Tuesday, January 26, 2010
This morning, just after putting up a post that got LOTS of hits, the cable guy knocks on my door.
He's standing there with another guy, they stare at me. The one in front I recognize as he came to our house about a week ago for a bad modem.
They stare at me. "Didn't you have an appointment, your cable, is it out?"
I perked, wished I'd washed my face and primped up a bit this morning, but the door usually doesn't get knocks until afternoon.
They stared at me for a while, it was weird, then said, oh well must have been a mistake.
I closed the door, but then out walking just now, realized, it could have been a cop, undercover working for anyone, got the cable guy- who are not always honest characters, I know from experience- to help him come to my door, so then with a hidden camera in his clipboard or whatever,
They got pictures of me, even interior of my home through the front door.
Honest, they were peering into my apartment as I said, No, I don't have an appointment.
It could have been someone undercover working for anyone. Luckily, I got nothing to hide, everything I write comes from truth and integrity, it's the Church that has been telling lies for decades about the Pedophile Epidemic among Catholic Priests.
Still, it's strange. The cable guys always call five minutes before they come, always.
They never come in twos.
They hesitated way too long and peered too far into my door for me to feel right about their little visit.
It could have been, a PI paid the cable guy to let him dress up and look like a second cable guy and then he had a camera in his sleeve or collar and shot video of me squirming at my front door.
Hopelessly paranoid after a few years listening to and researching to the crimes of the Catholic Church
Thursday, January 21, 2010
When I finished writing the feature at City of Angels 8 about the Baselice family tragedy at the hands of Franciscans and the Philadelphia Archdiocese, it was classic Dashiell Hammett. I have this bottle of Jack Daniels in my desk, not because I nip at it all the time, but to keep it out of the reach of my daughter, so it doesn't disappear.
Writing the story of Arthur Baselice II and III, it wasn’t that it was difficult to put the words together, or even the visceral human emotion anyone feels, even a Catholic bishop, at the thought of a boy dying in his twenties without ever really having a chance at a life in the first place, because he was drugged and sodomized starting at age nine for years as part of his altar boy duties.
It wasn’t even the sob-gulp-shock that ran over me when I first saw the picture of Arthur III in court with his mother, so alive and young and vibrant and handsome.
Just somewhere in the middle of all that, the totality of what just this one priest did, one out of at least six thousand, it got to me, not just as words in a paragraph but the graphic image. This beautiful boy and the flagrante behavior of this priest going on for years.
The way Arthur II worded it, that the priest gave his son opioids so the sodomy would not be difficult to perpetrate, then the boy as an adult ends up with one whale of an opioid addiction. And dies young, the day the Pennsylvania legislature decides to create a law that favors the Church over its crime victims.
Right in the middle of that, I sort of became undone as a human and slipped into the computer screen, found myself in the middle of the paragraph living it. The horror, the defeat Arthur III must have felt that night, leaving for the NA meeting and going instead to get stoned and overdose and die. That decision you make when you decide to pick up a drug after being clean for a while, that helpless giving in to the craving and need.
This is what I always wanted to do, right? Be a writer, isolated, doing the quasi-mad thing you do to get totally inside the moments of the incidents you are writing, even if they are sick and horrible moments, you have to get inside them to be able to write them.
To someone looking at it from outside, I probably shuddered. When I finished and posted it, I know I said out loud, “Okay this is one where you do reach for the bottle of Jack at the end.” I pulled out Mr. Daniels from where he gathers dust between files and manila envelopes. Poured out a shot, sipped it, sipped it over a half hour and then threw out the rest, but still-
That story was a Jack Daniels story.
This is the image of myself I think I had when I was a kid, or maybe a teenager, whenever it was that I knew someday I was going to be in a room somewhere alone writing something, going a little bit crazy, but writing something I had to write.
I think as a teenager, the image of the writer included a bottle of whisky in the desk drawer. The image I have of myself inside is always that undercover reporter from central casting, sports coat and a pair of jeans, hat pulled over one eye, stepping into the shadows to strike a match and have a smoke. Bottle of Jack Daniels ever handy in a drawer.
After writing the Baselice story last week I lied down and cried a long time. I didn't have a hard time writing it because of the words, it was just finding the right way to put it all together.
Then it just came together. I wrote it, posted it, promoted it, then laid down and cried for a while.
Another day in the life of City of Angels, whatever this is.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Watching the film 'Taken' brings up the time I got kidnapped in Paris and they almost sold me to the Arabs. But I escaped thanks to a genuine miracle
I watched "Taken" and got sick for a week, then dug up this story from City of Angels 1:
It was 1966 and in California if someone had long hair and jeans you automatically identified them as a fellow traveler in the counter culture, a fellow hippie, a stranger who was not a stranger. I was 17 and thought things would be the same in Paris, France, so I may even have been the one who struck up a conversation with the two guys in the Left Bank bookstore. I did ask them if they knew where to get some LSD, as I had promised my sister I'd bring some acid back for her to try, when I left her apartment in Geneva, Switzerland.
