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"The roads of life are strewn with the wreckage of run-down and half-finished loves"Ralph W. Sockman
Hello love… .
WHAT THE… .
I responded back...” I think you think I am someone else”
It was Bootsie. She was in IXTAPA with her then lover Dallas. And she was desperate to talk to me. I told her to call my cell. But it was expensive roaming then. She made plans to see me when she returned. And true to her word, one week later, she showed up at my job on Chelsea.
I was in my office which oversaw a beautiful but badly in need of work, courtyard. She was sitting on the cement curbing around a fountain just staring up at me. She was very good at that. I have no idea how she even knew where my company was much less my office. Mel hadn’t even been there. But Bootsie knew.
It was late; I was working on a special project. I was making airtight encasements for Kimono’s for an upscale Asian restaurant. They were going to hang the glass framed beauties. I was very excited to be working on it, but even more fun, I had tried on one of the Kimonos and in the evening light, the sun was setting and shining directly in the window. There was no mirror so I turned off the lights so I could see my reflection in the window. And there she was. It was a picture without words. The window reflected me in the kimono, at the same time Bootsie could be seen looking up. The two Juxtaposed together.
Ok. I admit, I love this sort of pursuit.
It is said fanatics are picturesque, mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reasons. When Debra and I were together, and even after we broke up, I loved the idea that she could be out there somewhere, stalking me. Watching me. Sick. But flattering in a very restraining order sort of way. Debra loved to leave roses on my vehicles. One time I had been 120 miles from home working in League City. It was fall, getting late early and as I left the building I saw the ribbons tied around the stems floating on the breeze and twirling around my antennae. With the sun setting, they looked like a surreal silhouette. And my heart leapt. Most women would be apprehensive in the weak light. Only women know how to be romantic like this. I miss that so much. Just once I would love to walk out my door and spot someone in the distance looking up at my door.
And that is exactly what Bootsie was doing. I have written of Bootsie often, so you should be familiar, but just in case, I will bring you up to snuff, as my grandfather would say.
I met Bootsie at Kindred Spirits, a gay bar on Richmond Avenue and 610 in Houston. I was straight; Debra and Anna brought me there when my husband was out of town. Bootsie worked there. Sometimes as a bouncer taking ID’s and sometimes waiting tables for the bar. And she was a personal attendant that first night I ventured on the wild side. I thought she was cute, but made it clear I was off limits.
“Sure you are” Bootsie countered.
Five years later, after Sheryl Chevalier and I split, I drove to another women’s club, The Ranch, where Bootsie worked. I had just left work. Wearing a teal blue business suit, calf length skirt with a slit to just above the knees, black pumps and my “West U” bob, I made my way to the bar and there she was. I ordered a drink and as she handed it to me I pulled her by her necktie so I could whisper in her ear.
“Do you want to talk to me here or at my house?”
Thinking she would shrug me off as another gay groupie. After all, she was a popular fixture in the gay community. She whipped her apron off and threw it and her towel over her shoulder and jumped the bar taking me by my elbow as we exited the door.
We had been on and off for many years. So what was to happen next would be a blow.
An inconceivable distress.