Sunday, June 26, 2022

Brockville Tall Ships 2022


 Replica of Nao Trinidad, Magellan's flag ship.


Shantyman Sean McCann, formerly of Great Big Sea


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Purdon 2022

 Purdon 2022 Showy Lady's-slipper Orchids

Purdon Conservation Area: Showy Ladyslippers ( Cypripedium reginae )











Midland Painted Turtle

Crossing the road

 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

First birthday without her

At an iHop near her motel, Bloomington, MN, March 29, 2022 - Krystal Watanabe

I guess this is what death is. Empty seats where there was someone you cared for, and they are nowhere now, but your heart still reaches out for them. It's been a terribly sad two months. Krystal Watanabe would have turned 40 either today or tomorrow. My dear friend.  Now I know your where, when and how.

 Think you can guess my biggest fear? Facebook video, June 7, 2019


She made lots of these videos on her Facebook - many are quite funny! This one isn't.

Krystal said to me mourning her boyfriend "I guess it’s just the loneliness...It just strikes me that it’s truly never. Never again. . . It’s too fucking tough sometimes. I hate it. I know everyone dies and this happens to everyone. I just feel robbed. That I finally found my human being. The one person I just understood fully and understood me. And he had to he taken away in the most painful slow way imaginable. He hurt. A lot. And I have a similar fate coming."


Krystal's photographs her own shadow on the pavement, somewhere near the Telegraph Motel, Detroit, 2021



Saturday, June 11, 2022

Rabbits

 Eastern Cottontails, one adult, one baby - missed getting a photo of a mink with three kits crossing the road in from of me, mama mink picked one up to hurry them across.



 Eastern Cottontails, one adult, one baby - missed getting a photo of a mink with three kits crossing the road in from of me, mama mink picked one up to hurry them across.


Friday, May 27, 2022

First hug

 First maskless hug with a complete stranger in more than two years! Felt good.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Doctor's visit

 Nice talk with my doctor. She told me that whenever one of her patients commits suicide, she spends time thinking about if she'd done all she could have too.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Viking Octantis

 Just finished in 2022. Even has two submarines for guests. Upward bound St Lawrence, April 28, 2022.







Saturday, April 23, 2022

CAPE 2022 - Cornwall & Area Pop Event

Dr. Stevil



Care Bear

Greg Oliver, author, "Who's the Man? Billy Van!" about comedian Billy Van, best known for Hilarious House of Frightenstein. Oliver confirmed the story that I'd always wondered about Van's house, which was on the Scarborough Bluffs but had to be abandoned as the sand slipped out from under it.

Young Joker and Robin cosplayers

And from the next day, April 24:

Mrs Incredible and baby

You Cant Do That On Television original set, with Abby Hagyard



Magician (I don't know if this is a character) John Constantine, Batman and once more Mrs Incredible.

I talked with the sound engineer who saved the set - he told me that CJOH and other CTV station were independent and had their own productions before consolidation under Baton, which is why You Can't Do That On Television, The Galloping Gourmet, Kreskin and many other shows were produced in Ottawa - only Regional Contact, a light news magazine, is made there now.
 

Late Easter card


 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Ofra Harnoy, Mike Herriott, Jeanie Chung after their first live concert since the pandemic.

This cheered me up - I have not seen Harnoy since the Guelph Spring Festival of 1983!
Ofra Harnoy, Cello, Mike Herriott, brass and piano and Jeanie Chung, piano, after their first live concert since the pandemic.

Krystal


Very typical of her sense of humor! 2019

Krystal sometime around 2000


Princess Leia cosplay? Unknown date

Still sad about my friend Krystal Watanabe who just died. After her son Hitoshi died of SIDS, she wrote about seeing beautiful snow on birch trees and being sad he could never see it. I thought the same thing about her yesterday when I looked at a double rainbow that stretched across the sky.  She never even made it to 40. I can look at books on my shelf that I bought longer back than she was alive. Even this blog has entries dated older than her.  When she was on the bus to Minnesota a few days ago I played her the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore Show that has Moore moving to Minneapolis and ends with the line "You're going to make it after all". She knew a ton of TV trivia and told me that the original  version used in the first season went "You might just make it after all." The less hopeful version was true for her. She died alone in a motel room after the promise of a place had fallen though, with everything she had in a carryon suitcase that I'd bought her for the move. My poor girl. I'm glad I told you I loved you the last time we spoke.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYgKcUDZ-E0





She said she wanted to be remembered, and she "hated the obituary for my mother. It told you nothing about who she really was." Krystal had given me tons of information about herself, even old newspaper clippings, legal documents and medical reports that I never asked her for and that I otherwise couldn't have found, and I think she recruited me to write her story like she did the writers on her horror site twenty-two years earlier.  She showed me everything about herself - one day it would be photos of her baby, the next her screaming at her husband about how she had to climb the stairs in great pain when she was pregnant that he was walking away from her on, and videos of her cheating on her husband and doing BDSM.  Even Google Streetview images of her high school and her old home on "Foxhollow Way" in Roseville, the sort of name that invokes 'Merrie Olde Englande' that property developers in California liked. 

