Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part VI


Jaye B.


Sitting on the deck, looking out towards Crossman peak, visions of Ms. Butte flitted in my
head. I actually felt let down that she missed out on some truculent witticisms I penned while
soaking in her beloved springs. They were destined for the manuscript of which I snidely
titled : Book of the Elixir. Yet, if I had stayed any longer to share my cornucopia of elixir
insights with her, I'd have been rendered neo-natal, like the RV host she endowed with a
brand new Mini-Humvee, a bit of Mormon nepotism from what I could read of the situation.
Something Mitt Romney would approve of no doubt, in an expectant kind of way. I wouldn't
even put it past her to flaunt her stagecraft philanthropy by supplying a virgin polygamist with
a dozen blow up dolls and a chapel to marry them in, air cushion wives adorned in day-glo
spandex prairie dresses and bonnets.

While cooling off after one of my soaks, I continued to pray the blood of Jesus over the
labyrinth near the river, one once travailed by lesbian Buddhists, envisioning the terra cotta
gargoyles in the center smashing to shards, later to be plucked up in a distant epoch,
by forlorn archaeologists.

The vision I had of the cellulite donut encircling Evita's waist instantly disappearing in the
alchemical springs, is something else I withheld, after she gave me her tough love marching
orders. Not that I'm a selfish visionary, I just thought it might offend her, considering she once
claimed she was a poster girl for some holistic diet program she was on, but permanently
stuck in the 'before' photo from what I could gather. It appeared that even in her afterlife there
would be no after.

Also penned in my journal was a lofty epitaph, replete with directions to all the booze bottles
hidden throughout her property, like the very terma the Tibetan's looked for in unexplored
Himalayan mountain caves, beckoning to be discovered by wannabe lamas. It would have
been futile however, the blue ruin secret known by all throughout the savage gossip town who
had it in for this hick heiress.

"You like misery." She stated at the restaurant as a part of her damage control and her
declarative statement still echoed resoundingly in my cranium nearly two weeks later.
"Is that why I'm sitting here with you?" I wanted to stay, but I hesitated too long. She was
already grilling me as to what spiritual experiences I had while in the hot springs, then told me
that said experiences were sufficient enough to cover my gas, food and lodging costs en
route to her resort which had totaled about 750.00 dollars.

Now, here in the desert expanse of Arizona, I can more adequately reflect on what
happened. Would it be wrong to think that she murdered her husband? Pushed him down the
stairs? Who was there to witness the camera strap caught on the stair rail? The rumors were
already flying in the town before I even got there. And that is why she wouldn't have me live
with her. I might have even been implicated as an accessory to her crime. I could have been
the fall guy and our plan to take all his money and split to Lemuria discovered.

How about chalking the Flower Child harridan up as another human potential movement
casualty? A cemetery en par with Arlington awaits at Esalen for such ilk. I should have
patronized more suavely, divining all the wrinkles in her desert weathered visage, interpreting
them as some kind of sign of a golden age emergence her resort customers could bask in,
even after she jacked up the room and massage rates. Or perhaps some varicose prophecy
could have poured from my lips that would have turned the tables to my favor and I'd be the
one calling the holistic shots at her resort.

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(C)2012-Jaye B.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part V


Jaye B.

February 20th, 2012

Lake Havasu, Az.

We heard the blast while sitting at the kitchen table. One of the kids emerged from the
garage, clutching his head. The previous night I had warned he and his brother that the seals
probably wouldn't hold but that did't stop them. The two young ladies sitting near the
workbench constantly eyeing the duo as they sawed the PVC may have been the reason for
them bumptiously venturing forth with their ballistic project.

"The older you get, the more you think about the consequences of your actions." I sage
imparted to the younger brother when he showed me all the drunken driving dents in the car,
proud like a tribal warrior is of his initiatory facial scars.

"That's what alcohol is for." He sneered and then ventured to brag about taking on a high
school football player at a party and ending up beaten unconscious in a cacti ridden wash the
previous fourth of July.

"The ringing isn't stopping." The blast victim said, walking in circles, ears still cupped in his
hands, one of his eyes swollen shut. His brother showed me the chillingly deep dent the pipe
cap made in his car door. It had pneumatically richocheted several hundred feet across the

A reluctant parent phone call to California to check up on insurance coverage as an ER visit
seemed inevitable revealed that there was none for the imperiled lad. My friend started doing
energy work on him. Intermittant doses of homeopathic Arnica and Ledum Palustre seemed
to calm him down even more and he was able to get off the massage table and walk around
with more stability after she did some accu-pressure points.

