No, I don’t know where I’m going, but I sure know where I’ve been and that can mean only one thing, we’re lost and need to stop for directions. Possibly, “hangry” (“millennial” term for hungry, meaning angry about being food deprived or “food challenged”), we should look for a “rest area”. Gas and snacks would help too. I always “think better” on a full tank of gas, after coffee and a quick morsel of nourishment (i.e., sour cream Pringles, and a Mountain Dew), (these were the 80’s, albeit). I’m so directionally challenged, and maps don’t “help”, so; looking in the glove box isn’t necessary, unless you are trying to further “lose” me, time itself, or my patience.
I have the unique ability to get “turned-around” even in an elevator. Thank God for GPS today. Those algorithms set to coordinates are lifesaving! Now, it all depends on cell coverage. Amazes me that we can send satellite images from one of Saturn’s moons, but if I need to place a call in my apartment, it “breaks” up and I lose the connection every time. Things that make you go hmm and if ever you are lost; stop (“Hammer Time”)! Go to the nearest place that is “safe”. We’ll begin in Rosemont, California, early seventies. There may or may not be a test at the end, so, take notes, and try and “keep up”.
Smokey Court was home, my first memory of “home”. Prior to a small farm out in Marysville, said to be a blissful and wholesome homestead. Smokey Court had it all! My sister, Coco, was the princess to the castle and reigned tyrannical and queenie like at her tender young age. She was ushered into this world with complete adoration and excitement. All the precious moments one could desire and wish upon. Looked like a perfect, “Gerber baby”, with dark brown curls and the brightest blue eyes, you ever saw. My Gram would call her an “angel”, and everyone doted and was expected of, as well as fawning over baby Coco. Smiling and giggly for all her pictures, sat a doll-like girl, in puffy dresses and ribbons.
Her room had a purple, holly-hobbie decor, canopy bed, white dresser set, oval mirror with blue stained-glass edges, stuffed animals decorated everywhere, tailor made lace curtains, and a closet full of dresses, blouses, and fancy patent shoes, “to the nines”, of every color of the rainbow, in every variety. A Barbie doll in the making and a plethora of more dolls ornamented about. Hand crochet blankets, made of “fancy”, “effect” yarn, or “novelty” yarn. These are “special” because it’s a “structure” for the purpose of aesthetically pleasing, and fashionable impressions. Drawers chocked over full of tights, leggings, bows, barrettes, and ribbons galore. Wafting in the air, in her royal highnesses sleeping chambers, adorned with pictures, books, art, and music.
Upon entering my brother’s room, one couldn’t help but feel the “galactic” air. Star Wars themed and the millennium falcon glided and suspended from the ceiling. Contrastingly, two doors down, was my unfinished room. I slept on a cot. Not many pictures of me at all; ever, besides my one birth hospital portrait (says it all); never hung or hung with care. I did, however, have “Charger” (toy rocking horse), my loyal steed, to keep me “company”; until my mom gave him away, to a “less fortunate soul”, though I didn’t know who, to enjoy. Even at around four, clearly, there was a “pecking order” established, and that precedent remained throughout our lives, mine especially.
Hanging on the promises like we did on the “monkey bars” that sat in the back yard. Alongside a custom-built heart shaped pool, my dad engineered (was his “field” work and many a side passion project). Family BBQ’s every weekend! We would eat the unwashed grapes that lined the fence to the tennis court and drank straight from the hose. Barefooted and sometimes shirtless, I ran around and played, like a “tom-boy”, and “like” there was no tomorrow. Luckily, I don’t still do that! Kind of wish I could!
We had a Samoyed, cloud of white fluff, named Natasha to brighten our days and “cannon ball” with into the blue oasis. My mom said, my brothers, “first word was a bark!” Separated early from my sister, her choice; my brother and I were considered, “wild” and I, “unruly” and “impulsive”. I really didn’t comprehend or fully understand what those adjectives or preconditional words used to describe us meant, but it wasn’t at all flattering, like towards or referring too, Coco.
In the songs of yesterday, Willie Nelson played on the road again and again. Like a rhinestone cowboy hummed through the stereo cabinet on Saturday mornings, along with the “hunka hunka”, King of Rock n Roll himself, Elvis. I grew up hearing Glen Campbell, Simon and Garfunkel, Connie Francis, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, John Denver, The Righteous Brothers, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, Merle and Cash, Sonny and Cher, Ike and Tina, Aretha, and The Supremes, Motown, Bee gees, Beatles, Beach Boys and some Oak Ridge Boys, just to name a few. There’s at least a thousand more.
Let me tell you about this stereo cabinet from either Woolworth’s or Jimco; it was a 4 x 2, ornately carved, saints’ symbol, applique, and a dark cherry, rosewood, long table, really. It held a record player that you put record albums on. A needle would be placed on the spot of the album you wanted to listen to and magically sound would resonate from the speakers on either side of the cabinet and fill the house with music that couldn’t help but make you “move” and sometimes, “shake a tail feather”. I don’t care what you say, antiques are cool.
HeeHaw and the Mandrel Sisters, American Bandstand, and the Carol Burnett Show, were on the “boob tube”, a small 20-inch, colored television, in the family room. Pete’s dragon was on a constant loop after school for my entertainment and likely “supervision”. Sesame Street was “right outside” our cul-de-sac and, “life was but a dream”. We were an ideal, seemingly, “all American”, middle-class, “dream team”, close-knit family unit.