She didn't think she would live that long - she smoked a lot, she'd already had a heart attack when she gave birth, her liver function was seriously impaired by the painkillers and both her parents were already dead. Her father had his first heart attack at 39, and she said she used to go into his room every morning expecting him to be gone. She also had migraines, was deaf in one ear, and couldn't walk very far due to her chronic pain. She showed me her resting heartrate on her Apple watch just before she died. It was 100!

 I had written some obituary/news pieces for the Toronto Star, but this is something I hoped I wouldn't have to write.

 There was a strange sort of innocence between us. We liked each other somehow, even though we were so different.

I friended her because she was bright and had a Japanese name, as I'd been learning Japanese. I  thought she was Japanese-American for a long time and I thought the avatar she used of an elegant woman with long reddish-brown hair was something she'd just found on the web:



Facebook

Of course, that really was her! I nearly stopped talking to her after I contradicted her on a post where she said  that bonsai meant 'little tree' in Japanese. It doesn't. It just means 'tray planting' and can be other plants or even fungus. She got mad and got personal. For some reason, I felt her anger was coming from some kind of pain, and I didn't stop talking to her. Then I gave money to a cause she had for her birthday on Facebook, Scares That Care , a charity by horror fans that raises funds for sick children and breast cancer victims - she was surprised that I did, and just like that we were friends again. And we usually just commented about entertainment and liked each others Facebook posts. She knew so much about really bizarre things - she even liked Miike Takeshi's films, like Audition (Me: "She says Kiri! Kiri! Kiri! - 'Cut, Cut, Cut'" when she's cutting off his foot!" Krystal: "I thought it was Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!") and The Happiness of the Katakuris.  



"Mark-chan, totemo sugoi desu ne!" "Mark, that's really great!" she says in Japanese on hearing I liked Takeshi as well.



She went to Harrington Elementary in Waltham, a suburb of Boston, a progressive school where she played violin, keyboard, xylophone and drums, something she kept up on even in Japan:


And she said she got hit by her 3rd grade teacher for going on about Rush Limbaugh! She roasted the teacher in two videos thirty years later, wearing a Snapchat filter that gave her glasses and a double chin, because the teacher had "...the class write a report on what they wanted to be when they grew up, she wrote 'Comedian' and I told her to pick a real job! You know why? Because I was a miserable cunt and was unhappy at her station in life and I like to kill the dreams of children". She also was mad at the teacher because she only gave 'satisfactory' as a grade to her in behaviour, and that meant she didn't get money as a reward from her grandfather,  and she said "No pay for me = No food for the family a couple days a week." She stayed conservative, a registered Republican when she was old enough to vote, and had an autographed copy of  Real Peace by Richard Nixon. Her father even believed in QAnon, a step too far for her. 

She usually spoke with a nonspecific North American accent but sometimes would drop into her native non-rhotic Boston, like when she shouted at a pregnant and mentally ill prostitute outside of the gas station near the Telegraph Motel in Detroit who threated to stab Krystal with a syringe "Ya a dirty fuckin Detroit hoa! Ya gonna die a losah! Ya've always been a losah!"

Her family moved to Roswell, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia in 1992. She was a very competitive sportswoman, even playing football and loved hard contact on the field. There's a newspaper article from 1994 (The Revue, October 21, p. 15) showing a mop-haired Krystal holding a bowling ball, after she was the top scorer in her age group in the Atlanta region. "The boys think they're going to beat me because I'm so much shorter than them - No, they usually won't talk to me after I beat them. They usually just walk away" and the article goes on to describe a 6'4"17 year old stalking away after she beat him. She said she wanted to go to the Olympics in 2000 and become a meteorologist. "I like tornadoes and hurricanes.", like here in California in 2011: 


 A quarter of a century later she still did, and stood out in a thunderstorm in Arizona: 
https://www.facebook.com/Krystal.Watanabe/videos/214731753865065 

