#57 The Beginning of the End… Happy New Year

 

pie crust2

 

Dear Journal,

We planned our party for the night after New Years Eve.  I told my parents that I had to get ready for the party that we were having the next day and I didn’t want to drive home with all of the drunks and they actually were okay with me staying at Jack’s.  He came and picked me up and brought me over to his place and we stayed up late enough to welcome in the New Year all by ourselves instead of going out to one of the parties we were invited to, cuz Jack wanted it that way. We kissed at midnight and started messing around all the way to bed and welcomed in the new year some more.

young happy couple

 

In the morning, it was overcast and looked as if it might rain.  I got up early and Jack rolled over and said that he was going to take down the Christmas lights. I really didn’t want him to because he’d already taken down the tree the day after Christmas and he knew I wanted it up for the party. So when he mentioned the lights I asked him if he could just wait until after the party because I wanted it to still look at least a little  festive.  But he refused it was as if he wanted to take away any signs of it having been Christmas.  And so our morning didn’t start out too great.

arguing couples

I know that he is still dealing with stuff about his mom this time of year, so I tried to be understanding but I must say that I was not happy that he wouldn’t wait just one day since he knew that it was important to me for our house to look pretty for the party. It was just the wrong day to take on that project! Especially since we talked about our list of things we needed to get done before the party and taking down the Christmas lights was not one of them.  I needed him to help me with so many  other things and I knew that it was going to take all morning to just do that. But you know how stubborn he is, so he got the ladder out and climbed up on the roof and did what he wanted.

Christmas lights ladder2

 I got dressed and started baking. I’d planned on making a few pies and some horderves for the party. Pie crusts are kind of touchy, if you knead them too much, they get tough. If you let them sit too long they get crumbly and you have to start all over again.  I have to admit I was already frustrated but I really did try to snap out of it because I knew that it would not end well if I stayed mad. I never seem to win our fights. I heard Jack swearing on top of the roof and for whatever reason, he needed my help. Though he put them up all by himself. He called me up there twice. The first time I went up and handed him something and tried to be pleasant and willing about it, but just as I was ready to roll the dough out for the second pie,  he called me again.

ROLLING DOUGH

This time I called back and told him to hold on. I was so surprised when he snapped at me and yelled “NOW!”  I didn’t like his tone of voice and had not heard it since that horrible day at the glider port over a year earlier. I wasn’t too happy as I climbed up the ladder and saw him untangling the strings of lights. I  asked him to please hurry so that my dough wouldn’t get ruined and he threw them at me and told me to untangle them.

Christmas lightsAnd before I could object, he lost it. He got mad and told me that he didn’t want to have the dumb party anyway, how it was all my idea and “my party” and that I was “using” him to play house in “his” house. Those words really hurt. Especially the part about it being his house.  After he put the ladder away, and did whatever he did with the string of light I left lying on the walkway,  he came in and saw that I was crying and got even more upset at me. I’d already made one pie crust perfectly before he called me up. But the second time, I left the last one  in a ball and it felt too dried out when I started rolling it.

dough balll

Everything kept crumbling and falling apart. The thing that made me so mad was that Jack started laughing at me and told me that I couldn’t do anything right. I think maybe he was trying to lighten the mood and just joke around because everytime I tried to roll out the dough it just got worse and he may have realized that he’d just gone a little too far.

CINNAMON ROLLING DOUGH

But by that time I’d lost my temper and had stopped crying. Things just got out of hand. Looking back, I wish that ‘dI just let it go. But for the last three years I have let “IT” go and I am just tired. Anyway,  I was still hurt and angry about what he’d said about it being his house, and instead of saying that he was sorry he just kept following me around egging me on, laughing in my face. He followed me right into the living room as I tried to get away, brushing my floured hands on my apron and just kept laughing at me and my “pathetic excuse for pie crust.” THAT is what he said! He kept at it  until he had me cornered in the living room and I hit the wall of the bay window and to my surprise my fist went right through the paper thin wall! Just punched a hole right into it! I didn’t realize how those walls were made back in those days and well it just surpised me. I started laughing hoping that Jack would start laughing too and we would just see how stupid this fight was and fall down on the floor and make up. I was laughing saying that” I really didn’t mean to do that” and he got that look and said; “yeah, I  can really tell.” And then he started getting all of my stuff and throwing it out of the house in a wild rage and telling me that I needed to “call all of my little friends and call off the party” as he started throwing my books and my purse and my sweat jacket and all of Annie’s letters  out into the front yard. The ribbons slipped and they lay there strewn all over the wet grass.

