Archive for February, 2012

Post #51 – ASHE, the obnoxious…

Posted in college, dating, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

I met Ashe during my senior year of college, in August of 1988. He came over on sweltering hot day when even one’s eyelids might be sweating. He was a friend of my brother, Ben, our friend, Rick, and a couple other guys who helped me move to a new apartment in a 72-foot school bus, shortly after my first husband and I split up.

And, yes, I said a school bus… 🙂 – which had been the motel on wheels for Maleki, a local metal band. Maleki had just returned from a tour of every rock n roll dive south of the Mason-Dixon line. Rick played guitar, and Ashe was a roadie.

Ashe was one of those people who consumed the atmosphere. He was 6′ 4″ tall, weighed over 260 pounds, and he was sporting 52″ shoulders. However, as soon as Ashe lumbered into my house, I took an immediate dislike to him.

After Ben introduced us, Ashe nodded and barged into the kitchen. Wondering what the hell he was doing, I glanced at Ben, who just shrugged. However, my brother’s expression betrayed a hint of trepidation.

I started to ask him what he was so afraid of when he turned to Rick and said, “Probably should start with the couch.”

Rick nodded, and everyone got busy moving furniture and boxes when I realized that Ashe was still in the kitchen, so I walked in to make sure he wasn’t stealing my silverware or anything, LOL…and…

I found Ashe staring into the fridge, his arm leaning on the refrigerator door, making it sag a bit.

“What’re you doing?” I asked.

With a furrowed brow of disapproval and a hint of disdain, Ashe asked, “Are you a vegan or something?”

“No,” I said, laughing. “Why?”

“There’s no meat in here, nothing for a sandwich except this,” He replied, holding up a slice of American cheese, still in its wrapper. “What gives?” he asked, smiling.

“Ya know, Vegans don’t eat cheese.”

“Really? Are you serious?” Ashe asked, rather wide-eyed.

“It comes from cows, so-”

“Oh, my God, that’s fucking hysterical!” he said, with a loud guffaw. Then, he tossed the cheese into the fridge, shut the refrigerator door and shouted, “Hey, Rick, did you know that Vegans don’t eat cheese?”

“They’re outside loading my couch into the bus.”

“Oh.”

“So, maybe, you could-”

But before I could finish that thought, Ashe sauntered into the living room, and heaved my antique and monstrously large wing chair – over his head as though it were a box of Styrofoam. After an explosive BELCH, he set the seat of the wing chair on his head. I watched him steady the weight of the chair by holding onto its arms and swagger out of the house.

I shook my head wondering what in God’s name this guy was going to do next. All went surprisingly well though despite the sizzling 95-degree heat that day as everyone lugged all my worldly possessions into the bus.

Two hours later, I was putting a box of my dishes into the trunk of my car while Ashe, Ben, and the other guys were carting boxes of books when we heard the scratchy, cartoonish song of a…

“The ice cream truck! Oh, my God!” Ashe shouted, rather excited. “We need ice cream!” He said, handing Rick the box of books he’d been toting, so he could literally run up the street toward the sound of the truck, waving his hands and screaming, “Over here, Mister Ice Cream Truck! We need ice cream!”

You couldn’t help but laugh at Ashe’s antics. A second later, the truck bearing the twirling ice cream cone – became visible while navigating an alley across the street…when Ashe, who was 20 at the time, turned around to me and fervently asked, “Buy us some ice cream, or milkshakes!? PLEASE!!”

I glared at Ashe because I was already springing for pizza and beer for everyone, and I was an atypically broke college student at the time and only waiting tables part-time to boot.

“Pretty please, it’s so damned hot,” he whined, noticing my slightly annoyed demeanor. “You know you want it,” Ashe said, and, everyone laughed, including me.

Reluctantly, I smiled and said, “I guess.”

“ALL RIGHT!” Ashe yelled, his eyes lighting up like Las Vegas Boulevard at midnight – as he galloped across the street toward the truck where the driver was serving several ten-year-olds.

With dairy treats in hand, we set off for my new apartment. When I hopped in my Nissan, Ashe appeared in my passenger seat. “There wasn’t enough room in the bus,” Ashe said smiling, “with all the books.”

I nodded, but I just knew that Ben had purposely arranged everything so Ashe would have nowhere to sit – just to piss me off, which was Ben’s favorite form of entertainment when I was around. As soon as I started the car, Ashe took a long, noisy slurp from his banana milkshake. Then, he reached over and switched my radio station from Rock 105 to God knows what.

