[22 Feb 2021>
Flashing back to March 1997, geo-surveying in Arizona + Mexico, picking up where post # 851 left off...
March 2, 1997 — Douglas, AZ
It rained Thursday night and was still raining Friday morning. The weather report had changed and now it was supposed to rain all through Friday so I bagged it and drove back to Tucson. When I hit Bisbee the rain turned to snow and through Mule Pass it was a full on blizzard with snow covering the road. I got back to Tucson in time to pick up [bedder-½] for lunch. She finally went to the doctor and has this secondary infection in her mouth she's on a liquid diet. We somehow ended up at Denny's. The rest of the afternoon I wrote. Working on "Z for Ziller" which I only call that because that was the name of the dream. But now I think I'll call it "Missionary: Dead Reckoning" or "The Singing Rails" or something like that. That night we went to see Donnie Brasco, which was a great idea idea for a film and with Johnny Depp and Al Pacino you'd think it was a hit. It was pretty good, but definitely had gaps. When we got out of the theatre it was pouring.
When I woke up early on Saturday it was completely clear. I wanted to get this job overwith so I can take Our bedder-½ on a vacation after her defense on Wednesday, so I headed back to Douglas. Dropped my things off at the Gadsen and went across the border to Ejido Cabullona. Alex was there at the ranch with his .22. I gave him a ride up in to las montañas to go hunting, then finished the three samples on their property. Then I worked my back towards the Aduanas station. At times I was driving in the wide sandy wash, through water for miles and miles. It makes a great road, though it meanders sometimes. I felt like I was in a car commercial or something.
Worked my way up into the red hills around some old abandoned mines. I went all the way in to this ranch, 'Rancho San Juan'. Beatiful ranch, set against striking cliffs of all colors, with a great view of the surrounding snow-capped peaks all the way over to Mt. Wrightson. The whole family was just standing outside the house staring at me as I pulled up. The man of the house left to go inside, presumably for a gun. All sorts of animals were gathering at my feet. They had goats with twisty horns and goatees, sheep with dreadlocks, peacocks, turkeys in full display, all types of chickens, pigs, calfs, horses, friendly dogs etc. All running around free in the yard, sniffing at me and the car. What a spread, I could spend the rest of my days here. I politely asked the lady for permission to come through. She said yes but just stared at me. Then she just watched as I struggled to get this funky gate open, drove through their coral full of cattle and along a road running the base of the cliffs.
I was hoping there was some sort of roads past the ranch otherwise I was doomed for heinous hike-ins. This road helped out but kept going east. I followed it thinking I would loop around to this other road that was on the map. I passed through another beatiful ranch that was abadonded. There were two shrines to the virgin. I kept on hoping to meet up with that other trail. This road was not on the map but who knows where it would go. Soon I was driving in washes and was so far down I just had to get through. By my GPS I knew I wasn't far. Finally, by some stroke of luck, I got out of the wash, drove around in these creosote flats and saw a cleft in this cliff and squeezed through and up this steep embankment, hard to negotiate even in 4-low and bingo, I was on the road. I was pysched that I wouldn't have to drive all the way around. I followed it for a few miles and came to a locked gate. I couldn't believe it. I wanted to smash the gate in with the car. I had only less than a mile to get the sample and be back at the ranch, but now I had to drive ten or fifteen miles of heinous driving to get back the way I came. I refused to give up. I went back down to the wash and drove it til I got to the fence and a place where I could take it down. Went up every side wash trying to meet back with the road, I knew I was close by the GPS. But I was getting into some really hairball situations and finally just gave up and drove around.
I had asked the lady at the ranch if there was a way to get to the north and she said there were no roads. But I found this steep road going straight up the cliffs. Then I was up on the bluffs. Colorful rugged hills of red and green. Definitely copper country. Looks like Bisbee. Still had to do some hiking once up there, but it wasn't to bad.
