Lindaland
  Lindaland Central 2.0
  When I went from Texas-California at 16

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   When I went from Texas-California at 16
Dervish
Knowflake

Posts: 320
From:
Registered: May 2009

posted October 22, 2009 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dervish     Edit/Delete Message
I thought of sharing this a month or so ago, I forget why. But I got frustrated because to explain why I found it such a freeing, awesome experience (in which I was very lucky) and consider it one of my most treasured coming of age experiences, I thought it was too long to hold people's interests.

But seeing some of the comments on the Do We Choose Our Parents thread, I'm thinking of doing it again. Despite what spurred it to happen in the first place, and how it would eventually end (where I'd end up thumbing a ride north as explained in the "choose parents" thread), it was a surprisingly positive experience, IMO.

Should I share it? Like I say, it would be pretty long. Not a book or anything, but it's not a quick read for many.

IP: Logged

shura
Knowflake

Posts: 60
From:
Registered: Jun 2009

posted October 22, 2009 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for shura     Edit/Delete Message

IP: Logged

GypseeWind
Knowflake

Posts: 1786
From: Dayton,Ohio USA
Registered: May 2009

posted October 22, 2009 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GypseeWind     Edit/Delete Message
You should share.

IP: Logged

Dervish
Knowflake

Posts: 320
From:
Registered: May 2009

posted October 22, 2009 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dervish     Edit/Delete Message
PART I

There's a long story that precedes this of course, but I'm gonna skip it. Thing is, I believe it was April 25, 1999, that I left wanting to use the weekend to put as much distance between me & Texas as I could, with the idea of meeting some people I'd met my first time as a runaway in Houston who I knew went to Los Angeles a few months prior to this day.

My name is a bit harder to explain. Technically, I'm Becky Jane. But it got warped in school enough since middle school to be said as "BJ," which was then said to stand for "blow job," that I insisted on going by my middle Jane. After leaving Granny's farm and going back to Houston, I found that it finally took so people were calling me Jane. And now as I was leaving, I twisted my name into "Janet." I figured if I slipped, I could just say Jane was short for Janet.

Because I was so terrified of being sent back to a place I'd once been put before, I also took the time to change my appearance, cutting my hair short & dying it black, as well as wearing borrowed clothes. If arrested (which I realized might be as soon as the truck stop out of town), I was fully resolved to not give my real name even if it meant staying locked up and being abused until I was 18, because the place I was looking at going to instead (which wouldn't be able to hold me once I turned 18) was THAT bad.

Anyway, friends dropped off at a truck stop. I was so desperate to get away that I was even willing & prepared to turn tricks for days as long as it got me closer to Los Angeles. But I lucked out. I got a guy who let me sleep and ride free, all he wanted was help in understanding his own daughter (he'd explain what she did and ask me why I thought she did, how he could guide her without pushing her to rebel more, etc). I found him fascinating and learned quite a bit from him. (Years later, when I took a road trip back to Texas, I went to a truck stop first to ask where the "hot spots" were for cops pulling cars over, and they gave me some towns to avoid, which I found very useful--and not a single traffic ticket there or back!)

I found the western part of Texas strange compared to the eastern part I'd been in, and came to understand why the Eastern part is seen as "Southern" while the Western part is seen more of as "The West," both in environment & socially. It was more brush and desert, and I was scared of the wild hogs that I heard traveled the wilds (bad for hitchhikers).

Corpus Christi was an eye opener, too. After he did his biz there, we stopped and walked around, looking for a place to eat, etc. As we walked along the sea wall after, I was amazed & horrified by all the syringes in the gulf. Heck, I'd been stung by what I presume was jellyfish in the Gulf of Mexico before, but I was suddenly wondering if I'd been pricked by a needle. Could such a needle give someone AIDS?

"Sure are a lot of junkies in this town," I said.

"No," he said casually, "those are used needles that the hospitals pay some independents to get rid of. Those independents then dump them into the gulf, or rivers leading into the gulf."

Shocked, I asked, "Isn't that illegal?"

"Yep," he said casually.

I said nothing more as I could think of nothing more to say. It was just part of the education I got about the world that I'd never have gotten from inside the walls of a school.

