Soundtrack To My Life: Wake For Young Souls

Episode 2. For Mature Audiences. Strong Content. I encourage you to read my first story before continuing. Read Now

Today I found my soul.. I felt it die inside of me... So I turned to you, Life is like that you know.

10 Days Late

10 Days Late

April 7, 1999. 6:31 am, outside the concrete prickles with danger. I heard a wind chime voice sound, as I felt Christian passing through the hall of our apartment, enter our bedroom, and suddenly a shiver covered my spine.

10 Days Late

10 Days Late

this wind, I never had felt anything like it before in my 23 years of existence.  TheN The phone rang, like a joke that was left unsaid, and that would be the beginning of losing a whole year.

10 Days Late

"And I'm hanging on your words like I always used to do, The words they use so lightly".- The Background

The nurse was informing me that it was time. My best friend, Amy and her five-year-old daughter, and my son, all were laying in bed, Michael, my best friend was sleeping on the couch, and somehow they knew the time had arrived. Amy started the engine, and headed to SF General, immediately the cd started playing "The Background." We both looked at each other, frightened, and she continued driving down Hayes Street, somehow making every green light.

Semi Charmed Life

Stephan Jenkins. 10 Days Late Music Video

San Francisco General Hospital. 

San Francisco General Hospital. 

WELL HE'S ON THE TABLE AND HE'S GONE TO CODE AND I DO NOT THINK ANYONE KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE DOING HERE -JUMPER

The Doctor that was on the case, had no sympathy.  He reminded me that it would be very selfish of me to try to keep him alive. His condition was described as a man hanging by his fingernails off a cliff.  He had gone through an 8-hour surgery, which I walked into without anyone noticing me. I have never seen so much blood in my life. The scar that he would have to live with was in the sign of the cross, straight across his chest and down the middle.

We tend to die young, Slow motion see me let go, What a brother knows - Slow motion

When Chris was admitted, the camera crew for a show, Trauma 911, approached me asking me for permission to cover the story. I often wonder what life would be like if I actually had footage of  those last days. They would definitely have had to connect with 3EB Management for the rights to the song “Jumper” and the last four tracks of Self-Titled.  Although that song is about a gay young man and a bridge, the only ledge I saw in that song was the one from our apartment on Cole and Fell. Yeah, Fell Street, can't make this stuff up. 

299 Cole Street. San Francisco, CA

299 Cole Street. San Francisco, CA

Photo: Stephan Jenkins Archive.

The time was approximately 8:46 am and my 24-year-old high school sweetheart/husband, flat lined at a heart rate of 22...to 0.  That is the worst pain I have ever felt and the loudest I have ever screamed, ever.  I left SF General on a mission that morning. It was my first time experiencing death.  I have been very fortunate to still have my grandparents all alive to this day. Amy and I walked quickly to the car, got in and looked at each other, trying to keep it together. I didn't want to go home yet, so we decided to take a ride to Twin Peaks, blasting "Self- Titled."

The Making of Ursa Major: Stephan Jenkins

"You're the flash of light on a burial shroud" -Jumper.

Deep Inside of  You.

"Everything is quiet since you're not around, And I live in the numbness now, In the background" -Background

Semi Charmed Life

Courtesy: Liseli Thiele

We parked at the top, and there I stood, overlooking the city where we tripped on the urge to feel alive, but now I was struggling to survive. Trying to figure out a way to control the thoughts that were starting to overwhelm my mind.

"I felt you long after we were through" - The Background

Stephan Jenkins. Semi Charmed Life

Semi Charmed Life

"Every thought that I repent, There's another chip you haven't spent, And you're cashing them all in" -God of Wine

There was nothing anyone could say to me. There was nothing anyone could do, that would give me my soul back. And this view wasn't helping. My mind was just racing with the imagery of the last days I had with Chris.

Stephan Jenkins. Semi Charmed Life

The sky was gold, it was rose not one cloud in the sky, as I walked back to the apartment. There were a few familiar faces waiting for me, including the face of my six-year-old, Garvin. He looked up at me, and in the most innocent voice asked, "Is Daddy with God?" 