On the way home I picked up this family and gave them a ride to KM 21. It was one of the ranchers that I met the first day. We must've had at least eight people in the Trooper. Back through the muddy streets of Agua Prieta to drop off the samples at Don David's and then drive along the border and watch all the Mexicans loitering by the holes in the fence and all the border patrol gaurds hanging out, eating doughnuts. Both sides willing to wait. Chinise food and now X-files.
[again, these are the years we didn't have a camera, but here's what the area looks like on googlemaps]
March 6, 1997 — Tucson
My last day in Cabullona was the best. I went in the heart of the red hills. There was an old abandoned mine nestled in the middle of them. I parked and hiked it in. All sorts of cool rocks down by the mine, malachite, azurite, caclophyrite, quartz, etc. all different colors and textures. There was an albino burro hanging around down there who wasn't that afraid of me and let me pet him. I hiked up and down the multicolored hills collecting samples. And then relocated to this other abandoned mine where I collected the last three samples and I was done with this job. Dropped the samples at the Don's house (who I am convinced is in the Mexican Mafia—all diffent types of guys were coming to him on seemingly unrelated avice or making excuses why they hadn't come up with the money yet. I was just another person, a gringo with the business of leaving white sacks in the corner of his office for "doctor Luiz" to pick up at a later date.)
Drove back to Tucson. The next day I spent many frustrating hours installing this GPS softwate on bedder-½'s computer. A Comm port nightmare. It was the day before bedder-½'s defense and I was trying to keep bedder-½ calm. That night she went to Evita and I went to this AZGS to try to do a little networking. First I see David Brown and company and he starts to give me this speel. At first he tried to make it sound like a promotional thing, like— "we're going to put you in a supervisory position" but the only reason there doing that is that's the only way Geotemps will let them put me on a daily rate. And that daily rate is $125. He said he had already talked it over with Terri. I wasn't too happy about that and just walked away to get a drink. Ran into Clark Arnold, and he was cool because he introduced me to people and when they asked— "are you with Cap II?" He would pipe in— "no, he's a free agent. He's with Geotemps." He probably knew something was up and that's why he invited me to this dinner in the first place, to meet other companies. This one lady, Carol Hoag, was interested in me. But she was with BHP copper and it was local. I asked around about overseas work but it seemed the people that I should talk to just weren't there. I went to sit down with Clark and this younger guy who was Mike Jacob's son. Cool kid, just graduated from U of A in environmental engineering. We were like the only two young people there. I looked up and Jim Brisco was sitting straight across from me, greeting everybody at the table. I shook his hand and he said— "long time no see. Are you still working for that Lasso thing?" I said no, that I was with Clark here and Cap II. Then his cell phone rings. Saved by the bell. Talked to Mike Jacob's son most of dinner.
Carol Hoag was the hostess so she introduced the speaker. Before that she had me and Mike Jacob's son stand up and introduce ourselves. I just said— "I'm Derek White" and didn't want to say I was affiliated with Cap II or anything so that's all I said. The speaker was boring as hell. Afterwards the Cap II conglomerated around me in the parking lot, getting there discs and maps and then David Brown is all — "we'll I brought that up with Derek and well I think he's okay with it?" and he turns to me. And I said— "not really. I'll have to think about." Explained that I didn't want to go somewhere and work for eight hours and then sit in my hotel all evening, or worse, sit in a tent on a camp job. I said I wanted to work long hours and make money. We bantered back and forth and I figured it was useless because the problem is that I just don't fall into CAP II's budget. Production is not an issue to them. They're on a budget and are in no hurry to get things done. I just left saying I was going to talk to Terri and she or I would get back to them.
Not that $125/day is bad. Especially when I look through the want ads and see the types of jobs paying $6-7/hr., i.e. everything. I don't have much of a choice, and when I talked to Terri, she implied that I probably should keep it because they don't have much else going for that rate. To me it's the principle. Taking a pay decrease is a slap in the face. I'm 30 years old. I'd like to be looking forward, not backward. Then again, we just have another two months here and I just need to have something to tie me over til then. We've basically given up on the Peace Corps thing. It's crazy when you think about it. There's got to be a better option. So I told Terri to keep here ears peeled for overseas work and she said she might actually have some ideas. As far as Cap II, I told her to tell them $150/day. And if they didn't go for that, $140 was as low as I would go. Now I wait.
