Friday, April 30, 2010

THE BIGGEST BLIZZARD IN THE LAST 20 YEARS...CHAPTER ONE-PART SEVEN

 This wonderful new life in Arizona drifted by in soft, stress free days and nights.  Always something to do.  Always something new to see. This pinon pine scented town with the glorious snow covered even in summer San Francisco peaks in the distance had grabbed me and didn't want to let me go.   The Grand Canyon was a stone's throw away.  The Petrified Forest.  Sedona.  And these lively college students were always doing something.  And going somewhere.  And the back of those VW vans were filled to the brim with these happy, laughing teenagers ready and willing to find the next adventure.  And they were from all over the country.  All over the world!   San Francisco.  New York City.   Seattle.  India! .   A black one.  A brown one.  A gay one.  All I ever knew were people from my own home town.  White people. Straight.  Catholic or Protestant.  No one came from anywhere else.  Born and raised in our little city.  Lived and died there.  Didn't go anywhere or see anything or do anything out of the ordinary.  The only people going somewhere were the young boys that  were going to Vietnam.  but some of them never did come back.  They came home zipped up in plastic bags.  eighteen, nineteen, twenty year old boys whose only venture out of our little town was a swampy, smoky hell hole that they wished they never layed eyes on but they had no choice.  Their number was called and they were gone and the mothers wept and the fathers tried to be brave and say it was for the good of the country but we all had our doubts because what good would this do for us and what good would this do for anyone.   My brother was one of the lucky ones.  His asthma kept him home. He wanted to go cause his buddies were going and it seemed like the right thing to do if you didn't know any better and at least it got you away from home and the dull, boring factory that was looming in the distance if that was all they said you were good for.  if you weren't smart enough or had enough money or your parents didn't push you or encourage you to do or be anything else.  Because the factory was good enough for us so why wouldn't it be good enough for you.  Why be anything more or achieve anything more because who do you think you are one of the Kohler kids?    So my brother got smart... He wasn't pushed to go to college.  He didn't have the grades for college.  He didn't have the money for college.  But he did his homework and found a college that would take him and off he went when I was a Sophomore in high school.   And then he came back and got me because I was factory bound as I knew nothing else and I too wasn't encouraged for anything else and maybe I'd get married and have kids and my husband would support me or maybe I'd get that factory job and just live at home and take care of my mother which was how it was suppose to go.  But my brother came and he got me out because he knew I deserved more than this and he wanted to show me that there was more out there and if I wanted it I could have it and  if I wanted more it was there for  me and if he could do it so could I...

   I was born again in Arizona and my soul  rose out of that murky dark spot inside of me and no one was going to make me leave it and I would find a way to stay cause not for one single second was I going back to that hell hole that was my life now that my spirit was illuminated by this new found freedom
and no way was I going to live and die in the same place and marry someone that I didn't love just to get
out of the house and have children I couldn't take care of cause I couldn't even take care of myself...I was prepared for nothing.  I only knew how to dodge the bullets that were verbal and abusive and maybe not
the bullets of Vietnam but  bullets just the same and when my number was called I dodged and I ran and I kept running and no one was going to stop me now.   Because when you taste freedom it is the most delectable thing and the thing you want more than you even knew you wanted and once you tasted it there was  no turning back.  So I decided to stay in Flagstaff.  And I dropped a dime with trembling fingers into the payphone slot and I reversed the charges and I called my parents.   and I told them I was not coming home.  and they told me not over their dead bodies.  and i hung up the phone.  and i walked away from that phone booth.   and they were not going to get me back.  not over my dead body cause i would rather be dead then go back to that hell hole of a house and the anger that lived there.  and the fear that lived there. and the no hope and no future and no promise of better things to come.  and so I walked away from that phone and i walked away from them  because the softness and the tranquility and the pinon pine scented mountain top town was where i wanted to be and that is where i was going to stay.

27 comments:

jaboopee said...

you have me on tenderhooks.... I'm fascinated to find out what compelled you to go back now...

kelro said...

man, I love the way your prose flows out of you...

Fire Byrd said...

Ok forget doing anything else this weekend, I wan't to know what's next. This is just enthralling.
xx

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Cynthia...I don't blame you for not going back. I know what it's like to discover a beautiful place where you finally find peace. I LOVE your writing...it's from the heart. You make us feel your hopelesness and your dispair and your sense of freedom and peace as you go along. I'm looking forward to your next 'part'. I hope you're feeling better after writing that and that it didn't bring you down as sometimes happens. Have a wonderful weekend my friend. Hugs for you....Maura:)

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh wow, you explain it so well. So many other stories entwined into yours.

xxx DJ

re comment it's a great version of Stairway, goes for 10 min, I've been listening to it all day.

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

Your writing is very cathartic, not just for you, I'm sure, but for your readers as well.
Yes, I had a place very much like yours that I swore I would never return to....a place of pain and one I've tried to block out for years.

I went back, too.

