Fishing on Facebook, Chapter Nine: The Basin, near Pratt Trail

We left off in Chapter Eight with the great cosmic Zen Master in the sky hitting me full force on the head with a big stick, shouting, “Wake up, Suza! See that man for who he really is, not who you want him to be.”

Or more to the point, See Life for what it really is, not what you want it to be!

An hour had flown by since my student exclaimed, “Oh, that’s Adam Johnson, Diane’s boyfriend.” Adam offered no explanation and I was biding my time to pop the question, waiting for when the moment was right.

We went for a Sunday morning walk. I waited till we were at the basin near Pratt Trail, where we sat on a boulder, while Honey ran free.

Up until an hour ago, it had been a great week. Friday we’d met for breakfast at Ojai Coffee Emporium. Adam had started doing “couple stuff” like helping me with errands, grocery shopping and picking up my sweater at the cleaners. We made plans to go to a birthday party, meetings, a Thermography appointment and have lunch with my friend Ann.

He was talking about renting a place in Ojai, preferably in town. He said several times that he had been thinking of moving back to Ojai even before he started seeing me.

That’s how life is sometimes. Just when you think things are coming together, things fall apart.

I waited a moment while Adam got comfortable on the hard rock. I sat cross-legged, facing him.

Adam, “ says I, in my wise-crone tone of voice, “I heard what my student said when she saw you standing by the door after yoga. Who is Diane?”

Without missing a beat Adam said, “Oh, Diane is an ex girlfriend. She’s staying at the house while she gets back on her feet.” (Not his exact words, but that was the gist of it, spoken in a “It’s no big deal,” tone of voice.)

Either the man had no conscience or he was telling the truth.

Adam proceeded to explain the nature of his noble relationship with Diane. He described how she lives in one end of the house, he in the other.

We hardly ever see each other. We are like two ships passing in the night.”

Then he explained that Diane’s mother also stayed at the house. She has Alzheimers, is bedridden and in a wheel chair and Diane takes care of her.

That made it hard for me to insist that he give them the boot, even though that was my gut reaction.

It was all too much for my simple mind that all these weeks had imagined Adam’s bachelor pad with two fireplaces, a huge, fully-equipped kitchen with him all alone, baking that cake I read about on Facebook, patios and princely gardens. There were no stacks of Depends or urine soaked sheets in that scenario.

But Adam,” I questioned, “If this I true why didn’t you tell me in the first place? It gave me a terrible shock when my student said you live with your girlfriend. I imagined the worst. I really felt awful.”

He said, “The only reason I didn’t tell you was that I was afraid you wouldn’t go out with me if you knew my ex girlfriend lived at the house. But you’re right. I should have told you instead of you finding out like this.”

I really didn’t know what to think. Should I be feeling compassion for someone having a hard time?

I tried not to get too emotional but something didn’t jive.

This is very serious. If it turns out that you have lied to me I am turning my back on the world. The pain of it is unbearable.”

It sounded dramatic but in the heat of the moment that’s how I felt as memories of past betrayals came to the fore front.

I’m thinking to myself, “For crying out loud! If I can’t trust John Muir, Honest Abe or a kindred spirit who loves nature, who the hell can I trust?”

Suddenly Adam couldn’t take it. He stood up from the rock and started to head back to my house.

He said, “I think I better leave now. You don’t deserve this.”

I took his arm. I said, “No wait. Just help me understand it. It’s just such a shock…”

There were never any pictures of Diane or her elderly mother in a wheel chair on Facebook.

I tried asking logical questions like what would happen to Diane, her mother and the house if he moved to Ojai? And did they pay any rent or utilities?

I tried to make sense of something that made no sense.

We talked about telling the truth. How one lie leads to another lie.

Then I had a brilliant idea. I said, “Let’s go to your house so I can meet Diane. Then I can see the situation for myself and not feel so weird about it.”

Adam said Diane sleeps late on Sunday. She might still be in her nightgown. As a courtesy, he would have to give her a few hours notice before bringing a guest over. That he was not comfortable with that idea.

I pictured this woman Diane puttering around the house, glad to have the place to herself and how I would feel in her shoes if Adam showed up with his new girlfriend.

So I didn’t push it.

By the time we got back to my house I was emotionally exhausted and starving. So off we went to the new Hip Vegan Cafe.

The place was packed. The food was fabulous. Two of my yoga students walked in. I smiled. We kept our conversation light. Adam was off the hook for the moment. 

 I did not know what to think as he headed home to his garden, Diane and her mother with AD.

That night I wrote a letter in my journal, to myself:

Where it stands now is that you do not know the true Nature of his relationship with Diane but inwardly you cringe.

 You HOPE for the best—you run these last ten weeks over and over again in your mind. You have a pack of emails and Facebook messages to prove the depths of his feelings but you are bracing yourself for the worst because a) Fact is she lives in his house and b) Liz said she thinks “they were still together at Christmas.”

Your mind is in a whirl. You don’t know what to think. Is he a pathological liar or is he sincerely trying?

A little later I e-mailed Ann:

Not sure how I feel about all the lies he had to tell.

He had to tell an awful lot of lies and half truths to perpetuate his living alone story for two months.