Our bedder-½ is a Master now. She passed her oral yesterday. I waited for her in the department and everybody from her lab took her out to lunch at Gentle Ben's. I'm really proud of her. I should leave a spot here for her to write how she feel's. She seems more in control than I was. She wasn't that nervous, and didn't feel compelled to start in on a slow burn of a twelve-pac right afterwards like I did. Didn't feel like she just had brain surgery like I did. Not as much so anyway. So she's done and I may be unemployed now and were free except she has to finish up her teaching job until may. We're taking off this weekend for Joshua Tree.
March 9, 1996 — Tucson (Las Vegas)
Went to Vegas instead of Joshua Tree. Not sure what our rational was. When we got to Picacho peak I realized that I forgot our sleeping bags. We considered going back and just figured screw it, we'll stay in a hotel. Drove all the way and stayed at the Stratosphere the first night. The new Casino with the space needle thing. We got in around midnight and we're up til like four a.m. (I won $140 on craps). That was our excuse for not climbing on Friday. I woke up and won more money playing blackjack while bedder-½ slept. We decided to relocate to the MGM. Went to the theme park and walked the strip. Friday night we went to the new Casino, New York. A replica of New York city, inside and out. One of the cooler casinos in Vegas. Rode the roller coaster which was the coolest ride I've ever been on. Total adrenalin rush over Vegas at night. We went to bed early but bedder-½ still slept til almost noon. So we didn't climb Saturday. I gambled more, lost a lot of money but won most of it back playing craps so I was still ahead. Played at this table where this Greek Tycoon guy was placing $5000 bets all over the table and winning unbelievable amounts of money. And here I am sweating over 20 or 40 dollars. Layed out by the pool, walked the strip more, went to Bally's and then went and hung out by the pool drinking Piña Coladas. Went to Monte Carlo (another new casino!) but it sucked so we went back to NY NY. Started to get a little behind in the winnings at this point. It was Saturday and the stakes were high. $25 minimum on Black Jack and $10 minimum on craps. Didn't lose too much (about $100 dollars in total) but it was fun doing it. Sunday we slept in. Pretty much gave up on the climbing idea. We're getting corrupted in our old age. (We had planned to camp out at Red Rocks). Haven't we been through this before? Besides, we had to get back to Tucson in time to watch X-files. Still don't know what's up with my job. I told Terri to tell the Cap-II gang that I'll accept a minimum of $140/day. But if they don't accept I'll be on my knees because there isn't much else.
March 11, 1997 — Cananea, Sonora, Mexico
Cap II agreed to $140 day, under the stipulation that "they didn't like it." That was the message they left with Geotemps, whatever that means. I feel like saying 'fuck you' when I hear shit like that but I really need a job and I dig this job. If only I got a little respect. Last night bedder-½ cooked me eggplant parmesan and we lounged lovingly. Woke up early (5:30) and headed off to Cananea. Met Luiz at his office and he gave me a map of the 'Milpillas' area. There's a 2 km swath running diagonally, the length of the map (38 km) and then some running onto the next map. I headed out and got a start on it. The southernmost section was heinous. I was almost at snow level (6000 feet), but it was hot as hell. And it was steep. The warm weather must have triggered the rattlers to come out of their dens, because within the space of ten minutes I saw too baby rattlers. A little unnerving. I was walking very carefully for the rest of the day. The terrain is beautiful, steep grassy and oak-shrouded hills.