When we left Texas, I felt as if I'd been let out of a prison. No longer was I under the jurisdiction of the Texas legal system. As long as they didn't find out who I was, I was the property of another state--and belonged to only myself if I could help it. I had the kindly trucker pull over shortly after passing the state line and danced and laughed to his bemusement.

And everything was new, so beautiful and alive with possibilities. I asked about history of the places we passed, and he answered as best he could, but he really didn't know much beyond some interesting legends that may or may not have had any truth to them. He dropped me off outside of Phoenix because he was about to return home, and he couldn't have me in the truck with him. He wished me luck and gave me money for food (after having bought me a meal), and told me I-10 would take me to LA.

Lady Luck smiled on me again though, for at that very same eatery, I was greeted warmly by a strange deadhead. "JANE!" he shouted. As it was, I'd cut my hair short and dyed it black, so I'd actually looked a lot like Jane Lane, a character in a show airing on MTV at the time called Daria. I was freaked that I thought he knew who I was, but after I realized the Daria reference, I was amused. He introduced me to his friends and they agreed to give me a ride out to California. Not to LA, but at least I'd be in the right state, and could just take 101 down instead. And then we headed up 93 (interesting number, given that I'd meet occultists, including Thelemites, going up that highway).

Las Vegas was interesting and we had to load up on water because their car almost always had trouble in the desert. However, it wasn't a problem this time. THIS time (my first time) there was a FLASH FLOOD!

Seriously, a huge downpour started, and though we weren't entirely sober & it was hard to see through the rain into the far distance, it really seemed as if we could see water racing down some distant mountains and it was like a race to get out of the area before any of that hit us. I don't know how much danger we were actually in, but none of us were eager to find out. I was told that after the rare floods hit that the desert comes alive with beautiful flowers that live only for a few weeks at most. I regretted missing the flowers.

We passed many, many silohs and dead towns. One town was really weird. It looked like it was out of the Old West, save that there were presence of cars here and there (very old though). We passed what looked like a saloon and a huge guy dressed like a cowboy tried waving us in. We all got major bad vibes (and my sixth sense seems pretty good about these things, too) and got out of that town fast. At some point we turned north before Reno because one of the guys in the car had enemies in Reno (including on the PD).

We ended up passing Shasta, and of course we had to visit Weed. While they mostly knew things about the Grateful Dead and related topics, they did have some interesting stuff to share about Mt. Shasta (though there was a lot more as I'd learn later). All the snow (keep in mind that being from Texas, I was NOT used to seeing snow, ESPECIALLY during Summer, even if Summer was just starting!), grassy bare hills, forests, and mountains were especially beautiful after all that desert & brush (though even that was beautiful when it was new), and I understand why Mount Shasta has gotten so much praise.

Granted, there's a lot of pastures, and miles and miles of cows, too. (And I found that deadheads, like children, like to moo at them driving by. I even took to mooing, too.)

Finally home (they ranged from Eureka to Arcata), I took to house hopping, a survival habit I'd already formed when living with my mom. And being stoners and such, they weren't the least bit freaked when I ran out to the Pacific Ocean and raised my arms and screamed in victory, doing another dance like I did when I was in New Mexico. I'd made it! No court or cops or teachers were able to stop me! And they were never going to have me again! And what a place! Beautiful redwoods, good fishing, food to forage, I saw wildlife everywhere, and all kinds of people that were so nice and laid back that I felt all my fears melting away. This is why I abandoned my goal of making it to Los Angeles.

IP: Logged

Dervish
Knowflake

Posts: 320
From:
Registered: May 2009

posted October 22, 2009 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dervish     Edit/Delete Message
PART II

And this was the time in my life I spent so much of it stoned. For the rest of the summer, I partied, got high, found places to crash, got the munchies, watched a lot of TV & movies though my memory on much of what I saw is fuzzy at best. I recall the music being so beautiful while stoned that I cried from it.

I think the funniest moment was when some of us walked to get a pizza as we had the munchies. We could not get the order out because we'd break out into a major giggle fit. Then we'd get all serious and just as someone would get a word out we'd break up laughing again. Luckily, the one behind the counter was very understanding (I could understand being annoyed with us instead ) and had us sit down and came out and got our order later.