Maybe it was all the Homeland Security amidst the wrought iron crucifixes and framed and
quilted bible quotes adorning the stucco walls throughout the home that made the family
photos dispersed throughout the palatial spread seem so patently sad and lacking. There
were even door monitors that registered the quota of openings and closings that the parents
could check on their computers from their luxury digs four hours away. One would assume
that such monitoring constriction would be anomalous amidst the peaceful, expansive desert
views of the Mojave mountains beyond the swimming pool out in back of the estate.

Sadly, the infiltration of domestic reconnaissance apparently has become commonplace
amongst the rich, a policing that has infiltrated into the intricate matrices of family
relationships in very insidious and undermining ways. None of it however managed to
hamper the full bore partying in the absent dad's man cave that weekend though, 80 proof
debauchery censored via electrician's tape plastered over the camera lens according to the
brothers who pleaded with us not to tell.

The blast victim, his sad silhoutte crowned by a shadow of palm fronds outside the sliding
door, blurted in subdued fashion: "I doubt my mother even loves me." The spud gun
memento mori having unmoored this confession deep from his heart somehow. One locked in
for a very long time considering how pained, remote and removed his words sounded to us
prior to him leaving for home later that day.

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(C)2012-Jaye B.

The Road from Ruin: Part IV


Jaye B.

Aura Place


Spending a night in a deluxe RV with a short, fat and bearded Mormon wasn't really on my
bucket list. The open arm amiability was most welcome however considering that I had been
ejected from my cabin by Evita who I finally ran into at the restaurant across the street from
her resort after the third day.

"You can't stay here." She bomb dropped me at the table, her dragonfly brouche surrounded
by dribble stains she made a futile attempt to brush away, when she noticed me checking
them out.

"I'll put you up in the bookstore. You can sleep on the floor. Go chat with customers,
socialize." She delivered her finishing punch.

Trying to process what she just said, I waited and remained silent.

"Go to Pocotello for the day-go watch a movie." She then suggested as an alternative.
Sitting with my makeshift friend in the 'living room' in a comfortable swivel chair, I did my best
to relax. After telling him what had happened, he leaned forward and conveyed to me some
rather revealing news:

"He was walking down some stairs carrying a tea cup when his camera strap snagged on
something. Couldn't get his hands in front of him to break the fall. Hit his head and died."

It then dawned on me that he was referring to Evita Butte's husband. Apparently the fateful
plunge took place only a few weeks prior.

We watched some Polanski movie about a ghost writer on his high def flat screen t.v.
mounted above the driver and passenger seats. I managed to sleep on the fold out bed fairly
well, thinking that Moroni was going to hand deliver me some angelic communiques indelibly
etched into Tupperware bowls as I fell asleep. 

During the evening visit, my RV emcee suggested I go to Temple Square in Salt Lake City and check out the Mormon Tabernacle Choir who then chorused in my head, unbeknownst to him, a sublimely polyphonic red flag about the invite.

The next morning, at the same restaurant and in the very same booth, I confronted Evita.

"When did you change your mind about me coming here?"

"Oh...about the second day of your driving. I didn't think you had a phone so I didn't try

And here I was, all primed to write the book about her resort from a 'Secret of the Golden
Flower' perspective. Taoist alchemy. When I was soaking in the splendid springs wondering
where she was, I conjured up all sorts of oriental niceties about aquatic hexagrams one could
contemplate in the ripples of the springs amongst other tidbits of rarefied spiritual bullshit that
even Lao Tzu himself would fall for.

Perhaps my proprietarian bumpkin host was still offended by what I said to one of her
employees about the eviction stunt she pulled on me. I cannot remember what it was, but it
harshly flew out of my mouth and with impressive force.

She was going to let me stay at her house and help her get the place and many others ready
to put on the market. When I reminded her of this while leaving the restaurant, she responded
rather shrilly, "I could never have you live upstairs."

But I tactfully refrained from telling her that what I was seeing at the moment, walking directlly
behind her, that that would never be possible, even in one of my most steatopygously
mashochistic moments.

She then launched into a peculiar bit of damage control to cover her fuck up. Shifting into
crone wisdom phase, she told me that I needed to face reality, suggested I get my hair cut
and work at McDonalds. She handed me a meagre hundred dollars to cover my gas costs
and suggested I go to St. George Utah to start a new life. I made her put me up in one of her
motel rooms and left the next day, braving it through ice and snow until I hit the desert burg
that evening.