The two guys said they knew where to get lalalalala, don’t remember the name of it, a drug they said was not LSD but like LSD, so I said, great let’s go.
Went off with them willingly and enthusiastically. Like the two girls in "Taken."
They explained to me as best my high school French understood that their house was out in the suburbs of Paris. I thought it was funny that Paris even had suburbs. We went to my hotel to get my stuff, then rode the train out to their house, this big empty house in a town a long way out on the train line.
1966 "suburban" Paris, a small quiet town, all the houses had huge fences, private.
We walked about a block from the train to this two-story brick and stone house surrounded by a 10 foot fence, and a yard with trees. You entered through a gate.
I was a 17 year old girl hooked up and ready to party.
No virgin, a 17 year old Southern California natural blond tanned girl with an early anorexic body and Polish curves -- probably some kind of fantasy come true for these French guys, but I was really unaware of being sexy at that time. I was just natural in a sundress and sandals and little else sitting in this kitchen outside Paris drinking wine and eating something home cooked with these two French guys and then taking this drug thinking we would just party like the hippies in L.A.
"Hey, this drug isn't at all like LSD," is one of the last things I said before I just fell asleep. I woke up locked in a bedroom upstairs, groggy, and then for days they would come in and have sex with me, usually while I just laid there. Whether I wanted to or not, and they kept feeding me the drug.
Somewhere in the middle of the first night it segued from consensual sex to forced... I hate to have to admit that.
How this story ties in with the pedophile priest stories here at City of Angels is the lack of boundaries I had, at seventeen, going off with two strange guys in Paris France in the first place, my body already this thing that just gave in to sex, wherever or whatever.
Also, the way I escaped from these two guys is a direct tie to the experience, as it was a miracle.
A genuine miracle.
A few days in, strangely, my door wasn’t locked and I heard men talking downstairs, so I crept to the top of, then tiptoed down a few steps to listen. In the living room the two guys who were drugging me were in an animated conversation with two men who looked and sounded Arabic. I crept down lower and peaked at them.
It was hard to understand the Parisian French but I understood enough to know they were describing me, how it felt to touch my skin, the Skin! They kept repeating it, “le peau le teint.”
And they talked about money.
I shivered there on the stairs realizing, “They’re selling me to the Arabs.”
And I freaked.
Got to get outta here.
I listened longer, understood a little more, enough to know the deal was done and I was going to end up someplace like a harem in Arabia in a few hours. (This was 1966.)
Then all the guys left, without even checking on me, which was weird. Looking back now, maybe they’d been up in the bedroom earlier while I was drugged and knocked out, and didn't realize they hadn’t locked the door when they left, and then they didn't want to make the Arab guys wait ...
So the French guys left without checking on me and I knew I had no more than a few minutes to get out of that house.
I had this big white suitcase with all the clothes a 17-year-old girl carries with them. I lugged that Samsonite down the stairs. In every room on the ground floor the windows were nailed shut. I ran to the kitchen and checked and all the doors of course the doors were all all locked, they had me locked in.
The windows nailed shut, all the doors locked except one, the door that led to the basement.
So I dragged the huge white suitcase (this was pre-plastic, it was HEAVY) behind me down the narrow basement staircase in that old French country now suburban house.
In the basement there were laundry tubs, huge vat-like sinks, and above one tub was one small window at ground level.
These laundry basins were huge, like they could hold sheets or curtains to wash by hand a century ago. I saw I could climb up the ceramic and then crawl through that one window. That tiny window. I climbed up and barely pulled myself through, then went to pull out the suitcase and get us to freedom.
But the suitcase was too big.
Remember I was a 17 year old girl from L.A. and I wasn’t going to leave behind all my clothes. So I pulled and pulled and pulled and the suitcase was just plain larger than the window. This was a stone mortar brick building, nothing was going to give but I kept pulling and pulling trying to get the suitcase through.
Then there was a BLLLLLLNNNNNNGGGG sound.
It came with the wind through the trees. There are even angelic voices in the sound as I remember it today.
Whatever, there was a BLLLLNNNNGGG and the suitcase came through the window. The solid 1960s pre-plastic quality Samsonite bulging suitcase came through the century old too small tiny window, which was surrounded by brick and stone wall surrounded by more brick and stone wall.
I was able to pull the suitcase through and get out of there. The too big suitcase came through the too small window and I got away.
It was a miracle. Looking back on it, that's the only way to explain it.
Then I had to climb a tree and throw the suitcase over the fence then jump down myself. I scrambled in the direction I could hear the train, and got to the station, got out of the block before the two French guys came back with the Arabs.
I got away.
If I hadn't gotten away I probably would have ended up like the teenage girls in the movie "Taken," sold as merchandise to some oil magnate shiek.