[tailings of Cananea mine on googlemaps]
I ran out of sample bags when I was at least 5 k from the Trooper. I was on a big loop and kept going, letting the ridgeline cowtrails guide me. But I still needed to take 2 more samples on the return trip. I racked my head of how I could carry dirt and finally took off my socks and used them as sample bags, filling them with soil. I see no one all day while I work, except today I saw two guys on horseback. Finished "Missionary: Dead Reckoning". I just tallyed my stories, I have completed 17 short stories and 11 poems. I have eight pieces out. I have another eight that have been rejected and are ready to go out again. And another 13 that I've never sent out before and probably never will. Reading Faulkner's Light in August.
March 15, 1997 — Cananea
I wake up when I want. No alarm clock, but it's usually before 7. I eat breakfast here at the motel. The service sucks but I bring Light in August and read over breakfast. The rest of the clientele are executive mining types. Some gringos. I head out on the "most dangerous highway in Mexico" as they call it. Windy and mountainous. Big drop-offs with no guard rails and big trucks chugging up hill at five miles an hour. Came right after some truck went off the embankment. At Cuitaca I head north on a dirt road and have been taking each sucessive road heading back east that intercepts my area. Have had pretty good luck so far with roads, and when I do walk-ins I manage to take advantage of topography a lot and usually travel on cow trails on ridge-lines or in washes. Come across a few locked gates, but I've managed to find someone who gives me a key. Some of the land is beautiful especially where I am now. I've risen above the rolling grass and oak hills up into the mountains. Kept asking people if a road went up into the mountains and everyone said no. I was dreading having to walk ten or fifteen miles up into the mountain and then walk it back with a pack full of sacks. Finally I met this grizzly old man that was living at a little ranch by himself save for some cute puppies and some pigs. He told me about a road that cut off from his backyard. It went down into a beautiful canyon full of huge white-barked trees with branches like fractal dendrites bifurcating into the sky. It wasn't much of a road, it seemed like I was the only one who had used it in years. But it rose out of the wash and headed right where I wanted to go. Past some old prospects and stone dwellings where the miners lived. Found all sorts of cool rocks, chrysacola, quartz, tourmaline, etc. The road zig-zagged right in my swath straight up into the mountain. About ten or fifteen miles of 4-wd. Up into Juniper and Pine and complete solitude. I came across an old campground with piles of Denver Post, the most recent dated Oct. 31, 1996, so I guess someone else has been up there. Though there seems to be another way to get up I just can't find them. The roads are probably for cutting wood or for the little prospects here and there.
Kevin has left San Francisco and plans to come to Tucson. He's stopping over in L.A. I haven't even talked to him so I don't really know what's up. David, Leslie, Annika and Mom are all in Ajijic. Bedder-½ and I still might go, maybe drive to Hermosillo and fly to Guadalajara. We'll see. Seems a little crazy just for a long weekend. But bedder-½ has all this next week off and is without wheels. I need to work but I would love to take some time off. I guess everybody says that. [note that in retrospect this is ~2 weeks before Kevin a.k.a. Chaulky died].
March 17, 1997 — Cananea
Started working on the other side of Sierra el Chivato. Have to drive all the way around on a graded, but terrible dirt road. I can't complain, driving and hiking around beautiful rugged, virtually uninhabited country. I explore every side road and arroyo til it's end, the nerve ends of dendritic access, and then on foot. From el Chivato I can look southeast 20 km and recognize every hill and canyon because I've been in every square kilometer. And then I can look northwest another 20 km or so and know that I will cover all that ground, trying to pick out access roads, good ridgelines or arroyos. I start talking to the cows, horses and burros.
The prospective new governor of Sonora was in Cananea this weeked and I think he was staying at this hotel. If he wasn't staying here then all his staff was and so was the press. It was packed full of dudes in leather jackets and cell phones, wearing badges that said "prensa" or "PRI". Today when I got home I saw Jim Sells. He wasn't very friendly to me. This job is weird. It's kind of like nobody wants to deal with me. I have no supervision, basically it's like nobody gives a flying fuck what I do. He didn't want to see what I had been doing, didn't invite me out to eat or anything. He finally stopped by just now and told me that he would introduce me as "a friend", that I shouldn't tell anyone I work for him. It's all very hush hush. Evidently he's getting the grand tour of "El Alacran" mine, I'm sure it's something he's doing behind Cap II's back, but I don't even want to know. And Luis has been gone all week. I just went and found all the access roads (and keys to gates, etc.) myself. I could be sitting home writing and nobody would even notice.
