Skip to main content

My daughter, Clane Hayward, has published her first book, a memoir of growing up hippie in the 70s, via CafePress, entitled "The Hypocrisy of Disco".  I'm excerising a proud parent's prerogative and shamelessly promoting her.

I read a lot, and I'm pretty picky about what I read. Clane's book, when I read it years ago, knocked my sox off. Stayed up all night reading it.  She finally got tired of rejection slips, found a new way to publish.  I'm sneaking a peek to you all, Chapter 3, "My Government Cage School", because I happen to have a few chapters sitting in my HD.  Some of it is relevent to today's issues, both in the real world, and at  dKos. I hope you enjoy it:

(photo by Stephan Cooper, used without permission) Clane Hayward (left) 1978

Chapter 3
My Government Cage School

Monte Rio is near Guerneville and also near Guerneville is Rio Nido and we lived there, too. We lived there before we lived in Monte Rio. Maybe San Rafael was before that, I'm not sure. Rio Nido is also a town that lives under redwoods, only it's even smaller and doesn't have a sunny center of town at all. Always the smell of the trees and of the musty carpet of branches and needles and fronds along the forest floor, the tiny patches of sun, this was Rio Nido. I guess I was ten.
We lived in a house up one of the winding little asphalt roads. It was small but it had two stories. Another small dark house crouched under tall trees, and hanging onto the hillside; this one did that. On the top floor was a wooden deck and a room for H'ane and a room for me and Haud and a kitchen and a living room. It also came  with an old velvet sofa in the living room and I thought this was elegant, more than the tattered plaid thing we have in Monte Rio.  The room Haud and I shared had a big window and I liked this, and it had bookshelves and I liked this too. H'lane's room didn't have any light but it had a purple brocade curtain hanging over the bed, with tassels, and this made my mom's room seem like a plush dark cave. I never went in there except to steal honey. H'lane kept the honey jar in her room to keep us kids from sneaking it but we did anyway.
On the lower floor two men lived and H'lane knew them. Playing on the floor of my room with my tea set, I looked up because I heard their voices. I have a tiny tea set with a blue and white pattern of willows hanging over a bridge and it is the finest thing I have and even though I lose and break pieces of it goes everywhere I go. I heard one of the men say oh honey I love what you've done with this room and he said loooove. Then the other man said something I didn't quite hear and H'lane said something too. They were in our room then and Haud looked up from his blocks and we both looked at the men. Both with long hair and thin and wearing lace and high boots. Aren't you just the most adorable things, one of the men said, and looked at the other man, and the first one said I'm Jeffrey and this is my lover Patrick, and he said lovair. We said hi, me and Haud. We live downstairs and you should just come visit us any time you want to. I did go downstairs to see them sometimes but they never seemed too happy about it. They fought a lot, with high voices and breaking things. Excitable fags, aren't they, H'lane would say, and I said what's a fag.
That house, small and dark as it was, wasn't so bad. I went downstairs to listen to Jeffrey and Patrick's record player. Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease, the Beatles sang, come together. At some point H'lane sent me and Haud to school. She did this in an offhand way, now and then in different places, in the middle of the school year or at the end, she didn't care. Schools are zoos run by the government to keep kids in cages, she said. Schools teach kids how to live in cages. Do you want to learn how to be straight, she would ask, with the I Ching laying open on the floor next to her, while she counted yarrow sticks in her lap. The skirts spread wide around her, incense burning, Ki chewing on one of the sticks and watching with her wide serious eyes. If being straight means wearing clothes that match and eating hot lunch, then yes, I want to be straight, I thought but didn't say.
H'lane was gone for a day while me and Ki lolled on my bed and read the Richard Scarry dictionary. I showed Ki what ham and roast beef were and pointed to pictures of

