Thursday, July 23, 2009

What is the "Chronicles of the Bi-Polar Reporter"

It was probably during one of the worst times of my life that I wrote the first book in what will be a series of books, called, "The Chronicles of the Bi-Polar Reporter."

But a week later, the book was done. And everyone liked it.

I was in so much deep emotional pain that I just had to let it out. And I was manic as hell, but physically wounded and unable to do much more than type.

Years ago, I was talking with another writer and he asked me why there was none of me in my stories. I said, well I hadn't really considered it. I mentioned there was probably some unconscious element to me included.

He laughed and told me I was afraid to write about myself. Well, apparently that fear is gone. I've included many things that relate directly to me and my experiences. For the first time in my life probably.

However, there are all kinds of composite materials included.

When I was 26 I went out on my first assignment to meet the 5th district county supervisor for Santa Barbara County.

He had a list of agenda items in front of him when I walked in. They were highlighted with a pen.

He told me this is what I would be interested in. And I told him I'd be interested in hearing about everything.

I remember we looked at each other and laughed. We became fast friends and worked on another major issue together, a toxic waste dump.

That would be the first time I was grabbed by the secret service or whatever security folks. I dusted myself off, and told them to never do that again, because I'm asking questions you don't seem to like.

I was never the average writer or reporter, hence the "Bi-Polar Reporter."

Here is one chapter which is from the original week long writing fest. I'll go into more stories of how all of this came about.

