Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 9 No. 1 | Spring 1987 (Seattle) /// Issue 19 of 24 /// Master# 67 of 73

New City Theater Best of the Directors Festival '87 March 25 - 28; Wed -Sat / 8 pm. March 29; Sunday Marathon 2 Meeting Those People across the Pole Only a very tiny percentage of the people who would die in a nuclear war have ever met anybody from the other side, or even imagined such a meeting. Seems a little strange. The good news is that through the initiative of individual citizens and private groups thousands of Americans have recently been going to the Soviet Union as "citizen diplomats." Increasingly, they are also able to welcome Soviet citizens here in the U.S. The encounters between these grassroots diplomats have been challenging, surprising, satisfying, even heart-warming. Stereotypes are being replaced by direct knowledge, and political enmity by personal connections. The process is just starting, pointing a way toward normal relations. Every meeting helps to create a new context for official negotiations between the governments. As citizen diplomats like to say, "If the people will lead, the leaders will follow." Through stories, background articles, and practical information, these publications tell how you can become involved -- as a traveler, as a participant in your own community, or as a viewer of "spacebridges" or user of other electronic links between the two societies. Citizen Exchange with the.Soviet.Uman (a guide in magazine format) $4.95 Citizen Summitry: Keeping the Peace When It Matters Too Much to be Left to Politicians (a 396 page paperback edited by Don Carlson and Craig Comstock) $11.95 Order both for $14.95 (postpaid) from: Ark Communications Institute, 47 Lafayette Circle, Suite 282A Lafayette, CA 94549 The Empty Space Theatre remounts Richard O'Brien's sizzling sci-fi rock musical Directed by M. Burke Walker Previews June 6, 8 & 9 OPENS JUNE 11 TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!! Call 467-6000 for tickets and information. ROCKY will have reserved seats. Seating will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Order your tickets now for best available seats! Clinton St. Quarterly—Spring, 1987 THEATER X from Milwaukee MY WEREWOLF a metaphysical horror movie for the stage April 2 - 6; Thurs - Mon/ April 8-12; Wed - Thurs/ 8 pm. Tickets $8.00; Advance Sale $6.00 presents NEW JAZZ NEW CITY 12 Tuesdays concert series April 7 - June 23/8 pm. GALLERY: March - Photo Show, "Experimental Theater 1910 -1930" April - Lee Becker: Paintings FILM:April 28/1:30 pm.- Schlemmer's “Triadic Ballet", Dr. Faustus, Nosferahj^^^l 1634 Eleventh Ave., Capitol Hill Box Office: (206)323-6800 New Performance MarshalFs rich theatrical instinct and her flair for movement that capch-ates and enthralls has made her one of the true rising stars of the dance world. . .one of the most accomplished young choreographers around.” Susan Marshall and Compel NEW YORK CITY A W a “ . .a choreographer of sura dramatic instinct" NORTHWEST NEW WORKS FESTIVAL MAY 14-JUNE 20 The region’s only annual festival of new works in theater, dance and music by Northwest artists. MAY 14-16 NWNW EVENT #1 JUN 4-6 NWNW EVENT #3 MAY 28-30 NWNW EVENT #2 JUN 18-20 NWNW EVENT #4 CALL 323-790%. WASHINGTON HALL PERFORMANCE GALLERY 153 14TH AVENUE SEATTLE, WA 98122

Artist Fay Jones has been a frequent CSQ contributor. In her hometown Seattle she’s represented by Francine Seders Gallery. In Portland she shows at Laura Russo Gallery. Sketch above is a self portrait. ON THE COVER warn lasting security. DM $ Stacey Fletcher, Robert Williamson Qualitype Camerawork Tim Braun, Laura Di Trapani Typesetting Harrison Typesetting, Inc., Lee Emmett Marmilmar, Qualitype Proofreading Betty Smith Office Assistant Michele Hunt Contributing Artists Tim Braun, John Callahan Fay Jones, Gene Gentry McMahon Carel Moiseiwitsch, Royal Nebeker Ronna Neuenschwander, Joellyn Rock J.R. Williams Intern Lianne Hirabayashi Printing Tualatin-Yamhill Press Thanks Judy & Stew Albert, Dave Ball, Randy Clark, Jeannine Edelblut, Abbie Hoffman, Jim Jaeger, Rick Jones, Maria Kahn, Craig Karp, Deborah Levin, Peggy Lindquist, Julie Mancini, Theresa Marquez, Melissa Marsland, Doug Milholland, Kevin Mulligan, Julie Phillips, Sherry Prowda, Jeremy Rice, Marlyss Schwengels, Jim Styskel, Hunter S. Thompson, Waggle and Friends, Sandy Wallsmith, John Wanberg, The Clinton 500 I The Clinton St. Quarterly is published in ■Washington, Oregon and National editions by CSQ—A Project of Out of the Ashes I Press. Washington Address: 1520 Western j Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 682-2404. J Oregon address: P.O. Box 3588, Portland, | OR 97208, (503) 222-6039. Unless other- ? wise noted, all contents copyright 51987 $ Clinton St. Quarterly. SON II: Season of the USFL—Sharon Doubiago A sequel to one of our most commented features. Pro foot- ball and the mother-son relationship. Shock of the New- Robert Maletta When one returns home from another land, the familiar is never quite the same. The Insurance Crisis— Krag Unsoeld The inside poop on skyrocketing rates, plummeting coverage and whose hand is in whose pocket. Security—the central obsession of the “American Empire”—has been an elusive, shifting goal. As a nation, the price we’ve paid has been high, because what we’re searching for is ultimately un- definable. As the generation driven by the twin spectres of the Great Depression and World War II fades from the scene, it’s critical that we reexamine our objectives before we squander what remains of our resources—personal, national and natural. Both the depth and longevity of the Depression left deep traces on those who survived it. FDR's New Deal and the Big One finally pulled the nation out of its mire, but immediately post-War, a new pattern seemed to emerge. The “Ozzie and Harriet” single family became the norm, the perfect target for the advertising age. Each family struggled to acquire the house, car(s), appropriate appliances, all while acting right on the job, one “you couldn’t afford to lose.” It was simple for the insurance industry to zero in on individual families and businesses, offering them “protection” from every imaginable calamity. Though Social Security existed to meet the elderly’s most pressing needs, little thought was given to the societal cost of the tens of millions of individual contracts for insurance protection. Is Anyone There? Susan Policoff A report from the front, where love is more like a 15 letter word. The First Day: State Pen— Al Israel Rose Conrad and Dostoevsky have no monopoly on horror. One man's personal experience. Why You Are Not Signing— Adam Michnik A statement of conscience from a leader of Solidarity. Nationally, the insurance system chosen was the War Department, dubbed Defense to fit the times. The monies freed up after WWII were turned