Archive for the siblings Category

Blog #49 – The Sterling Stalker…

Posted in dating, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, siblings, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

In 1989, I’d grown weary of the brutally COLD winters in NYC, so I decided to move to Los Angeles with my boyfriend, Ashe, a sound engineer, when he got a job on the Rolling Stones tour.

Unfortunately, four months later, Ashe brought home a new BFF, her majesty cocaine. Our relationship imploded, and I was a single Mom again with a 3-year-old Tim in tow. Sigh…

Shortly after, I started working as an admin assistant at a computer sales company. While attending a trade show in Santa Monica, a handsome man swaggered over to my table at lunch. “I’ll trade you a bit for your byte?” He asked with a beguiling grin.

I stared at him, confused. Then, I noticed the trade show badge pinned to his shirt, and it hit me — a joke about the PC BIZ…how charming. However, since he was a blonde-haired, hazel-eyed BABE, I laughed…while admiring his thick-muscled arms…

“Hi, I’m Sterling,” Mr. Hottie said, extending his hand. “I’m at IBM.”

With a polite handshake and cool smile, I replied, “Kennedy, Kennedy Smith.”

After an awkward pause, the usual pleasantries evolved into a conversation revealing a union of like souls. We both liked cooking ethnic meals from scratch, sci-fi books and movies, and both of us wanted to own motorcycles.  But neither of us had the cash to satisfy that yearning at the time.

A dozen dates later, I started to feel that FLUTTER preceding those three little words that will kill or cement any liaison, but QUICK. However, since Sterling was likely a rebound beau, I refrained from verbalizing said “L” word. Thank GOD because…

Five minutes after our first blissful romp between the sheets, Sterling had a lengthy discourse with someone named Clair on the phone. I was half asleep, and even though his timing was odd, I assumed by his verbiage, he was chatting with his assistant…or maybe, his sister until…

“Love you, too.” And the soft timbre of THAT phrase was definitely NOT the way one speaks to a sibling…

“Who was that?” I snapped.

“My wife,” he said.

“WHAT? I’m sorry. Did you say WIFE?”

“Yes, Clair, my wife of six years.”

“You goddamned piece of shit!” I yelled, wanting to kick the short and curlies right off his fucking balls. “You’re  married, you filthy bag of dick?”

“Never said I wasn’t.”

“Oh, right, so THAT makes it okay. How could you call your wife, five seconds after you fucked another woman?”

A wide grin slithered across his face, “Cuz, it turns me on,” he said, rolling over on me and planting a succulent kiss on my neck.

“Get off me, you low-life asshole!” I hollered, shoving him sideways. I leapt out of bed and slipped into my robe. “And get the fuck out of my house!”

“Come on, you knew.”

“How could I KNOW? You never mentioned a WIFE, you lame-assed cock!”

“A guy like me, single at 30? C’mon?? What’re the odds?” he scoffed.

“GET OUT!” I screamed, so relieved that Tim (my son) was asleep at the neighbor’s next door – because he’d taken a liking to Sterling, the wanking PRICK.

But Sterling didn’t move. “C’mon, this is 1989. Monogamy’s dead, especially in Hollywood.”

“We live in the VALLEY and work for computer companies, you arrogant bastard-” I shouted while dialing the phone.

“Who’re you calling?”

“Only 911,” I said with a snicker. Finally, that prompted his departure, but not without trying to kiss me goodbye. Instead, I gave him a sweet caress of very sharp, red nails…even drew a little blood.

The next day, Sterling called me at work. I immediately hung up on him, but that didn’t deter the cheating LOUT. Not two hours later, Kiki, the receptionist, strutted over with a dozen roses in a crystal vase.

“Wow, someone’s got a sweetie,” said the dull-eyed Kiki, setting the flowers on my desk.

FUCK! I glanced at the card:

 I miss you, beautiful.
Please forgive me.
Love, Sterling

I dumped the roses in my trashcan, and I wanted to throw the vase at the wall, but I couldn’t exactly afford to lose my job.

And just when I started to relax a few days later, my hands turned COLD, and my heart dashed about painfully in my chest…when a bottle of Dom Perignon appeared on my kitchen counter. A card bearing my name beside it.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?” Tim asked, tugging at my quivering hand.

“Nothing, honey,” I said with a weak smile, trying desperately to shield him from the terror evoked by this seemingly innocent bottle of bubbly. “You go on and watch cartoons while I, uh, make dinner. Okay?”

“Okay.”

My beautiful blue-eyed boy toddled into the living room as I tried to tether enough courage to open the card taped to the champagne. It was a lovely white card with a red heart on the front. No Hallmark verse inside, just a few words in Sterling’s impeccable scrawl:

 
I love you, Kennedy.
Say the word, and I’ll file for divorce.
Forever yours,
Sterling
 

“Oh, shit…” I mumbled laying my hand on the counter to steady myself. I raced to the front door and dropped to my knees. I didn’t see any marks on the door or the doorknob, and that was the only entrance to my tiny one-bedroom apartment. I checked all the windows, which were still locked.

I called the police, and two patrolmen showed up an hour later. Tim, of course, was fascinated by their badges and their guns.

“Please, can I see it, Officer, your -?” Tim pleaded from the doorway, pointing to the shorter Officer’s pistol.

“No, Tim,” I scolded. “Go watch TV in the bedroom, please.”

Frowning, he slumped away.

“I’m sorry, but,” said Officer Denton, the older of the two lawmen, “There’s really nothing we can do.”

“But he broke in!”

“There’s no sign of forced entry, and that card isn’t…it doesn’t constitute a threat-“

“I don’t understand! He doesn’t have a key!”

“I know. I’m sorry. I suggest you move.”

“But my lease isn’t up for seven months.”

And with that, the nightmare with the STERLING STALKER was just beginning…

Stay TUNED, BOYS and GIRLS…cuz it’s gonna get a little ROUGH going forward :)…

KS/TenaciousBITCH

Blog #44 – About Nana’s coat…

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, relationships, siblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

So, I have another Christmas story to share before everyone gets completely ho-hum bugged bored with holiday lore.  Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile know that my Grandmother, who is in her mid 90s, is rather cantankerous and/or particular to the point of ridiculous*, to say the least.

When Nana uttered those life-revising/terror inducing words in January 2010 that she wanted to come and live with me, my husband and teenaged son, Max, I warned her ad nauseum about the polar-bear friendly temps in Ohio. I explained that the thermometer holds fast to a balmy range between 5 and 20 degrees, etc., from December through March.