The Chronicles of the Bi-Polar Reporter

Chapter 1

Who wants to kill the reporter? Everybody

The last footsteps I heard coming up the pavement were to my left. As I turned in the direction of the sound; a gun appeared in front of my face.
My eyes crossed as the black steely gun was pushed closer to my nose.
This was no ordinary hold up; we don’t have them in our little city two blocks from our police station under street lights.
No, this was to be expected. Reporters like me who uncover and expose the people in power; are targets.
As we stood there I could feel my body temperature start rising; my adrenaline exploding within every cell of my body; I knew I couldn’t hold on much longer.
“You got the gun you tell the story,” I spoke into the barrel like a microphone introducing someone at a “Toastmasters” meeting.
With a mask, or some sort of bandana he hid his face, but not his eyes.
Two narrow dark eyes pierced out from behind the bandana talking to me with enmity and telling me in no uncertain terms those eyes want me dead.
I like eyes; and if I make it through this these will certainly be unforgettable.
“Crazy bitch thought you would be smarter than to let us snag you on the street,” he laughed with his partner I could only see slightly with my peripheral vision; as my eyes stayed steady on the gun.
“I’m pretty stupid,” I thought to myself. With all the articles I’ve been writing about the Mayor’s office, it was only a matter of time; I’d really been “pressing” them.
“Wow, I can make a pun with a gun to my head; that could be a real game show,” I thought to amuse myself.
“So, now it comes down to your life bitch,” he breathed deeply, squeezing the gun.
“My life so far has faired well in situations where it is has been threatened. And believe me as you get to know me; you’ll wonder how did she ever survive to the ripe old age of 40?
It’s been like something is there that happens to intervene or…well…my physiology takes over; and decisions are based on adrenaline and sexual arousal. And then the chain reaction…its bi-polar disorder at it’s most powerful.
Before I could even begin to think well should I grab for it; or roll on the ground and beg for mercy; it happened so fast (it always does); I had grabbed for the gun.
Then I looked up into the starry night; my hands and his wrapped around the pistol.
It really was a lovely night sky I noted; even appreciated.
I slipped to the ground; hard and fast being keenly aware there was a gun over my head. I fall a lot; I have no balance. But I do have knack for the circus act.
I rolled and he rolled right over the top of me headed the other way. I noticed I had the gun; so I pointed it at his shocked counterpart and began counting down from ten. He was gone by 7; he needed a few seconds to gather his thoughts.
My gun wielding friend had already departed by the time I got to my feet and reconnoitered the situation.
“Okay, so now I know I must be getting into the dirt if they send out the laundry people to talk to me.” I muttered to myself as I stood there holding the gun meant to kill me.
I walked down to the police station; we put a new sidewalk in town where the yellow lights highlight your stroll; along with gun toting individuals hired to murder you.
I push the gun into the front of my pants and pull out a small notebook.
My pen doesn’t start writing immediately, so I lick the tip and forcefully scribble all over the page.
Turning the ruined page, I write down all the details of my encounter; eyes, clothes, shoes, sounds, clues, voice.
Then I look down at the gun in my pants. “I’m not so sure this is such a good idea.” I picture an explosion in my pants; the kind I don’t go catting around at bars to get.
I slide the tiny notebook into the back pocket of my almost freshly peed in jeans; push the gun into my knee socks; then head down the sidewalk next to the huge parking garage our Mayor had built probably thinking that would keep his car from getting scratched.
As I cross the street the stairs to the police station coming into focus, I wonder what the cop shop folks will have to say about this story.
“Go home; take some medicine.” I chuckle to myself because I have worked with them for years.
As I jump up the four concrete stairs, two at a time, I look up at the sign atop the building. “Desparada Police Station,” lit up like a movie theatre Marquee. “Another contribution from our Mayor and his unlimited checkbook style spending,” I shake my head and purse my lips in disgust.
My arms extend out rigidly pushing open the glass doors which has some sort of fancy switch which makes pushing truly unnecessary. But I do it anyway and every time.
The doors open wide and welcoming me is a waft of fresh coffee and sugary confections smell.
“Ahhh, makes me calmer already.”
Then I yelled into the offices as I came through the doors “Hey mutherfuckers; paper chasing pussies.”
They find my humor just downright hilarious.
The tendency of the bi-polar personality is to blurt when stirred up and it usually contains foul language.
It was almost midnight and the skeleton shift was on
The long counter like a border to a country was all but empty except for a few brochures about your rights standing in some plastic dispenser like a buoy in the ocean.
There wasn’t much noise, spare the rustling of newspaper.
A half a football field down the counter sat the “officer of the night,” the woman we all respect for her compassion, Virginia Mackel.
“What, we gave your name to all the serial killers and rapists and you still show up,” Virginia said not even looking up from the newspaper she was reading.
“Not that I’m saying you guys don’t do a great job with, with, help me here; with some things, but I’ve got a goddam story to tell.”
Virginia looked up incredulously above her reading glasses. I imagine the look meant that I had better be serious because she has some important reading to do.
Virginia had been with the department for too many years; my best guestimate would be she’s in her 60’s; and she just can’t leave the fun and games of fighting crime behind a desk or large counter.
I think she even has a gun. But I don’t think it has ever been considered in their master plan.
Last one out is Virginia blasting away at the bad guys.
She really didn’t like me at first; after a short period of years she has come to even laugh at my jokes; or me, I’m never sure.
“I’m not exaggerating or kidding; I was held at gun point by two males; ages 30 to 50; the younger one had greasy black hair with some kind of, I don’t know, T-shirt wrapped on his face,” I hurriedly explained grabbing my notes out of my pocket. “Second one had the gun and also a bandana or some cover for his face. But I saw his eyes; I will know them from now on.”
“So, what did they take? They want money or what?” Virginia inquired half interested; her eyes cast down; squeezing her flaccid neck with her left hand, pumping up her brain maybe.
“You’re thinking just another robbery; purse snatching; I lost my ID…no, no, no, my bored with her job friend.”
I put the gun on the counter making my final point.
Virginia looked up, put down her glasses and gave me her official attention. Although now all I could focus on was that little ball of mascara hanging from her cheek.
It was getting late and I needed my medicine.
“They didn’t want anything; they threatened to kill me. We never got around to why they were; but my guts told me it’s my archeology project on the mayor and his cronies.”
“They said that?” Virginia asked.
“Not in so many words,” I eeked out.
“Then how many words?” Virginia grabbed for her glasses again.
“Listen I had a gun in my face; this gun,” I hold it up making her move back a little, so I set it down.
“I was told I was easy to catch; then when he said that we were talking about my life; well, I just exploded.”Gabe had come in the room for the last part of the story. He’s a young guy, deputy, with a good sense of humor and dedication to what he does.
“How many bodies you leave us Hannah,” Gabe asked with his slight southern drawl that made him sound both charming and slightly ignorant.
“Well, these bodies are still running around, so I’d like to make a report and look through some of your family pictures.”
I pick up the gun again from the counter and Gabe flinched a bit, taking it from me with two fingers and dropping it in a baggy he yanks from his baggy dispensing pocket of his pants.
I wonder what else he dispenses out of those pants?
Virginia seemed relieved I was no longer playing with guns and went back to reading as if the world just went away.
However, as Virginia unconsciously buzzes us in with a sleight of her hand, Gabe and I slip in through the slot in the counter, and head to his desk.
Gabe drops down into his chair extending his hand for me to take the seat in front of his desk.
He still has the look from his days in the military. He’s muscular but not tough looking; however very regal as if to say he takes his job, country, uniform, very seriously.
But with the face of a babe, round and hairless; his dark hair snipped tight and around his ears; he amiably prepared the report.
We drank coffee and talked about the fact that the mayor was reelected but not without some resistance.
“Hannah, we know there is something going on but what are we going to do about it? He’s popular, handsome; I don’t know he’s got credentials.” Then he sang, “He’s got the power.” Funny.
“Gabe, Gabe, Gabe, we’ve known each other for how long; at least a month,” we both laughed. “Listen you’ve watched me dog this city for 5 years now; and how many times have I been held at gun point?”
“None, but you have had your share of fights,” he added.
“Regardless,” I said, “this is big,” I trailed off thinking of what exactly am I on to that got me into this.
“Meggler is a mayor without a conscience; the chief of the city with ambition to become another Carmel or even Santa Cruz; a California city with the rich and famous flocking to take part.” I explained to Gabe.
“Well, that is your bag, Hannah, you do your job and I will try to make sure we find out who is after you. We just have to pick the right one,” he said, then winked. “There are many, you know,” he teased. “You’re about as popular as a rattlesnake at a dinner party.”
I stood up, “I’m going home thanks for the talk and the coffee and a decent country style ribbing.”
“Any time,” he smirked.
I turned to leave then added as I was being buzzed by through the magic door, “pencil pushing idiots.”
I walked home, not feeling peril, but on the alert none the less.

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