I decided to delve into a lovely episode from my past since I’m clearing stuff off the refrigerator door.
Right about the time we got Blue a woman (I’ll call her Tara) showed up in our lives. Blue was very sketchy back then but she took one look at him and opened the gate to the yard and started playing. That should have been my first red flag. You’ve got to be insane to walk into an unknown dog’s territory, especially one of his size.
I recognized her from around town over the years. Her most distinct feature is her enormous hair, and that she is quite beautiful. She said she had been in several car accidents in the last year and was suffering from a closed head injury. Her doctor recommended working with dogs as occupational therapy. I was upside-down with Blue and she claimed to train Great Danes and seemed nice enough. I have a soft spot for strays, human and otherwise.
Closed head injuries are very tricky and this poor woman’s life was ruined by what happened to her. She was staying across the street in a mutual friend’s basement so she was around all the time. She got into the habit of coming over and taking Blue for walks. Sometimes she was grounded and other times she was all over the place but she seemed to be a genuinely good person who meant well but sometimes could not help herself.
One day she came by as we were heading out for the evening. We had given her a key and told her to let herself in whenever she felt like taking the dog for a walk. I was performing at a steampunk party with Stacey.
You can see video from the performance here.
Zeb watched the show and then we went home so I could change clothes for another party. We got home and I heard, “Hello! I’m here!” and it was Tara. She said she was just bringing Blue back from a long walk. Awesome. She saw my outfit and then the pole and got all excited. She wanted to talk about my dancing, take lessons, etc. but I had to get to the party so we left her in the house.
We came back home around 10:30 and the house was totally dark. This letter was taped to the door with some lovely earrings.
I turned on the kitchen light and read the letter. Just as I said, “Look what Tara left for me,” and almost added that it was crazy when I heard, “I’m here!” coming from the dark house. She was there again.
She said that she was just coming by to say hi to Blue because she couldn’t sleep and he calmed her down. She was very out of it and disoriented. Zeb took the boys upstairs while I talked to her. I tried to get details about the accidents but she was hard to follow.
Then I noticed that she was wearing earrings just like ones that I have. I commented on it and she said, “Oh these?I make and sell them locally.” and I was like, “What a coincidence, how cool!” I kept trying to go upstairs to show her mine but she would change the subject.
It was late and I wanted to kiss the boys goodnight so I went to their room. She followed me in because she wanted to see Blue sleeping with them; she stared at them for an awkward amount of time. I got her out of their room and she said she loved my bed and could she take a picture of it so she could have one made and that kind of nonsense. It took some effort to get her out of the house.
On a hunch I looked for my earrings and lo and behold they were gone. I looked around and could tell that she had been through my drawers and jewelry. She didn’t take anything too valuable but I saw that everything she touched was the color blue. At this point I was completely freaked out. Zeb felt bad because he invited her into our home and Blue reacted to our stress by growling all night.
I am always one to give someone the benefit of the doubt. If I ever write someone off it is not without giving them ample opportunity to redeem themselves or prove me wrong. I can be like Hamlet in that way, but how much proof does it take?
Zeb and I discussed how to deal with her. I didn’t want to ruin her life or humiliate her. I still felt deep compassion for how fucked up her life was. He said he would talk to her but she came to us first bearing a box with jewelry, money and trinkets. Some of the stuff was ours, some not, but she was clearly in crisis.
She claimed that she had been in a fugue state the previous night and didn’t remember a thing, she woke up and found all this stuff and didn’t know if it was hers or if she had taken it. She was a wreck, humiliated and breaking down. I tried to comfort and assure her that I wasn’t mad, I just wanted my stuff back. She did crazy things to my jewelry, disassembling it and putting it back together.
For the next few weeks we allowed her to walk the dog. I took the key back and told her that I cared for her but was keeping an eye on her so she wouldn’t get herself into trouble. She was relieved and grateful but then she disappeared. She had been watching someone else’s pet and got into the woman’s stuff and cut up her favorite jeans. I think they called the cops so she left town.