Later in life I realized that while I was being "sexualized" by a Catholic priest at age five in 1953, God must have looked down and said, this girl is going to have a lot of trouble in life. So God or whoever that is dispatched a couple of extra angels down to watch over me. And that's how I got out of that house outside Paris where the two French guys were getting ready to sell me to the Arabs.
It's the main reason I say it’s a wonder I made it to age 19.
But watching "Taken" last week made me sick. Good movie, but it made me sick.
Or maybe it was the Carl's Junior burger from the day before.
There was a man at the train station that day outside Paris, when I escaped, and I also now think of that man as some kind of an angel in connection to the experience.
I must have looked pretty disheveled, drugged, scared, shaking, but trying to act cool. This older French man sat next to me and he asked if I needed help. He asked something like well how much can you pay for a hotel and started reaching in his pocket. I reached in my suitcase and pulled out this wad of American Express checks I had with me and he was amazed, stopped reaching for his wallet and said, "Well then in that case you should go to the Hilton Hotel, the new Hilton they just built downtown, the Paris Hilton, it's just for Americans, to make them feel at home," and I thought yeah good idea.
I wonder why the two French guys who kidnapped me didn't steal the American Express checks. Maybe they were going to have me sign them later... I don't know, but all my checks were still in the white suitcase.
I took the train to downtown Paris, checked into the brand new Paris Hilton, where everyone was going overboard to do everything American, just like they portrayed on Mad Men Season Two a few months back ...
It felt so good to feel the American-ness of the Paris Hilton Hotel that day. On my way to my room I stopped to get a magazine. All I could find, or all I saw in English, was an issue of Playboy.
I went to my room and luxuriated, and with room service a couple of nights, recovered from the “trauma” as we’d call it today. I was alone at age 17, achy in a hotel room from several days of involuntary sex, shaking as I detoxed, but not really even thinking about the Arab guys. I had developed and practiced PTSD techniques since age five, and was using them now to rush away from the experience and not look at it closely.
As always, going faster than the speed of life, in order to avoid looking at life.
Don't think I ever even thought about the way I almost got sold to the Arabs again until soon after my daughter was born, in 1989 or 1990. Then I started writing it and writing it over and over trying to form it into a literary work. Like this time, yet again.
It was twenty years later when I had a baby that I slowed down enough to realize what had happened to me in Paris in 1966.
I got a trip to Europe for my high school graduation present.
After escaping, I found nurturing and comfort there in the Paris Hilton Hotel in 1966, diving into the pages of Playboy Magazine.
Considering I'm just one of thousands of adult victims of pedophile priests, I wonder how many others, as teenagers and in early twenties, ended up in dangerous situations
Even ended up dead
Due to sexual compulsions they would never have had, if they hadn't been aroused as a growing child by a Catholic priest.
It's no leap of faith to say a lot of the victims of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church did not make it into adulthood...
Former Catholic priest’s bid for new trial rejected
Boston Globe, January 16, 2010 - The state’s high court yesterday upheld the sexual assault convictions of former Roman Catholic priest Paul M. Shanley, who claimed he was wrongly accused by a man who fabricated memories of being abused as a child. Shanley was a key figure in the ... *&@+^&^^S!!!X(%@& %*@^!
Just wish people would stop to think-
the experience must have been
for us as children
to have had to suppress it in the first place.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
(Story In draft stages)
Back then you had to go north of the city or east, into the desert, to get to the really hot dehydrating dry air. You'd step out of a car from L.A. and step into it and really feel the difference. Sniff the wind, brown brush and scrappy trees all around, sandy dirt instead of soil, but since you're still near the Oasis of L.A. there’s greenery.
And then the mansion. In the middle of this desert scruff of North San Fernando Valley in 1969, was a futuristic structure. Apparently no one lived there. It had two pools, we shot most of the shoot inside at the indoor pool, I think we took pills, drank, smoked "pot," as we did on all the shoots.
They would call Pretty Girl International on Sunset Bouleard and say, send over two males and a female, or female with two burly males...
In the lounge that was the PGI waiting area, would be males and females, thrust across couches and tables, waiting for a call to work. We'd be dispatched out of those Crossroads of the World offices throughout the day. You registered with them, then waited, either at home or in their offices, for jobs to come in.
Crossroads of the World on Sunset Boulevard.
Right next door to Blessed Sacrament Church, in fact the architecture reveals the structure was probably once part of the church structure, earlier in the 1900s.
I think I worked out of PGI, with the church right outside the window*, every day for about six months, or almost every day.
And must have looked out the window and seen Blessed Sacrament Church and its tower. In fact, the priests in the church probably looked out their windows at all the people in the PGI offices waiting for pornography work.
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
The female and male in the party and I got more languorous as the day proceeded, as we performed our fake sex setups on camera, then took breaks to swim in the pool and drink cocktails, and smoke...
