I’m going to tell you three very short stories about fighting the good fight, and then I’m going to tell you how they’re all connected. And the first story I’m going to tell sounds sad, but it’s not.
When I was a kid I had this hellacious upbringing. Hellacious. It was like Lifetime Movie of the Week hellacious. I was pretty much born exactly the way I am now. I pretty much came out of the womb like that. I was never, ever going to be good, docile, and submissive, serving the men, being quiet, being modest. It just wasn’t happening.
So My father did what he knew to do, and he tried to beat the spirit out of me.
Which actually was the single most powerful thing — as I see it now — that could have ever happened to me in this lifetime, because it builds such a spirit, and such a fight, and such a lack of fear, that I actually have no regrets about any of that. But I had a lot of bad feelings about him. Really bad feelings.
I became like a wild banshee, fighting back, and it got so bad that the state of California had to step in, and they made me a ward of the court, and sentenced me to reform school when I was thirteen. And I never went back.
Following that was years of drug addiction, living on the streets, living this incredible life. When I think about it now, it’s hard to imagine that it was ever actually my life, that I lived that life. Then came years of recovery, years of being clean and sober, counseling, therapy, spirituality, sweat lodges, aura readings, chakra cleansing, you name it. Getting naked into hot tubs with weird pervy “healers,” I did it all. Whatever it took, I did it.
Oh yeah. Harbin Hot Springs. Don’t even start with that. The “water movement,” whatever.
“Would you get your d—k off me, while you’re ‘healing’ me, if you don’t mind?”
Wait! I’m digressing.
Okay, so anyway, I really worked hard.
And somebody told me, this one spiritual teacher said, ‘You’re going to have to come back in lifetime after lifetime with your father - if you don’t heal it.”
And I was like, “Oh! Okay. Let’s get to healing. ‘Cause I’m not having that.” So, I reconciled with my father in my 30s, and worked very hard, but it was a lifelong kind of thing.
In June of 2011, this young boy name Eli Korol went on a trip with his family to Yosemite. He was 14 years old, and he was training to be an Olympic swimmer. He’d get himself up every morning at, like, three-thirty, and he’d go swimming for hours. He was just a really cool kid who was from Russia. They were Jewish, and they lived in a kibbutz in Israel for a while, and then they ended up in San Diego.
They were driving back to San Diego, and the dad was driving, it was the middle of the night, everyone’s asleep, and a big gigantic semi-truck broadsides them. Everyone in the family ends up with, like, concussions and bruises and broken ribs. Except for Eli Karol, the 14-year-old, nice, Jewish kid, who was braindead.
WEST SIDE STORIES
This true story by Mary Carouba was recorded live on April 4 at Sonoma Portworks, as part of West Side Stories, Petaluma’s popular monthly showcase of spoken word performances, hosted by Dave Pokorny. Each month, willing storytellers are randomly selected from the audience to tell a tale based on a theme – this month’s theme: “Fight the Good Fight” – and the audiences selects their favorite. The theme for next month’s West Side Stories show, to be held on May 2, is “The Squeaky Wheel.” For tickets and information, visit WestSideStoriesPetaluma.com.