old letters

He was so out of control I thought he was going to hit me but he didn’t. He just picked me up and threw me off of his front porch and into the yard. I was numb. I don’t remember if I was really hurt. I know later that I’d skinned my elbow being thrown like that but I just picked up my purse and jacket and left everything else and ran out of the front gate.

abuse

I didn’t even stop to think. I just ran. Right past Jess and Louise’s and down Pacific Coast Highway and all the way to a phone booth and called Lindsey. She and Larry came and picked me up. They were supposed to come to the party that night. I think they may have called everyone. I don’t even know. I didn’t care. I just let Jack deal with it. I was so mad. I never wanted to see him again. Happy New Year.

 

sad girl in hood b&w

 

 

 

Advertisements

#52 Dear Journal – House Sitting

front porch
Dear Journal,
I’ve been house sitting for Jess and Louise a couple of times over the last few months. It’s been kind of nice because it’s like I have my own place. It has been so nice sitting on that wonderful porch after work with a glass of iced tea writing. I like to imagine that it is my house. I used to like to imagine that it was Jack and my place but it’s funny, now I pretend that it is all just mine.

mopsy and kitten

My parents are okay with me staying there alone.  When Jess and Louise go farm hunting in Missouri, they go for weeks at a time. At first I’d just go and feed Mopsy and come back over to Jack’s and bring her with me. It’s funny because Switze and her get along. You wouldn’t expect to see a dog and a cat playing so well. It’s very entertaining. Some nights, I just stay at Jack’s. But I told him that I’d rather sleep over there even though he wasn’t happy about it, because my parents are trusting me and I didn’t want to ruin things since this might be going on for quite a while.

 

 cocktailcouple on couch

One night I had Jack over for dinner and he stayed the night. But most nights, he goes home to his own place and I stay at Jess and Louise’s. On those mornings I don’t see him at all until we both get home from work.  A few times, I had Jack and Larry and Lindsey over for a barbecue during the week  and one weekend after we’d gone out dancing we’d all come back to the house and stayed up really late. We’d had a bottle of cab and Jack had just gone home when I was just cleaning up and  Larry came back over cuz, he’d forgotten his sunglasses. He ended up staying really late talking. And we really were just talking.  He  is a nice guy. But I’m not stupid.  I’ve said before, I know he likes me. I almost wish that Jack would have looked out and seen his truck and confronted him. But he didn’t.

engament ring

I still guess we are engaged. I still wear my ring. I think that Jack feels that engaged means forever. I do too. But I feel that engaged means setting a date to get married. I wonder if I took off my ring or gave it back and told him to keep it until he was ready to set a date what he would do? It is hard to believe that in a couple of months it will have been a year since we have been engaged.

 

 

#42 A Change Of Plans

 perinos menu

Dear Journal,

So Jack wandered into the spotless kitchen. And looked concerned when he didn’t find a turkey in the oven or the dining room table set for a holiday meal or anything. Rachel was showing me a mother of pearl necklace that her boyfriend had gotten her when Jack came out and eyed an opened bottle of wine and looked at Rachel who shrugged and told us that it was opened when she got there. Jack’s smile vanished and he looked  worried. I felt so sorry for him. The whole way to her house he talked about his mother’s great cooking.

Finally Liz came floating into the room with a long black velvet skirt and cashmere sweater smelling like cigarettes and chanel #5. She kissed us all on the cheek and poured herself another glass of wine before sitting next to Rachel and said “Lets get this party started.” Poor Jack bless his heart, dutifully began distributing all the gifts in front of the recipents. Rachel and Liz loved their gold crosses and Jack had snuck and bought me one too. We all had to stop and put them on and he helped each one of us with the clasp and then sat smiling as we admired each other’s.

