Fishing On Facebook, Chapter Six: Upper Ojai, the Happy Valley Land

This is Chapter Six  of a true story. All of the names except the author’s have been changed. The protagonist is rooted in Ojai and does not have a big fat book advance to escape to Italy, India and Indonesia, a la Eat, Pray, Love.

From my journal, Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday night as I walked the basin with Honey, I stopped every few steps to write down incidents that I wanted to include in this Chapter.  As I scribbled quickly, I realized I was now becoming the Witness to the story.


Today while typing my notes, I’m thinking to myself, “This story would be even more interesting if Adam had also kept a journal.”

What would it say? “Going to Ojai today to see Suza. Hope she doesn’t find out I am …”

Would journaling make Adam more conscious? 

 Is Adam capable of introspection? 

 Sure he is. I told him several times, “You are smart when you want to be and play dumb when it suits you…” Adam can go behind the podium cold and give a two-hour speech without notes. But when I asked him if he remembered that the first thing I said to him on our first date was, “The one thing I require is complete honesty, “ he shrugged and said , “It went in one ear and out the other.”

Now back to where we left off in Chapter Five

Monday, December 6, 2010, I wrote in my jounal:
 Adam finally called me back.

When Adam found out his not calling for three days had actually made me cry, he vowed to turn over a new leaf. He took me out for lunch at Garden Terrace. He began calling religiously, every day, sometimes twice a day. I told him, “Even if we don’t talk, it’s just so nice to come home and hear your voice on my answering machine.”

I think it finally hit him that this was something easy that he could do with little effort, no cost, no extra trips to Ojai and it reaped great dividends.

His daily calls gave me sense of security.

I also liked that Adam did not smoke, drink or do drugs. No liquor touched his lips. Ever.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010, I wrote:

Well, he’s not boring! I am giving him a chance. For the life of me the hormonal surge is so powerful I cannot sort out what this attraction is about. I do know I like him more and not less.

I am still in utter disbelief that this has hit me out of the blue. I am not used to sitting down for two and a half hours and enjoying someone’s company [referring to lunch that day at  Garden Terrace.]

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I keep thinking back to our lunch date Tuesday. Am getting better at being present and not feeling nervous or embarrassed.

Like all human beings, Adam is a bundle of contradictions. I’m sure he ordered a hamburger to test my reaction. He joked that if we ever live together,  I won’t let him eat meat. I pointed out that my dogs and cats are not vegetarians and we get along fine.  [And in the back of my mind I wonder if  I think of him moving in as kind of like adding a pet to the family]

I’ve stopped trying to tell him that we environmentalists should “walk the talk,” and not eat meat from factory farms or from beef that is destroying the rain forest. He knows all that.

He says he feels a “sense of responsibility.” That I am “more vulnerable than him.” [Referring to our relationship, not food.]

The whole lunch was filled with provocative flirtatious statements designed to get me going—in which he succeeded.  As Beato used to say, “He could have knocked me over with a feather and I would have fallen in his lap…”

My motto is, “Be yourself because they’re gonna find out…sooner or later… anyway…”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Nature date with Adam to Upper Ojai, the Happy Valley/ Beatrice Wood land.

It is impossible for me to separate Sex, Nature and Adam, the persona. Why don’t I just surrender and fall into the abyss ?

No, honestly, I think we are doing good.

He always arrives a little early, I like that!

I gave him a copy of my last yoga book. Tried to get him to practice a few poses before we left. When I encouraged him to sit cross-legged on a big bolster he crashed into the wall. “That’s one way to extend the house,” he joked.

As I write this my mind is all a whirl. Here is a man who does bare his soul—more naked than I think he realizes. We covered so much ground —on all levels—walking the Happy Valley land.

When he came to pick me up this morning saw him plain and simple. Just an older, aging, geeky man. But the moment we were climbing up Dennison Grade I was transported.
I know we are in that magic grace period that usually only lasts a little while.

I like that he wanted to stop at the view point where you can see the whole valley below. I did not even have to ask. It is so amazing to be in Nature with him. He right away spotted a Turkey Vulture on the distant phone line…a hawk flew overhead… such a gorgeous day!

Went to Beato’s Studio. Closed weekdays which was perfect as we had total peace, quiet, and privacy. We stood on the hill watching the horses below. I was so happy. The energy flowed stronger than ever between us. It was not just a dream at Lake Casitas.

He told me how he used to ride alone all day with only his wolf-dog for companion. We talked about going horseback riding –something I’ve wanted to do all my life.

He told me more about all his trips around the world with his dad. About Rwanda. How he thought he saw groups of boys carrying backpacks but when they got closer his dad pointed out they were guns. Child soldiers… He saw dead bodies…    

He knows the whole history of Ojai even better than I do. Told me about the Upper Ojai environmental battles in the 1980’s –they wanted to put a race car track on the land there.