“Hey! Don’t touch that! I love that song,” I snapped, punching the pre-set button back to Rock 105. A song I really liked Sweet Child of Mine by Guns ‘n Roses had been playing, and I couldn’t believe the nerve of this guy.

Yet, ten seconds later, he grabbed the knob on the radio and began flipping stations again across the crackly FM band with his very large paw.

“Do that again, and you’ll lose a hand, asshole!” I blurted out, smacking his hand with a whack.

He laughed saying, “Okay, okay,” holding up his hands in surrender.

I cranked it back to Rock 105 just as Sweet Child of Mine was ending.

“Man, you’re really uptight, aren’t you?”

“No, my car, my radio. Didn’t your mother teach you not to bother other people’s stuff?”

He grinned and said, “Maybe.”

The rest of the three miles to my new digs, he talked about how great it was being on the road with Maleki. “They played at some really shitty places, but most everybody loved their music except for this one place near Nashville.”

“Country music fans?”

“Yeah, I hate that bullshit. It’s sounds like someone’s chewing on aluminum foil over a loud speaker.”

I laughed. “Yeah, not my favorite either.”

“Really?”

I didn’t reply at first…didn’t wanna reveal any common ground. Who knows how he might’ve overreacted to that…”Though I was forced to listen to Blackfoot once when they opened for Van Halen.”

“Weird combo.”

I nodded.

After we unloaded all my furniture, I pulled Ben aside and whispered, “Don’t ever bring that dickhead to my house again.”

Ben instinctively knew I was talking about Ashe. “He’s actually a really nice guy once you get to know him.”

“Yeah, uh, huh, just like a Doberman on steroids,” I grumbled.

Ben laughed. Then, surprise, surprise, less than a week later, guess who started working at the Rock ‘n Roll Cafe where I’d been working for several months? Yep, Ashe was now the full-time bouncer.

Ben knew the manager of the Cafe pretty well, so he recommended Ashe. I wasn’t thrilled about it. But I decided since Ben had vouched for him, that, perhaps, Ashe wasn’t a complete lunatic, but I wasn’t holding my breath. He certainly was entertaining.

A week later, Ashe sat down beside me while I was on break.

“This is all I have,” and he said dropping two quarters and a penny on the table. “Buy me a beer? ”

Frowning, I looked away. My tips were down. Business was always slow in the summer when most college students went back home.  Employees’ drinks were half price, but still. I needed every dime for my electric bill.

“Aw, c’mon. You’re getting a shitload of alimony, Ben said.”

I laughed. “No, I’m not. I’m getting child support for my two-year-old, and it isn’t nearly enough.”

“Please, I’ll buy you three beers when I get paid.”

I sighed and bought Ashe a beer on my tab anyway.

“Thank you,” Ashe said smiling. “So, I’m thinking we should get married, you know, just for the weekend, get a divorce on Monday.”

And, remember, this was way before Britney Spears made the weekend marriage/divorce trendy since she was in diapers at the time…

I nearly choked on my laughter and Bud Light, “I’m sorry, but did you just say married?”

“Yeah,” he said with a big cheesy grin.

“I’m already married.”

“I thought that was over. That’s why-”

“It is,” I said, “But the divorce won’t be final until October.”

“Oh,” he said, nodding.

Not that I had any interest in dating Ashe. At the time, I preferred a skinny musician, who preferred to cheat on me or treat me like shit…☺

“Yeah, well, either way, I’m the one you’re supposed to be with,” Ashe said with the most charming grin I’d ever seen…

Again, I laughed, thinking Ashe had some seriously big jewels. I was beginning to think I’d misjudged him, but he was still persona non grata on my dance card.

However, on June 1, 1990, Ashe and I got married. Seriously…below are a couple of our wedding photos, etc.

Ashe and Kennedy, wedding pic, Boyd Co., KY

Though our marriage tanked, and our divorce was final, oddly on June 1, 1995, we were always great friends. And I was devastated by his sudden death from a diabetes-related heart failure on December 26, 2005. He was 37. Therefore, ladies, NEVER say never. That maddeningly obnoxious co-worker/neighbor/pizza delivery guy could turn out to be your ex-husband #2 🙂 :)…

Ashe and our son, Max, when Max was 3 days old. May 23, 1992

Above is the house that I moved out of the day I met Ashe in August of ’88.