"Because I am hanging on your dress now like a little boy, When all that you wanted, all that you wanted, Was a good man" -Good Man

Garvin's last memory of his father was being picked up from school. They shared a hot dog together, he was dropped off to the babysitter's, and was given a kiss goodbye.  "Be good buddy" would be the last words Chris would speak to his son.

Stephan Jenkins. Semi Charmed Life

Garvin was too young to visit the ICU, and somehow during those five days, he managed to draw a photo of his dad at the hospital. It was a very detailed photo with the exact location of the bed and the machines that were hooked up to Chris, to keep him alive and breathing.  The moments that I experienced in those final days, were supernatural and unexplainable.

"Cause I've faced down my demons, And cried out to a God, A God I've never seen. Lights!" -Darkness

I was obligated to find the answer to my son's question, so I asked the Almighty, Himself.  I went over to the window, my eyes immediately locked to the spot on the street where his body had landed five days before. 

"I can't keep it all together, And there's a memory of a window, Looking through I see you, Searching for something I could never give you, And there's someone who understands, You more than I do, A sadness I can't erase, All alone on your face." - God Of Wine

Ten Days Late

I looked up at the bright sun, and cried to God, to give me a sign. Well, at that very moment it began to HAIL for about 30 seconds in sunny San Francisco. At the time, I didn't give myself time to ponder if that was a good sign or a bad sign.  It was a sign though, and I held on to it.  

299 Cole Street. 2nd Floor Apt. & The Rooftop.

299 Cole Street. 2nd Floor Apt. & The Rooftop.

"And the world darkens around me Strange friends all surround me" -Darkness

And those friends were looking at me, shocked.  The phone began to ring, breaking that uneasy silence in the room.  Instead of running for it, I ran to my bedroom. I went straight for Chris's dresser, to the bottom drawer to find a five-subject yellow notebook tucked away. I opened it to a random page, and there it was... a note.   A note that was written three months earlier on the roof top. He had been contemplating jumping off our roof top for months.  (read tribute

"I have your face in a photo in High School when you were alive but that's all I have and I can't remember who I was myself then" - Wake For Young Souls

 

Photographs, the entire concept of a picture... To contain a memory of a moment captured, how powerful. I can remember all the photos on the bed covered in tear drops, and that feeling in my heart being ripped out of me, but still having my chest intact. Looking for the perfect one to put on the funeral card.

"And I wish I could get back there, someplace back there, Smiling in the pictures you would take" -SCL

And to deal with questioning from detectives, asking me if I pushed him.  Can you believe that one! Having to recall those days of being the one to hold the power to sign someone’s life away in a hospital. It was enough to break me. It was enough to actually kill me. And even though at that moment, taking my own life wasn't an option, throughout the years I have had many encounters with Mr. Death staring at me in the face.

"And I'd like to thank mister death for what he's done Cause I got to walk away from my hit and run Mysteries are not so empty Cause I saw you At my hit and run" -My Hit and Run

10 Days Late

"Keep on smiling, what we go through, One stop to the rhythm that divides you And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse, Chop another line like a coda with a curse, Come on like a freak show takes the stage, We give them the games we play" -Semi Charmed Life 

My idea of coping with this tragedy, would consist of red wine, vodka, tequila, eating out with friends who would keep me company by watching me cry, while I would fold Chris's clothes over and over and over. "Then I bumped again, then I bumped again" and would continue to fold the same pile of clothes for days on end.

"And I'm staring at you pulling clothes from a dryer, And I'm wondering how I got here" - An Ode To Maybe

"And there's a demon in my head who starts to play, A nightmare tape loop of what went wrong yesterday" -Narcolepsy

"And they say where's that crazy girl, You don't get drunk on red wine and fight no more,I don't see you anymore since the hospital".-THE BACKGROUND

God of Wine, Third Eye Blind.

God of Wine, Third Eye Blind.

Stephan Jenkins 1998, How's It Gonna Be.

"Cause my greatest fear is that sucking sound, and then I know that I'll never get back out" - Narcolepsy 

Never Let You Go, Third Eye Blind.

I continued to work at the bar, House of Shields, where we were both employed once. It got worse.  I was dealing with things in a very destructive way. I had the greatest excuse, and everyone around me knew it, and I was living in the numbness now.  People threw money at me as if it would solve all the problems. More money meant more drinks, and more people to invite out to dinners, and more problems.  

