Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You can never go too far

1. Home to Contradictions, 2. Six Degrees from Home, 3. Welcome Back to My Therapy, 
4.  Lying, Cheating, Stealing and Intent, 5. Power of You, 6. One Split Second,
7. Marvelous Mistakes, 8. I made a choice to make a change, 9. Connections to the Farm,
10. Back to the Farm, 11. It's a small world after all, 12 Fair Weather Friends,
13. Ghost of Roommates Past, 14. You can never go to far, 15. Glamorous Life,
16. Double Standards, 17. Lazy? No Exhausted, 18. Crossroads of Life and Death, 19. One Last Time, 20. When Worlds Collide I, 21. When Worlds Collide II, 22. When Worlds Collide III   23. The Unwanted New World, 24. Means the Old World Must Go, 25. So Where was God in all this? 26. Where did you get that from?27. The Reason for My Season, 28. Was Always a Little Rascal, 29. Pictures and Quotes of the Little Rascal and final chapter 30. Closing in Contradictions. ~Use these links to read in order (some chapters have songs, new added content, pictures or all:) Volume 2 >>>>>       

You know good intentions really do pave the way to hell.  I think I've laid enough bricks to know this and we are Ants Marching down the street.  After Shirley left it was a very surreal time and when the next 2 roommates after Scott didn't work out then it was time to make some serious decisions.  Like what I am going to do to make some extra money because I had to buy another car soon.  Things at the law firm where still deteriorating and I had a nervous feeling not just about my future there but the future of the whole firm.  So I called Bonnie's mom who was still a PI and serving papers and asked if I could help?  She said sure, there was plenty of work to do, so I met with her to get the details of what I needed to do.  The application process required ALL of my job information for the last 10 years and since I was 26 then, that meant about 25 or so odd jobs since I was 16.  Boy that was a chore trying to chart out where, when and who.  Mostly her clients were trying to serve a lot of dead beat parents and most of them lived in some of the worst hoods in the area.  Great!  Also you don't get paid if you don't serve the paper and she didn't pay mileage at all so the pay was not that great but it would get me in the door.  I learned how to flick those docs through a closing door at the speed of light!  I was cussed out and chased a few times but nothing really too bad.  I spent a lot of time in my car then for both jobs and that was just the beginning.  I asked her about Bonnie and learned that she hadn't spoke to her since she had to repo her car which caused another rift in the family.  I felt comfortable enough to go ahead with the work because Bonnie didn't seem to be an issue for either of us.

Sometime later I was walking outside to leave and saw a moving truck with Daisy emptying the contents and carrying the stuff to the unit just 1 door down from me.  Last I had seen her was with Bonnie and this was the last place I'd thought I'd see her again!  I mean I picked this place because no one I knew lived around here and now that was out the door!  She said hey in a smart ass way and just kept on unloading her stuff.  I left but I have to admit I was pretty upset about this and learned a little later that the place Daisy was renting was owned by a lady who went to the Old Folks Bar which is how she found it because Daisy now worked at this bar. Later still I asked her if she had seen Bonnie and learned they had parted ways as well.  It seems that she had also outlived her usefulness to Bonnie which was something I had experienced myself so we both thought each other a little suspect... to say the least.  But over the next few months things settled down and so I didn't worry too much about it.  As I look back now I think because I asked about Bonnie twice then the universe felt obliged to provide and answer. 

Well by this time Christmas 1998 was coming up shortly and I got really busy with things as most of us do around that time. In November I bought the Honda and now I have a 5 year car payment added to the mortgage.  Just swell. Again as I was leaving the house I saw Bonnie sitting on Daisy's front steps in her classic multicolored bathrobe that you couldn't miss.  I did a double take and she too said hey in a smart ass way.  I sighed, shook my head and continued on.  Absolutely unbelievable!  I know I don't have the greatest luck in the world but this was turning out to be my worst year ever so far in the new location.  I still saw her over the month but ignored her as much as possible because I didn't want to go through this again.  Twice was enough but she had other plans.  

Approximately a week or so before Christmas I left for work and there was a card under the windshield that was from her.  I read it after I got to work and she said she was sorry for everything and we needed to talk... soon.  I think she even called me at work but I didn't talk to her because I knew where she lived now... so no point in wasting my time there with it.  After I got home that evening I decided to get it over with and clear the air so maybe I could go on and get some peace.  As usual she was very charming and clever with her stories about how difficult she had it and her and Daisy were not getting along too.  She explained how things shook out the last time with them and the only reason she moved in with her was because she needed something... a ride to the bar they both worked at... something along those lines.  She also told me my ex Willie had been a regular customer at the bar and even got thrown out one night when he head butted the owner.  Nice!  She was desperate to move out and wanted to move in with me... of course.  I told her no I wasn't going through this again because you use people and when you are done, you just throw them away.  Thanks... but no thanks.  

I also told her I was working for her mother and the conflicts were not something I wanted to be in the middle of.  She promised there would be no problems with that and then took me over to Daisy's to see her tiny room that she was in.  Her son was now a teenager and she really wanted to have room for him to come and visit as he too was living at her moms.  Trey was living with my mom still so I felt I understood where she was coming from on that.  She was persistent and had a pocket full of cash she said she made from working at the bar.  Well I relented and let her move in.  It probably took less than 2 hours to move what little stuff she had over to my place and she seemed thrilled.  After we finished I noticed a lot of the stuff she brought over was my stuff, that I hadn't seen since we lived together the last time.  Humph... if that ain't a sign I don't know what is!  That year she decorated the house so well that the Griswolds would have been proud.  It was great until I got that $250 power bill in January which caused me to have a cow.  I told her mom about the arrangement and she told me to be careful.  So the next few months I walked that Tightrope between mother and daughter but it went okay... for a while. But as usual things come to a head and go boom!

