Saturday, February 20, 2010



The evidence was circumstantial, yet in this time it never occurred to me that what I was hunting and finding did not exist. For the first time in memory something dark was being lifted from me. It was not the first time I had had a period apparently free of depression. But I could not think of past times breaking out of depression without drink and/or sex and/or pills and/or travel to exotic and dangerous places.

.By now, 1986, it had been more than a decade since I was drinking, and I had not been to war zone parts of Africa or Asia or Central America or any wild place abroad for three years. And it was seeming clear now that there had been relevant reasons for the depression I ran from in the past. I was closing in on my story.

These meetings I had stared attending were about many things, but mostly about traveling back into the past to find out what had happened. It did not seem strange to me that at 50 I was letting myself go back all the way to childhood for first time. These meetings were wild affairs where focused anger, white hot anger, was applauded. But the one meeting that was telling me the most entailed writing, which turned up far more than did the very satisfying verbal ranting times, not that I was tempted, with all I was learning, to stop ranting.

Putting all this together in this year 1986 after years of carrying all the parts of these stories in my memory but not letting them interlock to this current picture of horror, and I did know I would have the visuals for I did not doubt what was unfolding.

Besides the meetings I was also occasionally setting foot in actual places where what I was zeroing in on at last had taken place in the distant past. As I roamed the heavy fake gothic Princeton campus I suddenly had my old childhood ailment, a sore throat. When I found my secret place in the woods in Connecticut I felt so exposed there that it would be easy to shoot tm. When I walked on Upper East Side block where my grandmother had spent her winters my thoughts were so far from being about happy times that I felt I was, on this block, at this very moment, being strangled.

And Cousin Margaret has just died a horrible death on a respirator just as she seemed cured, and she had said just before then that she wanted to die because of what they had done to her sexually. Which suddenly connected to the motorcycle death years back of our Cousin Paul, who had done a court-ordered stint in the army which got him out form under gun charges and kidnapping charges and worse for whatever he had done to the girl. And Cousin Lauryn has recently freaked out and told about being fucked by her brother Paul. And moreover it had turned out that the family war hero, who supposed;e7 died fighting in the Battle of Britain, had really died in a drunken flying accident. And my father had just died virtually alone and in pain, his entire chest an open cancer wound, deserted by the family people upon whom he had always counted.

And upright if theatrical Cousin Rob, himself the closest thing to a current family hero, except maybe my twin brother, the good twin, Peter. Rob told me he knew I was looking into the past, and he said that if I found out anything that did not fit with the perfect family version of life at White Pines he did not want know. He seriously hoped I would not tell him.

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