humor · mental health

Queen of the Walk (Pt. 2)

This one is mostly taking place in my second year at Cows. It was after breaking up with First Idiot, but before getting too serious with Crook. It really doesn’t matter for these stories, but I’m OCD about establishing time-lines.

Entry 2: Our Krystal Method

We had two Krystals, one was Krissy and the other, Kristy. It could be confusing, but we’re talking about Krissy first. She died a few years ago, and I have no clue where Kristy ended up. I’ll be surprised if she is still living. One thing I will give Past Me, when I put my mind to learning the drug world, I learned fast. I was already an expert at crazy, it wasn’t hard to expand into drugs. The two kind of go hand in hand, but I’ll save a self-medicating chapter for later.

Krissy was the first to take me under her wing when I started nights. She was already a Cows veteran, and at the pinnacle of her sober years. She was missing a few teeth, but otherwise looked normal. You know, in the sense you wouldn’t think she had all the issues I’m about to spill. Not only would she be ok with me writing this, she would encourage it. She believed in putting her experiences to use as cautionary tales.

** Fun small town thing: when Crook was 12, Krissy’s daughter put a cigarette out on his arm at a skating rink. They didn’t know each other, that’s just what happens when two assholes have a run-in. **

At Cows, I met a woman who was happy, kind, full of energy and life. She told me, “I like you, I see a lot of myself in you.” She meant it as a compliment, it’s the thought that counts.

I latched on to her. She was actually the one living in the women’s shelter I mentioned in Blue Adam. I can still see her flipping the chairs off table tops while she told me stories. It was almost a dance the way she did it, moving fast, kinda spinning them before she dropped them in place. Opening was routine for her; drop the chairs, make silverware buckets, normal stuff, but she told me stories while we worked.

At first, I thought she was making them up. I have an uncle who does that. Makes up stories that sound real at first, but progressively get wilder until you figure out he’s screwing with you. He thinks it’s hilarious (it’s not), but that’s not what Krissy was doing.

Feeny assured me, “No, she’s had a hard life. Those stories are completely true.”

That’s when I started treating Krissy like Bugs Bunny in 1001 Rabbit Tales, and I was Yosemite Sam’s spoiled nephew. I followed her around helping with set-up, begging for stories. I choose to believe she found it endearing. She told me stories in a shameless way, almost humorous. I bet it was from sharing the stories in N.A. or something, I didn’t know about things like that back then. Not outside a few prank calls, but I really can’t go into that right now. It was a terrible idea to let kids watch Crank Yankers.

Except I was happy. And not a Prince. Wait… how can that little snot be unhappy?!

For context, at this point in Krissy’s life, she is in her early 40’s, single, and taking care of an ailing mother with whom she is very close. She stayed active in church, religion helped her stay sober, and she genuinely enjoyed helping others. Her daughter (Sally) is 21, but turned out exactly like her. This should be enough background, I’m ready to spill the crazy. I’m too lazy to Google how to write Krissy’s stories from my POV so I’ll write them from hers. It will be less headache on all of us. Especially since there seem to be a couple real people reading these… well, I’m pretty sure they’re real. If they’re not, I’ve crossed into a new level of delusions and have bigger concerns.

Sorry, moving on, I’ll start with the first story she told me. I have no clue what order they occurred in, but I want the first one I heard to be the first you hear. It sets the tone for what to expect moving forward.

Krissy Gets Arrested

One night, me and the Ex were bar hopping after doing a bunch of PCP. When Ex went to the bathroom, a man tried to buy me a drink. I said no, but Ex saw him talking to me. Ex pushed the man, and grabbed my arm, “The fuck you think you doing, you trying to suck that guy off?! You wanna fuck him?! You go right ahead and fuck him on the bar if you want!”

The stranger sees this and tries to say, “Hey whoa! The hell is wrong with you?! I didn’t know she had an old man! I only wanted to buy her a drink, she said no!” Kid, never try to reason with someone on PCP.

Ex shoved him hard, then put his cigarette out on my arm. The whole bar was watching. I looked him right in the eyes and said, “You better be careful, you’re about to make me cum in front of all these people.” You shoulda seen the look on his face, I’m telling you it was worth the scar.

