Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cracks In The Pavement...

I wrote this when I arrived home from the park. I needed to write in order to get it out of my heart. I didn't post because I refused to impose it on any of you.
I didn't do ANYTHING I was supposed to today. NOTHING. Instead I sat on the sofa, looked at the beautiful garden, then, in absolute agony, placed my head on the pillow and fell asleep. I never do anything like that. Never. I woke with wet tears still on my face. Then Cece called. I started to cry. She asked what was wrong, but I wouldn't tell her. She asked again and I said it was so awful I didn't think she'd want to hear. She said "I do, talk to me." And with those gentle words, a dear friend allowed me to find my voice.
If you are weak of heart, please do not read this post. I beg you, don't. This is about animal cruelty and it is so unkind. I asked Cece if I should post. She said, yes because we have amazing friends who are so wise and kind and who always, always offer intelligent advice. So with no futher adieu, I offer my post in absolute agony and tears because I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing. If you have any suggestions, any at all, please don't hesitate to comment. I'm open to all suggestions. You know me. You know my heart. I would never impose this on you if I didn't think you could help.
This isn't a good photo because the colors are misleading, but it was the best I could do the other morning with the light I had. I woke for the first time on the Macy's sofa in my studio. I opened my eyes looking up at this. At first I didn't know where I was, then realized. It's a large painting, a little over 3' by a little over 5', and looking up at it gave me a new perspective. I didn't move. I just keep looking. And thinking about life, how it changes, how it hurts so much at times and so joyful others. How perspective changes. How... Then "Baby"ran full throttle into the office and jumped from almost the doorway to my chest. "AHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I yelled. And the day began.
I've been terribly ill the past few days (so Cece, that's why I haven't returned your calls), and today woke with T-Bone dancing all around at 4 am to say "MOMMY, I HAVE TO PEE!" After dealing with "our" skunk and T-Bone I made some coffee and started my day. What else was I supposed to do? I read for awhile then wrote to RC about what I'd read! I raced around like a mad woman after that to get everything done to make it to the park on time. I was in a terrific mood. Happy to be alive. It was an absolutely beautiful, beautiful morning and when I arrived at the park a homeless guy I call a "friend" greeted me as always. I have wonderful homeless friends at the park and they always look out for me. I trust and respect them. I fed one feral near my car and the birds who wait, then walked to my other ferals in the wood after stopping to talk to my friend for a few minutes. After seeing my kitties and skunk, feeding more birds and enjoying the morning I returned to the car. Before leaving I walked over to my friend to say goodbye and asked if he'd seen "Candy." He said he had, "Yesterday." I said, "Well when you see her again, please let her know I'm thinking about her. I'm always concerned, you know."


