Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dear Universe

Dear Universe,
As I sit here working on a project I never imagined I would be working on, I am in constant awe of
how you work.  Secretly, behind the scenes, with or without my assistance, you keep me moving forward.  I don't know who is at the helm of my ship besides me.  I don't really care.  I believe I have an angel, a companion, a God, a whatever it is, that is in my corner, rooting me on.  My biggest fan is someone I don't even know.  Or do I?

It got me thinking of the spiral. In my continued fascination with spirals, I find myself at the end of another year.  I will finish school in another semester and the path that led me to is another amazing one which has led me to apply for a MA in Rehabilitative Counseling.  I have been "counseling: in my work for too many years now.  I may as well get a few letters after my name to prove I can accomplish the task I have already been doing.  Again, the spiral.  I am spinning back to where I once was, but now at a different angle, looking at it from a different perspective. It represents continual change and evolution and the interconnectedness of all things.

I found myself back again, dealing with an assault from 2008.  I participated in a criminal trial earlier this month.  That experience has yet to hit the paper from my pen.  It is still brewing.  Again.  In a different way, from a different view, or a different consciousness.  This newer consciousness emanating from this wildly different year (I went back to school after a 10 year hiatus.) is expanding outward (and inward) as spirals do.  I read this yesterday about this kind of spiral movement:

And when one contemplates such an infinitely regressing movement one begins to appreciate that the words 'first movement' doesn't even begin to express the beginning - that it's all an endless beginning - it's all a one act play - an infinitely recursive and enfolding one act play. Thus the 'first movement' is everywhere you look And soon you'll look up and see the same thing in every thing you look at until your view of reality begins to shift and with it meaning itself will take on a whole new meaning and on and on and on - beginnings enfolding endings which enfold another beginning until there's no more beginnings or endings and you just are. -Robert McCoy

If you look at a spiral in motion, it appears that it is moving from the outside in.  And if you look closely at the center, it appears to get larger as it spins.  Interesting if you think of the spiral as inward reflection.  As more wonderful things move in, your center becomes larger,  I think you can also say that as things move out from the center, it also leaves space to allow your inner most ideas to grow.  The inner core stays the same as the outer grows in size.   Any way you look at it, growth is always occurring, like it or not!  You can see for yourself here: 

So the same people, places, and things are always new, always beginning again.  From a different perspective.  You get to see them from all sides, angles, directions.  And sometimes, what you have been looking at for years starts looking different. So enjoy your life from all sides and angles this coming year.  I am excited to see what happens.  All I can do is jump on, strap myself in, and go for this grand ride of life.  Of course, my ride always consists of no brakes, just a wheel.  Which is very cool.  Happy New Year to every one!

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Abduction Chapter 3

He looked at me in absolute bewilderment.  I was breaking every rule in the kidnapping manual. 
            “Okay, tell me where to drop you off.”
            Without hesitation, I responded, “6721 Golf Road.”  Never in my life had I wanted so badly to go to the place I so badly wanted to get away from forever.  Again, a look of astonishment blazed across his face followed by a look that said, “come on now, who do you think is in charge here?  On the other hand, maybe it was a look of fear in realizing that he had come across someone crazier than he was.

            “Right here.  You can drop me right here.”  He stopped the car and told me to get out.  He also told me not to tell anyone.  Right, as if my mother wouldn’t question the fact that her treasured Cadillac was missing.  He again asked directions to Milwaukee.  Really?  I robotically pointed the direction.   What do you say to a kidnapper who has altered his plans twice now to accommodate your requests and is now setting you free?  Thank you?  At that moment, I realized I had been sitting right next to him, shoulders touching shoulders, like a teenaged couple on their first date.  It repulsed me and I felt the sweet and sour taste of bile rising in the back of my throat.  I slowly slid to the passenger door, quietly opening it, and backed out, eyes on the knife still glimmering in his clenched and now sweaty right hand.  I closed the door and watched the gold Caddy until it became a glint on the horizon and then it was gone.
            I collapsed onto the cold, concrete sidewalk.
            I am sure I was a sight to see.  I was drenched in sweat as I walked up the driveway to the house and rang the doorbell.  I crumpled in front of the door.
            “My car was stolen.  I need to call my house.”
            I stood in a kitchen that looked oddly like my boyfriend’s kitchen and dialed home.  Strangely, calling the police had never entered my mind.  The homeowners cautiously stood nearby as I listened to the ringing. 
            “Hello,” my little brother answered.
            “Put Ma on the phone.”
            I said again, “Get Ma on the phone. Now!” 