Still one to give her the benefit of the doubt, I tried to call her and check in … until one day I was having a seriously stressful time (read about it here) and went to take an Ativan. I knew I had 28 pills in the bottle but now there were only eight, and all the pieces started to fall into place.
I could write off the jewelry and looking through my stuff and coveting my “normal” life as some result of her fucked up circumstances, but stealing my pharmaceuticals was something else. Someone in klept0-fugue state doesn’t open the bottle and take some of the pills, but not all of them, and then put the bottle back. They take them all. A drug addict steals a few hoping that no one will notice that they are missing. I can forgive bad impulses (we all have them) but not calculated lies. I remembered the time she was so wobbly she could barely stand. I thought it was her head, it turns out she was higher than a kite.
So that’s the end of the story. I don’t know where Tara is, I hope she is better but I hope she doesn’t come back. I don’t hate her. I feel deep pity but I don’t want her in my life, or my family’s.
However, I did get these very nice earrings out of it.
In retrospect, she might not have made these earrings at all. She claimed to make jewelry but I checked one of her vendors and they didn’t know who she was so she might have stolen these from someone else, I have no way of knowing, but I do like them.
Harmy complimented them and I told her the story. She couldn’t believe that I wear them, that they don’t bring up unpleasant memories. They bring up strange memories for sure, but I’ve gotten so used to that. Zeb has brought home all manner of people. You should see our housepainter, he’s the worst yet. I am so used to sharing my space, my life, and giving up my privacy. I’ve gotten very good at surrender.
I have a strange and interesting life. Oftentimes I feel like the house is dictating my life rather than me living in the it. Perhaps that’s why I fantasize about a tiny home with only room for myself and a few things. You have no idea how many crazy things that happen around here, but I’m not bored and that is worth something. I don’t need reality TV to give me the drama that people crave. I guess it is worth losing some jewelry and chill pills.
Okay, time to cut the crap. This shit is from under the stairs in the basement. I’m trying to clear it out a little because Doug from Absolute Vinyl is coming over tomorrow to go through albums. Of course Zeb is pushing back and I’m feeling disheartened and frustrated. He says this isn’t a good time and he’s right, we have a ton going on. But it’s never going to be a good time. Ever. In the last ten years there hasn’t been a good time and I am certain that won’t change so I have to push through, like it or not. I wasn’t kidding when I said this might be what ends our marriage, but I hope not. IT’S . JUST . STUFF .
I feel like we are slaves to this house and the stuff in it. But while I am invested in getting rid of things and finding a new path, Zeb is on autopilot. You see, this is the only job he knows. I would like to see an end to the drudgery of getting stuff out the door and start living a different life.
Three boxes of sunglasses in the basement. Cato is going to list them on eBay in the next week.
Lots of vintage and new-in-box sunglasses.
I’ll call it ten items a box, or 30 total.
Bank bags. DONATE.
More games. Zeb is going to try to trade them for credit at the Mountain Sun. They keep the pub stocked with games.
Zeb got this for me when I was into aerobics. It’s such a stupid shirt but kind of funny to wear to class, otherwise it just makes my boobs look weird. Another mom showed up with her son for a play date and I was a little concerned she didn’t realize I was wearing it in an ironic kind of way. DONATE.
Footy PJs with the feet torn out. TRASH.
Fake grapefruit and an aquarium cleaner. But we don’t have an aquarium anymore. In fact, I have made a rule in this house: NO CAGED PETS. TRASH.
Bag of scraps. TRASH.
Another bag of scraps. TRASH.
Empty bottles, coffee filters for a coffee maker we don’t have, more aquarium supplies. RECYCLE and DONATE.
Bag of bags, sigh. TRASH.
911 conspiracy theory bullshit. There is a story behind this stuff (natch) that involves another crazy person in our lives, but I’m not going to get into it today, or maybe ever.
Featured image courtesy of ihavenoteeth.com