Roseville High School, some time around 2000
thanks to Music


They moved to California and she finished high school and lived with her father Fred Krampits, who died last year, until she was 30.
 Her dad was a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard, and also took her to the computer room when he worked for Time-Warner. He also worked for Little, Brown publishing and Bose. Although she said her maternal grandfather, David Hanson, who also worked at Bose and also died last year, invented their wave guide technology, it was really invented by Amar Bose and William R. Short.  "The Acoustic Wave work was done with a relatively small team, and I do not recall that Dave was a part of that team." Short told me. "Probably everyone at the company had a hand in the development at some point, including Dave, since the project was deemed to be important, but most folks had primary responsibilities elsewhere during this time...Needless to say, Dave was a major contributor to other projects at Bose during his career there."
Working with her father on her Horrortalk site, she learned about the emerging technology of the Internet. "He basically turned me into a little girl version of him with better tits." she said. She used computers her dad had his company donate to the school in the second grade and she'd been on the Internet since the 90s. "The Internet was the wave of the future and my dad instilled that and he was right. So I taught myself HTML and Graphic design, picking the things that fed my creative urge without getting on a stage. I could do it in my pajamas too." In the early 2000s she had been a webmistress (her word) for Horrortalk, where she wrote under 'Krystal Lake' (like in the Friday the 13th series) 
Her Krystal Lake avatar from Horrortalk


and for DVDTalk, HorrorDNA and HorrorDvdTalk (She explained how they had to change names somehow, or joined together, but I forget her explanation). On a DVDTalk forum some of her earliest entries live 'tweet' the 9/11 attacks as they happen. She stayed at the Marriott World Trade Center between the two towers two weeks before the attacks. Fittingly for someone writing about Horror and Sci-Fi, she'd gone to Roswell High School in Georgia. (Also the confusingly similar in name Roseville High School in California.). She used the handle "WhoGirl" on DVDTalk, not for Dr. Who, but for The Who, which she was a life long fan of. Three of her posts on her last day on Facebook were about Pete Townshend. She also like to play drums like Keith Moon, and shared his appetite for drugs. I asked her why someone so young knew anything about bands that were big in the 60s, and she said she spun a lot of her dad's LPs at home. He had a 7.2 "yes, two sub-woofers" according to Krystal, sound system.  "I had 6000 DVDs and Blu-Rays in California."

She had a whole series of these - some as a schoolgirl. Early 2000s
thanks to Nick Danger


She sent me this one because she wanted to show me her.... Three Stooges photos on the wall of her room which her dad called 'The Den of Iniquity' in Roseville. She was a teenage boy in the body of a woman. She was also a Rush fan, shattering another stereotype about women. Sometime in her early 20s.

She described herself as a shut-in, and avoided going out, unless at night to feed stray cats. "When I graduated, (from high school) I stayed home to take care of him (her dad) and learn online shit because I discovered I hated being around people a lot and had agoraphobia. I read lots of medical books on this shit. That's big. But oddly can do theatre in front of 1,000 people with zero fear. But ten people or so? Fear. Classrooms like college? Fear." and she said "It’s why the Internet is so crucial to me. That’s my gate to the world." She lived in Detroit for years but did not know about the Renaissance Center, the complex of skyscrapers that dominates downtown. But she went to about 300 concerts, and media events. When she was 10 she went backstage to meet Spanky McFarlane, and her first rock concert was KISS in 1996.  She liked dressing sexy, but it drew unwanted attention and jealousy, and I said the busty figure she'd developed at 23 (even in her late teens she'd been thinking of getting implants) seemed to be a drawback as well as an advantage. She answered "When they are a fucking E cup they can. Blessing and curse I would not change. Their name is officially 'my backstage passes'" and said she usually could walk through security to meet celebrities. "I was told by Russ Meyer at a horror convention that I would be perfect for one of his movies because I used my tits so well at horror conventions and stuff to get attention and meet fascinating artists whom I admire. I think it's fascinating what two pieces of fat can do to you." she said.  And here she demonstrates in a campaign ad:


from DVDtalk,  sometime in early 2000s

She'd made friends with many people in the entertainment industry, like Eric Burdon of the Animals and Steve Hibbert of the movie Pulp Fiction. 


Krystal with Eric Burdon


With her father Fred and Pat Priest of the Munsters

With Butch Patrick of the Munsters



She'd even been in a short movie called "Clean" (2002), and tried being an actress/model through the 00s before she moved to Misawa in Japan. She lived through the great Tohoku earthquake in 2011, and when the the tsunami was rushing in, they took off for higher ground and she remembered that "I filmed a goodbye message to my family while we were driving,  telling them that I died happy and 'I had a good run.'  I stand by having had a good run. 🤷‍♀️
We made it to his friend’s house and about a half hour later we felt what we thought was a big aftershock,  but turned out to be the tsunami hitting.  **That** felt different than a normal earthquake,  and there was a sound to it that I can’t describe.  Deep, watery thunder in the Earth.  It was dark where we were.  It felt like it echoed. " 

Before I got to know her well, I thought she was either military or military family, since there is a large US base in Misawa, where by coincidence her father was born. In fact she lived with her Japanese boyfriend in an old discothèque,  which she loved, and started raising staghorn and other beetles for sale, which are popular as pets in Japan. 


Krystal in wedding kimono, c. 2013

I think her life was happy in Japan and she talked about wanting to go back there. She  married another Japanese man and moved to Detroit, where she lived until last year and had a son named Hitoshi in 2017, and she light-heartedly announced on Facebook that everyone should say "Hi, Toshi" to introduce him to the world Sadly he would only live a few weeks and this I think was her biggest blow.

