Running Blind


Well Yreka as a sanctuary away from the laws long arm was not a bed of roses, but certainly had its thorns and bristles. It all started out fine. Lauri and I found jobs and a nice place to live. We had little in way of possessions, but we had each other. We walked and read and talked. She still had her demons, but the personalities were kept at bay. She didn’t like me watching television. She was highly self-conscious and couldn’t stand the thought of me seeing another woman on t.v. She would also go through any magazine or newspaper and rip out any page that had a picture of a woman on it. I was not allowed to look through anything before she edited it for my use. But other than that, things were good.

But that would not last too long. I came home from work one afternoon to find her in our living room with some teenage boy. They were drunk, half-naked and dancing very close to each other. The music was playing loud as they were pouring champagne all over each other. I packed a bag and left without saying a word. I checked into a nearby motel. She came and got me that night. When she was herself I couldn’t resist her. She cried and asked me to come home, and I did. A couple of days later I came home to find a group of people in my house all drinking and being loud. I told them all to leave. They piled into a pick up truck park in front of my apartment. She got in with them. They smashed in my windows with beer bottles as they drove away. She came back three days later.

I would leave again, and again. One time moving in with a friend of ours. She came over drunk and screaming. When the police were called she fought them as they put her into the backseat of the squad car. They called the next day and told me that they had no idea how she was still alive with her blood alcohol level being so high. They held her for two weeks for psychiatric evaluation.

Her personalities started jumping around again. She called my boss and told him that I was wanted by the police. He was a nice guy, but that was the end to one of the only jobs available in that little ghost of a town. I waited for her to go to work the next morning and then packed once again and headed down to the greyhound station. Her friend called her and told her were I was. She came down minutes before the bus pulled away. I came back home with her. I don’t know why I kept coming back. Part of me felt I couldn’t leave her. Her personalities would take her over. She needed me, but I couldn’t help her. And I couldn’t help myself as long as I was around her.

I have only two regrets in my life. One was not getting on that bus when I had the chance.

Things mellowed down for a few months. We were hurting for money and Lauri started working more hours. Not long after that she got pregnant. We tried having kids before but she could never seem to hold onto them. But as time went by we realized that this one was going to stay. That pregnancy changed her. She became motherly, and responsible. She was the woman I first met in that record store on that Summer day just a coupe short years before. With the coming of the baby our vision became more clear. We called her parents and asked them for help. Something we had never done before. I needed to clear things up legally and we needed to make things right.

So we moved back to Southern California. We lived with her folks. I got a job managing a hardware store. I needed money to make sure Lauri and the baby were set and I needed to hire a lawyer. We stayed with her parents for only a couple of months. Then we moved into an apartment. Bought furniture, and painted the nursery.

The baby came and he was so beautiful. I knew my life would be forever changed. Holding him in my arms gave me a new-found strength. But it wouldn’t be long before her demons would come back to haunt her. She started using again, and drinking. I would find myself locked in the room with the baby while she threw wild parties. Her more violent personalities would become more dominant. She would pound on the bedroom door and scream for hours through the early morning hours, wanting money to keep herself going. All the while I lied on the floor with the baby trying to comfort him.

She would show up at my work in a fury of rage. Wanting money. She would once again get me fired. I was at the end of my rope. I felt that if I just left, that she would be forced to move back home with her parents. I knew it was the only way to insure our son had any kind of normalcy in his life. I also knew I couldn’t take him with me, not until I settled my debt. So I didn’t even bother packing. I just left.

I had nowhere to go, so I went to my sister’s house. But my father would not stand for that. He would send me packing from there as well. So I moved in with a friend of mine for a few weeks. From there I found a lawyer and turned myself in. I had to clean up my life and I had to start with my legal problems.

But I had no idea just how much I was set up back in San Clemente when the whole running game began. I will never forget the feeling as I stood there in that court room. The judge looking at my troubled childhood. A grocery list of offences fueled by the winds of a rebellious youth. I almost felt relieved that it was finally over. I felt free from personalities that had controlled me for so long. But reality came home as that man behind that gavel sentenced me to a decade behind bars.

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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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