Comforting Words: Performing Arts My Ass! Chapter 2

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Performing Arts My Ass! Chapter 2

The story continues…

All hell broke loose with my suggestion that we contact Whacko.

It was about a week away from Thanksgiving and Whacko and The Witch were still visiting family across the country. Little did I know that Perfidia was in constant contact with The Witch. The telephone record would later show how often they were talking across the miles – probably laughing at how wise they were and how stupid their two University-educated partners were.

The dinner plates after our Thanksgiving meal were not even dry when Perfidia informed me that not only was our relationship over but the almost 16 years we spent together was a pretense and a farce. A week later, Perfidia walked out and never returned. That move coincided nicely with the return of The Witch to Edmonton.

Dazed, dumped and severely depressed, I tried to kill myself on October 18, 2006 by swallowing every pill in the house that I could lay my hands on. Obviously that did not work. My friend found me and called the ambulance. All I got from that experience was a fast ride and a pumped stomach.

Perfidia came to the hospital displaying no empathy and freezing cold, simply to inform me that the relationship was over. The Witch was only too willingly to reinforce that message each time I tried to make contact with Perfidia by telling me how shameful a person I was and how ashamed of myself I should be.

I tried to kill myself a second time just before Christmas when the stress of Perfidia's coldness, the silence and the financial ruin that was facing me became too much to bear. We had huge amounts of debt and all of it was in my name. We had planned and agreed that I would delay my pursuit of a second Master's degree to allow Perfidia to finish culinary arts training – but Perfidia walked out before the cherry was even cool in the pie. My return to University was down the toilet. I had no medical insurance as Perfidia was the one with the benefits but I needed daily medication for chronic diabetes. Within a month of leaving Perfidia cut me off saying that "You are not my partner." Death seemed the only way out but again an angel came to my rescue.

While I was going through my brand of hell, Whacko was trying to get a clear answer as to whether there was a relationship with The Witch. After listening to lies and innuendoes about me being a crazy, angry black woman Whacko had enough. A formal parting was the only way out and that meant splitting common property and selling their house.

That was when things got really ugly.

The Witch tried every trick in the magic book to cheat Whacko out of an equal share of the proceeds. Whacko was losing it really fast and attempted suicide a couple times. The Witch refused to budge, calling Whacko's desperation 'drama' and ignored attempts at mediation.

I watched Whacko deteriorate from a bright, intellectual, professional artist albeit intense person to a basket case.

By December 2006 The Witch had obtained a restraining order barring Whacko from the co-owned house that was to be renovated and put on the market. Whacko was reaching breaking point. In one of my last conversations with Perfidia, who was still denying being in a relationship with The Witch, I warned that Whacko was very, very angry. I begged Perfidia to speak with The Witch and get the sale of the house resolved so that everybody could move on with their lives. My plea fell on deaf ears.

By Christmas 2006, my connection with Whacko was being tested and on New Year's Eve night it was broken. Whacko walked out of a small gathering at my place over a disagreement about the ethnicity of an obviously African-American opera singer. I was not sorry to see the back of Whacko that night. The depression, darkness and paranoia that went with Whacko at all times was bringing me down. Actually, a friend who had come all the way from Toronto to be with me for Christmas shouted "Don't let the door hit you on the butt on your way out!"

My Messianic complex kicked back in early February 2007 and I called to check up on Whacko. Nothing much had changed and Whacko was in a worse shape. The house was neither renovated or on the market and The Witch continued making offerings that would only serve The Witch's interest. The darkness was thickening and Whacko was turning on me for not be able to say that Perfidia was a distant memory and not involved in what was going on. I could not believe that because that was not the person I knew so I could not say that.

Staying true to myself, I refused to budge in my conviction that Perfidia was at the core a decent human being. This only seemed to anger Whacko more.

That anger boiled over on February 25, 2007.

Later I was told that the chopping down of a cherished tree, one that was planted in memory of Whacko's deceased sister precipitated the events that would unfold that night. Ruing about the disrespect to the sister's memory, Whacko became so off balanced that an ambulance was called. However, being so agitated Whacko left the hospital after becoming impatient with the length of time it was taking to get any attention from the medical staff.

I made my entry onto this unfolding drama when Whacko was in a cab returning to a relative's apartment. Hearing that there was another attempt at suicide, I told Whacko to stay put and went over to the sister's place.

After hearing the usual ranting and raving about everything and everyone, I finally convinced Whacko to spend the night at my place. But Whacko had one demand which was to go pack an overnight bag and feed the pet cat at home first. So we made our way to Whacko's apartment and I waited and waited for a few pieces of items to be thrown into a bag and a really small cat be fed.

Weary, stressed and fed up with waiting I must have asked "Are we ready?" ten hundred times (exaggeration mine). Slouched and almost asleep on the living room couch, I noticed Whacko standing over me.

"You spoiled my plan."

"What plan?" I responded from the couch. "To hurt yourself again?"

"No, to kill [The Witch]," Whacko said in a tone that bordered on maniacal.

My eyes were half closed up to that point but opened wide fast like my dog's do when the alarm goes off in the mornings. Whacko had pulled one of the longest two-pronged knives I have ever seen from the waist and was flashing it around, ranting about the evil Witch and how this was the night it would all end.

Trying to remain calm and think at the same time, I was saying all the things I had learned about deescalating situations like the one that was now right in my face. Nothing worked.

"Okay what now," the inner, really scared Claudette was asking.

"You know I cannot let you do that, so please stop talking nonsense," was all I had left to reach for but Whacko had a quick response.

"Then I will slash your throat first," making the motion to show me how my life would end. I stiffened on the couch and must have played dead as Whacko walked away. I quickly got up and headed for the apartment door with some half-baked plan to run out into the hall, bar Whacko in somehow and call for help.

I made it to the door but no further when Whacko shouted "Where are you?"

As I looked back into the kitchen where Whacko was standing to say that I was just putting my coat on so we could leave, I noticed another knife being scrutinized. "F…," was all I could say before Whacko was upon me at the door.

Tune in for Chapter 3 tomorrow…maybe.




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