She took this photo from this blog and used it as a model for her own painting and sent it to me. I realize the photo would have been taken when she was 10!









🚤 So, I did something different this time. I used the pencil tool to sketch out Mark Bellis’s wonderful photograph, which he was awesome enough to suggest and let me use. 😁. I’ll post his original picture below with a link to his photography blog. Check him out. Thanks, Mark!!

She made this Facebook video for me. She was only 5' 1" and had back and neck pains:


And her Christmas Card to me for 2021:


Her version of The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.

She said "This is my synesthesia art. A bit busy but simple geometric shapes with contrasting, but complimentary colors. I can explain but even the most die hard synesthesia folks have trouble explaining it to people without it. I asked the group "In two or three sentences, how do you explain this to people without it?" And they mostly said "Don't bother.":



Inspired by Andy Warhol:


She had an interest in, well, a fetish for knives - this one is a large Japanese knife she owned that had a wooden scabbard:


And of course she loved her cats - my big fat calico would come and rub my phone when she heard Krystal's voice.


I can't remember the story behind this drawing:





And looking back on our Facebook posts I see she told us she wanted 

"Always look on the bright side of life" by Monty Python played at her funeral.
She'd organize game nights online for her friends. and, oh, could she be funny! 
Letter from Hell, Michigan.

And being Mrs. Roper from Three's Company. 2021
Photo and video from Jennifer

A bit vindictive too, this is a video from the great Facebook war of 2019:










 She remembered even small acts of kindness. The last video she posted was of her singing 'If I could talk I'd tell you' by The Lemonheads while paging through a notebook. She used to call this "your notebook" when she talked to me. I didn't know why, but then I saw I'd bought it for her at Walmart in October, and she still remembered that after I'd forgotten.

*********
I'm going to talk about some dark stuff after this which involves abuse, suicide, child loss and drugs, so if you've had problems with these things, please stop reading. She already spoke about these things on her Facebook, but I'm trying to give them some context and avoid giving publicity to someone who caused her a great deal of harm.

I was Facebook friends with her since May 2018, but I never spoke to her until the middle of last year. I really wish I'd gotten closer sooner or realized how bad things were going for her earlier. She went from being a suburban housewife who she said spent most of her time shopping to someone hovering on homelessness in a large decaying city. She called me most days that she could, but it was her doing nearly all the talking - she got scared of being alone and sometimes asked me to leave the call on when I slept. Although a shut-in, being alone also scared her.   She'd been in solitary after being arrested and that made her hallucinate. She said she'd had chronic back pain since a cop had thrown her up against a wall hard, I think at a bowling alley, when she was 12, and this got worse after an attack by a German Shepherd around 2004 which gave her thoracic outlet syndrome, a form of nerve compression that causes pain and numbness, and it also gave her a fear of dogs. She said she was losing her vision as well. She burst into tears when she could not turn the key to open her door because of the pain. She used large amounts of painkillers since then, and her health suffered greatly. I think that this was the cause of her problems - she was unable to rest properly and spent hours pacing around her room - lying down would be so uncomfortable and she'd pop back up again - she'd often go for hours without sleep and then crash for a few and start the cycle over, "I was up for about 40 hours with only an hour's sleep in between, plus I have to take some fairly strong medicines for my back problems" she wrote in 2006 after spending the time playing a Nintendo DS game, (honestly she acted more like a teenage boy than a middle aged woman - the last meal  I saw her eating on April 1 was a bag of Oreos, and yes, I told her she needed better than that to no avail) and the lack of sleep probably made her have the angry outbursts that alienated her from her friends. She said she actually did better on codeine as an analgesic along with marijuana - both are available without prescription in Canada. Prescription meds she used for chronic pain were Norco, Soma, Ativan, OxyContin, Flexeril, Ambien to sleep.
Fioricet and briefly Methadone. She liked LSD, mushrooms and ayahuasca, but disliked cocaine, and said she also could cope without heroin if she could get mushrooms. She said she was a 'trip guide' for people on hallucinogens: "I know what it’s like to have men weep at my breast and see God in me thanks to drugs and shit like this." She wanted to try DMT and see the 'clockwork elves' that run the universe that people say they hallucinate when on it. She'd been given morphine in the hospital after a tonsillectomy and and a biopsy and she said "...and I took advantage of every chance to get more of that shit since I knew I'd never do it otherwise.  It's safe and controlled in a hospital." Sadly the 'never' was not to be true. When I talked to her on the phone in Detroit, she'd be chopping chunks of heroin into powder to snort  - in Wyoming it was cold remedy pills that she still snorted. She used a 10,000 yen note that she used to use with that guy. She'd also be smoking pot and cigarettes non-stop.