My friend said "Don't EVER give a kitty to Candy or her friends because they abuse them." I thought I knew what he meant, but ask him to clarify. He did and I felt my heart literally break. Not for her, for animals who suffer at the hands of humans. He gave me the details although I didn't ask for THAT much detail. I thought "DO I HAVE A "TELL ME" SIGN TATOOED TO MY FUCKING FOREHEAD." I felt like I was going to die. I'm not kidding. I don't care about being lied to or betrayed by someone, I care about the welfare of animals. Yes, I know it happens. Yes, I know there are assholes in the world, but I've always believed I don't know any.
I have help Candy countless times. Once in the pouring rain and freezing cold when the Park Rangers had taken her tent and all the contents within. She was cold, wet and had her darling dog. Nothing else. She and Buddy had spent the night under a tarp and hadn't eaten. They were cold and hungry. I went immediately to WalMart and spent almost $200 I didn't even have to replace all her stuff, so she and Buddy would be okay and bought food for both. To hear what I heard nearly killed me. All of you who know me and have read this far are aware I'm hyper sensitive, so I was beyond angry and agony. I asked my friend why he would tell me "all this?" He said "Because Suzanne, you're so trusting and kind and you think everyone deserves respect, but I'm telling you right now, they don't. Some would slit your throat. There are so many homeless here who abuse cats and dogs. Why do you think so many have dogs?" I started to cry and looked at the pavement. All I could see were all the cracks. What once had been perfect asphalt was now all cracked and broken and I realized it was a metaphor. I'm cracked and broken. I could go through 10 divorces and never feel this much pain because a marriage I can fix, or leave behind, but this, I don't know how. As I drove away I realized life is actually about cracks in the pavement. Every painful experience is a crack that just wears you away. When I was out of the park and over the bridge and thought I was alone, I rolled up the windows and screamed at the top of my lungs as I drove slowly into a stop light, "I HATE THIS FUCKING LIFE." I've only done that twice in my life. A guy on a bench waiting for the bus looked at me so odd, as if he'd heard. How odd. I looked up and realized my freakin' sunroof was open! I smiled and gave him the thumbs up. He smiled and gave it back. Then I had to sit and wait for the light to change while I'm sure he wondered what was wrong. I wouldn't look at him. I felt terribly embarrassed.
I had to run errands. I went to WalMart and wouldn't look up. Not once. I was consumed with anger and pain and constantly on the verge of tears and didn't want to impose on anyone's happiness. I didn't smile until leaving WalMart. I was at a stop sign in front of Hooters and at In-N-Out-Burger and there was a young black woman with a baby and small child. No one would stop to let them go through the crosswalk. I did. The mom mouthed "Thank you!" Her little girl walked in front of my car and as she did gave me the biggest wave. I laughed so hard and waved so big. It was absolutely beyond precious. For every low there is a high. Honestly.
I drove back to Carmichael (how wierd, almost wrote Berkeley) and have struggled. On the freeway, at Target, in the driveway, etc. I drove down our street, saw our beautifully manicured lawn, our gorgeous trees, our lovely home and all the lovely homes around ours and felt such joy. I wondered "Why me?" as I looked out over my Mercedes. Why me? I pulled into the driveway, buried my head in the wheel and then I sobbed. Really, really sobbed. Not because of all I have, but because with all I have I feel helpless. So I came here to try to make sense of this. I thought if I wrote about it I 'd be able to find my way. I've concluded, I'm unable. I don't know what to do and I don't know where to go. Just like looking up at my painting one sleepy morning, my perspective has changed.
It's funny because a dear friend recently sent a beautiful email I cherish. In it he/she referred to my "demons." I had to laugh because I don't have any. I remember telling my wonderful Beverely Hills psychologist the same thing and warning him the sessions might be "really boring" (I was just in absolute physical PAIN!). I don't have demons. Trust me, I'd know! I had a very simple life growing up, argued with my parents as a know smoked a bit of pot, drank a bit. All stupid stuff, but nothing like a demon. But every day life hurts my soul. Honestly, it does. Obviously this does.
I often wonder why I'm here. And for the first time today I know. I walked into the house to all the ferals I've rescued at the park. Everyone is usually insane upon my arrival, but today the entire household was so quiet and peaceful. They all knew. Somehow, everyone knew Mom was in absolute agony and they were so respectful. I went to each and every one and thanked them for being in my life.
I love people who adore animals. Who never abuse or mistreat them.
P.S. I'll answer the comments in the previous post. Promise.

P.P.S. Anyone who comments here I cherish because I know you've traveled this far. I'm forever grateful. I'm meeting a homeless friend tomorrow morning I've know for almost 2 years. I'm going to ask him straight up if dogs and kitties are abused. He'll tell me the truth. If it's yes, I'll wreak hell upon that place. Trust me.


Megan said...

I'm here for you if you need me. I know I'm 400 miles away, but I'm actually right here.

Skeeter said...

I never thought I would read something like that here Dear. The abuse, if it happens like that, is too much to bear. Yes, you have to get to the bottom of it. I hope its not true.

Best wishes,


Suzanne said...

Hi baby. I just checked and prayed no one would be here so I could remove this. I can't bare to do this to anyone else. Do you know what I mean? But here you are. Thanks you darling. Cece said to just trust in all of you, so that's what I'm going to do for another few hours and if I can't handle it I'm going to delete this. Not because I don't love and trust all of you, but because I love you too much to do this to all of you.

I'm contacting the ASPCA tomorrow to decide what my options are. I couldn't today because I'm literally unable to figure out who the hell I am and can barely speak. I don't know how those who deal with abuse and neglect do it. How they go out every single day and do what they do. I'm in awe. And I'm so grateful because they're strong where I'm weak.

I love you dear and thank you. I know you're "right here" because I'm hugging you to death. Even if I delete this, I know you will always be aware that under everthing is this.

