Late September: The Saturday of the vintage party I woke up early. S. had been promising me all week that we would "bust it out" and get all the clothes hung on the racks the day of the party instead of earlier in the week as I suggested. I went out and up to the garage studio and she was gone. Fine. I cleaned more and got food and drinks ready. Around noon she came home with new bags from more thrifting. Confused and pressed for time, we began wildly throwing the bins open and hanging everything up. She kept saying "are we really doing this? Are people even coming?" WHAT? Yes LOTS of people were coming. Yes we are doing it. And lots did come and it ended up being a total success and she made a shit ton of money. BANK. During the party her "husband" called (not her boyfriend who was fishing but her husband, the father of her 4 yr old son) he asked if She was there and I said yes. "What? You mean the two of you are not in San Francisco?" "uuuuummm, nnnoooo. We are here." "Are you sure she is not in SF?" "Ya, pretty sure." I marched up to her in the studio and told her about the phone call. She explained that he is crazy and has a terrible temper (and lots of other things, like she is only married to him so he can live in the states, and he forced her to keep the baby saying he would kill her if she gave it up, and that he is obsessed with her still and hates her current boyfriend) and she needed him to watch the kids for the party so she told him that we were in SF. No big deal. "Don't worry, I will think of something to tell him. I am an excellent liar." (ding ding ding ding)
I didn't see her for most of the following week. I assumed she was taking care of her affairs with all of her new money. By Thursday she was back. "I need to borrow some money." WHAT? What did you do with all the money you just made? "It's gone." More lies, more excuses, more need followed. There was never enough. The first week in October I got sick. Really, really sick, like Doctors cutting and draining cysts in my throat to keep me from suffocating, vomiting up blood, diarrhea, lose 15 lbs, can't walk sick, and it lasted, coupled with depression, through the middle of November. S. was up in the garage the whole time. I didn't pay attention to her. She avoided me. One day I got a call from a kid asking for her. An older kid. Who is this? "This is her son." He was 13 and lived with her mom in Florida. "How did you get this number?" "Its the one she calls me on all the time." I weakly went upstairs to ask her WTF was going on. she was already on the phone (my phone) with him and looking at me petrified. I sat as she finished her conversation. "Ya, I have another son." Fine, why didn't you ask me if you could use my phone to call long distance to Florida? "I have never called. this was the first time." REALLY? hmm. Our phone bill proved otherwise. No biggie. So a few long distance phone calls. For my husband, alarm bells were ringing. There were other things too. Signs I should have seen but didn't. The missing DVDs, the disgusting piles of trash and food accumulating among the higher, waist deep piles of thrifted clothing in the studio, the weird garlic shit smell that wafted down from the stairs in the breeze-way between the door and the garage. One day in November when I was still delirious and sick, she told me that the toilet wouldn't flush. She thinks the pipes are frozen. It happened in her last place and she knew how to fix it. In the mean time she just won't use it. fine. don't use the toilet. whatever.
So many times I have thought about all of the warnings signs. The frequent "white lies," I caught her in, the smells and strange behavior. There is obviously so much more that I have not mentioned. Little things that flash on the screen when you see the end point twist in a movie. That part that leaves your jaw on the ground. And it was my house. I should have paid closer attention. I was just so sick. and weak. Besides, I NEVER could have fathomed what came next. You don't look for signs of this.
Tomorrow: THE UGLY
Levis Corduroy pants: vintage thrifted
Belt with coin purse: Vintage thrifted
bolo: (Go BOLOMANIA) thrifted