She did not want children and was on the pill and did not know she was pregnant for a while - she did not want to carry the baby to term, but she said she did it because her husband wanted her to. She was right - her pregnancy was high risk, and she developed gestational diabetes and extremely high blood pressure.  She had to have an emergency C-section and said "I lost 2/3rds of my blood" and had a heart attack.

The loss of her son hurt her badly, and her enemies trolled her over it, called her "Krystal WantedToHaveABaby" and other things. She blamed herself for his death, and she said her husband did as well, saying directly that she'd killed him and calling her "only half a woman". Since her son had failure to thrive and was not growing, she felt that because she wanted it to be over, she'd wished her son's death, and she had to put his body into the crematorium herself, following Japanese custom, and she put in a little plush white owl that was his favorite toy. She often blamed herself for things, like when she heard the prostitute she'd had a fight with had killed herself (she had no proof she actually had done this) she felt guilty.
 She kept the hurt of Toshi's death closely hidden, but she'd get into fights with people online like in her old DVDtalk forum, which she returned to in 2019 after years away to criticize old members who she said mistreated her at the turn of the century, but  at the same time was compassionate to an old friend who lost their father, and she was expelled from a Facebook group we were in over a fight with an older man who she said was sexually harassing and threatening her. He was in failing health and is now dead and the admin thought he could not be a serious threat.

She made enemies. Reddit, c. 2015

She got into a fight with her husband, went to jail, (her enemies put a mugshot online of her in a burgundy prison issue tunic and wearing her prescription glasses, something she never allowed anyone to photograph her wearing), then was homeless, which meant she had to leave a shelter at 7 A.M., and wander around until 7 P.M., fearing being raped, when the shelter reopened.  It was getting cold so she checked into a mental hospital - then since she was offline people claimed she was dead.
 She was suicidal. One of the drawbacks of being a shut-in was most of the people she knew were online and couldn't help her because they were far away from her. At the hospital they gave her a course of ECT, which she said was a condition of her being discharged "Physical pain is one thing. Mental pain is worse. I try to hide it and hate talking about my brain trauma. But it’s true. I had a serious medical procedure that tinkered with my brain. I’m so frustrated and this shit is why I think dark shit. When your brain feels broken you’re trapped in Hell." she said. She said the ECT left her with brain fog and even two and a half years later she had trouble with numbers and other basic tasks.
She felt her husband had abandoned her, and she feared being abandoned by people she loved. In the 00s She had a boyfriend who she thought she was going to marry, and was living with her with her father for a while but eventually dumped her. She announced the engagement on a thread she started on DVDTalk, which is where she met him. He announced its end three years later in the same place.  And after that "... I swear I went four years from age 25-29 I didn’t have sex. Or masturbate! I think after my fiancé dumped me it damaged me." she said to me. 
"Awwww!" I commiserated. 
"Yeah, it began my abandonment issue. I always fear everyone will leave me because they always have one way or another. Even my blood family. So. . ."
And this might explain the worst thing that was to come, when she hooked up with a guy who was dying of cancer and she said she got into a suicide pact with him. "He was going to kill himself. Decided not to ON A WHIM ... before coming to die with me." she wrote. He wanted her to finish a book he'd been writing (he originally dedicated it to a former girlfriend) that was a bad William S. Burroughs pastiche - the idea was he'd kill himself, then she'd follow him after the book was submitted for publication - he'd written out a list of famous suicides, including Hitler and Eva Braun, favourites of his, and added his and her name to it.  He'd gotten her to stop taking her psychiatric medications and start using heroin too, a goddam greyish powder that he fatuously called 'China White'. Krystal said to a lot of people he died in her arms, but she said to me she found him dead after she came back from the store after he snorted a large amount of heroin.  "I did the same as I talked to God about killing my only son." but the dose didn't kill her, and she flushed all the dope left before calling the police. He was heavily into BDSM as well, and he groomed her by giving her Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs before they hooked up, which is about a guy seeking to be totally enslaved by a woman, and I think that played into her fear of abandonment - A man who wouldn't leave her, and who wanted to die with her. He also put her on a fetish dating site, with a user name that was from a Nazi antisemitic euphemism that played on her name, which he spelled wrong. (He claimed to be 44 on the site, when he was really about 67). Krystal had spelled the word correctly, when she denounced the 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, at a time she had stopped speaking to that guy, although she says she waited years for him:







But a few years later, after hooking up with that guy:


Yes, she drew this and spelled it wrong too, since he spelled it that way, with the Arbeit Macht Frei slogan which he thought was an encouragement for people to improve their lives by working hard..... 2021. The four dots make it a Hindu symbol.....This might have been something she drew in her art therapy sessions when she was staying at a psychiatric hospital. She liked screwing with other people's heads in group therapy: "I know the right things to say to get them upset. Example: So they had at one hospital a 'wish tree' with paper strips of written wishes put on the branches. So I mentioned that Mexican cartels have 'rape trees' where they toss the panties into the tree to Mark  their conquest. The guy said 'Jesus Christ, you see this and that's where your mind goes?'"