cupcakes while Haud played trucks with his blocks. We snuck into H'lane's room for honey to put on our sprouted wheat bread and listened to Jeffrey and Patrick doing it and H'lane came back with a sack of brown rice and rice cakes and a bottle of shoyu. She said where you catch the bus for school is the Y in the road where that big redwood stump is. Nine in the morning. You'll be going to read lies printed on dead trees. Knock yourselves out. Whoopee, she said, rolling her eyes back in her head and waving her finger around in the air.
I tried to dress carefully for school. I had found green bell bottoms in the free box and asked H'lane can I keep them and she said what about your overalls with the pansies I embroidered on the knees. I don't want to wear those. They look like boy clothes. Well, what about your purple tie dye. It's too hippie, I said, and she rolled her eyes and I knew not to stay on this subject. H'lane won't let us wear clothes made from rayon or polyester or day glow colors. Only natural fibers, I get to wear cotton or wool only, or clothes she makes for us out of old blankets and those are the worst, with the pot leaves and mandalas and the cats singing to the moon.
                             (?)
School doesn't like me because I wear tai chi shoes and tie dye shirts. And anyway we move too much.
                      (?)

I dressed carefully in the most normal clothes I could find and made lunches for me and Haud in brown paper sacks. Fried tofu sandwiches with miso spread on the bread. I brushed my hair before we left the house. Haud didn't. He doesn't care about that kind of thing at all. When we got on the bus he was singing to himself and skipped down the aisle of the bus and flopped into a seat. Maxwell's silver hammer came down on his head, Haud sang, and the bus moved off and a kid sitting behind me said why do you have all that stuff on your overalls. He meant the pansies on the butt and the knees.
I went to school in Rio Nido for a couple of months, I think, not for very long. I went because it was interesting at first, new books to read, painting classes, and I could always steal quarters for hot lunches.
Hot lunches are so so so great. First because of the package it comes in. There's the hot part and the cold part and plus a carton of milk too, regular or chocolate. School hates me but I love hot lunch. The cold part comes in a little plastic tray that has compartments in it for a vegetable and dessert and a little packet with a spork and a napkin. Haud says foon but I say spork. Maybe a salad and Jell O or pudding. An apple and cookies, oatmeal or peanut butter. Pineapple and carrot salad with raisins and a banana. The hot part is a cardboard container covered in foil and it might have a corn dog and potato chips. Or spaghetti and green beans. It doesn't matter what it is, I'll like it.
Sitting in the cafeteria with my hot lunch, after I've thrown my tofu sandwich in the bushes, a kid next to me will say grody it's hamburgers again and I'll say if you don't want that I'll take it, okay? I'll say to a girl can we be friends. She'll say what's your name and I'll explain. Then I'll say since we're friends can I have your other cookie. She will look at me odd but maybe she'll give me her cookie. I know it's bad to do that but I can't help it. Everything there is to eat in the hot lunches, I'll gulp it fast because we're not allowed it, not any of it.
We're not allowed to eat anything that comes in cafeteria lunches, not the milk or the hamburgers or even bananas. I have been hungry for as long as I can remember and it's not because we don't have food. It's because H'lane is a hippie and not just a vegetarian hippie but a macrobiotic hippie. No milk or cheese or butter or eggs. Not

