Chapter 55

Child Support and other scams and bars and music and

Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 03:33:50 PM EST

Evil-X has gotten herself a lawyer. And, of course, caused much other mischief.




Saturday, Patty told me she was going to her Mom's for some kind of modeling school thing. I thought little of it, besides a vague feeling of uneasiness when the Evil-X is up to no good detector goes off. She left for her mom's and I drove down to Cahokia to visit Jeff.
Poor Jeff has tons of problems. His job pays shit, and his girlfriend is a certified lunatic. I mean certified, on anti-psychotic drugs and SSI. She used to be a stripper, but she's gotten very fat. Probably the psycho meds' fault, but her stripping days are over unless she sheds a hundred pounds or so. Jeff doesn't mind that a bit; he likes 'em large. Jeff's no tiny guy himself.
She had talked him into seeing some kind of presentation about selling shit over the internet, and they had absconded with two hundred bucks of his money, having convinced him that the internet was the road to riches. This despite the fact that neither of them has an internet connection.
Josh was there, and they were watching a training DVD for the selling shit on the web deal.
Have you checked on Jeff's amp? Josh asked.
Jeff had given me an old car (which caught fire and burned to the ground three weeks later; see old diary entries from last year) in return for the promise of fixing his guitar amp. After my VOM exploded in my hand while trying to figure out what was wrong with the amplifier, I threw the amp in the trunk and took it to a music store in Springfield. It had been there a few weeks. No, I'm going in this week I told him.
We talked of Jeff's need to get a computer, or at least, find a modem that will work in an ISA slot (his PC is a 486) or a serial modem he could plug into the serial port. Of course, I told him, you won't be able to use your mouse. And you're going to need a phone line!
Mike called from a park in Columbia. Big party here, come on down. I told him I didn't know anybody, that I would feel like I was crashing the party. He talked me into it with promises that they needed someone to help eat the ton of food and drink the three kegs of beer.
Beer... I drove out. Indeed, they were glad to have another person help eat and drink, and I was more than glad to help.
Sunday morning I asked Patty how the modeling thing went. Mom's going to put me through modeling school and it's going to cost a lot of money so I want you to drop the child support thing. She seemed to think that she would be guaranteed a well paying modeling career if she went through the school.
It seems the Evil-X is up to no good detector is working fine. You should have called your aunt, I told her. She went to modeling school, and they have money now, but it didn't come from modeling. Or you could have called my cousin. My cousin had not only gone to modeling school, but had a career as a model for several years. Before becoming a dental technician. Before becoming a dancer. Kathy's not rich, in fact she stopped modeling because the dental thing paid better.
Patty convinced me that she wanted this, that it would help her music career... and I was not going to let X get over on me with this. I was going to collect child support if it actually costs me more money than I collected.
I agreed to pay for it. She went to her mom's, waiting for the phone call. Don't worry, Patty said, I probably won't get picked. They only pick one out of ten.
A few hours later Patty was back. They picked me! There were only thirteen out of two hundred kids that got picked! My heart sank, and I congratulated her.
Evil-X had convinced her that I would somehow use the modeling thing against her in the child support war. X is, as you might imagine, someone who will hit you over the head with a shovel and then sue you for damages to the shovel. The whole modeling thing was a ploy to get me to drop the child support, to get Patty mad at me. And I wasn't going to fall for it. Rather than resist the expense, I ju-jitsoed her. I will bend like the reed in the wind, Paul had said in Dune, and I was determined to do the same.
Monday was a holiday, Columbus day. Tuesday after work I dropped by Walko's to check on Jeff's amp. It's done, the spooky looking dude said. This guy is about seven feet tall and can't weight more than 120 pounds, including the half dozen piercings on his bottom lip.
I'm going to have to run home for my checkbook. How much is it?
Twenty seven bucks. Wow, I was thinking a hundred, two hundred... I pulled out my wallet and paid cash, and took the amp home.
Wednesday I went to lunch at Top Cat's, and there was Patty waiting for me. Why aren't you in school? I demanded.
She was, she said, on her lunch and needed me to write her a check for the modeling school. Six hundred twenty dollars.
Gulp. Shit. OK, I said, But I don't have my checkbook with me.
I brought it, she said.
I wrote the check. Damn. I wanted to buy a new bass guitar, a new bed, I had a few bills to pay and I needed to get a new prescription for contact lenses, since they wouldn't sell me any more without my eyes being checked again and I'd had the one in my left eye for a month and a half.
I was going to be broke as hell for the next month. Again. Crap, I'm just catching up after paying the lawyer for the bankruptcy.
You work tonight? I asked. No, but I'm going to Grandpaw's with mom right after school.
Around seven I'm sitting at the computer responding to some troll when the doorbell rings. I finish typing my sentence and the doorbell rings again, quickly and rapidly, as if she's got a monster after her. Impatient kid, I mutter, and get up and go out the apartment door...
BLAM!!! A cop comes flying, literally, down the stairs and right through the neighbor's door like an action hero in a movie. Jesus but those guys can move. And they sure can get a door open fast! The noise had been them going through the heavy, locked steel door - in seconds. The cop couldn't have gotten in the neighbor's apartment faster if he'd used a key.
Slick. They can get in your house in two seconds without breaking anything. I was amazed. Someone here called us? the cop asks the neighbors.
Whoa, I say to myself as I quietly retreat into my own apartment.
A couple of hours later Patty came home and gave me the check back. Grandpaw's paying the down payment, she said.
Grandpaw is her mom's dad. I like Hubert and still drink with him.
Wow. I'm going to have to visit the old fart with a fifth of his favorite cheap whiskey. How a fellow like that could raise a demon like Evil-X I'll never understand.
Last night my oldest daughter called. She was upset with her mother, who takes care of her finances for her. Seems she'd neglected to pay Leila's cable bill but had used the money to get a lawyer to fight the child support.
I went to Boone's later to see Posamist play. The band spotted me as I was getting a beer.
McGrew! they all yell, waving. I walked over.
Dude, Levi says, you're famous! and handed me a piece of a newspaper.
It seems the local paper had done a big writeup on Posamist, and I'd been quoted. That, too, is in a previous diary. Not only quoted, but my quote was the last words in the article. There's a name for that, but I don't know what it is because I'm not a journalist.
I smiled. I didn't mention that more people will read this diary than the newspaper article I'm quoted in.


Chapter 54
Chapter 56

mcgrew publishing