"How do I get back there, to the place where I fell asleep inside you" -SCL

Especially when sleep was impossible, and at that very moment is when I started realizing that, I wanted something else to get me through this. But what?

"New ideas in my head start to burn Dropped out of schools 'cause of things that I never learned" -Darkness. 

A few days later, the film director of the Academy of Art, called me in for a meeting to inform me, of the great impression I had left on the director of the film that I had worked on months prior. He wanted to offer me a job in Los Angeles.  My classes for that semester were not doing anything for me except this one class where I directed and produced a short film which I scored to Third Eye Blind's debut album.  I had nothing holding me back, so I accepted the offer. I packed up and took my son to the City of Angels.

Garvin on the set of my student film, Innocence. AAC. 1999

Academy of Art College, New Montgomery, SF

"Can I graduate, can I look in faces that I meet, can I get my punk ass off the street I've been living on for so long can I graduate, to the bastard talking down to me." -Graduate

Semi Charmed Life

I really had my hopes set on being part of the class of 2000 and to graduate.  I never wanted to hold the stigma of being a hispanic, teenage mother.  This world tends to place labels on people, and I was dead set against ever being known as the “10 Days Late” girl, let alone a widow and a victim of suicide.  But I was... The world was preparing me for something greater, though. This was something I could have not comprehended at this point in my life. With all the substances I had ingested, I was invincible, unstoppable -on a mission, blessed with looks , a high intensity alter ego and now a job offer in the film industry.

Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go

Fan Art: Stephanie Brilla. Lyrics: Slow Motion

Fan Art: Stephanie Brilla. Lyrics: Slow Motion

"The brilliant girl with the famous thighs, Then the cameras click then we are stars, laughing in the back of chauffeured cars, phone call rings and your voice is desire, then winter moves into summer fires, I promised you what's ours is ours, somewhere backstage with Sean and Lars." -Forget Myself

Never Let Your Go

Never Let Your Go

The name of that song “Forget Myself,” and it's from Out of the Vein, Third Eye Blind’s third album. Every word holds true. Let me take a minute to look at the titles off that album. Faster - Blinded - Forget Myself -Danger - Crystal Baller - My Hit and Run - Misfits - Can't Get Away - Wake for Young Souls - Palm Reader and Self Righteous.  That basically is the outline of my time in Los Angeles and the release of this album took place when I went back home a year after LA failed me, or was it I that failed the city of angels?  

Ten Days Late.

Ten Days Late.

"I go crazy when you walk in the room, I laugh at myself with the girl in bloom, The taste of sex couldn't be too soon, All afternoon - then LA parties in the phony lands, Phony grabs with the manicured hands, I always thought you were pretty like a whip, Should have watched my step, Cause I keep on forgetting myself, And I keep on forgetting myself, Who am I, we both don't know, Time ticks by, where did you go?" -Forget myself 

At the time, Los Angeles seemed like the right thing to do, besides, not to be too cliché here, I left my heart in San Francisco. I had this misconception that a new city meant a new identity.   The one thing that I did learned in these 20 years in the blind, was that I was completely wrong. That thought pattern got me into situations one could only see on the big screen.  I had others be witnesses to those moments, and the only reason why I am here today to deliver the message was that someone was always watching me... or watching over me.

Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go

"A bit too insane, Icing over a secret pain, You know you don't belong" -Jumper

I thought that what I had left behind in SF would not and could not follow me.  I was wrong again.  I met up with Melissa, she was now in LA, living in Chatsworth, home of the porn industry.  She was making her living as a stripper, and she wanted me to meet new friends.  She mentioned that it would be good for me.

Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go

"And there's a bone in my hand that connects to a drink, In a crowded room where the glasses clink, And I'll buy you a beer and we'll drink it deep, Because that keeps me from falling asleep I said, How'd you like to be alone and drowning" -Narcolepsy

Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go

I had met Melissa while she was hanging out at the bar where I worked back in SF, she tipped me with a bag of the finest crystals. I had no clue what it was, but I did it anyway. 