think it was the ECT that made her confused enough to hook up with the guy. She still was confused to the point where she did not remember her own birthdate correctly and the age of her own son and she got the idea to hook up with him while she was on acid. He made her adopt a new Facebook name and put a phrase on her page he'd had tattooed on his arm. He told her it was written in runes under a "Luftwaffe Eagle", showing the general ignorance that neo-fascists cultivate - in point of fact it was written in Blackletter (Gothic) under what looks like a variant parteiadler eagle the Nazi Party used. She said it was his name for the area of North America that would be ethnically cleansed of Non-whites and Jews after the racial holy war neo-fascists believe is coming. He also had a tattoo in what he told her was a line from one of his poems translated into Arabic, but was really a nonsense string of Arabic letters in the wrong form. She even let him get away with mocking her dead son's Asian features by saying "'that kid is not white! Sorry. Your husband diluted your gene pool' and that I lost the genetic battle in this war." she told me, even though her son had the same reddish-brown hair and blue eyes as she did. She acted like a teenager with an abusive boyfriend, explaining all of his behaviour away as jokes or acts of a genius the rest of the world couldn't understand. She wore his clothes and jewelry after he died and a friend said it was like he was looking out from her eyes, and she would go on Nazi inspired rants against Jews and minorities, and would sometimes wear two Nazi Party armbands, a Hitler Youth pin and a miniature Mutterkreuz, a civilian decoration the Nazis gave out to mothers who had four or more children. She had no idea what it was, but she got it to impress that guy. But before that guy, she hated Nazis, including Hitler and her alleged uncle Hermann!  Mel Brooks was the person she was proudest of having friended on Facebook. She loved The Producers. 

The videos she had been posting on Facebook in 2019 and early 2020, which were mostly her singing, doing short comedy routines, or dancing to pop tunes using Snapchat filters, stopped. After living together for a few months, the videos that resumed were nearly all about him, with her sitting and reading in his clothes.
She'd developed violent sexual fantasies for that guy's entertainment and acted some of them out, sometimes as Hitler and Eva Braun, ungrammatically calling each other 'Meine Liebchen'. Some were deeply racist or pedophilic as well. She often talked about being creeped on by men who she said acted like pedophiles grooming victims, but when I told her that this guy having sexual fantasies about her at 13 or 14 and about kidnapping and abusing a young girl meant that he was a pedophile himself,  "..fantasizing about you as a 14 year old is creepy as fuck." I said. "This is why I don't tell you shit." Krystal answered. "You tell me lots because I tell you the truth." I said.

She even put him as a hero in her writing, avenging her against those who sexually assaulted her. She always had troubled relations with sex and her own  gender - she liked being sexy but she said to me "Do you know what it's like growing up with literally everyone wanting to fuck you silly and rotten? Everyone. No one does not want to fuck me and I hate it. From age 11."

"I hate depending on men because I’m a fucking cripple. It’s the worst....I hate women.  Yes. That I am the worst of them all. They were monsters and I fucking hate all the women centered shit so much and fucking hate being a woman. I feel weak. I can’t work. This is a fucking nightmare....I never correct my pronouns and use the masculine sometimes for myself because I feel more male than female. Flat out said yesterday 'I am a transvestite, and hate being a kept woman sometimes. . . So I wear my men's clothing to throw people off.' "..."I had no female friends in hospital and they were hostile to me as many are. Because guys fawn over me and they did there."..."She wanted me to be a girly girl who wore dresses and I refused. She always sent me clothes only to her liking that I expressed a dislike of. I have always been a tomboy. A transvestite if you must label it but it's rarely used for girls dressing like boys. Not transsexual. Transvestite. I do not believe I am really a man, I just think like one and prefer suits.", and after a Facebook broadcast with her cleavage out: "Tits were on display. 7k viewers.", which was true, without them out, sometimes it was just me talking to her. She'd said she always been interested in BDSM, but had only done it with a previous boyfriend later in life: "I was 35 or so. But my first experience was at eleven when I was aroused by a scene in Basic Instinct I saw and barely touched myself and came.NO NOT THE BEAVER SCENE." "Leslie Neilson's finest work" I said. She laughed, and continued "Michael Douglas threw Jeanne Tripplehorn against the wall and fucked her hard."
After getting deeper into BDSM she saw the whole world through it - she described everybody as a sub or dom in their relations, even if it had nothing to do with sex. "It is the only framework at this moment that I understand."