My mom had a small day-care facility she “home grew” and my dad worked for the State of California’s, Department of Justice, on a new “private”, highly classified, project involving a computerized finger printing system. He worked within and “with” our top state officials, and leading experts of that day, and other governments around the world; for the betterment of humanity to try and capture the worst offenders the devil propagated and populated into this world. He was a real, “justice for all”, kind of guy.
At the time, and up until a couple of years ago, the “East area rapist”, was in the back of every female’s shadow, lurking and creeping, into our sanctuaries and safe spaces, right in “our backyard”. My parents both felt the fear of God, after two break-ins occurred and we packed up our entire lives and did a “first” in real estate; house swap, traded.
We moved to El Dorado Hills, Patterson Way, and the life once known took a drastic and, frankly, evil “Knievel”, turn. Daredevil, Evel Knievel did some amazing death-defying stunts, back in “those” days and “spawned” a generation of crazy, reckless, “accident prone”, wild, unruly and out-of-control, humorous, and shocking antics ever since. If not yet baptized; you may want another after this story. I know I do!
Looking like Brooke Shields from Blue Lagoon, Coco, and the rest of us pulled up in our white dodge van to an ominous, dark, three story, Amityville horror type, “dwelling”, atop a winding, almost 90-degree incline, driveway. Over 3000 square feet of “devil worshipping” grounds rested, unsettlingly, at the top of the hill, were my sister blurted out fear strikingly, “I don’t want to go in there!”
We all stepped, unseeingly, into the unknown; another dimension, and entered our “new house” as the “old” inhabitants once sat in a circle, enveloped with pitch black darkness. “Casting” unspeakable curses into the night, the house, and upon us. I will forever remember “them” and never saw my childhood, angelic, heavenly created, home afterwards. My once Christian sister, before my eyes, turned and twisted.
An’ I’ve made up my mind after many years living inside a truly haunted house, that “poltergeists” and said phenomena, did and does, have an impact on “earthly” energies (i.e., us). What cannot be seen with the naked eye is still very much relevant, especially in the field of medicine and science, and in dire need of “updated”, current research, study, and development.
How “environmental” factors can contribute and attribute to a person’s “psyche”; is a “walk on eggshells”, “untapped”, field of study, that can have major impacts and “implications” pertaining to adolescence, hormonal triggering’s, chemical imbalances, growth and formation for one’s development (mentally and socially), not to mention, abnormal computations in the brain. I believe; the leading cause for mental disorders, a lifelong stigma, overdoses, imprisonment, chemical dependency, and “cluster” “disorders” of every ferocity.
Factoring in, the “seven deadly sins” were “used” upon us and sleep deprivation was this poltergeist’s chief weapon. Initially, the first “indication” felt and endured had “lasting” effects, and chronic symptoms then “manufactured”, manifested, and ultimately, festered. First aid should have been applied, and sadly, my family was “blind” to each other, and themselves.
Ironically, we actually, all as a family together, watched the movie, Poltergeist, in that house, along with Flowers in the Attic, Jaws, Jagged Edge, and Fatal Attraction. Reading material consisted of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogies, National Geographic magazines, or Encyclopedia Britannica for “light,” comforting bedtime stories. Terrifying and unbeknownst, “triggering”, for this house “came alive”, like “Little Shop of Horrors, Audrey did, right thereafter.
El Dorado Hills sits about 19 miles from Coloma, the original “find” site, “ground zero” for the 1848 California Gold Rush. The mountain appeared from the shadows, like Dante Alighieri’s, Divine Comedy incarnated. Some serious horsepower was needed or a good four wheel drive up, and a winding, quick right too another steep incline on this lonely, desolate, dark side, “beast”, of the mountain’s road.
You would see extensive oak trees, foliage, more “other” kinds of trees, and “some” animal life, but mostly on the “other” side of the mountain. Roadkill would appear on the asphalt, so you had to keep a “watchful” eye. Some “pterodactyl” sized buzzards circled the pinnacle, just to give that warm welcome as you ascend upwards. Patterson Way had the Sierra Mountain views and were majestic, a painter’s dream landscape and perfect for a lone wolf, or black widow.
As I drive you around the mountain top, you’ll see some uniquely built homes for this area and some very intriguing anecdotal as too why. On one side of the mountain (Purgatorio is Italian for Purgatory) were the people who enjoyed a more “recluse”, solitary, “artistic and creative” customs. Quiet, appearingly peaceful, life choices; while on the other side of the mountain (Paradiso is Italian for Paradise), were the celebrities, “silver spoons”, elite and “elitist”, “trust funders”, “old-money”, and “new-money”, architects, musicians, politicians, high-priced spies (you never heard that), and wealthy “new tech” resided, collaborated, rested and relaxed, celebrated, and nestled there, “better than everyone else’s”, heads on feather down pillows and duvet covers.
At least a 300-thread count, my mother sighed at me! I have got to tell you, there are “consumers”, companies, and teams of people, who think about this and “do this” for an actual living. Apparently, the upper-class can tell the difference, but a 400-thread count, means your sheets and dreams will be “light and airy”. Hopefully, you think about this before bed, tonight.