So many made fun of my Texas accent though, which I mostly shrugged off (hard to care while stoned ), but was amazed to hear them play Janis Joplin. I pointed out that she had a Texas accent at least as strong as mine, if not stronger, and they think she sounds cool, but I sound weird? What's up with that? They didn't seem to understand the question. Yeah, she had a Texas accent, but she was Janis Joplin, so who cares, right?

I look back on that and not only feel gratitude for the experience, but also a shiver at how lucky I was. So many things could've gone wrong but didn't, and I was living in a beautiful area full of beautiful people.

Still, with the exception of the holidays (Thanksgiving-New Years), I'm very careful about any form of intoxicants, legal and otherwise, that I take today. But I don't regret the experience then.

'Course something WOULD go wrong. I'd leave a party with the wrong person, and escape to thumb a ride up north to make sure I couldn't be recaptured and silenced. That was in October. But even that traumatic experience was just the labor of my new life--who I've become today--being born, painful & terrifying but a new chance given to me, one that I could use instead of being stoned all the time without direction. So even that, as horrible as it was, seems worth it. It really could've turned out so much worse instead.

Anyway, other than the time I lived with Granny, this is the only time I can think of where I found growing up free from responsibility & care, where everything was new & alive with possibilities, and the future could take care of itself. And it showed me that I could make my own fate rather than simply letting others decide my fate for me, which was quite empowering for me.

The positive experience would continue later on, but at that time I'd arranged for my upkeep and pretty much earned my keep, so I don't consider that so much my growing up as much as being an adult (whether or not society recognized me as one). Besides, later that October I turned 17 anyway, and when you're 17, that's close enough anyway.

So anyway, that's it.

IP: Logged

pire
Knowflake

Posts: 808
From:
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 25, 2009 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pire     Edit/Delete Message
thanks for sharing dervish, that is really interesting; i could picture u dancing in new mexico or on the pacific ocean

i loved your description of nature and landscape cause it seems so unreal to me, only seen it in films;

would u say that now u are safe? financially, independent? i would be interested to know your childhood circumstances but u might want to keep it for yourself since we are on a public place, and because other less inspiring writers may want to use your words.

IP: Logged

Taurean_Scorpion
Knowflake

Posts: 94
From: Santa Monica, CA
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 25, 2009 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Taurean_Scorpion     Edit/Delete Message
That was very easy and interesting to read. I think you're a talented writer.

IP: Logged

BlueTopaz124
Knowflake

Posts: 118
From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 25, 2009 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BlueTopaz124     Edit/Delete Message
I can see you racing out to the Pacific Ocean...Thank you for sharing your story. It's amazing what a strong will to find something better will do.

Good for you!

I'm a native of Northern California - Bay Area.

IP: Logged

T
Knowflake

Posts: 1448
From:
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 25, 2009 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for T     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for sharing. Youve had quite a life. And brought back some memories for me. My worst was being stranded with no money and a broken down car over 1500 miles from "home" (where I was raised at least, didnt have a home at the time) and hadnt spoken to my mother in over a year and wasnt about to call her for help. My crazy ex left me there - hitchhiked off. It was a nightmare. Thankfully I had a friend 4 hrs away that picked me up. Really glad those days are over. But youre right, these are the experiences that help us "get born".

IP: Logged

Dervish
Knowflake

Posts: 320
From:
Registered: May 2009

posted October 26, 2009 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dervish     Edit/Delete Message
I'd say I'm safe now. I'm financially independent, though I keep a low overhead. I'm about to be moving and I'm not certain how that will change things.

As a very brief description, I make and alter various crafts to sell to various people, especially a thrift store. For example, it's that time of year where I start saving all the catalogs sent to me because I'll put down some hardwood in the garage and then put out freezer paper on it. Then I get the catalogs and paint lacquer thinner over it with a brush. The thinner causes the catalog to "bleed" and drip down onto the freezer paper and it ends up with swirling colors all over it. Some of it goes to people that make money through crafts malls who presumably sell it themselves. There's also a couple of people who appreciate buying it cheap from me and they provide their customers with free (or very cheap) gift wrapping. One of them runs a thrift store that also will give me old clothes to "enhance," and that makes pretty good money, too. That is, I consider myself well-compensated for my effort.