Somehow in the midst of it, you're convinced you're doing something luxurious and elegant, if not artistic. That's how a normal person explains doing porn. An adult victim of a pedophile priest alone in Hollywood age 18 in 1969 was responding to a different set of compulsions.
That was me.
The guy who’d driven us out to this ranch home north of L.A. at one point came out to the pool ready to do more work. He told the male and me to go outside so we could shoot something in the sunlight.
Off away from the house, Male and I were on this blanket doing “art” shots and then the driver-director gave me instructions.
“Put it in your mouth.”
“What?! Put it- what? I never heard of that. Did you ever hear of that?”
Male's response was a lot more enthusiastic than mine. "Uh, yeah, people do it."
I'd never even heard of oral sex before, maybe heard the word Blow job but wasn't sure what it meant. You mean it? Really? I have to do that? He said, yeah.
He aggressively said, yeah.
Then directed it. And I did what he said to do...
How did I end up doing porn when I was really a talented actor with potential for a real career, back then in 1969, when it happened, why did it happen?
I remember the scene that began it.
I was in a play, a kind of silly play, a musical, at a theater in Burbank, but I got good reviews. Then my sister, the older sister who is the other victim of Father Horne in our family, showed up for one of the performances. Afterwards she came backstage, came up to me and said,
“I don't know why you are working on a career like this, considering what we are.”
Or something like that.
She said something like that.
And I knew she was right. I knew exactly what she meant and she was right.
Next day in a kind of fugue state, I called the theater and cancelled, told them to replace me with my understudy, then called Pretty Girl International on Sunset Boulevard, because I'd seen their ads in Daily Variety, and I started doing the new X-rated modeling.
By the time I got to this photo shoot in what may today be Thousand Oaks or Agoura Hills, I was still in this kind of mesmerized state.
Whatever Patricia was referring to when she said, “considering what we are,” I got it, deep inside I got it, and next day I was performing in porn.
Ruined my career.
* As soon as it stops raining, going to head down Sunset Boulevard and get a photo of Crossroads of the World next door to Blessed Sacrament Church, to post here.
* I FOUND A PICTURE: HERE it is and video is coming
I remember, we sat in this upstairs waiting room, and when I went to the building recently to look at it, you can see that from that upstairs waiting room, you are looking out a window right at Blessed Sacrament Church. So I must have been listening to their belfry ring every hour and seen the priests and parishioners.
In this picture you see, the church tower and Crossroads Tower are right next to each other.
But swear to God, I do not remember ever seeing a church there, in all those days I would go to PGI right next door...
The quality of video is awful, still going to go back and get better footage. There is also a statue in the Crossroads that must have once been on the church grounds...
Part of history of mass produced pornography, Pretty Girl International casting agency, was in Crossroads of the World shopping center in 1969. Eerily for me as a pedophile priest rape survivor who became promiscuous and went into porn working through that agency, the Blessed Sacrament Church on Sunset Boulevard sits directly next door, even shares some architecture, with the Crossroads building.
I'm not saying there is a connection between the church and the porn agency, except in my story, as I must have been staring out the window at Blessed Sacrament Church while lining up pornography work in 1969 at Pretty Girl International agency in the building next door.
On Sunset Boulevard.
(Took the videos down, they are SO BAD. Going to reshoot them, when it stops raining....)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
(Draft, not final, still in editing stages)
L.A. continues to bring the Soylent Green story to life.
It’s really strange to be reading the book “Make Room, Make Room” while living in a city where it seems to be coming to life. The book was the basis of the movie Soylent Green and describes a New York where it is always hot, people live on the sidewalks, there is a water shortage.
I entered the Carl’s Junior on Sixth Street in a state of somewhat hypnosis, having seen the ad for their new burger now maybe five hundred times in the past two weeks. I'm convinced I want to eat this huge double patty of beef, and when I reach the counter I realize, hey it’s only a little bit more to get the “meal deal,” with fries and a Coke.
Chewing the meal as I read.
The familiar ground meal, not much different from the first McDonald’s burger I ever ate back in the 1960s. Even then that young I marveled at the similarity to beef in the flavor.
Not really beef, just really a lot like beef.
I'm chewing the burger as I read the first reference to Soylent in the book Harry Harrison wrote in the 1960s, a book that seems to predict everything that's happening today, with over population, riots and shortages, and the heat- never ending heat like we have in L.A. in 2010.
The sci fi futuristic movie with those scenes I never forgot.
Chuck Connors as the Cop leaves his hovel of an apartment in the morning and has to step over people sprawled on the doorstep, humans living on the streets, even children. They're unbathed, unfed, thirsty, and the government supplies them with just enough food water and cash to stay alive at that horrible level of existence. Meanwhile all over the city, resources are running out.
When you saw the movie in 1973 the idea of people in the United States living on sidewalks was astounding, astonishing, something you would never see. Now walk down a street in the part of L.A. just east of where I live, and you see people who’ve set up housekeeping in alleys, behind bus benches.
