Saturday, January 20, 2018


Dreams of Escape was the title of my very first book of poetry, written in my early twenties and nearly forgotten until tonight when I found an old printed copy. The title is prophetically appropriate.

My entire life seems to have been a perpetual cycle (circle?) of escapes: from unpleasant experiences, bad situations, and - undoubtedly foremost - escape from myself.

Escape from oneself is, of course, an exercise in complete futility - - but I pursued it enthusiastically during my life-long course of discontent.

I don't want to get philosophical (mainly because I lack the qualifications). I'm merely thinking, remembering. Talking to myself.
You're merely an innocent eavesdropper.

I suppose my first great escape was when I left home and moved to Hollywood. I was nineteen - a late bloomer and greener than moldy cheese. I've previously written about this enough times for it to become trite and stale.

It happened after one of the worst (physical) blow-ups I had with my father. He won, hands down. Choked me into unconsciousness, knocked me through a plate glass door. It was weeks before I began to physically heal.

Before I left, I had planned to kill him. Got his revolver. Sneaked into his bedroom late one night (he was a very heavy sleeper). Stood there deciding whether or not to shoot him through the head. Weighed the pros and cons.
Decided to let the son-of-a-bitch live in his own misery.

The cold, seedy,  dangerously anonymous streets of Hollywood are about as far from Tinseltown glamor as anyone can get. I quickly learned about survival - and about sex, drugs, booze, and hardcore realms of escape that I never previously thought were possible.

It was a long and delicious escape - mainly because I became someone other than my real self:  mysterious, elusive, seductive,  dangerously reckless, unconcerned with consequences.....

I'm only scratching the surface of an incredible journey into self-destruction.

And suddenly I'm thinking of all my other attempts of escape, which - filtered through the sobering distance of time - seem as futile as they are ridiculous.

Escape from the heartbreaking end of my first sexual relationship. It lasted only three months. I was nineteen. The...other person...was a decade older and infinitely more experienced. It wasn't love. It was intense infatuation. But I was completely heartbroken. Packed my gear and left California. Spent the entire summer on the east coast.

Escape from another relationship - where intense jealousy (and possessiveness) reared its ugly head.
This.....other person.....was intent on pursuing me - and had enough cash and clout to do it.
I escaped to Mexico. Baja. Eventually Ensenada. Lived on the beach for a few weeks. I drank Tequila and Modelo Chelada and dug my bare toes into uncharted sands.

en la playa de Ensenada

I already (long ago) wrote a blog post about my escape from marriage. Or perhaps escape from a wedding....

Clara was the sister of one of my best friends, Anton. Their father was well-known and they were an extremely wealthy and refined family.
I was twenty-four. Clara was near thirty but looked much younger. She had been educated in Switzerland and spoke five languages.

I frequented their home, gave private piano concerts and poetry readings there. Sailed on their yacht in Newport Beach. Rode in their Rolls Royce. The entire family adored me (hard to believe, but true) and wanted me to marry Clara.

Clara and I had dated casually. Went to many events in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. But I was extremely immature and hopelessly reckless. I definitely didn't want marriage (for more reasons than the one you think....). Serious relationships of any kind terrified me.

 Clara and I
at an event in Beverly Hills
a very faded glimpse into my past life...

There's an enormous amount more to this story, but I'll cut it short by saying that Clara eventually married someone she didn't love on the rebound of losing me.

She begged me to attend their wedding,
"for moral support".

As usual, my initial reaction was to escape from the situation. I went on a serious drinking spree, borrowed a boat from a friend, and sailed to Catalina Island where I stayed for a week in blissful inebriation. 

This blog post is getting too long and I've only mentioned a pitiful few of my many colorful escapes.
I still haven't told how I wound up living in poverty in a mountain shack in Tennessee.

If you aren't bored with this crap, I might (eventually) continue my adventures in escape.


  1. Please do continue! I am listening.
    I remember you talking about your father choking you and throwing you through the glass door. I am glad you didn't shoot him (tempting as it HAD to have been) only because of what it would have done to YOUR life.
    Please continue.
    Love and hugs from Fargo. :) :)

    1. I was even more worried about what shooting my father would have done to my Mom (but then, of course, she would have been free of him!).
      I delighted to know that tales of my past aren't boring you. It gives me the incentive to continue...

