Perils of Being....Paula
by Paula Gunn Allen

The first of a series. See also Perils Index.

The Perils of Being....Paula

Well, my very dears.  Here’s the first installment of the most recent chapter in The Perils of Being Paula. Let me begin at the end...that is, at the more or less now.  Yesterday, to be exact, I went to the trailer for the last time before the demolition would start.  I went with a cool woman named Dina who is my in-home helper for the moment but has become a friend (something one supposes is frowned on by the management....but then this is Ft Bragg/Mendo, and friendliness is ubiquitous here).  Anyway I went to take some quick pix of a sofa and the two wall bookshelves, complete with blackened books, for insurance folks and me.

 That evening I realized that in the more shadowed region of my awareness I was puking. Horrid, body-wrenching heaving.  Not physical center at all; e-body. The loss is too much;  too hard.  Today I am wrung out.  Sad, a bit stunned.  Dina and I walked through the detritus of my life.  It is such a stupid, stupid situation.  The house is alive under the cinders; even in its blackened state, swathes of insulation hanging from the ceiling, glistening ebony tiles covering the floors, you can feel it, being.  As though with a good brooming and some scrubbing and it could sing again.  It was so COOL.  I worked so hard, friend/helpers worked so hard, Frank of Frank’s Fixin’s, who learned a lot of his craft working on the place, worked so hard, and it’s being torn down by a back hoe as I type. The Funnies room, my boudoir, my bathroom that I had just called Frank about coming to complete....all gone.  Swept downstream like the huge boulders and sometimes rusted out cars would be swept over the falls in the Big Arroyo in Cubero during summer floods.  But not exciting, deliciously terrifying: just sad.

You know, I’m too farking old for this.

Anyway, it’s Christmas and fortunately I have some stuff to wrap.  It’s my annual artistic frenzy; alas, all my pretties I would have been using are scorched, mildewed, molded or some combination thereof.  Thank the gods for Long’s, Safeway, and Rite-Aid. be continued


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