Chapter Eleven

The Dark

Forty was the worst. Slumped on the front room couch of the house on Northwest Lincoln Street in the filtered July sunlight, I reviewed all the misadventures and sidewinder movement of my life. Making a list of men who had come within intimacy range since that first and only marriage at 18, I counted the poet who taught me to love French prose poetry, the vagabond mystic who passed through my stay at Emerson College, the painter I met in Berkeley on my return from Russia who encouraged me to try more art forms, the ethereal addict who visited my pre-Haight-Ashbury apartment, the photographer who left me some wonderful black and white photos of my early motherhood, the Economic Opportunity Council co-worker at my first job off welfare in Marin County, the conscientious objector from the Ali Akbar College of Music, the bass player from a minor Marin County rock band, and ten times more in between. I could number on one hand how many of them were real love stories in the sense of imagining a Rest of My Life Future. Those were inevitably doomed and the rest were minor adventures.

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