Comforting Words: Performing Arts My Ass!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Performing Arts My Ass!

Promises are meant to be kept and I am a woman of my word.

A few weeks ago, I told my Facebook friends that there was a story to be told and today I was reminded that it is outstanding.

Less than a month ago, I travelled to Edmonton for an unfinished and undisclosed business. At the writing of my last post, it was not prudent of me to provide the details of my trip. It was still important for me to "keep my own counsel."

Well that time has passed.

Like every good story this one has some very interesting people and of course drama. However, before getting to the juicy stuff I must set the stage. This could be a long tale but in the interest of time many of the blanks can be filled in by scanning through the archives of Comforting Words.

The year you would be looking for is 2005 - 2006 approximately one year after four people met in a grocery store. At first it felt like a chance meeting but later my better sense would remind me that there are no accidents or coincidences in life.

In my soon-to be 45 years I have lived at least four lives. This story would then be the culmination of my third life. It lasted almost 16 years and were some best and the worst years of my life. The challenges of discrimination, a dysfunctional family – my own and my in-laws', a broken Jamaican economy and migration were painful but were fodder for my personal growth.

Nothing however prepared me for the events that would unfold almost four years to the date of arriving in Edmonton.

Two people came to this beautifully cold 'Promised Land' with a child and a dog in tow to start a new life. Multiculturalism, prosperity, economic opportunities and freedom to be who you are without fear of discrimination were some of the slogans that caught my then partner's and my attention.

The relationship, though rocky at times, had lasted for 12+years when we arrived and we were hope-filled that things would improve once the barriers to everlasting happiness were removed.

Perfidia , the name I will use for my former partner, was so excited when this chance meeting occurred in the grocery store. We had been in Canada for near to two years and had not made any friends. Isolated hardly describes our existence for a long time after arriving, up until I became a member of a very welcoming church. However, the church scene was not Perfidia's idea of fun and companionship and so meeting these people and their invitation to a house party bordered on climactic.

Soon we were "friends" with this couple, seeing them almost every weekend and sharing some wonderful meals. In fact, my first jambalaya was prepared by Whacko; the name I now choose to use for someone who I once thought honourable.

But all was not well in paradise and by March 2006, or there about, Whacko and The Witch were separated. It was to be a temporary situation, to give each party time and space to work out their differences.

I heard the news of the separation while in Toronto, Ontario on church business. The Witch was so devastated that although there was a raging snow storm Perfidia had to rush over to lend support. I would later learn, much later, that our then teenage daughter was left alone for the entire weekend in order to lend support to The Witch. What a joke!

My choice of the name "The Witch" for this individual has more to do with the persona than any residual feelings of bitterness. Anyone who would lie about their husband of 22 years just to escape in the arms of another, lie about their academic achievement to gain a job they were not qualified to have, try to seduce a relative of their partner bearing a bottle of wine and a person who would smile while calling you a bitch because you were too sick to attend their birthday must own a wand. Not to mention that this individual is actually a Wiccan.

The much touted feminine intuition should never be discounted no matter the pressure received from others, particularly a suspected cheating spouse.

My spider senses were beginning to tingle when The Witch announced that a planned trip to their childhood home in another province was not to be solo but in the company of Whacko. I was flabbergasted as by then it was clear to both Perfidia and I that that relationship was over. More than once The Witch had mused aloud the plans being cooked to buy out the house co-owned with Whacko. So why in heaven's name would one go across the country to introduce to the family the person you were leading on until you could pull the rug from under their feet? Witch!

That moment should have been my first real indication that something was going on between The Witch and Perfidia. It escaped me then but I certainly did not miss when they covered themselves in a blanket on our living room couch one evening after supper. After The Witch left, I confronted Perfidia . My questions, however, were rebuffed and I was instead accused of being too jealous.

The Witch had become something of a fixture in our lives by that time, even sleeping over in our two bedroom apartment. I became uncomfortable and began to have dreams that would only later make sense. Months later I would check my journal to find an entry about a snake the morning after The Witch slept over. Most dream books that I checked basically told me the same thing:

"The snake is most of the times associated with hidden facts and thoughts, with danger that lurks somewhere near you, but you are not aware of it…The snake may also stand for slyness, deceit and treachery. With his slippery body, hiding in the grass and crawling at your feet so you do not notice it, the snake will wait for the right moment to attack and maybe kill you."

What I did not know then in July 2006 was that the snake, The Witch had already attacked. My intuition was being compromised by Perfidia's constant feeding to me that they were just friends and I was simply too jealous. Another clue that I missed was the way Perfidia became unglued when I installed caller id on our cell phones. I had no real reason to do this but a telemarketer from the phone company had convinced me that it was a great deal.

Things finally came to a head when in late September 2006 I declared that it was not right that we had seemingly taken The Witch's side and had ignored Whacko. Perfidia was not at all excited when I suggested that we got in touch and invited Whacko to dinner – just to remain balanced. As far as I was concerned they were both our friends and frankly it felt to me as if The Witch had captured us in a conspiracy to screw over Whacko.

Little did I know how close to right I was!

Come back soon for Chapter Two.






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