Mission Bay is the place, where I have been, since October, tearing pieces of my soul from the deep well of my mind, meme by meme, now that I can see them in a more enlightened state of mind. I see my ignorance was a type of arrogance that Aesop wrote parables about, which I instead, demonstrated to extremes.
Each day, when I paddle 3 miles out to the ocean and back, I return with another portion of my soul. Recreation is therapeutic. Who would have known? I feel I own this place. I own even the fact that Jack Linkletter once told me how much he hates it. He watched the city dredge the wetlands to develop the Pacific Beach residential community and the body of water I paddle through each day called, Mission Bay. It is manmade. But I own this place the way Jack London owned the Yukon, for it’s nature and the plants and animals that inhabit the place. The people have always been strange.
When I first came here, I was a bundle of needs, raw, not wary of the edges of cliffs. Really, I had been through some major psychological restructuring following a long period of depression during which the idea of suicide was like a wonderful “get home free card” and just knowing I could play it kept me alive. I was alive. No one cared either way, so why should I? I recall, some time after I returned from six months “active duty” in the Coast Guard, I had no job and was a guest of a horn player in a tiny house on a canal on the east side of the 101 in Sunset Beach. I had no money, would not even consider stealing and my weight was down to 135 pounds. My mother and stepfather were thirty miles away but I wouldn’t think of calling them. In my mind, their job was done, I was on my own. Suicide was never on my mind at this time, I was just numb. Not that I wasn’t hungry. I was. I was also getting pretty weak so the idea of doing anything about being hungry was less strong than the desire to sleep. I was apathetic.
My arrogance is the weakness of some intelligent, gifted people when, what they know gets between them and whatever they see. People like me are gullible in amazing ways.
My stepfather knocked on the door of the little house in Sunset Beach. He had driven there in a little Simca sedan, which he’d painted Navy gray with a paint brush and he gave me the car so I could get a job. I used it to go to the university and finish some paperwork for my Bachelor’s degree, following which, a former girlfriend (I) helped me get a job as a probation counselor at an LA County lock up for mentally ill juvenile delinquents in Malibu canyon. The kids there loved me. The staff didn’t.
The Tourist Industry here is the political equivalent of the National Rifle Association in D.C., however, my love is for the nature of this place, something that will endure for millennia after all this urban nonsense is dust and water.
Friends of friends seldom take to me. Perhaps, if we were stuck together on a island for a year, after a few months, the ice of my defenses would possibly melt.
You might say, I should have known when, a couple weeks after I met her, she happily assented when a man with far more brains than money and a nice house on the beach came on to her at a party I had given with a neighbor. Her eyes were full of stars for his money. Yes, I should have known, when she responded to my concern by fucking him. The amazing thing to me now is, why did I not dump her instead of losing all interest? The fact is that I just didn’t understand much about my emotions or the way my brain responds to bonding chemicals. Different people respond in different ways and my sexual relationship at the time was not the most important thing on my mind, I was in the middle of designing and building a $6 million apartment project for poor families in San Diego.
A foolish man and his dignity are soon parted and pride goes first.
If my fiancée’s fucking everyone in town and out-of-town should have concerned me, it took second place to acute aortic stenosis and then, while I was looped on morphine, my brother arranged to fuck her in exchange for replacing her at my bedside in the hospital.
How should you react, respond? What should you think or feel or do, when finally, after a year you begin to recover from the surgical trauma? Now, of course, I’m clear that betraying me with my brother was uncalled for and for this the woman has possibly earned damnation and enough bad karma that could follow her children as well into hell. But at the time all this happened, compounding situations from losing my job, not being able to take care of business eventually left me homeless and penniless after my fiancées mother, an attorney, who lived nearby made off with the last of my money.
These people never expected to see me again. Yet here I am.