HEART OF CLOUDS – Screenplay

I loved the sound, and the images of the wildflowers, in this.

This is the cover I designed from one of my images of the sea, at Summerland.

It’s a children’s book I wrote in 2009, at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference when I was studying under Walter Halsey Davis. I spent the years 2005 to 2019 with him and sadly he has passed. The film is for him. It was a book to film, as Walter told me it could be done that way. So, all the internals for the characters are in the novel, itself. That is available here: https://www.scribd.com/book/267783895/Heart-of-Clouds.

I’m using my WordPress blog, because I can edit easily here, and since I believe in Fine Actors and their craft, and improvisation, we can add or change lines, as needed with great ease. So, the format may not be perfect. It would also be easy for actors to come to the blog with comments. I wrote the film to be shot on a dime, on location here in Summerland and Carpinteria, as the setting for the film, as a young teen story in the era that is 1971. Those areas have not changed much, with time, and many location shots are easily had. So, here goes, and wish me luck. I will go chapter by chapter.

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne Wilson

for Walter Halsey Davis

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye”

—————— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

EXT. BEACH. MORNING (Sunny, Clear, Fall light)

Sweeping oceanic theme in the sound, piano music, from above, we pan down a long beach, from overhead. A young girl, running, as if away from home. Teenie Alexander is on the cusp of fourteen, she wants to escape from home, plans on running away. Her father has gone away to look for work, she is crying, slowly approaches a massive driftwood hut on the beach and curls up inside it, with her journal, and pen, gifts from her father.

INT. NIGHT. TEENIE’S ROOM (flashback)

Teenie’s father Jax is going to leave in the morning, south to leave for work, he is middle aged, her parents have been fighting since they have both been fired. In low light, we see father and daughter, emotional, tears.

TEENIE

Daddy, don’t go.

JAX

Honey, you know I don’t want to, but I have to. We need the money.

TEENIE

(hugging him tightly, as he brushes back her hair, dries her tears with his shirt)

JAX

I got you something honey.

TEENIE

(corners of a smile begin)

JAX

(pulls from the pocket of his jacket a beautiful paper journal and pen for her)

Teenie you have a heart made of clouds, you know that?

TEENIE

I do?

JAX

(gruffly, holding back tears)

Never forget that, okay?

Never lose that little twinkle in your eye.

TEENIE

(in awe at the beauty of the journal he picked for her, and the special pen)

Thank you, Daddy.

JAX

(exiting her room)

Sleep tight, now.

INT. MORNING. GREY APARTMENT (Blue sad, faded light, grey tones)

Christina Alexander middle aged, sits on a couch surrounded by pill bottles doctors have prescribed to treat her for depression. She is so stoned on the pills that all she can do is huddle wrapped in blankets and watching TV while the news drones on and on about climate change. Scenes play out of a tidal wave over and over and over. She doesn’t even know that Teenie has left the apartment. Her eyes are faded with grief. We close in on the blankness of her face, removed from life, removed from the world. Their house has been sold and the money is gone. She hasn’t heard from Jax in months.

EXT. BEACH. DRIFTWOOD HUT

Teenie curls herself into a ball in the hut, wrapping her sweater around her, pulls her journal and pen from her sweater pocket, to try and write. She is sad, thinking of her father’s absence. It’s been months since she has heard from him. She looks out to sea, and marvels at whoever built the hut. Its strength.

TEENIE

(whispers)

Maybe I could just live here, forever. Maybe whoever built it wouldn’t mind.

She runs the sand over and over like an hourglass through her palm.

(says loudly, to the sea)

I miss you, Dad.

Teenie scans the beach for signs of life, and watches as pelicans appear, in a line over the waves. In the midst of her sad feelings, suddenly on the horizon out over the islands a large cloud appears in the shape of a heart, as if by magic.

TEENIE

(sighs)

I love you, Dad

I love my Dad, I love my Dad,

She says, thinking he must have sent it. Close in on her face with a few salty tears, she watches the cloud and draws it before it dissipates, in the journal her father gave her. A boy has been watching the whole time from behind a dune, as it is Devlin Underwood who has been building it on the beach for himself as a fort. He’s on the cusp of fifteen.

Devlin watches her draw in the journal and then tear a page from it, a heart of clouds. Like a guardian he watches her from afar. He understands sadness, as his mother has passed away recently. He watches Teenie cry too. Devlin wonders if she is sad for the same reason he is. He watches her fold a tiny Origami bird and then she tucks it in the rafters of the hut, the note to her father. He watches as she climbs from the hut and walks the beach back to the village. When she is out of sight behind a fold in the cliffs, he climbs into the hut and sees the tiny bird in the rafters.

DEVLIN

(says softly)

I should leave something here for her.

MONTAGE images of Devlin and his father with books, on the shore, building things.

(can be shown with photographs, stills of the actors) as a flashback. Devlin misses his father, he had to drop him off with his grandparents in the village after his mother passed and now he has had to adjust to a new life in a new town, 1000 miles from where he grew up.

We see Devlin combing the beach to look for a shell to leave the girl he saw crying.

(says softly, as he climbs the rocks, close in on his face)

Maybe she could be a friend.

poetry

Looking back at old work, poems written as my nom de plume, because i may start writing again, maybe… been some time since this one from 2016.

I was thinking how much is in my old blog, and I have no idea why I can only see it in Google, not duck duck. There are thousands of words and things in that blog. When I first entered the web I did that under a nom de plume, because I was established as that all the way back to 2002.