“You think my blue coat will be okay?” Nana asked.

Her blue coat is basically a raincoat with a heavy lining, and it’s only a 3/4 length.

“You’ll just have to learn to layer your clothes with t-shirts for extra warmth until we find a heavier coat for you in Ohio,” I said, trying to reassure her. However, at the time, I had NO IDEA what a nightmare obtaining a coat would be.

We went to the closest Mall in Dublin, Ohio, for the first time in late February last year. First, she whined ALL the way to the mall about how long the drive was, and EVERY time we go to the mall she mumbles and moans about the 14-mile trek in my comfy Escalade with the heat on full tilt (set on 82° on her side while my eyeballs bleed sweat…:) because:

“Everything down home [i.e. in Georgia] is right there, five minutes away. You couldn’t pay me to live this far from everything.”

And here we go with the conversation we have EVERY SINGLE time we go anywhere outside our suburb…wherein I have to explain that we have all her favorite restaurants like O’Charlies and Steak n Shake, etc., five minutes from the house and several local eateries that are awesome. And though we don’t have a mall, there’s a Walmart, Kmart, Dress Barn, Kohl’s and more than a dozen other stores all within5-10 minutes that she LIKES.

“And living close to a mall was not on our list of criteria when we were looking to move.”

“Oh?”

“A better school district than Columbus schools where we lived before, and a low crime area were our highest priority. We have very little crime, and our school district has gotten excellent marks from the Department of Education, pretty much since we moved here ten years ago.”

Anywho, all the bitching about the distance to the mall aside, every shopping trip seeking a coat was a complete waste of time. The only coats she liked contained wool. She and I are both allergic to wool, but she doesn’t seem to understand that if you wear a scarf and gloves, the dreaded wool never touches your skin.

We scoured Kmart, Sears, Land’s End, Chadwicks, Von Maur and Dillards online catalogs, and we went to Kohl’s, and thrift stores aplenty in search of the mythical, full-length coat that was not cursed with the malevolent threads of wool…and couldn’t find bupkiss.

Also, keep in mind, Nana HATES dark colors. She ONLY wears pastels. However, she didn’t want a WHITE coat either because they “…get dirty too easily.” Sigh, and, of course, finding a pastel, non-wool, full-length coat that she LIKED was as likely as finding a unicorn putting on her makeup in the loo at Kohl’s…

Then, I happened to find a goose down coat in early October (this year) at our favorite thrift store, which, ahem is SIX minutes from my house. It was beige, and as with most down coats, it had a quilted, nylon exterior, so it was much easier to clean. It looked brand new, and I thought we FINALLY had a winner…

“No,” she said touching the sleeve, “that slick material. It’s sloppy-looking.”

SHIT! FIRE! And a HOLE in the ground as my mother used to say. “Really?” I scoffed. “I had one just like it in high school, only it was purple. In fact, I wore it on my first trip to New York**, and it kept me rather toasty,” I said, rather annoyed.

“Well, you were a kid.” And she turned away. AT that point, I was pretty much ready to let the old bird just freeze to death all winter long…again…but I didn’t because…

I was hanging up my tawny brown, 3/4 length faux shearling (bought on clearance at Chadwicks for $57) on one of our coldest days in November after taking Nana to the beauty shop for the weekly “wash n set”, and I said, “If it’s this cold next week, maybe, you should borrow this coat. I can wear my wool one.”

“Yeah, I’d love to have a coat like yours.”

AND THE RACE WAS ON to find a shearling that wasn’t black/dark brown/dark green/red, etc. The first one I found was in an L.L. Bean catalog that arrived a few days later among the avalanche of holiday periodicals. It was almost $200. I pondered whether to spend that much since I’d already bought Nana several other gifts when a lightening bolt jump-started my fatigued brain with three words: Burlington Coat Factory!

Finally, the miracle coat appeared on my computer screen, a full-length prettier version of my shearling (the suede is a little lighter/a rusty brown -see the photo below) – save for the large round buttons since my coat has a zipper…and it was under $100. SOLD!

I wrapped it in lovely, light blue PASTEL paper covered in white snowflakes the day after it arrived and gave it to Nana as an early Christmas gift a couple of Fridays ago because the high temp was supposed to be 31 that day.

“Oh, it’s beautiful,” she gushed when she opened it, but immediately, I could tell – something was amiss. There was a hesitation in her voice when praising the ONLY coat that met her rigid list of priorities.

“Is the color too dark?” I asked.

“No, I love that lighter brown. It’s very pretty.”

She tried it on, smiling, and it fit as though it was custom made for her. Two hours later, she put the coat on again as we were leaving to get her hair done, and she mumbled, “I wish the front were a little different though.”

“Why? What’s wrong with it?” I asked, bruising my lip with my teeth to keep from sputtering, “You have to KEEP THIS COAT! I’ll never find anything else CLOSER to meeting your damned CHECKLIST!”

“I don’t know,” she said fingering the buttons and stroking the fur around the top button to the neckline.

I shook my head and helped her into my SUV.  When I retrieved her from the shop an hour later, her hairdresser, Tammy (who is a GODSEND) said, “I love her new coat.”

“Thank you. So do I,” I said smiling.

“But she thinks it’s too fancy,” Tammy said, grinning.

OMG! Seriously? Queen MAUDE of the retail GODDESSES (Nana worked in retail for 30 years) thinks it’s too FANCY! This from the woman who constantly criticizes people/goose down coats for looking SLOPPY!? WTF?

Nana was standing right beside me, and an embarrassed grin wiggled across her thin lips.

“I see.  But is it warm?”

“Yes, very warm.”

“And it fits okay?”

“Yeah-”

“Then, you’re keeping it, yes?” I said with that same well-practiced and hardened gaze akin to the looks I’ve given my children when they were acting up in church or committing some other infraction. A look that spawned immediate obedience for fear of getting swatted with my purse (not really) or losing all the TV/computer/play time until the age of 21.

And guess what? That look ALSO works on contrary, stubborn nearly 100-year old women as well because Nana hasn’t uttered one single syllable about possibly returning that GORGEOUS shearling since… 🙂

Nana – ZERO

Tenacious B’s UNIVERSE – 1,000,000…

Nana in her too FANCY shearling!

Nana's coat - up close

Over and out from INSANITY CENTRAL/Santa’s WEARY workshop…

KS/TenaciousBITCH

See Blog #18 – The Oatmeal Incident… 🙂

See Blogs #36 and #37 – New York or Bust I and II…

Blog #41 Run, Jack, Run!

