Monday, August 04, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 33:
how darlene stiffed the lawyer


once i had gut over feelin sorry fer myself fer gittin everthang i wonted, i wuz able to git the deevorce a'goin. frum the distunts of near thirty years, i kin see darlene with differnt eyes. at the time, i couldnt magine that thar wood be a nuther woman fer me. i couldnt magine havin one who wuznt as smart as she wuz. i couldnt magine a nuther one a fallin fer sumbidy lack me. i couldnt magine feelin whut i felt fer her fer innybidy else.


but frum whar i sit now, i kin see that whutever i felt fer her, however much i luved her, i dint lack her much a tall.


i gut a vivid reminder of that whenever i went over to pick her up to meet the lawyer. this wuz in early 1975, n by then she wuz willin to admit whar she wuz livin n let me off of payin fer a dorm room that wuz jes fer show. they had em a place over in karns whar thar wuz a barn n all, witch thats whar she had lil dude northfleet. whenever i pulled up, they were out back, n when i went to see em, thar wuz darlene leading perfesser william streicher around n tellin him whut to do.


twuz all i could do not to laff. wuznt he now caught in the trap i had jes wurmed my way out of?


but even seein that, thay wuz this part of me that wonted her back, n i deespized him fer not standin up to her. hadnt i dun stood up to her whenever i wuz with her? did i let her boss me around? hell no. corse, i dint have her, n thay wuz part of me that hated him even when i wuz a'lookin down on him with my lil form of pity.


fack is, i half to add mitt it tuck a long while befor the last of them feelins fer darlene lef me. but after i had marked my tree, as twere, after i had thrown my life away n found it agin, i no longer had time fer a sartin kind of foolishness.


so twuz i who called a lawyer n gut her to cum see him by sayin we could figger it out tugether or i could git me one n she could git her one n we could let the courts do thar thang.


since neethur of us wonted that, she agreed to go meet the lawyer, witch i cant fer the life of me member his name ceptn he had a office in grove center in oak ridge n he wuz one of them verr pale folks with hair so white n fine twuz barly thar. twuz a odd conversayshun. whenever we started talkin bout the deevorce we wuz a'wontin to have, we dint know if twuz a'gone be her deevorcin me or me deevorcin her, but by that time, dint matter whichn dun tuther on a counta i jes wonted it dun sos we could move on to the next faze of life.


turnt out darlene did care witchn twuz to blame, n that mint a bit of negosheeayshuns. in them daze, tennessee dint have no fault deevorce yet, so we had to have us a reason. she woodnt accept the langwage of cruel n inhuman treatment, eethur die reckshun, witch thats whut i mite wood have used on her, or else abandonmint. non-support turnt out to be more her cup of tea. twuz a fack that i sed i woodnt pay fer everthang once she wuz moved out, so we agreed this wuz closest to the truth.


then the lawyer tole me i needed to let the two of them have a momint alone sos we couldnt git caught on colushun, so they tuck bout five mints together, long a nuff fer him to git her billin address. turnt out ifn she dint wont the crime to be on her hed, she wood have to pay him n twood weaken the case ifn i wuz to pay fer him n she wuz to claim non-support, n whenever he splained that, i felt lack i had jes beat darlene in a argumint, witch that dint happen much.


so twuz agreed i wood pay the court costs, witch they cum to $44, n she wood pay fer her lawyer, witch he wuz asting $225 n i guess she dint have no room to dicker with him.


they scheduled the event n had it without even a'tellin me when twood happen, but long story short, it did, n by then i wuz dun with the furst deevorce, n that closed out a marrg that lasted egzackly four years, eight munths n four days. they sent me a bill fer the court, witch thats how i larnt the marrg wuz over.


i dint see darlene agin frum then till now n i reckon i wont ever see her agin.


i did run into her lawyer one evenin. i wuz livin out at the farm n wurkin graveyards by then n twuz my habit to stop in at shoneys big boy restrunt to have the half pound o'ground round speshul, witch i had the same thang mos ever nite, n i seen him a'waitin in line to pay his bill. he spotted me n nodded, n i nodded back. then whenever he wuz dun payin, he cum over to ast did i know how to git in touch with darlene.


i sed i thought she wuz livin over in karns, but that wuz old informayshun. he had dun sent bills thar n even a bill colleckter, but he still hadnt gut his pay.


i could see he wuz a flirtin with the idee of astin wood i pay her bill, but twood be hard to ast sumthin lack that. he could have tuck my side n used the argumint that twuz abandonmint whenever she moved out, but ye could see he wuz a lil sweet on her n twuz his prefernce to take her fer his customer. so i figgered he gut whut he wonted. beware of whut ye wont!


n ye wood thank bein a deevorce lawyer he wood no that a deevorce means not payin all ye promissed in the furst place.  he wuz lef with darlene owin him money n im shure that hurt a nuff, speshly to be taken thataway.


but i wuz lef with a wounded hart that dint seem lack twood ever wurk the same agin, n thay wuz times i hated her fer takin me the way she dun, fer usin me to git out of her the danger of livin with her mama, witch that dun twisted her up sum, n usin me to git her educayshun, witch she wuz nearly dun by time we deevorced.


n it seemed to me fer years that she had left a wound that wood never heal. now i kin see now that twuz a lot lack whenever they broke my laig sos it could be set strate, but at the time it seemed lack a senseless wound.


strang tole me time wood mend it, n he wuz rite, but twuz a crule message on a counta time seemed to move mitey slow.


but i half to add mitt, whenever i watched that poor albino lookin lawyer walk away without astin me to pay fer darlenes debt, his head down n his hands back in his pockets, as if he wuz a beaten man, i gut a lil thrill. whutever else darlene had dun to me, i had to add mire the way she had stiffed the lawyer.

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