I want to record the poems for Spotify because WordPress will let me do that. I used to do readings on Soundcloud but this makes it really easy to just record. ❤ I can no longer see behind the scenes of my old blog Valentine Bonnaire, and I wish WordPress would understand that it is me!

I love WP. ❤ I do.

Nothing could be better for a writer.

Trying a test! (poem)

Yesterday in FB I found a very old poem of mine, written when I was being published for my things at ERWA and Cleansheets, so it is genre. I am going to try and use the google translators on it too! I wrote it in 2004, and it was picked up by some friends who were really superb poets who published it in a chapbook they were doing. It’s a poem about women and men. So I was able to find the link, yesterday. http://www.geocities.ws/pj_nights/bonnairehs.html

“homo spiritualis”

http://www.geocities.ws/pj_nights/bonnairehs.html

My editors john e and PJ published it in some chapbooks they were doing. 2004.

here it is, again – copyright 2022 by me, as me.

I am going to try a test using the google translators, even though I think I know WordPress is Open Source and so the page can get run through a translator I think. So, two people I know in FB made comments about this poem and my old friend the poet john e did a version of my voice reading it over in soundcloud, so there is a link here, for that – he is a poet and used to be my editor at ERWA, but this was a totally cool collab to see what he did with it. Poets never know how they sound to others you know? We just don’t. That is over here. https://soundcloud.com/johnjohn_era/homo-spiritualis but it occurred to me that I can do readings and put them in Spotify myself. So this poem is about an era in time that had ancient art. The art can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU1bEmq_pf0 – this scholar was very important to me when I was a grad student at Pacifica.

homo spiritualis

i went to this lecture & the man said
                “we just have to evolve, you know”
the gist of the whole thing involved the fact that we
since caves, have been homo sapiens
& that now, faced with war, extinction & floods, food shortages &
    overpopulation
well maybe there is no time like the present

& this is where i need your hand, brother
’cause if i could just lie down next to you
like the sort of fertile crescent i once was
where i had no thought of harm
                    no thought of exploitation
we’d go back a long, long way

we’d move backwards through corridors of time
back, back, to the time before the fall
to some kind of agrarian meadow
’cause we’re all so tired, so tired

& these roles have gotten just so twisttangled
the man said “you know, in 30 years, nobody, nobody is going to be
    safe
from the disaster that is coming, not even those in a monastery”

& he said you know? “we all have to evolve together into a new
    lifeform”
he said the time for homo sapiens was gone
& that this was the time for homo spiritualis
& i think he was right

& this starts in a bedroom between genders
                look, look, look there was an age Catal Huyuk
before these wars, you just forgot, my brother & so did i

there was a time i planted peacefully
it was a time of wheat, of loaves & grain
            & tribe was what counted, our tribe

this was before the invasions
before the burials with coin, this was before the spear & killing
    hordes
the villages were round, they were breast-shaped
& in the art, well there were grain goddesses
& from their vulvas, sweetly pouring
                grains. sheaves & you

nestled between flush lips
        you tell me boy? what happened to our tribe?
i want to lie with you on the banks of the ganges again
curled inside of arms that were made for safekeeping
want the press of that wand, hardcurved up my thigh

want the old gods, the ones plotinus spoke about
because you know, he tried to describe that
    & plotinus was the last philosopher before organized religion
& he saw only light

& boy let me tell you
i know we have one spirit
            & that is peaceful lovingkindness
you know you’ve got the same thing as mine, same hearts
help me boy, help me brother
        it’s eden i want, the paradise of your arms

& this starts in a bedroom between genders
                look, look, look there was an age Catal Huyuk
before these wars, you just forgot, my brother & so did i


© 2004 by Valentina Bonnaire

Ecopsychology #Diagnostics #Genogram

So, I want to talk about the way I am using all I was taught up at Pacifica Graduate Institute in tandem with experiences as an Intern on a case by case basis. But since we are all stuck in this miasma of year 2022, why not do the research and try and figure out a treatment plan that is for the WEB. What I am most interested in, is when kids have access to the WEB itself, so we are using the genogram for that, and then using concepts from Depth and Ecopsychology. So back to the timeline with Academic questions, and proofs.

So, looking at the history of the computer via Wikipedia.

Using this date along the genogram.

1922———————————-1972—–1992———————–2022.

So from personal experience working at a newspaper, in the 1980’s, by the late 80’s we are all familiar with computer systems and they are part of our jobs. My guess is that the men have them for “toys” at home? That can afford them. Across the entire globe. So in glancing through the above article, for me 1995 is the year I actually buy one. I will use it to learn to write papers and it is pretty simple. This is the first one I ever saw that was “Fun” and in the Art Department of the paper, so 1984, and it was an Apple, with fun fonts and things.

So let’s assume that many Dads work with them, in the year that is 1984, and they are being used at home for “fun” by parents? But what year do the kids start using them.

Let’s talk about the father’s childhood, in say, 1964, versus the child born into this world at 1984. Of course Dad will teach his kids how to use one? How much access to information did they have? Was it too much, for someone so young? That is how we want to think about this. Just as a diagnostic.