Been working on "Jupiter's Harbor", a collage of related past dreams in a journalistic format. If only others liked this kind of stuff as much as I do. Still reading Light in August and I'm just about at the part where he lost me last time I tried reading it, where Miss Burden starts delving into her family history. His plots branch out into more comlex epics instead of falling together into cohesion. Well I imagine it will fall together, it's just so hard to keep track of everything.
I smell and there's no water. Waiting for the solder to dry. Tomorrow I go back to Tucson to be complete with my female anima.
March 22, 1997 — San Juan Capistrano, CA
Woke up at the Capistrano Inn. I guess there's a mission here. Not one of Father's Kino's doings, not exactly sure who put up these California missions. It's sultry and hazy white out, we just brewed in some in-room coffee and we're watching Bugs And Daffy and friends.
Last day in Cananea I worked where I had started that week, add-ons. Kind of nice where you return to a place because you know where everything is, where the roads are and what canyon or ridge goes where. Got eighteen samples and jetted back to Tucson for a home-cooked meal and some love-making before it was even time to go to bed. We were planning on going out to Joshua Tree and San Diego or something. Kevin had called and said he was coming out to Tucson. We talked him out of it because we were itching to get out of town. Actually bedder-½ was more than I was, I was quite content to sit home and do nothing but write, being as I was very sick of being in a car and it seems for once I was sick of travel. But poor bedder-½ is on vacation and I had the car down in Mexico so she couldn't go anywhere.
Thursday I had to dump data and meet with Clark and do errands, catch up on bills, etc. Our finances were giving me anxiety attacks. $1200 Amex bill, etc. Seems like a never ending battle. The more you make the more you spend. So we never got out of town on Thursday. We did see Lost Highway which was alright. Lynch is just too scattered and I think just because it's David Lynch everybody assumes it means something but no one understands it. And he just throws in lots of needless sex scenes and violence.
Friday morning we woke up and headed out. We were a little indecisisve but we knew we wanted to go west. I started to get serious cabin fever being in the car. It seemed the car was becoming s symbol of the whole situation. This object that I'm working to pay off, and at the same time we're running it into the ground. Putting on a thousand miles a week. By the time we pay it off it will be broke. We were in Phoenix traffic, we were driving to L.A. to maybe meet-up with Kevin, even though we had no plans in mind. But that occurred to me as a crazy idea, I didn't want to just drive into L.A with nothing going. I forgot my power cord and my powerbook is dying, will finish this later., Our bedder-½ is naked in the king-size bed.
Now we're back on the road. Just stopped at this rest area. California is nuts. Everything is a tourist attractoin, even the rest areas. Hectocity. Thousands of people in line. Women waiting in line in the men's line. Like a giant waste elimination park. I had extremely spicy Thai food last night and it just burned it's way through my gut and out my sphincter like acid through metal.
After Phoenix we retreated to I-8 and went straight to La Jolla just in time for sunset. Got a room in Pacific beach and walked along the boardwalk at night and had a nice seafood meal washed down with a botle of wine. Walked on the beach next morning and watched the waves and the surfers and people fishing on the pier. Then we headed up to Santa Monica to meet up with Kevin. He's the same as it ever was. Nothing has humbled him. Still talks about only himself and exaggerates about everything. Walked along the Santa Monica promenade and ate Argentinian food and brownies then drove to Hollywood in his brand new truck that Granini leased for him. Met up with Eric and went to the Chinise theatre and saw the Godfather (cuz Eric had never seen it). There's a scene in the Godfather where they show the Chinise theatre and that was weird. A movie showing the theatre where you're sitting in. We were late so we didn't see the inside of the theatre until after the credits which made it even cooler. Then we went up to some fancy Japanese restauraunt overlooking the city and had drinks. Drove around some than got Thai food at that Thai place in Hollywood (suwdam longs or whatever it's called) and burned the inside of my gut out. We got a headstart on driving back and checked into the Capistrano inn well past midnight. Just a random exit.