Two days ago he said he could rent out his house and get a house in Ojai. When I asked him if he really thought he could rent  out his house he said “In today’s market, it would be a piece of cake…”

But what he really had in mind was that Diane and her mom could keep living in the house.

I just do not get why he did not explain this from the beginning.

Today he said he does not need the rent money and that Diane and her mom could keep living in the house for free. He said maybe they could pay utilities.

It’s all very confusing. I asked him why would a man who claims to be looking for a relationship live like this?

He admitted that it has crossed his mind that having Diane and her mother at the house keeps relationships out of reach.

That same evening I received this email from Adam. writes:

My Dearest Suza,

 You are so right when you say “You and I have a lot of things to sort out.”

I have hopes and dreams of a great long lasting relationship, but I also have fears.

 It seems like sometimes I am a prisoner of my own thoughts and feelings. You are so close to me, yet I do so many things which seem to drive a wedge between us and our ever growing relationship. 

Like I said today, it seems that true love is always a hair away from my being able to grasp and accept it.  You have awakened many feelings in me, which I had brushed aside for so long.

Suza, you are a strong and patient woman. I am so grateful for that quality in you. I am blessed to have a woman of your quality in my life, but sometimes it seems like I don’t appreciate or respect that. 

I am trying, I want to succeed, but my past fears and emotions get in the way. You don’t know how hard this is for me. You have truly “rocked my world” in a way I never thought possible.


  I need to let go of the past, enjoy today and move forward with you into the future.

Suza, believe me I am trying.

With my deepest love,


Seconds later, I sent this eternally hopeful reply:

My Dearest Adam,

We need a quiet place to work things out. If your finances allow you to rent a house in Ojai I hope you seriously consider it. We could work out the details later, after you get your bearings and are more sure of your feelings and where you really want to go with this.

 Now that I know you have an ex girlfriend and her mother living at your house, I do not see going away on a weekend trip as a solution.

A relationship with me is within your reach. But it will require that you put my needs on equal footing with your own.

Looking at you, I see a wonderful, worthy man who could be a hundred times more effective in the wider world and realize your true potential.

With love and respect,


I also sent an email to my student Liz to remind her to contact Diane.

Hi Liz,

When you have a chance can you find out the situation with Adam and Diane (I think that is her name)?

I am so thankful that you happened to be there right at the exact moment when he arrived.

Thanks again for telling me!


Late that evening there was a reply from Liz:

Hi Suza, I emailed Diane today to find out if they are still together. If I don’t hear from her via email tomorrow, I will give her a call.  I also checked with a friend of mine who is close with Diane who thought that they were still together at Christmas.

 What did Adam say when you asked him about being Diane’s boyfriend?  


I wrote back:

Hi Liz,

I honestly don’t know what to think.  Adam gave me the impression that he lived alone. I have gone out with him for about eight weeks (lunch dates, hikes, dinner) and he always goes home early. When I asked him about what you said he said that Diane lives at the house with her mother who has alzheimers. He said Diane is a former girlfriend  and they lead separate lives.

He says Diane takes care of the house. He insists their personal relationship is over.
I am going to keep him at arms length until I find out more. He says he wants to help Diane. That’s why she lives with him.

I think I am still in shock.  Thanks for your help.


PS If they were still together at Christmas then this man is a pathological liar. He said that he went out of town at Christmas and New Years. Please find out what you can.

Thank you!

Monday morning there was this reply from Liz:

Hi Suza, I have not heard back from Diane yet, but she doesn’t always check her email.  Honestly, I hate to say this, but I doubt that it is a “roommate” situation.  She doesn’t seem like the type of woman who would put up with that.  I’ll see what I can find out.  Adam must know that this is going to all get back to Diane one way or another!  

Monday night I got another shock.

Liz called to say that she spoke to Diane.

Diane says they broke up around Christmas. But Adam is stills staying at her house,” Liz reported.

Her house?” I interrupted. “Don’t you mean she’s staying at his house?”

Liz laughed. “No…Adam moved in with Diane. He lives at her house.”

I tried to straighten Liz out. “Oh no, that’s not true. Adam says he’s letting Diane and her mom stay at the house so she can get back on her feet.”

Liz laughed again.

Finally she convinced me I had the story backwards.

This was too big of a lie for a phone confrontation. I needed to talk to Adam face-to-face.

He was already scheduled to come to Ojai the next day, Tuesday, for an evening meeting.

He agreed to come by 2pm so we could go to Meditation Mount to talk.

Continued, Chapter Ten: Meditation Mount, The Garden of Peace


5 Responses to “Fishing on Facebook, Chapter Nine: The Basin, near Pratt Trail”

  1. Bryn Says:

    UN-believable. I’ve been in love with a liar of this stripe . . . ten years later, his actions are still as clear as a bell . . . an elephant never forgets! 😉


  2. Cathy Says:

    I’ve been married to a liar……………..It hurts………


  3. myrna Says:

    hi suza,

    well, i am hooked … reading to the end of this story however it turns out … hum, if it has an end or just leaves me with my imagination!



    • Suza Francina Says:

      Hi Myrna,
      Great to have you hooked! I just posted Chapter Eleven— two or three more to go. There will be a happy ending, but not like in the fairy tales!


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