            He hung up on me.  Shit!  I sheepishly smiled at the people now staring at me in disbelief and redialed the house.  My brother answered again.
            I said in a maniacal whisper, “If you don’t get Ma on the phone right now I will tear your lungs out of your chest through your mouth.”  He screamed, “Ma! Phone,” and put the receiver down.  So I waited…and waited… till she picked. 
            “Where the hell are you? Where is my car?”
I couldn’t think straight.  What was her concern? 
            “It was stolen.”
            “What?  How?”
            “A man kidnapped me and took the car to Milwaukee.”
            “Why did you let him take the car?”
            “Can you please come and get me?”
            My Dad wasn’t available.  He had been helping a friend whose dry cleaner business had just had a fire the night before.  He had the only other car, a 1967 Rambler station wagon, filled to the brim with scaffolding, wallpaper paste, brushes, and empty Tab bottles with mold growing in the bourbon and cola residue that fell back out of Dad’s mouth when he took his quick swigs before entering the house.
            “You can cut the tension in this house with a knife,” he once said when pushed for a reason as to why he disappeared for a few days, leaving the rest of us home to deal with Ma.  His car was the old beater to Ma’s new Caddy. Her desire for finery in all things was just one of her abnormalities.  No one in her own family was like her in this way.  She was raised by Greek immigrants in a very modest Hyde Park bungalow.  Her father was a shoemaker, her mother a housewife.  The Great Depression brought with it prudence in finances, and like other immigrant families of the time, they managed to save a comfortable nest egg.  They owned their home, a small business, and my mother wanted it.  All of it.  Money became her best friend in life.   Her parents foolishly entrusted her with their finances.  The one person she loved or tried to love and who actually loved her in return was her mother.  After she died, Ma became harder and more determined to possess things, fancy cars, homes, and money in bank accounts.  She placed her father in a putrid, derelict nursing home, telling her horrified sisters and brother that their father’s money was running out and there was not enough to place him in a more suitable facility.  After he died, and the family got together to divvy up their inheritance, Ma told them there was none, it had been used to care for their father.  She then drove up to the next family function in her first shiny new Cadillac and brand new mink. 

            The police came with Ma to pick me up and drove us to the station to report the crime.  She sat in the waiting room.  I was 18 years old and did not require parental guidance anymore.  Funny, I didn’t recall any guidance given to me in my 17 years prior to this evening.
            After returning home very late that evening, I sat down at the dinner table to discuss my adventure with the family.  I was hungry and tired but there was no food prepared for me.  Instead, a barrage of questions and suggestions was waiting on the lips of five very excited people.
            “You dummy, there was a bat in the front seat!  Why didn’t you use it on him?”
            “Yeah,” Ma countered, “why didn’t you?  Why did you let him take my car?”
            Well, my caring, loving family, did I neglect to remind you that he was holding a knife on me, was my first thought to the shower of comments blasting forth simultaneously.  I was exhausted but needed to put forth a strong front or they would tear me to pieces and I would hear about my failure to save Ma’s car for the rest of my life.  Wit and sarcasm were the only skills honed to a fine edge as this family’s survival method.  The discussion or exposure of fear and pain were not allowed. 
            “He had a knife.  He threatened to hurt me.  He wanted to rape me.  He planned to take me with him to Milwaukee.  But I was able to get away.” 
            “ Well, I wouldn’t have let that happen!”
            “ Yeah, you need to be more careful.”
            “ Why did you let him into the car?  Now we only have one car.  How will I get to work?”   Ma had a one-track mind and wasn’t about to let me off the hook.  This was huge.  Her prized possession was missing.  She was mad at either the disco assailant or me.  Probably me.  My thoughts drifted through the cacophony onto the fact that my punishment for failing that day was going to be no car privileges for a long time. Work, school and other outings were going to require transportation creativity.  A long sigh fell out of my mouth and surprised me by the length of it.  I must have been holding my breath until that very moment.