She was a good writer and had been writing for websites for years, but she said that that guy  'mentored' her to become a  writer, as he also taught her self defence, even though she was a red belt in the Black Belt Club, which meant she had learned much of the black belt moves in Karate, of which she also was an instructor, and he only 'taught' her some ridiculous fictional nonsense, saying in a whining junkie voice sprawled on a motel bed that she needed to learn if she was to 
'follow him', but she only followed him by moving into a cheap motel room in a section of Detroit where drugs were easy to get. She thought that the book she was supposed to get published, which was just a collection of notebooks written out in pen, would make her a fortune, although he never had any success as a writer. She thought he was a 'walking Wikipedia' who she thought was so much smarter than real doctors because he thought the amygdala was what made people vomit when they took heroin (it isn't) and wouldn't believe he could be wrong or lie to her. Even when she found he'd lied to her, it had to be reality that was not telling the truth, not him. When Krystal saw his mother's obituary that suggested she'd died of Alzheimer's at an advanced age, she left a message in the condolences telling people to look for the book he had been writing and she was editing and adding her own writing to, where he said told her his mother committed suicide when he was young after several attempts in front of him. She said that he was a 'rock star' even though the most notable thing he'd done was some keyboard work on a live album where other people were the stars. And she was supporting him - " I starved myself for five days before. I just gave (him) food. I really sacrificed everything for him. " She spent the last months of her life talking and posting obsessively about him. I spent a lot of the time with her on Facebook messenger. Sometimes I'd be crying trying to convince her to stay alive or not do something crazy.  She still did heroin after he died. Heroin made her feel like she was in love, something addicts often say. It's not true for most people - I actually dislike taking opiates and skipped the morphine  my doctor offered me after an operation - I don't get nausea from them, but they make me feel like I'm wrapped up in cotton wool.
She left Detroit for Arizona for a brief while after he died, where she stayed with someone but returned to the same motel in Detroit after she said the man she was with had made unwanted advances and behaved inappropriately around a child.  She got into an online fight with a gossip columnist who had been a friend of hers over this. 
As part of her 'experience' as a writer she wanted to try IV heroin use like he did, but as far as I could see from the photo she'd shown me, she'd missed the vein. She'd also started an online relationship with an Aryan Brotherhood member that that guy liked and said she was being an 'embedded journalist'. 
I was trying to help her out of Detroit and paid for her flight to Wyoming, where she stayed with a friend. In Wyoming she couldn't get heroin, and so was using a lot of over-the-counter painkillers, and her behaviour got more erratic than in Detroit to my surprise, as I thought the move would make her better. This makes me think her biggest problem was pain management - she probably would have been OK on prescription codeine or morphine or another opiate which would have been less toxic to her liver.  She got into a fight with her childhood friend, and then jail and hospital. She stayed at another person's place, but became very delusional. She said she'd been held at someone's house, a friend of the woman she stayed with who had SS tattoos and Nazi paraphernalia in his place, which sadly was something she still was interested in, and been raped and beaten, losing one tooth and was even tortured with a blowtorch. She tried to kill him during a struggle by placing a gun up to his stomach. "I pulled the trigger - nothing happened" she said. Automatic or revolver? "It was a revolver" "Ok, promise you'll avoid neo-Nazis from now on?" I asked. "Yes" "OK, it was a single-action revolver, you have to pull back the hammer to cock it to shoot." I'd passed the information she gave me on to the medical examiners and tried to give it to authorities in Wyoming but my emails didn't seem to get through - I think the spam filters got them as I was writing from outside the USA - I finally mailed the police a letter and found out the Minneapolis police had already very properly passed the information I gave the medical examiners to them, but they said since Krystal had died, the information could only count as hearsay legally.
 After the woman she lived with had gotten her out and to a homeless shelter, she was hospitalized again. I tried to get her a place in the town where the hospital, the Wyoming Behavioral Institute, was so she could recover her passport and try to get into Canada, but the hospital would only discharge her if she got on a bus leaving town. They wouldn't even discharge her if I drove to the hospital to pick her up, she said, and they discharged her without any follow up plan for recovery.

End of sensitive subjects
*******



 At 4.15 am local time on April 1 she sent me 12 messages on Facebook, but then unsent them. I didn't ask about that when we spoke later, but she was upbeat and was happy that her half brother and his wife had contacted her. She spent time with him during her childhood, and proudly showed me a picture of him with his daughter, who looked exactly like her at that age. She also has a second half brother by another mother that she only learned about later in life. She had been estranged from her family, (yes, because of that guy - She remembered her father dissing him and "...my little old grandmother saying, and I quote: 'Fuck (him). Fuck the (title of the book he was trying to publish).'  And she never swears.") and I kept encouraging her to get in touch with them again. She was also distraught that her divorce decision did not provide support - she'd filed an online response, and showed me the proof of service she'd got back but the court did not seem to have gotten it - she said her grandfather sponsored her husband for US citizenship in exchange for a promise he'd always support her. 