Partied like the rock stars they were! Immersed with an open, no obstructions in sight, view of the entire valley “floor”. We called it the “top of the world” and at night, the city lights would dance like sparkling gemstones from a distance. Fireworks were “insane to the membranes”, and literally every show on display responded with oohs and awes and the colorful bombs gave way to a truly magical moment in my life; I will never forget. “What goes up; must come down.” I could see for miles and miles; all the way to the high rises of downtown Sacramento (45-minute drive, then).
Nothing welcoming about this home or neighboring homes, either. The three flights of stairs, just to get to more stairs, before the front door. There was, also, a flight of stairs, downward, leading to the garage. And more, independent, adjacent, stairs outside, and up to a large circumference surrounding deck. Guess what? Inside, more spooky stairs, that lead to the remaining upper-level house, where everyone detached from each other and went our own perspective ways (more “ways” than one).
My brother and I would explore the great outdoors, play “fort”, imagine “dragons”, swim (we named our pool sweep, Igor), ping pong wizard warring epic battles, and just being children, while my sister and mom would stay inside, watching Days of Our Lives. Interestingly enough and sadly, runs tandem with our story, was “Patch” and “Kayla’s” insidious “playbook” of domestic violence, and incestuous story line, all “labeled”, “day-time” television.
You can definitely see why parents “safeguard”, what their children “watch”, and are exposed too or infiltrated with, in today’s world. Monitoring is ensuring your child’s protection and should be a natural response to child rearing. Not to mention or bring up a “sore” subject, but you, also; should “watch”, monitor, television use and the “programs”, “shows” you are absorbing into your brain.
Trust me. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. “A journey of 1000 miles, starts with a single step.” However, the 70’s and 80’s, the lackadaisical, apathetic, disinterested, and the “out of sight, out of mind”, approach was detrimental to the family core, counterproductive, and counterintuitive.
I ain’t wasting no more time and wanted “out” the second, we got there. Underneath this “mammoth” barn on stilts was the darkest, spine-chilling, haunting, black abyss, that no one brave enough entered and no one “darkened”, or so we hoped. Only place I ever experienced “insomnia” and for my father the initial stages of deep, sleep apnea that clung to him, tightly, with a “death grip”.
I didn’t start to see the “symptoms” in the other family members, for a long while, and really wasn’t capable of “grasping” its “origins” till later in life. I actually slept for an entire month on the couch, with zero recollection of October, Halloween (my fav holiday, at the time), school, or anything. Spent a month in a “coma” state of being, and when I awoke my family had little reaction, went on as “normal”.
Here was my first introduction to the “emergency room” and having to go to the hospital for myself. I passed out and have no memory after I saw a police car chase my mother on the freeway, speeding to the hospital. Can’t drink bath water, so playing “mad tea party” in the bathtub was really quite “mad” and not for consumption, just “make believe”. My brother and I developed asthma, so we were told, and he had to wear tubes in his ears for years. In this house memories are “sickeningly”, blurry and utterly distasteful.
Every pumpkin was smashed (way before the band and probably a “neighboring” link) and every Christmas light broken without ever seeing a soul or hearing a peep. “They” tried telling me Santa didn’t exist, but realistically, let’s “call a spade a spade”; Santa didn’t know where El Dorado Hills was or, if it, existed at all, and would never give presents to the “naughty”, especially the not nice.
Now the pumpkin thing, turned out to be nasty teenagers, stealing the “festive” fruit ornamentation and then proceeding to hurl it down the mountain side, which was one of only two exits and entrances into this ridge side of Earth or Mordor seems more apropos. Rumors about the neighbor kids being bullies; stopped by with rocks, throwing them at us from the fence line. It was just another event slash example, for me, solidifying why I shouldn’t “be” there, and that I definitely didn’t belong, and was never going too.
Nothing was sacred. Coco’s bunnies (Flower and Brownie were their names, ode to Bambi) were either killed or left abandoned (fatal attraction style), in the “underworld” or underneath the house, by my sister, or some unknown monster, and she had no reaction. My mother, actually, said, “Don’t let Coco watch Bambi, she’ll burn the forest down!” Our cat, Zeus, went “bonkers” and clawed at me, got on two legs and chased me till my brother came to “save me and the day”.
The so-called, security alarm rang every night after my dad, carefully, checked each door and window, in his nightly routine. Vivid, heinous, and hellish nightmares ensued, so much so, that I was able to sleep through, a few times, the resounding ringing, dead of night, by the alarm.
Dad fell or “pushed” through the ceiling landing on the stairs, whilst fixing the whole house fan and sealing the attic from drafts and openings. No matter the heater, coats, blankets, leg warmers, mittens, beanies, a fire in the fireplace with fresh kindling’s, and the newly installed insulation; that house was freezing, and we suffered from hypothermia once or twice.
Speaking of hypothermia, Coco would hold me under the water, and physically hold me down, imposing her will and to ensure dominance by “striking and instilling fear”. We (unspoken family rule) had to keep our doors locked, because she would aimlessly walk-through void of her surroundings, emotions, consciousness, or “just”, completely “out of her gourd”.
