Russain Roulette is not the same without a gun
Russain Roulette is not the same without a gun
It's oh so quiet, it's oh so still, and oh... so peaceful until...The other shoe dropped, the bat stayed in hell, it was a cold day since it froze over, a bear didn’t shit in the woods and the gauntlet was thrown.
I was in over my head. I thought I was ready to ride the storm out.
How could this not be fate? Who in their right mind would fight the insurmountable odds that Debra did if she didn’t actually love me, more than anyone or anything? And who could not fall in love with someone who was willing to put everything they had into this. Perhaps even get killed.
A quiet Riot.
Jackie returned the next morning and Anna explained to him that I would be staying with them indefinitely. She told him I had grown accustomed to the spirit of a household where lovers were friends and friends were family.
Jackie was in a state of shock and did not return to work for days. We had several conversations where he made promises and I would confess my sins of affairs in my past, anything to convince him he no longer should want me. But it made no difference. He threw his pot away,, said he would stop drinking and went to church. He chose the Second Baptist, a church of notoriety in Houston that bragged millions of dollars and lots of entertainment. Why he didn’t chose a Catholic Church is beyond me. He asked me to go to the church Psychiatrists, a couple with the last name Duck. And I wished to do just that, duck. But I went, and the couple told Jackie that a seperation was in order considering the level of abuse and betrayal. Though I appreciated their positive influence regarding the seperation, I also found that to be troubling since they really should not have made a commitment to one side or the other.
The days, weeks passed with interludes between Debra and I, work and play.
I let my company go to Coit Draperies, and started the trek toward a new career path. Debra’s mother took care of the children while we all worked. Debra and Anna went to work, again, for a pest control, lawn fertilizing company. I went to work for the Performing Arts in Houston.
I worked for the Performing Arts Sampler Series, PASS. This company sold subscriptions to the magazine “Curtain Call” ironically the same name as my business that I just sold. I felt it was fate. The Performing Art Sampler Series was a set of 10 tickets to various shows, Ballet, Opera, Stages Repetrory Theatre and others. You would get a single ticket to your choice of performance at each. You received the tickets for $40.00 and the Magazine was free. In reality, the magazine was the selling point. When a client would want this deal, they would have to buy two, so they could go with another person.
The real reason I applied; the performing arts are a predominantly “gay” run area of business. I thought it would be a chance for me to meet other women, find out if I was ready for this lifestyle. I was right about it being gay. But my co-workers were 12 gay men. So that was a wash.
We were to receive 2% of the total and I was told I would be lucky to get $100 a week.
The first week I made $800. I could sell anything. My boss loved me, some of my co-workers did not. But I made some of the closest friends I ever had. One such friend, Sammy Ramirez became my rock. He was a beautiful 6 foot tall man with a black stick straight Tina Turner Hairdo, doe eyes, almond shaped. He was gorgeous. He had a lot to say about my life, Debra, Anna, how I dressed etc. Devon loved him. He was so sweet to her, that once, when playing softball,, his team lost shamefully. Devo ran up to the fence.
“Sammy! Did you win” she was all smiles and so happy to see him, he didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth.
He smiled that wonderful warm smile “Yes darling, we won” and on that she ran into his arms, he scooped her up “So I need ice cream, what about you my love” of course, Devo was in agreement.
We were all on a bowling team. Sammy, his lover, James Sweet, Debra and me. Anna was unaware of this, though I don’t know how she kept it from her.
I worked under Leo Schwartz, a French Horn player in the Houston Ballet Symphony. He was a tremendous cheer leader for us. He never made us feel inadequate. Devo was welcome in the boiler room and Leo gave her whatever she wanted. Leo has since relocated to Chicago. I miss him dearly.
Debra drove me to and from work, keeping me on a short leash.
In mid July of 1986 Anna took me aside and asked to speak with me privately. Anyone familiar with this story knows that had to be a tentative moment. Did she know? Was this the confrontation? Anna always maintained a calm demeanor, so who knows?
Music: Bjork/Oh so quiet
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