The Big Chill
Gary Curtis, former World Tribune editor, is dead. There was a memorial last Sunday. But the night before I was invited to a pre-memorial get together. Everyone assumed I knew him. I did not. There were those who were connected to everything Santa Monica and those who were not. I was not. But my ex wife was, so everyone made that associative leap.
My friend who put this together asked for “no ax grinding”. Among those in attendance were other people of note that I also did not ever meet but it was assumed that I had: Judith Curtis (Gary’s widow), Jackie Stone, Chris Roman, lionized Japanese pioneer woman Mrs. Clark, and some guy that used to work at the WT. When Mrs. Clark sat down next to Chris Roman my friend was wary that she might be doing the one thing she does to everyone, give unwarranted advice. That usually entails starting at the asshole and finishing by coming out the eyeballs.
I guess my friend had too much wine because he started ax grinding. But it was the type of grind that a person does when they still are involved and have hope that someday whatever they are grinding will change. A sort of negative/positive: “They don’t get it,” he said. “No, you don’t get it,” I thought to myself.
My friend was standing in front of the sofa, sort of holding court, with the “Don’t you think so?” rhetorical questioning attitude, which used to be followed by a resounding Japanese “Hai!” The subject changed to victimization. The pompous ass from the WT sitting on the far end of the sofa, the only one whose name I did not get, made a not so curt comment that those people who considered themselves a victim of SGI or NSA aren’t really victims. Really? What was happening inside my brain was actually more like “REALLY!”
My friend who had asked everyone to “don’t go there” responded “absolutely”. In other words, “Hai!”
I wanted to ask if their definition of victimless victims included four year olds. I wanted to say that when my marriage to a “senior leader” broke up, that my senior leader estranged wife felt so despondent and had “lost face” to her members so much so that she continually sought solace in the form of “guidance” from the same Mrs. Clark. Mrs. Clark who encouraged her to redouble her efforts and then redouble again. I wanted to tell them about how my ex would follow that advice and do home visitations seven nights a week. About how my daughter would get dinner in the car and not at home. About how she would be allowed to wander a strangers home as long as she didn’t disrupt the visitation. About how she would fall asleep every night in another persons sofa or floor and somehow wake up in her own bed after sleep walking from her mom’s car. About how instead of waiting on tables two nights a week, I would go and baby sit so my kid could eat in her home, fall asleep in her bed, and about how that action was considered a “benefit” of her faith from her mother. About how by the age of five my daughter had been molested at one of these visitations. About how in complete denial my ex had become about the reality of the aberrant behavior displayed by my non-victimized daughter.
But that kind of talk would only lead me speaking about a couple of young women who were raped by a pigeon English speaking Santa Monica organizational leader, and what good would it serve to pop their bullshit Buddhist bubble. So instead I kept my promise and said merely “I gotta go.”
But here I am. Trying to purge myself in my sixties like a corn holed Catholic alter boy, by regurgitating the tip of a 35 year old iceberg of crap. And I’m not sure I can be friends any longer.