Thursday, September 26, 2013

When Things Fall Apart all fell apart after that.  .
 When we moved to El Paso, my parents bought a house that was reputed to be around 100 years old.  It was said that in the early 1900's the family would watch from the porch the battles of the Mexican Revolution, 3 miles away.  Entertainment in those days.  The house builders has buried a coin with the year somewhere in the house which we found  during one of our on going  remodeling projects.  It was a shiny, new 1881 silver dollar. The house had thick adobe walls and backed right up to the base of Mount Franklin just below Scenic Drive and very close to the turnout where the Manos family begins their journey. As a lonely child, I spent many, many days hiking up and all over that mountain.

Growing up, I was always referred to as Tom's daughter out in the world but in my neighborhood, I was just the different kid that equally seemed to fascinate and repulse the other kids.  They would friend me just long enough to get inside our house to see the crazy things we had.  Lots of nude art and sculpture.  A room with full floor to ceiling bookshelves.  Word would get back to conservative Hispanic Catholic parents and I would be banned from visiting and the kid would be banned from my house.  I was painfully shy but learned how being different had some benefits.  It became, let's watch Jackey and see what she'll do next.  I had a secret life and a very rich imagination.  I buried myself in books beyond my age.  I  first read  "The Pearl" at 12 and "The Last Temptation of Christ" at 13 but failed in school.  "Jackey is smart enough but just doesn't apply herself".  What no one seemed to get was that I was suicidal, and no one seemed to notice so I didn't bother anyone about it.  I first wanted to die after my mother began including me in her diatribes about my dad's suicidal tendencies and multiple attempts.
.  She would say things like, "Well, he's tried it again".  I was aware that he didn't want to be here and I couldn't see staying without him so I developed at least 4 suicide back up plans for myself.  If he succeeded, I would find a way to follow. I lived in a black hole from 12 to 19 years until I made a very clear decision to either get it over with or start living.  It's obvious which path I chose.  I've been told many times that I am an amazingly resilient human.  I call myself a Jackey in the box.  I always pop back up.

Doing Manos with my dad, my hero, was a magical time and I always kept those precious memories so tight in my heart.  It was one small tangible thing I could hold on to when there seemed to be nothing else.  My childhood and teenage friends will say they remember me telling them about this wonderful time.  I spent many years looking for a copy of  Manos: The Hands of Fate since we never saw it again after the November 15th 1966 premiere.  Just imagine my surprise when it showed up on television in 1993 on MST3000.  That was enough for me.  Everything beyond that is icing.  Now, I'm totally along for the ride and what a great trip it is.  I live my life on my terms in joy and with the deepest love, appreciation and gratitude for the experiences that Manos has brought and is bringing to my life.  Bring it on!