I'm also an entertainer, especially at children's b-day parties, but other types of parties, as well. I think this makes me the most money when I have gigs, but that market is very whimsical for me.

I also run various errands & take advantage of all kinds of opportunities. For example, when the Hannah Montana movie came out I made all kinds of money taking kids to see it so that parents didn't have to see it over & over themselves. Gods, I made over $200 profit a week the first 2 weeks it ran, and made quite a bit every week until it left the discount cinemas.

The most creative thing I think is how I let people order gifts to subscriptions in my name and have it sent to my PO Box, and when I deliver it to them, I get a "finder's fee." This is popular around the holidays. It also gets my name & PO Box sold to all kinds of spammers who send me their catalogs, which as I say I used in turning freezer paper into gift wrapping paper, so I guess I'll end there where it comes full circle.


And as for my childhood circumstances... suffice to say that when I ran, I was living with Mom because she wanted the child support to fund her bad habits (she never reported me missing for fear of losing it, too--and Dad kept paying until I was 18 and didn't realize I'd even run away until I visited him shortly before I turned 22). Because she was an addict with other problems, I learned to stay at other people's homes, just so I could eat at times. One thing I'd do is when Mom passed out drunk, I'd steal much of what was left of her peach brandy to give to others as to foster friendship and allow me to stay at their homes (and since she got that brandy with child support intended to take care of me, I figured I had a right to it). I'd tried to get where I could stay with Granny, but the courts wouldn't hear of it, so I figured if I ran to Granny's, the courts would just track me down there and drag me back, which is why I didn't run there. In retrospect, I think I'd have gotten away with it had I done so (but then I'd be a different person today).

As for school, my principal was an utter jerk and the counselor was insane. I'd run away from home for the first time with my best friend the year before, missing the last of the school year and the beginning of the next before I came home that I was put through some testing and then placed in ABC, or Adaptive Behavior Class. It was basically intended to control our behavior even outside of school and kept us separate from the rest (for example, there were 2 lunch periods, but ABC ate in between them with the other special classes and those in suspension, and not allowed to talk, and we were kept in one classroom the entire day).

Some of the runaways I met the first time I was a runaway on the streets of Houston were nomads, and when a bunch left they said they were going to Los Angeles and I got the impression they spent a lot of time there, and they shared enough about where the runaways go that when I ran away for the 2nd time, I naturally chose Los Angeles to run to. Though as I explained, it didn't turn out as intended. Which is good, as it turned out so much better...

Those were the general circumstances at the time I left. To explain the exact reason why I left would take more time than I feel like going into now and I've already shared enough for now.

IP: Logged

GypseeWind
Knowflake

Posts: 1786
From: Dayton,Ohio USA
Registered: May 2009

posted October 27, 2009 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GypseeWind     Edit/Delete Message
Great story! You should publish this.

I don't know if you still like The Dead or not, but a very close friend of mine ownes a dead; and related bands, website:

tooboarders.net

You may find some of your old friends there, he has a link on there called hippie dating or something like that with a bunch of pics... coincidently, my friend now resides in Texas!

IP: Logged

pire
Knowflake

Posts: 808
From:
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 27, 2009 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pire     Edit/Delete Message
i'm not sure what to say.


IP: Logged

Dervish
Knowflake

Posts: 320
From:
Registered: May 2009

posted October 28, 2009 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dervish     Edit/Delete Message
See, it's "just me" for me. I know people with much wilder and more intense life experiences than me, for example.

I just read the autobiographical *Miles to Go* by Miley Cyrus and found that very interesting & inspirational. Though she also spent time on a farm (and I know of some what she speaks on that part), her life is very different from mine when I was her age. And perhaps that's why it fascinates me.

Maybe I'll try to make aspects of my past public someday, but mainly to show why many laws do more harm than good, and do more to endanger kids than protect them.

IP: Logged

All times are Eastern Standard Time

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Linda-Goodman.com

Copyright 2008

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a