into housing, consumer credit and a rising manufacturing capacity. When the Korean conflict came along, defense spending quickly reabsorbed much of the available tax dollars, and recessions were the inevitable result. The consumer economy burgeoned up to and even during the early stages of the Vietnam war, but in each case, the military held onto a slightly larger percentage of the GNP after the war than had been the case before. Deficit spending became the norm. Now, despite the lack of any actual engagement, our military budget is at a wartime level. It’s as if the entire nuclear age is a response to our failings at Pearl Harbor—never again unprepared. Once again our protection is coming at a very high cost. Early on, manifest destiny, that sense that we play a God-ordained role on the planet, left our natural resources vulnerable to any and all comers. After all, we would soon be in new lands, across the sea or south of our borders, and there was more of everything ahead of us. Today, some of the most predatory practices have been controlled. But we are still overcutting forests, running through minerals and peeV# •d Vc.’ Message of the Fetish— James Winchell Never look a gift book between the covers or be prepared for what lurks therein. Predictions for the Year 2000—John Callahan Gimmicks, gadgets and other madness from the Northwest’s noted futurologist. Read this before making out your will." troleum, and strip mining our farm- lands, as if anything that diminished our standard of living— our consumer profile—was a threat to our well-being. So where does this all leave us? Overall personal incomes are dropping, especially among the working and middle classes. Insurance costs have risen considerably as a percentage of our incomes. Our nation’s military bill has grown so considerably that social programs get short shrift. The only way we maintain our ever declining trade balance is through export of unfinished natural resources. Ours is a nation of considerable imagination and intelligence. As it stands, the children of the Depression and War era generation have yet to define well-being and security in a new way—one that will allow it to be passed on to our successors. We must build, not drain our vital resources. Our investments should be in education and infrastructure. Our insurance should become more social, less individual, with government playing a larger role in offering coverage and self-insuring. And the military just needs to be curbed and the nuclear umbrella dismantled. There’s still time for us to leave a legacy of hope, not fear to the generation that follows. That will be our only

y son is a professional football player. This was his rookie year; he was paid. I remember my lover explaining to both of us when Danny was in high school: Amateur comes from the same word as amor. Amator is Latin for lover. The amateur plays for the love of it. I wonder now about professional. To profess. I ask my father about rookie. “I have no idea,” he says, in a hint of his customary annoyance with my weird interests. So I look it up, read it to him, bent to his trailer hitch on the mid-Oregon coast. “An inexperienced recruit in the army, I exclaim, delighted. “Slang altered from recruit.” As you may detect, as my father and son have had to suffer, I am a lover of words. I am a poet. (Professional: 1978. Walking Mendocino streets, a cold foggy night. The ocean pounds the town. They say Danny has to be a football player. At six-five he's not tall enough to play basketball, the sport he’s best at, the sport he loves. I stop in front of a TV in the window of Mendoza’s Hardware Store. A football game. The Dallas Cowboys. And see it: Professional. Men. Not boys. Paid. No soul. No love. All armor, it seems. That is, no amor.) aniel Clark Doubiago was born September 25, 1960 in Escondido, California. I was nineteen and so large I had begun to expect him in July. The doctor, my husband’s Palomar College football team’s doctor, said August. By the third week of September, I gave up. I accepted the fact that I would always carry this football for a belly. The twenty fourth was a Saturday. George and I, living in my hometown of Ramona, a small desertmountain town in the back country of San Diego County, drove down the long, winding road to the city. We shopped. I bought and chewed Ex-lax. Everyone had said that would bring on labor. In the afternoon we drove up the coast to Oceanside where we fished until sunset with two friends from the Barona Indian reservation. One of them was my first boyfriend, Ramon. Then we drove the long road back up the mountain (the road we would come flying down to the hospital later that night), and went to a Ramona football game in the stadium where I had been, just a year before, a thin, bouncy cheerleader. My brother was the quarterback. Ramona, as always in those days, won. Someone in the stands gasped at me, “What are you doing here?” Fishing and football: the great forces of my son’s life. Long distance driving, birth and Indians, the great forces of mine. When he came, he came as an athlete. 4 Clinton St. Quarterly—Spring, 1987

“What’s that noise?” I asked after they had taken him from my arms. The nurses and doctors all stopped their work and watched, amazed. He was on his hands and knees, butting his head repeatedly into the glass end of the isolette. A nurse pulled him down and like lightning, like a ram, he crawled to the end again and began beating his head against the glass. In the two days at the hospital he became legendary: his physical strength, his advanced maturity. They cut his fingernails while he was still in the delivery room. He held up his head from the beginning—no wobbly neck this little kid—and cried real tears, which infants aren’t supposed to do for weeks. And he watched me as he still does (even as he nursed): questioning. A hint of my father’s annoyance, suspicion. His father George and I separated when Danny was five, his sister two. I would have left much sooner but for the belief of that bygone era that children need their fathers more than anything else. When I left it was on the painful realization that my children were being damaged by their father. Not that he didn’t love them, wasn’t good to them, but that he didn’t love me, couldn’t, ever. I realized that my son would grow up unable to love women, that my daughter would grow up expecting not to be loved by men. This is not to say that they were not hurt. They were, they are, profoundly. The separation served to make the distant, unknown father the object of great longing: romantic, perfect, like God. Danny, more than Shawn, actively, painfully longed for his father all his childhood the great loss too, and sensing an unfairness in my ever-present advantage, tried never to discredit him. But though he lived less than fifteen miles away, he rarely visited and