surviving ourselves?

December 4th, 2018

railroad tracks mean freedom

Memories of once in awhile: Southern Pacific trains drive down long, straight tracks headed for the end of Tiburon Peninsula.   Light September breezes blow off Richardson Bay when my best friend Lindy and I walk shiny rails squishy with hot tar and creosote gravel sticks to the bottoms of our shoes.

Long shadows light up the yellow Lyford House, making it glow.  Other friends and I once watched that house move over on a barge from across the bay to its current location a couple of years before.

I stay over at my friend Lindy’s house less and less as we moved through high school, furiously chain-smoking reclining in chairs, drinking cases of Tab and Pepsi Cola. It felt phony. Lindy’s parents were hardly around, and my parents were preoccupied.  Our parents acted like vortexes sucking to the bottom, carrying grief like a social disease.  I did not trust any of them.

Lindy and I yell blaming other people for our unhappiness.  She increasingly barks at her mother, sisters and me in husky desperation, slamming doors, stomping upstairs to her room.

I rant at my house at the same time, pounding on my brother, who gets taller every day.  I love my brother, but treat him like scenery, someone who will never grow up and forever be there for me.  Together through blithering parental absences with drunken bodies, we look at each other, and either laugh or cry.

Lindy’s older sister Julie drop us off at bowling alleys or Greenbrae’s Zim’s restaurant without telling her mother.  A couple of hours later, she picks us up and we drive, drinking and rocking.  Julie cruises over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco’s Richmond District.

My adolescent mask of “not giving two shits,” seems adult enough to not get carded in Quickie Marts, since I was a six-foot womanly force in two-inch heels.  I easily buy beer, Schnapps, rum, gallons of Red Mountain and Boone’s Farm wines, drank and throw up while in black outs, and screaming with my head out the window.

Confused, a child like me grows into an adult who acts like a child but wants to be an adult. Both roles blame and crave freedom from a hole of loneliness deep inside.

A major theme during my Junior High School times was simply surviving.


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