I never heard disembodied or “disenfranchised” voices and my sister never spoke in Latin or tongues (although probably, prominently, and proudly stated on her resume, she sure does). Nor did any heads spin around, but there was most assuredly, eerie creaks, muffled bumps, and banging, and things being opened or occurring without a rational, reasonable, or scientific explanation. Probably the most unnerving are flickering of lights on and off, slamming of doors, and unseen but clearly heard, footsteps from seemingly, nowhere.
My father felt logic and reason, much like Spock (Star Trek), were healthy components to rational thinking. Without hesitance, stated, “there’s no such thing as ghosts!” His behavior would say otherwise, and don’t actions speak louder than words? Actions, “hit” harder that’s for sure. He really should have used his “inside voice”. None of us seemed to find what the “source” was, or God only knew why. Maybe it was because we were “phony” when it came to the Lord, and not, “as thine oneself be true”, as should have been.
The family bonds were breaking and violence towards each other started to shape-shift. Another weapon used by demons, sadism, perversion, and mercilessness. I feel, “demons”, “work” on us like we would an old 57 Chevy, and get “under the hood”, sort of speak, and “tinker” or “monkey” around with our emotions and tangle everything up; just for the fun of it or sheer boredom, get the motor running, or to prove an ungodly point.
Belts, slapping, pushing, spanking, name-calling, “grounding”, and banishments now existed, layered on thick were the physical threats, “jabs”, humiliations, and “promises” if ill-behaved, inappropriate, unpolished, unrefined, ill-timed, uninvolved, unintelligent, uncooperative, spoke out of turn, or just being a silly, clumsy, awkward, naïve, inquisitive, gullible, dumb, innocent kid. Did I get my point, across?
However, I tangent, the seeds of bitter dissension had been planted and no one was “bearing any fruit”. Everything spoiled instead, within each of us, and the house took “forever” to sell; so, in the meantime, we abandoned “ship”, leaving an empty vessel of God knows what, behind.
Matter of fact, we left behind, a brand-new pool, with waterfalls cascading, Igor, a giant fake owl, new carpet and paint, and an additional room with vaulted ceilings, my father built, and I practiced my twirling baton. There were moments that were so heartfelt and touching, in the “right” way and with the “right” lighting. Couldn’t “photoshop” those memories for all the gold in “them their hills”.
I ain’t wasting no more time and we placed Patterson Way “up for sale” and headed downtown to a high rise named Bridgeway Towers. Unfortunately, we “bubble wrapped” those demons from Patterson Way up and packed them into a “wardrobe” sized cardboard box with us, taped sealed, “fragile” sticker labeled and all.
Still some sleepless nights to be had and just unable to “shake” the reoccurring nightmares about having to go back to the house on the dreadful hill, the haunted mountain, mansion. As unfortunate as it is to have a nightmare, and especially one that keeps occurring; one is better to try and “figure out”, what your subconscious is trying to inform you of.
Though I keep searching for an answer, it’s wise to review the inner mind’s subconscious “tape”; always alert and “running”, regardless of, if you are awake or asleep and it records everything, near and far. Some studies demonstrate and report quite a vast field, around said case study subjects. The subconscious mind is one million times more powerful than any computer and controls 95% of our lives. Holy mackerel! That’s a lot of mega bites to digest and never chew with your mouth open! It is the source of love and fear; so, every time you say, “I feel”, or “I love”, it’s coming from your subconscious.
We better be much nicer to ourselves after this “bite” of awareness. Tastes super healthy and no cholesterol, gluten, dairy, or soy. Gives a whole new meaning too, “go with your gut”, “use your instincts”, and “the mind’s eye, knows all”. One of the many ways your subconscious communicates is through dreams; so “night-night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”, or for my liking, “I will see you in my dreams”, or better yet, “sweet dreams.”
I never seem to find what I’m looking for and conveniently, we moved to the high-rise right next to my Gram’s, Capitol Towers. Life became peaceful, for a moment, and “things” started to look up! The jazz festival was utterly music manna for this impressionable and musically inclined, girl. The trumpets, saxophones, and even a sousaphone graced downtown’s, electrifying sidewalks. When, the “Saints go Marching In”, “blasted”, sonically through the buildings, like assumed “Mardi Gras” parades. You could “feel” the electricity in the air.
What a sight for the senses and the musically sensible. You must go “experience” what the Jazz Festival in Sacramento is all about, or any jazz; and dance in the streets like your David Bowie, or “got moves like Jagger”! Every night around dusk, you will see the black crows circling the buildings and there’s your omen, cue the lights and withdraw from the day and return inward for the night. Downtown isn’t “safe” after dark, so we better get inside and fix some supper.
Dinners consisted of either a 5-star restaurant or drive thru fast food, (Mountain Mike’s Pizza, or McDonalds). Top restaurants included table-side chefs, on verandas (Cliff House), cooking ready made to order omelets, and non-alcoholic mimosas, because I’m still underage for brunches that serve “punch’s”, at this stage in the “game”.
Gourmet seafood restaurants (Monterrey’s Fish House, Lucas Wharf, and Timbercove to name a few) that served in the most peculiar, audacious, and extravagantly delectable ways, calamari, oysters (putrid to me), lobster (insects of the sea), halibut, scallops, sword fish, and even some shark; among many “other” things on the “high-priced”, always maroon and gold, menu.
