Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Somehow, JC and I have managed to become social butterflies without ever leaving the house. Of late, since JC took his bad fall, his classmates have naturally, been quite concerned, and were calling him to see how he was doing. Well, as time went on, and his recovery was being prolonged, they began asking if they could visit. Naturally, I said, “Of course! Invite them over! They're always welcome!” Understand that this is a class rather like group therapy for people who have committed crimes, and the classes are part of the terms of their parole. And yes, rather than making everyone read between the lines, or insult people's intelligence, JC is a felon. JC is also the only man who has ever treated me with the kindness compassion and unconditional love that we all deserve. He is my rock and so steadfast and loyal, in a world where that means nothing. I know of no finer man and I trust him with my life and I love him unreservedly. I am the luckiest woman alive.

The only reason I am not, and 90% of the population with no arrest records is this: we never got caught. Everything looks worse on paper, and I long ago discovered that people with “pasts” and records are much more trustworthy, than the so-called normal, run-of-the-mill populace.

Because of the nature of the stigma applied to people who have been imprisoned, committed for mental illness and have been homeless (I really, really need to get myself arrested to get that golden trifecta, just kidding) I have gone out of my way to let them know they are welcome here. Because what's past is past and this is now. If people are going to look down on us because of what we've been through, either through stupid choices, mistakes, or bad luck, that's THEIR problem, not mine. I will hold out my hand to anyone and try to help and comfort, until I am given good reason to doubt their sincerity and their honesty. I am no less of a person for having been homeless and then, Baker Acted for mental illness. I would go so far as to say I am stronger for it and it allows me to be that much kinder to those who have REAL problems. But I am one mean mutherfuckin' bitch, as they say here on Nebraska, if you cross me, or hurt others. But, I digress.

My life was nothing at all like it is now. In 2003, I had everything, or so I thought (well, except for the asshole of a husband, Bill Nunnally, who reads this.) Never, ever think that this cannot happen to you.

So, JC's class buddies (who I think he thought didn't care, because he says he's just an old man and no fun and blah blah blah) have been coming to visit and see JC, who is glad for their company. One young man, Aron* is a viola player and also plays guitar and bass guitar. He's been bringing over his instruments and we've been looking at ways to improve his playing. Aron's friend, *James and his girlfriend, *Camille, came along one afternoon and while Aron and I looked at his guitars that day, she and James and JC were talking about sports, or whatever. I can't remember.

Nice-looking dog; not as nice as the guitars Aron brought over and played.

JC starts talking about Mr. Cantrell's hunting dog. Back when JC lived in Texas, he and this friend used to go 'coon hunting. I think JC just went along for the entertainment value. Mr. Cantrell had 2 or 3 old hound dogs at the time and he bought this beagle, who he was just bragging all about. “She's the best; she can find 'coons here, there, everywhere.” That sort of thing. The way JC tells it is hilarious; I started thinking she was looking for the Scarlet Pimpernel. Anyway, one fine Saturday, after 3 weeks of bragging on this hunter, Mr. Cantrell and JC, load up their dogs and go 'coon huntin'. The beagle had never been out with Mr. Cantrell's dogs before.

They opened the back of the truck and the dogs took off. JC had some old mongrels that pretended to hunt; they'd go about 1/2 mile and sleep in the underbrush. Never caught a damned thing. But, Mr. Cantrell''s dogs are baying and the 2 men go haring after these dogs. They get caught up with them, and these dogs are baying at nothing. And the beagle isn't there with them, she's like 3 miles ahead, hollering. So, off they go, chasing the beagle. This happens about 4 or 5 times, and Mr. Cantrell and JC are like, “the hell with this; we're plumb wore out.” The other dogs had been long gone and were in the back of the truck asleep, when a weary Mr. Cantrell and JC returned. Off in the distance, they could hear the beagle baying.

This could be kind of a "Where's Waldo" thing. I couldn't find anything else, so this is just a random picture. I wanted to post this before 2020. So, where's Mr. Cantrell's hunter?

She's just gonna have to find her own way home.” She never did and is either still huntin' 'coons, or been taken in by some other family, or maybe several families. When JC was done telling this story, which always makes me laugh, to James, Aron and Camille, I had had noticed that Camille was becoming increasingly restive and kept going into our bathroom. I kind of figured she was going through my stuff, but didn't really worry about it. This poor girl has mental problems and was molested by her stepfather and she's really a sad little person. She has horrendous physical problems with Type I Diabetes and people aren't patient with her. It's not a question of her being a thief or anything; she doesn't understand what is appropriate and what is not and I get that. I think she's a nice person and when I talk to her one on one, she's attentive and listens and is honestly trying to do the right thing; she's another long, long heartbreaking story.

Sad, but a sweetheart. Worth the effort, but people don't want to take the time.

So, just as they're getting ready to leave, Camille says to me, “Do you have any perfume I might, like use? I don't have any. Just a spritz.” So, I knew she'd been looking in my cabinets; I have some dollar store knock-off j-lo, that is 1/3 full. For some reason, known only to him, which he has yet been able to explain (not that he needs to; it only adds to the hilarity) JC rears up out of the blue and blurts, “Perfume? That'll make you smell like a whore!” And, ohsweetjesus that went right over her head. She just giggled and said, "I want to smell nice for my fiance, James!" JC had this look of absolute horror on his face. The kind of horror you see at the old Saturday matinees, when the kid is just about to get eaten/trampled/gouged to death by mutant ants/chinchillas/swamp monsters. JC had the look of horror on his face like that guy on the "X-Files" opening credit, whose face melts during the theme song. It was marvelous to behold. 

Well, I couldn't find the melting guy, but I found this, and this is pretty darn close to how JC looked after he blarted out his comment viz a viz perfume and whores.

He looked at me. I had nuttin' just blank. My face looked like Gort from "The Day the Earth Stood Still," lacking only the cyclops eye, that radiated death, because? My mind was a total blank; fried circuits everywhere. I didn't think “Gee, does JC think I smell like a whore?” or “Gee, how would JC know what whores smell like?” I rebooted my brain and thought some completely unrelated bullshit thought about a job I was doing, “Damn, I sure hope I got that system loaded before that old skinflint leaves town. I want my money” I opened my mouth and said, “Camille, wait right here.” I got the 2/3 empty j-lo bottle and gave it to her. She was delighted.

I was looking kinda like this, except for the laser beam coming out of my one eye. Right about then, my CPU did a memory dump and I'm lucky I didn't display a blue screen of death or one of those hexadecimal errors. Boolean logic is positively emotional compared to me.

It got funnier that night when JC said, “By the look on your face, I thought you were gonna say, “y'all are fixin' to have to leave now. Ima gonna beat the shit out of him for calling me a whore. Unless acourse, that is, you'd like to stay around and watch.” I said, “you weren't calling me a whore.” He said, “my other wives would have jumped right on that shit and I'd hear about it for the rest of my life.” I said, “I can do that; why ruin your fun?” We both went off in a gale of laughter again, at 4:30 am. The poor man next door got up and went to work, muttering something about “Goddamned retirees...”

*Aron, James, and Camille are all aliases, I would never use any of our friend's names without permission.

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