I'm loving your life story. :-)

Anne

Beatnheart said...

Just to let you in on a little "inside joke"...The "who do you think you are one of the Kohler kids" line refers to the Kohler family, one of the richest families in Sheboygan. Kohler, Wisconsin is about 2 miles away and one of the largest factories in the area...Look at your bathrooms...any thing in there say "Kohler" comes from this factory and one of the largest or probably THE largest employer in the area..Most peoples parents, grandparents and great grandparents probably worked there...cw

PK Studios said...

Thank you for continuing to share. Still tuned in : ) hugs, Penny

Jacqueline said...

Oh Cynthia,
I am loving this.
I want it to be published, the film to be made and then the sequel !!
You write so beautifully, Cynthia and you keep us all gripped to our seats.
I can't wait for the next installment. XXXX

Ange said...

Yup! You need to get this out. Good on you for hanging up and walking away. I know that taste of freedom (not for the same reasons) - once you've tasted it, the light never goes out again! Wonderful read but even more wonderful knowing you.

Chris said...

Amen gal~~I do relate! When you taste that freedom, you gather up your courage and face the anger, face the disgust and threats. It may take every bit of strength and guts to do it, but it is sooo very worth it. Keep writing!

Pam said...

I love this Cynthia. It's a bit painful for me to read. I ended up in a small bedsit instead of such an interesting place as you did with interesting people, and was not outgoing enough to make huge amounts of friends. That came later thank God. Those Vietman years were hard ones. We were at loggerheads with both our parents and the Australian Government, and our Vietnam vets were virtually ignored and sometimes despised,when they came back home. We have all learnt so much in the meantime about how not to treat people.Thank you for writing this.

Just Be Real said...

Wow! Waiting for the next installment Cynthia. Appreciate you sharing.

Paula said...

Your writing is so very beautifully yet it is obviously how very painful all of this was for you. Thanks for sharing and thanks fro being so authentic. Hugs to you

Von said...

Great piece of truth here and thank you.Also thanks to you and Pam for highlighting our boys who went to Vietnam or who didn't go, couldn't go, but suffered anyway.It waa tough times, still is and I weep every ANZAC Day to see those boys, the ones who made it but didn't, because they've all got PTSD, are traumatised by helicopters or seeing people from Vietnam in our midst or being in a church and a million other things that make life hell every day.
Life's tough for all of us in our own ways in this sometimes greedy, hard world.

Jeanette said...

It's a really beautiful place to find your wings. As always, looking forward to the next part.

nostalgia*gal said...

Fast note...with the Nashville problems my Internet has been down for 3 days. As always love /reading catching up with your path.
Hugs, cindykay

Pooch Morning Glory said...

freedom is sweet. keep writing
~laura

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Cynthia
Just like Pam this is sometimes painful for me to read.. I too left home to get away from verbal abuse and an alcoholic father... tis strange to be out in the world at 15....and now still single .. suspect when one learns to be independent at a young age it become part of ones makeup... My brothers were lucky... conscription to Vietnam finished just a few short months before they become of age to go...

Wonderful writing.... I can see how much you need to express all this...

Ps... thanks so much for posting my giveaway and sorry for being late to get across here.. have a wonderful week and good luck xx Julie

koralee said...

oh you are amazing my friend..I so admire you for your truth . Your writing is beautiful.xoxo

sarah said...

your writing strikes a cord in me..I too lived what you wrote...I feel it. I feel your words.

Paula said...

had to return to you and re-read. Hugs to you. You are very courageous to get it all out and face it again. Yet you hekp so many others with it too. Love form my heart to yours.

speck of dust said...

Isn't it amazing how life which is a gift for us all is such a struggle. Events and circumstances that were beyond our control as children. Then trying not to re-live learned patterns and crushing messages to forge forward while being faced with new trials and challenges along the way. I don't think anyone escapes this do you? Although some seem better at least at having a show of 'holding it together' or keeping it all to themselves which I did for a long time. Really beautiful, flowing writing which evokes your isolation and escape. I'm so happy your brother didn't go to war. Must be amazing to see how lucky that was for you too.

Laura..DancesWithTeddyBears said...

I feel your words.
I left and never looked back. Unfortunately I couldn't leave me behind...perhaps my worst enemy back then.
My brother lost his life in Vietnam. They were ugly times.
Powerful writing. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Fabulous...... I'm waiting for the next installment.
More please.
jj

Riki Schumacher said...

Hi Cynthia. I've been away from your stories, how I've missed them. Love your writing about your life. Thank you so much for your kind words regarding Chester. I really appreciate it. Keep writing dear one, you're a brave girl. Hugs, Riki

katie said...

what a beautiful post. i was near tears reading this. i've been thinking about war veterans lately already as i heard an interview with one on the radio the other day. so sad the situation many veterans face and what a scary time it must have been for you and your brother back then. thank you for sharing your story here~ and thanks for signing onto my blog that i was able to find my way to yours :)

wishing you well~~~

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