And the heat. The heat that never stops in the movie, is also described in the book, the condition of living with a water shortage that prevents people from bathing, while the temperature never goes below ninety degrees so you are constantly sweating, even at night.
So you always have this layer of dried crust on your skin.
We're not too far from that living condition right now in Los Angeles, just a few years away the way things are going.
I put down the book so I could concentrate on my big treat lunch out. I’d gone to the courthouse a few blocks away for a hearing that was on calendar on the internet but off calendar when I got to the courtroom. I didn't want the entire trip to be a waste, so decided it was time to extend my frame of experience.
Time to go to the Clerk’s office on the third floor to get a copies of documents. The last year or so I’ve been so broke, even the fifty cents a page to get copies of public documents was out of the question.
Hopefully those days are over now that I'm working all the time and I can even stop for lunch after the hearings. Apparently I’ve got a reputation for being the fastest transcriptionist in reality TV production, I seem to have almost more work than I can keep up with.
I thought for a while that Cardinal Mahony had used PI’s and PR consultants or whatever and found out the company I work for, then found a way to steer mounds of work to that company, just to keep me so busy I couldn't keep on writing City of Angels blog. If so, Mahony didn't take into consideration my many manias, one of which is workaholism and an obsessive need to get a job done no matter what I have to do to do it.
I'm in Carl's Junior chewing the ground meal, whatever it is, it has become a familiar part of the American palate. If you let the burger sit and get to room temperature then take a bite, you can taste the difference, the meal, and the beef flavoring added to the meal.
I'm cogitating the chew and listening to the babble of languages around me. Korean, Japanese, several dialects of Spanish, and even a few Americans, some with white trash mangling a conversation with an Ebonics speaker were just to my right, arguing over who spent the night last night with who and how much ketchup do you plan to use.
To my left are two very enthusiastic young men, Korean descent, inhaling burgers and fries with a practiced finesse, they know exactly where to put the ketchup in the little cardboard container, exactly how to fold the wrapping over the sandwich so they can take massive bites without getting paper in their mouth. In a Spanglish version of Korean and English they are barking back and forth to each other, barely have their bottoms in their seats, their level of energy is so high. They shove this greased protein down with salt and fries and run back out in the commission sales world in which these young Koreans thrive.
I wonder if people in Iraq eat mystery burgers, for package deals at five dollars a pop.
In the Carl’s Junior windowed room looking out on a parking lot and Sixth Street, the lot across the street advertises several services necessary in the neighborhood, such as “Bed Bugs? Call ----"
Okay, I'm this little old white lady who is the foreigner in L.A. today. Most little old white ladies moved to Burbank or Long Beach at least a decade ago. But I have this affinity with Sunset Boulevard and the way the hills roll in on each other. I don't want to get too far away from it. I thank god for the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard that runs parallel along just the parts of Sunset that a person doesn't want to walk on today, so you can take that detour, then return to Sunset at Fairfax, where the hills really begin to start rolling.
That West Hollywood section used to be the part of Sunset Boulevard to which I had the most affinity, but today it’s a strange glitch of metropolis.
There’s no freeway or transit going out to Beverly Hills on Sunset Boulevard, it’s like transportation froze in time with the original street that runs from downtown to the ocean. Sunset Boulevard winds and winds through the mansions of Belair, with no easy way to get there, other than to take the slow winding road, Sunset Boulevard.
As a result the West Hollywood area that used to be the Jiving Sunset Strip is now kind of decaying. The buildings have peeled paint, there’s a lot of trash, a lot of window sized “FOR LEASE” signs on the office buildings.
Plus for some reason the folding hills are working against the boulevard. You can’t get a breath of fresh air. The gazillion cars running within those square miles are all burning cheap gas and the exhaust is going nowhere, just sitting there folded into the hills. There’s so much gas in the air when you walk on Sunset Boulevard from Fairfax to La Cienega that you almost can’t even breathe.
Sometimes I don't know where to go. I just come home and go back to playing Space Station, just have food work clothes furniture - everything delivered and communicate with the other humans via electrons.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I think you would get this story. Because you were raised in an oppressive Catholic family and then grew up to be a sex addict with other bizarre behavioral symptoms, I think you would understand the need to get the story told of the pedophile priests in the United States, by someone outside the Catholic Church or mainstream media. See I’ve been watching your performance in public, not as a fan, I'm more your dad’s age, but as one of the survivors of pedophile priest rape who’s been paying attention to the issue nationally. Charlie, you show all the signs of being one of us. I'm just waiting for you now to be clean and sober finally for two years in a row and experience the recovered memory that many of us have, of one of those Jesuits your dad hangs out with taking you around behind the altar one day and banging you. It usually takes a period of sobriety first before remembering something like that
Friday, January 8, 2010
My two aunts on the Ebeling side both had soprano speaking voices. Shrieking might be a better word for how they talked. Both of them were more effective than most females in families of the 1940s and '50s because they could send their words out like a sword, shrilly piercing over whatever other conversation was going on.