Rudy’s Hideaway for “mind blowing”, herb, stuffed salmon or “striper”. Fat’s for aptly named gorging on Chinese food, of exceptional caliber. Sam’s for a prime rib dip, par to none. Steak houses that would “melt your face”, so good! Cattlemen’s for rib-eye, and Sheepherder’s Inn had something like 12 course meals, of just one plate coming after the other. Can you imagine being that dishwasher, back then, for two dollars an hour? I’m probably not that far off, wage wise. I remember $4 dollars an hour.
Most evenings, lasagna (I loathe), beef stroganoff (I detest), or cheese curry chicken (gut busting, “gob of goo”). Food was always a problem for me. Everything I ate, turned “sour” in my stomach and I spent the majority of my life, “doubled over” in pain and anguish. Don’t you dare, “insult” the chef; you’ll “rue” the day you did! Bile acid would fill my stomach and stomach lining rendering me with excruciating pain. Did you know that bile acid can actually burn through concrete; so, imagine, internally, trying to digest, what that “feels” like.
Auto-immune diseases are “no joke”, like, navigating through a treacherous landmine. Like a human pincushion, I was medically “treated” with copious amounts of anti-biotics, pills, ointments, creams, anti-inflammatories, and tests that poked, prodded, scraped, bleed, x-rayed, burned (chemical), and scalded. Diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease in the fourth grade and hospitalized a few times in my life.
Oddly, my mother showed signs of enjoyment and elation while “shuttling” and shuffling me (she called it chauffeuring), reluctantly and anxiously, “battered and bruised”, lethargic and weepy, dragging with nausea and fatigue, back and forth, up and down the mountain, to each excruciating doctor’s appointments and her face would “light up” when any medical professional was nearby or wafted into the vicinity.
Some “close calls” were my blood pressure dropped to 90 over 50, and my white blood cells were always in the low abnormal range. My game of dodgeball was dodging surgeries. Side effects from medications meant I couldn’t go out into the sun or when I did, broke my leg and then my arm. My leg playing hide and go seek. My arm, while trying to roller skate. I fell on the carpet before ever getting to the rink. Still can’t skate or ride a bike, luckily there’s other things to enjoy. Reading is safer, and I got to do a lot of that.
My temperature was always low, and I was depleted of essential vitamins and minerals to dangerous levels. Boils riddled my body and after vomiting most mornings awoke to blood-stained sheets. Infections seemed to multiply and there were huge blocks of time, school, life, and memories “erased”, “wiped clean”. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and if you have time to lean, you have time to clean”, mottos from back in the day.
I Love Lucy, was one of my only enjoyments and consolation, that and my conversations with my beloved Gram, writing letters too, in the moment, “best” friends, before passing in and out of consciousness. I was a “vision”, a “sight for sore eyes”. Too make matters just a little more, worse, I ended up needing braces. Had fangs that needed to come down, and a couple teeth turned around. Oh, and least I forget, the cross and overbite. The proverbial, “cherry on the cake”.
Had a “neat” (*Sarcastic sigh*) contraption called “the snake”. That was dental terms for the use of “rubber bands”, placed zig zagged across my “braces”, face, and entire mouth. Coco had full-on “head gear”, for four years straight, and wasn’t aloud out during a lightning storm and probably could have tuned into HBO. Doesn’t that sound “medieval”? Well, it was barbaric and caused an already fragile, sensitive to pain, human body receptors to agonizing levels. I almost severed my tongue in half, needing stitches, but my mom said, “we’re on vacation at Disneyland, you should try and enjoy yourself.
Serendipitously, two dentists stood in line with us, waiting for the Matterhorn, and had wax strips to place over the poking metal to help stop the bleeding, soothe and smooth as to ensure I didn’t lose half my tongue. There’s a scar today! Another nugget of information, the tongue is a very sensitive place for pain receptors. 100 receptors, in one cubic centimeter, as opposed to 10 receptors, in one cubic centimeter, pertaining to a human’s back. So just try and enjoy yourself, wherever you are, knowing that! My back is a whole notha issue for another day of writing, yoga, inflexibility, uncontrollable laughter, spasms, and the kinks called life.
I would “mock”, my sister, really girls just having fun, for listening to “glam rock” bands, Bon Jovi, Motley Crew, and Cinderella, expressively. I would “pretend sing”, while imitating there, outlandish, flashy, gyrates. It was hilarious to me and not so much for Coco. She was “busy”, writing her deep and “introspective” thoughts to her, then first love, “Gonzo Vasquez” (changed his name for nobody wants to get sued). Coco was “cool” that way and we would listen to music for hours.
We emulated their hair too, teasing, hair spraying, and curling iron mishaps aplenty. Okay, Aqua Net was an aromatic, chemical, automatic “given”, hair spray that consisted of fused, tiny particles of glue. And it worked! You can keep your “up do”, coif, or what looks like electrocution via a light socket lasting for “days” on end. Coco also took make-up to a “whole notha level”. She spent hours, perfecting her “look”, and it had to be “perfect”. Sharing a bathroom was never easy, and “word-up”, it never will be.