From the Wikipedia ”

In 2001, 125 million personal computers were shipped in comparison to 48,000 in 1977. More than 500 million PCs were in use in 2002 and one billion personal computers had been sold worldwide since mid-1970s till this time. Of the latter figure, 75 percent were professional or work related, while the rest sold for personal or home use. About 81.5 percent of PCs shipped had been desktop computers, 16.4 percent laptops and 2.1 percent servers. United States had received 38.8 percent (394 million) of the computers shipped, Europe 25 percent and 11.7 percent had gone to Asia-Pacific region, the fastest-growing market as of 2002.[73] Almost half of all the households in Western Europe had a personal computer and a computer could be found in 40 percent of homes in United Kingdom, compared with only 13 percent in 1985.[74] The third quarter of 2008 marked the first time laptops outsold desktop PCs in the United States.[75]

As of June 2008, the number of personal computers worldwide in use hit one billion. Mature markets like the United States, Western Europe and Japan accounted for 58 percent of the worldwide installed PCs. About 180 million PCs (16 percent of the existing installed base) were expected to be replaced and 35 million to be dumped into landfill in 2008. The whole installed base grew 12 percent annually.[76][77]

I am very concerned about the kids, so let’s watch a video. This is a mother talking about losing her son in the teen years. I want to trace the timeline of how the DSM changed.

So we are going to look at the Wiki on what her son was diagnosed with, and we are going to look at the criteria for.

We can see that 1995 is a key date so questions along that timeline really matter. How many young kids (especially boys) were medicated. This was one of my teachers up at Pacifica on all that.

So as I looked at the pictures of the emo heart, and because I was an Art & Narrative modality when working with kids in the years 1996—-2003, at Family Service Agency and other places here in town, and because I have many concerns about what might have happened to an entire generation?

The timeline is prescient, because at WordPress, the founder was born in 1984. The thing for me, is that I was never a tech wizard like all of you. So you are the kids of those fathers, in 1984 and on down the line. I have looked at a few vids of the metaverse concept, and that is the world being created. By your generation. You are really smart, and “logos” is what all of you have in spades.

So the childhoods of 1984, along this line:

1922————————————–1984——1994 (cognition age ten)– 2022

What 1994 looked like, for the little kids who were 10 that year.

Depth PsychoLogy ECOPSYCHOLOGY ASSESSMENT TOOLS #COGNITION #GENERATIONAL #IMPULSIVITY

So over the course I have been designing something as an intervention, I have looked at news stories, and various other sources to help design something to treat and help people. Using techniques from Art & Narrative Therapy, but for a web application. I suppose I need a patent for that? So I am going to use screenshots to back up my work in the blog, as it is research as I am going. In many of the blog posts where I was doing assessments in my old blog, the links are not there, just “blanks.” I am pretty worried right now for humanity. So I just read an abstract, here, and I am most worried about the kids in this immense amount of isolation they are in. Things I am worried about? Suicidal Ideation (in the youth) and Impulsivity as a reaction to the stress. Let me show you what that looks like via youtubes.

One of the reasons I have the greatest respect for Matt Mullenweg and WordPress is because he built this as a container, for writers. So, I’m going to show a few things today, as relate to what I know from Depth Psychology as relates to the use of a Genogram and Treatment Planner. I also want to talk from a standpoint of Ecopsychology.

So that genogram again, only visually this time:

Years 1922———————————————————————–2022

I don’t want to see broken links, again. The way the web is constantly being scrubbed is not a good thing. I first noticed that when I was writing about politics a few years ago in my old blog. So writing about what i have my MA in? Well you will see me link to the Wikipedia and many other sources, including news stories. My diagnostic skills. When you are becoming a therapist, especially from the school I went to? I was trained by the very best. Gen Z cannot recognize the level of impulsivity it might have. Because it is inside of a generation. When history marches on, as it will, a generation can look “back” at things and know itself.

I want to talk a little about how I came up with my theory. It was in my internship for Family Service Agency. In California, we are to do internships of 3,000 hours. It was really hard to get an internship, in the first place, and so, what we have is a way to discuss cases, around a table. The intern therapists brought in a case study of a client, and there were supervisors, from Clinical Psychology and also Psychiatry who supervised us. So, all of my papers are something I am looking back at now, and also remembering things that happened. But what I want Matt to know, I really mean this, is that I know I can trust him. So, I was “non-paid” for beyond the 3,000 hours that began in 1995 – 2003, and I did my hours while I was working for a newspaper. Those years of my life were so hard, my god. There is more to say about Medical Ethics, out of me, but Senator Grassley went after ethics around Meds, and I really love that, because, once the consulting psychiatrist told me she was putting two year olds on Prozac? Well, we are now many years forward from that time.

As you can see above, the “Criteria For” Impulsivity has changed over time.

Let’s look at what Senator Grassley did.

That research I was writing up in my old blog?

I just want to say bless all of you to ma.tt and to WordPress, for what all of you created, for this world.

