June 7th, 2019
Yesterday I went online and set up a prepaid telephone account for a girl that we love. I did that so that she would be to call us from the Taycheedah Correctional Institution. She wanted us to include her boyfriend’s phone number on the account, but I couldn’t get that to work on the vendor’s website, and I wasn’t sure how to set up a separate account just for him.
The girl called us this morning. Karin and I were in the car. We were going to a coffee shop in Bay View. Karin’s cell phone rang, and I pulled over to reduce the noise.
The girl first wanted to know why we hadn’t set up an account that would allow her to call her boyfriend. I tried to explain to her that I couldn’t set up a debit account for her, an account that would let her call any number. She muttered under her breath. Then she blurted out,
“You called my P.O.!”
Ahhhhh, it was all out in the open now. The young woman knew that I had called her probation officer when I found out that she was huffing keyboard cleaner again. She had already been in the ER twice because somebody found her unconscious from doing that shit. I ratted her out when she did it a third time.
She went on, “My boyfriend told me that you called my P.O.! YOU PUT ME IN PRISON!”
She took a breath and shouted, “Were you ever going to tell me?!”
That’s an excellent question. I had good intentions about telling her what happened, but I was waiting for the right time to tell her. That really meant that I was never going to have the courage to tell her. There was never going to be a good way to slip the subject of betrayal into casual conversation. The truth was that I knew she would find out, and I was pretty sure that she wouldn’t find out from me.
I got angry at this point. I told her,
“I did call her (the P.O). You were going to die. I would do it again!”
The girl replied bitterly, “There are drugs in prison too.”
I told her with the same level of bitterness, “Yeah, and I’m sure you will get them if you want them.”
Karin glared at me and told me, “Stop. You’re not helping.”
Then she told the girl, “We did what we had to do. It was hard for us too.”
The girl half-sobbed and half-screamed, “You say that you love me. You really hate me!”
I was about ready to give this young woman a heart-felt “fuck you”. I didn’t.
The girl continued, “You do all this to me, and you won’t even set up an account so I can talk to my friend!”
I went off on her, “Do you know how we found out about what you were doing? Your boyfriend told us!”
Karin once again had to reel me in. “Stop that. Now.”
I started the car up and spun it around toward home. I told the girl,
“We are going home. I soon as I walk in the door, I am setting up an account for your boyfriend.”
Side note: the boyfriend is actually a good guy. He loves the girl. She loves him. He, like this young woman, has an interesting past. He wants the girl to be clean and sober. He is also penniless. That’s just how it is, and that is why we are getting him a phone account.
Karin and I arrived home. I went directly to the computer to set up an account for him. That went well until I had to enter an email address. I tried to use mine, and the website said,
“Error. This email address has already been used.”
I erased the entry and tried to set up the account without an email address.
“Error. An email address must be entered.”
I told Karin that I had to have the boyfriend’s email address. She texted him. Karin also tried to calm the girl on the phone.
Oddly enough, the boyfriend responded quickly. I got the address from Karin, whipped out my credit card, and made an account for him.
I told Karin that I was successful. She came to me holding her phone.
“She wants to talk to you.”
The girl told me coldly, “Thanks for setting up the account.”
I replied, “Yeah, okay, you’re welcome.”
The girl told Karin, “I love you guys, but I’m going to be upset for a while.”
A while later, Karin and I sat at our dining room table and drank coffee. I felt ragged. Karin no doubt felt the same.
I told Karin, “I’ve been thinking about my father (he died on November 10th of last year). I was walking the girl’s dog yesterday, and I thought about what my dad would have done about this young woman. He would have cut her dead ten years ago. He would have pretended that she never even existed.”
She said, “He wasn’t strong enough to handle it. He couldn’t deal with this sort of thing.”
I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be strong enough for all this.”
Maybe I am strong enough. I don’t know.