FT BLISS at BIGGSFIELD in EL PASO TEXAS in the 60′s
NO BLISS IN THE US ARMY
A DAD & ME STORY
WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS American premiere was performed on January 19, 2007 by the Austin Lyric Opera in Austin, Texas. That year Philip Glass turned 70, there was an ice storm and airports shut down so undaunted, I drove to Austin from LA (!) to help Philip open “Waiting for the Barbarians”, his American opera with Christopher Hampton as librettist premiered
I fell in love w political operas (arent they ALL?!) and Austin, I was soon back or SXSW. My mistake was I did NOT move there, but I drove to MARFA (another BLOG to write and to my childhood place FT BLISS on way back to LA
Arts Review – The Austin Chronicle
I drove Calif to Texas and then to AUSTIN– so I know how BIG Texas is… I got ON the BASE at FT BLISS (who NAMED this army base BLISS!?) in El Paso and took many wierd-cool neon pix of rah rah YEAH TEAM BUSH our loving caring PRESIDENT.
This is where and how my dad hoped I would be indoctrinated.
in the 60′s, my dad lied abut my age and sent me there one summer, I was just sweet 16, a mere teen teaching mostly 18 yrs old to say HELLO HOW ARE YOU PRETTY MISS — XIN CHAO CO DEP before they went off to kill us. I was very taumatized by a young (old to me) LT in my class ie my “student” who terrorized me stating he knew I was not over 18 and called me JAILBAIT. How could my father send me off to live on an army base to teach testosterone GI’s on their way to fight in NAM? ZZECH! I hated him for that and now he is dead.
… One day I realized they were not at all listening to what I was teaching as when the Texas sun hit me standing there at the blackboard, they could see right through my cotton dress!
Anyhoo the resentement stayed with me and decades later saddled w pain over my father’s death and living w stress induced symptons like fibromyalgia, something doctors give you clonipin for (seizures!) and tell you there is NOT CURE, the pain is for life.
So in hopes oif a healing, I went back. Here I was, 2007, just five yrs ago, I ducked in while MP’s at gate were swtiching–and drove around going on memory lane- but upon trying to leave the base, the MP almost arrested me a) for being on base & b) Horrors–taking pix! I pretended to delete them and actually got away with it. But when I got to NYC to download to show my editor Fred Brehm, my capture card died– a fluke the tech guys trell me–so all that for naught…PHOTOS THAT DIDNT MAKE IT
BUT THE STORY ENDURES…I was a mere child, I had no idea and cant remember WHO I MUST HAVE STAYED with in order to live on or off base to show up MON-FRI to teach LANGUAGE (I could barely read or write it myself) at DLI for 2 months that summer, to be labeled “jailbait” and googled (even then in a different way) by horny young boys who signed up poor hoping for a chance, for the GI bill to go to college and out of their miserable town, to go off to murder or be killed– all so senseless. This bothered me for years. Makes me angry now. The rape I never talked about, how did he get me into his BOQ…where was anyone? Where was daddy? There is more always more and no time no time
said the rabbit in ALICE in WONDERLAND…
I survived. Some of the lucky ones did…