At this late hour, my thoughts have traveled westward to a place called Arkansas. Hot Springs, to be exact. Besides having lived there from 1982-85, the city also holds the distinction as the home of my best friend from college, a guy named "Bolivar Shagnasty." It was also the "boyhood home" of a certain former president. Choosing who I like better - Clinton or Bush - is akin to asking me to choose between Pepsi and chocolate ...
Ahem, I digress. Bolivar and I shared many great times over the years, as well as countless adventures while we were both at Arkansas State University. I worked at the university's Public Radio station, and he worked across the field and railroad tracks at Bonanza. After work we often met at a place called Larry's (a 24-hour restaurant in the local mall, which used to be a Sambo's until the tiger melted into butter melted into political correctness melted into "you gotta name that eatery something else, boy!")
Ahem, I digress again. Bolivar has been nothing but a true friend over the almost 20 years I've known him. I was best man at his wedding. He wasn't best man at my first, i.e. practice marriage. He wasn't even there. Which is why my marriage to J-Belle failed worse than a country station in Gary, Indiana. Lucky for me, he was there for my marriage to Seraphim in 2001, as all my closest friends were. Yes, Bolivar was best man.
Unfortunately, my presence had no such luck with him. I was there that June day in 1996 as he wed a short redheaded woman whom I heretoforth refer to as RWP (Rhymes With Punt). Now, I did not think this of her when they married. To the contrary, the two seemed very happy and I thought this would be a marriage that makes it to the fabled "death do us part." RWP had a difficult life to date, the victim of two divorces - both ex-husbands pretty much beat her around. Bolivar was lucky #3, a good, loving husband any woman would appreciate.
Fast forward six years, to 2002. RWP announces that "she's not capable of loving" and wants a divorce. Seems she has been flirting online with someone. I'll never forget that voice mail from Bolivar that morning, the pain in the man's voice. For whatever reason, the woman got over what was bothering her (or so we thought), and wanted to reconcile. Oh, and she was pregnant. They soon had their first child.
All seemed nice, I received pictures of the boy as he grew from infant to toddler. Bolivar and RWP seemed happy again ... that lapse of sanity behind them. Granted, it still weighed on my mind's backburner, although I kept that to myself. Later RWP became pregnant again.
Then came the phone call on October 9, 2004. John Lennon's birthday, and exactly two years after RWP's first "episode." RWP not only wants out, but has moved in with this one guy (yes, the guy she was flirting with online two years earlier). Now, why would any man be interested in a married and 8-months-pregnant woman???? There's only one answer to that question, I'm afraid. And I didn't win the washer and dryer for answering that 25-point bonus question correctly.
Bolivar files for divorce, and demands a paternity test for the new baby. Well, that expands to a paternity test for his two-year-old son. Early in March he calls with the news: just as both Seraphim and I feared, not only is the baby girl NOT his, but his firstborn ... nix that; he's NOT. Both chirren have the DNA of this (vile reference to male sex organ) who has been an extracurricular activity for RWP all along. Just stab Bolivar in the gonads -- it would hurt less!
As I write this, VRTMSO and RWP are dragging this out ... keeping Bolivar and his lawyer in a nightmare of legal limbo hell. Which puzzles me, because RWP has indicated that she wants to marry VRTMSO as soon as her marriage to Bolivar is dissolved. How's that for "not being capable of loving anyone"??
As for Bolivar, it'll be a wonder if he ever trusts another female creature again. And as for RWP? It would be justice if marriage #4, to VRTMSO, becomes a low-budget Lifetime movie and everything that goes with it.
I can't believe I actually said that, either. But for what this walking yeast infection did to my friend Bolivar, as good and decent a man as they come, it's difficult to resist entertaining such wishes. If the woman couldn't handle a loving husband, that's one thing. But why did she lead him on with a two-year-long April Fools joke "Bolivar, you're a Dad - HA HA FOOLED YA, YOU'RE NOT!"
I don't know God's purpose for doing this to Bolivar -- but it'd damn sure better be part of His master plan for Bolivar's eventual happiness. I pray non-stop that one day his heart will be able to trust, and that he'll come upon a Seraphim of his own.
Chicago's "Dialogue, Part 1 & 2" is playing on Music Choice Classic Rock at this very moment. I don't know why I mentioned that, but I just did. Well, it IS one of my favorite Chicago tracks.
It's a crappy way to wrap up a tome, but it's wrapped up.
Ciao for niao.
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