Posted in beer, Family, family battles, grandmothers, memoir, relationships, siblings, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

Jack called me last night with interesting news about Danny. For those of you who are new to my Stop and Smell the Crazy life, Danny is my younger brother. He’s a drug addict, who STOLE our 95-year-old Grandmother’s life savings and dumped her in a low-rent nursing home the Christmas of 2010, but she lives with me and my husband now.  That whole nightmare begins at: https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/

It seems that Danny and Nate (a high school friend he was staying with) got into a major SCRAP a couple of months ago, and Danny left and moved in with some guy he used to work with, whose name is Frank.

Apparently, Frank isn’t the best of roommates. He’s unemployed and not even looking for a job, and he hits the hooch around nine. Then, it’s on to crack for brunch, followed by crack for lunch, all of which he washes down with beer or Tequila or both. And – he frequently goes on marathons when his drinking/drugging don’t stop until he passes out sometime in the wee hours… sounds like fire rooming with a pyromaniac, hmmm?

Shortly after Danny moved in with Frank, Jack was talking to him on the phone, and he was all excited about some retail management job he’d interviewed for when Jack heard this loud CRASH like glass breaking in the background.

“What was that, Danny?”

“Oh, that’s Frank. Him and his girlfriend, Deanna, are fighting. They’re both totally shit-faced, and every night about this time they start fightin’ and breaking shit.”

“That sucks.”

Jack winced, hearing an even louder shattering of glass. Danny laughed, “Well, there goes the front window.”

A second later, Jack heard a man, presumably Frank, shouting, “Look what you did now, fucking fat-assed cow!”

“Man, I thought me and Belinda got into some bad fights, but she never threw shit at me,” Danny said. Belinda is Danny’s ex-wife.

“Yeah, so are you gonna stay there?” Jack asked.

“I don’t really have a choice until I find something full-time. I’m just working like three, sometimes four days a week right now.”

“So, Frank’s letting you stay there for free?”

“Kinda. I get this food card worth $250 in groceries from this nonprofit place called Operation Help, and I give him that as rent. He sells it for like $150 and uses that cash to buy his crack.”

“So, what’re you doing for food then?”

“I still have my EBT card that I got in Georgia. I just transferred it down here, but it don’t buy much. I only qualify for like $150/month, and they eat half of my shit.”

So, there you have it, karma slapping you in the ass, Mr. Danny. Someone is taking advantage of you…hmmm…. I’m thinking it tastes pretty bad, especially when your EBT cash runs out.

Jack called me because Frank is threatening to kick Danny out saying he wants $200 a month in rent on top of the food card, which Danny doesn’t have, of course.

“So, now Danny’s bugging me to move down to South Carolina with him,” Jack lamented to me.

“Don’t do it, Jack. You don’t need to be around someone who’s still using all the time even if Danny has cut his coke consumption or whatever – not when you’re trying to stay sober.”

“I know, but I feel bad for him.”

“Why? He put himself in this position.”

“I know that. And he doesn’t seem to understand that I can’t just take off like that.”

“Duh, you’ve got child support to pay. How’re you gonna send Laura a check if you don’t have a job waiting for you down there? It’s a tourist area, so there’s not a whole lot but working in the service industry anyway, and in the winter is the worst time to look.”

“Yeah, I know. Plus, my car needs some repairs. I’m waiting on my tail light that they had to order from Germany or some bullshit. And I’m not driving all the way down there with a busted light. God knows what that ticket would cost if I got pulled over, especially…if I were speeding too,” Jack chuckled.

“Yeah, I know how you drive. I-95 is not the Autobahn,” I said, smiling.  “And Danny wouldn’t think of that as an obstacle, of course, since he drove Dad’s beamer around for almost a year without registering it or getting insurance or anything.”

“Yeah, the beamer you stole**,” Jack replied in a jovial tone.

To-wit I laughed. “Yeah, shame on me.”

“And he acts like it’s a given that I’m moving down there. And I could get a loan to go down there, but-”

“Don’t go into debt, Jack, because of Danny. You know, he’s just looking for another gravy train. You’ll end up paying all the bills and-”

“Yeah, I know. But in his defense, when he has money he’s very generous.”

“Yeah, he is, but when he doesn’t he also expects a free ride.”

“Yeah, I think he really wants me to move down there because I have a car, and he has to ride his bike to work and to interviews and everything.”

“Which sucks, I’m sure, but he could still be driving Dad’s BMW if he hadn’t plundered all of Nana’s money, so I don’t feel the least bit sorry for him, ya know?

“Yeah, I know. It’s just hard when you’ve been friends with someone since you were like 9 years old.”

“Yeah, but that friendship shouldn’t come with strings. And you have to do what’s best for you, Jack. Just tell him no. If you wanna get out of WV, do it. Start sending out resumes everywhere. That’s what I did. I applied for jobs in Louisville and Columbus, even some in Boston and New York and-”

“Oh, shit, he’s starting to panic.”

“Is he texting you?”

“Yep. He just wrote, call me when you’re leaving town.”

“You didn’t tell him you were definitely moving down there, did you?” I asked.

“No, I told him I was weighing my options.”

“But I guess the crack told him otherwise,” I said. “What does it say about him that he can’t call his sister or his brother for help or anyone else in South Carolina after living there for TEN years?”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Run, Jack, Run,” I replied smiling.

Jack laughed. “Yeah, okay.  I get it.”

When we hung up, I wondered how many bzillion texts Jack was going to get before Danny got the HINT…

Over and out from fucked up Central…

KS/tenaciousB

**When my father died, Danny was driving Dad’s BMW, which I sold  (legally) to pay all my Grandmother’s bills after Danny raided her bank accounts, but he tells everyone I “stole” it. And that whole nightmare starts with  Post #9 http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/04/12/not-arriving-at-my-destination/ – all about the life and times of Dad’s BMW, which includes a quasi-car chase, a showdown with Danny and more real drama than the Real World and/or any semi-scripted reality show!!

Blog 32 – The moment of truth…

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

After mine and Danny’s brief sojourn at the Barboursville Police Department, Officer Jones drove us home in his cruiser. And Shauna drove the Monte Carlo back to my house, and THEN…

Mom stood in the doorway talking to Jones for at least TEN minutes, chatting him up like she was interviewing him for a job.

“And how long have been a policemen, Officer Jones?”

WTF?

Finally, I cleared my throat. Mom glanced my way, and I tapped my watch and nodded toward Shauna and Prissy in Jones’s backseat. And THAT, prompted Mom to look at the clock in the dining room, which read 11:42 PM. “Oh, well, I won’t keep you. Nice meeting you, Officer Jones. Thanks for bringing them home.”