oranges or tomatoes or jam or bacon or cookies. Not tuna fish or blueberries or peanut butter. The only other thing I know for sure except for my name is the things we can't have. The thing I think about most is what I wish I could have and it starts with cookies and ends somewhere around shoes. There are a lot of things in the world between cookies and shoes. Hair ribbons and ice cream. Beach balls and necklaces. Strawberry jam and plastic change purses with zipper pockets.
H'lane wasn't always macrobiotic. She used to be just vegetarian. We could have soyburgers with soy mayonnaise and lettuce and tomatoes. We could have rice pudding made with soy milk and honey. We could have vegetarian curry from the Good Karma cafe in San Francisco. We ate there once and I remember it. She switched to macrobiotic some time around when Ki was born, when she was still with Ki's father Bruce. Bruce and H'lane got started being macrobiotic together.
My first sight of Bruce was when I was maybe six. Haud and I were in New Mexico with Claude and his new old lady Mal. Mal for Madeleine. Madeleine Lovejoy, who named Random and named him Random Comet Lovejoy. H'lane had been gone for a long time and I don't know if I missed her or not but I did know it was her when she showed up at the door. She did do that, just showed up. She was at the door of Mal's house with her long hair and her bare feet and she had a look on her face like hey remember me, I'm back now, a crooked smile that said she was proud of herself for showing up like that, all of a sudden. Whoopee, it's me, I'm back.
She had Bruce with her and he stood a little behind her with another crooked smile, a young man with long blond hair and a blond scraggly beard. Then we didn't stay with Claude and Mal anymore, me and Haud and Bruce and H'Iane moved across the valley to a different commune. We moved to a house where no one talked. Everyone wore chalkboards around their necks to write things they had to say and H'Iane did this too. I'm on a talk fast, she said to me, because I couldn't read yet. No talking, she said, and everyone lived together in a big room and I spent a lot of time looking out of a window across the valley, leaning on the low sill. The floor was worn old wood, worn smooth and gray, and everyone slept on the floor and chopped wood and made food without talking.
There was another commune after that, further down the valley, another place where a lot of people slept on the floors of big rooms. This one had dirt floors and also low windowsills and here also I leaned on the sill for a long time looking at things. I think I learned how to amuse myself very young and I think I did this by looking at things. I looked at H'lane and Bruce sitting on the bank of a creek that flowed by the bridge, sitting and looking at each other for a long time. There was something I didn't like about the way they looked at each other and I didn't like the sounds they made at night, all of us in the one big room, and I never did like Bruce either.
We left New Mexico and went to California. You and Haud are going to live with me and your mom now, `kay? Bruce said, with his crooked smile and his chin tucked a little into his neck which was a thing he always did. We lived in places in San Francisco and in small towns, in a trailer park and in Laytonville where Ki was born. I don't remember the whens of the places. Just pictures.
The trailer park was where the macrobiotic thing started. This was in Cotati. Ki wasn't born yet. It happened all of a sudden. One day we went into Cotati for soyburgers and I really remember them, the juice of the tomatoes running into the soy mayonnaise and making the burger into a squishy bundle in my hand, and the next day it was like soyburgers had never existed. There had been onions on it too, and I smelled the smell of soyburgers and tasted the taste of them for years even though I never got another one.
Maybe I just wanted one so bad because after that we ate the weirdest, dullest, worstest food I'd ever had. I was used to being a little hungry for things, with Claude because all he ate was eggs and cheese and bread and Jerusalem artichokes and kale from the garden. He would let us have other stuff if it was around or someone gave it to us, so I wished for things he didn't buy. Like raspberry jam or sodas. And I was used to being a little hungry with Bruce and H'lane for the same stuff Claude wouldn't buy, which Bruce and H'lane wouldn't let us have even if other people offered it to us. Like little old ladies in Chinatown used to offer us wontons and H'lane would say no. But this was a new kind of hunger where we weren't even allowed apples or corn chips.

