I’m a runner… I’m going to die young, I know it … What if I disappear? From day one, I respected and understood Clare Clarissa Nina Castellano’s insight and prescience

Clare said things that disturbed me, primarily since she had an uncanny prescience primed and predicated on this innate talent to “just know.” Let me give you an example.

On our first date that wasn’t a date, I took Clare on a tour of the structurally screwed up geological wonderland across the river from Socorro. Along the way, you pass by the old Escondido School which is well on it’s way to complete collapse. We wandered through the building some, where desks and chairs for students still spread around the collapsing roof and tumbled walls. After about five minutes later, Clare wanted to leave because it was “cold” and she asked if I could feel it. I did. It was already in the 50 F range, so it was cool outside. It felt like the cold came from inside, though, from the center of our bones and outward. We had to leave.

As a “challenge” of a sort, I told her there was a Hanging Tree along our route, and I wanted to see if she could “feel” which tree it was. And she did. And she did this even though the tree was chopped to a stump decades earlier. She figured is out. through intuitioh or prescience.

Because of this, when Clare earnestly stated and then questioned what I’d do if it happened, if I was prepared and if I knew what she wanted. The conversations were beyond “spooky” because I know the psycho-dynamic prescience she innately had within her.

This is not an easy blog to write, and I feel today is the proper day.

One reason we were dating yet not dating is because she told me “I’m a runner. I run from relationships where I feel safe because I don’t deserve that. One day I’ll run. Will you chase me?”

My answer was always, “Clare, if you run because you feel too safe, I’ll always follow and let you know it’s okay to be safe, to be comfortable, to be loved.” And she liked that answer. And I had to do just this a few times. And it was good for both of us.

She often stated to me as we fell asleep, “Steve, I know I’m going to die young. Why are you with me? If I’m going to die young, wouldn’t you be wasting your time with me?”

My answer was always, “Clare, I’ll take every second I can get with you. If you know you’ll die young, we better get everything out of our life together. And I will have no regrets because I’ve loved you forever.” And she liked that answer. A lot.

The last bit of prescience really took me by surprise. Clare often stated to me, “I know I’m going to disappear from you, Steve. I know I’ll go missing and someone or some people will take me away and you won’t know where. What will you do then?”

My answer was always, “I’ll scorch the Earth looking for you. And I won’t stop until I’ve found you.” This was one sense in which she was very concerned, and she didn’t believe even with my skills, intelligence, and talents I’d be able to find her.

I scorched the Earth anyway, and it breaks my heart that the ones who took Clare from me were her family and friends, people who once loved me for the never-before-seen smiles and laughter Clare had with me. During my stint in Haven for extreme psychosis, when I was discharged no one would tell me how she was, where she was, and how long she’d been there.

I scorched the Earth, and I found her at Pres Downtown (ironically considering I had to go inpatient at the same hospital a few days after leaving Haven… causal event… undiagnosed hypokalemia and hypothyroid). I went without “permission,” and Clare wanted to see me. And she wanted to see me later when I returned later that evening. And she wanted to see me again tomorrow.

Why did I return? I followed through my scorching the Earth promise I made to her. She wanted a ring on her finger, and since I knew she wasn’t going to pull through (I just knew), that my time was limited, I pulled her father Rudy aside and her mother Cleo, showed them the ring, and asked for their blessing.

I promised Clare I would ask her father’s blessing, which I did.

They both told me to hold off, and I put the ring back in my pocket. No one else saw or knew of my intent. Only Rudy, Cleo, and I knew of the ring and my request to propose to Clare. Tradition and respect had me ask her parents first. Yet, I was lambasted for making good on my promise, where the worst that would happen is she would pass away knowing how much she was loved.

In retrospect, I would have and should have done what I promised to Clare circumventing her family. To propose to her. At that point, she might have said yes, she might have said no. Either way, I scorched the Earth, found her, and made every attempt to fulfill every promise I made to her.

After this point, I was not allowed to see Clare any longer. Some civil rights friends (attorneys) were miffed and spent all weekend pouring over New Mexico statutes for power of attorney (As New Mexico state law follows, I would have been higher on the power of attorney hierarchy that even her parents. Read the law. It’s amazing). I didn’t want power of attorney. I only wanted to visit with my Clare. Sadly, this became a component of scorching the Earth to find her, a part of the Earth through my choice remained unscorched. Why put Clare through this?

Clare and I saw each other only the one time before she passed. We said everything we needed and wanted to say. What we said, I keep this for only the two of us.

I was not told when she passed, finding out two days later only because my heart told me so.

I refuse to attend any services for Clare. I will mourn her separately and in the manner Clare wanted from me when we spoke. She has zero interest in Catholic rituals, by the by, and quite honestly I’d love to hear her say one more time, “Fucking Hell! What kind of devil jackassery are you people putting me through?”

I scorched the Earth and found her. And I’ll always know where she is, and I’ll always go to her.

The point of all of this is I followed through with every promise I made to my Clare, and I rest peacefully and secure that I followed her when she ran, I lived every moment with her as if it was our last, and I scorched the Earth to find her.

I did this because she earned my love. And she trusted me to follow through with my promises.

As always, I’ll love your forever, Tiffy. I’ll enjoy my raisin bran while you enjoy your tea. That way we know it’s not a date.


  1. sue

    Oh Steve-my heart hurts for you! What wonderful words you wrote for your love! I am here if you want to talk. I promise I will call soon to check in on you!
    With love, hugs and lots of sympathy!

  2. Matt

    This is unbelievable sad.
    I’m so so sorry

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