This is an absolutely true story
Willie’s Dalmatian had given birth
to 13 puppies and had eviscerated all but three. Poor Devo had rescued one of
these pups, pulled it right out of Lucky's mouth, a little female we named Spot
because she had none. I rushed
home from work as the hysterical child sat huddled in a safe place, the puppy
close to her heart, under her shirt.
Lucky was never the same
and came after Devo often. Willie was told the dog, once through nursing the
pups had to go. And she agreed.We sat at a spot frequented by
people selling pets, FM 1960 and 59 by Deerfield Mall. We sold the three
Dalmatian puppies instantly. We had to settle for $100 a piece because the
siring was not witnessed. But the pups got a happy home. More so, Lucky found
a family. A very large 6’6 young boy, 22 year old mentally handicapped, came to
see the pups and fell in love with Lucky. And Lucky really seemed to like this
boy. I was concerned since Lucky had picked up a mean streak in light of just
having her third litter in less than a year. But the mother of this boy said
she was certain Lucky was the perfect pet. We agreed and three weeks later the
mother called. Her son and Lucky were asleep on the couch and she was crying
she was so happy her son and Lucky found each other. Willie and I were relieved. We were
so afraid Lucky would have to be put down.
So we go to see 101 Dalmatians and
Willie cries. She wants another Dalmatian. Absolutely not I told her. She had
proven to be less than responsible with the dog. And anyhow, we now had Suzie
from the Ren Fairre living with us, with her little white yappy thing defecating
and pissing all over everything, I couldn’t have it. But eventually she talked
me into getting this little Border collie puppy. For Devo she said. Devo was
in her room sulking about something. Willie cracked her door and let this sweet
little black and white pup go in the room alone. We suddenly hear a squeal and
Devo came running out of the room holding the little guy. She named him Bickley
after my son’s rock group.
We also had a cat and this
cat hated the dog. She would aggravate the dog, swiping at him at every
instance and then climbing to a height the little fellow could not reach, until
one day, he managed to climb up on a chair and the cat screamed in shock. There
is something somehow rewarding watching a cat, almost certainly, the smarter of
the two, getting her come uppance. I love cats because they are too smart to be
controlled, yet their attitude gets them what they want. They are a proud
animal that would rather hide behind the couch crying “fucking OW” and licking
their wounds rather than let you know something hurt them. But if they are
sick, they retreat. And sometimes it is too late. This almost happened.
The dog got on my last nerve, he was
so clever. I would put him in his pen. He was all of 6 inches tall at his
little 4 months; the pen was five times taller than him. I put him in there
when I would need to do work in the house. I was vacuuming and I would turn
around and he was sitting there just looking at me innocently. I did this a
couple more times, and then I decided to watch and see how he was doing his
great escape. This little menace could climb that pen like a cat. He was a herding dog and learned his
craft well shepherding cat, child and parents whenever possible. He finally
routed me into a door, and I fell into the ingress in such a way that my fingers
got caught in the space between the door and door frame. The door got pushed
open crushing my fingers. I cried out and Willie was sleeping. I showed her my
fingers which were swelling before her eyes.
She went back to sleep.“At least take off my ring” I
And she did, but claimed
the fingers were just sprained and to please let her sleep. But I knew better
and she finally relented and took me to the hospital where the nurse and she
agreed I was a big baby. But the Doctor ordered X-rays. Willie and the nurse
had a good old time matching stories of medical missteps and unruly patients as
I sat there crying in pain. It turned out I had a “greenstick boxer’s fracture”
which is a bone that not only breaks, but it twists like a green stick, a stick
not quiet dead from a tree or bush. This was a fracture one did not want. The
nurse was repentant, and Willie was, to a point. It was to take 6 to 10 weeks
to heal and may require surgery. I was an artist and my hands were the tool of
my trade since I drew buildings and interiors. Thankfully it was my left
But it interfered with my work
because I also provided all the computers. I order and unpacked, then installed
them. They were not what they are now. A monitor weighed sometimes 20 pounds.
I had 40 people under my management. I needed help during that time. But I am
a fast healer and it mended quickly, before the 6 weeks, and even though Willie
made misdiagnoses, she still laughed about this.
Willie would often slight me in
this fashion and find stories to regal people later, understating the importance
of the situation. And somehow, through the years, I went with her on these
issues always the “good sport” The fall of 1996, Willie was
becoming an integral part of the family. She had her opinions. Willie felt I was
too easy on Devo. Devo had one
job, to continue her above average, advanced grade straight “A” career. I did
not demand any housework and Devo made it clear she was going to hire a maid, so
experience was not necessary. Consequently, her room was a mess and I was lucky
if dishes made it to the kitchen much less was washed.
Willie bitched, until she
saw the light when I ground Devo for 6 weeks over a “B” on her report card. Devo
was a responsible child, there was very little I could do that would be
effectual. She hated parties, dances; going to other kids houses (she would
rather have them at home). Going out with her brother and staying backstage
while he performed was about the length of her social life. I could not let her
friends suffer for her disparity, they needed the calm and the humor our home
had. Therefore, for 6 weeks Devo had to stay home on the weekends. Not only did
Willie argue that she felt I was being too hard, Devo’s friends’ mothers called
me and said they would be more than grateful if their children presented “B”s.
