maarmie's musings

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Letter #7

(Postmarked 5 May, 2001, when I was living in Portland, Oregon, with Garreth. This is the last of the letters)

Sunday Evening

Hi Honey,

Sitting here, the earth is damp and smells wonderful, the wind is pushing the leaves around, and all greenery is smiling. God was good to us today...rare, blessed rain. Just makes you want to get naked and wallow in a puddle.

Did some house and AA bldg. cleaning and came home to an unhappy pain in the ass I call my sig. other. (Why won't he just disappear like a rainbow.) So demanding, so rude. He feels me pulling away with disdain and crushed, retaliates weakly. Dramatic huh?

Life is kind. I love my family and friends and try to stay as far from the house until the guilotine falls. It sucks. That which was once lovely has turned to pig poo poo; though at present, it could be mended and life go on in a spiritless sort of fashion with no sharing and me listening to hill Jack shit on the TV and sharing my life with a man who brags that he has never read a book or appreciated art, and keeps asking, "What does that word mean?" I am too caustic. Beneath all the crap Todd is a good man. Good just isn't enough when a brain has turned to mush from lack of challenge or stimulation though. I am too hard on him. He made a mistake and banded with me, the restless bitch that wouldn't be happy because boredom strikes quickly and the spirit of new pushes at my back. Oh such high drama - isn't it fun and aren't I ever mans nightmare. (They all think I'm so kind until the have the misfortune of being ensnared in my hastily built web.) The house is full of boys (which also pisses Todd off...I think I'll invite a few street people to move in - he hates and fears their hold on my heart. Eric is here...a friend of his, Sean (until tomorrow), and another in the travel trailer out in the side yard. All my little ones who are not ready to fly...or find staying here free far more appealing than soaring and being responsible. I just want a dry cave and a ton of books...a few intelligent friends, and my loved ones around. Sometimes life is just too full...I need a deserted island for a week or so to fill me back up with me. Julie my dear, I love you. I know you don't want to hear it but I do. Your quick wit, lively mind, abilities, sense of high drama, your urge to soar, questioning mind, and beauty quickens my heart. Unfortunately I was the pod you entered life through. I'm not too good at anything and harmed your spirit, which I will always regret. I never meant it to happen. Seems that I hurt the ones closest to me, the ones I love the best. I wish I could take all this time back, know what I know about life now, and do it all over again, right. I wish that my addictions had never gotten in the way of my heart and my selfishness in the way of my responsibilities. I'm a nomad, not that I want to be, but it's a part of me I cannot change. I'm not Beaver Cleavers mom, just a rebel trying to exert a little self control...and mourn at my inability to be a good mother...but I can be a good friend and do love you as a mother loves her child, and always will. I'm just not good at it. Bi-polarity, although a wee bit under control, still takes me to Never - Never Land then drops me on my head. At present I am doing absolutely nothing interesting. The second book is shelved - I'm too scattered. No Newspaper articles. A few poems. But the garden is lush and is my 15 square feet of flowers and serenity. A little chunk of peace in my whirling world. I need a break from my head. You, if anyone, knows what I mean. You understand me and I do you too.

Well my dear, I will close for now and will flip the processor back on soon. I hope you and Gareth are content (which is much better than happy). Happiness is so fleeting, a brilliant spark of red and purple. Contentment a warm green and blue - much easier on the eyes and spirit. Please send me a picture of you two. I would like to see what Gareth looks like - and even more, would like to meet him. Peace.

I love you -


Letter #6

(Postmarked 29 May, 1998)

Thursday the 28th

My Dearest Julie,

Thank you for replying so quickly. And thank you also for including some of your favorite articles. "a bizarre series of installations and videos" - love it. And "become a vicious character and prepare to defend life and limb against..." - has life. Julie, you're good. Talented. Your work is smooth, no chop to it, and deals with the meat - excluding flowery nonessentials. Shit, I'm not a critic but I like your "stuff". And true...your name on an article is better than any high you can buy on the streets...for me too.

"You Hit Me, Kiss Me, Keep me alive, Make me die" must have been a catharsis for you. Chances are some other young girl in a similar situation may see the light through your article and realize that there is a way out...and will gather the courage to make a stand. Sometimes our work CAN make a difference.

Baby, I know you're angry at me. How could you not be? I want you to know that it's ok to vent - to be truthful and dump that hostility on me. I can take it. If you don't, that anger will turn inward and can cause deep depression. I know. I bottled all that childhood pain and became an angry rebel. I want you to do whatever it takes to make you whole.

Re: Eric. He's got his life together after two years in PAR and is working, going to meetings, and has a nice girlfriend. Yes, he was an asshole when you were at the house. He was in the throws of his addictions and self-centered to boot. He's still self centered, but aren't we all - to a certain extent.

I wasn't doing too well then either - locked in a codependent relationship. Should have never gone off for that weekend. It was an empty two days that caused so many problems and lingering ill feelings. I will always regret it.

I'm glad the Escort served you as well as it did me. Kind of a shame that it has to die, but I'm happy you could use it as long as you did.

A couple years have passed Julie; there's no more chaos in my life. I'm finally settled and serene. Life is simple - just the way it was always meant to be...and, as always (even though it may not have seemed that way) I love you. Sometimes I fee that you're me and I'm you (if you know what I mean). I DON'T want to loose you again. Your letter gave me hope that we could be close. I know I can't be your mother, even tho' I am, but I can love and accept you unconditionally - can be your friend. So...if you are ready, baby, so am I. It may be rocky for a while but that's're worth it. No matter what...I will always love you.