            A couple of days later, they found my abductor.  It appears he took a wrong turn to Milwaukee and ended up in Rockford, Illinois.  He had spent the $7 he took from me; it appears he decided to rob a bank.  He went in, wrote a note to the girl behind the sliding glass window, told her to hand over all her cash or else.  She told him the dentist didn’t keep cash in the office, that he was looking for the bank next door, showed him the way out and called the police. They tracked him down using a police helicopter and several squad cars.  I actually felt very stupid considering the intellect of this man.  And, my family reminded me of this fact, the new family joke.
            I went in to identify him at the station and the police asked me again what weapons he had on him when he abducted me.
             “It looked like a seven inch blade, why?”
            “Oh, nothing…”
What kind of a retort was this?  Their secrecy brought me right back into the front seat of the Cadillac.
            “What do you mean nothing?” 
They continued their covert probing.
             “Is that all you saw?  He didn’t show you anything else?”
By this time, I was so tired of this clandestine behavior and evasiveness.
            “No, would you like to tell me something?”
There was a long pause………
            “He had a large butcher knife on him.”
My assailant’s sentence didn’t include any time for the abduction.  He hadn’t held me long enough.  They only booked him for grand theft auto and jumping parole.

He trashed the gold Caddy with champagne leather interior.  Man, was Ma pissed.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Abduction Chapter 2

“You’re making me nervous.  You have to calm down,” was his initial response to my escalating anxiety.  The knife was edging closer to me, shaking in his trembling hand.  Calm down, I thought, calm down.  How could he possibly expect me to be calm in a situation I could never have dreamed possible?  Oh, wait.  I did dream it.  For a moment, I scanned my memory for other dreams from my vivid imagination that might have come true, or worse, might still come to fruition.  Nothing presented itself for review.  Ok, I will try to calm down.  At my feet was a wood baseball bat.  I had been instructed to pick up my brother from practice at the park and drop him off at home before heading to the store.  He chose to hang out with his friends a while longer but shoved the bat on the floor next to me so he wouldn’t have to lug it home.  And now it was at my feet.  I wondered how I might navigate picking it up and thwacking my perpetrator in the head.  This would require a feat of physics never performed before.  The interior of my mother’s Cadillac Sedan de Ville was a little over four feet wide and a little less than seven feet long.  Put the nice comfy leather seat into the equation and there might be around two square feet of leg room on the passenger side, which was now where my feet and the bat resided.  I calculated the space required for me to pick up the 35-inch Louisville Slugger, level it over my head, and achieve a full swing, thus enabling the full thrust of its weight to knock out my new friend.  There is no way, I concluded.  I hadn’t even calculated the time it would take to perform this action into the equation.  Besides, if I were able to perform this physics feat successfully, I would then have an unconscious, full-grown man at the wheel of a four-door Cadillac Sedan de Ville.  I was picturing the wrath of Ma should this feat fail.  The alternative to his injury was a knife in my flesh, resulting in bloodstains all over her champagne leather interior.  My brain hurt.

            I would have to talk him out of his plans for me, which at that moment came out of his mouth as,   
           “I need a quiet place.  Where is a quiet, secluded place that we can go to?”
            The physics equation, my temporary composure, the dream reflection, was instantly replaced by visions of violent defilement. 
            “What did you say?” fell from my gaping mouth. 
            The problem with having a vivid imagination is just that:  vividness.  My mind was painting me flesh and red on shards of blue denim and green cotton, lying in pine needles on cool, soft earth ­– the vocalese of Red-winged Blackbirds and Red-breasted Nuthatches high above the evergreens, daylight filtering through green boughs –my muffled cries slowly dissipating as my breath waned, eyes darting to and fro, looking for some final bit of beauty to feast upon before heavy lids gave way to nothingness.
            No, I would have to talk him out of his plans.  I stepped out of the nightmare just envisioned to locate my bearings.  I have always thought we all possess an internal compass that guides us in a precise direction, or at least home.  While this was the last place I would ever want to go to, it was the first place that came out of my mouth.
            “Why don’t you just take me home?  You can have the car.  I live at 6721 Golf Road.  It’s just a little ways from here.  I don’t need the car.  Just let me go, please.”
            For a second I think I saw a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth.  Or was it a nervous tick?  Either one would have been appropriate considering the ridiculousness of my requests.  I think the rules of kidnapping do not allow for victim requests or suggestions.  It did knock him off course from his first request of me.  So I continued.
            “Tell me something.  Do you have a family?  A wife?”
Without hesitation, he responded, “I am divorced and my kids don’t speak to me anymore....”
            “That’s too bad.”  That’s not so bad, I thought.  A halt to the incessant, ridiculous negotiations in my house would be a welcomed gift.
            “…but I do have family in Milwaukee.  How far is that from here?”
            “Probably two and a half hours from here.  Where are we?”  I had lost track of our location.  It was getting dark.  I needed to get my bearings again when he asked me,

