Half a year ago, I unwittingly embarked on a journey of self-discovery when I began what I thought would be a fairly straightforward project: writing a storyline for a comic book called Violence Girl, loosely based on my experiences as a punk musician. As with most journeys taken without a road map, I had a vague notion of where I was heading but no idea of how to actually get from Point A to Point B. I just got in the vehicle and naturally headed towards East LA: my birthplace, the place where my mother, father and half-sister are buried and the place I will always consider home.
Six months of almost daily writing have passed and I find myself on the final leg of my journey. Strangely enough, it feels like I’ve been to hell and back when the truth is I haven’t left the familiar surroundings of my home in the desert north of Phoenix. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved that the end is in sight. I’m 50 this year and my story only covers the first two and half decades of my life, a time when I discovered the world, life, love and death. I lived and discovered so much in those years but it took the writing of this book to make the biggest discovery – me. Writing about my childhood forced me to look in the darkest corners of my memory where the monsters were hidden. Writing about my adult relationships made me realize how much I’d been affected by my own parents’ examples. It was as if I was seeing myself clearly for the first time and I didn’t always like what I saw.
As I said before, I’m looking forward to typing the final words on the final page of Violence Girl. It’s my sincere hope that someone out there who is dealing with their own monsters will recognize a bit of themselves in Violence Girl and know that there is a way out of the darkness.
Starting this week, we will be taking down all of my previous posts starting with East LA Bobsleds and working forward. Over the next few weeks, the entire Violence Girl series will come down permanently for more editing and revisions. Thank you to everyone who joined me for the ride.