“If you sing before breakfast you'll cry before dinner, haven’t you ever heard that expression?” I had come down from the tower to the kitchen in the morning and found my mom and my aunt there, and I'd been singing all the way down the winding stairs--
Yes, the house outside Bartlett had a tower, and a ballroom. It was this huge rundown mansion my dad bought, fixed up, and then flipped, then we moved again.
The tower had a winding staircase what would be three flights, you’d climb round and round on this staircase and at the top was my playroom. At the top of the tower with -Wow, as I write this I can even see it, sun like the Chicago area sun, always behind a layer of clouds, so the air has a gray glow. Look out the tower window and you can see the garage, the ground, in the back of the house, kitchen stairs where Father Horne stands-
Father Horne at the back door in regular man clothes, not priest clothes...
“Sing before breakfast, Cry before dinner,” my Aunt Ruth lilted an octave above high C. “Haven’t you ever heard that expression before? Haven’t you? Huh? Huh?”
She was trying to get something out of me. Probably “What's wrong with you, why are you acting this way,” because the previous day I’d been really weird…
Now I walked into this morning kitchen, and singing was a way to cover something else up, and I knew my aunt wanted me to bring it out and say the thing, but instead I… internalized. That's a big word, not the word I'd use back then, but the one I use now to describe it. It’s like folding over mud, packing a layer of mud down on something to bury it.
Bury it good.
My mom was standing to the side, straight stiff, and I stood with my mouth gaping open, not saying a word. For now I'd also stopped singing.
“Sing before breakfast cry before dinner, huh? Huh? Huh? What do you think that means, huh?"
She's reaching to me and I'm going away too fast for her to get me. The layers of mud are down now, packed, and I can’t budge. That morning must have been around the beginning of the buried memory. Because that house with the tower and the ballroom and the three-car garage, we moved from it into Bartlett, the town, when I was six-seven, then moved from there to Los Angeles the summer I turned eight.
Sunset Boulevard was one of the first rides we took when we moved to L.A. in 1955.
“This is it, the Sunset Strip,” my dad gestured as we got to the 8000 and 9000 block of the road that starts downtown and goes all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
My dad put his hand back on the steering wheel then pointed again. “There's, Dino’s, the night club, see that’s Dean Martin’s place, Dino’s. Yeah, we're in the middle of it all now.” My dad and mom in the front seat, I'm in the back my nose to the window.
And what I see as we drive along Sunset Strip is a little girl, maybe thirteen, not an adult, a pre-teen aged kid. She’s wearing a long coat. Everyone is wearing coats. It used to get cold in Los Angeles.
She’s a teenage girl, wearing a Midwest style coat and hat, and carrying a suitcase, and she’s SINGING. Singing at the top of her lungs as she walks along the sidewalk, making heads turn, people are looking at her, people are laughing as she walks past them.
She’s walking down Sunset Strip about 13 years old, carrying a suitcase, and singing, singing as she walks, singing at the top of her lungs.
And dressed in a long coat like she’s from small town Illinois.
That was one of the first things I saw when I was eight years old in 1955 and we arrived in L.A. and took a drive down Sunset Boulevard.
Sing before breakfast, cry before dinner. An amazing bit of psychological insight on the part of my aunt, who was born in about 1913 and had yet to hear the word psychiatry in 1953.
Sing before breakfast, cry before dinner.
That sums up my whole bipolar existence. The days I'm singing in the morning, I'm probly going to be wailing in the afternoon.
"Mom, you're bipolar," my daughter says to me.
"I know, isn't it wonderful?" And then I laugh out loud, this long rolling laugh that involves my whole body and usually ends with a rush of endorphins like you wouldn't believe.
A laugh so loud and deep, no one can argue with me.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I get that way. I don't know what it is, this thing that keeps me from going past that one step and actually doing it.
Ironically, it could be the teachings that suicide is the ultimate mortal sin put into my head by the same Catholic Church that created the situation that made me suicidal in the first place.
Even on Earth terms, suicide would be unforgivable to my child. My daughter would go through the rest of her life tormented if I killed myself, and that's probably the main thing that's prevented me from doing it, ironic again, because it was when my daughter turned five that I remembered being raped by a priest at age five, forty years earlier.
I sometimes go to such a low place, it really feels at that time that suicide is the only way out. When it’s over you tell yourself, next time I’ll remember how good you feel when you get to the other side, and stop the mania right there on the spot.
But when you are in the middle of it, you almost can’t stop it-
I call them Episodes.
I had another one the other day. It just starts with me getting stuck on a phrase, and you keep repeating it until it becomes the whole world, all you can think or feel. This is the one I've been getting stuck on lately:
My job is so isolating, it’s bad for a healthy person to be isolated like this, let alone someone who’s already emotionally deranged like me. The isolation on my job is causing my illness worse and it’s the illness that caused me to take this kind of isolating work in the first place.
