I was wide-eyed today.
Nothing much shocks me. Nothing much disturbs me (which is really sorta sad) , nothing much surprises me – and I cut my eyes at anything online with a very ‘going to check Snopes’ eye.
So – I live in the desert. That much has been offered up. I will not share where.
But, the one time of the year that the temperature is PERFECT, we have an obscene wind. A wind that whips through yards, blows patio furniture into pools – roof parts into neighbors yards etc.
My shed has taken this wind – and the wind has taken its toll.
Here’s the thing.
The shed used to be full.
I told my landlady that it was being destroyed bit by bit every strong wind we had.
It got to the point that each rain, my ‘things’ were being destroyed.
Items were ruined. Suitcases, Books (yeah, real ones, not the ones on nook – I had Lady Bird and Mr. Men books in there – 1st edition)
ANYWAY – taking the high road – and knowing these are FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS, I digress.
My landlady is sending someone out to remove the shed of death. Because, let’s face it, one more piece flys, and someone can be decapitated or property can be MAJORLY damaged!
She will have someone come out and dismantle the ‘death shed’.
I had my family (son and fiance) put shed items on the patio today – yesterday, bless his heart, my honey emptied the shed, but we were lookin’ like the neighbors with our shite out in the yard.
Going through it, I tossed tapes, yeah, TAPES, of music that I LOVED, salvaged photos of my son that had not been water drenched.
Many cards that mean nothing to me anymore and just ‘stuff’ I can live without.
During this, I found something very meaningful.
Stay with me – I know this is long.
So, guess what?
Back in the day, in Professor Mooney’s class, we had to make 20 copies of what we wrote for the creative writing class.
It was passed out, anonymously, and our fellow classmates commented on it.
After Jim and I reconnected, I searched for a long time for ‘Purple Haze’ – the piece I wrote in college that began our collaboration on a comic.
We had shared a creative writing class.
(Commented on our writing in ink.)
I still have multiple copies of other writings, with comments, in my ‘memory box’.
But, I could not, for the LIFE of me, find my piece, ‘Purple Haze’.
And, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. But, I (sorry) had no knowledge at that time of Mr. Hendrix.
My dad went to New York on a business trip, and I asked him in my youthful ignorance, to bring me back something from ‘Bloomingdale’s’.
I got a neon phone.
And, it cast a purple haze on my room at night – it glowed pink during daytime.
It was see through – and amazing.
And inspired … ‘Purple Haze’.
Today, I came home early after collecting my prescriptions and with the need to go through, and clean out the items salvaged from the shed.
Guess what I found?
Too much foreshadowing?
Not only did I find ‘Purple Haze’.
The ONLY existing copy.
The person who commented on it?
I know that handwriting.
The ONLY existing copy of Purple Haze – the predecessor to the Arnold art ….
was commented on by the one and only …. Jim. My current fiancée.
We shared that class. And the only copy has HIS handwriting on it.
Much like the picture above survived his Chicago house fire.
SO …. fate?????
And as for the blog name?
This was the actual day that I decided on a name for a book. After my ‘pill’ paragraph and the comment, ‘soupy’. How many people HAVE that?? Amazing.
I love that the only copy of Purple Haze has my future husbands handwriting on it – but it has one other persons also.
He did not write ‘Soupy’.
And I’m waiting for confirmation of who did.
And if it’s who I think it is – we have a bigger story. To be continued ….
What a weekend so far.
There has been someone on my mind for years. A friend that left such an impression on me, that after life took us in different directions – I found myself thinking of him a lot.
Wondering what ever happened to him. Laughing at silly things we did. Smiling at the memories of us trying to put a comic book together based on a short story I wrote in college. Sighing at the night he was there for me – during a very difficult time in my life.
I missed my friend.
I have searched through the years – internet searches, inquiries to mutual friends – nothing. I searched Facebook and could not find him.
I have art he drew for me – poems he wrote for me.
One poem in particular played a huge role in an intense conversation I had with my son about a year ago.
I won’t go into details.
Suffice it to say, I wanted to reconnect. I wanted to find out how he was. Was he happy? Was he still drawing? Was he married with children?
I found a mutual friend on Facebook, who I’ve also looked for over the years, and lo and behold – he was friends with the person I was looking for.
I couldn’t have been happier. Sent friend request and waited.
He accepted my friend request. (Isn’t that funny? Your ‘real life’ friends have to approve your request for friendship.)
I got to speak to him via the internet today.
I type fast – very fast. And bombarded him with ‘OMG’s’ and a million questions.
Of course one of the questions was if I could share some of his art with you here. I won’t know until we talk again. But, trust me when I say, if I DO get to share it – your socks will be blown off.
I was shocked to see a couple of his photos on his page were of drawings he did of characters from my short story ‘Purple Haze’.
No. Not the song.
I maintain to this day that I hadn’t heard the Hendrix title when I wrote that story.
My dad had been to New York, I begged him to get me something, anything from Bloomingdale’s.
He came back with a see-through phone with pink neon inside. With my lights out at night, my bedroom was awash in purple light. THAT is where the name to my story came from.
Anyway, I was so inspired by our chat, that I decided to go to my mom’s house, over the river (yes, really. No woods to go through though.) and finally retrieve my box containing memories and my writing from college.
Got it home and with nervous excitement, I opened what felt like a time capsule.
Oh SO many things in there! Photos, letters, autographed books, the scripts and press kits from Hannibal and Silence of the Lambs. Yearbooks and primary school work books. Nic’s ‘first year’ calendar. A love letter from someone – I have no idea who?!
And, my creative writing folder.
I took it out gently, as if I were holding the holy grail. In my head, golden light bathed the room and intense ‘ta-da’ chord came out of nowhere (you know what I mean, that angelic-climactic sound.)
I opened the folder.
Purple Haze part 2. Okay …
Some works by fellow creative writing classmates.
Hand written short stories.
No Purple Haze part 1.
It has to be somewhere. I’ll have to search through more boxes – I have lots and lots of ‘memory boxes’. No, I’m not a hoarder – I’m sentimental. I keep every note, every card, every picture.
If it’s meant to turn up, it will. Like my friend, after 20 years of searching.
And I will share one picture with you – because it says ‘To Amanda’ on it and I think that means I’m allowed to?
(I really need to google that whole ‘what can I post on my blog without permission’ thing one day.)