Why i don’t write fiction…

Mercifully, Dad had been dead for almost a year when DQ’s first husband, LC, was sent to prison for four years.  Dad would have been pretty upset with the circumstances that sent him away…. as well as the subsequent festivities at DQ’s ‘trailer’ next door.

DQ was in her early 30’s, and their daughter, DQ, Jr. was about 7 years old.  Claiming post-traumatic distress as an excuse, DQ went a bit wild on the dating scene after divorcing her jailed husband.  During one of my weekly phone calls, Mom informed me that DQ had moved her current boyfriend into her house.  Seemed sudden to me, but i was willing to spot her some degree of trauma from the events of the prior few months.

Josh, this new live in boyfriend, was 18 years old.  And still in high-school. 

DQ was also in the midst of a huge financial mess.  She and her husband had been in debt up to their eye sockets, including a second mortgage at an obscene interest rate.  This had created a situation where her house was worth less than she owed on it.  My sister, T (the Business Professor) and i were consulted by Mom and DQ’s mother (my oldest sister, S) as to how best to resolve DQ’s finances.

Running the numbers, T and i were in complete agreement.  Bankruptcy.  The court would be sympathetic, due to the jailing of her husband, and this was also prior to changes in bankruptcy laws that were to become more favorable to the creditors.  It was a no-brainer.  Which, of course, means the suggestion was dismissed (DQ: “I don’t wanna give up my stuff!”) and Mom and S decided they’d take over DQ’s finances and throw their own money at the problem to help her dig out.

This brilliant financial solution amounted to S handling all bill paying, at a personal cost of $1000/month.  Mom kicked in for food, which was costing her about $500/month.  DQ was living on unemployment at the time – again, claiming trauma had prevented her from working, she was eventually laid off. 

i had divorced myself from this mess after being asked for advice, providing the requested advice, and that advice was rejected.  This was, in fact, the first time i told them – “i will not bail you all out of this mess if your plan fails”. 

My sister, T, came to town for a week to stay with Mom.  It was her “play by play” account of the situation at DQ’s that did it.  i finally realized just what a Redneck Freak Show it had become.  She called me her first day in town to unload:

T:  Holy shit!  Have you been over to DQ’s in the last month?

daisyfae:  Nope.  Been avoiding it.  Weak stomach…

T:  I walked over there with Mom, and there are these people huddled on the couch in the family room.  It’s a pregnant girl, her boyfriend and a toddler.  I asked Mom “who are all these people? Since when can DQ afford to be taking in the homeless?”

daisyfae:  What?  There are other people living there?

T:  Oh, and this 300 pound ape-man comes walking out of the kitchen, eating an entire Domino’s pizza.  A fucking large!  That’s Josh.  I told Mom “You wonder how she’s spending $500 a month on food?  Look at how big that bastard is?  Can’t she find a skinny briar for a boyfriend?”

According to Mom, T said this in front of everyone there… and no one reacted.   T has a refreshing habit of calling ’em like she sees ’em… 

Within a couple months, however, there was trouble in trailer park paradise.  One afternoon, DQ Jr. shows up on Mom’s porch, frantically knocking…

DQ Jr:  Granny!  You’ve got to come over!  Josh is beating up my Mom!

So, my mother, in her late 70’s, follows the 8 year old child next door.  Swinging her cane in front of this 300 pound caveman, she said “If you ever hit my granddaughter again, I’m going to club you, buddy!”

