The view from here

So here’s where I cop to a fetish with modern technology: I love the feature on Facebook that allows you to look at your posts from a given day—say, Oct. 8—through the years. It is, usually, a delightful way of reliving moments big and banal and inscrutable. You find out how funny you were. Or how sad and forlorn. You get to slap your forehead and say, “Has it really been (fill in the blank) years since that happened?” The arcs of relationships are right there, at your fingertips. It’s a strange thing to have a digital inventory of artifacts from a dead marriage, for example. Before Facebook, you had to pull out musty photo albums for such experiences.

These days, I’m picking through year-old posts a bit gingerly. It won’t be long before they head to a dark place—the darkest place I’ve ever been, where my circumstance and my involvements with other people came to a horrible confluence. Perhaps I’ll write of it someday. More likely, I’ll do what fiction writers tend to do and plow it into story, where I can find the answers through proxy characters. You know, change the names and the details to protect the innocent and the insignificant.

But here’s the thing about touring old darkness: What I see is not so much the shadows as the coming of the light. It’s a faint, far-off glimmer, imperceptible to me then but part of a larger story now.

Leese and Craig DD star

I just came back from a whirlwind trip to L.A. with my love, Elisa Lorello. It was, in many ways, the capstone of the season that brought us together and cast us both in a new direction, together. She’s back in New York now, gathering her things. I’m in Montana, preparing for her arrival. We’ll start 2016 together, in the same place, ready to extend our story to new horizons. Gratitude abounds.

It would be cliche to say Elisa pulled me out of the darkness. She didn’t. Rather, with the support of many friends whom I’ll never be able to properly thank—Elisa included—I emerged from that place prepared for what was next. It’s a small distinction, but an important one. I had to get right with myself before I could be right with anyone else.

Lesson learned. More lessons to come. Bring them on.


  1. Angela Renfro October 8, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Craig, your ability to reveal yourself honestly to others is to be celebrated. Not many of us can do that, neither in fictional writings nor in personal essays. You teach us to be better people through your stories about your dad, your parents, your dogs, your loves, and your life. You bring us laughter, insight, information, and always your opinion. I love it all.

    • Lina LaBarbara October 10, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

      I agree with Angela. Your writings always make me smile. They are so refreshingly human. Even though we haven’t spoken since middle school, and I am not sure we talked that much back then, it’s pretty cool to have this glimpse into your life. Seeing your story unfold with Elisa makes “friends” of yours -both old and new- cheer for your happiness and wish nothing but the best for you both. :)

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