Rob held me tonight while a sobbed and said "Suzanne, I know you best. Trust me, change will come if you find your voice. You have no idea the strength of your voice." I said "Rob, I don't know what to do, I've failed." He replied "How could you fail, you haven't even started." I'm terrified I will never be equal to this challenge. Never. This is the ugly side of life I can't bare, yet I'm being asked to step up to the plate. Why me? Why would God ask me when I can't possibly do this? I'm crying so hard T-Bone arrive to comfort me because he worries. Megan, when you've face your worst nightmare, what did you do? I want to run. I want to run fast and never look back, but that's not me. I'll go to the park tomorrow morning, grill another homeless guy who owes me a whole hell of a lot of truth, Rob will make a whole bunch of calls and then I will too. That's the way it works. Most people just skim through life without a worry while others do all the dirty work to insure safe passage for those who don't. But it comes at the cost of great pain. It's unfair. I don't want to do this. I don't want to know more than I already do. But here I am. The journey begins.

I love you darling, and thanks so much.


Debbie in CA : ) said...

Oh My sweet friend,

It has been a VERY hard week for me. Too much pain. I came to peruse the pretties of the blogworld, but couldn't resist reading on into the darkness of your post. I am so angry. The world hurts my eyes, my ears, and oh so deeply into my heart. Tomorrow I shall merely play in my garden, lose myself in prayer, and seek a renewal. I am not ready for another installment of the world just now. I am ready for Heaven!

Love and prayers to you . . . one who speaks for the weak and oppressed. May God bless you.


Suzanne said...


Hello darling. Thanks. Life is so complicated, isn't it? I never thought I'd be in the middle of something like this, but you know? People who abuse animals, children, women and the elderly exists on all levels of society. And as much as we wish it not to, the rain often falls down upon us. Currently I'm very wet! Also very, very upset. I hope this isn't true, but I've worked on enough difficult cases with Rob and know it probably is.

I will take all the best wishes I can get. Thanks.

Love you so,

Megan said...

You're braver than I am, I know that. You've got the strength to face more injustices than I will ever see or even notice, except in passing as I cruise by in my own little world. I admire you so much for that.

Leah said...

God, that must have felt like such a betrayal. People who hurt animals are the worst people in the world. I hate them, and I don't have any forgiveness for them. You are a good woman to stand up to this, even though I know that even hearing about it is agony for you.

just bob said...


All of your friends here would never steer you wrong. The world can be even crueler than we can possibly imagine, and closer to home than we would want. I'm heartbroken that this kind of abuse is going on, and that it is having this severe an impact on you.

Please remember you can't solve all the problems in the world, but can make an impact in the simplest of actions. Making that first call to the ASPCA or whomever can help will set the wheels in motion for something great to happen. And it will all be because one person with a tremendously big heart cared enough about animals to take action and not turn a blind eye.

Suzy, you don't need to do this on your own. There are plenty of people that feel the same way you do, and will rally around the cause when they hear about it. We all have to believe we can make the world a better place by starting at home. Sometimes it's hard to keep up that kind of faith, but without it we would have no hope.

Please don't forget to take care of yourself too.

Suzanne said...

Dear All,

Well I feel much better than I did this morning. I don't look any better however because I cried so much yesterday and last night. When I left for the park I was almost scared to hear what my dear homeless friend, Thomas would tell me (and he is a dear, dear friend). It rained last night and this morning and I thought he might not show up although the sky cleared and the sun was shining beautifully by the time I arrived. No Thomas. No answer. I was just so sad. As I was leaving for the forrest I heard "SUSAN!" and there he was huffing his way through the parking lot on his bike (he's a smoker). He knows my name is Suzanne, but calls me Susan. Why? I don't know!

Thomas is a good looking guy, I think 44 years old. He has long hair that's usually in a pony tail, but this morning he looked just awful. He was dirty, his hair was flying all around him, and I said "Thomas are you okay?" He said "No, I have such a hangover and I just rolled out of bed. I haven't even had my coffee." (Coffee and tabacco are VERY important to him!). He recently lost a front tooth, so as he spoke spit kept landing on me. I care about him too much to say anything, so usually just try to stay out of the way. And just so you know, he isn't a drinker. Every so often he'll drink with his friends and then suffer a massive hangover, so for him to get out of bed, without coffee and a hangover and haul ass to keep the appointment we'd made yesterday meant the world to me. What he said next was hilarious. "What's wrong with you? You look like shit and you haven't smiled once." And so it began.