Camping in Snow Canyon, carved out eons ago by Birkland currents, helped me unwind a bit
from my host's dysfunctional little circus in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. A doe eyed park ranger
showed me some Anasazi petroglyphs behind my site and I found a piece of pottery shard
and could sense the utter oneness in which the potter had with the pot while making it. She
seemed to be receptive to my experience and watched me hide the find under some sand.
Hiking in the canyons beyond the resort town was the bit of ambulatory therapy I needed,

In my tent and in desperation, I punched on another number, ran my eviction story by a
woman I knew who had crossed paths with my hot springs hostess 14 yrs. prior when she
invited us all to give talks there. After I was given the nod, I broke down camp and packed up
the next morning and headed even further west.

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Part V:

(C)2012-Jaye B.

The Road from Ruin: Part III


Jaye B.


January 15th, 2012

Bailing the small town, I couldn't bring myself to saying goodbye to my one and only friend.

Prior to the foreclosure, I stuffed what I couldn't put in my car in Beth's closets. She
apologized for not letting me stay there as an ex-con moved in next door and she didn't want
trouble. She was whisphering when she told me about this and looked quite fearful.

Using the 2k of Freddie Mac relocation money, I then headed to Minneapolis and kicked around in

the basement of a friend's house for two weeks or so until I got the call from a fan of my
writing. She was all enthused about a project she herself wanted to finance. So, without
hesitating, it was adios to the sub zero conditions and hola to a jaunt across the northern
plains out to a world of promise and prosperity in the western United States.

The driving was epochal and insane. Tilting trucks and buses had to pull off a wind torn

freeway in Montana. Orange, looming dust clouds closed I-15 down north of Idaho Falls, thus
detouring us to side roads, both desolate and eerily far removed from the main current. I
expected to crash into the Four Horsemen Stables, exploding hay bales with my Malibu as a
kind of end time fanfare.

SUVs passed me going 80 mph on ice/snow packed roads while status updating their

assumed immortality to their Facebook friends. The snowless mountains groaned, while I
white knuckled it over the passes en route, perhaps agonizing that they'll be inundated and
forgotten until another geologic recycling brings them to light again and the locals, fretting
over the loss of tourist dollars can thus rejoice.

Finally after 1200 plus miles and three exhaustive days, I arrived and was placed in a cabin

next to a Hot Spring by the front desk person. Got my writing gears spinning and welcomed
the soak in the 111f water that evening, wondering what sellable something I could conjure
for my host as my muscles relaxed more and more.

In the steam, I thought about how people wear heartbreak on their sleeves in Idaho,

something nuclear at the core of the sadness and the peculiar and pervasive amnesia found
there. It really hit me when I was wandering the streets, looking for my host who was not to
be seen.

I found myself wondering the most about the long haired guy at his bookshop. Saw him in

back earlier in the day after I tried entering the coffee shop section, but the door was locked
with a sign in the window: Massage in session until 11:30.

“Understaffed.” I grumbled, ambling back to my car over icy asphalt, sight unseen I had

hoped. Saw him again at night, but in front this time, a kind of spiritual shiftiness about him as
he leaned on a doorway, back drop enhanced by the glowing orange Ganesh tapestry in the
store window. It was as if he had some other business in mind and couldn’t help looking
suspect, fists jammed tight in dungaree pockets, scanning the street like he did the alley
earlier, perhaps in search of better camouflage or a tactful way out.

As I walked on by again, the business card his girlfriend gave me two years prior, glazed over

with his own sprawled artwork, came to mind. With the spa partner in absentia, she crossed
the embossed e-mail address out and penned hers on the back, prior to handing it to me, a
gesture I more fully appreciate now, having better grasped the import of the situation at hand
and most thankful I never pursued the lead.

The couple at the Thai restaurant up the street donned their smugness so nonchalantly, self

consciousness giving hint to an impalpable insecurity, one the woman tried covering with her
pink, mouse eared ski hat, a contrivance designed to alienate the uninitiated. The bearded
hubby guy in black North Face duds sneered at me peripherally, leaned over the table and
shared some Android secret with his wife,to further insure their distance from me. Bragging
about their California travel itinerary to a weary looking kid waiter, they laughed in unison over
the greasy spring rolls, unaware of the self parodying pun they were making, mere icing on
the cake of their nuptial conceit.

Then my awareness drifted back to me soaking in the hot springs and unwinding from the

world and wondering about the great project lined up for me ahead and where my elusive
host really was.

As I drove on by, the business card his girlfriend gave me two years prior, glazed over with his own sprawled artwork, came to mind. With the spa partner in absentia , she crossed the embossed e-mail address out and penned hers on the back, prior to handing it to me, a gesture I more fully appreciate now, having better grasped the import of the situation at hand and most thankful I never pursued the lead.