I think we are going to have to use a reverse medical model to be able to diagnose, and treat. Because if in 1998, two year olds are being put on Prozac and many, many other things? We are looking at Gen Z. My thesis is very simple, and I am very worried for the kids. When I say that? I just mean, I am worried for the era they have lived. So, In a post 9/11 climate they were very, very young. It is very possible that they were overmedicated, so very early. Then they came of age, and all the things available to adults also became available to them. The kinds of news stories that we see about locking dogs and babies in cars under sweltering heat? They might not have the “cognition” to understand what they are doing. So it is very scary. But we are going to make a treatment plan here, and it can be used as a new treatment paradigm. In the web itself. I swore to the oath of Hippocrates when I graduated. I meant that. ❤

Designing a Treatment Plan #DepthPsychology #Ecopsychology for use in WEB

Writing up a continuation of my research published here in WordPress as Valentine Bonnaire. My blog started I think in 2007 and I had an established nom de plume already as the above, in the web, so at first I was really happy to find WordPress, but in the time I was writing, how WordPress has developed has just amazed me. I knew at the time I was researching that Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter could be used. But, now I would not choose Twitter based on censorship issues. I found both Facebook and Twitter because I was here in WordPress, to begin with.

Because I once worked for a Newspaper for 20 years, and am a graduate of The University of California Class of 1984, Art History and Pacifica Graduate Institute, Class of 1995 Counseling Psychology, Emphasis Depth Psychology I have written and developed some interventions to news stories, and problems I have seen from my perspective.

WordPress has been one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen, and ma.tt, to have created something like you have done, it is hard to explain. So 1995 was the year I bought my first “home” computer – an Apple Performa. I had used computers at work for years, but not had one at home. The day I bought it, I was standing in Circuit City here in town and saw something which later developed into a paper I wrote for Dr. Mary Watkins, on child development and pre-scripted games in our first year at school. It was only because I had WordPress, that I was able to write and research on this topic with complete ease in the years post 2007.

So, in the course of the last few days I have been thinking of both you Matt and also Mark and talked about both of you over in Facebook, because, both places are “real” in the sense that in FB I can attach to old colleagues and friends, and here I can speak with so much ease, and also link to things. Then I can cut and paste over in FB, my own link. So the two of you were born in 1984, and what you know about the world of computers is well, a result of what both of you designed?

I had a typewriter when I went to UCSB. That long ago. So, as I can write and illustrate so easily in here, the world of WordPress, well, let’s get going on stopping some problems we are having with Mental Health. I’m going to write up some things here in the blog and take them over to FB, as I go. It is a new treatment paradigm, that I want to give to William at Noozhawk, and I recently was able to watch him speak in Youtube. I loved that he said WordPress had approached him because of his awards, and so the plan has Medical Ethics, just as he has Journalistic Ethics.

I was trained by Dr. Lionel Corbett, and swore to the Oath of Hippocrates that year we graduated, myself. So, since 1995, when so many generations of people have entered the web, use the web, play games on the web and all of that, WordPress is the last free “frontier” as it were, on earth. The plan I am developing can be used across any population or culture across the globe, just as WordPress does that. We do not want to have another tragedy like the one at UCSB or at Columbine, nor have teen girls with Suicidal Ideation because of peer pressure and so forth. Consider this tool, as a modern day version of the old Rorschach test, except this one is a whole new deal, because I am designing it. It uses techniques from Art and Narrative Therapy to help assess and treat.

Why I would hope WordPress would say okay? Because what you provide is a place for it, and not only that, the very fact you let people make a free blog. Schools could use this place? For the kids right now, in this immense isolation.

Thank you,

Adrienne D. Wilson

https://www.ucsb.edu/

Alma Mater

memoir Newspaperpeople day 12 nanowrimo 2021

Fog, Magic hour light – by Adrienne Wilson

Newspaperpeople

  1. Towheads

The landscape opens. He didn’t want to leave you, and he wasn’t mean. This is what you will learn. Last night in the harbor remembering the boat leaving shore, the soft laps of the water. Four girls of 22, arriving wanting to pet your dog.

You tell them, the harbor is safe, the men down here are the best men you will ever meet. One of them is tipsy. You feel you know them, know what comes ahead. Not that you can, just that you want it to be better for them.

I had to learn they were all different.

They will be.

He’s standing holding Alladin in his arms like a baby, and he purrs. The bamboo rustles in the rain outside your tiny world.

He knows you are cold, and he brings a union suit, and a candle.

He builds shelves in your pantry, handy with a hammer.

The girls tell you that they don’t want Botox or butt lifts.

You smile and say don’t follow that road that they might have planned for you.

“We’re not going to,” they say.

They could be grandchildren.

How strange to suddenly be thinking like that, sending warnings across vast expanses like 40 years of time.

They are all just starting in College. You remember.

The freedom comes later.

The freedom is something that you have to carve, because there will be times it’s going to seem impossible to stay with him.

Little pieces of something that was the thing you might have wanted, once.

It might be the thing that you wanted for yourself.

How can you prevent someone from making the same mistakes that you did?

Is it even possible?

My best friend was pregnant at my wedding, something like eight months along. She wasn’t married to him yet, that would come later, as would her second child. Towheads. It’s going to be almost impossible to keep the friendship, they are buying a house in a different town, your lives diverge from being the two best friends on a beach, waves lapping at your skirts, collecting shells and dreams together.

He chose the rings.

“I want these to match,” he said.

Maybe in your mind, like Cinderella, you were expecting the down on one knee, with a flashy diamond.

That’s not how it happened though.

There isn’t going to be a Bridal Registry for you.

Maybe it is the era.

She doesn’t have a wedding either.

She’s just pregnant standing there, and your lives divide in the courthouse tower, that day. You can’t be the mothers that you planned, pushing strollers at the seashore.

She asks how much you make, and you don’t know what to say, because, the path you chose was job, and not hers, and you are afraid of her path. She has to depend on him, and you had tried that the first and second times you were in love.

