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Down, Out and South

28 May, 2007

Summer is the season for lovers. I'm convinced of it. The long sultry nights, the parties and a casual atmosphere for people. I was at the end of things. At least that's how I felt. It was a Tuesdaymorningand I had just lost my job. I headed out to the community center with a plain house dress on, no money, no hope and no make up.I would have never guess I 'd meet someone I llked that day. I certainly did not like myself or my life.

I had just started dating someone.Adam was anice guybut I just wasn't that into him. So when I sat outside with the smokers this short terrific guy with a painter's cap said in a southern drawl,"So I suppose you got yourself a big ole boyfrien?." Normally, I don't lie. But I did. Adam would just have to adjust.

"No, I don't". It was a relationship started with a bold faced lie and believe me there were many lies to follow.

We started dating and I found out he had chef training and loved to cook. I loved hearing about the south since I've lived most of my life in northern Minnesota. I couldn't see any faults in him. I felt radiant. But I knew like a summer perennial that our love would not last. The painter man was the only man ever to smoke in my bed. "I AINT goin to burn the house down" and I just accepted this answser.

Life would have been sunny ifhe wasn't a terrible drunk and a drifter. Now,I'd like to add a serious disclaimer to this story. Don't take a drunk off the street into your home and enable him. It is not a goodor safe idea.

Painter guy lied, drank, threatened and messed up my apartment. But I loved him so much. I still do. Everyday I pray for him.Whatever happened to him I don't know. I miscarried his child. "Everyone around me dies", he said. His parents both died when he was a child. He was raised by the foster care system in North Carolina and his grandma Ruth. I talked to grandma Ruth on the phone. She spoke like a well raised southern lady. She said,"Throw him out." I thought that was harsh.

Painter guy had hit bottom."Never say my drinking is your fault", he would say. He could cheer me up too. He said I put on an act for people. "Look, I lost both parents as a child and I know what sad is. You're faking it." I turned off my tear duct factory. He caught on.

I haven't seen him since 2006. I miss him and I always will.

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