"And her nose starts to bleed, A most beautiful ruby red, Slow motion see me let go, We'll remember these days, Slow motion see me let go, Urban life decays" -SLOW MOTION

Her boyfriend Tony, was one of the biggest dealers in SF at the time. Tony ended up swallowing 9 bags of meth.  He thought the cops were coming for him.  The only reason they finally came was to make a police report and the cops had a body bag with them.  Melissa was also coping with her tragedy by numbing herself, the only difference was she wore a velvet dress and those red panties would end up on the floor.  Speaking of dealers and death, Joe, the one that supplied the mushrooms the night of my husband's roof incident, he was found shot to death in his driveway.  My good friend was dating him. She also suffered greatly. 

"Now he's bleeding in a vacant lot, The one in the summer where we used to smoke pot, I guess I didn't mean it, But man, you shoulda seen it, His flesh explode" -SLOW MOTION

I had left that city for a reason, everyone was hooked, all the people around me. So that song, was the soundtrack of my semi-charmed life.  "Doot, Doot, Doot" Lou Reid, Walking on the Wild Side, ‘90s style. And now I was meeting back up with the one person, I knew very well would lead me to my downfall.  This is the path I chose. 

"So tell me why, why do I feel so so so so so so depressed, I want to live a life of danger, I like holding on to the company of stranger - Company of Strangers

This is the type of living I wanted -Danger-  because (in my mind) it would create memories to mask the old ones or even erase them. I didn't want to think about my husband - I wanted to forget that I had failed.  I had fought to love him ever since high school and I had failed him.   I thought that I could save him. I know it’s not right, but this is how the story goes.

"A young urban psychopath, I incite murder for your entertainment,'Cause I needed the money, What's your excuse? The joke's on you" -Slow Motion

Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go

Melissa was only there to make the introduction, and I can't even remember what happened to her.  All I know is that it was the beginning of the end and I had not even settled into my apartment yet.  My son was set up in a private school, and I had this job working for this director, who also began lying to me about the fact that he was a married man, and a father of three kids with a set of twins on the way. Very dark times. Times I would like to erase from my memory.  I forgot who I was, I was no longer who I was supposed to be, and no one had a clue, and if I tried to explain it, it just made things worse.  

Never Let You Go

I went to San Diego on a sailing trip, and when I returned to my home, the director had made an office for me in one of my bedrooms. You might think, 'my, what a nice gesture", or 'wow you get to work from home!' Well it wasn't that way at all.  It was his way to cover up to his wife, that he had hired me.  That evening when I walked into my apartment, there were sticky notes everywhere.  In the strangest places.  He had definitely failed Romance 101, because the only vibe I got was creepy, and felt very uneasy.  I remember calling my mom, and trying to have a phone conversation, but the phone kept tapping out. "Are you sure your phone line is not being intercepted?" click... click.. That would be the day that the paranormal activity began.

"Quiet now don't make a sound, The system shut us down now we find each other in the underground, She had the voice once of the people, now she's timid as a mouse, I would kiss you on the mouth in a safe house" -RED STAR

Or was it the FEAR of GOD?  A few weeks ago, a friend shared this video with me, and it reminded me of this particular night in my life, and if I tell you this happened, you would probably think I made it up. At this point tell me why would I? What would I gain from all this? 

"I can't get clean again - I want to know can we get clean again" -God Of Wine

"Every glamorous sunrise Throws the planets out of line A star sign out of whack, a fraudulent zodiac And the God of Wine is crouched down in my room You let me down, I said it, now I'm going down And you're not even around And I said no no no... I can't keep it all together" -God of Wine

I accomplished many things during my time in Los Angeles. I spent many nights awake, and many days searching for answers in horoscopes, palm readers, and the zodiac.   I will address that more in another series, Soundtrack To My Life: Crystal Baller.  But I will touch on that here for a minute, because its goes hand in hand with the time I am speaking of now.  

"Let that feeling born in shadow, Let it make you, make you strong, And the demons you've got to carry, carry you on, and on, and on" - All These Things

The things I started to witness were not in my head. Friends that would come over to hang, witnessed the shadows on the walls and the weird noises from down the hall and through the walls.  I was scared to death.  I opened up portals with tarot cards and readings into another dimension that should have never been tampered with. It was killing my high, too. And for all those who know about highs, once you come down, you go on a mission to get back to that place.  