It’s what she tells you later.

He controls everything.

He tells her, dropping a five dollar bill in the center of the table, that she is supposed to feed the kids on that.

She has a pack of hot dogs, and some milk for them.

You drive her to the store.

You pay for the groceries, thinking of your mother and how she did that for all her friends in the same kind of jam, when you were little. The mother who made you her best friend. The mother who mothered your best friend. Instead of you.

You are quiet driving back home, the roads curving down from Ojai.

You go back into work and realize you have to be strong.

You learn to wriggle away from the arms encircling you at the light table. You learn to stand on your own two feet, with the males at work.

She’s your best friend and the two of you are 30.

“Tell me how much you make,” she says.

“How can you?”

It seems too terrible, to name the figure. It’s not that much, actually. You cannot stand what he is doing to her. Your best friend. The two of you were only fourteen, once, full of dreams about what the future was going to hold.

They like to try and intimidate you at work.

That’s when you become fierce.

Your last act of kindness was another defloration. He’s 36, one of those tech types and he’s a virgin. At twenty nine, you cannot believe this is true, but it is.

He’s madly in love with a co-worker out at the tech place he works. You’re friends, having Thai. He starts asking you how to approach her, he is almost obsessed he is so in love. You try walking him through what to do, what might work, like sending her flowers, just because.

The reason he is in this spot?

He’s not one of the really handsome ones. It will be more difficult for guys like him.

Still, it seems so unfair, and so you offer to show him how.

Perhaps you have spent your life trying to help others.

What is experience for?

You congratulate yourself later. He manages a ten year relationship after that.

Not with her, but you helped him break the ice. He won’t have kids either.

At work in Ad Alley, you learn to perform the simple functions of the job. Taking studio classes will be where you turn. Because you have a job, you can pay for these.

In Benet’s class she has you learn assemblage. Art will be the only way you can express feelings. You learn that, quickly enough, through her.

There is a cardboard box you wrap with fluffy cotton batting, pure white over the red lights you strung inside. They glow pink under the layers. He watches while you wrap it, not understanding what it is like to get crits in Art classes. He drives you in the MGA to class, smiling. You are holding it on your lap, like the day with the Pavlova.

It’s a womb in all purity, emitting a sound you can’t remember. From the Walkman inside. You fill it with cotton balls and q-tips, those for eggs and sperm.

The grey box is set to the side.

You never open it again.

Gold ring on your finger.

You’ve said certain vows.

You’ve gotten another A.

Your best friend leaves him.

She marries another, who will raise the kids.

She begins school. She begins school after the kids are old enough, and she starts up at the lost path. She was raped too, she tells you.

“He raped me,” she says.

Years later you will write it, for the other little 22 year olds.

You don’t want anything bad to happen to them.

It hurts so much to lay it out on the pages, remembering what they had done to the two of you.

It becomes easier to work with sound, those years. You wear the Walkman to work, it gives you silence, while you paste up. You can tune all of it out.

Cardboard flats hold each ad.

There are mountains of them.

Mountains and mountains that have to run the next day or the day after, the work is never ending. So is the loyalty. To him and to this place.

You think work is like a family.

Later you will learn it isn’t.

Don’t avoid it whispers the Muse in your head. Don’t avoid talking about the hardest things, or all the things left unsaid, for the 22 year olds coming up behind you.

You don’t want them to miss having kids.

You don’t want them to miss what everyone calls perfection in this lifetime.

He left her a five dollar bill to feed her kids, on a shabby table, in her well scrubbed kitchen.

“At least you aren’t saddled with kids,” your mother says.

Suddenly you can see how you took to heart all the things she had ever said.

Your mother.

“Washers and Dryers,” he laughs, as the two of you watch them spin. You bought them for Pedregosa, yourself, at Sears. Just minis. You just want things to be clean and perfect. At all times, proving yourself to be a girl, proving yourself to your friends.

The clock going off in your head, banging like a gong.

“Fuck it,” he says.

The thermometer goes cold on the bed.

He doesn’t want the responsibility.

He should have told you, you think.

It takes years to understand.

Years later, learning to become the therapist you will become, one named Don pushes your buttons so hard, the anger wells up as tears.

“Why didn’t you have kids in your twenties?”

He has no concept of what other men are like, in his perfect little ordered world.

Does he?

He tries with EMDR to get at it. They want you cleaned out, empty of emotion, so that you can cure others.

A scented candle burns.

Birds sing outside.

The sea sings in all her colors, blue into silver, the purple out over the islands. You have managed to write past it. The hardest part. You could not have done what she had done. You could never be that vulnerable. She didn’t have a mom and dad either. You wonder where they all went?

You wonder why they couldn’t be parents.

Generation Warhol had Generation Woodstock.

Generation Warhol had no idea how hard it was going to be for their kids.

It’s easier to put pen to paper.

It’s easier to put paint to canvas.

It’s easier to try and blend it all together into purple.

How can you begin to trust men when you didn’t have a father?

You can’t.

He was supposed to be there, be there, be there, and he wasn’t.

It’s 1988.

The clock ticks.

The clock ticks until it goes off screaming in your head.

You’ll never be the girl some guy throws down $5 on a table for. Not ever.

You weep for what he put her through that year.

She and those two little towheads, that were so adorable.