Remember to chew each mouthful twenty times, H'lane said, handing me a bowl of rice and something black and squiggly like worms. It smelled like dead fish. Haud and I took our bowls and looked in them with mute horror and wouldn't eat and Bruce wouldn't let us up from the table until we ate it all. Everything was a battle after this. Can I have some more tamari on my rice, I would say, looking up at Bruce, and he would say no, tamari is yang and you're too yang already. But Haud got more than me, I would say, and H'lane would say Haud is too yin so he can have yang things.
There wasn't a thing that Bruce and H'lane's macrobiotic craziness didn't cover. Like no sleeping on your side or stomach because only sick people or animals sleep like that, and healthy people sleep on their backs. No drinking extra water when brushing your teeth because water creates cravings for salt and this is an unbalance in your system. Oranges and bananas are too yin. Animal products are too yang. Only two squares of toilet paper when you go to the bathroom because a healthy person shouldn't need more. I spent most of my time wandering around the trailer park looking for other food and hoping Bruce wouldn't catch me. When he caught me eating a peanut butter sandwich I spent my punishment time wishing he was dead. I spent a lot of punishment time, usually under the covers in bed with no supper.
Fortunately Bruce and H'lane split up. It was after Ki was born and maybe almost two years old. I think it was San Rafael. On the steps of the house we were living at, I was playing slinky only the slinky was broken. Bruce came down the stairs on his way out of the house and with his chin tucked into his neck he said remember that five dollars Grandma Lynn gave you for your birthday? Yeah, I said, wary of him and embarrassed for him. Let me borrow it, `kay? I gave it to him and I haven't seen him since. That's fine.
H'lane is still just as bad macrobiotic but Haud and I are older now and we know how to sneak better. You're not eating that cafeteria shitfood, are you, she asked us in Rio Nido, and we said no, but I was always looking in the couch for quarters when I couldn't find one or steal one from H'lane's purse. School made me feel droopy sad for myself, the math classes I didn't understand and the reading classes that were too easy and boring, the kids that didn't talk to me except to say why don't you brush your hair or how come you're wearing that.
I don't think Haud liked school either. He doesn't play well with others. It said this on a report card he got, and it said this because he stole someone's play handcuffs and handcuffed himself to his desk. When the teacher said Haud if you can't behave I don't want you in my class, and Haud said okay, and clumped the desk outside into the hall and clumped up and down the hall, still chained to his desk. He's like a little animal sometimes, always doing things only he understands. Some days he'll say today all day I'm a rabid dog. He'll drool out of  the side of his mouth and quiver.
I was at recess in the Rio Nido school one day, leaning on the side of the building to get away from the wind and the other kids, watching another class through the glass. This class had a pinata for someone's birthday and a kid was blindfolded and was swinging at the pinata. He swung and missed and it was someone else's turn, and they swung and hit it. Candy went flying all over and all the kids scrambled in a big pile to get it, except for one. This one kid kept running around the edge of the pile, trying to fight his way in, then running the other way, like a puppy chasing its tail. It was Haud, the one kid who couldn't get any candy, and I thought he looked like a poor scruffy runt of a puppy, matty hair flying in all directions, pants too big for him and frayed at the bottoms, different colored socks.
On the walk to the bus I saw a trash can with a package of cookies in it, barely opened and not slimy or dirty at all, and I fished them out, and gave some to Haud. They were the wafer kind, like little waffles with icing inside, strawberry and vanilla.