Rachel and Liz loved the Bibles. I’d snuck and gotten one for Jack with his name on it too that he seemed to love. Then I fished out the gift I’d been saving. He thought I’d just gotten him the Bible but I’d also put a digital gold watch he’d eyed at Zales on layaway one of the times we’d been looking for rings. I even had it engraved with “forever K” He was so surprised,  I thought he was going to cry for a minute but he said he loved it and put it on and then made everyone admire it.  Then he began piling presents around me after that. I was so embarrassed. He’d bought me an Elna Sewing machine  and  cross country skiis and his mom bought me a beautiful camel colored coat with a fur collar. And said “You can wear it tonight because I am taking you all to Perinos!”

Wben I heard Rachel say… “Mom I thought that the plan was, that you were cooking?” I was so grateful that she took the lead on that one because I just know Liz would have been on the defense if Jack had asked the same question. But she just lit another cigarette and explained, “Oh no! I want to treat you all to a REAL Christmas Dinner.” And looked at me and said “Keri honey, you wanna hand me that little bottle of merlot sweetie?” I just smiled and poured her some more as Jack looked miserable and Rachel asked, “What time are reservations?” Liz lit another cigarette and told her six thirty. Jack looked at his new watch and said “it’s almost six now.” So we all begain getting up and getting our coats on.  Liz saw Jack’s coat and asked him if he was going to wear THAT and pointed to it as if it were a rag. I saw Jack’s face turn red as he took the keys from his mom’s hand and said “I’ll drive.” As we all walked out the door.

#36

Dear Journal,

(I owe you a few month of catch up and I intend to do it today! So please bear with me as I try to enter it all here now. I will still enter it chronologically but I just wanted to explain why I am going to post so many at once!)

couple laying on the floor happy

 

 

The other night Jack lay on the floor with me as I read  C’s letters to Annie. She sounded so sad and he thought it was cute that I started crying in the middle of reading one of them out loud to him. I just told him that it was all so sad. I laughed too. But I’m not sure if he’s even interested or “gets” why I connect with them so much, but I feel as if they are my letters now and that I need to protect their story. Who knows maybe I will write it someday. I wish that I still had Mrs Walker around to share them with.

Yesterday I was mowing the lawn and the wheel fell off of the mower again. And Jessie came over with his wrench. I think it was the third time. We laughed about it and he showed me how to fix it myself and told me that he had an extra wrench and pulled another one out of his back pocket with a red bow that I am sure Louise had tied on it, and he told me that it was “my” special house warming gift just for “me” and I gave him a kiss on the cheek to thank him!

lawn mower fixed

 

When Jack came home, he saw the wrench on the table and asked what it was. And I told him about the wheel that keeps falling off and he just said “Oh. The lawn looks nice babe.” I am not sure what else I wanted him to say. Maybe laugh with me about it or… I don’t know but it gave me a sad feeling. Later he asked me what was wrong and I just kind of shrugged and he told me, “You need to stop reading those letters.” I snapped my head up to look at him seriously, because I “can’t stop” I just can’t. When he saw my reaction, then he laughed.

reading letterssss

#33 Bruises

 

Dear Journal,

I don’t want to be writing this right now but I have a feeling that I need to have it written down somewhere so that I can look back and remember just what happened. I am still not sure what I am going to do about all this but for now I am just numb.

Jack has been working for his mom a few days a week and also at the computer operator job that my dad got him at night fulltime, and I have been working at the Speech And Languge Center  in Buena Park during the day and taking some  classes at college for Speech Therapy a few nights a week this Semester  and  and so we have not had a lot of time together. I always want to be with Jack first. And if I have a night off, I will surprise him and bring him dinner so we can spend time together.