Nice meeting you? It wasn’t a Saturday night cotillion, MOTHER!

With a quizzical curl of his eyebrows, Officer Jones disappeared into the night.

Mom then turned to me with the flattened eyes of a very angry woman and said, “Your father is waiting for you…in our bedroom.”

That was NEVER a very good sign. Dad always lectured and/or punished us in their bedroom, not sure why exactly. I guess he didn’t wanna sit in his easy chair in the den and dole out a raging Catholic liturgy about our latest transgressions because he might become too distracted by the TV…or something….I don’t know.

The bedroom door was open. Dad stood by his dresser in his boxers and undershirt. He gestured for me to come in. I sat down on the bed trying to suppress the awkwardness of listening to THE TALK with Dad in his skivvies. He took another drag off his Pall Mall and flicked a few ashes into a plastic ashtray on the dresser. I took a deep breath hoping I was NOT going to LIVE in a convent…and waited…and waited.

He stared at the wall, his arms folded across his chest for at least TWO MINUTES. Another inhalation of Pall Mall joy…more ash flicking, and I wanted to scream, “OKAY, DAD, JUST get out the DAMNED belt already!

FINALLY, after another 90 seconds of AGONIZING silence, I said, “I’m sorry I got arrested, Dad. I really am.”

He nodded. “I know you are,” he replied, with that sharp-eyed gaze of one who truly MIGHT wail on my behind with his favorite leather strap, rendering me unable to sit down for a week (a constant threat from my mother that she never ONCE practiced). And then, he stared at the ceiling for an hour, or maybe, only another minute. Meanwhile, my pulse beat the hell out of my wrist, and my breath clamored against my chest like a hurricane on steroids.

“Dad?”

He put his cigarette out very methodically, and I seriously think he was so DEEP in the cavernous well of his own thoughts, he didn’t even hear me because he didn’t answer. And Dad doesn’t do the SILENT treatment, per se. His silence was marked by heavy ponderings. He lit ANOTHER cigarette. YEA, now he’s chain-smoking, and it’s ALL MY FAULT.

Suddenly, my brain began to drum away: Was I losing my driving privileges until I’m 25? Would I have to make the dreaded trek to Father Tierney’s confessional and listen to him blather on about the villainy of breaking the law, hence, breaking God’s laws? Will I be confined to my room until I’m 21? What, Dad, WHAT’RE YOU GOING TO DO TO ME?

FINALLY, HE SPOKE, “There’s just one thing I don’t understand.”

“Okay…” I stuttered, “What’s that?”

“Why the hell did you buy that rock n roll beer, was it?”

“Rolling Rock.”

“When I’ve got almost a case of Stroh’s in the fridge?” And he pointed toward the kitchen for emphasis. “I know you’ve taken as many as four beers on a given Saturday night, or has it been, Danny?”

OMG!  He knew? I thought he just wasn’t paying attention to how much beer he had because he’d never said anything before now.

“So, ­why Kennedy? I don’t understand.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer. “Well, Dad, I…I don’t . I kinda…I don’t really like Stroh’s. I think it tastes like stale peanuts.”

Dad laughed so hard, he started coughing, and cigarette ashes fluttered out of his ashtray and landed all over his dresser. “Is that right?”

I nodded as Dad took out his handkerchief and began sweeping the ashes back into the ashtray with his very clean white hanky.

“So, it was Danny, then?”

I shrugged, knowing it was Danny, but I wasn’t going to rat on him. And at this juncture, Danny wouldn’t have ratted on me either.  “I’m not gonna lie, Dad, I have stolen a beer from the fridge after you’ve gone to bed, occasionally, but for the last year, I’ve been buying it myself.”

“I see. Well, from now on until you turn 18, don’t buy it, okay? I don’t want you getting arrested again, and if it’s the Huntington cops, you might actually have to spend the night in jail because of your prior arrest.”

I nodded, and he continued. “If you don’t have a friend with you who’s 18, I’ll buy you a six pack on Fridays at Henry’s when I buy my beer, but that’s all you get, understand?”

Henry’s Market is a little Mom n Pop convenience store about a mile from our house where Dad had been buying beer since I was in diapers.

“Yes, sir. Thank you.”

“And you have to drink it here unless someone else is driving who WON’T be drinking, okay?”

I nodded. “Thanks, Dad.”

“Goodnight, sweetie,” he said. I gave him a hug and went on to bed.

I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought my arrest would garner a much WORSE reprimand from my Dad, but he was a practical man. He knew that I was still going to drink beer like he did when he was 17. And this was HIS way of protecting his child from the consequences of what he considered more a rite of passage that just happened to be illegal.

That said, SO ENDS the ODE TO BARBOURSVILLE, BUT STAYED tuned for the aftermath.

PEACE OUT FROM FUCKED UP CENTRAL… 🙂

~Tenacious Bitch and Company

BLOG #31…Ode to Barboursville and the days of yore…PART II

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

“You know, you can go to Ona for this,” Officer Jones said as he parked in the lot beside the Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department on that fateful night that Danny and I got arrested for my underage PURCHASE of alcoholic beverages.

I noticed more cop cars parked on the opposite side of the building and the other DEPUTY FIFES heading our way.

“On the first offense?” I asked Jones, knowing he was referring to Ona Correctional Facility for Wayward Youth…yeah, JUVY with a capital “J”, which, of course, was intended to FRIGHTEN me. But Jonathan F. Smith (my Dad) posed a much bigger threat…in that HE could force a confession to the scary-assed Father Lombardo, or some other UNSPEAKABLE penance for my newest set of sins.

I took a deep breath, stepping out of Jones’s cruiser into the darkness enveloping the dead end street. A rather bulky, Bull-Dog looking cop got out of the front seat, and whirled round to me…“And judges LOVE to make examples of brats like you.”…

“Excuse me, but I didn’t see YOU at Judge Vincent’s barbecue last summer, there STUMP NECK, or Gary Cruickshank’s wedding neither!” Danny squawked.

“What’d you call me?” Bull Dog asked, his chest plumping up like a swollen gland.

“Gary? You mean Mayor Cruickshank?” laughed a deputy, whose badge said OFFICER MELTON…

At which point, I noticed two headlights puncturing the darkness. Mom’s Monte Carlo and my allies had arrived. “So, ya’ll know Marvin Ulysses Cruickshank, as well?” Shauna said sashaying toward us. God LOVE Shauna and her impeccable timing.