Newspaperpeople Memoir by Adrienne Wilson copyright November 12, 2021 all rights reserved

MEMOIR #NewspaperPEOPLE DAY 8 #NaNoWriMo 2021

Newspaperpeople

  1. Roads

If only I could have predicted the road ahead. In my generation, we fell in and out of so many arms. In 1982, that became dangerous. There was a disease. Suddenly it appeared on the scene. Out of nowhere it came, and I was worried for Stevie B.

To wipe him out of me, there would need to be others.

Dennis Dunn told me to say one sentence. It was, “I can never see you again.”

I said that over the phone. It was going to be the last time I ever said a sentence to him.
By that time the grey box of photographs weighed a ton. I would sit on my Murphy bed and look at them sometimes. It was hard not to. My friend Bob at work started to scavenge a darkroom for me. He was finding all the parts for it, all over town, because we had Brooks Institute here in town. He found me a Leica, too. M2.

I said the sentence into the phone.

He didn’t listen.

Hardly anyone listens to girls.

He didn’t listen. Instead, one day when I came home from school he had scaled the balcony of my apartment on Fig, and broken in.

I got home from school and he was sitting in my apartment.

Imagine that.

A girl who he was causing to think about driving into a cement pier on the side of the freeway every single day, and he did not give one fuck.

“I hate to think of you sitting up there all alone waiting for me, “ he said.

“Dennis told me I could not see you ever again.”

He didn’t care. He just pushed me down on that Murphy bed.

Then he zipped up and drove home.

Imagine a girl, crumpled into a ball weeping, after what he had done.

You might have to survive all kinds of things in your twenties, just to stay alive, and I want you to be as strong as me. If you need a therapist you can find one. You are going to stay alive no matter what. Dennis Dunn kept me alive. Once a week I went to see him. Maybe for six months. Little did I know, that the next time I saw Dennis, I would be telling him I was going to get married.

“That’s a good idea, “ he said.

I never met a bigger angel than Dennis Dunn.

Hacker was the first I invited to my apartment to spend the night. I broke the spell with him, and I don’t know if I ever told him that. We were only brief together, arms around each other, two artists. He would come over now and again, and we would sleep together. That foam pad made me feel sorry for him. You might feel sorry for some of them, in your life too. So when that 19 year old asked me for help? I was 22. Sure, I said. One night stands had pretty much been the rule in those years according to men. I was already quite experienced in the years past 19, so now that I think of it, I had in in love twice. I decided to be just like men, with their kind of freedoms. Why not?

In that era we all did.

The fact that her wrote me a love poem after that one night?

That’s what mattered.

Because he was sleeping with a poet, that night.

He brought that poem to me at work, at my desk, to say thank you.

Then he was off to medical school. I never saw him again.

Hacker and I palled around a little, like friends. My friends came over, for my vats of things. I was a girl who had her own apartment, just like an adult.

Suddenly one of the works of Hacker’s was up on my wall, next to those framed photographs of the two of us, the photographer had given me.

Hacker made it easier not to think of driving into a cement wall, because I had been so much in love with a total liar.

Imagine a guy running out of a restaurant to ask a girl for a date, and he was the dishwasher at The Paradise.

I was just walking down the street, across the street from the paper.

“You have to be my date,” he said.

He had to be two inches from me, face to face on Anacapa.

People here didn’t really go out clubbing like I had done with all my friends.

There was only one dance place, really.

Because I had my job at the newspaper, I could feed all my friends. The boys I knew then were always hungry. Most of them still lived at home.

Jim and Stevie B. were the two most fun people I knew, because Jim would drive Stevie up. He was Bisexual, and he was one of the handsomest men I would ever meet in life. Ever. So, we were just friends then. Did we ever go out on the town when Stevie was up. We went everywhere together, the three of us. Girls like me did not go out alone. We went on dates, and the guys were either lovers or chaperones. A girl alone in a bar? This was not done.

Stevie was from Pasadena, and so was I.

He was a charmer.

They were gentlemen.

The place where Hacker lived was by the best Theatre in town, for stage plays. Lots of artists lived in the little wooden places there. It was a hotbed for them. Men can get by with less than women need, in many ways. But for them, there was always going to be another woman around, if they needed a bed for the night, for instance.

I was a girl who had her own apartment.

I was a girl who had a job.

Judy worked for one of the meanest men in the Composing Room. He was the nightside boss in Ad Alley and his name was Bill. To say that being the proofreader was one of the hardest jobs in the whole building? It was, because you would not even believe what we had to read, nightly. Not only that, but everything had to be correct. Ever single letter. Every single punctuation mark, every single line of type.

I was that girl.

The only harder job, was going to be the Floor.
Judy had the hardest job in Ad Alley, under the meanest boss I ever saw. To say that men gave us a hard time in the early 80’s at work? Is only the beginning.

They had been hardened, working there, because in those days every single town had a newspaper. They had seen it all, the murders, the deaths, the obits, the all in all of a town. Advertising was how the paper was able to print itself.

So there were two parts to the paper.

Editorial & Advertising.

Bill didn’t like me. His eyes were cold and mean.

Sharon didn’t like me. Her eyes were hardened slits.

Maybe it because of the way I dressed, then.

Maybe I worked in the meanest part of the building.

Maybe everyone seemed mean because nothing could go wrong.

Not one letter could be off.

Nothing could be wrong.

And all of us cared.

You think the Reporters had it easy? No.

People like Gil the Gardener, had it easy. The columns he wrote were fun and full of metaphor.

