host's homes, that is of course unless they were gone and I was housesitting. It has to be some kind of mania, it isn't a phobia nor a control thing, people can do what they want at my place, does that sound like a control issue? I can do what I want at my place, I like to do what I want. 
Signs of springtime came, signs of springtime went, came, went, came. By that time many of the early blossoms were adulterated, lambasted, distinguished by the late frosts and snow. The fruit trees were growing glorious in color reaching towards the sun, the adventurous early bees finding pollened succor, the cycle of life. Then all those frigging posts on facebook about the death of the bees and the terrors of Monsanto and that we're all killing ourselves and should respond. Oh then the frosts kill the flowers and I wander around looking for petals blossomed bees sucking sun shadow heat light.  
I became weary yesterday, hitched a ride to the store, by the time I got back I was burning up, thinking it was just the onset of real southwest heat I put on my hot pants and flip flops, that didn't really accomplish anything except for exciting my companion. I got a call from a pal in Kansas, her pal was thinking that he might be gay, wanted my advice, um you either like dick or you don't, no I didn't say that but offered some other worldly advice. Just because I came out when I was six years old does not make me an expert.
I would really like to watch a movie, something that I have not seen, something that I would love and want to see again, relax, kick back as they say, eat a burger, some fries. The last film that really rocked my boat was Twilight. Oh The Perks Of Being A Wallflower was pretty good, Shame was alright, I hated the ending. I watched the first episode of 30 Rock last night, I loved that show, not sure if I ever saw the beginning, Tina Fey seemed obnoxious. I haven't seen the fourth part of Twilight, number one will always be number one.