Bonnie was dating a man who had just recently left his wife of 20 years.  They had been on cruises together with Daisy too and had a whirlwind romance.  We'll call him Clyde # 4 and this one was from New York!  Well things must have cooled off at some point so she was trying to get his attention back and one night set the wall on fire from a candle which caused them to bust the waterbed...somehow.  That is the night I refer to as the fire and the flood.  It took forever to clean the mess up but we managed.  She was Livin' La Vida Loca.  Later when Clyde #4 married another lady then continued to see Bonnie I thought she was crazy to stay but she did and turned on the charm even more.  That's when I learned what the other women do when they want to be noticed by the wife, from leaving their hair in the bed to spraying the cologne so strong that it stays in the sheets.  I was fascinated by this train wreck that I was watching but had no power to stop the collision from happening.  Bonnie and I went out to the bars some and one night she got hammered and after we got home started to get sick.  I literally caught the first one in my hand... ewwww.  I spent the rest of the night holding her head off the toilet and keeping cool rags on her head. 

Around this time is when I had the brilliant idea to send a letter to Marvelous when he was in prison because it had been over 5 years since I had been with anyone and I was kinda lonely.  Again I thought I could resolve the situation before I could move on.  Wrong!  Bonnie had started to work for another near by bar and grill but only managed to stay there for a few months at the most.  Again I started to see the signs that things were headed in the direction of disaster but I kept quiet for a while.  When I had bumped a pole in the car she knew someone from the bar that would help get the dents out and saved me a good bit of dough.  I was hoping she would come to her senses about Clyde but that didn't seem to be happening.  She was my friend but I felt the vibe that she was Addicted to Love and being with a man was more important than any friendship and I got sad.

But things happened pretty quickly after that with Marvelous as you have read and before I knew it we were together again.  Shortly after that I got fired from the law firm because I wouldn't kiss this one attorney's butt... one more time.  The law firm then closed it's doors by that Christmas and I knew there was more to that story but what do you do?  I talked to Bonnie's mom about it and took on more work with her and eventually got my associates licenses to start.  Unfortunately I couldn't pay my bills on that salary no matter how hard I worked.  It also made it harder for me when she went on vacation for a week and left another lady in charge.  I had stopped by to pick up some paperwork and this lady with another one was ransacking her office.  They stated they were reorganizing it but I could tell something fishy was going on, but had no way of contacting the boss.  When she came back the boss asked what did I know about what happened and I told her the little I knew.  Those ladies cleaned out her contact list and much other valuable information.  I knew I had to do something then so I went to another PI firm which was also located in the law firms building and asked for their numbers.  I knew this firm was there but just hadn't been ready to seek out all the information and see if they were hiring... until now.

I remember being at Bonnie's moms house one evening with both of them and she was showing me a few old photos of her mom.  I was surprised to see her with Lew from the farm way back in the day and both of them were surprised I knew him.   Another connection I found out was that a cousin of mine had lived right down the road from them when they were younger and was well known to both families!  This cousin was the one who tripped me as a child at one of the family reunions and later his brother (also my cousin) moved one street up from me.  Then even later Lew moved right across the street from him and that's when I found out that Marvelous had been in prison with Lew and my cousin!  This world had shrank to the size of a golf ball as far as I was concerned so apparently I didn't go far enough.

By this time it was close to Christmas 1999 and we all made it though the holiday's okay and even Marvelous, Bonnie and I went to the beach for New Years 2000.  While down there we ran into Misty the girl I went to high school with and as I have said before, my friends rarely like each other.  I used the think that they were so different from each other but now think they were more alike than anything else.  That's when things went south pretty quickly because Bonnie swore she saw Marvelous kissing some chick that night and I was stuck because both of them were skilled liars.  With all the stress of working for her mom and living with her I made the decision to tell her it was time to move on.  I was really sad that our friendship was over as well as exhausted but I needed a break from the constant drama and was lucky enough to get the new job at the PI firm by the end of January.  I started off working 80 hour work weeks because this one case was 8 am to 8 pm 6 or 7 days a week and then we had all of our regular work.  While I worked that long never ending case we sat in the clubhouse parking lot to watch for the person to go by and that's when I noticed my ex sister in laws husband Curly working at it.  Later I would see Daisy and her brother Luke off and on, which is when I learned that the money Bonnie had when she moved in was stolen from them.  Bonnie had talked just as much junk about me to them as she talked about them.  Much later though Luke would introduce me to a friend that I would have for life.    



           Art at The Carillon Building Photo Courtesy of Native Charlottean Group Facebook.

15. Glamorous Life >>>>>

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ghost of Roommates Past

1. Home to Contradictions, 2. Six Degrees from Home, 3. Welcome Back to My Therapy, 
4.  Lying, Cheating, Stealing and Intent, 5. Power of You, 6. One Split Second,
7. Marvelous Mistakes, 8. I made a choice to make a change, 9. Connections to the Farm,
10. Back to the Farm, 11. It's a small world after all, 12 Fair Weather Friends,
13. Ghost of Roommates Past, 14. You can never go to far, 15. Glamorous Life,
16. Double Standards, 17. Lazy? No Exhausted, 18. Crossroads of Life and Death, 19. One Last Time, 20. When Worlds Collide I, 21. When Worlds Collide II, 22. When Worlds Collide III   23. The Unwanted New World, 24. Means the Old World Must Go, 25. So Where was God in all this? 26. Where did you get that from?27. The Reason for My Season, 28. Was Always a Little Rascal, 29. Pictures and Quotes of the Little Rascal and final chapter 30. Closing in Contradictions. ~Use these links to read in order (some chapters have songs, new added content, pictures or all:) Volume 2 >>>>>       

If you have made it this far in reading about my life and are not completely bored,  then I'm floored.  These stories are just highlights and don't convey all the ups and downs, joy and sadness, frustration and forgiveness that accompanied them.  Even the fair weather friends were important to me because they were in my life and I tried to understand where they were coming from and more importantly where they were going.  Once I started being brutally honest with myself, I expected it from the people in my life.  The three people that were completely honest were Scott who often to this day, lives his life in a fish bowl and is very transparent.  Some times we have a problem with TMI around here just to give you a clue.  Sherri was always honest and even Krystal was too in her own wild way.  She let it all hang out and I liked it!  You know where you stand with people like this and it is only because I saw this and enjoyed it with a few capable people, I knew it was possible if not probable with others.  They were not afraid to live in the open and I love each of them for that.  There are so many things I wish I could write here about all of these people but I respect their privacy and personal information so I am limited in examples I'd love to use.  Eye popping, jaw dropping things that would blow your mind because they blew mine and it takes a lot for that to happen.