*********************

Clane has parlayed these beginnings into  a real life that has included a five-year stint in the US Navy, at the end of which she respectfully declined their offer of an officer's commission and the Naval Academy, instead promoting herself a Regent's Scholarship to UC Berkeley and a degree with honors.  She has designed and managed several cutting-edge taverns in San Francisco's rowdy and hip Mission District and now teaches Special Ed students.

Needless to say, she and I have had quite a few conversations over the years concerning the lifestyle we  subjected her to, as she found her way to forgiveness.

Originally posted to claude on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 01:36 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  It would be wonderful (4.00)
    if you went and bought her book.  I might even post another chapter, if enough people clap loud enough...

    -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 01:45:23 PM PST

    •  Clap clap clap clap... n/t (none)
      •  Chapter 24 (none)
        Clane stays with her grandmother for a while...

        Chapter 24
        Everything On TV Shines

        I wake up because Haud is humming to himself. Across the room we share he is humped up under the covers on his bed, facing the wall, talking and humming. I hear him say this weekend only you enn ell vee arena hosts young America's roughest dirtbike championships ships ships ships ships. He has his hands cupped over his face and makes a rushing windy sound and says the crowd goes wild. He is quiet again and I know he's picking his nose and I also know he wipes his boogers on a place on the wall above his bed. He has a booger collection and I say Lore's gonna kill youuuuuuuu and he jerks guiltily. I bet he's been masturbating too and I know he does this sometimes.
        We each have twin beds in this room we share. It's right off the hall in between the kitchen and the room Lore uses as a study. The beds have matching bedspreads and matching curtains and although the print isn't exactly what I would have picked I think they're just great. They're light blue with darker blue flowers and tan and brown trim. Each bed has a ruffled curtain around it and the matching sheets and a blanket and a comforter. Even the pillow cases match. We have a nightstand in between us and a big dresser and a whole closet and a little desk with a lamp for studying. There's carpet on the floor and we have our own bathroom too and this might be the most amazing thing. Our bathroom has matching towels in fight blue and a tiled shower stall and a tub. I feel like telling someone this, I want to brag to someone, we have our own bathroom and in my mind I can see the exclamation points that follow the sentence.
        I lay in bed for a little while thinking about not very much but then I remember it's Saturday and I'm up in a flash even though it's early. Haudie, cartooooons! I say and now the exclamation points aren't just in my mind. We have learned to stay quiet in the mornings and we silently struggle into clothes and go into the kitchen.
        Cold cereal and milk, I asked Lore would she buy Apple Jacks and she did after reading the box. Haud switches on the TV in the dining room and we drag our chairs up as close as we can and eat cereal and watch cartoons and commercials until Lore and Dean are up. We stay watching the TV without moving or talking, not even to stretch. I even like the commercials. Barbie's dream house, the TV shows me, and Slinky, and Mongoose, and Matchbox. The toys are too young but I don't care. I've never been able to watch TV like this. I've never seen cartoons before, Loony Tunes and Daffy Duck and Pepe Le Pew. There's He man, Master of the Universe, and Superfriends, and George, George, George of the jungle, friend to you and me. George, watch out for that tree. The pale sun slants through the dining room curtains and moves across the floor and the refrigerator makes ice cubes and Lady walks carefully around the fig tree. M I C, see you real soon. K E Y, why, because we like you. M O U S E. Kids on TV bounce and smile and shine. Everything on TV shines.
        Lore comes through the dining room on her way to he kitchen and we turn off the TV and I feel a little guilty. My body is stiff from sitting still in the chair this whole time and my eyes ache. The silence of the house is its own kind of noise in my ears after the noise of the TV. Lore makes coffee for herself and Dean and says it's such a nice day why don't you two go outside. The yard needs raking. Outside the sky is like tin again, it's not hot and not cold, there are some leaves in the yard and I take one of the two rakes from the garage and pile up leaves. Lady comes around the side of the house and wags her tail a little and Haud comes flying from the other side of the house and flings himself into the pile I just raked up. He shouts na na na na na Batman nobody knows who you are and I say that's Spiderman, stupid.
        The outside front of the house is the same as the outside back. Slabs of gray slate on the bottom half and gray siding on the top half and a slightly overhanging roof The garage for two cars and the wide sweep of trimmed lawn, a springy lawn that feels more like plastic than like grass. Two semicircles of white gravel with evergreens and cactus planted inside. The house is on a cul de sac and the houses along either side look pretty much the same. There aren't many trees along the street but there are clumps of cactus as tall as trees and there are high box hedges. The street is wide and smooth. The houses are long and low and no sounds come from any of them and there aren't any other kids on this block I think. The sky is all surface the color of metal. I am wearing a blue windbreaker that Lore bought for me and we are going to have pancakes for breakfast and these are the details that fill my mind. This is how you rake leaves, and leaves need to be raked up to keep the lawn neat. Lore said to put the leaves into a trash bag and put it beside the trash cans in the garage.
        I was right about breakfast. Pancakes and bacon and orange juice and milk. Lore says go put your jacket away, don't leave it on the back of your chair. I mean, really, Clane. This is the dining room, not your bedroom. The drapes of the sliding glass doors are drawn open and the lemon yellow sun slants across the dining room. A washed out sun that has light but not heat, a pale glare bouncing from the shiny table.
