Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Life: Haunted by The Past

All these old people are always living in the past. Hey, the past is past. Let's get on with what's going on today.

- Mister San Diego himself, Richard Kurtz
The thing is, your past always comes back to haunt you. Not just sometimes, always. Take, for instance, my own personal history which could be charitably described as colorful, or maybe memorable is a better word. I've tried forgettable but it hasn't worked out for me.

Many years ago when I was a young, virile twenty-something hell raiser and still working on my professional standing in the hard core party animals association (HCPAA) I sometimes dated a college student, a young lady of high intelligence, considerable talent and loose moral character. She was a divorcee with three kids (not living with her) and an ex-husband who, as it turned out, wasn't a bad sort. She had a large family who were nice people, and in fact I got along with her mom really well. Her brothers liked me and we'd all party together from time to time. It may surprise you when I state that I shall refer to this lady as Migraine One. Our relationship was a good deal like gasoline and matches, and those were the good days. Bluntly, Migraine One was neurotic with psychotic episodes and a drinking problem. I had a perfect cycle going with her. She and I would get together for a wild weekend which would turn into a one to three month romance. Then Migraine One would get into the wine once too often and start raising hell with me and I'd pack up and leave for a few months, and the cycle would repeat. You want to know just how I know that this wasn't all my fault? For those that don't give a damn, skip the next paragraph.

There are people in this world that love drama. Violent drama is best, the more people involved, the better it gets. You'll find them at late night parties in private homes, in bars, anywhere that people congregate in order to socialize. You'll spot these folks in a second if you just know what to look for. If you're at a party and everything is going along smoothly with everyone about half in the bag and having a good time, this is the person who will start something. She'll start up some friction with someone, lean on their button, whatever you want to call it. She'll either bring up a past argument or invent a new one, and invariably one side will orient against another side. Lines will be drawn, old insults and injuries brought up, and the whole thing will end with half the people on the front lawn screaming at each other and the other half trying to separate the factions and settle everyone down. Just when things might settle down she'll stir them up again, and she'll keep this up until the police arrive to settle the noise complaint or everyone goes home. The instant the police show up she fades into the background and lets someone else take the fall. Hell, by then the combatants are all on the lawn anyway so there's no shortage of possible perpetrators. But the real perpetrator? She's either hiding in the house or has escaped out the back, preferably with someone who can drive her home. This is Migraine One. I've seen her do it and get clean away more times than I care to remember. Need I say that when she didn't have an entire group to work with, she'd start up with me.

So why did I keep coming back for more? Now why do you think? What, you want me to draw you a picture or something? Base it on my being young and dumb, in the same way that all men were once young and dumb. Plus, when she was sober, Migraine One had a few sterling qualities. She was very well educated and very bright, having an IQ in excess of 130. But whatever her sterling qualities may be, they never outweighed the crap that everyone around her had to put up with.

Time passed, and after several years and a few aborted suicide attempts (no, I'm not kidding, although in hindsight I now believe that these attempts were more to get attention and manipulate others than anything else) Migraine One finally found someone else to fixate on. In a final hoorah Migraine One headed West, never to be heard from again. Until, that is, she surfaced - much like a World War II U-Boat off the coast of South Carolina coming in right under the radar.

Why did I answer the phone that day? Why didn't I have the presence of mind to pretend to be a wrong number or something?

Ring! Ring! Ri-




“It's me.”

“Who - “

“This is Migraine One! How've you been?”

“Ah. Fine. I've been pretty good, take me all around.”

“I was just thinking about singing, and I thought it would be fun to sing together. Would you like to sing with me?”

“I – singing? Well, sure, I suppose.” What could I say? Just wait until an old and long forgotten someone calls you up at three in the afternoon and asks you to sing songs over the telephone and see just how fast you are on your feet.

“Okay, what should we sing?”

By this time I realized that Migraine One's words were slurred and she might be a little more psychotic than usual. I had no idea what I'd like to sing, but the retort “I'd like to sing 'Far, far away'” popped into my mind. I stifled the one liner in favor of some pertinent information.

“Where are you right now?” Because, thinks I, if you're in town my next call will be to the local constabulary, warning them of a dangerous lunatic in the area.

“I'm in California, in LA. I know! Let's sing Bill Bailey! I'll start.”

Won't you come home, Bill Bailey...

Since LA is a good deal away from Wisconsin, I joined in with feeling, finishing the song with a fine flourish. What the hell, right? Then I get another surprise.

“Okay, well, that was fun. I have to go, but you can think up some more songs for us to sing. Okay?” slurred Migraine One.

“Sure.” I'll agree to most anything if she's hanging up. Hot puppies!

“Okay! Bye!”


That phone call was sometime last year and that, as they say, would be that - were it not for a few loose ends. It seems that Migraine One has contracted an illness of some sort that provides her with total disability and a steady supply of pain killers. Downers. Reds and yellows. Hillbilly heroine. How I learned this is immaterial, but the ramifications are not. Migraine One is now running on pills and wine. And so it was no real surprise when she called Main Lady the other day and asked to speak to me. It seems that Migraine One will be in town in the very near future and wants to get together for coffee or something. Her words, not mine – 'or something'. Migraine One apologized several times for calling me at Main Lady's house and said she hoped she hadn't caused a problem for me. In fact, she hasn't, but Migraine One can't quite wrap her conniving mind around two people having a relationship that isn't built on jealousy, spite and interdependence. Good for me, I guess. 

What I suspect Migraine One wants is a quick roll in the hay to be followed by as much Shaniqua theater as she can create, and we are talking the real good experienced actor Shaniqua theater here, the $50 a ticket for the nose bleed seats Shaniqua theater, the kind that is likely to give poor old Mad Jack's Main Lady a serious malfunction when the show opens at 2:00 AM on her front lawn, and if you think I'm kidding about this you have no idea about Migraine One and what she's capable of. I consulted Main Lady, who had an excellent suggestion.

“Would you like to invite me along for lunch?”

Oh HELL yes!


Momma Fargo said...

LOL. You are such a drama queen. Just kidding. Great post. Made me smile.

Mad Jack said...

Knave, I say.

I should probably have mentioned that Main Lady is a licensed clinical psychologist and as such can have someone put away for three days evaluation if, in her opinion, the person is a danger to themselves or to others. Just the thing for Migraine One, who may need time to sort things out and get her priorities in order.