The desire to grow and mature is always there even if I don't have the ability at any given moment.  Because of that I have always felt that I was going against the grain more often than not.  I have boundaries I will not cross but that doesn't mean I expect others to live the same way, and they do need to respect my boundaries when I lay them down.  If they had boundaries and voiced them I would respect those too.  Sound simple doesn't it?  Well only in theory anyway.  Working at the law firm was becoming so very tiring because the demand to do more with less coupled with the fact I had reached the point where I could not keep quiet about it any longer made for a really hostile environment.  The staff became more vicious in the mind games than the attorneys did.  I know that kissing butt was NOT something I had time to do even if I had the inclination which I don't.  And herein lies the problem because in that world it is required if not specialized in.  I watched as one of the paralegals literally lost her mind and was bound to deal with it by the firm as they saw fit.  

All this was happening while I was buying the house and I was 25 at the time.  I picked a place that was halfway between moms and work, was big enough to move around in but still needed a lot of work.  The best part was I didn't know anybody that lived in the area and that was the whole point! Trey was 7 and I had hoped that he would come live with me one day but at that time my moms had become home so I couldn't just yank him away from it.  Scott and my ex brother in law helped me move and this time Scott looked at me and said... this was the last time he was helping me move.  I was on my own. ;)  I knew I needed a roommate since Bonnie flaked out on me and didn't know anyone I wanted to live with that didn't already have a place of their own.  I took an ad out in the local paper and let me tell you some of the people I talked to on the phone were like straight out of the Twilight Zone.  I was looking for a roommate not a soul mate! I know it takes all kinds BUT I didn't want to live with all kinds.  And that's how I met Shirley.  She was a 48 year old paranoid schizophrenic who was getting a divorce and needed a place.  She took her medication at the health department and chain smoked.  She was also the best pick of the litter if that tells you anything and only the first of 10 roommates over the 12 years I lived there. 

I could have paid everything on my own but I did want to eat and I had drained my saving just for the down payment.  Shirley seemed like a good candidate because she didn't party, was quiet (that was important) and seemed stable enough, all things considering.  So she moved in and it was great for her at the beginning because she worked at the cafeteria across the Blvd which was less than a 2 minute drive.  I met her soon to be ex and learned that she was fine until 10 year earlier when the disease took it's toll on her.  It also turned out that the insurance agent that they both used was the son of the receptionist at the law firm who became my friend.  Glenda was inspired to buy her own place after seeing me buy mine.  She was another nice lady trying to work hard and take care of her older kids.  She was sorta my mom at work and I'll always be thankful to her for that.  Glenda's daughter also married a guy that was friends of my ex husband, Moe.  Anyway Shirley also had one older child but she didn't see him too much.  I didn't see her a lot because I worked or went out and then 2 months later Scott came to me with a problem.  His mom was selling her house and he needed a place to live.  I really loved him in a platonic way and knew that I could be the transition into the world that he needed.  So he moved in upstairs with me leaving the whole bottom floor for Shirley. That Thanksgiving Krystal from the farm came for dinner and her and Shirley hit it off but as usual Krystal disappeared into the wild again after a few days. 

But Shirley was unhappy and sinking deeper than I knew because one Saturday she left for work, came home 2 hours later to get something, said goodbye and left again.  An hour or so after that I got a call from the police, who were looking for her.  I thought at first that she had put her car in the ditch and wondered off.  They would not tell me anything about it.  At this point Scott got dressed and was walking to his car to get something, when the police rolled up, so he just got in his car and left.  I didn't see him until 12 hours later!  The cops came in looked around and made sure Shirley wasn't here, then left.  I was worried but when I got a call about another hour later from a man looking for Shirley too because she had stolen his gun when she visited with him the previous night... I was pissed because the time wasted by the cops for not telling me what was going on caused her, her life and I knew it right then!  Holy smokes!!  I hung up and called the police in both districts and told them I knew she had a gun and to look for her at her exes house.  It didn't take a crystal ball to put the clues together and to this day, I don't understand why the police couldn't have figured the same thing out.  Her ex lived just one street up from where Scott's mom was moving too but I didn't know that at the time. 

They said thanks we'll look into it and 9 hours later I got the knock at the door from the sheriff to tell me she had shot herself.  If I knew where he lived I would have gone myself but I had no clue and was pissed because the husband didn't tell me that some thing like this had happened before.  It was also really terrible that I didn't do more to help her and felt sad because it was 3 days before Christmas on December 21st.  Then I went to grandma's and got stuck in that ditch on the way there.  Following the tension at grandma's for something that happened in the summer, I had left from there and we had out first Christmas in my house.  Later someone took out a long obit in the paper for Shirley and tore the husband a new one.  He came by later and picked up a few of the things he wanted and her son came by to pick up the check book she had and that was that.  It was left up to me to take her stuff to the Good Will.  Well that's not really the end of the story but this part is a little hard to believe.  While she was living with us she watched 2 channels on the TV.  One being court TV and the other was the channel channel.  Six months or so later the TV would turn on by itself  spontaneously or change to one of those two channels on it's own.  Once it happened when Scott and I were talking one night and we discovered that it had been going on for a while for both but neither of us wanted to say anything about it. 

Scott stayed for almost a year and then got his own place with a garage.  He is a car guy after all and living together was getting to be a little much.  Next came Sweet Melissa and this chick was a piece of work.  She paid little rent, complained a lot, had a cat named Boots that tore up my furniture and ultimately left owing a lot of money.  When I stupidly took her to small claims court and won, I found out you can not get blood from a turnip.   Shortly after that I found a young girl to be a roommate who had the exact same name as me, it was just one letter off in all three names.  I usually shied away from younger folks just because but she was very mature for her age and I loved her bright red hair, so I gave it a shot.  Her and her boyfriend were really big in the Renaissance Fair and spent a lot of time away from the house.  Unfortunately she only stayed about 3 months because it was a little out of her price range and she wanted to move in with him.  My Grand Am took a permanent dump even after all the time Scott spent working on it. Then later Bonnie makes a comeback, and Shirley still visits from time to time. 

                                               Our first Christmas in the house.
                                                      I miss him so much...