            “Can you tell me how to get there from here?”
            “Right now?”
            “Yes, right now.”
            “Wait, you’re taking me with you?”
            “Come on, which way?”
            “I can’t go with you,” was the absurdity spewing through my teeth, “I have finals tomorrow!”

            He looked at me in absolute bewilderment.  I was breaking every rule in the kidnapping manual. 
...To Be Continued......
Chapter 1 Here - http://baubosgarden.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-abduction-chapter-1.html

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Abduction - Chapter 1

He stuck a knife in my face, said move over, then hopped in the car and drove out of the parking lot, west onto Dempster Street.  Then deciding on a directional change, he turned right on Waukegan Road, heading north in the direction of the home I had left just half an hour earlier to buy graph paper for a homework project in accounting class.
            I was completing my freshman year, 1978, at DePaul University in Chicago.  Why was I taking accounting classes, why did I choose DePaul; these were my decisions and they were not my decisions.  My parents never asked me where I wanted to go to college.  They never asked what my plans were, for my future or the next day for that matter.  They never asked me anything.  They told me a whole bunch of other things, though, in very loud voices.  “You may not [fill in the blank].  You are not [fill in the blank].”  Most of what they told me included “not”,  “no” or “hell, no.” 
            The daughter I was, the woman I was minutes before this man with the disco handlebar mustache and dark wool suit coat stepped up to my open car window and brandished his shiny blade,   I was replaced by a new variation of that woman in those first seconds of my horror realized.   This new rendering of me would now reside next to the former version my parents never bothered to understand.  They would have to deal with the two of me from now on.  This was not going to be a surprise for the mother who was convinced my angst and loud mouth were the effects of a personality disorder.  Did I leave the window open in defiance of my mother’s constant reminders to lock up her precious gold Cadillac with the champagne leather interior and park it as far away from other vehicles to insure its unblemished exterior remained unblemished?
that woman was instantly changed.
            My boyfriend, Steve, was studying law at DePaul.  My plan at the time entailed making enough money to go as far away as possibly possible from this crazy land I had lived within for 18 years.   I had to become a corporate mogul, a top female executive in any area that would let me in.  So DePaul presented an option to explore my escape.  Dad’s reply to my college request, “Why do you need to go to college?  You’re just going to get married and have kids,” left me wondering if I had been transported back to 1950.  After the guilt trips, the screaming and constant nagging, my efforts elicited a “yes, we will pay for school,” from my mother.
            That cash cow died first semester.  I would never get credit for accounting, which had prompted the trip to Walgreens that Sunday afternoon after church, placing me in the desolate parking lot, far from other cars, with the defiant open window.  Now, a strange man, brandishing a seven-inch   The familiar, rancid odor of stale alcohol (like Dad’s) wafted in my direction as he breathed in short fast inhales followed by long scraggly exhales.
blade in my face, was driving me in the direction of my home, the last place I wanted to be on earth.
            Did my parents put him up to this?  The thought flashed across my brain.  They would think of some cruel act like this to keep me in line.  They had done it before:  the matches to my fingers, a failed attempt to keep me from biting my nails; the brain scans they forced our MASH-trained Dr. Ackley to perform on me after a bleeding ulcer put me in the hospital for a week, thereby proving or attempting to prove I had a brain disorder.   There had to be some medical reason why they could not successfully control my verbal outbursts and me.
            Many thoughts and memories flashed before my eyes as we drove past Golf Road and the home my father built with his bare hands, lone contractor, only to have Ma, soon after moving in, decry it as unacceptable, too small, too anything she could think of, in order to get him to build her another.  “It’s not big enough.  I want it bigger.”  He took to the bottle that evening and never looked back.  Nor did he build her another home.

            I thought about the dream I’d had not too long before that day.  It had been eerily similar to my current predicament, complete with the same streets, the same man.  Had I willed this to be?  Desperate measures call for desperate actions.
....stay tuned for chapter 2.....