A shimmer of surprise in Bull Dog’s eyes reflected my suspicion that the newspapers had never printed the Mayor’s MIDDLE name.

“Is that so -?” Bull Dog stumbled, obviously unsure how to finish that sentence.

“Okay, THAT’S enough. This way,” Jones said grabbing Danny by the elbow and heading for a black sidewalk winding toward the front of the firehouse. “We can all discuss our alleged social calendars INSIDE.”

Danny’s dark eyes were trained on Bull Dog’s bug-eyed stare. Neither one moved or spoke.

“All right?” Jones balked, tugging on Danny’s arm. “Did you hear me, Smith?”

“Yep, crystal clear,” Danny replied through tethered teeth, his gaze never veering from Bull Dog’s hot glare.

“Blankenship?”

“Yes, sir,” Bull Dog snarled.

When…I suddenly felt a twinge of anxiety. It was windowless room kind of dark out here among the endless woods surrounding the firehouse. Perfect place to murder someone and boil their bones or some shit. The HOOT of an owl startled Prissy who was finally toddling along with Shauna. Jones smiled at her, “They won’t bite, you know, the owls.”

Prissy fired an annoyed look at him, then said, “Excuse me, Officer, but what’re we doing HERE?”

“This way,” Jones replied.

Uh, THANKS, but that didn’t ANSWER her question, there EINSTEIN…

A moment later, I relaxed a bit when I saw several FAT firemen through the front window of the firehouse playing cards, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes beside a huge stone fireplace. Another fireman stoking a red hot blaze.

And then, I saw the TINY wooden sign haphazardly hanging above a black door indicating: BARBOURSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT followed by an arrow POINTING UP. Can you say HILLJACK? The sign rocked hard against the winter breeze, while emitting an extremely high-pitched SQUEAK.

We followed Jones up the narrow stairs to what was basically a large garage apartment over the ambulance bays. “Have a seat,” Jones said, gesturing toward a threadbare sofa across from a row of empty desks.

Danny, Shauna, Prissy and I collapsed into the couch, and Jones sat down and started typing on a manual typewriter. The clacking of the metal keys immediately conjured up the memory of Mrs. Moonfield, my typing teacher from ninth grade. Her horrendously nasal voice spouting, “F, F, F, F, F,” while we typed the same damned letter for an hour.  Just throw me in the HOLE, will ya?

I glanced around the less than pristine precinct.  The decor was akin to a frat house. Dusty/sagging hardwood floors, overflowing ashtrays, and every wall devoted to posters of girls in bikinis and the like. Yes, including the signature FARRAH in her red one-piece was also in attendance, her now-deceased smile, frozen in time. No wanted posters here…WTF? All that was missing was OTIS and BARNEY… 🙂

The other coppers settled into metal chairs at the far end of the room. I felt the exhaustion bludgeoning me, an adrenaline crash, so to speak. And I was almost asleep when I heard Prissy say, “Oh, my fucking God,” followed by her customary GASP. My head snapped up, and I looked at Prissy expectantly.

She pointed to Bull Dog and three other cops DRINKING our ROLLING ROCK while jabbering on about the Superbowl. CAN YOU SAY FUCKING PRICKS? How could this be LEGAL? They’re drinking the goddamned evidence!!!

I could see Danny’s jaw tightening, the rage surfacing, “Danny don’t-” I said in a CURT voice.

“You MEAT-HEADS enjoying that fucking beer WE paid for?” Danny sputtered angrily.

“Yeah, matter of fact, I am,” chirped a tall skinny cop wearing a turtleneck under his uniform (I know, right?)…

Jones glanced up from the typewriter and turned to his brothers in blue – hollering, “Hey, don’t touch that other six pack. We need it for court.”

Bull Dog slurped down the rest of HIS beer, grabbed another one from MY SAVE MART BAG, and said, “Don’t worry, boss. It’s in the fridge. We won’t touch it, right boys?” That comment evoked a bawdy round of laughter from the sporto rent-a-cops…

“Blankenship!” Jones barked.

“Okay, okay. We won’t drink it, I swear.” And, then they settled down to sucking down the last of the touchable cerveza.

I slung my arm across Danny’s chest again to keep him from rocketing off the couch and getting in Bull Dog’s face. Then, I leaned over and whispered, “Remember, Danny, he has a gun.”

“Like I fucking care,” Danny blathered loudly, but the cops ignored him. Typical Danny, fearing no one and NOTHING except maybe having to WORK for a living….however, he did something I would NEVER have foreseen. He SHOT up off the couch and rushed toward Jones. I went after him, ready to tackle him if I had to.

“Danny, don’t,” I said as the conversation in the beer galley suddenly halted to a deadly silence.

“Sit your ass down, Smith,” Jones ordered.

Danny held out both his wrists toward Jones. “Ya better cuff me to a goddamned chair, or I’m gonna fuck them up, and get m’beer back, understand? And it ain’t gonna be pretty,” Danny bellowed.

No laughter from the quartet of brawn in blue. Instead, their eyes went uniformly WIDE in anticipation of Danny’s next move. By the suspicious glint in Bull Dog’s eyes, I could tell, he was expecting TROUBLE.

Jones calmly stared at Danny. Man, JONES was TOTALLY becoming a candidate for the seat next to me in my lifeboat. His composure was straight out of John Wayne’s bible…

Finally, Jones took a pair of handcuffs out of his desk, and he latched Danny’s right hand to the arm of a wooden chair next to his desk. Danny sat down without a word.

At that moment, I totally understood the corruption of rural municipalities. I never thought about the logistics of misplaced EVIDENCE until I saw it disappearing into Bull Dog Cop’s gullet that night.

No boring fare in a history book. This was real time sleaze in ALL its glory in one of many shitty, one stoplight villages …and I’ll bet these fine, upstanding regulators would’ve been the FIRST to stand in line to collect their hooch before casting their votes on ELECTION DAY back in the days of yore…

And there you have it….once upon a time in a place where the BOYS never become MEN, and the SHEEP sleep with ONE eye open…

So, what happened AFTER our arrest? How did my parents react? Well, it was like this…

wait for it…..

wait for it….

The Ode to Barboursville and the days of yore…

(to be continued)…

PEACE OUT, Tenacious Bitch and the chain gang, not to be confused with four sober and pissed off teenagers…

~KS

BLOG #29 – The PRICK, the proctologist and PIGIN English…

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, heroin, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

HELLO ALL….so here’s the latest on life in CRACKLAND….