never gave financial support. As all parents learn, life is a fantastic surging of all the chaoses, the gifts and the curses. Sometimes, proudly watching my son play football, I see so clearly that his quest is still the quest to find the father. hen Danny was seven, Shawn four, Mark came to us until Danny was sixteen and she was thirteen. Then, very abruptly he left. In that nine-year period we lived what was called a hippy life, the life of the antiVietnam War counter-culture, in Los Angeles, Malibu, Vermont and finally on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California. Shawn and Mark were nearly inseparable, but there was always tension between Danny and Mark, partly Mark maintained, because of Danny’s longing for his father, that man disappeared into straight society. Even so, for the longhaired, radical lifestyle and politics, Mark, ex-con (for refusal of army induction), renegade wildman, was a devoted amd serious stepfather, the living male model and main financial support of our little family. April 26, 1983—the NFL Draft My birthday. I’m dreaming Danny is a small blond man with a butch haircut. He’s not a football player. He’s just a very interesting young man. I wake up with the urgency to tell him—Danny, you don’t have to be a football player. Have I ever made this clear to him? I’m sleeping in my van outside my sister’s house in Ashland, Oregon. I climb out, dial his number in Salt Lake City. “Mom, that’s a terrible dream. Go back in the van and dream another one. And don’t say ‘fuck.’ You’re hooked up to the microphone and everyone in this room can hear you.” Then he wished me a happy birthday and apologized for not sending me anything. April 27, 1983—Free Agent He signed with the Seattle Seahawks! I can’t believe how excited I am that he’ll be in Washington, how much he’ll love it there—all the fishing he can do—how much I’ll love it with him there. His agent convinced him, though there were fifteen other teams after him and the second one was the L.A. Raiders—L.A.where/ he’s wanted to play ball all his life—that he should sign with Seattle. They have a new coach, Chuck Knox, they offered him the most money, they’re trying to build up their offensive line. In the past 24 hours he’s flown twice to Seattle1 Now I remember: all year he’s had the Seattle Seahawk’s logo on his University of Utah dorm door. May 8, 1983—Ashland, Oregon Mothers Day I got a huge bouquet of flowers today. The card says, "Happy Mother’s Day. Love, The Seattle Seahawks. ” I wonder how they tracked me down. July 25, 1983—the moon in Aquarius I’m in Seattle at a women writer’s conference. The Olympic torch has been lit in Olympia, Greece, origin of the Olympic games nearly 2800 years ago. It will be carried by runners and planes to the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic games. I read the sports page every day. Is it my imagination that men look at me oddly when they see this? My boss at the Back Alley Jazz Tavern in Port Townsend, one of my more op- tomistic friends, told me the odds are virtually nil for my boy to make it in pro ball. That was the first time I felt the spirit rise in me. The belief that he will make it. It’s true that I don’t know football but I know my kid. I know him and I’m going to die for him if he gets cut. Days and nights I’m haunted by the fear that I didn’t encourage him enough in other areas. What will he do if he doesn’t make it? Open a fish tackle shop, he told me once. “You know what I’m really interested in, Mom?” he said another time. “Oceanography.” I was thrilled. Of course. He loves the sea. I open the sport’s page, as always, check first the Cut List. Daniel Doubiago. OT. “I was better than the guys they kept,” he said on the phone. “But there were so many tackles I never even got a chance to show what I could do.” He drove to L.A. to stay rent-free with his father and be near his agent. Ithink it was his first long journey by himself. In Port Townsend, I felt every mile, every crack in his heart, his soul. In some ways it was the longest, most painful journey of my life. August 9, 1983—Troublesome Mom I wrote Chuck Knox a letter. I thanked him for the beautiful bouquet of flowers and told him he’d made a terrible mistake in cutting my son. I told him all the ways Danny is a great football player. I said it was immoral of him to sign so many guys to one position (twenty, I think, for offensive tackle) so they can’t be signed by other teams. Sandy, his girlfriend of three years in college cut him just days after the Seahawks. On the phone I could hear his heart breaking. Certainly his voice. My own screamed out for him. “Danny— don’t shut your heart down now.” I was particularly concerned because of all times, he was staying now with his father, the man whose heart was destroyed so long ago. “Look at me,” I cried. “You know as well as anyone what my men and love have done to me. And you know I never let them kill my heart, the thing they were all’ afraid of. If you let them kill your heart, everyone loses.” I repeated what I’d always told him. “Your heart, your great spirit, Danny, is what will make you a great athlete. Your body is small next to how large it must be. If you let it shrivel, die, if you turn bitter, cynical, you’ll never make it.” His agent sent him to the Ram’s camp where he was tested by the line coach as having the greatest vertical jump from a still position of any offensive lineman he’d ever tested—33 inches. “What does that mean?” “Explosive power,” he laughed, exaggerating the middle syllable of explosive. His broadjump was impressive too—9 feet, 7 inches. “Imagine,” his father explained, “if you got in the way of him in that nine feet.” But he wasn’t picked up. His hope rested with the USFL, the new spring football league. “People talk to me all the time about the money I can make,” he said one night. “I don’t care about the money. I just want to play. I’d pay to play.” »*«*%•» December 18, 1983 —Port Townsend The Uptown Bar I’ve walked here to call Danny. The Seahawks are playing the New England Patriots. The excitement here is something. A funny mixture, not your typical fans, at least as I assume them to be— poets, publishers, artists, fishers, loggers, bartenders, dancers, hippies. Many think my son is still with the Seahawks. “No,” I explain to Linda, who’s marking the bet board, “he was cut. He’s going to Pittsburgh. Something in his Seahawk’s contract makes him a Mauler.” “Oh,” she says, the response I will get over and over, “Is that a semi-pro team?” The guy next to me explains the USFL to her. 1listen carefully. I love being in here. I’ll wait for the game to be over. I know Danny’s watching it in L.A. Told him I’d call tonight. A big effort on everyone’s part portal 0® b<»PP 1*1 to get the whole family to Ashland for Christmas. I have to work out every day, Mom,” he had said to my