Judy did Mark-Up, and mark up was the hardest job in the world. It was kind of like math, in the Cold Type days.

I made a mistake.

It was the worst mistake anyone could ever make at the paper, and it was humiliating.

It was for a Jewelry store in town, maybe at Christmas, that year. They were having a sale, and somehow, somehow, somehow, the typists had typed the whole thing twice, and I had proofread the whole thing twice and it had been pasted up twice as two columns, and it was the SAME two columns, twice and when it came back to my desk, I read the material twice. The only problem was? It was only supposed to be one column. I had read the identical material twice, when. I was the one who was supposed to catch that kind of thing. I read for both Editorial and Advertising at night, in those four hours.

The ad ran in the paper.

I’ll never forget the day Gabe called me into the office, and Bill was sitting in there.

Bill was glaring at me.

Gabe handed me the paper.

Bill said, “Look at this mistake.”

It was my fault.

Not only was a man terrifying me at my apartment, but now a man was terrifying me at work. I was going to be spending the next 20 years of my life, with bosses who terrified me.

I hope you never get a job like that.

I hope you never get a job where some men can make you feel really small, like I felt that day. Not from Gabe, who was my boss, but from Bill.

After that, he rode me.

Every single night.

I was so scared to proofread after that, as I returned to my desk, that I knew I was never going to let Gabe down again.

I felt like it was all my fault, but it wasn’t. The typists hadn’t noticed they had typed the ad twice, the paste-up person in Ad Alley hadn’t noticed he had pasted up the whole thing, twice, and by the time it got to me? Well, it was in something like 3 point, Times Roman, maybe.
Seeing the printed piece?

That I had not caught it?

I would never make a mistake like that ever again.

This was going to be even more important when I got to the Floor.

Can you even imagine how the Publisher felt?

Getting that call from the Advertiser?

Can you imagine how Gabe felt?

I had let Gabe down. I thought I was going to be fired.

I wasn’t.

It was part of the great learning curve that is life.

All of life is a series of roads you will take. But nobody knows where those might lead at 22.

Judy’s job was one of the hardest in the Composing Room, and she was in a man’s world, just like I was. Most of the women? They were just typists. It didn’t matter. We all had jobs. We had all gone to work.

Now that I think of it?

So was mine.

That was a full page ad.

I will never know how Gabe must have been raked over the coals after it ran.

Then it went down the chain of command, one by one, until it got to the girl who had made the mistake.

I never made a mistake like that again.
It was the road to be a Journeyman Printer.

At that time, I didn’t know I would be taking that road.

It was the road of honor, and of duty.

From the littlest paperboy right on up to the top of the Tower, where the Publisher sat.

Memoir Newspaperpeople by Adrienne Wilson copyright November 8th, 2021, all rights reserved #NaNoWriMo2021

MEMOIR NEWSPAPERPEOPLE Chapter four Day 6 NANOWRIMO 2021

Newspaperpeople

  1. Storkes

You will never know the wounds you are capable of carrying, until you have to. The era comes back to haunt you. The monster that he was.

And then you will think of all the kind men who surrounded you then.

As they prepare you for the anesthesia you whisper, to God, let me die.

Let me go now.

And then you sink.

Everything is gone.

They wake you up.

They wake you up as if you have made some kind of mistake and girls are so disposable anyway.

The pain lives in a vault, in a chamber of your heart, that you learn to bury deep.

You won’t be alone.

They are shaking you.

“Wake up,” they say.

“Nooooo.”

They keep shaking you and shaking you and shaking you.

You wake up.

It wasn’t your time.

It wasn’t time for God to take you. Not yet.

You were only 22.

Now you realize perhaps God himself put you through this.

He keeps driving up, after.

He keeps driving up.

A girl lies next to you in the little room they make you walk to.

There are two beds. So you can recuperate.

She weeps, softly.

You weep.

There is a list on the table, with hundreds of names on it.

And the names are lined through.

And the names have names to come, after the two of you.

They run them through here like cattle, you think to yourself.

Cattle.

Chattel.
Cattle.

Chattel.

That he never loved you is the hardest lesson you will ever learn.

Your mother, who had always told you, “Come to me with anything,” is going to be no help. She simply tells you her French friend Selima had to have 14 of them, because of the Nazis.

Jim offers to marry you.

In the cold silence of your room, full of beige, full of books, with the money he had thrown down on the table, to pay for it, you stepped into the bathroom, while he slept and photographed yourself in your white Mexican wedding dress, with his Leica.

You had grasped at straws.

There was no way to call your father.

Your uncle was gone.

Your grandfather was tending to your grandmother, who had had a stroke after her son died, suddenly.

“Stand on your own two feet,” he said.

It’s that Christmas, it’s that day, when you know you have no choice.

There will be millions of girls that day, across the country.

Like the girl lying right next to you.

You didn’t die.

Maybe because you had to write a book, that would come many years later, so that no other girl would have to face this kind of thing, ever again.

I drove down to Los Angeles to meet the French sperm who was my father. He had hired detectives to find me at Santa Barbara High School. When I was 16. He said, or his current wife said through the door, “His therapist feels that you need to meet him, now.”

I stood in terror behind the door of our place on Carillo Hill, that day.

I thought maybe my real father, not the man I called Daddy, who was my father, to me anyway. (Since Mother made it so I could never call him) and I actually was that naive, to think that he might be able to give me some direction. I was two weeks late on my period. Student Health at UCSB arranged for me to take a urine test.