Didn’t help that my mother was fully aware of my “medical conditions”, and that she insisted on cooking, or I should say, undercooking meats. My food was still trying to “out-run” my plate, and I was repulsed trying to eat bloody steak. Actually, my mom and sister liked raw hamburger and would take “bites” from the blood-soaked packages, salt a piece, and pop it in their mouths. Naturally, I avoided them, and the kitchen, sneaking to find chips or something quick sustaining and then retreat back to my room. Well, now that I have successfully ruined your appetite, let’s get back to the “meat” of the story.
Oh Lord, I pray, and we were attending St John Vianney Catholic school and parish, for private schooling 4th grade through 8th grade. My sister, whom soon to be graduated, was enrolled at St. Francis high school as a freshman. You were probably wondering when God, was going to make his grand appearance, but please remember, God is everywhere! We went through this together and I found Faith, comfort, and “shelter” going to the school’s church. Read “footprints in the sand” poem, for further directions. God had to carry me.
Actually, there is much dispute with that poem. At least three have litigated its rightful ownership, staked claim. I believe, it belongs to Jesus, now. However, I sure do appreciate such a beautiful sentiment, poetic expression of life, love, and faith. If ever you find yourself down, or lost, look for the angels in art, music, poetry, and literature. You’ll find everything you need to know, there.
Sitting in the fourth pew down from the left side row of pews, right next to the Mother Mary statue, were she’s holding a bouget of flowers, smiling upon me. Jesus hanging prominently, from the Cross was the focal point upon entering this beautiful and glorious house of worship. If there ever was a person who “knew” pain, Jesus was him. The church became my refuge, was the only place, I could breathe easier.
You give me strength to carry on and when the school bell rang, I shot out of my seat and ran to my mom’s car. The red Datsun was exchanged for a two toned white and blue, Cadillac Seville, with navy blue leather interior. However, dad still kept a dodge van, but it too was traded in for a two-toned blue family van with seatbelts. No more having to hold on to the back of dad’s chair any longer. Mom feeling “posh”, looked a skoosh like Cruella, minus the white streaks, plus a gaining velocity of mean streaks. I had, had a good day and was excited to go home. Mom said, “do you have any homework?” One of us, said we had a paper due, and to my recall, likely me. I was forthcoming and have always been to a fault.
‘Cos I know what it means; Mom, talked like a doctor, and secretly wanted to be in the “noble” profession. In fact, she had a very colorful and lively background, that she stated with certainty was “gospel”, that was factually, unequivocally, “mostly”, “made-up”. Expert fabricator, seamstress, and crafty like a hawk. She said she had a master’s degree in Psychology and her major focus (dissertation), was on a newly founded “syndrome”, called Munchhausen by Proxy.
On the 45 minutes plus drive home, she explained the difference between “regular” Munchhausen and Munchhausen by Proxy. One is with the “use” of children, i.e., “proxy”. Essentially, both syndromes, are seeking medical attention at, exorbitant measures, absurd means; for a farcical, obnoxious, distasteful, likely illegal amount of attention. A bottomless pit is how I am able to define the wants and desires being insatiable and unfulfilled.
There was never enough, and I could never do enough; to placate, satisfy, bandage, or meet outlandish, fiendish, and diabolical expectations from the family relationships and dynamics. Que the dramatic baritone and all hail the Phantom of the Opera, a deformed conjurer also called the Angel of Music. We’re almost home and I better get that “homework” done.
The phone was already ringing, as we just arrived in. Everyone would go their own way, while my sister would plow through anyone who interfered with her answering, Gonzo’s call. My dad hated Gonzo, and mainly because he was of Mexican descent. Also here, my first introduction to racism. My parents forbid the relationship, really only friendship Coco had and sent my sister to live with my Gram, just to figure “things” out. That was “code”, for strategizing and calculating, maniacally; time, energy, and places to “situate” her.
Meanwhile, my sister found companionship, right under my Gram’s (ski slope, mom’s description) nose. She 15 and the soon to be father of 3, in the not so far off, nearer future; my niece and a set of boy twins, was a 23-year-old young man, whose brain hadn’t sealed all the way up yet. He rode a bike, stayed at his mom’s and had no school, or job. Not an ideal mate pictured for Coco’s lofty future plans. Nonetheless, Coco had run away with a man 8 years older, tats, and a rat on his shoulder.
To walk along the lonely street of dreams and the lights went down on Broadway. Past downtown and another hour and 45 minutes out, was a mental facility in Stockton, California. Supposed to be considered “the best” in Northern California, but who and what is there to compare, when you are just a teenager. Coco was institutionalized and a large woman came out to the vehicle and grabbed Coco’s arms, wrestling her in a restraining maneuver. She said to Coco, “you are coming with me.” Coco screamed for help and was quickly taken away. Another “member/patient” during family visiting hours, jumped up on a table and started singing to me, “Good night sweetheart, when it’s time to go”.
An’ here I go again on my own, Coco had accused my father and mother of some chilling accusations and had her husband to be, “break” her out of this “locked down tight” facility. She just walked out the kitchen exit and burned some rubber, like the duchess of hazards, that she was. Chaos up roared and a “frenzy” ensued; the “patients” went “bananas”. Coco had taken some of their things upon dramatic exit.