  2. Goosebumps, Jon. Your second paragraph might very well describe me. Except, I'm such a coward and people-pleaser I could never have attempted your exploits.
    Perfect image to accompany this post. I'm going to jump on Amazon to see if "Dreams" is still available.

    1. I was always somewhat of a coward, Myra - - but I'm honestly astonished at the things I did in my wild youth. Nowadays I get an anxiety attack simply going to Walmart....

      Unfortunately (perhaps) I only published "Dreams of Escape" privately, so it's not available on Amazon.

      I should really move my butt and finish my memoirs - - but there are many things I'm hesitant to reveal, since most of the cast and characters are still alive.

  3. I for one would like to hear more. Your life has been far more interesting than mine. Kind of on topic, my sister and I were discussing yesterday that some people will take on an entirely different persona when they are away from their normal environment. I guess that's why the (stupid) "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" motto exists. It sounds like you made a pretty drastic change once you were away from your childhood home.

    1. First of all, I've always disliked the "What happens in Vegas..." motto, too!

      When I was a child (and young teen) I was extremely timid and maddeningly good. I was nearly perfect and would have never dreamed of doing anything wrong. I endured my father's constant violence and abuse, and my parent's insanely dysfunctional marriage. When I got away I think I tried to expunge my past by being the exact opposite of what I really was (don't know if that makes sense). I became my wild alter ego.
      If nothing else, I had a helluva lot of adventures.

  4. Have always found your accounts of past experience fascinating and marvel that you learned so much, acquired so many skills, along the way. "Poverty...Tennessee" intrigued me, so I checked if there might be a town named that. There isn't, but I did find a town along the Texas-Louisiana border called Uncertain: "Uncertain...derives its name from the original application for township where the name for it had not been decided...Original residents filled out the application they put "Uncertain" in the blank for the name." --Wikipedia.

    1. I've never heard of Uncertain, Texas, Geo - but I like the concept and think it's an apt description of what my life seems to be.
      I've been to Happy, Texas - but unfortunately that's in complete contrast to my personality.

      Knowing that you find my experiences fascinating will probably encourage me to write more.

  5. We are very different human beings but I see you as someone I respect , like and would be glad to have sitting at my table enjoying my food and drink.

    1. Respect is the most important thing, Angela, and I'd be delighted to sit at your table (the food that you make always sounds delicious).

  6. Hi Jon: Just checking in to see what you have up your sleeve today.

    1. I'm regressing to the past, Paula - which sometimes isn't a very good idea.

    2. Jon, I'm familiar w/the story and it NEVER (said in a Bette Davis voice) gets old.

      Childhood abuse is something few people are able to overcome. I'm glad you were able to be more of an adult than your father: He sounds like a real piece of work. Pat yourself on the back big time.

      My mother sexually molested me and my brothers during the rare times we lived with her. But (and this took a long time) I have forgiven her. At least she tried to be a parent (my deadbeat dad never made his face known and never paid a cent of child support).

      The bottom line is that we are still alive to tell the tale. And this speaks volumes about our inner strength and desire to survive *hugs*

    3. The "fortunate" ones (like you and I) somehow found the inner strength to survive - but our plight definitely takes a big toll, nevertheless. I had nightmares and severe psychological problems (caused by my father) until I was in my 40's - - and I never attempted to forgive him until about a year before he died.
      After he died, all of my intense hate vanished, but it was probably too late....

      The problem with blogging about my past is that there's so much I CAN'T tell in such a public forum. I merely give pathetically scant sketches and leave a lot out. The grim details would have to be told in a book. Writing helps immensely - it's a great catharsis.
      And, of course, "hugs" are necessary!

    4. By the way, I've been enjoying your recent blog posts (and can definitely understand your reasons for disabling comments). I especially like The Watcher is Being Watched. And your description of him (funny!).

      I never knew there was a new movie about Tonya - that would be fun to see. I remember the old movie, which I think was made in 1994. I used to have a VHS copy of it - but it's lost.

  7. delving into your escapes cleanses the soul. by all means continue.

    1. In a strange, twisted way, I enjoy writing about these things - and...perhaps... it does cleanse the soul.


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