"Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to talking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young." Sigmund Freud
Mel always had some malady or another. Most of them requiring more than a band aid. More than just an office visit. This woman loves surgery.
And every time she would have another one I would have anxiety attacks up to and including the day of. All her reassurance did nothing to quell my feelings. I knew better. She told me some horrific stories. Once she found an anesthesiologist in a room with a needle sticking out of his arm passed out. And another doctor who is a friend of hers reads magazines while the patient is under! She told me of incidents where the surgical sponges were left in a patient. You know those white gauze things with the blue tie attachment? That blue tie is there so you can spot them on an x-ray. The anesthesia tech is responsible for counting all the sponges after surgery. You would think this process would occur before they closed the patient. These are only a very few of the hundreds of nightmares that are caused by inattentive staff. And add to that the fact that we are really delicate machines and it doesn’t take much to upset the applecart.
And every surgery had a phone tree. After a while I think people said they were going to alert others…but they didn’t. She would spend the week before surgery telling people how horrible it all was and that she needed their prayers and could they please come and see her while she was non ambulatory, at the hospital preferably.
Doctors don’t keep patients long these days. I am not saying it’s right. It just is. Hell, a woman can have surgery for breast cancer and get out overnight. But never once did she have “day” surgery. She was always pretty determined to get one nights hospital stay out of it if not more. Me. I hate hospitals and I want out as soon as I wake up in recovery. And it’s always me they end up keeping.
OK, Men, this is gonna be nasty….
While Mel and I were together, she had a surgery at least once every year. If you recall, early in our relationship when Candee still had a small amount of human DNA and was actually likeable, she warned me of this behavior, so I shouldn't have been disappointed. But I was. Some needed. Small melanomas, lumps on her breast. Some she just wanted. A hysterectomy with perfectly clean organs, cosmetic surgery on perceived ugly scars that I could barely see and finally she had this nasty thing growing in her “ladies’ area”.
Our lovemaking was not as often as it had been. And Mel insisted that she make love to me, but not me to her. It upset me, but I believe it had everything to do with the medical issue. Now this didn’t have to be an issue if she wore cotton underwear. Scrubs do not breathe and truthfully, no panties with scrubs is kinda nasty. But Mel never wore underwear. Well, never wore panties.
She had a knot “down there”. But she insisted on fooling with it. She would put this mirror on the floor and lance the thing and sometimes it would drain, most times it wouldn’t. It ended up being a carbuncle. A carbuncle is a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and may contain pus. Most carbuncles are caused by the bacteria staphylococcus aureus. The infection is contagious and may spread to other areas of the body or other people. You are more likely to get a carbuncle if you have: Friction from clothing or shaving, Poor hygiene, Poor overall health.
Persons with diabetes, dermatitis, and weakened immune systems are more likely to develop staph infections that can cause carbuncles.
Diabetes was another issue. She was borderline. Mel is 5’2” if that, and 300 pounds. Her doctor had her measuring her blood sugar daily which was always too high. I made it my life’s work to have only healthy foods for her. I ate the same way. If we all ate like diabetics were supposed to eat we would be a far healthier nation. But she would still stop off at Krispy Kreme and buy a box of donuts which she would eat half of before she even got to work.
This carbuncle thing was causing her fevers and bad health. She finally went to see a doctor, who in turn, did a surgery to remove the vein and affected areas. And she begrudgingly came home after the surgery. So all her well-wishers were required to drive out to the house. Which they didn’t do. She blamed the ride being so far. Everyone is far away from each other in New Hampshire. Truthfully, it was easy for her friends to see her in the hospital. They worked in the hospital.
Mel recovered from the surgery in just enough time to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. In both hands…
How does someone do that????
One thing struck me as odd...real odd. Mel and I had been together for over 13 years. She had her nipple pierced. She had it done when she was pursuing me. She said she had it for me. She hadn't used piercing jewelry for over 10 years. But when we went in for her to have her surgery, when changing, I noticed her having it, because it needed to be removed. I asked her when she got the new piece.