This weekend Jack talked me into going Soaring. We hadn’t been for a while  I don’t feel that comfortable  flying Jack’s new plane and I really needed to study but I told him that I would go with him and wait while he went up, but that I needed to study for a test on Monday and didn’t want to fly. He seemed okay with that. But when I told him that I needed to change since I only had shorts on. He said that I looked just  fine in an impatient tone, so I grabbed my books and hopped in the car and we drove to Lake Elsinore. It was a beautiful day. Jack bought an orange Honda Civic with a sunroof when he started driving back and forth  to work at his mom’s company everyday to save  gas which is almost seventy cents a gallon now! I remember when I first started driving it was about half that! I’m so glad I have my little Fiat that gets over thrity miles per gallon.

Anyway, I could tell that he was in that kind of mood. He started rubbing the back of his his neck and  I reached over to massage it and he shrugged me off which hurt my feelings. So I just stared out the window and he turned on the radio. I started watching all the people driving by and saw that a lot of people were happy and talking and laughing and suddenly felt so lonely. I almost wished that I’d stayed home. I’d like to tell you that it got better but it only got much worse.

Jack had gone in with another pilot and  purchased a plane with him a few months earlier. He’d been so excited and I loved seeing him so happy.  It’s orange like his car and much lighter than  the heavy rental gliders the glideport provides. He really is a wonderful pilot and can stay up for two hours or more at a time unlike my twenty two minute record.  Like I said I am not comfortable flying it so I still have to fly the rentals but I am happy that it makes Jack happy and have no problem waiting for him whenever he wants to go. I mean I really don’t mind at all. I always bring an apple and visit my favorite horse “Pal” that stays on the property at the glider port and study and really do enjoy hanging out with him and brushing him.

Jack went into the office to pay for his tow and when he came out he  threw me his car keys so that I could sit in if I wanted to and then asked me to help him  roll his plane out to the chalk line where the tow plane picks up the gliders. I followed him out to where they have the plane stored and began helping unhook it with him. I felt the tension building even  before he picked up the tail and I lifted the wing. That is when he yelled at me that I was picking up or pushing the wing the wrong way. I’m not sure what happened but something in me broke. Maybe it was driving in a dead silent car for almost 2 hours or the way he was jerking around having a tantrum in his own head all day long or the ridiculing tone of voice that he used when he barked at me but I’d had it too. I swung around and just snapped and  asked him why he even wanted me here and said some other things I can’t remember and asked him if I made him so miserable why was he even with me. That did it. He told me to get in the car. No, he pretty much roared it.

I watched as he hooked his plane back up without my help and then braced myself for the ride home.  He backed out of the parking lot and then screeched out of the glider port as I ducked my head trying to avoid  any eye contact since we both knew everyone. I could still felt the apple for Pal in my pocket as he started driving about 85 miles an hour. I told him to let me out. I tried to have absolutely no emotion. He looked at me and  I saw someone else in his eyes as he balled up his fist and brought it down hard on my thigh. I was shocked and gasped as the pain made me nauseous. And then the blows came, over and over and over and over again while driving close to ninety miles an hour. Raging about how he couldn’t catch a break and how he had two jobs and all he wanted was one day of peace on his only day off and was that too much to ask? He’d always been the one to yell. I’d never even raised my voice before. But as I watched his fist land another blow on my already purple leg.  Finally I’d had enough and  screamed STOP! Until I had no more voice.

He pulled over on the side of the freeway and got out of the car and threw me the keys as they landed on passenger floor and without looking at me said; you drive and instead of going to the other side and getting in, just started walking. I just sat there. Numb. I’d yelled so loud I felt as if my throat was bleeding. But it got him to stop.  I sat there in my shorts and halter top and tried to ignore my throbbing leg.  I began coughing and crying and trying to forget what happened.  I’m not sure how long I sat there like that and then finally I limped around to the driver’s side of the car put the key in the igniton and put the car in first and merged into the traffic and stayed in the slow lane all the way home and just drove. I never saw Jack or knew where he might have gone and for the first time…. I didn’t care.

bruises

A Poem About Anger

I Fell In Love With Your Pain

hugging couple in the rain

I think in the beginning

Maybe just a little…

 I fell in love with your pain

hugging2

I wanted to hold you inside

 and let you in

to gather you up

 kissing standing up

and help you let go

And now did you know

that you spit a little

arguing couple

when you yell?