Never Let You Go

"I tried gypsy table wrappings and séance stunts, I keep an open mind but I think it's just a front, I want to believe it though" -Shipboard Cook

And my girlfriend Amy, was on the other end, still in San Francisco.  She took over the lease of my apartment, and was losing her mind as well as her bank account to these tarot card readers. The ghost that kept coming by to visit, continues even after being told that burning the $500 candle would fight off the gloom. Very scary times for the both of us. Oh and the director, he was writing a script that had the same dialogue, word for word, that I had either had on the phone with someone or had spoken in my home.  He would give me the script to proofread, and I would wonder why this script sounded so familiar. Hmmm.

"Just give me a call when you feel better but you never do and I'm just another debtor to some palm reader whose got her hands mixed up. Palm readers breath smells of brandy and cigarettes As she sells me and sweet forgets, she needs something to get her through, she runs a scam like me and you yeah me and you" -Palm Reader

Semi Charmed Life

I would call Michael, he would have to drive all the way from SF to stay with me. What he witnessed, was enough for him to just want to only stay a day or two.  He would always suggest I move back to SF.  What good would that do for me?  Self-Titled was still playing, on repeat.  While Michael was there on a visit, I finally mustarded up enough nerve to grab the cable guy who was always sitting in front of my home in his van.  I asked him to come check my cable because there was major interference. He was prepared and came in with a brown paper bag. In the bag was an electronic sweeper! How convenient. He ran that wand everywhere in my house, and at the same time my neighbor downstairs was ringing me to see if I was ok.  The cable guy turned on the television and the radio to show me how the frequency would change the sign of my voice and in certain areas of the house. We even tested a phone conversation.  My neighbor called and when the conversation came out of the radio, it all made sense.  That weekend I had nine black hefty bags of electronics in the garbage including VHS's, and radios.

"The rise and fall of my sloppy love, The smatterings, and splatterings, They'll get you. I'm not the one you were thinking of, Maybe you thought I'd call, Instead of crashing down your hall. Hold me down, but I'll find out. You know you will never get what you need, Blue Diamond strike 'em anywhere, First we caffeinate, then incinerate." - Burning Man

I had had enough. The director was driving me nuts, sending me sunflowers every other day, I had no choice but to come clean. Those were the moments I found myself driving back and forth to San Francisco. Something about driving on the PCH, or as its known, CA ONE. Making pit stops in Santa Barbara and experiencing Third Eye Blind for the first time, and then going back and forth to their next three shows. Those moments are when the magical elixirs in bottles full of mead were wearing off, and I was finding my soul.  It was the moments where I would go to the ocean and write postcards and cry with my son, and toss our ball of pain into the ocean. On one occasion, I walked into Malibu, and let him pick out a puppy. He was a white Pekingese, and we named him Blu, after Chris's blue eyes. Months later, in November the album "Blue" came out.  In those days, I rocked big sunglasses to cover the circles from not sleeping and from crying, somehow, instead of friends wondering why I would be wearing those shades, they passed it off as fashion, and nicknamed me, Jackie O.

Never Let You Go

The track list for Blue became more than just the second album that Third Eye Blind released, it actually put things on a completely different realm for me. It actually started sobering me up.  Anything - Wounded - 10 Days Late - Never Let You Go- Deep Inside of You - 1000 Julys - An Ode to Maybe - The Red Summer Sun - Camouflage - Farther - Darkness - Darwin - Slow Motion. Slowly I begin to regain hope for life again. Realizing I did have a reason to live, that it wasn't all lost, that I could begin again.  Ok it is a band, it is a record, and then you turn on MTV and see this video. How does one explain this?  Who needs an explanation anyway!   Rock stars often write treatments like this for their Music Videos....

"That girl is like a sunburn I would like to save" -Never Let You Go

My soul, my young soul, began to live again, in the midst of dying.  My time in Los Angeles lasted a year.

"Let the gift be grown in the time to call our own ,Let the truth be sewn before the windows closing, Truth is natural like a wind that blows, Follow the direction no matter where it goes, So it shall be the earth and the sea, Let the truth blow like a hurricane through me"- Wake For Young Soul