14. You can never go to far >>>>>                        



Monday, November 21, 2011

Fair Weather Friends

1. Home to Contradictions, 2. Six Degrees from Home, 3. Welcome Back to My Therapy, 
4.  Lying, Cheating, Stealing and Intent, 5. Power of You, 6. One Split Second,
7. Marvelous Mistakes, 8. I made a choice to make a change, 9. Connections to the Farm,
10. Back to the Farm, 11. It's a small world after all, 12 Fair Weather Friends,
13. Ghost of Roommates Past, 14. You can never go to far, 15. Glamorous Life,
16. Double Standards, 17. Lazy? No Exhausted, 18. Crossroads of Life and Death, 19. One Last Time, 20. When Worlds Collide I, 21. When Worlds Collide II, 22. When Worlds Collide III   23. The Unwanted New World, 24. Means the Old World Must Go, 25. So Where was God in all this? 26. Where did you get that from?27. The Reason for My Season, 28. Was Always a Little Rascal, 29. Pictures and Quotes of the Little Rascal and final chapter 30. Closing in Contradictions. ~Use these links to read in order (some chapters have songs, new added content, pictures or all:)  Volume 2 >>>>>      

We all have had them in our life time. Those friends who are there in the good times but are gone when you really need them.  Some go so far as to literally drain the energy from you as if they are a hoover vacuum cleaner walking around with the plug in hand looking for an outlet.  My first one of these types of friends was at school but there was one that kept in touch after we left.  We'll call her Misty and she was a petite girl who was about a size 2 and next to her I looked like giant.  I met up with her from time to time when she'd call but this one time she called to say she was moving to the beach.  She needed me to come over and help her pack up and say good bye.  The next morning I got to her apartment and she was already gone.  I was mad and tired of the kiss off so I went back home.  Fast forward two years later while I was working at McDonald's with my mom, the highlight of my life and we were slammed as usual.  After a while people blur together and I didn't really pay attention until she called my name.  Once I focused on her and the man she was with, I was horrified to be seen working there.  She held up the line to tell me she was getting married and wanted me to be the maid of honor.  I told her sure whatever, call me later!  Next!  

Well she did and so I drove to the beach often that summer which is when I got the three tickets in Horry County of course still driving the Mazda RX-7 at the time.  Blondie from the bank went with me once and it was not pretty because they didn't get along.  Blondie got sun poisoning from laying out too long and then wanted us to stay at home with her instead of going out.  Didn't happen because it was Misty night as far as I was concerned and Blondie was mad at me.  Well Misty finally got married in her horse drawn buggy and carriage and things settled down with her.  I called from time to time and still saw her off and on over the years.  She had a couple of kids and things went great for a while but turned bad.  Mean while back here one night Scott and I were playing league and on the opposing team that we were playing was Misty's mom, who I had not seen since high school.  Good to catch up but I found out that my friend had been lying to me about sooo many things over the years.  Some were important but most of it wasn't.  I could've handled it but I wasn't important enough for her to tell the truth so the next several times she called I let it go to voice mail.  I was done so maybe I was the fair weather friend?

                              Two different people that just couldn't get along, Misty and Blondie.

When Blondie and I hung out first we both were working for the bank as I said and that continued for a little over a year I think after I left.  It was fun to go out dancing and she did introduce me to The Rack which was a pool room I later went to work for and later the Old Folks Bar although then it too was a happening place at the time.  We went to gay bars and danced our little butts off to songs like Gonna Make You Sweat, Strike It Up and Good Vibrations.  This is where she taught me the Electric Slide, the only line dance I can remember and still do.  Two beautiful slow songs were Wicked Game and Sadeness.  She tried in vain to introduce me to fashion and style not understanding that I didn't have the money or patience for it.  She would want me to come over to her house and wait for her to get through with whatever she had going on and after a while it became a problem because I got tired of waiting.  She also had a friend that was a guy but still friends with my childhood best friend Trixie's, ex husband who we saw together one night at The Rack.  I didn't like him not one bit and when we were younger I had a big confrontation with him in front of Trixie.  She had not found her voice back then and he was a rude SOB and I told him so.  But all those years later I am not sure he even recognized me.  

                                                       Way skinny me once upon a time.

                             2 full roles of tissue paper still on the roll gave me a big boost!

After that ordeal with the ultimatum between me spending time with her or with Smokie I didn't see her for several years.  I ran into her some where some how in 1997 and she started talking about buying a house and she needed a roommate.  I had been living with Sherri for about 2 years now and it was getting crowded in my room.  Blondie knew I smoked and I asked her if it would be a problem and she said no.  I was also taking classes at the community college and things were moving along at the firm so I thought why not?  Let's give it a chance and see what happens.  Well I moved in and moved out 2 months later.  One night we went out and stopped by The Rack as was customary with her and Scott was there.  We told him where we were going and he wanted to ride with us but she only had a two seater. We left and went to another neighborhood bar and later Scott and his friends showed up there too... good thing because I was going to need them.  For some reason she got hemmed up with a dude pretty hot and heavy and I asked Scott to give me a ride home.  

Later another friend of hers and I were talking and she was telling me about her boyfriend troubles.  I said something about that night and the guy Blondie was with so she asked me to describe the guy to her.  I did and that's went things got bad, because apparently it was this girl's boyfriend that Blondie hooked up with (who knew?) and now it was all my fault.  She was also picky about the thermostat and wouldn't turn in below 85 degrees, she complained when I left one dish in the sink while studying for exams and constantly complained about the smoke... even when I smoked outside.  Things that make you go hummm.  Last straw!  While I was packing and Scott was putting boxes in our cars she tried to introduce him to one of her friends just to piss me off.  She didn't believe me when I told her we were friends so all I could do was laugh at her as she made a fool of herself... again.  I was done.  She had been dating a guy that was linked to Bonnie's circle of friends but broke it off because she wanted more out of life than he could give her?  I heard years later she lost her job and the house, got married after moving to the lake and I saw her once at the Old Folks Bar a few years ago trying to get over her divorce. That was that. 