Ex slapped me across the face, so I punched him right in the nose, it sprayed blood like a faucet. He hit me one more time before the stranger and another guy grabbed him. Ex hit one of them over the head with a beer bottle, but the police had already been called anyway. I kicked that bastard right in the nuts, but then I sat down before they grabbed me too. Everyone was cursing, screaming, trying to keep Ex held down till police showed up. I just sat there. Laughing my ass off.

When the police arrived, they arrested both of us. They probably only took me because of how high and loud I was. They cuffed us and put us in separate cars, but I kicked out the back window. I was wearing flip-flops, it messed my feet up real bad. They took me to the ER, but I was really pissed when they told the doctor not to give me any good stuff.

So! That was the first story I heard from this woman who was barely two inches taller than me and every bit as skinny. I truly didn’t think it was possible to kick out a window in a police car, (with flip-flops, wtf) but that kind of thing was easy to confirm in a boring, small town. Let’s do another.

Krissy’s Friend’s Abortion

When I was in my 20’s one of my friends got knocked up. We all pitched in to help her pay for an abortion, she was raped by her step daddy. I was the one that drove her up there. Oh, we don’t have a place around here, but even if we did, she could never have gotten it here. The whole town would know before her first appointment was over. No, when people get abortions, they travel as far as they can for it. It’s a shameful secret you bury in your past and pray no one ever digs it up.

We drove to a place hours north of Hicktown, past the state line. We had directions, but we kept getting lost toward the end. When we finally found it, we had to drive down this narrow gravel road that twist and turned for miles before we finally saw the place. It was swarming with protestors. Had to be 30-50 people out there with signs and bibles. They engulfed the car as soon as they saw us.

They blocked our path, those crazy bastards were pumping their signs in the air and chanting, “Turn around, baby killers, Turn around.”

I didn’t understand it. Why would you stand in a road? Do they think people are going to stop? Anyway, I kept driving. I went slow, I didn’t want anyone trying to have me arrested, plus we had a lot of drugs in the car. We couldn’t have the cops messing with things. As I creeped through, they started to peel out of the road, but this one man, he spit a huge, nasty wad of dip right on my windshield. That did it, I slammed the breaks and threw it in park.

Kid, we had been on the road for hours. Do you know how to pee on long road trips when there’s no bathrooms? Yea, I didn’t think a kid like you would. You go in a bottle. And we had a few Gatorade bottles of piss just sitting there in the back seat. I grabbed one, and poked a small hole in the top. I guess they thought it was yellow Gatorade, but when I rolled the window down and squeezed the bottle, they figured it out pretty fast. My friend fired her own piss out the passenger window at the same time. When they jumped back, we floored it. That was an angry ass mob, I don’t think I’ve ever pissed one off more. No pun intended.

We were safe when we drove through the gate. They couldn’t cross the property line without being arrested for trespassing, and they were being watched every second. When we walked through the doors, the whole facility was asking us what happened. They saw the mob split, but not why. When we told them, they clapped for us. Apparently, the mob made their lives miserable. They always hope they’ll cross the line so they can call the police, but the bastards are crazy. Not stupid. They put the facility out there hoping it would be too far for the protestors to bother, but it wasn’t. They had to escort us back to a main road, afraid the mob would get violent. My car got hit with a few eggs, but from a distance. No one would come too close.

It just occurred to me as I wrote it down, this could have been a “she said friend, but really meant herself” thing. I didn’t know about that back then, but I can see how a born again Christian could maybe want to distance herself from the fact she had an abortion. Or that she led the charge of a urine battle. It doesn’t matter either way, I’m just interested in how many moments of ignorance I’ve noticed in Past Me.

Krissy Does Doggie

You really need to stay away from drugs. You don’t understand what you’ll do for them until it’s too late. When I was hooked on meth really bad, I couldn’t afford to keep up my habit, but I couldn’t stop either. If I didn’t have it, I was too sick to work. Vicious cycle.

When I was hard up for money, I had a dealer who would trade for sex. One day, he was having a party and I needed some really bad. Instead of letting me give him a blow job, he wanted me to let his German Shepherd fuck me.

I told him, “ I’ll suck you, fuck you, fuck your friends whatever you want, but I’m not fucking no damn dog, mother fucker.” He was a sick piece of shit. He had been up for days on who knows what all drugs, that made him nastier than usual.

