Trust No One


Buried deep within the pickle weed. Face covered in mud. Hidden under the succulent vines and juniper needles. I wondered just how I ended up there, in that spot, in that very moment. What mistake could I have possibly made to justify the dandling of my life at the end of that rope. How could I have gone from having it all, to having nothing at all.

I was working just an hour before. I was loading up the truck at the furniture store preparing for the days deliveries when my wife pulled up next to me. She told me to get into the car. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that the cops were on their way to our apartment and I needed to get there first and remove anything illegal I had. I was so confused. I wondered which personality I was dealing with. But I saw the urgency in her eyes and felt I had to go with her. On the way home she told me that her brother had called and that the police had been at his place of business that morning asking him questions about me and that he tipped her off as to them being on their way.

I couldn’t think of what might be illegal in my apartment, but had no time to ponder on that thought anyway. Just as I entered my building two plain clothes cops followed me in, pushed me down on the sofa and told me to sit still while they looked around. I heard one of them say from my bedroom that he had found something, the guy watching me told me not to move as he walked away to see what his partner had found. I wasn’t gonna wait. I had been in and out of trouble so many times before. I guess my reflexes just kicked in. I bolted out the front door, down the stairs, passed the pool and over the rail where I slid about half way down a hundred foot slope that dropped down to the San Clemente beach. I stopped myself on a bush and tucked my body under the brush.

I could hear the sirens of the police cars arriving in front of the apartment complex. Two police quads combed the sand below me. I just stayed put, waiting in silence. Afraid to move. After a couple of hours they grew tired and called off the search and as the sun fell behind the ocean, I made my way down to the shoreline. I had no idea what to do. I just started walking. I knew I had one friend I could trust, so I decided to try to make it to his house, many miles away.

Someone set me up that day. I never would find out who. I heard a few different stories. One that my wife did it herself, that one of her personalities wanted me gone. That her brother did it to get me away from his sister. That a kid down the street did it so he could get me out of the picture because he was obsessed with my wife. That my best friend and my wife were having an affair and he wanted me out. Even that my wife was sleeping with a drug dealer to fund her fixes and he wanted me gone. I always felt it could have been my own brother who was upset with me after I threw him out when I caught him hitting on my wife. Life was pretty crazy during that time. For awhile everything was perfect. I had a beautiful apartment right on the beach, a good job just a couple of blocks from my place. Good friends, a good life. Funny how things can change so fast.

My wife came looking for me once the cops had left. She drove up and down the street until she found me walking down the boardwalk. I told her that there was probably an APB out on the car and that if she was going to go with me, we would have to ditch it somewhere. So we parked it on a dead-end road and walked the miles it took to get to my friend’s house. Once we got there we started to figure out what our next move would be.

My wife had an old school friend who lived up north. We decided to go see her. My friend drove over to our apartment and grabbed some clothes and my CD collection. He told me that the place was trashed. That furniture was missing, everything was gone through, and that someone had burned a huge hole in our living room carpet. The next morning we sold the CDs to a local music store and bought two bus tickets to Yreka, California. A new chapter would begin. One day your living the dream. The next your a fugitive, hiding out in some abandoned logging town.

The bus ride was no fun either. My wife had brought along a bottle of vodka and started drinking it on the bus. alcohol always made her personalities jump around. She started fighting with me on the bus. She told me that she slept with my best friend because it was the only way to get me to leave her and not come back. She then yelled at the bus driver to stop the bus so she could get off. We were in the middle of nowhere. I had to get off with her, I couldn’t leave her alone in her condition. We hiked quite a ways to a rest stop where I had calmed her down once the booze wore off. We had to buy another bus ticket. But it wouldn’t be long before we would be thrown off that bus due to her screaming and crying. We would spend the remainder of what money we had left on a third ticket. Looking back I suppose I never really had it all. Being married to a bi-polar, multi-personality, suicidal drug addict did have it’s down falls.

We were welcomed with open arms to her friend’s house. She was incredibly nice and nonjudgmental. She was funny too, she was born with five fingers instead of a thumb and would always find humor in all our little imperfections. Yreka was a very small town. Right in the middle of the golden state, right next to the Oregon border. Once it was a huge logging town. But when the spotted owl started becoming endangered the state issued a stop order on the logging industry in the northern part of the state. The towns people would hold midnight raids on the forests, shooting every owl the could find. They felt that if they could just wipe them out, that there would be no need for thousands of people to lose their jobs. But the National Guard was called in and the town was forced to shut down. The loggers all moved up into Oregon and Washington. Yreka became a ghost town. Years later stragglers would find their way back. There was a cafe, a bus depot, and a couple of stores, a motel and a church. I worked as the accounts manager at an electronics repair shop. My wife worked as a waitress at the cafe. We moved into our own place. Life was very nice for a while. We worked, we had a good circle of friends. We were normal again, and without the hustle of the Southern California lifestyle. No outside influences, no drug dealers or teenage boys to obsess over my wife.

But it wouldn’t last for very long. The other personalities would start to emerge and I would once again find myself running. But this time the personalities were much more aggressive and controlling. I would find a whole new hell.

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About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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