Over and out from fucked up central…

~KS/TenaciousBitch

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Post #50 The Sterling Stalker – Part II

Posted in dating, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

Questioning by the cops, unfortunately, didn’t deter Sterling* a bit because he kept calling every day. After about a week, I told Kiki not to put his calls through, so I could work in peace.

“You have 17 messages,” the creepy computerized voice on my answering machine at home said, STILL overstocked with bawling communications from Sterling begging me to take him back two weeks after he invaded my apartment.

“You big pussy,” I mumbled, erasing his drivel. Finally, I called the phone company and requested an unlisted number, a monumental mistake.  After work the next day, there he stood beside my car with a dozen red roses in yet another crystal vase.

His radiant smile only stoked my ire. I stomped over and snatched the roses from him.

“What’re you doing?”

Ignoring him, I glanced over the railing of the parking garage at the empty sidewalk five stories below and dropped the flowers onto the sidewalk.  The impact of the crystal striking the concrete echoed like gunfire as I watched the roses tumble, and the vase splinter into tiny, sparkly chunks.

“HEY!? Those cost eighty bucks,” he growled.

“I’ll gladly give you the $80 if you’ll leave me the fuck alone,” I said, rushing past him toward my Toyota.

“So, how’d you get into my apartment? Some bullshit fabrication to the maintenance guy?”

His eyes darkened. “Kennedy, please,” he said, grabbing my arm, preventing me from getting in my car. “I love you.”

I wrestled away from him. “But I DON’T love you, you meat-headed moron! Go home to your wife!” I screamed.

He stepped back, surprised by my sudden rage. He seemed to be enraptured by the delusion that we were star-crossed lovers according to one message about “marrying the wrong woman”. Made me wonder how long before I’d have become the wrong woman if I hadn’t dumped his sorry ass.

“This isn’t the real you,” he said sadly.

“Oh, yeah?” I said laughing, “Well, that’s where you’re dead wrong. I’m a serious bitch from a long line of QUEEN bitches (except my mother, God rest her soul), and THIS is only the beginning.”

His smile faded, and fear flickered in those dazzling green eyes.

“How’d you break in?” I hissed, unlocking my car door when a bolt of brilliance crackled in my weary brain. “You made a key, didn’t you? How? When I was asleep?” I studied him, trying to think of a Walmart or somewhere nearby where he could’ve copied my key in the wee hours. But I came up empty.

“Have a drink with me, and I’ll tell you.”

“No, way!”

“Just one drink,” he pleaded.

I started to decline again when suddenly…I knew…”The bubble bath!” I blurted out.

He was taken aback, meaning I’d probably hit the jackpot. “That night you brought me bubble bath. I got in the tub, and you left, 40 minutes to buy another bottle of wine… long line at Ralph’s my ass! You went to Simmons Hardware down the street, and -”

“No, please, just let me explain,” he graveled, inching toward me.

“NO!” I yelled, slipping into my car, slamming the door, and driving away. And I took great pleasure in watching him getting smaller in my rearview mirror. If ONLY I could get him to STAY THERE…

My landlord had already changed the lock to my front door after the Dom Perignon incident. So, I felt a little safer that night, knowing I’d curtailed Sterling’s access.

Following another exhausting week of dodging Sterling’s calls at work, he was sitting on my front steps waiting for me.

I had given Tim a very short and simplified version of mine and Sterling’s breakup, saying he wasn’t a nice man after all. But, apparently, Tim gleaned a lot more from my phone conversations when I thought he was asleep.

Tim shot past me, prompting Sterling to stand up. “Hey, you big Jackass,” Tim said angrily, wagging his finger at Sterling.

“Tim,” I gasped, biting my lip to keep from laughing, “Jackass is NOT a nice word. Don’t say that.”

But Tim continued his tirade at the bewildered Sterling, “My Grandpa says you can’t have a wife AND a girlfriend. So, you go home now.”

Sterling, ever the charmer, merely smiled, and said, “I just wanna talk to her for a minute, okay?”

I unlocked the front door, and Tim swaggered inside, mumbling, “Jackass.”

“What do you want?” I asked, crossing my arms, aiming my flat-eyed glare at him.

“Pretty obvious, isn’t it?”