I asked for an honest answer no matter how much he thought it might hurt me, and he said "Of course." My first question was very generic. I asked if he was aware of and dogs or cats being sexually abused by homeless people in the area. He said "No, I'd know about that." He implied that although the homeless population is rather large along the river everyone knows everyone else and everyone talks. He again said "I would have heard something." I said "I was told homeless have dogs to take advantage of them." He looked me straight in the eye and said "Suzanne (he called me Suzanne!), you know how much I love Ginger. You know I would never hurt an animal, nor would anyone here. I don't know a single person who would hurt their dog or cat here." I told him I wasn't including him of course. Then I asked about Candy. He said "She loves her dog. She would NEVER hurt Buddy. Never. You know her, she would never do that." I said well what I was told is it isn't Buddy, its cats." He looked at me in such an odd way and said "Candy? She loves animals. Someone who love animals doesn't hurt them. I've never heard that about her. It doesn't make sense." I replied, "It didn't make sense to me either and I've been in agony about this." He said he'd keep his ears and eyes open, but he was confident Candy and all the others weren't abusing animals. However, he did say he had heard rumors of abuse at Tent City in downtown Sacramento, but the Animal Control was called.

He asked who gave me the information. I said "Richard." He said it didn't make sense because "Richard's a good guy." He indicated that if someone gets mad at someone else they often start a rumor. He thinks that may have happened.

We're both going to watch and listen because authorities need very specific information to act on complaints. Speaking of which, Rob tried to contact the ASPCA, but wasn't able to get through and instead called Animal Control. He's sticking with Animal Control if this goes further because he said "They have legal authority to arrest, file a complaint, work with the DA and get a conviction. Animal Control also has an entire unit devoted to animal cruelty. He was very impressed.

So that's where we stand. Rob and I are both relieved after my conversation with Thomas, but still concerned. At least I now have instructions from Animal Control.

Thanks one and all for lending your wisdom and support. I will always keep you informed. Let's cross our fingers this turns out better than we'd hoped.

Much love to all.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne,

I've been down in the dumps again and an emotional wreck...but, when I read this I just want you to know that I'm sending you a big hug.

I'm glad that you found out some information and let's hope there's NO ABUSE going on at all. I just want you to know that I'm thinking about you.

Take care!

Karen ^..^ said...

Its so horrible. I've heard of absolute horrors being visited on the four footed angels of this world, and it makes me sick to my soul.

I'm so sorry. I wish i could cure the world of all it's ills too, but that will take a huge plague of biblical proportions to wipe out half the human race, I'm afraid.

People are the evil of this world, not some scary guy running around with a pitchfork and a red outfit with horns.

The only thing we can do is keep ourselves in line, and do what we can to make the world bearable for ourselves and those we love.

I'm so sorry, sweetheart, that you had such a sad revelation. It isn't fair. Please don't remove this post.

Now I'm worried for her dog. I really am.

This is how I deal with such situations... Not well, I'm afraid, but it never happened in front of me ever again at least:

Karen ^..^ said...

I just read your comment, and feel so releived. I guess the homeless community is just as susceptible to rumor and gossip as any other.

Keep your eyes and ears open, though. And remember, those who accuse are often guilty themselves.


Mrsupole said...

Hi Suzanne,
I was worried about you after reading your comments on Megan's site. So because I am always so used to your love for everyone I just had to visit and find out what was upsetting you. I think I would be so upset too. I do hope it is all not true, but at the same time I know that where there is smoke there is fire. Somewhere in those stories is the truth. The good people of this planet always have to protect the innocent and this is how it will always be.

But I too want to ask you to please, please be careful. Please stay safe and make sure you are never alone when you go there anymore. Please listen to me about this. I just know you need to do this. Please, please be careful of these people. Yes, most of them may be perfectly safe and are only there due to circumstances they cannot control, these are not the ones I worry about. It is the others who choose to do these things and those are who you have to be careful about. Please do not ask me how I know these things, but I do. I have seen many things and there are sides to some people that you never want to come across. So I will pray for you and that all the truth is found out about this in a safe way.

So I just want to say God bless to you and may the angels watch after you and those around you.

God bless.

Anonymous said...