My cell woke me up at around 9:30 a couple of nights ago. No LAUGHING….yes, I was asleep at 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. SHUT UP…remember, Nana Maude is NOT an old fart for the weak of heart, i.e., being her HAMSTER on a neverending wheel is very taxing. When Danny was Nana’s caretaker, he usually didn’t make it much past 7:30, which I CAN VERIFY having visited them while he was the chief cook and bottle washer for Nana….Anyway, it was Jack, who woke me from my slumber. And he had an interesting report. shall we say, about Danny.

Apparently, Danny called HIM (Jack) three times that morning. He woke HIM up at 5:22 a.m., 5:28 a.m. and finally at 5:33 a.m. before Jack finally answered the phone. Can you say…TWEAKER….been up all night slurping COCAINE?  And, according to Jack, the conversation went something like this:

Jack began the conversation with, “Hey, dude, how’s it goin’?

DANNY: Pretty shitty, man. I’m piss fucking broke.

JACK: Sorry to hear that. No luck finding a job-?

DANNY: Look, Jack, I…uh, need to…could I borrow $100?

JACK: I don’t have $100. With this damned heat, my electric bill was $280, which I just paid as well as the payment to the mortgage slumlord, and Laura asked for her fucking child support early AGAIN.

DANNY: Fucking bitch. Why don’t you just say no and give it to her next-?

JACK: Look, um, Danny, I’ve gotta get ready for work, so –

DANNY: You still have that Visa, the one through Bank of America?

JACK: Yeah, why?

DANNY: You know your pin?

JACK: No. Why?

DANNY: You know, you can call them to get your pin or apply to get one.

JACK: No, I’m NOT calling them.

DANNY: Why, is it maxed out?

JACK: No, but I’m not-

DANNY: Look, asshole, you owe me! If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t even HAVE that Visa!

JACK: What the fuck’re you talking about?

DANNY: I got you that Visa, remember? When you were in the hospital?

JACK: Danny, all you did was fill out the online app for me because I couldn’t use a computer for a month after breaking my arm. Plus, my neck hurt so fucking much I couldn’t concentrate – especially with the pain pills. And my bills-

DANNY: And you couldn’t work for a month, and Laura was threatening to put your ass in jail the minute you got out of the hospital cuz you were behind on your child support already when you totaled your Jeep, and –

JACK: So? It’s still my fucking card, Danny, not yours. I pay the goddamned bill. When was the last time YOU paid your own fucking bills, Danny, like 87? And why don’t you just get a job instead of calling-?

DANNY: I don’t have any transportation, remember? My sister stole my fucking car!

(At this point, Jack said he had to cover his mouth to keep from laughing since he KNOWS the whole story about selling the BMW – see posts #10-15).

JACK:  What? They don’t have buses in Wilmington?

DANNY: No, I’m in Myrtle Beach. Nate moved outta Wilmington a couple years ago. We’re like three blocks from the beach.

JACK:  There were a shit ton of restaurants right on the beach, Danny, when I visited you and Belinda 4/5 years ago. With your work history, why can’t you get a job at Denny’s or somewhere?

DANNY: I’m nowhere near Denny’s. And like I said, I DON’T HAVE A CAR!

JACK:  (laughs) So? You’re telling me there’s no McDonald’s nearby or a –

DANNY: (SCREAMING) I’m not working at a fucking McDonald’s, Jack!

JACK: Oh, I see. You’re too good to work at McDonald’s, but you’re not too good to beg your friends for money.

DANNY: I’m not asking for that much, Jack! Not considering what YOU make a year!

JACK: Yeah, what I MAKE, what I EARN getting up every day and going to WORK, something you seem to be allergic to –

DANNY: LOOK, you fucking prick-

JACK: So, tell me, Danny, you got any pots and pans?

DANNY: What the hell -? Yeah? Why?

JACK:  I’ve heard panhandlers can make $200 to $300/day, sometimes more. And I’ve heard the best place is at the corner DESPERATE and DUMBASS LANE –

DANNY: Fuck you, you piece of shit!  Where do you get off talking to me like that after all I’ve done for you!

JACK: Really? And what exactly have you done besides spending 10 minutes on a credit card application? What noble deeds have you done, Danny?? Have you lent me money?

DANNY: ….(pause)….No, but I –

JACK: And you haven’t exactly paid me back for that $1400 I gave you to pay the lawyer when you and Belinda split up-

DANNY: But I will! And you know it!

JACK: Uh, huh, yeah, whatever. Did you sell me a stolen TV ?

DANNY: What? That TV wasn’t stolen (see Blog 23)! I bought it with Dad’s Sears card -!

JACK: Really? What happened to that GUY you bought it from who was going through a divorce and needed to sell it dirt cheap? You pay HIM with a Sears card?

(See told ya, there’s always A GUY…. see blog 27)…

DANNY: Fuck you, you fucking prick! I, uh… My dad died remember, dumb ass?

JACK: Making that Sears payment, are ya?

DANNY: What the fuck, JACK. He’s DEAD, and I don’t have enough fucking money to buy a cup of coffee much less pay Sears! And why would I-

JACK: So, if the TV hasn’t been paid for, how EXACTLY is that NOT stealing?

DANNY: That’s BULLSHIT, and that doesn’t change the fact that you’re refusing to help ME, your best friend, you no-good mother-fucker!

JACK: Yeah, you’re right. I’M the fucking asshole, the worst fucking person on the planet, the tight-fisted son of a bitch who won’t give you a fucking dime. Feel free to remember that the next time you think about calling ME asking for money.

DANNY: What?

CLICK

YES, Jack hung up on his BEST friend, Danny….and he was giggling like a school girl when the connection was SEVERED.

“Oh, my God,” I said laughing after Jack ENLIGHTENED me as to the substance/minute- by-minute description of his conversation with Danny. “That’s great. I can’t believe you said that!”

“Why?”

“I get so mad at him, I can’t think of anything that clever.”

“What? You mean to tell me that MOI, that yours truly thinks faster on his size 13 feet than the EDITOR/former professor? I’m honored, Dr. Smith.”

A large exhalation of laughter from me. “Please don’t call me Dr. Smith. That was the name of my dad’s proctologist.”

A LOUD belt of LAUGHTER from Jack, and then, he said, “Are you serious? Your dad, Mr. Jonathan Smith, went to a proctologist named Dr. Smith?”

“Yeah, I know right? And, no, the guy wasn’t a relative.”

“Still, too fucking weird,” Jack said. Then, his tone darkened, “Oh, shit.”

“What?”

“Yet ANOTHER text from Danny.”