I OFFERED NO APOLOGIES. I wanted only the best for my children. I expected
nothing but the best in return. And in the end, I did the right thing. Devo
never brought home less than an “A” again.
Willie had problems with Billy as
well. She never took into consideration that Billy had chosen her over Crawford
to be a permanent part of our family. Billy had run up some long distant
charges and Willie covered them. It was about $400. She belabored the topic, but
I stubbornly held my ground and refused to confront him. She never got over
this. I told her repeatedly, this child has suffered from my negligence, living
with his less than adequate father as a child. . There was no way I would make
him pay this. Or anything. He was entitled to take me to the cleaners, but he
is definitely the better person and has humbled the lot of us with his
integrity. He has never taken advantage of me and this little $400 was nothing
compared to the time he and I missed together. He will never know my loss, nor
do I deserve him to. And his brother and sister’s loss in not only being allowed
to grow up together, but to have a mother in such a constant state of loss, that
she could not be the complete parent she longed to be.
My mother, sister and Willie say,
“It goes both ways’ and as I stated earlier, no it doesn’t. When it comes to
your children, there is no such thing. There is no amount of money, time, or
affection to make up for a child’s constant fear of abandonment.
My decision stayed. Billy and Devo
have proven to be above reproach and both live successful lives in their chosen
careers, drug and alcohol free (that is saying a lot when both of them are
entrenched in the music industry).
In many ways, Willie was
threatened by Devo and Billy. I know not why, because they both seemed to
respect and care for her.At one instance, Billy brought a very lovely girl to
Willie was in possession
of a lighthouse collection I had started for her. One of these reproductions
came missing. Willie immediately accused this girl in her absence. Her nephew,
son of Mandee, had shown up at our house. Willie had problems, many problems
with Mandee’s children. There was a not so hidden rivalry. The boy made many
purchases; one was an expensive light house. The disappearance occurred before
Willie and the girl had even arrived. The nephew had purchased it for Willie.
Typical of this nephew, he
wanted the accolades AND the lighthouse.
Willie never confronted
this nephew. She didn't think twice of confronting me and asking for Billy's
responsibility. Once everything was investigated and Willie was certain it was
not Billy, she treated the situation as if it were over. It was not as far as I
was concerned. I liked the girl he was dating and if she got word of this, she
would certainly never come over. The damage had been done and feelings were hurt
all the way around.
People in our circle were frankly
more than surprised that Willie had entered into a relationship with a mother of
three children. Dana had wanted children, still wants children and Willie would
have nothing to do with it. Dana as well as my past paramours was convinced
Willie was interested in me for superficial reasons. This included my looks and
associations. I was deemed “fem” and it held.
I had at one time a crush, a BAD
crush on Mel’s ex, Dana. I always thought she felt I was a little off for her.
And Willie told me Dana had relayed to her that I was off balance,
crazy, if you will. But Dana recently told me all she knew about me was from
Bootsie and that I was some sort of “goddess”!
When Dana told me this, I was
immediately embarrassed and delighted. All over again. I am not what I was and
sometimes in life all we have to build up our ego is ourselves and the histories
people remember and amuse us with. I loved Willie; I did everything and
anything for her. It was easy. And she was wonderful to me. We agreed on
everything in life.
We watched the same shows, and
movies on TV and at the theatre. We traveled, A LOT, mostly road trips. We
could go for hours, days with just each other. I loved to hear her stories of
her time in the service, or her working with Dr. DeBakey at The Methodist
Hospital. And she loved to hear her stories as well. We were in agreement on
that.We had gone to see her
sister, as I have written.
And we went to see her parents in
Mobile Alabama, the 5th level of hell. They were not wealthy
people. They owned some property, but it was destitute. A house barely
standing. And the inside. O my GOD, the indie was filled with vermin. And
ants. There were millions. I refused to eat or drink anything. I also,
refused to let her mother and father lives in that filth and spent our three
days there cleaning. I cleaned ants from the most amazing places. Do you know
they can live and breed in the refrigerator? And freezer? Willie spent
this time with her father while her mother sat in a chair telling me what and
how to do things. Willie enjoyed this indulgence upon her parents and sat and
reveled in it. But she didn’t help. She asserted her position as “Head of
Household” and I allowed it.
After 2 days of cleaning
from dawn to dusk, and later, the third day I spent packing the items her mother
stockpiled. It was the first case of hoarding I witnessed and folks, it was as
seen on TV. Not an inch of space to walk. In the window sat an aluminum
Christmas tree tactlessly decorated in felt and other dimestore items. Willies
mother was so proud of this. I think there were ten ornaments. Total.
We went shopping at a local
outlet center and I can tell you, Willie’s mom may have been handicapped, but
this woman can drive. We were relegated to the bed of the truck. It was cold
and we had to lie under blankets. Willie promised it was close.
One and a half hours later
with speedy Gonzales driving 90 MPH and finally Willie fessed, “Ok, it’s a
little further than I expected.”
These were the sort of things I