urging. I found a gym in Ashland, told him to fly up on the 23rd, that I'd drive him down to L.A. on the 26th. He’s broke, almost as broke as me, but I’ll find some way. I love the excitement in here, the warmth of all these bodies. It’s a really cold winter. Why do Americans love football? The appeal for me is my son. These people love it. I saw a poll that says that football is the favorite of all sports among fans. I’m still so ignorant about the game. How will I ever learn it? Football is a collective effort. I understood that in Utah. A sort of communistic effort. You wouldn’t dare say such a thing, though. Now, on the TV, an interview with a Seahawk who’s a devout Christian. “It’s God’s will I’m not playing now." Football is a Christian sport, I’m sure. How many American Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, communists play football? “Aw, go back to the seminary," David Sharp, poet and bartender, spits at the guy. After the game—phone booth on Lawrence Street “Yeah, I saw it.” The hurt in him becomingbitterness. “ Mom, I can’t come to Ashland. I’m on crutches. In a cast." I die. In the phone booth. Frozen. “I was jogging Friday night in a park near here, stepped in a hole. It sounded like a tree branch breaking. When I got home. Dad took me to Emergency. That doctor took X rays, said it was broken, put it in a cast. Next day, my agent set me up with one of the best doctors in sport's medicine. He says it’s just a bad sprain. He thinks it will be ready in five days. It’s some sort of electronics, an electrical Friday for treatment. In two weeks, January 1 5,1fly out of Carson City for Pittsburgh. “ Shit, I can’t believe it Mom, less than a month. No serious injuries in five years of college ball. I was getting in great shape just working out, keeping my spirits up, waiting. Pittsburgh is really high on me. Dick told me not to tell them. They’ll just tell me not to come. Or send me home when I get there.” I’m doodling a heart with an arrow shot through it. “Did it happen at 7 pm?” “Yeah, exactly. Why? Was it the moon or what? It was full. I saw it rising.” “Yes, full in Cancer and the sun’s in Capricorn. Broken bones, alright. But that's not why I asked. I was running myself and right at 7 pm I twisted my ankle on the ice. It wasn’t serious but it took my breath away. Now I know it shook me up because it was really happening to you.” Oh Christian, Jewish-Mormon-Buddhist-Hindu-Atheist- Communist- Ameriiny si can- Football- Hippy-Astrology- Poet Goddess, I pray to you, I beseech you, don't let them make a cripple of my son. December 24, 1983—Ashland ROZIER TO SIGN WITH MAULERS? W : In my Christmas card from Jack and Shirley Little, my Lakota Indian friends in Crazy Horse, North Dakota, there was an article that Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier has agreed to a three-year $3 million dollar contract with the Pittsburgh Maulers. It makes him the second highest paid player in professional football. Danny’s contract is for $24,000. What will it do to his soul to block for a famous millionaire? n January 17 in Ashland, I gave a poetry reading at The Vintage Inn, the beginning of a 1984 tour that included twentyseven readings, several writing workshops, an ecology conference and two benefits for Central America. This tour eventually took me as far south as San Diego and as far east as Massachusetts. Mark showed up at the first Sacramento reading. Since I’ve always felt he left us eight years before because I became a poet—’’taking a bath in public” he described my work then—his presence seemed odd and a little wonderful. I learned that weekend that he was keeping as close tabs on Danny as I was. January 22, 1984 —The Superbowl I followed Mark to meet my brother Clarke in Modesto, two hours south of Sacramento, for the Superbowl in a deli D a vi d Milh olla n d Clinton St. Quarterly—Spring, 1987 5

off Highway 99. All my brother’s friends were there. Clarke introduced me to Hank, a longhaired, longbearded cattle inseminator on his way to Nicaragua to work with farmers. He asked me about Danny and the Mauler’s training camp and suddenly, because Jim Plunkett was being interviewed on the big screen, asked me if I knew that both Plunkett’s parents are blind. And Indian. I was stunned. Blind? I could see the Indian. The game started. The place was packed, the excitement about the game, intense. To be raised by blind people would give you tactile, kinesthetic genius., The best players are kinesthetic, my sister Donna Eden, the Ashland healer says. They can fee/the whole field in motion. They know from the feeling where everyone is, what’s happening to them. Visuals learn the fastest. The speed of light is quickest. Auditories are second. Kinesthetics pick up vibrations. The speed of feeling is slowest. Football players get reputations for being slow or dumb because they’re such great feelers. It takes time to feel. It’s impossible to feel anything as fast as you receive light and sound. I started to share this with Mark and Clarke, but Mark was suddenly saying that Danny probably won’t make it because he’s lazy and Clarke was agreeing—he’s really up against it now, pro camp ain’t no circus. I exploded. “Lazy!” I spit, popcorn flying. “Lazy? The boy is in Florida in professional football camp playing with a broken ankle! Lazy! That’s the first thing you ever said about that boy, Mark, when he was five, and you’ve never been able to say anything else. Lazy is what you’ve always called your younger brother too, the one you’re so jealous of! Lazy? and I chugalugged some beer to drown nearly twenty years of anger at this man and crunched down on a mouth full of popcorn and broke an upper right tooth completely off. My dog Moonlight was whining for me at the door, everyone was pretending I wasn’t yelling. What is it in the love-hate relationship of the parents that makes a football player? Sundays are cut days. That night at Clarke’s we called his father, George. “He’s playing with a brace but he hasn’t been cut yet.” February 19, 1984—Santa Monica Midnight Special Bookstore I was standing at the podium about to begin my dedications, my “prayers,” when the phone rang. I waited, intuitively knowing it was for me. When the clerk hung up he walked over to me, handed me a tiny slip of paper. “The guy on the phone said you’d know what this meant.” It said, “Danny made the team.” Squealing, I leaped over to Shawn, who was with me, and showed her. We jumped around, holding each other. It was the happiest poetry reading I ever gave. February 26, 1984—Manhattan Beach, L.A. The First Game All alone in my ex’s bedroom, propped against the foot of his waterbed to watch my kid’s (our kid’s) game on TV. His first pro game, if he plays. Imagine. This is the kid I wouldn’t allow to have a television. Now I’m sitting here waiting to visit him on television. They were