I was the girl who lived on Red Rose Way.

I was the girl who had no father.

Not like my mother’s father.

I was also a girl that my mother had no time for.

She made me into her best friend.

So I never even had a chance at being a daughter.

She told my best friend, “The men are going to come for Adrienne.”

My best friend told me that years later, going through her second divorce.

He lived north of Wilshire.

I found him.

I made an appointment to arrive, the last trip I ever took down to Santa Monica in my Audi. I was just a girl of 22, needing help.

There was no man to turn to.

Years later, reading the poem I wrote in Edgar Bower’s class, it’s what I wrote after.

I handed it to him, and he laughed it off. That acid dropping, clown. He laughed at my writing, some stupid little college girl who was getting D’s and F’s Winter Quarter at UCSB. The girl who he came up to rape and keep on raping, time after time, day after day, with that poisoned cock he had, covered in vitiligo. The cock that only knew how to rape, not love. He was like a battering ram, with it. Once he said, “I want to see my cock come out of your throat.”

To this day I remember his favorite position.

I never let another man put me in that position ever again, when I had sex.

The girls at work, the younger ones were having babies, and I made a quilt for Bonnie in Classified, for her baby.

Mine was gone, and I sewed the quilt for hers.

I’ll never forget how happy she was to see it. It was polka dots with an eyelet edge, and I tied it instead of quilting with many colors of embroidery thread.

Rosie had taken me aside.

I told her I needed to take three days off and I was crying.

I loved Rosie.

I also loved her funny boyfriend too.

She told me, she had to have one too.

I don’t know how I survived.

There has been some purpose for me to have survived.

Perhaps it is to write it down.

Never let a man kill your heart and soul.

Never.

The clinic was near Cottage Hospital.

Jim, offered to marry me.
Years later when we saw each other again, we discussed our lives.

I said, “What if we had married?”

I thanked him for the offer he had made me. His chivalry.

He will forever be in my mind as that.

Not all males are chivalrous.

I think males know other males very well, just as we know other women very well.

It’s in our genes,

I didn’t love Jim.

I was in love with the photographer.

I couldn’t have slept with Jim.

I couldn’t have asked Jim to take something on, that he wasn’t prepared to do.

He was still the cherubic blond baby of his mother’s.

I was the girl who lived on Red Rose Way. The street where there is supposed to be true love.

I was the girl who believed everything men said to me.

He had said he wanted to plant his seed inside me.

He had lied.

“I don’t want you spoiling Christmas for your grandparents,” Mother said.

As far as she was concerned I had taken care of it.

On her deathbed, under the spell of morphine, I said, “You never saw yourself as a grandmother did you?”
She said “No.”

My mother was of the generation that had Andy Warhol.

That Christmas in 1981 my little brother and I were to take the train to Cambria, so our family could have Christmas. You will never know how strong you have to be for your family, until it is needed. You will also never understand why you had to put on a happy face as if nothing bad had happened.

As the train rumbled up the coast, I couldn’t say anything to my brother about what I had just gone through. He was too young. To this day, I wish I had had an older brother. This is what the men at work would become for me. Like Big Brothers. That is what Alan was to me.

We think of storks as the things that come with babies like miracles wrapped in swaddling clothes. There are myths we live out. There are also fairytales.

I was the girl on Red Rose Way who walked under Storke’s bells.

Up in his tower, I sat the books that held the millions of words.

They were bound books, every newspaper that had ever run.

I climbed the stairs all the time to see them.

The panic attacks began in my mother’s car, as we drove home to Santa Barbara after that Christmas. A bee flew into her car, and at the time, I was afraid of bees, as I had been stung once, as a very young child. Suddenly I could not breathe. My hands curled into little blue claws as there was no oxygen, coming in. I wasn’t breathing.

He put me through that.

And he still kept driving up.

He kept on sending postcards as if he were making a piece of Performance Art, like Chris Burden.

That’s what he was doing.

He had no plans to give me up and I couldn’t breathe anymore.
There was nothing left.

He had killed my heart.

Or so I thought.

Perhaps, my heart did not die, for it is the strongest organ that I have.

It is always with my heart that I have traveled this world.

I was the girl who lived on Red Rose Way, and I was the girl who wore her heart on her sleeve.

I was the girl who lived on Red Rose Way who thought she had met her second Prince Charming. The first one had not been.

I was the 22 year old they gave Xanax to. Harold was on it too.

Harold, the best boss in the world.

I walked between the Pacesetters, under his watch.

They were spitting out film.

They were spitting out thousands of letters, whole alphabets put together out of the people who were busily typing upstairs on the Third Floor, they had come down the pneumatic tubes, and been retyped and marked up in the Composing Room.

I was becoming a Journeyman Printer.

“Harold, I can trim the type.”

“No, you job is to bring the type to the hooks.”

“But I can do more than one thing, Harold.”

“No, you are doing your job.”

And so I had gone from being the girl that came from Fashion, through Classified Accounting, into a Switchboard Operator, to a Proofreader, and finally I was on my way to the Floor.

That’s how important all of us were.

That’s how hard we worked to make everything true and perfect, at the newspaper.

It had won the Pulitzer.

It had belonged to T. M. Storke.

Copyright 2021 Newspaperpeople by Adrienne Wilson – Nanowrimo 2021 – all rights reserved