At the time, I worked for Hugh Hefner in West Hollywood, with a wonderful group of talented people who produced a secondary men’s magazine for Heff. I lived in Santa Monica, California, a beach city in west Los Angeles.
On the weekends and evenings, I wrote my own material: vignettes, poetry, random essays and rants. When I wasn’t partying, I was writing. Sometimes I partied and wrote at the same time. I’ve saved a lot of that material, and occasionally I look back at it and marvel at the free spirit, the free-wheeling writing, the youthful style.
Writers like Tom Wolf, Hunter Thompson, and Joan Didion had impressed me in the mid- to late 1970s with their radical, new approach to nonfiction, which was personal, gritty, and clever. I was a hippie from the ‘60s who was attracted to anything revolutionary. Instead of writing as a detached, invisible narrator, the new journalists injected themselves into their work, becoming part of the story, and they focused on revealing the humanity of their subjects. Those writers have influenced my writing style for decades.
I was deeply into drinking and drugging too. At the time, it seemed to be the gateway into uninhibited thought, into free association, into creativity itself. I think now that might have been true.
Looking at these photos now, I’m struck by how resilient I was, how eager I was to explore, experience, and invent. It would be another 10 years before the drugs and alcohol beat me down and destroyed that sense of power and possibility.
Today, I’m glad I was what I was. I like this young woman. I’m thankful for everything that brought me to this day, this life I now lead. I’m thankful that Something was there, 10 years later when the addiction shattered me, to save me from self-destruction and renew my life.
This is a Sepia Saturday post. For more personal glimpses of history, visit the Sepia Saturday blog here.