Janine (Mom)

P.S. Your Christmas present was an angel on tile...delicate. Don't know why you didn't receive it. I mailed it to this same address.

Please send me a picture of you and Garreth.

If you decide to take in Big Sky and your grandmother let me know. Mom would be pleased and you'd probably love the serenity.

Again...Julie, I love you.

Letter to Mom

(I either took this letter back or was given it after Janine died in 2004. Postmarked 18 May, 1998)


Thanks for the birthday card - it was really nice of you to send that.

I guess there's a lot to catch you up on considering we haven't made contact with each other in nearly three years.

Since last October, I have been working at the Tallahassee Democrat, the area's only daily newspaper. I am a news assistant, but I am doing my best to learn as much as I can there before my boyfriend, Garreth, and I move to Seattle.

We were hoping to leave by August, but now it seems December is more realistic.

Anyway, so far at the paper I've been doing obituaries, working in the library and helping out at the Capitol Bureau during the legislative session.

I've gotten articles in the paper, too. I even have my own column called "Tallahassee Traveler" about different people's travel experiences. I wrote a 37" article about domestic violence (an editorial about my experiences w/Ike) and I've written a second one about me quitting smoking (it's only been 3 weeks so far) But I'm most proud of my two legislative stories - one made it to the top of the legislative page and one hit the top of the front page - that's a news assistant first!

Anyway, I have 13 by-lines to my credit and expect 3 more within three weeks. Plus, I may be getting a promotion into doing the copyediting and layout for a section of the paper - all the writing I do is considered "freelance" and is done on my own time - I get paid overtime for it by the department that had me write the story -

Anyway -

I would like to set up a journalism internship @ the Seattle Times, a much bigger operation than the Democrat and I would like to get a masters degree in Journalism. Right now the money sucks, so I'm getting a 2nd job. Other than that, there's not much news.

How have you been?

I gather from the return address that you live in a house, but I don't know much more, and neither do Brian & Cindy, it seems, as I grill them about you all the time to no avail.

Hope you are fine.. Anyway, my # is (850) 575-4536
e-mail - or


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Letter #5


My Dearest Julie,

Hi honey. I was so kinda relieved to get your letter. I thought I had pissed you off in the last I wrote to you, 'cause I didn't hear right back (I'm greedy).

Dallas/Ft. Worth. Never been more than through it so I have no information to base a judgment on. I know you like big cities so you'll probably like the fever of it. Hope you can get on with the paper of your choice! You're good...can't see any reason why you wouldn't be grabbed up. Hell, they will consider themselves fortunate to have you on staff.

Please send a copy of your "daily". What did they assign? I'd like to read it. All the articles you've sent, I've kept. Julie, I'm SO proud of you.

You've come such a long way, healed so much, developed your self esteem (no, earned it), grown GROWN. I hope you're as proud of your success as I am of you. I know it's been a long, tough journey. Perhaps that is what makes it so valuable...the tears, struggles, and just the act of keeping matter what.

Have had some minor successes here. Am in the process of the finality of  "Road Dog Warriors". I will be shipping it out next week. Did a complete rewrite - add ons, deletions, and revision. I have written the query letter including an overview of the book. Bio's done. Just need to complete the outlines and I'm procrastinating on that. Afraid of rejection. Rejection, after three years of work, would really hurt. Anyway...the publishing house I was in contact with wanted to know what I could do here to help market the book. Contacted: WUSF, Channel 3, Channel 13, Channel 10, and Channel 8...all are willing to do interviews with me if (when) the book is published...and Gayle Sierens called me. Both papers - the Trib and Times - will do articles. Barnes and Noble - a signing. And the public library wants me to be a guest speaker. Love that positive feed...almost makes me feel like the book is already on the way to the presses. Little blind successes.

Julie, am reading a book that I think you would enjoy (if you haven't already read it). "The Liars' Club" by Mary Carr. Her descriptive capabilities are honed and detailed, but not so detailed that it bores. If you get a chance, check it out.

You wanted to know about Tommy. Sounds like he's about the same as Garreth as far as insecurities and needing to grow up. He's an outdoors person. Stable. Faithful. Makes a decent wage. Very dependent on me - instead of making friends and doing guy things...and it makes me push him away. He's kind, quiet, and somewhat apologetic. Short, mustached, and has pretty eyes. He'd defend my defects against the world. Deprive himself for me. Not the bad boy - intellect rising, that I want...but a nice person.

Damn, I don't think I'll ever settle down. When the book sells, maybe I should go live in the mountains alone and I won't hurt anyone else. Commitment is such an impossibility for me. I want it all - freedom, security, friends, alone time, but basically freedom...freedom from drudgery, freedom to let my mind soar and stay where it will. Freedom to go - or stay. Freedom to be the best bi-polar me I can be...and not hurt anyone.

My street "warriors" are having a hell of a time now. Teenagers here have developed a new sport called Catch A Street Person and Kick His Ass. Gangs (Bloods, Crypts, and "normal kids") are finding loners and beating them up. Calhoun was in the paper a couple weeks ago after four boys beat him badly and Hippy got four ribs shattered by eight feet (and a gash in the back of his head) last Sunday. Calhouns assailants were apprehended and a couple of the guys that caught Hippy too. But Donn's weren't - he got his teeth kicked out. Or Boston's - he was beaten with a tree limb. Or many others. I still love the street people and very much care about them. The authorities and the punks are all coming down on them at one time and...who do they go to for help?

Julie, I love you and I love your letters. Please keep them coming. And remember...I'm here if you need a friend. - or even if you don't.

I love you baby,