March 29, 1997 — Tucson (San Diego, Cananea)
Let me continue where my powerbook died. Woke up at San Juan Capistrano and went to meet up with bedder-½'s folks. They just opened up this cute little shop on the harbor in San Diego. They sell embroidered apparel, great location for it as people there with there boats and all are in to that stuff, having the names of their boats on hats or shirts, etc. They worked Saturday so bedder-½ and I jetted off to the Zoo. Great Zoo if that's not an oxymoron. Most of the "cages" are big and seem like good habitats, but it's still sick in many senses. But I guess that's the price you pay for being able to see all these animals up close and personal. The orangutangs were the best, we must have watched them for at least an hour. They act like how I would act if I were stuck in a zoo (and I could climb as good as them).
We met up with the folks and went to Downtown ("Old Town"?) San Diego and had Cajun food then peroused in Cigar factories and walked the streets. Next morning we went to Palm Sunday Mass. First time I've been to a Catholic mass in English. Drove back to Tucson listening to the U of A game. They beat Kansas (who was ranked #1 and has only lost to U of A this year) and made it to the final four suprising everyone. So we were just settling in to Tucson and had watched the X-files, bedder-½ was in the shower and we were getting ready to go up in to the loft when the buzzer sounds. Kevin's out in the alley. The moon was eclipsing and you could see Hale Bopp. I had to leave for Mexico early (5 am) the next morning. So I had to leave her with Kevin, something I really didn't look forward to. It's not like I had even discussed it with Kevin, he just showed up. I imagine he was pressured to leave Edward's place. So what's going on in Tucson was left to my imagination as I drove to Mexico. Met up with Lee (Pancho, the other helper chickened out on camping in the mountains for a few nights). We got a late start as there was no gas in town and we had to wait for the gas truck to arrive. Then we drove up to "El Chivato" collected a few samples and set up camp on this exposed ridge. Great view of the moon and Hale-Bopp in the nortwest sky. Little did we know that that cult in San Diego were using this as an excuse for a mass suicide, the vehicle that would take them to Heaven's Gate.
We ate burritos and told stories. Lee told me I should write a book about Mexico before he even heard I was trying to be a writer. Said I knew a lot about the country. Coming from a person of mexican descent I'll take that as a compliment. We split up the next day and did long walk-ins into the mountains. I collected 17 samples while Lee collected 5. I can't imagine what he does as I thought I was going at a pretty casual rate. Saw quite a few sketchy characters up there. Some guy with a loaded burro running away from us. We saw a hidden area with drying lines and irrigation tubing that was definitely being used to grow pot. Then I met these "wood cutters" who I suspect also were growers. They were on the defensive just because I asked them if I could park my car at their ranch. They showed me their green cards and bank cards and insisted that they were "trabajadores" even though I didn't ask. Then they asked me if I was going to be working there in May. (That's when the growing season begins). I left them to thier business and went about mine.
Went into town on Wednesday night and Lee went back to Tucson. My allergies were killing me, didn't sleep well at all while we were camping out. Woke up every fifteen minutes to sneeze and blow my nose. I was miserable. So I decided to stay in Cananea (not that I was crazy about camping by myself in those mountains anyways) for the rest of the time.