“Nah, if you want it now, you take them clothes off and get down doggie style. I’ll go get Boomer and see if he’ll take you.” Sick bastard knew I had to do it. Every person there gathered in a circle around my naked ass. I got on the ground doggie style like he said. I half believed it wouldn’t work. I prayed it wouldn’t. But it did. It didn’t last too long, and I guess I was lucky they didn’t have these phones with cameras in them back then. That was my rock bottom for sure. Oh well, the dog was probably cleaner anyway.”

Ok. No matter what you think of that story, you have to admit it’s insane she could talk about it at all, but to laugh about it? Wow. Just wow. If only I had known the term “inter-species erotica” back then. I don’t know what I would have done with it, but if there was ever an opening to use it, that was the moment.

Krissy Finds Porn

I don’t know what story to tell you today, I’m too upset about Sally, I don’t know what to do with that girl. I was a terrible mother and we both know it. It’s meaningless to hear life advice coming from me. I wish she would have been smarter, more like you. She just doesn’t think. I didn’t do right by her, but her daddy was worse. That man ruined her.

Don’t tell anyone else about this, but I found out how she’s been paying her rent in that slum hole. She’s been doing porn! Don’t try to find it or nothing, you can’t. It’s the classy stuff, you have to pay for it. It’s not just the free sites where everyone in the world can see it. At least she’s doing the professional kind.

Hey, I know! Maybe you could talk to her for me. You’re only a few years apart, you two could be friends. I bet you’d be a great influence on her, what do you say?

There was many things wrong with that one, but I could only see half of them. I knew what porn was by then, but when she told me “the professional kind” my mind took it as something more… legitimate? It turned out it was just her in front of a webcam doing what creepy perverts told her to do. I guess if you hear your kid is doing porn, that’s just about the best scenario you can hope for. Crook explained it to me later, I had no desire to learn any more details, but I was dumb enough to believe he didn’t see it, he only heard about it.

I felt obligated to agree to try the friendship with Sally. I was a sucker for “you’re like a daughter to me, she’s practically your sister” manipulations. It didn’t matter. Sally had even less interest in a kid her mother wanted her to meet than I did.

Krissy Bleeds AIDS

One time, my Ex and I were at this party. Everyone had been up all night snorting coke and smoking crack. You’d do well to stay away from anything that keeps you up. Nothing good happens after midnight. That’s when the real shit starts going down.

Cops ended up raiding the party. They’d been watching the guy who lived there a long time. We scattered every which way. I tried to go through the kitchen but I got cornered. I still had a razor blade in my hand, we were just sorting another round of lines when shit happened. I didn’t wanna get shot, so I cut my arm open. Right here, see the scar.

I slung my blood all over those cops. I was screaming, “I have AIDS you sons of bitches! I’m gonna give all you mother fuckers AIDS!“

Boy, you shoulda seen their faces! That made them hesitate! But they used mace and tasers. That really sucked. Still worth it though. They charged me with assault even though I didn’t have AIDS. Good times.

These were probably the most unique of her stories. After that they become same shit, different day type stuff. Back then, I didn’t understand the true difficulties addicts suffered. I had only a vague understanding of the mechanics. In my mind, if someone was sober less than a year, you can’t believe it. If they’re sober over a year, they’re good forever. Yes, ignorant, moving on.

One day we received word Krissy’s mother passed away. Obviously she would need time off, Feeny was amazing about stuff like that. Family first, always. We didn’t see Krissy again until the funeral. She looked like she fell off the wagon, and under the wheels. Then it backed up and stopped on top her before pulling off again. It was a horrible mess, but even though I discussed beastiality without flinching, it feels disrespectful to discuss her mom’s funeral.

** I had to guess how to spell “beastiality” and it has the red line under it. I clicked but it wouldn’t show me the right spelling. So I Googled it. It was a terrible mistake, never Google beastiality. Especially if your search bar is still set to images because you were just looking for a stupid Bugs Bunny picture. Oh, and I did it for no reason because the spelling was right the whole time. **

When Krissy returned to work, I met a new Krissy, the Krissy from the stories. An important detail for moving forward, Krissy took the bus to work from the women’s shelter everyday. After several years of taking the bus and saving her money, Krissy was able to buy a pretty nice car. She was so proud of herself, Feeny, and all of us were so proud of her. Needless to say, after she began using drugs again, we worried about the condition she could be driving in.