Tired of his bullshit, I closed my eyes when the perfect plan occurred to me. “Fine,” I said with a sigh, “Lunch, tomorrow, at the Italian Courtyard.”

Our first date had been at the Italian Courtyard, a little bistro near IBM.

“Really?” He asked, the look of unbridled glee was revolting, but I had to shut that out.

“No promises,” I said, trying not to acquiesce too easily.

“Okay,” He said, grinning.

“But tell me something,” I asked, looking down, pretending to be coy. “Why didn’t Clair ever answer the phone when I called your house?”

“I have a separate line for business in my den,” he said, grinning as if he were the smartest man on the planet.

I nodded, totally wishing I could just run over the bastard and be done with it…

“And the picnic in your backyard that Saturday?”

“She was at her mother’s in Oregon.”

I nodded, went inside and shut the door shouting, “Goodbye, Sterling.” A moment later, I heard his footfalls clambering toward the street.

After an awkward lunch punctuated by small talk, I gave Sterling a sweet little kiss in the parking lot beside his car. Not too passionate, just long enough for Kiki to snap our picture from her Volkswagen not three feet away.

Kiki and I giggled all the way back to the office, and I finally felt like I could see the end of the Sterling saga…

That evening, pretending to be Clair, I called the electric company, the gas company, and the water company in Santa Monica, and shut off the utilities for Clair and Sterling because “My husband and I are moving out of state.”

Shortly after, Kiki stopped by with the clandestine kissy pictures from the One-Hour Photo down the street, which I mailed to Clair the following morning.

I called in sick to work two days later and drove over to Sterling’s house at 7 a.m. I saw him speed off in his used Mercedes around 7:30. A few minutes later, a lovely blonde woman pulled out of the garage in a snazzy, red Miata. Assuming she was Clair, I followed her to George’s Salon in Pasadena. I saw her blow-drying an older woman’s hair around 30 minutes later through the window. I wrote down the address of the salon on an old grocery list in my purse.

THEN, I went to an adult bookstore in Alhambra and bought several gay porno mags.  I went home, typed up little labels with Sterling’s name and address, slapped on the cover of the magazines. I put the magazines in a brown envelope with Clair’s name on it in big BLACK letters. I drove to George’s Salon and left them with the annoyingly friendly receptionist.

That night, sitting on my couch drinking red wine with Kiki, I actually felt GIDDY waiting for Sterling’s life to implode. Three hours later, I was dead asleep when Sterling started BANGING on my door screaming. I had expected the Sterling explosion to occur shortly after his wife opened Pandora’s box of the gay persuasion. So, Tim was at Kiki’s.

“Open up, you fucking CUNT!”

Oh, the C-Word off the bat, he REALLY didn’t know me.

I crept to the front door, golf club in hand. “Andrew, is that you?”  I called out while reaching for the phone, not that I knew anyone named ANDREW in the greater Los Angeles area.

“No, it’s Sterling, you fucking whore! Open up!”

“Sorry, not happening, but I warned you, Sterling!” I said, just as the 911 Operator came on the line…

“Nine one one, what’s your emergency?”

“There’s a man trying to break into my apartment,” I said urgently just as something went CRASHING through my front window. “Oh, my God! He broke the window. Please hurry!” I yelled, this time with genuine urgency as I rattled off my address.

“Is there anyone else at home?”

“No, just me,” I said, creeping toward my living room. A large rock sat in the middle of the carpet, surrounded by a field of glass. And then, I saw HIM…at the window, knocking out the remaining glass with his fist.

“You goddamned piece of shit!” he screamed, trying to wedge himself through the window, into my house!

I ran into the bedroom, locked the deadbolt, and began shoving my dresser against the door. I stayed on the line with the operator for 15 minutes while Sterling slammed his fists against the bedroom door, hollering obscenities and threats like a damned bull the whole time.

Finally, the police arrived. They arrested Sterling for breaking and entering, and I was kind of the hero of Tarzana for a day or two though I refused to give any interviews about The Sterling Stalker who had a long list of women he’d harassed in the past.

“Did you think the gay porn was a little over the top?” Kiki asked me when all hullabaloo boiled over.

“No, I figured that was the one thing that would really make him see red.”

She nodded, and she never worried about another man stalking her…cuz she knew I’d always have a plan…

*See Post #49 – The Sterling Stalker for the full story.