Within a few days, Josh moved out, graduated high school, and was supposed to be getting a football scholarship to a local university.  DQ later met up with BJ, who was also about 18 at the time, and they eventually married.  And they lived happily ever after… 

Oh.  Wait.  Trailer park stories never end that way…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Mom and S continued to dump their cash into the black hole of DQ’s debt for 18 months.  It became a sore point between S and her husband, J, and almost broke up their marriage.  $27,000 later, DQ was still in debt up to her eye sockets, was unemployed and was not going to be able to stay in her house much longer.  Yep.  That’d be about the time they threw in the towel and had her declare bankruptcy.  After the laws were changed, becoming much more rigorous for debt repayment, of course.  (sigh)

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18 thoughts on “Why i don’t write fiction…

  1. [sitting in wide-eyed wonder and clapping at the end of the story]

    ooo, good one, DF, tell us another one, tell us another one! i’ll get some s’mores and we can settle in for another good, true-to-life yarn…

    sheesh, it’s a wonder you turned out normal…oh…wait…

    [whistling nonchalantly]…

  2. This would hurt less if it weren’t so damn familiar. We supported one family member for over a year, while she allegedly took classes and worked to get her life back together. Only to find at the end that she was using the cash for drugs and such, while her 3 kids languished. That was a hard lesson to learn.

    Good on you for sticking to your guns.

  3. Wow. All I can say is….wow. I will have to bookmark this (and other of your family-oriented posts) to re-read in those times when I think my family is driving me nuts. Compared to you, I have a walk in the park.

  4. It is frustrating being proved right, isn’t it? Especially in situations where much suffering and expense could have been avoided if people only listened to the advice they asked to be given. As UK said, this whole story made me a little homesick.

  5. wow…my life is Fabulous compared to that…It is a wonder you were strong enough to move up in the world…Makes me respect you all the more…(at least as much as I can from reading a blog) = )

  6. archie – as they say, “you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friends nose…” Not exactly Steinbeck, but it’s all i’ve got today…

    nursemyra – working up to some more fun. just can’t seem to do more than one or two a week without getting wrung out… blech… that’s just no fun.

    tNb – told this story to one of my daughter’s friends last weekend, and i realized how well it captures the ‘essence’ of the park. “Eau de Trailer”?

    gnukid – there are people who have experienced much, much worse. i got out, but the trailer park gots long arms… my fear? is that i am sometimes on the edge of going back…

    yogi – sorry to hear that you’ve been down this road, too. just so frustrating – my mom and sister didn’t have the cash to throw away. it was obvious to me (and my other sister) that it was impossible… but they all ignored us because DQ was afraid she’d lose “my stuff…”. (sigh)

    awalkabout – i’ve used that tag before, and shall certainly use it again (double sigh…)

    bottlesmoke – welcome to the park, and thank you for your kind words. i may, in fact, be the only blogger on the face of the earth who has no delusions about writing a book. i’m just hoarkin’ up my demons into the ether… better out than in…

    tysdaddy – only because i’ve been down that road before, and am many thousands of dollars poorer (and my family no better ‘schooled’) than before…

    rob – i’m finding myself further and further removed. i just don’t want to know them any more… they don’t know me, in general, because they never bothered (remember, i was separated for 4 years, and divorced for 6 months before i told them – and no one noticed!). i’ll be cordial, but ‘warm’ may be more than i can manage in the future…

    unbearable banishment – all true. i have no imagination. seriously. i ‘report’, not ‘create’. do i ever think about moving away? i’m already 60 miles north. not even close to far enough. within 5-10 years, i’ll be a ghost…

    sweetlifeconfidential – like a fucking recurring wart, ain’t they?

    uncle keith – and be glad they’re not YOUR family… we currently have no meth labs (that i know of) so you may have me there…

    chris – it just never ends. when i think it’s done, and things are going ok, and i can breathe? there’s more… always and endless fount of stupid.

    renalfailure – if you ever add a new character to your imaginary world, pehaps “Super Trailer Granny” can hang with Mercury Shadow and Crimson Paraplegic… or fill in when they’re on holiday? mom did try to kill her second husband when she caught him with another woman… she’s pretty bad ass…

    hisqueen – i’m lucky. no great secret to getting out. just luck and opportunity, and the fundamental desire to never be like them. oooh…. inside my head voice is not doing well lately…

  7. silverstar – no, her unemployment went for random trips to WalMart for shit she didn’t need. Mom was paying the $500/month for food. i don’t think i spent that much on food when i was feeding a family of four…

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