Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
So many times now, as I look back upon a life of thirty some years, I feel so ashamed of all I’ve done and become.
The preceding sentence is the one I’m going to use to begin my book. I’ve returned home now after years of, let’s just say “waywardness,” to my city where apparently all that’s usually impossible, and where all that’s normally considered sensational, is more or less viewed as commonplace - by those who understand what’s really going on here at least.
I’m Lauren Havess. I’m the rich girl/only child mentioned in the book “The Same Tapes.” And I’m the one who had a “crush” on Joseph Same (Geez, it still bothers me to call him by that fake name) even though my parents were rich, and we lived on the wealthy north side of the city, and his were poor, and he lived on the downtrodden south side.
But I brought him out to many of the fancy parties held on the north side. And I showed him our lifestyle, which at first was foreign to him. And I mistreated him. And I don’t know to this day if I really wished to make a “north side man” out of him, or if my real purpose in pursuing him was to somehow, in some sort of devious way, make myself feel better about all I was as a person - and all I was involved in. And let me be honest, I knew way back then that something was very “strange” in this city. And I sensed there was a lot more going on here than I, or probably almost everyone else really knew about.
And I can still remember the first time Joe introduced me to his friend Ralph Hawk. It was at one of the parties at my dad’s house. And when Joe left us for a moment, Ralph quickly explained to me what was taking place in our city. He said he felt he could trust me with the secret based upon what Joe had told him about me. And when I found out the real truth about our city, of course it astounded me. I didn’t want to believe it, yet, somehow, I knew it was true - all of it - every bizarre detail.
And then Ralph chided me for the way I’d treated Joe. And he said it was very possible that down the road someday Joe might be “called upon” to “carry out” what he (Ralph) termed “otherworldly exploits.” And of course I didn’t understand what Ralph was talking about then - but I do now. Oh yes, I understand it all now.
But most of what I’ve written to you today happened long ago - way back when Joe and I were in high school. And I can’t really tell you how much it troubles me now when I think that if I’d only been half-way decent to Joe, maybe he and I would have married someday. Our financial backgrounds weren’t a problem. My dad actually liked Joe, and always made sure he talked to him (at least briefly if not longer) at all the parties Joe attended at our house.
Yet, like everything else in the past, that’s over now. It can’t be changed. Still, I often wonder if Joe and I had become a couple, if perhaps many of the outlandish occurrences which have taken place in this city over the last fifteen or so years might not have happened. And when I think such thoughts, that’s when I also wonder how much blame could, or should be assigned me for the way life is in this city today. And I suppose you may think I’m feeling sorry for myself now, and I probably am, but still, I can’t help but think it’s true - I made some very critical mistakes during my high school years, and I continued to make others after I left this city and tried to “find myself” as I termed it in my mind.
But I’ve returned home now. And after a number of tumultuous years, perhaps I’ll be able to find some peace of mind here. I hope so at least. But then, I’m not sure a city such as this is where one should actually seek a peaceful existence. If anything, this city is even more bizarre today than when I left it years ago after Joe enlisted in the army.
But this is my home. I’ve returned now, and I’ve asked Ralph if I might live amongst his “creative types” whom he’s resettled near the north shore of the river. And of course he’s told me I must first demonstrate some sort of worthwhile “artistic output” before I can be allowed to relocate there.
So, I’ve updated slightly, and have mailed him a copy of a small literary piece I’d written way back when I was a teenager. And I know Ralph promised you it would appear as a posting here soon - and it shall - probably in a couple of weeks. But Ralph and I have decided I should write and post this informatory piece first; hopefully it will update you on all that former “mean girl” Lauren Havess has been involved in now for a number of years.
And when I speak to you next time, I’ll have no introduction to my words. I’ll simply begin with a piece entitled “I Dreamed I Married A Soviet.” It’s something I wrote after reading how young couples usually conducted their wedding ceremonies in the former U.S.S.R. And I know it’s dated now. The U.S.S.R. is gone - and thankfully so - probably. Yet, I never lived there, so I can’t comment very much upon those who did, and still do. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’m being derogatory when I say that life would seem to be lived better by various groupings of mankind when those grouping remain independent of one another.
But then again, I’m only a former sarcastic and egotistical rich girl who never really cared much about those who really cared about her. Still, at least I understand now who I was years ago, and who I am today. And I know now that I really loved Joe years ago. And that makes looking back to the past yet all the more dreadful for me.
But I’m home now. And I’m living by the artists near the river. And Ralph has said he wants my “story” to be contained in an upcoming book.
And I believe I can and will change my ways now. And in fact, I’d appreciate your prayers on my behalf as I attempt to do so.
Nonetheless, thank you for reading my words. And I hope you’ll also like my description of a young couple’s entrance into marriage in what was at that time apparently a repressive society. And Ralph says that piece, “I Dreamed I Married A Soviet” should be a separate chapter in my book - if indeed I’m ever really able to write such an autobiography.