Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I feel I am finally able to push ahead with the actual writing of my memoir. This past year or so I’ve been researching periods and people, organizing photos and journals, and gathering ideas for themes and messages. Just yesterday I did my ‘morning pages’ and it felt right and satisfying to begin this process.
I went to my office for a few hours, and later, on my walk by the bay with Lois, briefly told her some details from my story. I asked if she thought anybody would be interested in reading it. A resounding YES! I had to laugh – our friends mostly think our stories are good—because they like us. Isn’t that great? Only if you don’t bet your fortune on it!
Here’s an excerpt (remember this is a first draft and that “Writing is re-writing”):
1976 – I met Timothy, an ex-L.A. policeman, through Howard, sister Shirley’s husband at the time. Balding, his muscles now covered with a thick, soft layer of fat, he had a big smile, a deep voice, and great energy.
Tim was an alcoholic and loved to drink and party. I rarely drank and became inebriated rather quickly whenever we were together. One night he was staying at a friend’s house in Tujunga Canyon and called me to come over. Within a couple of hours, after we had finished every partial bottle of booze in the friend’s liquor cabinet, Tim said, “Let’s go joy riding in the hills in his jeep.” Off we zoomed in this rundown old army jeep with no top, no seat belts, round the mesquite hills of the Los Angeles National Forest, up and down, faster and faster. In the passenger seat I could barely hold on. As we went around an especially sharp curve, the jeep became airborne! I can still see the stars filling the black sky as we silently sailed over the cliffside. I knew my life was over, and felt—nothing at all, just before I blacked out.
I came to, alone on the hillside, and spotted the lights of houses, way off in the distance. Harboring no hope of getting that far, I started walking toward the lights, and came to once again, ringing somebody’s doorbell.