Part 4 -- Why All Gay Men Need to be Equipped with a Spatula
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I was overwhelmingly tempted just to keep driving all the way to Atlanta and damn it all to hell. But I realized if I did, Alton's mess, if not Alton himself, would follow me wherever I went. And I really didn't want that.
Instead I went to see my therapist. I'd called and left her a message when I was at Burger King and drove straight over. She'd just finished up for the day and was in the main office when I arrived. "I really need to see you," I said, when she finally had a chance to turn around and see that I was there. "Of course," she said.
It was all I could do to get into her office and sit down on the white wicker love seat before I was overwhelmed by sobs. I didn't then -- and still don't -- understand why I was having to go through all of that. Wasn't losing Jeremy enough? Did I really have to deal with this crap, too?
It would be another 2 weeks before I got Alton out of the house. There were repeated telephone calls, calls to the police, calls to my attorney, attempts to get him to surrender control of the car, most of which were unsuccessful.
I have this to say about the Houston Police Department:
May you all rot in hell, you homophobic s.o.b.'s!
Their attitude from beginning to end was that this was a domestic disturbance (and you could see "between two fags" right in their eyes) and they weren't going to get involved, not for anything. It was, they said, all my fault for having gotten involved with him in the first place.
I spent the first week staying at the Wellesley Inn and Suites, an extended stay hotel just a 20-minute walk from the library. In a lot of ways that was just right. I had a snug little molehole to hide out in and lick my wounds.
But it even at the ridiculously low sum of $45 / night it was more than I could afford so the following week I accepted the hospitality (and spare bedroom) of my friends Joe and Leo.
Eventually, after many fits and starts, the attorney, Yates, finally convinced Alton that it was just a matter of time before he wound up in court and Alton agreed to leave the premises. He wasn't at the house, as he was supposed to be, on Monday morning, October 28, so I let myself in and promptly locked all the doors, including the garage, through which he'd been going in and out. I took the axe I'd bought for chopping up tree roots and broke down his bedroom door, the one on which he'd installed (without my permission) a keyed lock, and I started putting his stuff in the garage.
When he arrived we argued more. "Where's the car?" I wanted to know. "Bring me the car and I'll open the garage" so that he could get the rest of his stuff. He went away and said he'd be back in the afternoon.
I was taking a potty break when he showed up the second time. I heard a CLUNK and then him shouting, "I'm in the house!" He'd forced open the dining room window and come in that way. My heart was pounding like it would explode.
"It didn't have to be this way, it didn't have to be this way," he babbled at me, then grabbed me and hugged me and, as God is my witness, told me that he loved me.
I wanted to puke.
"You really need to NOT be touching me," I said. "Let's go outside to talk about your stuff. It's all in the garage, there's nothing in here."
Eventually, he got it all. A "friend" came over to help. Alton kept telling me, "It didn't have to be this way. You're making such a big mistake. You're in so much debt. I can help you out with that."
Finally, off he went.
That night my friend Oliver came over to spend the night with me. I was still freaked out about the idea of spending the night alone. I closed and locked the door to my bedroom, put the ironing board in front of the door, the iron on the bedside table, and the axe next to the bedside table. If Alton came through that door he was going back out of it in a bodybag.
That same day the folks at Wayne State called to invite me to come for an onsite interview.
"Finally," I thought, "maybe I'll get through this."
I didn't realize it wasn't quite over yet.
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