"Oh...several weeks ago..you knew..." She accused.
Uh...not so much. Why?
It turns out, she had been speaking with her ex-lover a lot. combined with the boob jewelry, this was about to get even more interesting.
Our new home became a landing base for friends who wanted to get a look at why we were so dreadfully happy. We were the ladies of the canyon and everyone wanted to be in our domain.
One Saturday morning the phone rang.
“Hi, we’re up here at a hotel and wondered what you guys were up to, we want to come over!”
It was Dana and her lover Ro. Mel’s ex-lover.
Mel had been with Dana prior to me, but Dana had thrown her out.
Dana found out Mel “kissed” someone and on Christmas 1995, Dana gave Mel notice that she was to be out in 2 weeks. If you didn’t read how Mel and I met, let me recap: I was working for a structural firm at Greenway Plaza in Houston. There was a coffee shop in the food court that catered to lesbians and was a sort of dating get together pod. One day while I was on break, I went for my Venti Mocha cappuccino and Mel was there all butch and starched, just my type. She ignored me for the most part, until the owner introduced us, telling Mel I was “family”. Then Mel was interested. I was dressed in a suit, heels sporting a “bob” haircut and Mel took me for straight.
We sat at a little table and she volunteered that she had recently broke up with her lover. It is an incestuous world with lesbians in Houston. It is not unusual to know ones lovers and ex-lovers, not unusual to have those ex-lovers in common.
“Who is your ex?” of course I had to ask.
“Dana Schweers” Mel replied.
I knew Dana. Of course I knew her. Not only did I have a crush on Dana, a BIG one, but Dana had been with MY ex-lover, Bootsie.
“I saw Dana the other day at the Venture-N” I explained “She was with Bootsie Cobden”.
“WHAT!!!” Mel was shaken.
You see Mel hated Bootsie. She then put some of the pieces together.
“Are you the Dianne that made Bootsie lose it in the middle of Kindred Spirits” she softened.
“That could be anyone, she pissed a lot of people off”.
“No. Noonooo I know it was you. Every one was talking about it. She had fallen for a fem executive type and the woman had promised to move in with her but changed her mind after meeting another woman who, well, another child, I guess the girl was barely 20”.
“Ok, yes that was me” I confessed “but I wasn’t being a fickled bitch as you are portraying me. Bootsie had pulled a nasty one on me, and had openly rejected my children”.
“Oh, you have kids” Mel then explained that one of the problems she had with Dana is that Dana wanted children and she didn’t want any.”
I took it from that statement that Mel was not going to be interested in me. Mel had issues with children, but even bigger issues with Bootsie. It seems that every person Mel was with ended up with Bootsie. There was a sort of rivalry between the two and as Mel enlightened, there hate was mutual. Mel came up with a plan.
A plan today I am disgusted with myself that I allowed.
I had broken up with the young woman Mel alluded to, just three months prior. Bootsie and I were seeing each other on and off and again, I was considering a committed relationship with Bootsie. She had been staying at my place and trying to re-establish a relationship with my kids. I also was seeing Wendy, a nurse from Methodist, the transplant coordinator in fact. It was work enough trying to keep Wendy and Bootsie from killing each other. I was a capricious mess at that point, I will admit.
Mel wanted me to call Bootsie and tell her that Mel and I were going to see each other the next day. I was to tell Bootsie that Mel was taking me on a picnic. I didn’t plan on following through. But Mel had a new cellphone. This was in 1996, so this was a new thing. The reception sucked and I counted on that. I called Bootsie in front of her and suddenly everything was clear as a frickin’ bell! I got her machine and left the message. That one moment of madness, shame on me. But I couldn't change the things I said...and done.
When I got home that night, I had a message and it wasn’t pretty.
“Dianne, this is Bootsie. I was so disappointed to get your message. I need to talk to you. NOW!”