This is around the time Kristy would be hired. The two women had similar life styles and became fast friends.

Kristy was from Wyoming, almost 50, and moved across country to start life over. I was fascinated by her, this was an impossible notion to me. One does not simply start over a life. Her ex and three grown sons remained in Wyoming. She was close with the youngest son, but the rest of the family was strictly no contact. Apparently, they took issue with her drug use and sleeping around.

Seriously those were her words. She too, laughed about it. Maybe you’re starting to see the similarities in Krystals now.

They both lived close enough to walk to work, but obviously that would suck so they took Krissy’s car. It doesn’t say much, all of downtown and it’s surrounding area can be walked, it’s tiny. The problem is, when you’re never sober, but always driving, the odds stack against you pretty quick. No one was seriously injured, no one died, they were lucky in that way. Unfortunately for Krissy, her insurance was lapsed. No new car, no money, nada. She was super lucky no other cars were involved.

That’s when they remembered they had an impressionable teenager with a car who was desperate to please them. Why I was desperate to please them? I don’t know. That’s why I need a psychologist who wants to study my brain. Keep up people. Moving on.

Another bright side to teenagers, it takes a super small amount of cocaine to please them. It made work so much easier. To be honest, I really do understand how addiction happens. Like yea, that shit makes you feel amazing, but then you need more and money and more again, screw that.

A pattern quickly emerged. On my way to work, one of them called me, “Hey we’re at my house, you wanna stop by and do a bump before shift starts?”

“Hellz yea I do! I’m a cool kid now!”

Which inevitably led to “Alright, time for work, care if we hope in?” You know, as they’re getting in.

“Sure, I’m coincidentally already here so why wouldn’t I drive you. Again, I’m a cool kid now.”

Mean Girls was only a couple years old, this was the image in my head when I picked them up.

Every day I arrived with the two in tow Feeny tried to warn me again, “They’re only using you for your car sweetie, I don’t want to see you getting hurt.”

Poor Feeny just didn’t understand, “I’m a cool kid now, I’m way smarter than everyone else, so thanks, but I got this.” Dumbass, I didn’t have shit.

Things stayed that way until Krissy turned up pregnant. That was interesting in itself. When trying to weigh her options, she often spoke aloud. She wasn’t really talking to me so much as at me. That was fine, I never weigh in on pregnancy topics. It’s too stressful trying to figure out if you should congratulate or sympathize with the person. They’re always offended when you get it wrong.

In the pro column:

  • It was a chance to “do things right” after failing so badly with her first kid. Why a 40 something drug addict thought she was in a position to do better, I’ll never understand.
  • Having a baby would give her someone to live with, unconditional love. I avoided the temptation to say, “only a few years of unconditional love. Then it will become very conditional.”
  • Abortions are expensive.
  • If she ever wanted another child, this was the last chance.

The con column was considerably longer:

  • No drugs or drinking for 9 months (that never lasts more than a day.)
  • Babies cry.
  • Babies need attention.
  • Babies require money.
  • Being a single mother is hard.
  • Delivering a baby sucks.
  • Having a baby over 40 is risky for the baby and mother.
  • Sally was also pregnant, people would gossip. (They were gossiping anyway, again, I remained silent.)
  • No telling who the father is, or his race. Double gossip points.

Neither list mattered. Time passed while she thought it over. There would be no abortion. She refused to go through the hell of having it just to give it up for adoption, she was clear on that. The decision was made for her.

Krissy didn’t quit her lifestyle, but she moderated it better. With a baby to think of, she made an active effort at controlling herself. Not having a car to get around in helped. Ruby helped more.

Ruby was a third Krystal with a different name. She was in her 30’s and had the same story as the rest. Moved here to start over, been a waitress her whole life. Kristy replaced Krissy with Ruby and I kept my job as chauffeur until Kristy and Ruby got boyfriends with cars.

It was fine. By then, I was serious with Crook and learned pain pills were better. Kristy and Ruby had too much drama around them anyway. They were white girls, but their boyfriends were black. In a tiny town full of racists, that tends to be problematic on its own. When you add in being poor people with drug addictions, you’re fueling a cliche. To keep piling it on, Kristy was almost 20 years older than her boyfriend (Andy), and Ruby’s boyfriend (Chill) beat her regularly.