I don't know yet what happened - she was not despondent when I spoke to her, but she'd had a fight on the phone later on that day with her friend. She said they said they had a place for her to stay, but when she got there, they didn't. She was struggling with mental health problems and was not getting any treatment - I was trying to get her help from agencies in Minneapolis. I tried to get her into Canada last fall but she wouldn't get vaccinated. She listened to Joe Rogan and also believed the hepatitis vaccine might have caused her son's death.  I said she could stay with me for a few months, but we were probably incompatible and it wouldn't work in the long term. I also meant that I would not let her be homeless and she could always stay with me if she had nowhere else to go, but I shouldn't have told her that  we were incompatible without even giving her a chance to live with me.  When she did get vaccinated in March she had lost her passport. When she got to Minneapolis I suggested that she move close to the border where I live so I could help her get aid and a new passport, which would have worked better, she could have visited me and have a place of her own. She could reconnect with her family since there was an airport nearby with regular flights to Boston, but she wanted to try Minnesota. I was really scared of her coming to live with or near me, since the last times she lived with someone it turned into disasters, so I am ashamed to admit I felt relieved when she said no. And yet I wish so much she said yes and was near me and safe. I should have driven to see her in Minneapolis.

Krystal Lee Watanabe, born June 18 or 19 (She told me June 19 when I was helping her fill out some forms, but it's June 18 on her Facebook), 1982, Lexington, Massachusetts, died April 2, 2022, Bloomington, Minnesota.



Krystal leaving Wyoming for Minneapolis, March 25, 2022
It is the last photo of her face she sent to me, with the greeting:

"Hello bitch.

I’m back in the saddle again."

On the bus she wrote "It does seem weird and oddly nice bare assed on the toilet going this fast. I feel a breeze on my twat. Points for my use of  'twat'
Lol"

She's smiling here but is using a scarf to conceal her missing tooth. At the end of her life she looked like the little girl in Grade 1, but this time not proud of her missing tooth. She was still feeling positive about starting a new phase of her life.
I like this photo because it shows her without the filters she used in her last year to cover up the damage dope use and neglect had brought on her. This  is how she was, a 39 year old woman sprouting some grey hairs who had been through hell but resolved to give life another shot.
She looked so young to some people that a few days before she died she was refused liquor at Friday's because she did not have ID! 
I wanted so much to help her get better. I don't know if I could have done anything, since she couldn't even get along with childhood friends at that point.  

"Wish I could cry it out but the tears don’t come, only terror. Shellshock. The worst case scenario realized and I feel alone yet need to be alone to process and need music and shit."
"But. . . I’m making up and my mind on things too. Options suck. I’m being tugged in a million directions and my perspectives are dim and grim." 

I don't know what would have happened if she had come to "live rent free/On Loyalist land" and it would have been a contrast for someone born of Irish Catholic background a short distance from where the American Revolution started to visit a place where the Orange Lodge used to be a strong political force, and was settled by American colonists loyal to the crown  who were refugees from the revolution. Because of her thoracic outlet syndrome, she could no longer bowl with a large ball like she could when she was an 11 year old champion, so I wanted to try Canadian five pin bowling with her, as the ball is much smaller than a 10-pin ball, just a bit bigger than a candlepin bowling ball, of which her top score was "About 40 or 50 when I was 9 years old" in her native Boston, so she thought she might be able to play.


Lessons Learned:

I learnt that, though trying to help somebody who was mentally ill is exhausting, it opened me up to new perspectives - I'd do it again.

BUT I'd get more support and try and network with her other friends to help her.
 I should have asked what was really wrong, after a cooling off period, when she got nasty to me over bonsais. Maybe I could have helped her before things got bad.

It's not a war. I was thinking "the sea shall not have her", but it wasn't a case of fighting any enemy - the guy that did the damage was dead. She was her own worst enemy. What she needed the most was a space to heal and grow again.

Keep checking - unless you know for sure they're in a safe place, they might not be - I thought she was back in the hospital when she was really in danger.

You can try your best and still not save them.

Please don't comfort people who've lost suicidal people they loved with words like ''they're in a better place" or "they're at peace" - very likely the people who've been close to anyone contemplating suicide have been trying to convince them that life was better than death.

And the last word to Krystal, if someone's dealing with depression: "Have them play with the pet, watch a movie, go for a walk, play 20 questions, or ask each other silly questions about the world and debate for hours."  Buzzfeed, March 1, 2016

ERRATA - 
*
One thing she used to say was that she was related to Nazi leader Hermann Göring - sometimes she'd even say she was his granddaughter or grandniece. Records show neither Göring or his brothers or sisters were her ancestors, but one of her ancestor's maiden name was Goering, which is a common German name, and she was born in 1873, well before Hermann's birth, so Krystal could not have been immediate or once removed family from him.
I did Nazi it. Yes, that was one of our jokes.

She was happy that I told her about Albert Göring, Hermann's much better brother who worked to save Jews, who I thought looked more like her and dressed sharply in business suits. She also liked wearing suits, Christian Dior style as well as men's jackets.

Albert Göring, 1936




*