“When a person has a gun, sometimes their mind clicks that this thing will win arguments and straighten people out.” Bill Cosby
Standing next to the public restroom, I placed the receiver of the phone, still warm, my handprint clear to the naked eye.
“Dianne, don’t come home" Her voice, low and controlled. I could hear Anna in the background.
Her words unclear.
Her mood, clear.
That sound, those words. I was dead...all that is needed are funeral arrangements. There comes a moment when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of your life.
Anything and everything that could happen, did. The ride home/Debra and Anna’s was eventful unto itself.
It had been raining, but it was slowing to a mist, the night air was like a sauna, and the smog was delivering a nasty coat of slim over the ground and my body.
I tried to convince myself it wasn’t what I thought.
It was probably Debra and Anna arguing about Dian.
Perhaps Debra did not want me to see it.
Or maybe Jackie was there, she might have been afraid for me.
But Debra loved her truck and it would take a lot for her to allow it out of her sight for very long. Maybe she told Anna.
We had discussed this and concluded that we would do this AFTER she and Anna were separated, within a comfortable amount of time.
Once again, who the hell was I trying to fool?
I climbed into Debra’s truck, sobering up considerably. In every circumstance where alcohol was involved, I would never have driven. I was not drunk, but probably over the limit. The adrenaline pumped out by my fear, helped. The last time I felt this fearful was when I saw chocolate rain the first (second, third and 10th) time.
Nothing was going to deter me now…
I started heading down highway 59 to see what fate awaits me. The gas gauge was clearly on empty. I switched it to the second tank. Empty. Its night, it’s raining, I was in a bad neighborhood and I felt like I could just fall in a hole and die. THAT would have been comfortable. I soon found a gas station.
I pulled in to the huge shopping storefront Exxon. I loved this store, they had such fun things. Every time we would stop, I needed to go in. And this time was no different. Except, I was not going in to shop. I needed to find a phone. I put the gas nozzle into the tank, pushing the gas cap into the nozzle handle to keep it from stopping once I let go. I grabbed my purse and headed in to the store. The inside of the store was bright, almost like daylight. Insultingly bright. I quickly made my way to the back where there must certainly be phones. I brushed past the t-shirts and shorts, scurrying past the music boxes and dollar chocolate roses and alas, a phone. We didn’t have cell phone abilities back then, August of 1986. If we did, Debra could have called ME and given me updates. It is probably a good idea for me NOT to call. But I did. Artificial intelligence is no match for human stupidity.
I could hear Anna shouting for her to “hang up on that bitch” and she did, and the answer to WhoWhatWhyWhere was perfectly clear. As I hung up the phone, I could still hear shouting. I picked up the receiver, expecting to find maybe I didn’t hang it up. Dial tone.
“Where is that lady?” Shouting from the front. It was late and I was the only woman I had seen. I ran around the corner almost slipping on moisture accumulated from the many customers coming to pay their charge and running out of the rain.
“Lady, your gas was spilling ALL OVER the place”
Shit, I forgot. I hope I have enough for the gas. It was a hefty $1.10 a gallon. I had enough. I went outside and the truck stood there with the gas tank cap out, gasoline spilled down the sides and on to the ground. I grabbed some paper towels dispensed on the side of the gas reservoirs, and hastily cleaned the gas on the side of the vehicle, dripping it down my arms and onto my Joan and David snakeskin t-straps.
Another car came to a halt behind me. I caught a quick glance, didn’t know him, but he had a cigarette, and was pushing out the car door as I climbed in mine. I grappled through my purse, where the fuck did I put those keys? The guy leaned up against the side of his car, finishing up the smoke.
Why didn’t I say something to him?
I wasn’t thinking clearly. I finally found my keys and deliberately, gradually turned the truck engine so as not to create a spark. I could see he was finished with his cigarette, putting the ember out against his poor abused car. And then he tossed it into the trashcan next to the gas nozzle. My truck engine started and I sped out of there. A service attendant had pulled over a hose and started spraying everything down. It wasn’t too late. The potential unintentional arson never occurred.
I was going about 90 mph, I had the radar detector on. But once you are reaching that breakneck speed with no traffic, it is hard to slow down in time to escape a visit from our famous Smokey Pokey sheriff's department. And as expected, my mirror filled up with a flurry of red and blue lights strobeing to the sound of my heartbeat.
I was crying ... sobbing.
I saw the officer approaching and for one minute I thought of getting out of the car holding a writing pen like a gun. Maybe he can end this right now and put quite a few people out of their misery.
I stayed put.
“License and registration”
I reached into the glove compartment finding Debra’s registration neatly filed against an owner's manual and a box of tissue. Then searched my purse, with hands trembling, took out my Texas ID. I have $20 left. That should do it, I'll try to bribe him. He’ll haul my ass in and I would have a place to stay for the night. And my guests will not require intellectual rhetoric. I handed the documents shaking and crying to the kind gentleman. I put the $20 in my purse. I might need it for bail.
“Mam, you were going over 60.” He continued while using his flashlight to find the 10 pounds of pot and a brick of cocaine, which he was certain I must have. “Can you tell me why?”
Now there’s something interesting. Why would he care WHY? He had a job
... and I was certain he was going to do it.
I placated his curiosity. With my chest heaving and makeup running, I told him in a very quick and almost incomprehensible voice about Anna and Debra and my kids, and my husband, and my company…ending with
... and when I was two…
He became flustered, riffling through his bag of tricks, pulling out a piece of Kleenex. It looked a bit used, and the mist added to the appearance. I wanted him to arrest me, throw me in jail. Tie me up to a car battery and use a screwdriver to tap on my fillings.
“Mam, please, drive carefully” and he left. I have tried that since, it doesn’t work when it’s not genuine.
I no longer recognized myself. Just 3 months ago, I was an innocent. My proclivities were strictly heterosexual. None of this was my idea. And to this day, I do not know if I would have headed down this road. Had she not initiated this, would I be gay? If she would not have, I may never have experienced love, for me, love.
I peeled out of there and reached that 90 mph in record pace. Almost 2 hours had gone by. The Sheriff Department vehicle didn't move.
When I think of Anna, knowing I will never be able to speak to her or see her again, I am reminded of this night and all the choices we had. And the choices we made.
I turned into the feeder at Uvalde Street, up to the front door of the house. It was quiet. I covered the door handle with both my hands so I could open it slowly, without sound, the screen door up against my back as I crept in. Then the click of the aluminum door. “Oh fuck”!
But no one was there. This could be a good thing, or a bad, maybe everyone is dead. I heard rustling as Bo, Anna’s dog crept up, head lowered as if he did something wrong. He nudged my hand to be petted. Very unusual, I realized he had not barked. I patted his back as I inched toward the kitchen.
I saw a shadow, moving and it wasn’t the Bo's.
It wasn’t Debra.
I could see a small metal (or iron maybe? )tube come around the corner. As the implement came closer into view I could see the tube attached to a bullet chamber and hand holding it. I froze, oh my God, what have we done?
Beginning of Book
Yes, this is absolutely positively true. If you lived this wouldn't you write about it? Some of the names of characters in this blog are fictitious. This is an account of actual events. Some of the events have been compiled together for the flow of the story. Even when I read my own work, I wonder how it could be so. But if you study your own life and compartmentalize it into less than 200 pages, you would be surprised how interesting it really is!
TRUTH HAS WITNESSES (Dianne Lindsey) This material is the copyright Dianne Schuch Lindsey and cannot be duplicated in any fashion without the express permission of the Author. All rights reserved ©