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Visions of a Lost Girl

THERE IS confusion here in this mountain place, all because of a girl I lost over twenty years ago. She was buried in memory for so long I thought she would never reappear, but she has, and I must try to put her into focus. Especially now, now that I'm happy and married to the dream I had all my life. The lost girl came back to me in the form of a phone call, then took on further flesh in a letter, and I saw her once, a few months ago, so that she became suddenly real again, suddenly confusing. It will be difficult to explain, but I'll try....

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release


Jory Sherman

     Jory Sherman began his literary career as a poet in San Francisco's famed North Beach during the heyday of the so-called "Beat Generation." His poetry was widely published when he began writing fiction.
    He has won numerous awards for his poetry and prose and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his novel, GRASS KINGDOM. He was a Spur Award winner from Western Writers of America for his novel, THE MEDICINE HORN.
    He now lives on a prime fishing lake in East Texas.

Reviews

"All my senses are touched, warmed and flooded with singing phrases in Visions of a Lost Girl. You amaze me that you can bring emotions and thoughts to my mind that I could not recall on my own, and I'm sure every reader feels the same, that you are reading into my heart as well as into my brain."

Jean Cantwell -- in a personal letter to the author
Excerpt

In the Beginning

There is confusion here in this mountain place, all because of a girl I lost over twenty years ago.

She was buried in memory for so long I thought she would never reappear, but she has, and I must try to put her into focus. Especially now, now that I'm happy and married to the dream I had all my life. The lost girl came back to me in the form of a phone call, then took on further flesh in a letter, and I saw her once, a few months ago, so that she became suddenly real again, suddenly confusing.

Her name is Ariel, which is appropriate. It means "the wind" and that's the way she's been with me, vagrant and elusive, ghostly and singing all the sad gone years that have passed through me. Ariel Singer, her maiden name twenty-odd years ago, a million years ago in a small mountain town like this one, only 1600 miles from here.

I live in a place called Pinewood Lake in California. I'm Joey Victor and my present wife's name is Annette. She's a ghost herself, though she doesn't know it. I love her and she hardly knows that either. This is my predicament and it's so complicated I may not be able to explain it to anyone.

Yet I live in this time and in this place -- with my memory of the past in a town called Lowen, Colorado, near the windings of the North and South St. Vrain Rivers. That's where my young boy heart fell in love and started all this, this that is culminated in Pinewood Lake, but not yet finished. I am only forty years old, after all, and cannot see into the future. Annette knows little about my past, my boyhood, because we have only been married five years, yet she is curious, jealous even, and I write these words only to explain to her that she is somehow part of that past she doesn't know.

Annette is the girl I should have married. It took me thirty-five years to find her and then it was difficult to explain to her that I knew about her when I was in my teens. It is still difficult to explain this to her. She is not a mirror-image nor a surrogate lover. She is the one lover, but it took me all those years to meet her, years of pain and sorrow, of missed family, drunkenness, military service and wives, years of poetry and wine, of empty towns, easy girls and the mist of memories flowing around me, memories of her and the lost girl in Lowen, named Ariel, whose visions have always intruded on my life.

I said it would be difficult to explain.

Yet I'm going to try.