 We talked about politics. He’s thought about running for office again. I joked he reminded me of Abraham Lincoln. “Honest Abe.” He said, “You know what? A reporter who interviewed me back in the 80’s called me that.”

He understands the need for women’s empowerment!

But the best news is that he was part of a men’s group. He mentioned again seeing Greg Churchill for therapy after he found out he had a sister and the truth about his biological father. And he also went on a retreat with Robert Bly, I think at the Ojai Foundation or somewhere else. He is familiar with Joseph Campbell.

He mentioned other retreats he’s gone on. That was a surprise to me.

I am such an inhibited journal writer. My parents are ninety now and hardly ever come over but I still live in fear they will discover my journals.

They will snoop and peek and find out that after so many years I am out in Nature enjoying the kiss of Male Energy.

While we were looking out at the views I could not resist nuzzling his delicious sun drenched neck. …with the vast view of green fields and the Topas behind him.

I had to calm myself down. But I am still over the edge. There is not going to be any quick too soon sex in a field somewhere.  Ann reminds me, “The longer you wait, the better it will be. – Within limits, of course.”

But of course I am too inhibited to write down the most delicious parts.

 It got pretty intense in a sweet way and we discussed sex in a good way–like grown ups.

It was just the right degree of passion and restraint.
I also saw how his mind works. When things got too intense he pulled himself together and put on his Nature Hat and started talking about plants—too delicious for words!

We talked about romance. Whoa! He understands romance! He indicated I ought to wear something beside “yoga clothes.” I said I would love to wear dresses and necklaces.

We are both trying to see the “real person” –not just what the other symbolizes.

We talked about expectations. What it means to be a boyfriend or girlfriend. I blurted out, “If you have a sexual relationship that means you are that person’s boyfriend or girlfriend, “ or some such idiotic thing. As soon as I said it I realized that was false. Old illusions die hard!

When we got back he always walks me inside…as he was leaving he smiled and said, “Looks like I have a yoga teacher.”   I love that!
And whoa! He put this on his Facebook page.  

We are so ahead of ourselves!

Next week is very busy for both of us. Good we have these “cooling off” days in between these Nature dates.

I told Ann, “He really likes me!”  She said, “ Duh!  Of course he does! Not every man in the world is like your dad, dissing you in favor of your born-again sisters!”

My therapists always told me my imagination belongs in a book and not real life.

Continued Chapter Seven 

Sex is a trickster. It can feel good no matter how unfulfilling or troubled the relationship… Because sex leads to bonding, problems with sex in a relationship may increase with fear of intimacy. Anyone who fears commitment will run when he senses the growing bond that forms automatically as sex matures. 

–David Richo, How to Be an Adult in Relationships.


13 Responses to “Fishing On Facebook, Chapter Six: Upper Ojai, the Happy Valley Land”

  1. Sarah Says:

    In one ear and out the other! No conscience? Classic sociopath! Can’t wait for next installment!


  2. Tom Erickson Says:

    I can tell you’re getting more excited – your spelling is suffering! More, more!


    • Suza Francina Says:

      Thanks, Tom! I will do another spell check…also this morning I hit “publish” instead of “save draft” so maybe you saw a premature copy…

      PS My cat spilled coffee on my keyboard and it sticks–maybe that’s the problem. Now you got me worried!


  3. Tom Erickson Says:

    You can clean that sticky keyboard fairly easily. They are virtually waterproof these days, but not “sticky-proof.” Best to take it out of the machine first it’s not too hard, and wash it off, dry it gently by wiping it and blowing warm air io it with a hair blower.


    • Suza Francina Says:

      Thanks, Tom, the problem is I’m on a laptop…I forgot to explain that… r are you saying it can be cleaned as you describe…anyhoo thank!


  4. Tom Erickson Says:

    yes, that’s what I was saying, but don’t take me as gospel. Best talk to a pro.


  5. nancy Says:

    You know how to keep a girl in suspense, Suza. : )


  6. rachel citrin Says:

    i love your writing, the realness, nature, the truth. this chapter read good, flowed.
    I liked its naturalness. I could feel you.

    there is a site where you can post chapter by chapter of your book and people pay 99 cents to read the next chapter. each chapter costs 99cents. ongoingly

    ex student and admirer, rachel


    • Suza Says:

      Thank you, Rachel, I appreciate all you wrote about my writing and will look into that pay chapter by chapter site…I’m still working on the Afterword…


  7. gold supra shoes Says:

    I love your writing style truly loving this web site. “Measure not the work until the day’s out and the labor done.” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


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