playing the Oakland-Arizona game, offering occasional updates on the others. George’s walls are covered in posters from the mid-sixties when we split and he moved in here. Big breasted blondes. Can’t help but notice they all look like me at 15 when we met. Don’t know where he is. “WELCOME TO THE SECOND SEASON OF THE UNITED STATES FOOTBALL LEAGUE!” UPDATE: The Pittsburgh Maulers 0, The Oklahoma Outlaws 0. Driving rain here in Tulsa. Rozier: five carries, one yard. A shot of the Maulers on their goal line. I’m certain I see Danny. (Not really certain.) Rozier, the announcer says, is having a hard time. Shit. My child has a broken ankle and a bad cold. Halftime. The phone rings. Mark! “Yeah, it’s me alright. No, I don’t know where he is. Yes, Danny’s excited he made the team, though he found out he got the lowest contract of the team.” “Well, $24,000 is more than I make.” Same old tone in his voice, that I baby Danny. “The important thing is he made it.” “Yes, of course. It’s wonderful. Still, it’s demoralizing at this poipt. He hangs up abruptly. Imagine, my ex calling my other ex. As if he’s their son together. He’d have talked about football if I’d have been George, a guy. Now remember Danny, you’re a feminist. I chugaluggedsome beer to drown nearly twentyyears ofanger at this man and crunched down on a mouthfull ofpopcorn and broke an upper right tooth completely off What is it in the love-hate relationship o f the parents that makes a footballplayer? Final score: Pittsburgh 3, Oklahoma 7. Pittsburgh lost. I sit here, unable to move. March 3: Pittsburgh at Michigan, 24-27 Lost March 11: 30-18 Lost March 18: 16-7 Won March 24: 25-10 Lost Birmingham at Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh at Washington: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, April 1: Oakland at Pittsburgh, 14-28 Won April 8: Pittsburgh at 24-27 Lost New Orleans, Bi II of March I holed up at my brother’s house in Modesto to prepare an EcoFeminist paper to be delivered April 17 at the University of Wisconsin. The time spent with my brother was good. I lost Danny more during this period than any other part of the season. Cramming, reading a hundred books, trying to under- stand how man’s fear of nature is the same as man’s fear of women. The paper I finally wrote is called “Mama Coyote Talks to the Boys.” In a stray note from this time I find: “Rural is not wilderness. Football is not war.” March 15: Phone call before the Wash- ington game. I asked him about girlfriends in Pittsburgh. “I remember you said just wait. I’ll find her.” April 11—8 pm, Pittsburgh Burst through a tunnel, suddenly Pittsburgh, glitter of jewels on the junction of three rivers. Where the Allegheny and Monongahela birth the Ohio. “There’s Three Rivers Stadium,” someone says. Danny doesn’t know I’m coming. I decide not to call him. The bus station is typically raunchy, typically frightening. Finally a taxi. A rattletrap. The guy about fifty, skinny and black. We talk. I’m high, excited. Feel safe in here with him. “I thought this city was supposed to be ugly. It’s beautiful'.” “I ’m still trying to understand why men so universally turn awayfrom women. I’ve come to understand that this ultimately becomes a turningfrom life, from nature, that it’s the root of war. Men create war to compete with women who create life. ” He points out the Libby Glass Building. A million square sheets of shining glass. Back across the Ohio, he points out Three Rivers Stadium. My son’s a Mauler, I tell him gleefully. We go across rivers, down into hollows, dark and mysterious folds. We are out in the sticks. He’s worried. His first week on the job. The miles tick off. “Look, why don’t you pull into the next restaurant and I’ll call my son.” We pull right in. I wait in the lobby. The music is Paul Simon’s—“the mother and child reunion, is only a motion away.” Suddenly Danny is here. Always I’m shocked by his size. His arms when we hug. And something else. The sweetness is gone. “Mom, what are you doing here?” That old exasperation. “Where’s Moonlight, where’s the van? I gotta go to practice, you know. I can’t visit. I’m gone all day. The house is out in the boonies. What are everyone to read. Dorothy Dinnerstein’s you going to do out there?” The Mermaid and the Minotaur. She goes ‘Til just be here till the game. Don’t worry about me. I’ll read, write, walk. You know me. I love the boonies.” In the basement where I sleep I read all night about the Pittsburgh Maulers, about the USFL, of players who have ricocheted back and forth to different teams for years. The story of Michigan’s David Tipton has me in tears. “Thank God,” his wife said, “for the USFL.” This from Kickoff, the official league magazine. I keep looking at the photos of the individual players. Some of their faces are wide open, clear and ebullient. Danny's is serious, mean, sneering—a real mug shot. April 12-—Thursday . - ’ J Waking. To their deep voices above me. Getting themselves up and off to work. Shredded wheat. How do they maintain their weight? Danny’s voice gruff and serious. “Has anyone ever vacuumed this place?” in another minute, "Listen. We gotta pay the rent.” A little while later the same thing. Imagine. My son is that person in the commune. Friday the Thirteenth . : : Four ot the boys just came home. Now they're watching Loving, their favorite soap. "Written by the same lady who wrote All My Children,” the Free Safety, Dave Langlois, #22, tells me. Now Dave is vacuuming. His parents are coming from Palo Alto for the Denver Gold game on Saturday. “My mom is ultra conservative.” he explains, as he sucks under my feet "She'll give the place the white glove test.” Now Danny and I are driving the city. “I can’t believe it. I finally have enough money to buy a pair of pants,” he says, wheeling me over the Ohio. “Nowhere in this whole town can I find any. Always too tight in the thighs, too big in the waist." “I have exactly the same problem,” I tell him, as I have ail his life. “Let’s eat something,” he says. We find a deli. We both order hamburgers, fries and beer. “A vegetarian,” he teases. “I don’t consider hamburgers meat,” I say, grinning. “Hamburgers are mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion and bun." While we eat I tell him about the paper I just wrote. He listens to me. For the first time this visit he seems to relax with me, dropping down into the real relationship. “Well, I’m still trying to understand why men so universally turn away from women. I’ve come to understand that this ultimately becomes a turning from life, from nature, that it’s the root of war. Men create war to compete with women who create life. It seems that it has a lot to do with the males seeking gender identity, how the boy, unlike the girl, must differentiate completely from the mother. He must pull back from his first great love, the first God, withdraw