Introduction by new member

Glowing Bubble (sonoluminescence@hotmail.com)
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 14:28:44 PDT


Hello, Everyone.
  Tom invited me to send a brief intro of myself, so I will.
Actually it turned out to be a long intro, so if you enjoy it,
go for it, and if not, feel free to delete and move on :)
I grew up in a very ordinary middleclass neighborhood, well-to-do,
nice side of town, all the advantages. A stern, responsible Dad, yet 
full of character, a man who was a Marine on one hand, and who picked up 
fallen baby birds and tried to nurse them back to health on the other. 
An alcoholic mother who nevertheless took reasonably good care of me and 
my brother. As an overacheiver as a kid, everyone thought I would really 
go somewhere when I grew up.
  Well, I did. In my 20's I hitchhiked with a boyfriend who beat me and 
a dog all over the Western states, winding up in Salt Lake City. 
Everyone was nice and kind and rides were easy. This was in the 80's. On 
the last leg of the journey into Utah, our ride was with two couples on 
a school bus converted into a camper. They stole stuff to sell at flea 
markets, and we stole stuff to eat. Outside of the city, they left us 
before morning without our knowledge of their departure as we slept 
outside at a reststop. All they got was our clothes and our cigarettes. 
But damn, there was at least two cartoons!
   We stood on the side of the freeway, the rain starting, and me in 
nothing by a halter top. I don't remember being cold, and it was July or 
something. On the road we had bathed once in a cold stream. I don't 
remember many showers, except one from a nice motorist who loaned us his 
shower. Hmm.
   Salt Lake is a clean, orderly city, with many kind people. The parks 
have groups of people who are homeless, use drugs, or just hang out. 
Indians drank from paper saks.
   We tied the dog behind a restuaurant. One morning he was gone. 
   My boyfriend tried to get a job in a shop run by some religious folks 
who also forwarded us money for rent. We moved into, well, maybe it was 
the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floor of a hotel. I just remember there were a lot 
of steps and a view of the rockies. A few weeks passed. 
   I called my parents to get money to get home. But I didn't go back to 
my parents house. I always could have, but I lived in the park, under 
bridges, at a friends house, on the roof, anywhere, instead. 
   I might have been able to work, but I didn't really want to. All I 
needed was some food, smokes, and Nighttrain or a coldpak. What more 
does someone need? 
   My boyfriend had come back with me, but I left him after I really 
didn't want to get hit anymore. I was never seriously hurt, but it was 
still painful to get lumps on my head. 
   I made homebase a lovely park. I would drink with anyone who'd drink 
with me. I spent my time with a group of slightly older men, who worked 
odd jobs, construction and stuff, who could pay for our booze and cigs. 
I remember enjoying many long conversations with them, and I adored them 
all in a way, but I really don't remember what we talked about. One time 
we thought we'd get high on paint fumes and turned our teeth black, but 
that's another story.
   But the tale didn't begin with Salt Lake. Right after high school, 
before I ever drank, I lived with a hippie boyfriend in the mountains in 
a barn. Well, it used to be a barn. Eventually, I got together with one 
of his friends, and we lived in a TeePee, squatting on ground in the 
woods, traveling miles over dirt trails to get there, bathing in a cold, 
and I mean, cold mountain stream. I guess that was home, in a way. For 
awhile. 
   But it was a few summers later when I picked up beer as a 
"socializing" helper, and soon, within a few very short years, woke up 
one morning on the city street with folks my parents would have called 
bums or hobos. Well, my dad did call me a tramp once when I was a 
teenager, but I don't think he realized he was being prophetic.
   When did it all change? Oh, it did change, finally, one morning in an 
alcoholics anonymous meeting. And, yes, now I have a home. Though it was 
a sailboat for a while!
   But I didn't tell you about the time my boyfriend and I slept in a 
shack, desperate for shelter, only to find it was full of fiberglass! 
And that same place the cops crashed in, after the neighbors reported 
something going on (just us!), and they pulled off our sleeping bags, 
with flashlights and guns pointed. No, I didn't feel embarrassed to be 
naked. Who really cared about anything, anyway?
   And the time we hung a pair of really dirty socks on a bush since 
there was no hope of getting them washed...
   You know, that was the time of my being homeless. I wasn't really, I 
could have lived with my parents, but I wanted to live by myself. Just 
didn't need more than I had. 
   Well, I'm sure there are all kinds of stories we could tell, since we 
herald from seven countries, Tom says. Please feel welcome to contact me 
by private email if you would like to talk.
Beth "Glowing Bubble" Sonoluminescence

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