"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. " Ayn Rand
Mel and I were living the dream. Albeit, a little more broke than it should have been. Oscar Wilde said When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is. I agree. I worked contract jobs at anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour. But we were ALWAYS broke.
Worse, Mel was missing truck payments.
When we first set up housekeeping together, Mel took care of the bills, I gave her my paycheck and she took it from there. I know Devon costs a tidy sum, but we were also getting $800 dollars a month from her Devon’s dad.
When Devon" finally arrived home safe and sound from Hawaii, she was bitter and wrote a very "legalese" letter to her father demanding her child support.
Jackie and I had not been together since Devon was four. So he owed a tidy sum. I didn’t ask much of him in the divorce papers, only $100 a month. I didn’t want him to fight me for custody. Being gay in Texas was a sure fire way for this to happen. As a rule the contentious parent sues for custody thinking they can do a better job parenting for cheaper. I also really preferred he not have visitation and he was the sort that would not mind if it saved him money.
Devon also helped with information to Supportkids and they got an award of $800 a month after their fee of an additional 33%. It's a wonderful organization that goes whereever the unpaying parent is and takes them to court We are in Texas. He was in Hawaii. There is no way we could have otherwise done this.
So…Mel not making her payments on her truck was very disconcerting. As I have stated, I didn’t like argument or dissention, so I did what I could to keep the peace and solve this puzzle.
I got up at 3 or 4am made it to my sites by 5 and working until 7 or 8, maybe later at night. Mel worked from 3pm to 11pm at The Methodist Hospital, so she never knew when I arrived home. She did notice though, that I was getting home at weird hours and she actually accused me of cheating. Of course.
During one of confrontations, not only was I working tiring hours to make extra cash, but I had also been shopping at several malls and shopping centers for the materials needed to matt and frame all of her awards from the Coast Guard. It included photos I had enlarged. We didn’t have printing availabilities we have now and I would need to use a reprographics firm to get the final product. I was going to give these to her for X-mas.
“I know you are cheating”, I ended up showing her what I was doing to shut her up.
But I didn’t disclose the extra work hours.
I was also having a problem with her haranguing my clients for money. All my contracts had a turnaround of 45 days, but I found she was contacting them sometimes only after a week of my working for someone. It costs me projects and I had to confront her about it. She got quite upset with me, but she let up for those few weeks and I was able to get my money first hand instead of having her pick it up. No, I didn’t know she was getting the money early, I thought she was getting the checks in the mail. Turns out she was picking them up directly from my clients.
I picked up the most current check, and deposited in our account the amount she expected. I took the remainder, $5000, paid her late truck notes including astronomical fees, paying three months to Ford Motor Credit in advance. I also paid her insurance three months in advance. I didn’t want her to know, but soon she figured it out, and it wasn’t long before it happened again…and again I did the same thing. Essentially, she was not only spending the money she was supposed to be targeting these bills with, but she was spending the money I was paying in advance. An endless loop.
I was so frustrated by this turn of events. I started to get horrific migraines. Probably from lack of sleep, too much coffee, too many hours staring at a computer, too many contentious property and project managers, visiting project sights and lack of sleep.
Mel got very concerned and was certain it was my neck. She had the same symptoms when her neck needed surgery years past and she was convinced I needed the same.
One of these attacked piqued suddenly. On the way to a party at the Rheingold’s, a party we absolutely had to make, my neck was so bad I couldn’t turn my head. On the way there she stopped at a hospital in Houston where a friend worked in the pharmacy and she asked him for SOMA. We picked up the muscle relaxer and I took one on the way there.
They are like Quaaludes. If you are a child of the 60’s you understand.
Needless to say, I could get used to this.
And I did.
In spite of pain, I never missed a step when it came to my career. I couldn’t afford to.
Mel had the hypothetical champagne taste (yet she actually hated champagne). And I didn’t have the heart to deny her. We made road trips to her family, her parents, her sister, her aunts her uncles. Mel never missed a funeral. I believed she actually registered for these much the way a new bride registers for her wedding. And we seemed to lose at least one person a year. Quite frightening when I think back.
During one of these visits, her dad and I got into a discussion about the internet. He agreed with me that it would be our generation’s undoing, but, at the same time, it was a necessary evil. I made a fateful decision, one I would eventually regret.
At one point we actually were the last people to have the internet. Mel and I both felt strongly that the internet was the ruination of many relationships.
My best friend, Nancy, was the kind of friend who instead of bailing me out of jail, would be the one sitting next me saying ‘boy was that fun.’” Now she is the kind of person who would say I am such a good friend that if we were on a sinking ship together and there was only one life jacket… she'd "miss you heaps and think of you often".
She had married a man she had been so in love with. They lived quite nicely because he worked overseas in third world countries. I am not certain exactly what he did, but it had something to do with oil (go figure). In any event, she had discovered the ability to chat with people worldwide, much as I did when I met “New Girl”. This was in the late 80’s early 90’s.
My correspondence with New Girl was local, free of charge. Nancy, was communicating across an expensive airway, the Internet was not as it is today. When I spoke with her about this, I found she was spending anywhere from $700 to $1000 a month on-line talking with a New York Sheriff’s department officer! Not only did she have two small children, but if her ex-husband were to read this and figure out who I am speaking of, I have no doubt all kinds of NEW hell would break loose as he investigates long gone phone charges. I talked to her about this because, though I really did not care for her husband, I thought this was a shitty way to go about expunging him. Here he is working his ass off and she is spending his money almost faster than he can make it.
However, as Nietzsche said "A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still: you must not want to see everything. "
I finally tired of trying to get my point across and she and I parted ways until just recently. Happiness is a hard master, particularly other people's happiness. The predictable ending to this saga, she left her husband and joined the local sheriff’s dept. and became a deputy. When she met her on-line lover, it wasn’t as she hoped and they parted ways. She had no husband, no lover and she eventually became homeless at one point.
So, when we returned from the trip where I spoke to Mel's father of this, for whatever reason, we decided it was time. If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. And Devon jumped on it.
Before the end of the returning day, we were on-line and ready to become part of the international super highway.
And EBAY .
Mel loved EBAY and would get on-line the minute she got home. She shopped and bought anything and everything either Coast Guard or SCUBA diving. She would peruse on line every dog breeder, looking for the most exclusive kind of pets. She loved a brand of clothing called “Big Dog” and purchased quite a few things from their site. She emailed everybody and we had hoards of chain letters, jokes and emotional requisitions for prayer or looking for lost loved ones and animals. And on...and on...and on... And of course the "User Agreements" concerned me. Nothing in fine print is ever good news.
Me…I hated the net. I hate the phone as I have said before, and this was just one more way I was being forced to “keep in touch”. But I learned how to trouble shoot it because, well, after all, that is what I was known for so why stop now.
But I hated it.
We made an agreement early on, no internet hooking up.
At that time all we had was IM, AOL’s instant messenger. Does AOL even exist anymore? Then, they were the only word in messaging and internet search engines.
I was at a contract job that had IM automatically installed as a crude inter-office communication device. While working, a message suddenly came up.
From across the universe
"Hello love… ."
WHAT THE… .
Something's gonna change my world.
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 ©