Let’s Go Way Out West (Part 3)

Third of how the fuck many posts, I dunno.

Note: I was reluctant to write this post for many reasons, the first was probably its subject of “leavetaking.” I’ve covered this before in this blog, in pieces such as “Goodbye,” “Leaving the Lake,” and “Tearful Goodbyes,” so it’s something I’m sure everyone is familiar with. Knowing that doesn’t make it any harder to acknowledge, but there’s some courage in facing it. Everyone deals with it differently.

For example, a partner who abandons you and your relationship with them might be met with shock—or relief. Conversely, you fade from someone’s life only to realize they gave you gifts you’ll carry for the rest of your days.

It’s a mixed bag.

In October 1993, I reconnected with my friend Therese in Santa Fe, New Mexico, then with her husband Scott. After a couple days’ visit, it was time to leave and head on to Los Angeles, where my screenwriting agent Diana was relocating. I suppose leavetaking opens the door to regret, despair, and no small dollop of sorrow. “What could I have done better?” “What are the lessons I need to learn from the relationship and its ending?”

What is the true meaning of “goodbye”?

Day Four Continued
Sunday, October 10, 1993, Howard Johnson’s, Flagstaff, Arizona

Awoke at 11:30PM, then 3:30AM, then 5:30AM I actually got up. Wanted to write down all that I’d been thinking about that wonderful day Saturday. I wouldn’t get to do that until now, in Flagstaff. I’ve been aching for time alone ever since I left Therese today at almost exactly noon. Today went in TWO PARTS:

Part One: “The Thirty-Five Sweet Goodbyes” Diana and I left Old Carriage House B&B in Las Vegas around 9AM this morning, saying goodbye to Anne Robinson there. I drove Diana’s Mazda to Therese and Scott’s and we got there about 20 to 10AM Scott greeted us at the door and we hung out in the kitchen while they prepared a huge breakfast of tomatoes, peppers, torillas, bacon, sausage, eggs done three styles, refried beans, hash-browned potatoes, juice, tea and coffee cake. We sat on the patio in the cold sunshine by the garden and ate & laughed & Diana took a picture of Therese, Scott & I. Scott seemed more relaxed, even rather chipper, less doleful. Diana called to reserve rooms for us in Flagstaff and after cleaning up breakfast, Therese did Tarot readings for me and also one for Diana.

[An aside: as we were cleaning up, Scott and Diana were talking outside, I helped Therese in the kitchen. She looked at me and smiled as she put dishes in the sink. I smiled at her sadly and said: “I’m gonna miss you…” I walked over to her and she scratched me gently on the back. “I told Scott last night,” she said, “that by having you over here he’s given me a great gift.”]

(Rather than post a poem I’d written from the journal, I’ve chosen to omit it here.)

After the reading it was almost noon and we had hit the road. Walking out of the house I shook Scott’s hand & told him and I was glad we were able to meet. At the car, Diana gave Scott a hug and I walked over to Therese. We hugged long & tightly. It was so good, I was shaking. We said a few more words & she said, “Gimme another hug.” Second verse, same as the first…wonderful. As we got in the car & pulled away, Therese stood on the front porch and watched us for the longest time. I can’t forget the look on her face—pensive, patient, as if she stood there long enough we wouldn’t really go. I’ve been crying about this on & off the rest of the day. Plain fact is I love that young woman.

Part Two: “Ugly Thoughts That Don’t Bear Repeating”—but I’ll go ahead anyway. I’ve been thinking about how Diana & I are getting along on the trip—and I’ve had a few irritations, some I’ve felt are too minor to air but they give me pause in considering how we’ll work together [or not] in the future. I know she’s emotional about this move of hers, but she’s been playing the same James Ingram tape—and some other black artists, over and over again and it’s the kind of music that turns my stomach with its saccharine lyrics and over-orchestrated arrangements and stupid selfish intent: “How can I GET you to love me???”-type stuff. Then she sings along and it’s so indulgent.

Other things: she’d ditch a conversation, say when Therese, Scott, [she] and I were talking in their living room, to use the bathroom, then return moments later barging in on the new topic with an anecdote, and interrupting whoever was speaking. That one time, Scott looked at her in amazement and wondered aloud what she was talking about. I had to share his amazement, but Diana didn’t notice it. If Therese did, she was too polite to show it.

Also she used the overworn and extremely trite Mike Myers’s “Not!” interjection ad nauseum. I thought maybe she’s a little uncomfortable in the company of thirty-year olds, but I wished she’d not try to use shit like that to “fit in.” It’s old & awkward & unnecessary.

One of my other peeves on this trip has been the regular trashing of her ex-husband Paul. I can understand her frustration with him, but it’s doesn’t serve her well to go on harping (literally harping) about him. It’s gone, it’s over. So shut up about it.

I’ve noticed on this trip a certain myopia she has that in a way frightens me: she’ll ask where something is when it’s right in front of her, or continually have problems doing a simple thing like open a door, or something—and coming into the motel tonight (she was driving) she signaled to turn right but then turned the signal off and went straight when a van to our right thought she was turning—ack! We almost got hit. I blanched, but she laughed it off.

I’ve been thinking about how she reads for scripts and I think after I do the Public Reading for Moon, I’ll send her the revised script & if that’s not acceptable to her, then I think maybe we ought to tear up our contracts. I don’t see how we’re going to agree on creative things with these doubts. I’ll have to push, and be true to what I want, but I’m not going to go in circles with her. I hope I’m wrong.

I’m going into the next few days Post-Therese Let-Down. I was a little down coming into Flagstaff, but I think I’ll feel better in the morning. We’re seeing the Grand Canyon tomorrow.

At the Grand Canyon South Ridge, October 1993 (Photo by Diana Seyb).

I want to get right to L.A.

[End of Part 3]

~ by completelyinthedark on April 24, 2022.

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