** Quick note here. I used Chill’s real nickname. We had no clue what this guy’s real name was. Not only that, an angry woman beater’s nickname was Chill. Alright, moving on. **

Andy was a really sweet guy, one in a million. Kristy treated him like shit. I saw her curse him like a dog time and time again, and he never once raised his voice back to her. I shared many a smoke break with Andy, and he would be angry, but a reasonable angry.

His biggest complaint, “If she’s got a problem, she should be able sit down and tell it to me without cussing me in front of the whole damn kitchen.”

Their relationship only got worse, Andy was a casual drug user. There is a big difference between casual drug users and addicts. It’s dangerous to put them together for many reasons, most prevalent being the addict almost always turns the other into an addict. I find successful couples must share 4 things in common.

  • Political views
  • Religion
  • Vices
  • Family values (kids, marriage, budget)

The rest can be worked out. Well unless one of the people are mentally ill. If you throw a crazy person in the mix there’s this whole big set of new rules that go into effect and I think I am maxed out on acceptable number of lists in one post. I always wanted Andy and Ruby to get together, but it never happened. Kristy and Andy continued their abusive relationship for as long as I knew them. Chill disappeared, never to be seen again after beating Ruby badly enough to warrant a trip to the ER. It’s unknown if someone killed him or he fled. Seriously, both are equally plausible, that’s why I can use his real nickname. He’s either long dead or long left the name behind. Again, moving on.

When Krissy had her baby, it was healthy. There was a decent risk of defects, but despite age and drug use, the kid pulled through. When she brought it to Cows I kept a safe distance. The kid made it through enough, it didn’t need me dropping it or breaking it with my clumsy problem. I didn’t see anything odd about the interactions with other employees, I still don’t, but babies are a blind spot for me. I can only relay what I heard others say.

I sat with Feeny, Kerry, and a few others. “Did you notice it?” Kerry asked the group?

“I did. She’s completely uncomfortable with her baby.” Feeny answered sadly.

Well, that was news to me! The group of women around me, all mothers, stared at their feet, heads shaking sadly.

“That poor baby, she can sense it. They can do those kinds of things. Especially with her own mother.” Another added.

“Does she have anyone to help her at all? The father?” Kerry asked.

“No, she isn’t sure who the father is and since her mother died it’s just her. Sally just had a baby, she can barely handle her own.” Kristy told us.

“Oh that’s terrible.” Kerry said. After a pause she mused, “I bet it will be weird for the babies, being each other’s aunt and niece.”

“That will be the least of it.” Kristy said.

Life moved on, Krissy eventually came back to work. She and Sally worked out a semi co-parenting type arrangement. When I quit Cows, she was still waiting tables full-time. She worked there until the day it closed down for good. We didn’t keep in touch, she didn’t use social media, not that it would have made a difference. I suck at keeping in touch. I never think to make the effort. If someone talks to me, I’ll usually respond. But if they don’t make the effort, it’s pretty much over.

A few years ago, I received a message from Kerry. Krissy’s body was found dead in a ditch. She was assaulted, body dumped without ceremony. After Cows shut down, everyone went their own way. We can only guess at the circumstances surrounding her death. Police tend to allocate less resources to victims with her reputation. No one was ever arrested for her murder.

I choose to remember Krissy as she was when I first met her. That was the real Krissy. Everything else was the consequence of a hard life in a hard town with hard people. The world broke her, and now, she is finally free. However the after-life works, I hope she was able to see her mother again.

Actually, before I go, there’s a fascinating Netflix documentary I watched, Surviving Death. The first few episodes about psychics and mediums are hogwash, but the last episode is very interesting. They have a scientist who does research on terminally ill patients. He travels around interviewing people at nursing homes, and found most, if not all, were experiencing vivid hallucinations of cherished memories. Most insisted they weren’t hallucinations at all, but real events. I can’t do it justice, but you get the point.

If you’re like Hubby and annoyed by grieving people believing in psychics, I recommend going straight to the last episode.

Regardless of how you want to explain what they experienced, the fact is, they did experience it. They were able to re-live the most precious moments of their lives, and attain a sense of peace before they died. That’s beautiful and reassuring. Eventually, we are all leaving this world, I can only hope to be as lucky as they were.

Alright, seriously, that’s it this time. As usual, I super appreciate each and every one of you.

2 thoughts on “Queen of the Walk (Pt. 2)

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