That brings me back to Bonnie who was also petite and quite charming.  She could talk anybody into doing just about anything.  I was fascinated by that because I can't make a duck get into water, even if it's just came from the dessert.  When we met back at The Rack all those years ago I had a feeling of deja vu but couldn't figure out why.  I am sure we hadn't met before but it seemed like we really knew each other from the first.  When her and Clyde were together it was an interesting combo to say the least because he was short too, had heaps of bad ass attitude and was a gun nut.  I can honestly say that it was a bit much for Willie to live with all of us at the same time and I'll give him credit for it.  They left owing us money and cleaning up after their dog's hair was a choir.  When Bonnie and Clyde went on their way as we did back in 93 it was hard to keep in touch because we both moved a lot and that was before we had mobile phones.  But Scott knew her mom from the shop he worked at because she brought pound cake there regularly.  One day I was there and Bonnie's mom stopped by because her car was acting up and we got to talking about her work.  She had a PI license but mainly served papers and because I was interested in that I gave her my number.  She gave it to Bonnie and then she called me at work one day.  Just to talk and so I met her later at her apartment and met the new Clyde too.  He was a winner!  It didn't take long for me to figure out she was unhappy and looking to make a change.  This was at the mid point of living with Blondie and I shared what was happening with me.  When she found out I needed a place to live Clyde #2 was sent packing (not before stiffing Scott out of a lot of money over car work) and she asked me to move into her apartment with her.  I had a job, could help pay the rent until I found a place of my own and it looked like a win win. Yep you guessed it... I moved in and moved out in 2 months.

During that 2 months I had met a few of her new friends, a married man and his sister... we'll call them Luke and Daisy. They all were working at a packaging plant that the 3rd brother had owned but I didn't meet that one or the last sister for 10 years yet.  A lot of things were happening at once like they all three quit working for that brother and wanted to open their own packaging plant and Bonnie was sleeping with the married brother.  I knew to open any business you need money, a business plan and people willing to work hard for long periods of time.  They didn't have any of those so there was no point in me getting involved.  If you are not going to do something right WHY bother?  I started looking for a house soon after because I knew something was up.  I could just feel it.  At first I thought Bonnie was going to move in with me so that's why I ultimately bought a three level townhouse.  Mom, Trey and I went to Florida to visit family for about a week and when I got back things were even more tense.  

                                                    Trey at a block party with firemen present.

When I tried to talk to Bonnie she was busy, not interested or just not around much at all.  I had already found a place and put in an offer.  It was accepted and I started packing. Again.  I didn't tell anyone else except for Scott, I was buying a house so when I took my mom on the final walk through she was floored.  Only when I started to pack the everyday use items did Bonnie realize that I was on my way out.  If she didn't have time to talk to me then, there was no point in trying to now.  I do remember telling her I thought she sucked as a parent and to this day I still regret that because who am I to judge.  I felt like I sucked as a parent too so I had no room to talk but I was mad.  Whatever she had going on was fixing to blow up in her face and I wanted to be long gone.  She got mad that I was leaving her in a bind and told me to get the rest of my stuff out that night... right after she called me a good for nothing lazy bitch.  It was still 3 days before closing so I took a lot of my stuff and hid it in the storage bays with the files at work and the rest of it to Scotts' house.  2 nights I slept in the conference room at work because I didn't want to bother anyone else and I could shower at the gym downstairs.  That was the longest 3 days next to Trey being born.  I closed on August the 29th, Treys birthday was the 30th and Princess Diana died on that Sunday the 31st although I didn't hear about that until later.  That Friday night after the closing that almost didn't happen because of a glitch, I walked in to my first home and promptly dropped to the floor where I fell asleep, right at the front door.  

For the last two years since I had been living with Sherri I had gone back to school at her urging and was taking math classes for a review and then balancing those with art which I loved dearly.  I had gotten a pell grant from the state and was only taking about 2 classes at a time after work and found that I actually liked it much better because the atmosphere was so much more open than high school.  I have to admit though I will never be a math whiz and had to take algebra 3 times to pass the class with a C and I even had a tutor.  Once I bought the house though I no longer qualified for the grant and could not talk my mom into letting me reclaim Trey on my taxes instead of hers, where I would just give her the refund.  I didn't have the cash and could not find another way, so my time at school came to an abrupt end and that was that.  I also felt around that time that my mom was doing everything in her power to keep me from succeeding at anything in life and struggled with the why of it for so very long.

And one last small piece of trivia: I had married art teachers one after the other for 2 semesters.  They happened to buy a house just outside the trailer park that used to belong to another family I grew up near.  It was on the same road as mom and dads, probably about 6 or 7 up, but it wasn't a trailer.  The weird part about this is later I would see the male teacher working at the local movie theater and he informed me that his wife had run off with one of the students at the college.  It seemed as if their marriage was okay until they moved and it's just once more example as why I think the area may be cursed or infected with... something.             

13. Ghost of Roommates Past >>>>>                



It is a small world after all

1. Home to Contradictions, 2. Six Degrees from Home, 3. Welcome Back to My Therapy, 
4.  Lying, Cheating, Stealing and Intent, 5. Power of You, 6. One Split Second,
7. Marvelous Mistakes, 8. I made a choice to make a change, 9. Connections to the Farm,
10. Back to the Farm, 11. It's a small world after all, 12 Fair Weather Friends,
13. Ghost of Roommates Past, 14. You can never go to far, 15. Glamorous Life,
16. Double Standards, 17. Lazy? No Exhausted, 18. Crossroads of Life and Death, 19. One Last Time, 20. When Worlds Collide I, 21. When Worlds Collide II, 22. When Worlds Collide III   23. The Unwanted New World, 24. Means the Old World Must Go, 25. So Where was God in all this? 26. Where did you get that from?27. The Reason for My Season, 28. Was Always a Little Rascal, 29. Pictures and Quotes of the Little Rascal and final chapter 30. Closing in Contradictions. ~Use these links to read in order (some chapters have songs, new added content, pictures or all:)  Volume 2 >>>>>      