Thursday I was way up on this mountain going through this saddle when I see a deer carcass hanging, slouched over a barbed wire fence. The image really struck me. As I got nearer I noticed that it's nose was still moist, though it was hanging limp. And it's eyes were open and glazed. Then it lifted it's head and started to panic. It was all wrapped up between two strands of barbed wire it was trying to jump through. It's front feet were hanging to the ground and there was a bare spot where it had been hoofing at the ground for what seemed like days. But that split second when I realized it was alive, this deer hanging there in a state of defeat, I'd give anything to know what was going through that deer's mind. Completely hopeless, knowing you will just hang there until you starve to death of a coyote finds you and eats you, completely alone to just contemplate death, maybe even wish it, but you couldn't even do that if you tried. Trapped to slowly suffer. As I grabbed a hold of it to set it free it really freaked out and started letting out this sickly, eerie bleating and spazzing out to the point that I thought it would hurt itself. So I knocked over the near fence post and pulled apart the wires until it was able to free itself. It jumped away, leaving fur and blood all over the barbed wire. It ran away dragging it's hind legs and I realized maybe I hadn't done such a good thing. It looked like it had broken both legs. Once it had realized I wasn't chasing it, it stopped and looked back at me like it understood what I had done. I considered whether to try to put it out of it's misery. Then, after standing a minute and staring at me, it was like it had regained control of it's legs and hopped off just like a normal dear. Maybe hanging by it's legs like that had cut off the circulation or something, I don't know. Anyways, it appeared to be fine and I continued on with my work.
At night I would talk to Our bedder-½ and Kevin trying to decipher what was going on. Namely that Kevin was driving bedder-½ crazy and she didn't even have the privacy to tell me this over the phone. Friday I went into this area by the town of Santa Cruz. From there I can see across the border to the area near Patagonia (the "Little Outfit Ranch" where I did that job for Jaba), world's apart. It's like seeing things from the other side of a mirror. After I collected the samples I continued on that dirt road up to within a mile of the border and took that road all the way to Nogales. I entered Nogales through a real sketchy part of town where people live in makeshift ramshackle houses made of pallets, cardboard or whatever scraps they can piece together. Housing for the transient poplulation on the way Norte. One image I saw that really struck me was a goat lynched from a tree. Maybe it was an offering to the Chupacabras. It was hanging from it's neck by a thin rope. It had been there so long, it's fur was becoming disassociated from the carcass and dangling off in chunks, sliding off the rotting meat.
When I got back to Tucson, Kevin was gone. Decided to head back to L.A. or S.F. Bedder-½ was in recovery mode, we ended up talking about Kevin all evening. As if I'm not already sick of hearing him talk about himself. It's really a hopeless situation, not sure what we can do. Evidently he went on to my computer over the week and of course went straight to "The Needles' Eye" [a story we were working on that draws parallels between climbing/adrenalin junkies + drug addiction]. Bedder-½ said he was upset about it. He's starting to remind me more and more of mom, only caring about things that relate to him, reading into everything. If he had read the whole story he probably would've of understood that it was only a story, maybe influenced by all his whining and desperate phone calls, but not really about him. And I'm sure he went through my journal trying to find out what I wrote about him, and of course not caring about what fiction I have been writing or taking an interest in my life, didn't ask bedder-½ anything about her or how we were doing, he's completely self-consumed in his problems, or rather, drugs have completely consumed him. He has no idea the toll it takes being on the receiving end, putting all this energy into a situation that just seems beyond anyone's ability to change. When we talk about writing he'll jump into a monologue about the story he's been writing or the same shit he's already read years before, with no idea about what I've read or been writing. Not that I really care, but it's really hard to help him thru his issues when when he shows absolutely no respect or cares at all about me. Bedder-½ says he's back in San Fran now and mom is charging him rent to sleep in Granini's atttic, $20/night. What can you do or say, except keep living your own life? He says some stuff that shows he respects me—like he thinks I'm 'lucky' for having bedder-½. But 'lucky' is the key word, as if it isn't something I've worked for or deserved, but something that just happened to me and he's never had the oppurtunity. This sounds more like envy than respect. That's the extent of it. Even if deep down he really does respect or care for me, nothing in this world means anything unless you can convey it to other people. I guess that's what writing is all about, what good is it if you can't get it onto paper.
[... April 1997]