I called her and she went into a diatribe about Mel. She called her a troll and told me every person the woman dated broke up with Mel without leaving a chance for any relationship, casual, friendly or otherwise. Of course I had to take into consideration that there was jealousy.
In the end, it turned out Mel was the one I wanted to be with. And whether or not she had issues with children, it never showed in her devotion to mine. But there was something to the fact that her exes did not want relationships with her. The only ex we had heard from was a woman name Juli. Mel said she called to borrow money. I later found out she called to ask Mel for money Mel owed her. Otherwise, Juli wanted nothing to do with Mel, I have recently found out. So why was Dana and her lover in the area?
It seems Mel had called her a few times and told her about our life. So Dana and Ro thought it would be a nice place to visit. I was less than enthusiastic. Why? Why did they come all the way up there?
They were to be at our house by noon.
When Dana, Mel’s ex and her lover Ro arrived at our house, she grabbed me and hugged me so hard I couldn’t breathe. She just patted Mel on the back. Ro shook Mel’s hand.
The visit went swimmingly. As a matter of fact, it was quite fun. Dana and I chatted a mile a minute. We talked about everything from art to what TV shows we watched. I loved all the Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model series. My guilty pleasures that a lesbian shouldn’t brag about. Dana loved the same shows. You know what that is like. When two people have mutual interests in such shallow entertainment, every single episode MUST be discussed and dissected. We went on for hours while Mel and Ro tried to find mutual interests.
But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but be apprehensive. It was all so surreal.
Lesbians love this sort of discourse, always drama and always something to do with an ex that probably BOTH of you have had relationships.
I had the hugest crush on Dana. A "Sunshine and Lollipops" crush. She is very butch, but very regal. She walks with her shoulders back, head high. She is about 5’8, a blustery 150 pounds with premature greying hair cut perfectly in the Matt Damon look a lot of gay women sport. She is also of a contrary nature. Very politically motivated and outspoken. I don’t know if she knew I had the crush, I admitted it right then and she seemed to walk a little taller after my confession. Mel bristled.
My Ex, Bootsie would speak of Dana often. She told me such stories, things like “we could have an orgasm simply by sitting across from each other and looking into each other’s eyes.”
Of course Dana didn’t recall the same. All she remembered was their volatile fights and the liquor that thankfully both of them had since given up. Dana said that she thought I was the love of Bootsie’s life. She said Bootsie built me up to be some sort of Goddess. Dana called me a trophy wife. I have never figured out if that is good or bad. I did know that I was special to Bootsie and I have often pondered if I had chosen a different path, what my life would be like now. I would always love Bootsie and nothing could destroy that.
Dana’s lover Ro had some health problems that were keeping her from enjoying life like the rest of us. She had fibromyalgia. Dana and she had been together exactly as long as Mel and I had been. As a matter of fact she met Ro the same night I saw her at the Venture-N with Bootsie.
Dana cleared up that matter once and for all. Yes she saw Bootsie that night, and yes, they were drunk and fell into some old intimate habits. But what I had not seen was her introduction and instant attraction to Ro. Dana found it funny that she was explaining anything to Mel. She still bridled at Mel’s questioning anything she did. After all this was 12 year later. Mel and I had just celebrated our 12th anniversary. And it seemed every time Mel neared Dana physically, Dana would recoil.
Mel cooked dinner, her usual, barbequed chicken potato salad and beans.
“OH MY GOD Mel, are you EVER going to learn to cook something else?”
And Dana was off again. She tore Mel up, it was in jest, but it had to sting a little. I never had the nerve to tell Mel her palette was getting tired. She really enjoyed barbequing. She enjoyed the compliments more and fished for them without embarrassment. Dana had balls, I had to give her that. She jibed with Mel quite a bit that day.
As the sun was getting ready to set of course, we all fell back on what ifs and whatevers.
“Have you heard or talked to Bootsie lately?” I asked
“No, why would ?” Dana was a tad uncomfortable.
I guess Dana had not heard…
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 ©