"If writers possess a common temperament, it's that they tend to be shy egomaniacs; publicity is the spotlight they suffer for the recognition they crave." Gail Caldwell, from her book "Let's Take The Long Way Around"

"To look life in the face, always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. . .always the years. Always the love. Always the hours." From the movie "The Hours", based on the book of the same name by Michael Cunningham

"Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly." Baz Luhrman, "Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)"

"A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls." Walt Whitman

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant or talented?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson

Monday, September 27, 2010

The End of Days

1980.  Where to start, for here starts my real story of childhood, or rather the end of it.  It wasn't until recently that I realized this childhood was worth grieving over.

We were still in the Mayfield house, but my mom and dad were selling it (actually, I don't know which one of them actually owned it at this point, or what the details of their divorce settlement was with regard to the house).  Mom was planning to move us to Santa Monica to be closer to her job at CPHP, California Psychological Health Plans where she was an administrator of some sort.  (Throughout her efforts to finish her degree, she always wanted it to be in psychology).  I already knew that my dad wasn't thrilled about the move because of the long drive it would require on the weekends we spent with him.  I don't know how I felt.  I was going to leave La Crescenta Elementary, the only school I had ever gone to, and I was always uncomfortable with the idea of living further away from Dad.  And oh yeah, there was Direll.

Direll Dixon was a man my mom met while out dancing.  The story I knew then was that they were dating.  He supposedly lived in San Jose (Northern California) and supposedly had a lot of money.  He said he was educated in New York and a registered dietician.  It all seems so blatantly bogus now, and even back then, his manner of speech and appearance was so diametrically opposed to his presumed background.  He was a street thug, although we didn't know it at the time.  He was almost impossible to understand when he spoke because he didn't articulate his words;  he slurred everything lazily together.  He had a habit of saying "you know what I'm saying?" over and over and putting his hand out for a "gimme 5" but in the "slip me some skin" kind of way.    Like Leroy, he was African-American, which again, didn't bother me, but he was tall and big in an imposing kind of way.  At first, he seemed okay.  He'd come over in his burgundy suit and play with Julie who would hold his hands and walk up his legs.  She was about 4, almost 5.  Matthew seemed entertained by him, too.  I think I didn't care if Mom had a boyfriend as long as he wasn't a permanent fixture in our lives.  Or maybe I wouldn't have minded him if his promises of getting us a big house and a comfortable lifestyle were true.

It was the first of many broken promises, lies, whatever you want to call them - a drive past a beautiful 3 story brick house, covered with ivy.  To me it was a castle.  I imagined living inside, imagined that it would be like living a princess life.  I was a little intimidated by starting a new school in such an urban area like Santa Monica.  It was the L. A. Unified School District, not the safe Glendale U. S. D. where we had dressed up like country people and made a homemade movie of stone soup.  Living in that mansion would have made life seem a little less scary.

Of course we didn't buy that house.  Mom moved us into a townhouse down the street from her work

No comments:

Post a Comment