Keri London

1974

Journal Entry #25 The Soul Never Forgets

notebooks

 

Dear Journal

I went exactly four days before I gave in. Sorry to give you the spoiler before I tell you the story but I kind of have to start at the end and then go back to the beginning because I haven’t written here for a while.

k

composition book

Side note:

*You see, as I enter my writings here on this thing we call a computer, several days and sometimes weeks may have gone by in the journals I have found and am working from, so please bear with me…

Back in the days when these were written, there were no computer documents, and files were just the ones they used to keep in a drawer. The stack and stacks of books that I have here are all different, some are leather bound, some are just those black and white composition notebooks, the ones still sold in the stationery section of most drugstores. They were all dated and most were initialed by Mrs. Walker and handed back.  A few continued long after Mrs. Walker’s classes ended but not all were kept. I am thinking that we tend to try to throw out all traces of what hurt us….  so that may be why there are gaps and why it is confusing and why I must work from memory here because…..

some things a soul can never forget. Not even many decades later).

composition pile of          more to come….

Entry #13 Denial

kissing in twiglight

Dear Journal,

Jack has been so sweet.  Though we seem to spend a lot of time at the beach lately, we have not talked about our sailing trip and it has been over three weeks since that day. One way or another we usually end up taking long walks and then watch the sun set a few afternoons a week on the days he gets off early and picks me up after school. During those times, Jack has shared a lot about his childhood and the horrors he experienced. I feel that I understand him more now. But I still am not exactly sure what  happened that day. I know he said it was the rope and line thing but seriously?  I’d love to talk to him some more about it so that we can avoid whatever upset him. Though he seems so be happy to have it behind us and I’m not sure how it would go over if I brought it up now.  I told him I forgave him, and I do, and bringing it up might seem like I don’t and so I have not said anything.

I still have to admit that I love our time together. Nothing is ruined. If anything, it has brought us closer. There has never been anyone who makes me feel the way Jack makes me feel and he tells me all the time that I am his first love. We talk about our dreams and plans and what we want to do and even about our children. I know it seems silly. We are still young and I have so much that I still want to do.  When I was telling Jack about my dreams of wanting to travel and write in exotic places he got kind of quiet. It was so cute. When I asked him what was wrong, he said that he was jealous. When I’d imagined going, I’d never really planned to bring someone else along, at least in my dreams. But he looked so sad and I told him that of course he could come too and he cheered right up!

I am starting to try to figure out how to afford a car. I want to get a job but I have long days at school and then well, I don’t want to give up my time with Jack.  When my mom doesn’t give me the car, Jack picks me up. They are rationing gas now and they are allowing 0nly the cars with license plates ending in odd numbers to fill up on certain days and the ones that end in even numbers to fill up on others. You have to get there really early in the morning so I have to leave two hours earlier than usual and go sit in line when we need gas in my mom’s car. It’s okay cuzzz I just do my homework while I am waiting. So my mom lets me have the car a lot more often latelybecause she says she’s not going to wait in line for two hours.

I go to a Dental School called SCROC this year after lunch, that is giving me extra credits and we don’t’ get out until 4PM so I get the car more often because my mom doesn’t want to have to stop what she’s doing  and come and pick me up. I can take the bus to and from everything but she would still have to come and pick me up on the days that Jack can’t so she just lets me have her car but I have a feeling my dad is thinking of getting me one of my own. Sometimes Jack will pick me up and we will hang out at the gas station where he works after hours. He has a little Triumph Spitfire and is always complaining about the rearend going out so is constantly tinkering on it. Sometimes he jacks me up on the hydraulic lift while I do my homework in the car.

car up on hydralics

My parents have met Jack but I try not to make a big deal about us going out because I think they’d worry if they really knew how much time we were really spending together. On the days that Jack opens, he gets off earlier than me and so I take the bus to school and then he picks me up. My parents don’t seem to mind and I think my mom likes having her car available for errands at least a few days a week and so it has worked out so far and they seemed to have liked him when they met him. Though they wouldn’t have been very happy if they knew anything about the sailing trip or that we spend a lot of time at Jack’s dad’s place before he gets home.