        Maybe it's the glare in my eyes after too much television or maybe it's too much pancake syrup and too much bacon but I feel sick. I'm stuffed, I say, sliding down in my chair. Don't say stuffed. That's vulgar. Say I'm finished may I be excused please. Maybe it's Lore and that I have to concentrate really hard not to say or do the wrong thing around her all the time. I don't know what Lore reserves her smiles for because it seem like I never see them. I don't know how to please her except stay out of the way and then I forget myself and say something like I'm stuffed. If she thinks that's vulgar what would she think about H'lane saying shitpissfuck all strung together in one word or I don't give a flying fuck.
        Please clear the table if you're finished, Clane. Dean rattles his paper and Lore pours more coffee for both of them. She gets papers out to grade and I carry dishes from the table to the sink. I know to scrape them into the trash and rinse them and put them in the dishwasher and how to turn the dishwasher on. Lore and Dean are rich, I think, to have a TV and a dishwasher and two cars. The dishwasher hums and I am glad to do these chores, my chores, although chores doesn't seem like the right word. Chores means gathering wood and weeds for the chickens or picking up kindling. Chores is what kids in the country do.
        The things I do at Lore's, making my own bed and setting the table and raking leaves, these things say I'm having a normal fife. I don't live in a field and grind rice over an open fire. I don't wash the dishes first by swishing them with gravel and then pouring water into them from a jug. I wipe down the counters for Lore and she says thank  you that will do.
        I am standing in front of the sink and I turn and dry my hands on my pants and Lore sees me and I think uh oh, here it comes again. She turns her head to the side and looks at me critically and says how many pairs of pants do you have. Maybe three? I have these, my corduroys and my overalls and still my green bell bottoms which I have to wear a jacket over because of the hole in the butt. She says let's go to your room. I don't want to do this because none of my clothes in the drawers are folded and she'll get mad I'm sure, but she doesn't seem to notice and she ruffles through the clothes in my drawer. She says hmm let's go buy you and Haud some new clothes. We got you school supplies but we didn't get you any clothes. New clothes. She says this matter of fact but right away I feel warm and good inside. I don't know if it's because I'm going to get new clothes or if I'm glad this means she likes me. She's going to buy me clothes so this means she likes me and I guess I'm glad.
        Haud yells shotgun when we go to the car and I ride in the middle of the back seat with my head between Lore's and Haud's seats. Lore says for god's sake Clane sit where you're supposed to and I sit back, abashed, and look out the window at tall buildings going by way across the street. The top of Haud's head is messy and scrunched from sleep and then playing in the leaves and I feel my own hair which is snarly too. We don't sing in the car with Lore. She drives with both hands on the wheel, hunched up close to the dash and looking intently out of the windshield. We go to Mervyn's for clothes. I am going to get clothes that are really new.
        Haud and I bounce down the aisles of Mervyn's. We skip and slap our feet over the linoleum and Haud wants a big beach ball from the cage of them and stops at the display of Mongoose bicycles. No, Lore says, we're looking for clothes. She lets me pick out anything I want.
        I shuffle through racks of shirts, sweaters, blouses. Peel layers of turtlenecks from one another and run my hands over rows of skirts and then dresses and then long party dresses. Circular racks of jeans and corduroy pants and shorts. I become confused by the variety of colors and shapes and styles. I don't know any of my sizes for anything, not shoes or dresses or pants, and Lore gets exasperated with me, I know she gets exasperated and I pick things faster, not looking any more at what kind they are, too overwhelmed by the amount of clothes on the racks. I keep looking for things like I remembered out of the Sears catalog I had. I think there's pink socks, I must like pink and I'll get pink socks. There's a skirt that looks a little like the ruffled bedspreads in the catalog.
        Haud is wandering through the sections with different clothes on his head, dragging a Spiderman sweatshirt by the hood and butting through racks of clothes. There are racks and racks and racks and there isn't any end to them and I can't see over them. Ski jackets and fuzzy sweaters and matching skirts and blouses. Plaid and flowers and solid blue with lines. Stripes and polka dots and shirts with iron-on patches that say keep on truckin and hang in there baby and pobody's nerfect and smile.
        Down the aisles other parents and kids are doing the same thing we are. There are boys arguing and pulling clothes off racks. I want the Star Trek one, I want the one that says trekkie. There are moms chasing little kids and dragging them out from under racks of clothes. Two girls hold blouses up to their chests and one is saying to the other how about yellow. I go over to where they are and it's the juniors section. I watch the two girls for a minute, standing with my arms full of clothes, and something about how I am looking at them makes them look over at me. The taller girl is holding a sky blue blouse, filmy and delicate, and she leans over and whispers something to the smaller girl and they turn away from me.
        I look down at myself and I forgot to put my shoes back on. Other kids aren't wearing shoes while they try things on so maybe that's not why they were whispering about me. Maybe they weren't whispering about me at all but I think they were and my face goes hot like I got caught doing something wrong. I busy myself with more clothes on racks, dropping things, shirts sliding off hangers. The clothes in the juniors section are all too big for me.
        This isn't fair, I'm thinking. For the first time I get clothes that are new and not from the free box. For the first time I can pick almost anything I want. And there's too many to choose from and I can't pick anything. My mind is going blank. I don't want to take the time to try anything on because I can feel Lore waiting for me. Are you sure you wear size eight she says and I say yes I'm really sure even though size eight was my green bell bottoms from when I was eleven. Make sure it's somewhat practical she says. I hand her my choices. Some skirts and pants and socks. She adds some shirts to the pile. Shoes, tennies. She buys a pile for Haud. Garanimals and Toughskins. Haud has been meandering through ladies lingerie and has a big bra over his head like bunny ears. Lore snatches it off his head with a grim look. Haud doesn't care what he wears or about clothes.
        I'm quiet at the checkout stand while Lore pays. There's a family paying for stuff ahead