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yeah, listen to this (reading Danny’s text): You a dead man, Jack, dont step near myrtle – (and he spelled it mrtle) beach cuz yo won cross you come hom in body bad….

“Jesus, H,” I chuckled, “he’s starting to sound like he’s writing Pidgin English, like your average Asian or something. And he’s not even making up original threats. He’s recycling them.”

Jack coughed up a half-smothered laugh on that one. “Oh, yeah, forgot about YOUR death threats. You sound pretty good for a corpse.”

“Thanks, though I don’t doubt that IF Danny could get to Ohio, he would, and he’d gladly beat the shit out of me, but since the government isn’t giving out free cars or anything, I’m not really worried about him showing up on my doorstep, brass knuckles in-hand. I just have to pray he doesn’t win the lottery.”

“Don’t give me new nightmares, there, Kennedy.”

“I think Danny’s the one trying to pull a Freddie Kruger.”

“True. And get this, after getting like TWELVE texts from him that morning, I finally called him back, and Nate answered. And he actually told me to fuck off. What’s up with that? Nate and I were never best friends, but -”

“Ya gotta remember how Danny is. Who knows what the FUCK he said about you to Nate. For all you know, Danny told Nate that Bank of America credit card is in HIS name, as in – in Danny’s name, and you’ve maxed it out, and that’s WHY he can’t use that card or God knows what.”

“Yeah, it’s not like Nate would ask to actually SEE the card.”

Jack and I shared a few more laughs at Danny’s expense and said our goodbyes. Although, I have to admit that I’m worried WHAT Danny will do when his balls are REALLY against the wall. I pray EVERY night he won’t buy a gun and start robbing little old ladies or liquor stores or start dealing drugs. But at least since Jack isn’t ENABLING him with cash….maybe his refusal to fund Danny’s lifestyle of sloth and sin, maybe, that will stave off the purchase of a 38 special. On the other hand, I fear nothing will prevent him from dealing drugs if the opportunity presents itself.

So, those of you who DO believe, say a prayer that idle threats are as close as Danny gets to any REAL crimes…TA for now…

Oh, and btw, about the ISSUES with Max…after spending THREE nights sleeping in his FORD PROBE (yeah, SO comfy for Max’s 6’4″ frame), Max texted me asking if he and Sienna could come over and take a shower b/c he had a job interview. An hour after he showered/donned fresh clothes, etc., he and I had a long conversation about drugs and his future. With tears milling about his tired green eyes, he said, “I swear on a stack of bibles, I quit. No more weed, I promise…if I can just come home, please?”

And come home he did. However, the shenanigans which have transpired in the last 22 days since that long discourse – will be food for future posts since he’ll probably be snoring in his car again pretty soon….

For now, on a laugh and a prayer….eternally yours, KENNEDY, the kill joy/DIRECTOR of CHEECH and CHONG’S worst nightmare…

~Tenacious bitch/KS and her bag of tricks… 🙂

Post #27 In the wake of DANNY…

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

That Sunday after the eviction was granted, I got a text from Jack that said:

Danny put the keys to G’ma’s house in the mailbox.

I replied to Jack’s text:

KS: So, did he REALLY go to NC?

JACK: He’s on the bus now.

I couldn’t stand it. I had to know the DETAILS…so, I called Jack. He answered on the third ring.

“What exactly prompted him to move out of state?”

“He said that he hadn’t really been able to find a good job down in Georgia, said the job market was better close to Myrtle Beach or Wilmington.”

“Uh, huh,” I replied.

“He said he was going to stay with Nate Taylor, remember him?”

“Yeah,” I said, nodding, “I do. But I thought he was in the Marines?”

“He was. He decided not to re-enlist after his last tour in Iraq, got out like six, eight months ago.”

“He’s such a nice guy. He has NO idea what he’s getting into with Danny.”

“I know. I feel like I should call him and tell him to lock up anything worth more than $20.”

“Yeah, so WHEN exactly, did Danny have this change of heart that motivated him to move out of state?”

“Um, it would’ve been Wednesday or Thursday of last week when he called me.”

“Ah, ha, according to the Post Office tracking, on Wednesday, he received his copy of my novelette of official mud slinging that I had forwarded to the court.”

“Yeah, that’s what I figured. He realized the jig was up after that,” Jack said with a chuckle.

I couldn’t help but smile. After that, he talked about his family for a minute. HIS Grandmother, Nina, who is in her late 80s, fell last week, and he’s really worried about her. He thinks she has Alzheimers. She wandered out into the yard around midnight recently and fell into a rose bush before anyone realized she was out of the house. She’s okay, but she scared the Bjesus out of everyone. He lives next door to Nina, and he helps his Mom take care of his Grandmother, so he and I have a lot in common.

However, of course, my ELATION about Danny leaving Georgia was brief. Two or three days later, I walked out of mine and Charlie’s bathroom, and I heard Nana shouting over the monitor in my office. “Kennedy! Kennedy, where are you?” And then a breathless, “I need…to…I need…” she said before lapsing into a coughing fit, which was followed by SILENCE.

I ran downstairs to the family room expecting to find a bloody, severed limb or a pack of angry rats encircling Nana’s chair. But, no, just a red-faced Nana, sitting in her recliner, the Food Channel accosting my ears.

Her eyes were hardened marbles – deepened to a shade akin to navy blue. And her tiny fists were balled up so tight that her fingernails were turning a dark purplish blue.

“That piece of shit brother of yours! I wish I could string him up by his feet and beat him senseless with a crow bar!”

I sighed, relieved that Nana wasn’t in DIRE circumstances as I sat down across from her on the couch. “Nana, take a deep breath. What happened?”

“Well, Margaret and Sally, my cleaning lady, went to my house to clean, and, apparently, Danny had a dog. And it pooped on the carpet, and that ASSHOLE just left it there! Can you imagine how horrible that smelled since the house has been closed up for several days? AND the air conditioning isn’t working. So, Sally called Keith, the guy who takes care of the furnace and the air conditioning, and he’s coming over tomorrow to look at it. So, more money I’m going to have to shell out. And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, Lucinda, you remember her, the mail lady?”

“Yeah,” I answered. “I remember, tall, thin, blonde woman.”

“Yeah, she told Margaret that she saw Danny on his bike on Monday – on MY street. I thought he left on Sunday?”

“That’s what Jack said, but maybe, he got the dates confused.”

“Or maybe, he didn’t really leave, and he’s still in Georgia, maybe, living with Matt, down the street. And maybe, he’ll break into my house again! This is awful! Just awful!” Nana said, her already flushed face turning a dangerous shade of crimson.