And There's No Way Out!!!!!
Oh how muddled we can get.
Have to go back to the fantasy. I'm not isolated, I'm working on a space station, connected to Earth via Internet and the Space Shuttle that brings me meals on wheels five days a week.
I mean, Meals on Warp Ion Driven lightspeed transport device.
The phrases that would run in my head over and over have gotten much more benevolent, when you think about it. A few years, even months, back, the drone said:
You're useless, you have no value, no one wants you around, you make people disgusted, just hide, stay away, because you are inherently awful and everyone sees it and is repelled by you.
It's horrible saying that to yourself.
Somehow I have stopped, probably because I started City of Angels...
Saturday, January 2, 2010
In pursuit of the priest, this confused, compulsive girl came to Hollywood, where she was on her own from age 17. Hollywood is a tough enough town. See what innocence I still had left below.
It didn't take long.
I went from sending these photos to agents and getting legitimate work to showing up at Pretty Girl International Agency on Sunset Boulevard to get work in porn movies and magazines.
Within months I made the transition.
A strange year in and of itself.
A girl like me, full of sexual compulsions after being raped by a priest at age five, I just fell into the porn market like it was God's will in my life...
This potentially innocent 20 year old girl in Hollywood, instead, look at what happened... Well I guess I still have to tell that part of the story...
Keep reading here at City of Angels 2.
"I Had Intrusive Thoughts, Nine Times"
You're fine, you're smiling, you're in the kitchen where you can’t hear the TV and all of a sudden you're in another place.
This time it’s thinking
All those times
I should have been asking for money when I’d pick up men on the streets of West Hollywood.
They sometimes told me they were looking for a prostitute, and were surprised I wasn’t one, when I got in their car to have sex for free. I’d grin back, saying, no it’s me, your fantasy, Little Annie Fanny with brains.
Regina, with a name like Regina, no wonder I felt a need to turn myself into her for a while.
I lived a life where I was always in pursuit of the priest, even before I knew what the priest had done to me. If I hadn't had a baby when I was 40 years old I would have never even remembered what Father Horne did to me, because it was only when my daughter was five years old, and me being a mom I’d had to stop using alcohol and drugs, that I empathized with my five year old daughter and remembered what happened to me at age five. This is not an unusual experience. The thousands of clergy sex crime lawsuits in the last twenty years have proved repressed and recovered memories are real. God only knows how many victims there really have been, children raped by Catholic priests in small towns across America. It’s only by shoestrings, angel hair strands, of luck that I lived to be 45 years old to recover a memory like this.
But looking back, I so can see the compulsions and how they played back in my life, almost like clues my own brain was giving me. Like this period I keep wanting to write about now, when I was running Studio Typing Service at 8555 Sunset Boulevard, in the mid-1980s. These were the years I’d come back to L.A. from Houston, after the extremely debilitating experience of being forced off the staff at NASA LBJ Space Center. They got me out before I had completed three years work there, that was in 1981. But I was still living in Clear Lake City, the area of Houston where you find NASA, two years later. It was 1983 by the time I got back to L.A. I stayed with my family first for a few weeks, in San Clemente, and pretended the Ebelings were some kind of institution, but we're not.
So about a month, maybe six weeks, after leaving Houston, I was living at The Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard, where The Duke’s had their first restaurant, a rock ‘n roll dive, half my neighbors were gay prostitutes, others in the hotel were their customers. From that famed address and with being a PAO at NASA fresh on my resume I started looking for another job.
Three years and several jobs later I was typing out of my home from this apartment building where I live in West Hollywood. And advertising myself as a freelance publicist, then shirking work. In these years I also developed the fine skills of a barfly. Drinking to blackout was a regular experience for me in the 1980s. People were constantly walking up to me and saying, Hi, Kay, and I would have no memory at all of meeting them, but they must know who I am. I would walk around town looking sober when I was really in a blackout most of the time. It’s a skill I inherited from my dad, and the Irish German ancestors, I guess, being a functioning drunk…
Okay, Regina, even with a name like that, I thought she had some special connection. PING that's one of the “clues,” that compulsion I had from day one to find other people who had this same special “connection” to God that I had. I knew it was inside me, I just didn't know how it got there. So I’d look for these clues.
Regina, a little older than I was, had a quality of groundedness. She had taken her skill of typing fast, invested cash and made it a business. To people born after the 1960s that might not seem like much, but before Gloria Steinem started Ms. Magazine and the 1970s phase of feminism, most women had few opportunities to develop job skills, and secretarial work, typing, for a lot of us that was it. You see it in the 1940s movies, in The Apartment, all those women with Bacherlor’s Degrees working as typists and secretaries, that's about all a woman could aspire to until the generation that was born of the feminists grew up, went to college, and became professionals.