I wrote earlier about two of the people who turned into really good friends here.  Late in November in 94?  Sherri was able to get me the interview with the lawyers office because she baby sat (and later tutored) for one of the attorneys.  It was an opportunity to learn a little about the real estate world and as soon as I got the job I began saving for a house.  The lady that hired me was a little weary of hiring a girl to do the job because there was a lot of heavy lifting involved in running a firm.  That job was so much more than delivering docs through out the city and lunch in the office.  This was a pretty decent outfit with two offices one uptown and one in South Park.  There were approximately 45 attorney's and staff total between both offices.  The job required moving large amounts of paperwork in never ending cycles between the two offices and two off site storage areas and the one located in the basement of the building.  It also required that I shop and stock for all the supplies needed for the break room and when we got large deliveries of paper I had to put it away and keep up in the copy room.  I also filled in for the receptionist at breaks and after a while helped out the paralegals who spent much of their time in the courthouse... the end of the month was a usual mad house.  I would have to run the docs from closings through the registrars at the courthouse and that was after parking several blocks away just to get there.  I helped set up computer equipment and moved offices around when it suited them.  I had also spent a good amount of time getting to know some of the attorney's families because if they needed something done they would call and ask for me.  The attorney who helped me file for my divorce papers has a wife who was forever locking her keys in the car, or herself out of the house.  I chased cats and picked up bottles of booze from the liquor store on a regular basis.  Some things never change it seems ;)  I was the only "courier" and looking back I think I did a pretty good job... at least at first because I stayed there for almost 5 years.  The link back to the farm was the attorney they mentioned happen to work in the same building and from time to time I'd run into some of them coming to meet with him!

To say it was a big change from the other jobs as well as living with a whole new set of people again was an understatement... again.  This time around at Sherri's there were just 4 of us, her, her long time boyfriend and later husband and their friend.  Kevin was a really sweet conservative gay man and looking back it really was a great place to be.  Sure there were minor problems but I know I was a pain in the butt sometimes so the fault is all mine.  The first day I started at the law firm I was told that the company was having a Thanksgiving dinner at the big BBQ barn where politicians like to gather around these parts.  They said it was a country affair and to dress appropriate.  Check... I can do that! They also said to bring someone and I thought to myself... that might not be a good idea.  As fate would have it I got a call from Willie's nutty friend Micheal and for some unknown reason I told him about the get together which was the next night and he volunteered to go with me... GREAT!  The next night as we were getting to the place I had a little talk with Michael and told him only 3 beers and do not start making your weird noises, as was his normal habit.  Maybe I should have gone alone, but there was so many people I didn't know, I felt like I needed someone to talk to.  Things went okay and I was mildly surprised when the husband of the attorney that hired me wanted to shoot pool, because we were talking about it.  At the time I didn't think anything of it but when we played I won most of the games. It didn't occur to me that maybe I should have let him win because although I had been practicing I didn't think it had made that much of a difference.  Luckily he was a good sport and after Michael had reached his 3 beer limit it was time to go before anything stupid happened.  After that though Michael tended to hang around like a lost puppy and I wondered how I got him in the split between Willie and me.

During this time Scott and I had started to hang out a little more often and I learned several things about him.  He was 31 or so at the time and still lived at home with his mom because it was convenient and he born on Christmas.  He was the youngest of two kids and his parents had divorced when he was way younger but for the most part he did have a charmed life.  He worked full time and was having a great time playing pool, traveling if he wanted to and he did play hard!  Dear Scotty is the exception to many rules, I have found over the years and the differences between us were night and day.  Michael was still hanging around and after every thing that had happened I was clear I was not looking for anything romantic from either one.  Period.  Again, I must point out that people don't hear me, even when I spell it out, draw the map or encase it in neon flashing lights.  I had mentioned earlier that Scott didn't really believe me when I told him about my experiences at the farm until he met them.  If fact when I was telling him about my ex husband and their family he could not grasp the concept that some of them just were not normal.  During that first year at the law firm I got the divorce papers drawn up, located my soon to be ex and met him so he could sign the papers.  At this time we had been married on paper for almost 5 years and he wasn't going to help pay for it.  That day I met him at his dad's house along with his then girlfriend.  My ex presented me with a do it yourself divorce kit and I said... just sign the paper and we will be done!  You keep what is yours and I'll keep what is mine.  Thankfully he signed and it was just in time so he could marry his girlfriend on her 18th birthday.  Later that year at the holidays Scott and I went over to my ex's sisters with Trey and they were proud to show me the video from a Jerry Springer show that had one of the family friends in it!  I never saw a guy laugh so hard in my life and as luck would have it Scott was usually around when one disaster or another happened in my life and I've provided much entertainment value for him over time.  

Now the next part of this is pretty embarrassing on both of our parts because it was stupid but at least is was a new mistake for us anyway and I will never live it down as long as I live!  Even though I knew many drug users, I can tell you I never wanted to use any of the hard stuff. Period.  I saw what it did to my friends and that was enough for me but when this new drug called ecstasy came around we thought we would give it a try.  Bad mistake from start to finish.  It all started as we were heading up to a pool room in another county closer to the farm than our homes.  I was driving and had the brilliant idea to take them while in the car just a little ways from where we were going.  I figured nothing would happen in 10 minutes but within less than 5, I could feel the effects and after crossing the bridge I started to look for a place to pull over.  I didn't want to be driving any more.  That was when the blue lights came on in the rear view mirror and I knew we were screwed.  The cop came up to the window and asked if I was drinking and I couldn't speak, only shake my head no.  My adrenaline combined with this drug and being scared spitless caused me to be unable to form words.  Scott however was holding his own very well but when the cop opened the car door and I fell out of the car, on to the ground he could only hang his head.  The cop mentioned something about a sobriety test and I could only shake my head no... I was really fried in every sense of the word at this time.  Cop #1 called in back up and had us get out of the car and searched it thoroughly finding long lost smoking paraphernalia from the move.  He had one pill left on him and they found it.  In the one coherent sentence I was able to get out when the cop asked what it was, I said " It gives you eennnneerrrgggy"  like I was taking in slow motion.  So we were both put into the back of separate police cars for a while.  Miraculously the cops let us go after giving us both a ticket but told us not to drive the car, which we didn't.  We called a cab and waited for a long time.  Later many of the people at the bar that were expecting us said they saw all the commotion but didn't know it was us because we were in my car.  