 The couple at the Thai restaurant up the street donned their smugness so nonchalantly, self consciousness giving hint to an impalpable insecurity, one the woman tried covering with her pink, mouse eared ski hat, a contrivance designed to alienate the uninitiated. The bearded hubby guy in black North Face duds sneered at me peripherally, leaned over the table and shared some Android secret with his wife,to further insure their distance from me. Bragging about their California travel itinerary to a weary looking kid waiter, they laughed in unison over the greasy spring rolls, unaware of the self parodying pun they were making, mere icing on the cake of their nuptial conceit.

Please donate to keep this blog alive @: The Road from Ruin

Part IV:

(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

The Road from Ruin: Part II


Jaye B.


January 12th, 2012

The SUV pulled into the driveway on eviction day as I sat in the garage on a plastic pail, the
only object left after a year and half of emptying out the house. In tears, I shook the hand of
the Realtor and took her inside for the inspection.

“I’m doing fifty to sixty of these a year now.” She tried to assuage me, forgetting to take the
mandatory pictures as I led her from room to room.

After the thumbs up, she got back in her SUV and phoned the lawyers in St. Paul and then
told me the promised ‘re-location’ fee was to be out in the mail that very day. After she left, I
walked around back and said goodbye to the squirrels, blue jays and crows, realizing that no
11th hour rescue occurred whatsoever with this one. None.

The house transformed into an equity amulet, a vacant caricature that took on an even more
deserted hue as I drove away. Having nowhere to go, I headed for the state park to book a
couple of nights for winter camping. The park ranger felt sorry for me and offered me free
firewood, so I was able to stay sufficiently warm and managed to set up camp and reflect on
what had happened without getting frostbitten.

Staring into the flames and listening to the ice crack on the lake, I recalled what I had failed to
tell the realtor, what really led up to the loss of the house in the first place. It was a different
kind of default, one she would not remotely understand, even with her mortgage calculator. It
involved me believing the lie that evil is an illusion, something within ourselves that we have
to work through by doing good karma. If I would have known the truth of the matter I wouldn’t
have set myself up for such a fall.

Eight years of elder care and a father who refused to get on the V.A. waiting list for a nursing
home that would have been totally paid for, for both he and his wife. An incompetent Human
Services bitch who told me if I got the house in my name I could keep it. Forced removal of
my mother when it was -35 below zero. Forced removal of my father who ended up in a cop
car and taken from ER to the nursing home where my mother was. 

All because I believed a lie.

Laying under several blankets in my tent on a full moon night accented by yipping coyotes to
the west, I contemplated the contrary truth of the matter: that evil is real and what it took for
me to come to accept it. It nearly cost me everything. It nearly cost me my soul.

The next night, as I sat on my pail by the fire, I heard a disembodied voice tell me to put a
gold plated cross I had bought at Hurley's Religious supply store in Fargo directly upon the
coals. Without hesitation, I did so. Glowing red hot, it refused to melt, no matter how much I
blew on the coals and stoked the fire with kindling. The next day it was still intact, chain and
all, dangling from a log defiantly. As I put the charred evidence in my palm, the same voice
informed me:

"You survived a trial by fire."

My survival pride was kept in check however in an icy kind of way. On Monday morning, my
car wouldn't turn over. I had cheated and used the heated seats to warm up a few times, thus
draining the battery. Flipping through contacts on my i-Phone, I tapped on one. After an hour
of waiting, Beth, my one lunged Indian friend came with her dog. Chewing me out as she
hobbled to get her jumper cables out of the trunk, she managed to get the Malibu to start. We
made quite a pair in the empty park that morning fighting with one another, while her pooch
cavorted in the snow. She asked me if I needed money after refusing my offer of buying her a
year pass to Minnesota State parks. Then she started to cry and asked me if I really did have
coyotes trained to bury me after I blew myself away with a .380 Taurus, west of Sunset Lake. I
apologized and told her I was a writer and never knew how my audience would respond to
something I've stated. She even called me afterward to tell me how hurt she was when I said
the thing about the coyotes. I was quite touched,since no one else seemed to care.

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The Road from Ruin


Jaye B.


What follows is an unusual travail, rife with peril and pitfalls and which has made me realize,
quite involuntarily, a kind of indestructible essence that we all have within us that enables us
to survive. Cut off from this source, many break down, lose it, open fire on random people and
even their own families and usually end up doing themselves in. The reason for this is
because they are ill equipped at integrating the experiences they have and making sense of
them in a redeeming way. Something I attempt to do in the following travelogue.