and see her, learn to be like the distant, probably absent father. This is the ‘natural’ origin of mother hate, of woman hate, of the male’s embrace of everything opposite from the mother: war, mechanism, mastery, control, abstraction, the intellectual propensity toward anti-matter. Matter comes from mater, that is mother.” He is listening. He is actually looking at me. I never dreamed I’d get this much out. So I hurry on. “Ever since you were born I’ve tried to understand why since women birth and raise the boys, they grow up to be soldiers. Why isn’t the world a more sensuous, loving place. A more feminine place? And you know what Danny? There’s not a single book that I’ve been able to find on this subject. Women and war, mothers and soldiers. Not one! The most fundamental, crucial issue. H^ nodded at his burger. I looked at mine. X Sag• •, But there is one book, the one I want into all of this. She describes the great love the helpless infant feels for its mother while still so dependent on her, and how it inevitably suffers humiliation and betrayal when it discovers that it is not her only love. I remember when that happened to you, and to Shawn too. Din- nerstein shows so clearly how and why we are on this nuclear brink. I mean it’s that heavy. We are finally going to destroy ourselves in the oldest war, the war between the sexes. “So?" he says, signaling to the waitress for two more drafts. What’s to be done?” “Dinnerstein says the men must raise the babies. She says that the only way we will survive is if half of the babies on earth are raised by men in the first year or two of their lives so that the first turning from the parent—a necessary step for ego development—isn’t universally from women, from the feminine.” When we finished, I reached for my It’s the first food he’s ever bought for me. It’s hard to let him do it. And not once in this outrageous conversation did he ever ridicule me, show his customary exasperation, or even tease me. He listened. It’s dark. We’re crossing the Liberty Street Bridge. I ask him about the Maulers. How it all feels. “The team’s actually doing good,” he says. “We’re a lot better than the win/ losses say.” He cites statistics, but I’m still a football idiot. I understand what he's saying, but probably as he understood my mother-son rap, in a general, intuitive way. “We’ve almost won every game. It’sjust weird we haven’t. Last minute stuff.” “Do you think it’s morale?” “Maybe. I don’t know. But we still have a good chance.” My kid’s great spirit. The greatest. April 13—Friday night, Skyvu Drive JI *j| The Mother and Child Reunion Danny’s pleased now, or so it seems, that I am here. I sit on the living room floor, he in the recliner. We drink Irontown Beer. The guys come in, sit down with us. Now we’re on our third beer. We are getting down to it. “I tell guys about you. Mom, and they don’t believe me. You know, most of the time I have no idea where you’re at.” He gets to talking about Mendocino, his high school years. A story about Coach Mastin making them all run until they puked. “You didn’t know that, did you? I was the only one who didn’t.” He tells about the time I did know of when everyone on the basketball team quit except him after the Cloverdale Tournament when Mastin threw the second place trophy at them. “Second place?” he sneered, holding the trophy up in the locker room. “Second place?” This after graciously accepting the trophy in the crowded gym above after going into four overtimes. “Second place? You know what I think of second place?” “I saw it coming,” Danny says, “I barely ducked in time. It whizzed right by my ear, slammed against the locker room wall, shattering into a hundred pieces. Monday morning back at Mendo High 6 Clinton St. Quarterly—Spring, 1987

the entire team quit. They’d told their parents. They said the coach was a bad sport. I spent that whole week talking to every guy, trying to get him to come back. Eventually most of them did, but you have no idea, Mom. You have no idea.” “Mastin told me once,” Danny says. “What’s worse? A cop or a ref? I never forgot that.” I look at my son, a little dumbfounded. This poor kid who was raised by the greatest cop hater of all time, Mark. And now I discover that Danny doesn’t even know, much less understand what happened to Mark. Why he was in jail so much of the ‘60s when he first started living with us. “I remember waiting in the car outside the jail in downtown L.A. while you visited him. I was five. I was scared.” I tell him about the draft, about Mark’s refusing to go to Vietnam, how they wouldn’t recognize him as a conscientious objector. “You know what made him decide to refuse induction? He imagined himself years later trying to explain to his children why he had killed, why he had gone along with the state, followed orders. “I think I might have been blackballed, Mom,” he responds.’’Because you made me register for the draft as a conscientious objector.” This is the first I knew that he registered as a conscientious objector. June, 1979. He had just gotten home from his first year in college. Carter was reinstituting the draft. All boys born in 1960 had to register. I took him to see a volunteer counselor. I felt it was my duty to inform him of the alternatives, including not registering at all, and then I let him go. I assumed he had rejected the C.O. status. I never asked. “I think it might have hurt me in football, caused me some trouble.” “What if there had been a war? Would you have been a soldier? What if there is one?” Oh, I don’t know. Maybe.” “Well, Daniel. That’s why the draft is wrong. An 18 year old doesn’t know his mind. He registers just like his parents tell him. As we drink another Irontown, the years and distances and differences seem to melt away. I am so happy to be here on this floor, connecting with my kid. And he is clearly happy too. Then he tells me the article [’’SON”, Clinton St. Quarterly, Fall, 1983] I wrote about him is wrong. “All sorts of things in it are wrong.” “It wasn’t Jan who made that pillow with American Pro crocheted on it” —the one stuffed with panty hose I use in the van. “That pillow was made by Sandy.” He was a freshman in high school, Sand- ywas a senior in love with him. “I don’t know how to explain it. But after Jan and I had sex Ijust lost interest. I don’t know why, but that’s what happened. I began seeing things about her I didn’t like. I guess you wouldn’t approve, being a feminist and all, but that’s what happened.” My breath is gone. I don’t know how to respond, what to say. My ears are ringing. I want to cry. “I didn’t know how,” he goes on, so strong and direct, as if it’s important to tell me this, “to tell someone I didn’t want to be with them anymore.” I see beautiful Jan wandering lost outside the dark gym where he is playing the basketball game that will make him once again the league’s Most