        of us and it's school clothes too. Two blond girls my age and younger. They have long

        ponytails tied up with ponytail holders that have colored balls on them and they are busy

        chattering and arguing over clothes they're pulling out of their shopping cart. I wanted

        this one so bad, one says, Missy got one too and we'll match. She's holding up shirts with

        butterflies on it, and the other girl is rummaging for something, it's a pink plastic purse

        with glitter on it. They're both wearing stripey dresses and sandals and they have

        bracelets. I am silent in the car on the way home. My mind is tumbling with different

        clothes exactly like a dryer. I see a part of this and a part of that just for an instant and

        then a jumble goes by and then another.

        ****************

        NOW GO BUY THIS BOOK

        No more freebies, I'll get into some kind of trouble.

        -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

        by claude on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 03:41:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pretty heart-rending and sad (none)
    that kids have to live with the craziness of their parents. Children have this incredible desire to fit in...to be whatever is considered to be normal. Parents often don't realize that their extreme lifestyles can cause children to feel like outsiders.

    Well written and powerful.

  •  Bookmarked the link (none)
    Once I've finished destroying Christmas for the fundies again this year, Clane's book is top of my to-buy list.

    Thanks for letting us know.

    Because cognitive dissonance is a terrible thing to waste...

    by 7rob7 on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 02:28:19 PM PST

  •  Very vivid (none)
    Funny how we all have such different experiences.  I lived in San Rafael through the 1970s and I don't remember even seeing a hippy.  And now I am one, go figure.  Thanks for posting this snippet, I am sure it must be tough to see yourself in this light.  Isn't forgiveness a wonderful thing?  I tell my son that I always try to forgive myself first, then ask for his forgiveness when it is called for.
  •  It's the want (none)
    born of imposed ideology that grabs you. No oranges fer chrissakes !?? I pictured my little boy running around a circle like a stray puppy...
  •  at least (none)
    you didn't raise another "Heather" into the world.
    Needless to say, she and I have had quite a few conversations over the years concerning the lifestyle we  subjected her to, as she found her way to forgiveness.

    Whats to forgive? You were there for her weren't you?
     I'm going to buy the book, and recommend this diary.Good job.

    P.S. no offense to any Heathers out there-I'm using the movie "Heathers" as a point, <snark>not any indivual unfortunates named such, persay.</snark>

    "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

    by keefer55 on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 03:27:49 PM PST

  •  A child's truth (none)
    She has a powerful story to tell.  I find your acceptance and pride in her story as moving as the story itself.  Good for you both.
  •  Excellent read, post more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none)
    Very glad to hear that Clane, grown up, is productive and happy. This chapter moved me to tears and awe for Clane's ultimate self-determination despite the limitations of the world H'lane, Bruce and you made for her. It's ironic that hippies thought they were so free.

    "And tell me how does god choose whose prayers does he refuse?" Tom Waits

    by madaprn on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 03:49:06 PM PST

  •  my god claude (none)
    please tell me this is a work of fiction. punished for eating peanut butter? wow, what a horror show.

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 03:50:17 PM PST

  •  Macrobiotic conversions (none)
    My mother went macro in about 1973/4 when I was 8--I now have a deep aversion to brown rice and carob.  
    It was all so worthy and brown and tasteless and you had to chew it forever before it became swallowable and and aaargh.  sorry, I just had a flashback. Ptooi.

    Thankfully she got over it fairly fast and switched to vegetarianism, which was still horrible (from an 8 y/o perspective, but livable.
    My dad, thankfully did not change his dietary habits, which meant that on weekends I got bacon sandwiches :)Compared to the parental embarassment of some of my schoolmates parents, she was mild!!  But it is the nature of parents to embarass you, straight or hippy.

    She's now a full carnivore again, woohoo.  We've talked about it (the whole hippy thang) and I understand that she was trying to do the best for me that she could at the time.

    Which is what, Claude, I assume you were trying to do as well.  You must be very proud of her, she sounds like a fabulous human being.

     

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site