Now I'll admit I wish that was the end of the story but things didn't turn out that way.  The next day I met Scott's mom for the first time and to say that I had made a bad impression under the circumstances again would have been another understatement of the year.  She was not pleased at all and later Scott got a call from the SBI wanting to have a talk with him.  They found out what that pill was and he was going to be arrested and it was all my fault!  He said don't worry I got a cousin who is an attorney and my first thought was the movie "My Cousin Vinny'' and again I thought we were screwed.  I told him I knew a really good one with many references but he wanted to stick it out with his cousin.  The court day came and we were there on time and nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  The first case being heard was something about dogs and lawns but I can't say I was paying attention.  Everything was going okay until the doors opened and there was our attorney and his assistant wearing three piece suits.  They didn't stick out among all the country people at all.  They sat down on either side of us and then our case was called next.  Well they called Scott's name not mine so I didn't stand up so both Scott and the assistant reached down and pulled me up to go with them.  Up front in front of the judge.  You could have heard a pin drop in the courtroom that day.  The DA put on his case and couldn't even pronounce the legal name of the drug and things looked hairy for a minute.  But they knew we both were working people with real jobs and not some drug king pin of the country so after some earlier negotiations in chambers we were given a fine to pay and then my case was dismissed.  We couldn't get out of there fast enough!  Whew, I thought we were really going to go to jail but things worked out.  I later found out there was money that changed hands between our attorney and the justice system.  That's when I learned for sure that justice could be bought... even if it is expensive.  We learned both of our lessons that time and that's was it for our experimentation.  Poor Scott couldn't even watch an episode of Cop's for about 5 years after and you could forget about Law and Order. 

We left the courthouse and stopped and had lunch at the farm on the way home.  Krystal was happy we were in the clear and things sort of returned to normal.  Well as normal for me anyway.  Scott and I were shooting pool one night and I got a page from an oddly familiar number.  After a moment I called and heard... Mecklenburg County Intake Center which was the jail.  I was scanning all the possibilities in my mind on just who it could be when I asked... "Do you have a Krystal Smith in custody?"  I heard typing and then a moment later she said, "Why yes we do."  I asked what are the charges?  She said... " Open container, driving without a license, DUI, causing an accident, assault and assault on a cop."  Swell!  I thought about it and decided I couldn't go and bail her out because she just would NOT show up for court... otherwise I would have in a minute!  Another thing was to watch these guys save up then spend thousands of dollars, time, energy and attorney's visits just to get their drivers license back, only to lose them in a very short period of time.   Seemed like a moot point to me.  So I called Ryan and told him what was happening.  He said, "Oh, she'll be alright... we'll get her in the morning!"  Later I found out the story which was she was driving to a bar, had an accident, got out to talk to the other driver and when she was talking to them one of the other passengers stole her purse.  So when the cops roll up there is a fight going on and when the cop tried to separate her from the group... he got punched square in the face.  Can I get a Yee Haw! 

Later that year again at the company holiday function Scott and I attended he met the attorney who filed my divorce and low and behold if they didn't know each other from the dealership Scott worked for at the time.  Still later I would find out that the lady who brought pound cakes to the shop was the mother of Bonnie... formally of the Bonnie and Clyde team mentioned earlier.  He also knew one of Blondie's roommates from school that she pawned off on me to go to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert because she didn't want to deal with him.  And finally Scott was looking through my old pictures and saw one and screamed... "You know 3 beer Willy?"  It seems I did because we went to school together, and that's was his nickname.  Seems like it is a small world after all.


12. Fair weather friends >>>>>

Connections to the farm

1. Home to Contradictions, 2. Six Degrees from Home, 3. Welcome Back to My Therapy, 
4.  Lying, Cheating, Stealing and Intent, 5. Power of You, 6. One Split Second,
7. Marvelous Mistakes, 8. I made a choice to make a change, 9. Connections to the Farm,
10. Back to the Farm, 11. It's a small world after all, 12 Fair Weather Friends,
13. Ghost of Roommates Past, 14. You can never go to far, 15. Glamorous Life,
16. Double Standards, 17. Lazy? No Exhausted, 18. Crossroads of Life and Death, 19. One Last Time, 20. When Worlds Collide I, 21. When Worlds Collide II, 22. When Worlds Collide III   23. The Unwanted New World, 24. Means the Old World Must Go, 25. So Where was God in all this? 26. Where did you get that from?27. The Reason for My Season, 28. Was Always a Little Rascal, 29. Pictures and Quotes of the Little Rascal and final chapter 30. Closing in Contradictions. ~Use these links to read in order (some chapters have songs, new added content, pictures or all:)  Volume 2 >>>>>       

I have wrote about a few of the adventures I've come across and some of the people who have really stood out.  Today I may shock a few of you with the story I am writing.  For some it might or might not seem out of character but in all honesty it was just a part of my life... one of many phases. This one starts after the first round of Marvelous and I was determined to find some new friends.  I have always felt like an outsider looking in because I separate from the whole group when and if the time comes to do so. I like people that are so totally different from what most view as the norm but that can come back and bite ya in the butt if you are not careful.  I have a live and let live philosophy for the most part and had run across characters that were a lot of fun.  I had only heard stories about these particular folks from the friend who claimed she was Randy Travis's cousin who was from Marshville and was fascinated because they sounded like they had all lost their minds!  Stories of racing cars, blowing up trucks and family brawls that would make the Hatfields and McCoys proud.  There were 9 kids of this one particular family, let's call them the Clampetts and to say they were a bit hillbilly would be an understatement of the century.  The time reminds me of Green Grass and High Tides.

After hearing about these folks for about a year or so I finally met one of them one night after the previously mentioned friend and I went out that night.  The only problem was I didn't KNOW he was one of the infamous family because she didn't really use their names.  Anyway she had a lot to drink that night and as we were leaving a guy walked in.  He was a little geeky looking at first with his big glasses but he had blond curly hair, blue eyes, tall, lean and he was quiet!  Talking quietly was a refreshing thing for me at this point after all the previous drama.  My friend introduced me to him, we'll call him Smokie and after talking for a short while it was determined that our friend just wasn't going to remain conscience much longer so we got her into his car and took her home.  We came back to my car and he asked for my number and I gave it to him.  He seemed like a cool enough guy but I didn't hear from him for almost a year. 