Mom had me drive down to a motel under the freeway, sketchy as they come. Blatant prostitution and evident drug dealers, my mother passed through to Coco’s new abode/residence. I waited out in the car with the doors locked. She had emancipation papers for Coco to sign. Not sure how legal anything like that was. And poof, Coco was gone, but not forgotten.
Every year an estimated 21 million girls between 15-19 years young, become pregnant. 12 million approximately carry the pregnancies to “full term”. Most are victims of abuse and statistically speaking the odds of ever having a normal life, plummeting and devastatingly life-alteringly, low. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for 15-to-19-year old’s worldwide, globally.
Of the 5.9 million abortions each year, 3.9 million are unsafe. Contributing to maternal mortality, morbidity, and lifelong health problems, afflictions, and “disorders”. Not to mention the offspring, year after year. Please, tell me, where do we go from here?
How can we as a conscionable society continue to watch these numbers rise? How can we expect to have a good safe world, if we’ll only continue to condemn, punish, trivialize, ignore, isolate, and abuse these women and children? When will equality be “heard”? How can we help?
Coco was diagnosed, more by my mother than any medical professional, a sociopath. She was exiled and “disowned”, from that moment on. A reminder, and a threat loomed over the rest of us, not to go against the powers of be. Likely, more psychopathic than a sociopath, for Coco had demonstrated emotions and feelings, rather at someone else’s expense.
Her tendencies venomous and violent. She lacked empathy and compassion. I am not a doctor, even though I was surrounded by “wannabes”, and there’s no way to label what was or what could have been. I can only surmise, that the family unit imploded and thusly left fractured unhealthy ties that bound us together, like the hairspray scrunched to Coco’s permed coif.
Now you ask, “how many psychopaths’ and sociopaths are there?” The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says, “4% of the population.” Almost 40 million in California as of 2018. I telepathically can answer your next question, and yes that’s a big number, just in the golden state.
Sitting in county jails are estimated 72,000 within the last two years. The prison population has tripled since 1985, “hovering” over 115,000 incarcerated inmates. “Just below the Supreme Court mandated target of 137% of design capacity, the number of prisoners the system was built to house.” “However, 13 of the 35 state-owned facilities individually operate beyond that capacity.”
The numbers don’t lie and in prisons alone, the numbers for psychopathy are “through the roof”. Violent crimes, organized crimes, reoffences, predatory behavior, terrorists, and sexual crimes, all have a staggering component in common. I guess, “it takes one, to know one.”
I’m just another heart in need of rescue and it was love at first sight, when I held my baby niece. She was so tiny and so pretty. Early into her life, my father asked me to join him on a recon mission. My niece was in trouble, and we needed to intervene. As my dad and I drove down Folsom Blvd, he told me what “the plan” entailed.
He said how domestic disputes are the most dangerous for police. I was to retrieve my niece at whatever the cost. “Do not be distracted by anyone”, he said, “I will “handle” Coco.” Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw, implanted, singed into my memory; like a branding or slaughtering of an animal.
Waiting on love’s sweet charity was how I saw my beautiful niece, until that day. My father busted through the house like SWAT and went to disable anyone who crossed his path. I heard fighting, scuffling, yelling and screaming. It smelled of chemicals, and filth, and you couldn’t help but gag. It was dark, and musty. I had a hard time getting adjusted but was probably seconds only. I noticed my parents’ “old” coffee table, said to be a wedding gift to them, carved up with FTW initialed on its facial top side. Among other “things” on the table and right next to those carvings, laid a baby with only a diaper on.
No sound came from her, and her eyes were still open, but red crusted rimmed and infected, from endless crying. She didn’t look real. She looked dead! I grabbed her and ran out of this den of horrors as fast as I could go. I ran back to the van without realizing any of my surroundings. Dad was hot on my tail, and we sped off like a “bat out of hell”. We went to the emergency room and my niece, moments from death, still showing no life, had a severe staph infection, due to her diaper never being changed. Malnourished and emaciated, she came home with us, for only a brief spell.
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known and since that day, Coco has hated me with all her might! I mean hate with a vengeance, served best cold. Started the 30-year cold war. Originally, it was Mom and Dad vs Coco, but now it was Coco vs The World and everyone in it! I was never invited to her three weddings; I’m sure the fourth is already planned and “down the pipe-line”.
I was never invited to the children’s events either. I gave her a car, co-signed apartments, referrals, signed over my paychecks often, groceries, clothes, gifts for her and her precious babies, and hard cash money. In return, she has been my stalker, slanderer, defamer, accuser, provocateur, agitator, gas-lighter, and tormentor. She has accused me of everything and thrown everything at me, plus the “kitchen sink”. All lies!
Coco has stolen my identity, countless times, and has even hired help to aid in her blood thirst. Coco has broken into several homes, phones, answering machines, stolen my valuables, clothes, and medication (even an anti-itch cream). Hacked every social media account, I’ve ever graced or emailed.
Her “claim to fame” is relentless, all encompassing, obsessive, compulsive, detestable, harassment. Swiped my photos and then deleted to never have access again. Anyone, who knows me, has to know the gory details, in which, they can then decide if knowing me is worth, knowing me. Save yourself and save your soul!