In my case, after Ms. Magazine came out and the changes started, I became a 26 year old college freshman and graduated just as I turned 30.
The 1980s were a transitional time, and once I lost the job at NASA, I was out on the street, trying to get a foot in any door I could, and all that was open to me anymore was clerical work. Oh, I did take one professional journalism job in L.A. in the eighties. Editor in Chief of ASD AMD Trade News, which involved going to Las Vegas and Atlantic City to sell ad space, as well as journalism work, and well- I soon was fired. After having sex with the boss’ son in Atlantic City and letting some of the venders there take a picture of me topless.
I had no boundaries. Then wondered why I would get fired over and over again.
Okay. Regina. Her name, her demeanor, plus in the weeks I got to know her, she had just met this woman, a fundamentalist Christian from Japan. One night as I helped Regina close the shop, she described how she had felt so lost, like her life had no meaning, then she spent an evening with Pastor Yaya and this guy Ronald. Regina said they were watching an evangelical preacher on TV and she was sitting on the floor. Pastor Yaya and Ronald egged Regina on, “guided” her, and before long she was on the floor, rolling around on the carpet, speaking tongues. When the experience was over, she knew she was a new person, reborn. Now Ronald had moved in with Regina and she started staying after the shop was closed to run off flyers about Pastor Yaya and their ministry on this Kodak copier that Regina had just gone way into debt to purchase for the business.
I was still adopting other persons’ persona at this time in my life.
Before the recovered memory, a thing I used to do all the time was to totally adopt the persona of another person. I’d meet someone and really like the way they dealt with life, and I’d just… become them. I could just take on their feelings, attitudes, it was more than an impersonation, it was me actually adopting other persons’ personalities. Now as a 60 plus year old woman, I realize what I was doing was my own personal PTSD. One of the ways I avoided ever looking at what happened to me was to become another person, and most of the time of my life between age 5 and age 45 I was adopting persona.
It made me a dynamite actress by the way.
So I had taken to adopting Regina’s persona and I'm sure she noticed it, and she probably thought it was part of this rebirthing experience she was having, that a person who was starting to talk act and dress exactly like her was now willing to take over managing her business. So Regina out of the blue offered me the job of managing Studio Typing because she wanted to go do the Work of the Lord now full time with Pastor Yaya and Ronald.
I never did see the picture from the Atlantic City tradeshow, but I'm pretty sure the sudden change in the way I was being treated at ASD AMD Trade News started directly after we came back from the trade show in Atlantic City. It was another case where they never fired me, they just made conditions on the job so bad for me, I had no choice but to quit, same thing that happened at NASA.
So there I was at the counter of Studio Typing Service at 8555 Sunset Boulevard, now that I was manager, it was me who got to take care of the celebrity clients. However, during the time I was going through scripts with the writer-customers, I was able to let what was left of functioning Kay show through, even if it was only in explaining screenplay format and the reasons for putting the pages together in the way that we did.
Since managing this business meant coming in around 7:30 AM and leaving way after dinner hours, the job played in with the Speedy part of my PTSD:
By filling every hour with business, I had no time to look back on the pain of NASA or to wonder why it happened, even to wonder what happened.
Instead my mouth would grin back on the right side, making a half mouth grin, the exact expression that Regina always displayed when she went over scripts with customers. I’d combine Regina’s counter skills with my intelligence as a one-time NASA news representative, as I explained to the actors how we could keep their resumes updated every time they get a new job. Or defining the purpose of a hyphen in screenplay format, versus a dash, that's when the NASA PAO personality bubbled up, as I’d give this directive on punctuation as much importance as I’d give an answer to a reporter in the Houston newsroom in earlier years.
Always recombining personalities, never really being myself, as a way to avoid looking at who I was and how I got that way.
Until I had a baby and she turned five years old.
Truth is in the 1980s I never brought up my job at NASA, except when Columbia blew up. The astronaut, Judith Resnick who was among the seven who died on Columbia, I used to adopt her personality all the time in the years I was working at LBJ Space Center.
Adopting Resnick's persona didn't help.
Strangest thing is, I never
Stopped to look at what happened at NASA.
I just drank a lot and got jobs that involved 12-14 hour days. Never started to talk about NASA again until I was going to alcoholics anonymous meetings in Eureka, California, in 1992. In the weeks and days before the recovered memory started to come in, when I’d been clean and sober for two years, just before the recovered memory experience, I started obsessing on NASA. What happened there? Why did I lose that job?
Regina rolled around on the carpet in front of the TV set and handed her business over to me, but even as manager, I could not stop the people from Pastor Yaya's Church from showing up after business hours to run off things on the Kodak super copying machine.
In fact, the Yaya's used up so much of our assets that Studio Typing Service soon folded. Pastor Yaya took Ronald and moved on, Regina went back to typing from home, and I found out about the ASD AMD Editor In Chief job from a guy in a bar on Santa Monica Boulevard.