Clove Lake Park

Clove Lake Park was the meeting place for young people most of the time in the dark after midnight. Here’s a scene from the memoir in daylight:


One day Margot and I walked along the road through Clove Lake Park. We found a bench where we could sit and drink Harp’s with a view of the satin water.

“Look,” she lifted up her right pant leg to expose the most beautiful rose tattoo I’d ever seen—and I was not a fan of tattoos.

“Cool tat.” I smiled.

“It’s by Devil, a guy I know. I treated myself for my birthday.”

Margot had balls. She was my kind of woman.

“I’ll be twenty-six this year,” I told her. “What have I done with my life? Is this as good as it gets?
Crowley depresses me. I have a closet full of power-blue straitjackets.”

“We’ve got to unwrap you, girl—free you from your lamentation.”

“Now I just work to pay the bills. I have no energy on most days. I’m beached out on the couch and can barely do my writing.”

“I’m going to see to it that you blossom again. You just need to come out of yourself more. Remember the good old days when we’d go dancing?”

“What happened?” I wondered.

“Real life got in the way.”

Days like these took us back. The beer calmed me. The sunlight reflected on the lake.

She threw back her head, and her elbows hung over the back of the bench. She wore a tee shirt and cargo pants, to which she’d pinned a Funky but Chic button on the pocket. She looked like a vagabond punk.

Utterly in love with her persona, I was her trusty sidekick in my shrunken cardigan and black denim jeans. It was warm outside now yet I was always colder.

“You’ve got it,” I said. “How do you do it?”

She stuck her breasts up prouder. She wore a tee shirt that said, “Georgia’s Best Peaches.”
“I work it,” she laughed, “because I can.”

She swigged her bottle of beer, finished it, and leaned down and placed it in the six-pack. She turned her face toward me. She gave me a beatific look.

“You just need to get the confidence,” Margot sensed.

I fell in love with her all over again. She was right. I had to take risks.

“You can do it; I know you can.” She boosted me up.

I’d show her I was not inhibited. Climbing up on the bench, I stood tall.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

I shouted like a blues singer, “I’m going to win. I’m going to win.”

Two teenagers walking down the road looked in our direction.

“Hello, how are you? If you like peaches, you should meet Georgia here.”

“My dear sick twisted child, I believe you are crazy,” Margot said. She burst out laughing.

“I won’t give up without a fight. I know I’m right.”


The memoir Left of the Dial is available on Amazon or through special order at bookstores.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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