He was angry at the fundamentalist preacher at the funeral for telling him where she was in heaven and not an angel. Occasionally, he would feel her presence wanting him to be taken care of for this one time for his soul to be on this earth. He wanted to believe but did not want any organized religion written by man to tell him the way things were.
He often struggled at his various middle school science teaching positions until he felt more of a niche and skill with emotionally challenged students. There were little signs along the way. He still went through many relationships trying to find his perfect woman.
He tuned into pagan thought and spirituality that mirrored many of his own feelings brought out in his writing when he finds intelligence, beauty and compassion with a young pagan girl that appears to be his soul mate.Actually she mysteriously found him on the psycho net. She had written to him and surely someone as young as here wouldn't be interested in him.
She was a psychic or at least claimed to be.
She had told him that "Garvald" had come out on the Ouija board long before they met. She and her mother would often play with the board.
Her daughter, who called him "Daddy",
was born on the same day Alene was born and that mysteriously, was about the same time the brief relationship ended.She and her mentor witch also much older than her pushed him into get an engagement ring. This born again pagan girl believed in him more than he did in himself and reached a state of happiness that he never had almost thinking that he would become a father.
He bonded with her son who often told him how he was looking forward to him being his father. His own father never could give him the love and acceptance that he desperately wanted so much. Garvald would often become verklempt (all choked up) at the idea of becoming a family man and not being alone again. It was all too good to be true. He did not deserve someone like her. When her mother came down to visit with the step dad it was all over. Mother dearest was cold and judgemental. She looked at a painting of Alene and remarked how closely her precious daughter looked at her. She presumed that was why this older man was marrying her daughter. The pagan girl told him of her very controlling ways.
"Why are you marrying this old man? He does not know plumbing or anything about keeping up a house."
They all and had a breakfast together. While her daughter was in the bathroom, her mother had to make sure she told him how her daughter was emotionally unstable and had to put away for a while. He wondered how this woman he was so in love with could have such a cruel mother??
The mother and the passive step dad left and Garvald was momentarily happy...
That Sunday afternoon, he saw her black cats inside his infinity after he leaving the top up. A popular break up song was on the radio. It was a bad omen.
"Hurricane Michelle was the 13th named storm and one of the strongest hurricanes of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. One of only four November Category 4 hurricanes, Michelle made landfall on south-central Cuba with winds of 140 mph, the strongest Cuban landfall since Hurricane Fox in the 1952 season. The hurricane brought torrential rains across its path from Central America through the Greater Antilles, killing 17 people and causing widespread damage." after it dissipated and destroyed every remnant of her love, all that was left was her ring that represents "infinity" ... "You're not it" she brutally told him in her last email and kept the engagement ring.
Long after it was over Garvald would often become depressed thinking how happy he was with her. It was more of a loss than with Alene..He then realized how time was so fleeting, so he pursued his writing as a hobby and desire to express his soul as a healthy release for all his pain . He would have a similar feeling, when he went swimming, bicycling, and surfing. He wrote on many notebooks, lost notes and poetry in cyber space ...He wrote on pieces of paper his ideas and angst. He was formulating an idea to put all of this together
into a magical book of his world. He would eventually have it written as a website and then a book, then share it with his world and the rest of the universe.
All the signs seemed to be telling him to get out his comfort zone or Okie Zone ...He started stretching his paradigms. He goes to Chicago to see a soon to be published author. He loved her but he left Chicago not making the effort to get a teaching job there almost afraid of the cold depressing winter there. He helps her with the idea of writing about oneself in the third person especially when her book was dealing with the physical and sexual abuse from her parents in Texas. A month after they break up, her book was accepted and she thanked him in the acknowledgements for helping her overcome her fears by writing it all in the third person.
When he comes back from Chicago, he has an interview with Kansas City Schools. They want him to teach children with behavior disorders. He has a job to go back to in Oklahoma but he sits in his car in Westport and asks the universe what should keep him in KC? A bar mate at the Buzzard Beach, Mark, tells him to check out First Fridays at Nelson's Museum of Art. He meets Muffy who introduces him to the world of politics and feminism. They go to fight for female reproductive rights on a bus trip to Washington D.C. She challenges him about his ADD and always keeps him on his toes especially if she wasn't fed, needed a cigarette, cannabis, or it was a week before "Aunt Flo".
In February, he finally gets the prescription for Adderall (she called it "Adda boy!" for the difference it made in the way Garvald could focus and get things done) It's like he has suddenly put glasses on and can see how he does not need to be overwhelmed with life's daily struggles. He wonders how he would have done those IEPS (individual education plans) without it! He feels that being a white male teacher, his African American administrator does not like him from the first day of school and he's sorry that he didn't follow his intuitions about her and her obsession with power so much that she has her staff and janitors spy on the teachers. To get her and the emotionally disturbed director off his back he turns in his resignation for the end of the year.
Garvald makes it a point to still finish the year well, developing his rapport with the parents to help improve the behavior of his students. He worked far better with the parents and he did his best to keep the principal away from his classroom as she only would undermine his authority. (more about the craziness of this school in later installments)
Garvald relaxes and recuperates from the emotionally strained year during the summer. He thinks the strain made his back a lot worse! Muffy introduces him to Lillian who shows him how to start his website. He sees light at the end of the tunnel when he realizes this book would be his own self actualization. This website and book will help him heal and discover what his talents are. He knows that when he reaches his peak, the engine is running and he has taken off, he will find his once and future schwagmaiden. He can see little ones in his magical place. Occasionally he had visions of these "responsibilities" running around his fantasy home in between Nimbin and Byron bay. He could see the coast from his large bedroom/studio window on the first floor and the blue mountain view from his upstairs balcony! ("Lifestyles of the "Rich and Infamous"). Will his once and future Schwagmaiden join him in the journey or will he find her at the end of his journey finding his real home.?
He saw this place and others in Byron Bay and Nimbin, Australia. He also imagined this magical place when he went to Schwagatopia.
When he finds his magical place and maiden, the book will be written and he will find peace and happiness with his new family perhaps in the land of OZ??