My wife of 11 months- 'Paula.'
Dad- Sorry I haven’t written sooner but a lot of things have been going on. I’ve been on the road with the band and I’ll be back and forth all summer. The last I heard from mom is that she broke her arm but otherwise she has been so happy since she’s been out there.
Philip is very ill in the hospital, he’s been vomiting blood and has malignant cysts on his pancreas, I’m really not sure if they are malignant but that’s what Philip says. I’m talking to the doctors Monday. They are operating sometime late next week, he has his own phone, he’d be surprised and very happy to hear from you. Please call me too! (####) ###-####
Lot’s a love, Michael and Paula
Philip’s # (###) ###-####
P.S. Ask for Philip Foster because he was there before and still owes money.
In many of the letters from this period, I found that my father would make little responses to things I would say in my letters to him. I’ve inserted with parentheses.
Dear Dad, Sorry haven’t written sooner but have been on the road for about 4 weeks with the band trying to pull in some money. It’s getting rough.
I’m having trouble with my voice. I think partly because of this lousy freezing weather.
I’d really like to move to a better climate, preferably out west, and go back to school for voice and dance (no future, show biz very hard—no permanence-learn about or sell instruments? to high school/colleges-take years to build) I’m trying to save now for that but it’s rough.
Philip is very sick, he’s still drinking, he’s so lost, it’s heartbreaking, Dad you wouldn’t believe the mind he’s got, he’s a genius, he just won’t face certain things, it’s very complicated.
He really wants to see me and I’ve got to see him. And I know he’d love to hear from you!
We’ve all got to find a solution! He’s a part of us all!
Both you and mom are great in your own right! You’ve given Philip and I a great instinct for music and countless other things. There are so many things I’d love to discuss with you and I know someday soon I will.
If you have ideas about helping Philip and or what I can do to help my career write and tell me. I’m building up my arsenal now for both of these things and this year I’m going to wage an all out attack! (good attitude)
PS- I saw a photograph of you on TV, it was on “To Tell the Truth”, they showed the album cover of ‘Desert Song’ with you and Kitty
Sorry I haven’t written sooner though Philip’s condition is a lot better, he’s out in
PS- I really think we should get together, sooner or later. PS- *happy birthday
*Happy birthday? August 5 was Wib’s birthday,
The summer of ‘76 I had separated from Paula, leaving her ever so righteously, she didn’t want Philip living with us, she was adamant. And I was too…“My God Paula, it’s my brother…It’s the ONLY right thing to do!!” I was going to get him better; my
And I needed an excuse to stay at the YMCA and on friends’ living room floors. The illusion of freedom coincided with unceasing, shots to the foot.
While waiting for the final divorce decree, I met my subsequent future ex-wife, mother of my future kids and the one with 'inherent personality disorder.'....'Sally'. I would painfully learn through the next fifteen years....that IPD (inherent personality disorder) would take on a contagion-like seep of my very brain matter e.g. 'Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.' Sadly, it took me many years to 'read' that fifth chapter.
Sorry I couldn’t write sooner but my address changed too. I just got your letter. Paula and I are getting divorced sad but true but better news Philip and I are back together and he’s doing great. He just graduated from a six week program and living with me. I finally got a decent car again and we both would really like to see you, if you think it would really be all right to come down for a couple of days, we could get a room. We’re going back out west in about 8 weeks. Please write and tell me what you think!
Philip, 'Sally' and I were now living together in
Sally and I would visit Philip at the ‘six-week program’ at the
For some moments, Philip, Sally and I just sat there, believing we’d be overrun, when the revelry restarted with the yelping of heavily-accented “fuck you, mother fuckers” rising and fading down the block.
I beat on Philip for that. Ever since Eighty Deuce, I would beat Philip for this or that. Now I see that my brother was the easy constant… for my trip-wire boiling rage.
Sally would add, for the first of many, many times, prolifically to the mix: One day she told me she had ‘recurring’ breast cancer and would need radiation. I would take her to the hospital, drop her off for treatments. I was clueless, careless, really couldn’t give a shit-less. I’d come back in a couple of hours and Sally would have dark circles under her eyes and appear to be nauseous…with a throw-up here or there. Later I would learn it was all a great act, a wonderfully crafted ploy for attention and manipulation, by her own admission…. way after-the-fact. She became highly skilled with after-the- fact effusive 'self-cleansing'..."Oh Michael, I'm so, so sorry I just wanted some attention" I equally became highly skilled as the willfully gullible participant ad nauseum.
As I look back, this was the genesis of a new kind of insidious Insanity....for me.