The devil’s playbook is quite simple really. Seek and destroy anything and everything a person holds dear. Usually, best to hit hard first, starting with the basic essentials to sustain life. The objective, of course, eventually consuming your soul, most horrifically. But they have to start somewhere, so employment, housing, and mental capabilities are their major attack areas. Friends, family, pets, and places are their cardinal points of invasion, maim and dismemberment, bulldoze, and eventually, blitz. A bombardment of accusations, “aerial” strikes, and finally leading to the barrage of more “weapons”.
Vandalism, theft, maliciousness, violence, and destruction all calling cards. Complete domination over divinization is the ultimate goal. The playbook holds no commandments, but has to adhere to God; so, by all means, “checkmate”, feel free to name drop Him, whenever you need to. The Lord’s Prayer can work miracles and Psalm 23 is your path to the light whenever truly left in the dark. Arm yourself and keep The Word “lit” within your soul. “Stay Woke”! The devil doesn’t like, light or water, we should head for the coast (about a 2 1/2-hour drive from here)!
Take Highway 50, going towards Los Angeles, past Vacaville (Cowtown) and Fairfield (allergy central), you will find Highway 12, Napa. Off the right-hand exit, and about another hour through Petaluma, you’ll find Washington Street. That’s a good stop for “munchies”, gas, and quick stroll through “old town”. Great murals, music, knick-knacks, and patty “whacks”. Full of spirited history, and old men from the sea, sharing a “whale of some tales”!
Through the small, quaint streets, trees perfectly canopied, comes a clearing. The rolling hills, “alive” with the sound of music and grape vines, as far, as I could see. Cotton candy, puffy, marshmallow looking clouds glided by through the bluest skies. 5-star resorts, bed and breakfasts, and a mansion atop vineyards and vineyards, adorn the landscape. While speeding along, with hopeful excitement, for our arrival and restoration, coastal sized and mesmerized.
Don’t blink, you’ll miss Valley Ford, and the tiny sign that indicates Tomales Bay. Sounds fun and delicious, and is but for this journey, stay right. Just about there. Breathtaking views through the mountains and picturesque valleys, while the temperature drops into the 60’s. Intoxicating fresh air envelops your senses and works wonders for your nasal passages.
Anxiously awaiting our appearance, “Poseidon”, crashes his trident with waves of wisdom onto the rocks below. Here’s a seashell “note”, you can take with you, there’s likely 5 to 10 times more stars than grains of sand on the beaches. This is a good place to mull one’s life over, walk the shoreline, contemplate wishes and dreams, and replenish our thirsty souls.
Until we can realize that we are not the sum of our past, but equal parts and particle components of a mysterious double helix (whom we both share), we are doomed to repeat history. Now, I am aware that throughout time, and in the ancient world there are many tales of sibling rivalry, betrayal, and murder.
How do you “fight” someone (Cain), who won’t “play” on even ground (with Abel)? If I attack back, surely, I hurt her, her children and they are innocents until proven guilty. I’ve spared her at every turn and cheek, and took the long arduous, not sought after, bumpy terrain and plains “higher road”. She’ll never know, because she never cared.
Coco is a grandmother now, and the cycle continues. My only solution is prayer. Since this pandemic, much has occurred in the cold war, but believe you me, the war is still artic, cold and going nowhere. Players have shifted alliances, and the heavenly bodies up above, have some say in this matter. I will leave that to the higher courts and authorities (Archangel Michael). I hope you know a “good” attorney.
I don’t regret what has been done, for my niece is alive today. Although radically “poisoned” against me, her hatred knows no bounds either. What’s done is done, and what will be, will be. The song from sinners and saints, by Whitesnake (Here I Go Again) was playing the night Coco ran away. Same hairdo too boot. I would give anything, to go back in time and try and stop the madness, which was that “runaway train”.
I missed my sister actually, and never wanted any ill to befall her. If anything, I wanted to be best friends, compadres, and maybe even share a business in the future, together. Be the double mint twins. I was on her side, back then, and felt she was poorly treated. I felt her pain physically and emotionally having to watch and eventually endure myself. What Coco doesn’t know, is that I am not her enemy and never have been. I will not be her downfall either. “You live by the sword; you die by the sword.”
An’ I’m gonna hold on For the rest of my days and we have reached our destination, the beach! My secret hideaway. My pocketful of happiness and sunshine. The place to replenish and repair your weary mind, body, and soul. Plenty of vitamins: sea and see! The ocean can wash away a multitude of sins. Play frisbee and catch some “rays”, in that thong, itty bitty polka dot bikini. Sandcastles are my absolute favorite beach art. The best facials are by the sand blasted sea; the worst hairdos are there too!
You’ll find shells, bells, and whistles, along shore. Everything you need and more, the ocean implores. Campfires under the starry nights can ease a worried mind. S’mores with spooky “out at sea” stories, are fuel for the mind’s neurons. With each crackling of the blazing wooden logs; synapses in the brain light fire with fire. You never know what will “wash up” in high tide. Why am I so confident the beach is where it’s at? It’s 100% shore! I will send you, a message in a bottle, with hopes of safe and wonderous travels. Maybe next year, we’ll be sailing. Aloha!
*** Thank you for reading, Here I Go Again! *** This is a disclaimer for anyone who needs one; the story of Coco is based on fiction and for the purpose of aiding our mental health. *** Please enjoy and come back for more stories, haunted history, and Godly messages! ***