“Calm down, Nana. I’ll find out where he really is. I’ll call Jack. He’ll know. And…” I said “Maybe…” I replied, thinking about how I might verify WHERE exactly Danny was living. “And I’ll email Bridget.”

“Who?” Nana asked.

“Bridget, Danny’s stepdaughter, you know the one who’s been going to school in Chapel Hill?” Nana nodded, and I disappeared into Nana’s room to get her blood pressure monitor.

“What’re you doing?” Nana called from the next room.

“Nana, you need to relax. Okay?” I said returning with the blood pressure monitor. “I’ll get to the bottom of this.” I took her blood pressure, which was was up to 179/85.

“You need to rest. Your blood pressure-”

“I can’t rest. I’m too upset.”

“I know. I know. I’ll get you some tea. That’ll help.”

Nana nodded. “And maybe one of those chocolate cookies, too?”

“You mean the Little Debbie’s? The Swiss rolls?”

“Yeah, that’s what I said, one of them cupcakes.” I disappeared into the kitchen and put a small shot of bourbon into Nana’s tea and a little more sugar than usual to hide the liquor. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t do that, but her doctor said it was okay…yeah, I pretended that I’d dropped my car keys at her last visit to her primary physician’s office in Georgia. And I snuck back and talked to Dr. McCan about it.

“Oh, sure, since she won’t take sleeping pills or any anti-anxiety medication, she can have a shot of bourbon or a glass of wine, but no more than that, and red wine is better than white if she can’t sleep or gets really upset.”

I just didn’t mention that I might not ASK my Pentecostal Grandmother if she WANTED a shot of bourbon in her tea. Sometimes, you just have to treat her like a kid who won’t take some much-needed “medicine” unless you hide it in her favorite drink/her tea! 🙂

I sat with Nana for a few minutes listening to Nana RAGE on about how she hates Danny and the horrible state of her house post Danny while she drank her tea and ate her cupcake. A few minutes later, her eyelids began to droop, and then in a slurry voice, she said – “I don’t understand how…” and off she went to la la land. Yes, she fell asleep in mid-sentence and started snoring before I could make it to the doorway.

As soon as I got to my office, my cell phone rang. It was Margaret.

“I didn’t want to tell your Grandmother this because I didn’t want to upset her, but one of the refrigerators is missing, and so is your Grandmother’s bed,” Margaret said in an agonized tone.

“What? Oh, my God, what an asshole!”

“I know. It’s terrible.”

“Which fridge?” I asked.

“The spare one that was in the laundry room. And I think his roommate took it.”

“What roommate?”

“You know the black guy, Reggie, who lived next door?”

“Yeah, I met him once or twice when I took out the trash or when I was walking out to my car.”

“Well, Reggie has been at the house several times when I stopped by to check on the mail, and Danny WASN’T there at the time.”

“Really? Instant roommate. How awesome.”

“I was at Publix yesterday, and I ran into Jerry, the guy who originally rented that house, and he said that Reggie moved in with Danny in late March when Jerry moved out. I guess he’s renting a house with his girlfriend in Clearview. Jerry, I mean.”

“I see. Well, why don’t we ask Nana if she wants you to have that bed moved over to your house since we’re not certain that Danny is really gone? Maybe, tell her that Lucinda and her husband could help you move it.”

“That’s a good idea. I didn’t want to tell Maude any of this. I figured I’d leave that up to you. She’s already so upset about all this, and there’s nothing she can do. Oh, and her favorite mirror in the hallway is missing, and the living room curtains are gone.”

“The curtains? Good Lord. Why do you think it was the guy next door who took the fridge and everything?”

“I went next door to ask them if they knew anything about the missing furniture, and another guy I’ve never met, Todd somebody, said that Reggie wasn’t home. And when I asked if I could come in and look around, in case maybe, Reggie had taken the bed or whatever by mistake-”

“By mistake?” I asked laughing.

“You know, I said that maybe Danny didn’t realize that your Grandmother had promised me that bed in her Will, and maybe, Danny had sold it to Reggie.”

“Oh, okay. That makes sense even though Danny KNEW you were getting Nana’s bed.”

“But they wouldn’t let me in.”

“Of course, they didn’t because all of it is probably next door.”

“Probably.”

“And then, Reggie came home, and he said that maybe Danny had taken the fridge and the bed with him.”

“On a bus?” I said laughing.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

“Oh, and the keys weren’t in the mailbox.”

“They weren’t? How’d you get in?”

“The back door, the one with the gaping hole.”

“Oh, yeah, forgot about that. You’re a brave woman, Margaret. I don’t think I would’ve had the nerve to go over there and interrogate the neighbors.”

“It wasn’t exactly an interrogation,” Margaret said with a hefty belt of laughter.

“Well, knowing that Reggie had been living with Danny and probably does drugs too, I wouldn’t have felt all that comfortable asking those guys about any missing furniture.”

“I’m not afraid of those clowns,” Margaret replied.

After a few minutes of small talk, we said our goodbyes. And then, I left a message for Jack, but by 9:00 that night, he hadn’t gotten back to me. So, I went on Facebook, and I emailed Bridget, who apparently, had moved back to Wilmington permanently, according to her FB info.

If Danny’s in Wilmington, I’m sure he’s called Bridget or her sister, Carrie, who is 19. Bridget is 23, close to my son Tim’s age, and she and Danny NEVER got along when Danny was married to her mother, Belinda.  I didn’t want to email Carrie because she and Danny have always been close…didn’t want to tip Danny’s hand since Carrie’s TRUE loyalties lie in enemy territory.

I poured a glass of Merlot, laid down on my bed and listened to Recovery, an Eminem CD, on my I-Phone just trying to relax before Charlie got home. Dreading the hours, days, possibly weeks before Bridget might reply to my email. After all, she’s a college kid, and even though they LIVE on Facebook, she’s working two jobs this summer, and from the photos on her FB page, it looks like she’s as busy partying as much as she is working.

I heard the rumble of thunder, so I decided to take my Merlot outside…to my SECOND favorite place next to lying on the beach…our hot tub where I drank another glass of Merlot while watching a brilliant thunderstorm from our screened in porch out back…

So, STAY TUNED, GUYS AND GALS, b/c the fat lady STILL hasn’t sung yet…though she’s ITCHING to hit that high note…

PEACE OUT FROM SNOOPY DANCE CENTRAL/the Geriatric SWAMP…

~Tenacious bitch/KS