If there is any retribution it is that I no longer take what is described in the story below
personally, but rather use the discernment garnered all along the road to see the source of
people's behaviors-their self absorbed carelessness, delusions and fear/greed induced
motivations most of all. However, the gauntlet does not come to some cut and dried end
simply by forgiving and letting go. In fact, it tends to betray such a contrivance, intensify and
becomes even more challenging, for it is up to us to draw upon our own resiliency and self
reliance and having a trust in something so much higher than our ego bound selves.

I consider it an all out miracle indeed that I'm able to place my hands on a keyboard on this,
my 57th birthday and type away. May what follows here inspire and help you realize your own

I dedicate this work to Beth Sweere. A rare and beautiful someone as you will see.


Jaye B.

January 1st, 2012

Battle Lake, Mn.

On this New Year’s Eve, I reflect on a year that surely was most challenging for many. For me
the apocalypse happened in its entirety. Not in the Four Horsemen kind of way as many have
come to expect, but rather a silent and invisible neutron bomb has globally detonated, killing
people’s souls en masse while preserving their bodies intact like real estate property to be
occupied in the future by God knows what.

Most evident for me of the success of this devastating report was when I sat across from my
pudgy, balding insurance agent as he scrutinized changes in my car policy. Squinting at a
computer screen, he asked about my family. I responded to the obviously wooden inquiry and
told him how tough it was burying my mother the previous winter.

Dead silence.

He then turned to face me and asked about the status of the house. I told him that it had sold
but refrained from filling him in on how a warm and amiable guy named Freddie Mac had
bought it sight unseen. I guess his hopes of selling me another policy were dashed, although
he didn’t show it when he handed me a complimentary 2012 calendar on my way out.

The revelry of my fair weather friend Christmas was deafening. During one particularly dismal
day, an Anishanabe woman with one lung arrived at my door with her 120 lb. dog named Taz,
a cross between a Pit Bull and a Great Dane from what I could gather of its uniquely
overbearing pedigree. We sat together in the cold, empty house by the cracked fireplace, on
folding chairs, chewing on some pizza. With the two inch wide scar that arced over her right
shoulder visible, she confided to me that her doctors claimed all her medical records had
somehow vanished when she asked about them. She told me how a group of 'student'
doctors were in front of her when her gown was ripped off in some basement in a hospital in
Anoka and pictures taken. Afraid of another bout of steroid psychosis and a trip to the psych
ward, she grew nervous.

R.I.P. Beth Sweere

She then started crying when I asked her if there was anyone sober in the Pine Marten clan
she was a part of to give her support.

“I just want to have a happy Christmas.” She sobbed, crossing her arms to prevent me from
hugging her and looking away. 

I tried to rectify things by giving her pooch some Rib Eye steak, but I haven’t seen my Indian
friend with the unbelievably thick, beautiful hair since then, nor has she returned my calls.
Maybe the ambulance siren I heard the other day was for her. Maybe it was DOA for real this
time. Perhaps I should have burned the Frankincense she so dearly wanted to smell and
remained silent during the visit like indigenous people usually do when together. 

After she left, I was quite saddened.  But I re-read the Christmas card she had bothered to give me:

I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in the

John 12:46

She penned on one side and on the other:

  May great spirit be with you.

Why I couldn't fully appreciate my friend's light that day, I'll never know. Maybe my heart too
has gone dead, seared by the neutron bomb.

And now on the cusp of 2012, we are left with nothing but ruin and loss and total
disillusionment. At least for me anyway. 

Matthew 24:12 comes to mind:

Because of the increase of wickedness, the hearts of many will wax cold.

Yet, we should respond to such wickedness with love and not acclimate to it by shutting
down-especially to each other. That surely is the most disheartening thing of all considering
just how pervasive this kind of heart closure has become and the profound division it has

Please do what you can for others less fortunate than yourselves in the New Year, in a very
down to earth and tangible way. Lose the perennial idealism you keep stored up in the stars.
And most of all, chuck all of your salvational assumptions in regards to the 2012 hype for
there will be no delivering transformation. No collapse of the crypto-fascist corporate system

If any transformation is to take place, it will come from whatever humaneness, empathy and
compassion we have left within ourselves as individuals and not something 'activated' by
some global meditation during the next winter solstice. Most of all, during these perilous
times, be wise as serpents and harmless as the beautiful mourning dove I saw this afternoon
during a very rare winter encounter.

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