Valuable Player. I know all the heartbreaking betrayals of my own men. I remember the mermaid and the minotaur, those mythical, halfhuman, half-animal creatures so symbolic of the human race. I don’t know how to respond, what to say. I feel like I’m turning to stone. Later I’ll remember Dinnerstein’s explanation of this common experience, the male’s fear in sex of losing his hard earned distance from the female, of losing his very masculinity. Rejecting Her (his mother) was his first act of will. But now on this floor my heart pounds. I know all too well my part in this scenario. He is telling me I am full of it. I don’t know who he is. He is telling me he is not just my son. He is his own person. He is telling me that his life, his psyche is not so simple as I assume. I am telling you who I am. I am telling you so that you may know me. So that you who are my mother, who are so wise, so full of love, can really love, can make use of love with all the facts, if as you say, Mom, this is the heart of war, of the grief of our sexual arrangements, if this is why we are about to destroy the earth. But will you? Can you? Can you love me? April 14, 1984—Three Rivers Stadium Denver at Pittsburgh, 2:30 pm Mr. and Mrs. Langlois pick me up at the house, an elegant, attractive couple in their fifties. She wears a silver fur. They “AfterJan and I bad sex Ijust lost interest. I don't know why, but that's what happened. I began seeing things about her I didn't like. I guess you wouldn't approve, being afeminist and all." “Is this what I birthed and raised my child for? Football? What would my son he, with his perfect, giant body, in a perfect society? And there remains the other great mystery. What is thefunction of this gamefor the spectators? Why do Americans love football?" don’t seem to know what to make of me. My leather motorcycle jacket, my many earrings, my red punk shoes, my U.S. OUT OF EL SALVADOR button. On the way to the stadium the rain that has been blowing and falling since yesterday becomes a downpour. Turns to hail. She is worried her son will be hurt. “Danny,” I say from the backseat, trying to lift the mood, trying to connect with the one great thing we have in common, “when he was small, loved to go out and play ball in the mud.” Mrs. Langlois’ long red-painted nails, extended toward the father of her child, rise and then fall like rain on the back of the front seat. She turns her perfect profile to him. Dave is her baby. She even says it. At this moment all the world—the car, the beautiful couple, the sky, the rain and hail, the three rivers, the cement stadium as we pull up to it—is silver. They let me off near my entrance. I feel like one of their kids, climbing out of the backseat. Be good I expect them to say. The ushers and stadium workers are on strike. The first picket line I ever walked through. Here comes the sun\ I can’t believe it, they’re playing the Beatles as I come down the aisle. It’s alright. . . . Section 222, Row O, Seat 4. The Denver Gold. I feel sort of like a bride. The sun splashes everything. A twelve-year-old girl in an aqua jump suit sings the Star Spangled Banner. I always forget about this. My old vow not to stand for the flag that took us into Vietnam. Why is the national anthem sung at games? As always, it is a near unbearable moment. I feel so deeply the insult to the others, their eyes on me unbelieving. Are you really not standing for the flag? He’s listed in the starting lineup: Flowers, Maggs, Corbin, Correal, Lukens, Doubiago, Raugh, Anderson, Carano, Coles, Rozier. Offense. Now the Flashdancers. “A bit of flash with a touch of class.” Twenty-six purple leotards, red-sashed tits and asses. Silver heels. Maniac! She’s a maniac for your love. Kickoff. First play, the guy gets by Danny. Second play, Danny stops him. Now patting the ref. “What’s worse,” he said, “a cop or a ref?” End of the first quarter: Maulers 14, the Gold 0. Second Quarter: Danny’s never still. Defense is in now. His helmet off, talking to a coach. “The pressure on these guys is murder,” says Tony, a man behind me. Danny Boy of the Great Spirit runs right into the endfield when Greg Anderson makes the touchdown. Congratulates him. “On a bootleg rollout. . .a fake. . .the quarterback does it on his own.” Talking the special language of football that is not necessarily self- explanatory. I’m watching Danny’s every move, Clinton St. Quarterly—Spring, 1987 7

every squat, rise, block, his great arms bent in front of him at the elbows, but even here I’m falling into philosophy, poetry, Americana. I start a letter on the program to an old love. “ The football player in America is like the artist in America'. When Danny was in high school and it was apparent that athletics was to be his path, I often equated, to him and to my friends, the poet and the athlete, focusing on the high ambition in both to excel, the spirituality of the quest to find the self-genius. (Genius, genii: guardian deity or spirit of a person.) Muse and second wind, as Danny himself found out, are the same word in Greek. This was an important revelation as all my friends were raving to us about the evils of competition and of organized sports in America. Now my revelation, sitting with this crowd in this mythical American sports stadium is sociological, more evolved. “ . . . like the artist in America! The same loner, the same heroic figure so outside the mainstream, but performing for it. Both are like the shaman, the one who heats oneself, who comes back transformed from the mutilating experience to show the world how. The same quest in both for magic, transcendence, the same vision to turn the self, great in allot us, into the supremacy of the collective human whole. . . the same insecurities (“No job security, Mom.”), and often the same rootless lifestyle. “Still I have these funny moments. Is this what I birthed and raised my child for? Football? What would my son be, with his perfect, giant body, in a perfect society? And there remains the other great mystery. What is the function of this game for the spectators? Why do Americans love football?" I write in circles and leaps around the names and stats, wherever there’s a blank. Isign my letter with a big American kiss. Halftime: 21-0, Maulers. This is really amazing. My first pro game and my kid is playing every play. Just like this was high school. But now, this is what happens when you gloat. “Hey Sharon, your son held them up!” the beer vendor is leering in my face. Saliva. “They’ll be practicing that one all week,” Tony spits. At me, it seems. Langlois misses the ball, coming right at him. The Gold make a touchdown. 21-13 now, third quarter. “That’s it,” says Fred, Tony’s partner. “Games over. 21-13. I don’t think anyone’s going to score now.” Dave Langlois intercepts. 