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Monday, March 4, 2013

The Devil You Know Part 15


For the next three or four days, David and I reach out to Tommy and Roy. They can’t believe what has happened, but make it clear that they really don’t want to get involved. In reality they are just the landlords and think the dispute should be handled between Bill M. and myself. Roy tells me that he will vouch for me if this ever goes to court, but thinks that it is best to just walk away and forget it. 

I wonder if Bill M. has something that he is holding over their heads.

The biggest problem is that I have no money and can’t afford a lawyer to take Bill M. to court. I have no receipts for any of the rent or utilities, so it would boil down to my word against his. David and I even try to get help from the Albany Police department who tell us the same thing “Let it go.” So we do.

I only have the clothes on my back that I had been wearing; everything else is gone. The Nine poster that Sue and I took in New York City is gone as well. I have nothing and I mean nothing. David lets me wear whatever I can find in his closest. The problem is that David is bigger than me; I have a hard time finding anything that fits. David has an idea to take me clothes shopping but I don’t have the budget to buy anything new, so we make a trip to The Salvation Army.

I break down into tears several times while going through the racks and try to hide it from David. He pretends not to notice but asks me if “I am ok?” There are several people who are shopping in there because it is cool to buy Vintage. The “Punk Scene” in Albany is huge and the Salvation Army is the place to go to find clothes for it. We end up getting several bags of clothes and shoes for about $36.00. It is pretty apparent that I bought the clothes to survive and not for the style, even though I was starting to adopt the “Punk Look” myself.

In the weeks that follow I get a job working the counter at The Half Moon Café. The Half Moon Café is a health food restaurant located at the bottom of the hill on Madison Avenue. The main room on the ground floor is split into two rooms with a back patio that has a great screen door and a picnic table.

In the main room is where we prepare the food and serve the customers. The second room has several tables and nightly serves a different function. One night the room is for poetry readings, the next night is for new bands, the third night serves as a Lesbian AA meeting place. Every day the most eclectic people will walk through the door and want either a Kefir shake or a tofu stir fry. It is a CO-OP restaurant so it is owned by several of the people who work in the restaurant.

There is a hippie dippy vibe going from the main owners but almost everyone working there has giant hair, piercings, tattoos and smoke like chimneys. There are three main owners, Tommy, Jim and Jody. Tommy loves to talk about the value of having a compost shed in his backyard. It is also clear that he drives Jim and Jody nuts and tends to do things without passing it by them. In the beginning I work only three shifts but pick up anything I can get my hands on.

One of the girls who works there and I start to work every shift together and find that we enjoy each other’s company. She is about 4’10, her hair is orange and short in the front and long in the back. People scream out “Hey Cyndi Lauper,” wherever she goes. Her name is Kim and every day she wears something that has a leopard skin print, tight pants and lots of Madonna bracelets. We become fast friends and share the fact that health food grosses us out, so when we work together one of us runs out to Big Dom’s subs and buys a roast beef sandwich that we hide and eat under the counter.

One day on my way down Lark Street, I notice that hanging in the window of an antique clothing store are two smoking jackets. I stop and take a closer look. I realize that these are mine; they had been given to me as a gift from The Albany Civic Theatre when I was done with Heaven Can Wait. They were in the apartment that Bill M. said he threw out.

I don’t even hesitate a moment and walk into the store.

To be continued…..

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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