The last few months I had been working at the bank I also made a friend who liked to go out to the dance clubs and we'll call her Blondie.  She was loud and from Kansas but she was different and we had a good time.  We became good friends for a while but she got mad at me which I'll explain shortly but the rest will have to save for later.  One a side note the lady that introduced me to this family was also dating Moe and must have broken up somewhere along this time.  It was while I was out with Blondie, I would run into Moe at one of the clubs and honestly it was the last place I thought I'd ever see him because he wasn't the type to hang out in them... or so I thought.     

Fast forward to a day when I was walking out the door for a job interview at the local paper as a sales rep assistant and I got a phone call from him.  Not overly impressed with the timing I told him good to hear from ya but talk to ya later and went on to the job.  He was persistent though so we eventually went out and I got to know him more.  I met several of his family members and their mates and after listening to their stories I realized that I had heard them before. I knew this was the infamous family that my friend had been talking about.  Smokie was the 2nd youngest of them and at that time he was just a few years older than me.  Turns out he lived one street behind my ex husband and me and that's how he knew the woman we took home the first night we met.  Over the year or so we had a good time hanging out, traveling to Florida (where one of the sisters owned a florist shop) when I could get the time off from work at the paper.  We worked the long Valentine weekend at the flower shop stripping thorns from roses and all the prep work to be ready for that Sunday.  Sunday we drove all over North Hollywood Beach and that's when I learned it was a paradise for older people who don't tip very much.  Anyway after working we spent the rest of our time and money in the keys and had a blast!  Until we got close to home and stopped at a gas station, while Smokie filled up and I went in to pay.  I came out and Trey had locked the car and being about 2ish at this time was having a blast dancing and laughing inside while were frantically trying to get  him to hit the lock button. Little stinker but it was only 5 minutes or so and we were back on the road.   


Eventually Smokie's brother rented a 150 year old farm on 92 acres out in another county north of Charlotte and they moved there... even though it was a dry county!  For professional alcoholics it seems like they would have taken that into account and I was happy I wasn't old enough to buy it (yet) although I didn't really drink all that much!  I met all kinds of people that hung out at the farm from dealers to users (a whole new set!) to the owner of a clothing store that catered to strippers, to a sheriffs kid smoking a crack pipe and a few West Virginians one of which would become a long time friend.  All this didn't happen at the farm but I got to know all the siblings at one time or another and they went many places sometimes just wanting the company or sometimes needing a ride after losing their drivers licenses.  If they were brave enough to get in my new/old Mazda RX-7 built for short track racing, I'd take them anywhere they'd want to go. ;)  Smokie and I went to Florida I couple of times while listening to his Stones or Dr. Hook and even stopped back by NASA on the way home from the last trip.  Blondie and I were also heading out to the beach a lot because I had a high school friend getting married down there who asked me to be in the wedding.  Blondie didn't get along with my old high school friend and when she gave me an ultimatum on a July 4th holiday about spending time with her or with Smokie, I said see ya later.  Much, much later as it would turn out.  You see when she was dating someone she would leave me hanging for hours and it gets really tiring after a while.  This was just the last straw at the time because I would have never made the same demand. 

Later I also met a man who was reportedly a major player in the drug world in the past and although he had gotten older he was still reliving the glory days.  We'll call him Lew and one of his daughters had married the oldest Clampette man and when things weren't working out, she was the one that blew up his truck!  She also wrecked the Grand National that was Lew's and was a wild child herself... all the way.  During that time I had also met a girl at the credit union in the paper and she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.  Her name was Mandy and in the winter of 92 she went with me to one of Lew's parties and he was smittin'.  She wasn't however but we did have a good time and I ended up babysitting her son on New Years Eve so she could go out.  On the way home it was raining and I hit a slick spot in the RX-7, jumped a curb, cut a road sign in half and that almost came through the roof.  It was 2 am with no options at that time so all I could do was walk the few miles to Smokies house.  When the cops called, because the found the car, they wanted me to pay for the sign.  Of course they did!  We'll come back to Lew later because we are not done with him just yet!       

The family barbecues and picnics usually around a bonfire listening to songs like Black Betty or Simple Man ranged from friendly, sedate to wild fights and partner switching.  Meaning they would stop dating one and starting dating another person within the group. It was also within this group I learned the name of the best legal attorney in town because most of them had used him...often.  While Smokie and I broke up after a year or so, we were still friends sort of.  I mean it did hurt a little because I had a lot of fun with him but I know it was time to call it quits.  He moved on to even more crazier women over the years but I still remained friends with his brothers' girlfriend from WV and we'll call her Krystal who looked like an Indian princess but could just as easily be a warrior.  To say she was buck wild would be an understatement too but she really had a heart of gold underneath. She worked hard on the farm and the land because you have to.  Keeping up with the grass on that much immediate land took a lot of work with few working tools because the tractor was always breaking.  Krystal couldn't understand why I worked harder outside than the inside but it was because I was tired of cleaning houses.  Lots of wood needed to be cut because it was the only source of heat and the house itself needed so much just to get it livable.  We all gathered vines from the woods to make homemade wreaths using the left over decorations from the flower shop.  Krystal was a good cook too and even had their own garden going for a while.  On the weekends the farm had become my home away from home and despite a lot of the drama it was a good place to bring Trey when all the other kids where there too.  They did the family thing pretty well considering and all you needed to do was call ahead and see what kind of events they had planned.

But life goes on and I found that I couldn't make it on the salary the paper paid me so I had to take on another job which was waiting tables at a pool hall...nicknamed The Rack.  That meant going out to the farm just wasn't going to happen as much but the connections I met there were even far more reaching than I ever thought.  Turns out the manager and bartender of The Rack, we'll call her Spunky, grew up with or very near Krystal in WV and there was some bad blood from way back.  I also knew Krystal worked at The Rack previously but didn't put it all together until later.  Spunky was a short dark hair warrior type woman herself and running that bar was like second nature to her.  Like Krystal she had her own demons she was dealing with and she was tough to work for.  It wasn't til after I left working at the bar that we became friends simply because we knew so many of the same people that we still run into each other from time to time.  But I am getting ahead of myself again because I would find myself back at the farm again, long after being there was fun.  And that was only the first connection the led back to the farm...

                            This photo courtesy of Native Charlottean Group on Facebook.

                                  Only with the help of professionals could I ever look like this!

10. Back to the Farm >>>>>