9:19 left. Now 21-21. Dave Langlois down. Hurt. Spread out on the field. Danny walking back and forth, helmet off, kicking popcans. The Flashdancers take advantage of the break—she’s a maniac. How obscene they are, shaking their purple bodies, Dave in pain behind them. Suddenly my friends get up to leave. 27-21 Gold. Tap my shoulder, bend perfunctorily to me. “So long. Tell your son good luck.” They say this very ironically. “Very nice to meet you.” “There go your fans,” the announcer says. “Today’s attendance, ladies and “The reason,”he says, pronouncing each word with hate, “I’ve not been as good as I should be is that I have the unfortunate luck of beingfrom a ninth-generation hippy mother. ” gentleman, sixteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty three.” Tony’s face, manner and gesture. Hatred. The scorn of the fan. The power. The fans’ role in this, the fans’ importance. We will show you, your very son sprawled broken on that field, you people from God knows where with your motorcycle jackets and your silver furs, that the game is finally ours, that finally we can desert you. I feel hurt, like a lover has betrayed me. I didn’t even see it, but I guess he fucked up. Shaking his head. Now on his knees. Pounding his helmet to the ground. God Danny, get up. the gong and hiss of the maul on steel rings out. 31-21. Now the fans are gone. Just us family left. Wives and moms, the girls. As they drive up the field. Four seconds. Danny down. Holding his right arm as if it hurts. Someone down there yelling at him, hanging over the cement wall. Head down. Sun in Libra, moon in Scorpio, God, can’t you see how bad he feels, leave him alone. Final score: 31-21, the Denver Gold. Icome home with Danny and Hoss. Isit in the back. Hoss drives. Though he sat through the entire game, it is he who consoles my son. “You did okay, a few mistakes at the end, that’s all.” “I thought you played great,” I offered my head to the guillotine. The truth is I did. Somehow I was blind that last quarter, didn’t see any of it. “Mom, you don’t know nothing. . .(the disgust is horrible). . .about football. Didn’t you see those sacks I allowed?” I’m sure I’m somehow to blame for them. How are you going to make it in pro ball with a mom like me? “I was stronger than sixty”—He’s talking slowly to Hoss now, low and depressed. We’re coming across the dark, swollen Ohio—“but he found my weakness. Kept going for it. One time,” he sits up, “he went for my eyes with his fingers.” That’d really screw up a dyslexic, I think. “As I was leaving the field a fan yelled at me. ‘You motherfucker'.’ That’s the first time in my whole life I’ve been booed." ' Motherfucker. First time I ever heard that word. A month after youn father and I were married. China Lake Naval Air Station, the Mojave Desert in July, 1959. Motherfucker. It was the first word George had said to me since the wedding. Hjs commanding officer, this short guy, called him a motherfucker. He mumbled all this, ■ bdrely a whisper as he slid behind the wheel, but the hot air exploded, his em- barassment that he had said this word to me, that he had said any word to me. It did make me gasp, my heart stop, I’d never thought of that before, heard it, the concept, motherfucker. So I laughed, sweetly, gratefully. I was so happy he had finally spoken. I wanted him to know there was nothing he couldn’t say to me. There wasn’t. Now I am coming with our son, our warrior who has just lost a battle, into the dark Whitehall. Somehow I’m surprised, how they just go home now, like all people after work. In the backseat I see the Flashdancers kicking in a chorus line across the dark Appalachian hills. Maniac. Dave and Mr. Langlois sit on the couch, Dave leaning into his father’s arms. His pants are down around his ankles, he has . grey sweat shorts on beneath, an ice pack on his elevated knee, a beer between his thighs. Mrs. Langlois brings her husband a screwdriver. Danny is convinced he’s going to be cut. “Don’t think I’ll be at the L.A. game.” His father is very excited about this game, May 5; is chartering a bus of Dou- biago fans from Manhattan Beach. “Your life is as insecure as a poet’s,” I say, gently grinning. He grins back. Hoss is talking about his father, the 135-ton truck he drives. We parents and our love is getting to him. We are all a little drunk, sweetly so. Mrs. Langlois tells her husband she wants to sit next to her son. She eases into Dave’s left side. Her nails so perfect and red around his neck. “If you were younger,” she says to him, “I could kiss it.” It never occurs to me that this boy is seriously hurt. They just sent him home. ' but on Monday he’ll have X rays. Surgery on Tuesday. Out for the season. In the night girls coming and going, doors slamming. The guys’ depression my own, like the weight of the house on top of me. All night I think it’s time to get up, afraid I’ll miss my 6 am bus. Wanting to free him of me. Get out of here. “The mother of a warrior, the most honorific role of all,” says Mary Gordon, in a rare essay about birthing a son. I read the word as “horrific.” April 22, 1984—Easter Sunday Martha’s Vineyard I watch the New Jersey Generals play the Maulers live at Three Rivers Stadium on a black and white in the kitchen of the small house where I am staying. Watching my kid. Again, that lonely feeling, the strangeness of watching TV by myself. It’s like a live visit. Where I was last week. Wonder if Fred and Tony who sat behind me are in their seats. It’s the mid-point of the season and the announcers are discussing the Mauler’s heartbreaking losses—how statistically they are one of the top teams—but have lost nearly all their games in the last minute. Danny is playing tight end again. And here at the very end of another game they are about to lose it. The Maulers now like a choreographed ballet in the pouring down rain. “Heartbreaking Losses” I’ll call this little story. May 5, 1984— Boston, phone with Shawn • ' “You know what happened, Mom! You won’t believe this. The Hole-in-the-Wall got a bus for Doubiago fans from Manhattan Beach to go to the Pittsburgh-L.A. game. Everyone had jerseys with Doubiago written on them. They served margaritas on the bus. Ugh. I hate to get drunk. After the game Danny came back with us. Dad was so sweet, enthusiastic, loving to him. He treats me like I’m not here. Ijust started crying. You know what Dad said to me then. He said I had to get tough. I was too sensitive. He said I 8 We measure the flour, Cut in the butter, Roll out the dough, All you have to do is wake up! B ERY The Weekend Place For Fine Pastries & Bread Saturday & Sunday 8:30-5:00 615 W. McGraw Street 284-6327 Clinton St. Quarterly—Spring, 1987 LUPES URLIAPAN 3508 Fremont Place N. Seattle, Wa 633-1621 (iOur Enchilada Sauce is Numero Uno!) NOW FEATURING MEXICAN BREAKFAST SAT & SUN OPEN M-TH 11am-9pm FRi 11am-9:30pm Credit Cards Welcome SAT ga rn-9pm Beer and Wine 5 SUN 9am-3pm ORDERS TO GO