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Don’t get me wrong. It is late November, and at this moment, I’m despairing. The state that, without fail, evokes the urge to write, and the urge to pray.

However, exhausted from caring for rescue horses and drowning under horrid decisions, unfortunate news to deliver, the impossibility of solitude, the loss of youth, and the probable loss of the only draft of my novel’s first chapter that I will ever have found “perfect,” I have indulged in my first-ever Vodka Binge.

The Lord, and my family, deserve better.

I am LUCKY AND BLESSED to have a FAMILY! I am blessed to have a home. Of course I know this! It’s crazy lucky, and could only be the result of God’s direct intervention. My husband is the hero in this tale, for reclaiming a crazy bipolar freak who had done him every imaginable wrong during a prolonged psychotic episode.

But this used to be my house.

There were candles on my upright piano, and the occasional wine glass left there too beside the sheaf of hand-written music, the residue of petite sirah, scent of blackberry and cloves, dried into the little hollow where the hand-blown stem opens out into a pink blossom of glass

There were shelves lining the walls, with my books, a mad eclectic mixture of fantasy, history, witchcraft, Bibles and Biblical texts, psychology, poetry, all the weird fiction I was assigned to read in college, wildflower books, the Irish language, and guitar chorded music books, Led Zeppelin, Kate Wolf. My Breyer Horse collection circled the living room, right below the ceiling. My childhood remained a vital piece as I approached thirty, and I didn’t want anyone to know me who didn’t understand that. My small circle of friends knew, and made me feel that they thought it was cool.

There was a room with a Macintosh Classic II, the place where I worked on my novel and my art, where the pages were spread all over the floor, the illustrations the most raw, and Rushak’s presence was so strong I could feel and smell him in there as if he were real. Mom sent him a birthday card one year. Oct. 8. It was the coolest birthday card I would ever receive.

KRWN (Farmington, NM) was a classic rock station then. I could hear Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend.” I could hear “Green Grass and High Tides” by…Ozark Mountain Daredevils? I had a boom box on a shelf over my Asian-patterned rug. There were “tapestries” on the wall. Neo-hippie crap.

I had the most awesome roommate for a time. He had become a high school English teacher (there is no higher calling). He loved Kurt Vonnegut. In this house, there was a shrine erected to Kurtz (of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the movie Apocalypse Now)  every Samhain (Day of the Dead) for reasons that escape me at this moment, but they made perfect sense to my roomie, may he rest in peace. He was privileged to smell the most epic of my farts, after which I collapsed from some sort of interaction from my various meds, and he took me to the hospital in the middle of the night.

There were guitars and pennywhistles and drums and pianos and keyboards everywhere. There were charcoal and pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations of my novel on the walls in the kitchen and living room, right were everyone could see them, vibrant and slightly “off,” personal and disturbing, and I wanted people to see them, and they did, and I felt a little bit understood.

It smelled like incense in my house, and candles. My mom once said it smelled like a candle shop. That was the highest praise anyone could give my home, for in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in the seventies, the Candle Shop was the most magical place in the entire universe. Even counting the occasional visit to a horse farm.

I lived alone, except for the brief time with the roommate. There was one cat, two dogs, a horse and a burro, who all depended upon a bipolar creative type stuck in her right brain most of the time. No one minded.

Mainly, there was no TV in my house. (Well there was, okay, a little b&w with a screen smaller than this Mac notebook’s, which was only used for viewings of classic Star Trek). My mom gave it to me when I started college at the U of U.

My point is that I used to have this house…it was a shoebox that had been for some reason picked up off an oil or coal or some crap field in NM and plonked down right here…and I lived in it, and it was mine, and I had a sense of place.

Now, ALL my books are crammed into a closet of an “office” that my husband had once blocked off and constructed to be my creative space…the ONE thing he could do to show me he supported this part of me…NONE of my paintings, charcoals, or any other art besides a picture of a rescue horse are visible to anyone…NONE of my books or bookshelves remain outside this office…ALL the spaces that friends and the general populace can see are cluttered with dirty shoes and boots and stacked with crap…the house smells like several catboxes…a dog pack lives here and craps on the floor and tracks mud all over and the cats and dogs ruin the furniture…I CANNOT play an instrument if anyone is at home…ALL of my instruments are hidden away…I no longer have time or the self-esteem to be in a band…I no longer read, because there is NO ONE with whom to discuss anything I have read…I no longer read because I have no bedroom or quiet area that will not be disturbed in which to read without a TV blaring or children arguing…I no longer write because my writing studio has become the office in which I must update the Horse Rescue Blog, or enter Horse Rescue stats, or check Horse Rescue Email, or drop any personal pursuit in favor of Horse Rescue outreach or finances, and the only computer in here, a Macintosh, now belongs to the horse rescue, not to me.

The only draft of my novel’s first chapter that I found perfect was not backed up in time to avoid being a casualty of the Blue Screen of Death on my Windows computer. I know it’s my own fault, it wasn’t backed up, but who has time to try to put a bunch of crap on a disk on a computer whose disk drive doesn’t work?  It’s me, the person who cannot sit at a computer and enter statistics and generate receipts and acknowledgements and updates and health data on a double-digit number of needy horses; actually, physically care for them; and be there for kids and husband. Let alone, self.

Fortunately, no one reads this crap. I’ve gotten steadily drunker as I’ve rambled here. I’d be done long ago except that no one could read this because of the typos. There is a tremendous amount of back spacing involved.

I feel like throwing up. There is nothing to look at but my nerveless fingers upon my jeans stained with the filth of about a week of mucking stalls, I can’t think about anything but how crappy I feel. If there was ever a point to this post, I’ve forgotten what it was, except that once I had a home that was mine, and now there is nowhere in this overgrown building that I can feel safe with my feelings, that is, my real, honest, own feelings, that are mine, where I can think clearly and create write and practice.  There is no refuge anywhere. I used to be able to at least write, even though the lofty elite authors and artists and poets of Southwest Colorado LITERATURE don’t consider my genre or my work to be of any value…. but now… nothing.

I feel no sense of place. I know that eventually this feeling, like all feelings, will be replaced.

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