Abandonment in Bombay Beach California

We’re like well-oiled machines. Once neglected, we’re rendered useless. We are reduced to rust, squeaking until someone mutters, “Better get some WD-40.” We need to feel wanted and useful. We need to feel like we have a purpose. Sometimes that purpose accommodates others and sometimes that purpose accommodates our selves. In the end, it boils down to love, though. We need to feel loved and sometimes, loving ourselves just isn’t enough.

“Better get some WD-40.”

As a child, I craved attention. I would put on “shows” in my grandma’s backyard or living room at holiday barbecues. I danced to New Kids on The Block or belted Whitney Houston’s “I’m every Woman.” My older brother and my uncle routinely mocked my routines. It wasn’t enough that my bucktooth-smile left me laughable. My “Hangin’ Tough” dance was the butt of many a joke.

In Need of Attention and Love because Everyone Needs Love
Putting on a Show at Grandma’s, Circa 1989

Attention & Acceptance

Attention equates to acceptance. Acceptance equates to love. As we grow older and experience more jeering, we harbor insecurities. We begin to wait for the other “shoe to drop” per se. When someone seemingly accepts us, we begin to feel love. When we feel love, we await to encounter the disappointment that has been the “norm” throughout our lives. We wait for the person to leave with no explanation. Because, everyone leaves.

One of the toughest lessons I’ve ever had to learn in life is that nothing lasts forever. Everything is temporary – even our feelings. I won’t feel abandoned forever. This seems to be a common theme in my weekly therapy sessions – feelings of abandonment. In fact, it was heavily discussed this past Wednesday over some tears and heightened anxiety.

Faith and Spirituality

My faith lies deeply in the Universe, Mother Nature, and the unexplainable, unseen energy that I believe surrounds us everywhere we go. I rolled out of bed quite late yesterday morning with the intent of driving a few hours southeast to the Salton Sea and Slab City. I arrived at a deserted beach town many miles later called Bombay Beach around two thirty in the afternoon. A couple other tourists and a small film crew were taking photographs on the dirty, stinky, littered shore. The fishy sewage stench wasn’t going to deter me from the literal shipwrecked scene. An old, abandoned, wooden boat covered in graffiti sat far from the water on concrete slabs.

Abandoned Boat and I in Bombay Beach, California 6/10/17
Abandoned Boat and I in Bombay Beach, California 6/10/17

My imagination ran wild. Whose boat was this? How long has it been here? I wanted to know all about the history of this boat. What I know is Bombay Beach is about 223 feet below sea level making it the lowest community in America, and it’s located on the southern tip of the San Andreas Fault. The town seemed more like a ghost town than a community. The gutted buildings and ruins appeared to outweigh the inhabited homes and businesses. The town resembled a post-apocalyptic world or at least what they show us in television and movies.

Abandoned boat and I at the Salton Sea shore in Bombay Beach, California
Aye Aye, Captain! Abandoned boat and I at the Salton Sea shore in Bombay Beach, California

Off the Beaten Path in Bombay Beach California

There was an opera house building painted in bright, turquoise paint with pretty, white script reading, “Bombay Beach Opera House.” Down the road a few yards, a drive-in theater with a retro sign out front enticed my senses. It was more walk-in and marvel at the rusted car remnants parked in a junkyard facing the white side of a trailer truck serving as the screen. This place was clearly for the photographer, artist, or traveler that get their kicks from off the beaten path destinations. I’m talking places you’re not going to read about in a top ten must-see list anytime soon. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bombay Beach, California Drive-In
Bombay Beach Drive-In

But, perhaps, the most striking part of my rendezvous with the Salton Sea and Bombay Beach lied in that abandoned boat I mentioned earlier. On the side of the helm, someone had spray-painted the words, “INVEST LOVE IN THE ONES WHO STAY.” I always iterate that there is no such thing as coincidence.


I didn’t happen to day trip it to Bombay Beach this weekend. I didn’t coincidentally decide to turn off at Bombay Beach instead of the handful of other beaches that dotted the eastern shore of the largest lake in the forty-eight contiguous United States. The Universe wanted me to see this message. It wanted to remind me what I may already know in my mind, but need to feel in my heart.

INVEST LOVE IN THE ONES WHO STAY, Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, California 6/10/17
INVEST LOVE IN THE ONES WHO STAY, Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, CA 6/10/17






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