"A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity." Baltasar Gracian
(Click on Video to turn music off)
June 21, 1996
Life seemed perfect. However it is said if everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
I had not worked for the Engineering firm where Jerry and I met for almost two years. I was working for a Structural Engineering firm at Greenway Plaza in Houston. The place I met Mel.
I was officially 10 years gay. And I met that title to a fault. I had not been with a man since the day I kissed Debra.
But for the last 9 of these ten years I was in and out of several gay relationships - some lasting years, others seeming to last only minutes.
Maggie and I had a special bond in that, even though we had slept together, we had a stronger friendship. So we danced the dance and talked the talk but never made it past “Oh what a great friend you have been.“ And she was. We shared secrets and past pain, both in family and potential mates. Maggie’s brother had been my brother’s pawl bearer, she told me this the first day we met when working at the Wortham. Our ties were close. She was only the third woman I had been with, the second if you don’t count Sheryl, which you really shouldn’t.
I am still friends with Maggie today, as I am with ALL but my most recent partner. So in some way I must have done something right. But my most recent had girlfriends before me and they are now very good friends with me. However, they choose to not be friends with her (my ex). And several of her friends, Paul, Francine, Betty, Clay are all my friends as well. Most of them if not all have also chosen to not be friends with her (the ex).
So I guess I lost one and gained over a dozen. They talk to me more in a month than she did during the last year.
I had invited Juli and Dana, two of Mel‘s exes to our combined birthday party at Jerry‘s. They didn’t show. My ex, Yvonne showed. And she should have avoided me like the plaque (I know - cliche'). She helped my last partner move out. I invited Bootsie but Mel went ballistic and Jerry begged me not to have a lesbian duel in his house. He didn’t like that sort of thing and the last time it happened he almost didn’t survive.
The party was a hit with an almost 200 people showing. Keith Caldwell made videos of the entire thing. Including the food with a narration. Debra Davis, my boss at the time and Clancy Saunders from another structural firm. Even my children showed. Gary Lungaro and John Wright came from Mel’s work, but of the 200 people, approximately 150 were friends or close acquaintances were mine, 2 maybe 3 were Mel’s. She attributed it to last minute invitation. But somehow the party was a success even though it was Father’s Day, and the rest did not feel the last minute to be an issue. YAY!
When I arrived home from work the following Monday, I found Mel on the phone. With Juli. After she told me who she was speaking with, covering the phone with her hand and putting it under a pillow for added sound suppression, I asked to find out WHY Juli did not show at the party. I left the room quietly irritated.
Mel must have cut the conversation short because she was immediately on my heels.
“Juli just called to borrow money” I would find out one day that this was FAR from the truth and that the opposite was true.
“WHAT?” I was infuriated. “She doesn’t come to your birthday party, but calls to borrow money?”
I was absolutely incredulous. I found it especially peculiar that Juli did not show to Jerry’s, a person she had performed with often.
“You had better not. I continued “I make the significant share of the money in this house, have her call me.”
Mel said the incident was over and her conscience was clear. I have found a clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
And that was the last I heard of the matter.
Why Dana didn’t show, I had no idea. I really wanted her to be there. I had a HUGE crush on her since the first day I saw her. She and Mel were together almost 4 years.
It all seemed odd. People break up, that’s true, and some don’t speak … for a while. But it has been my experience that it usually bowls over in a year, so yes Dana I could understand, but Juli? This incident would resolve itself, fourteen years later.
By the way IISTG means If It Seems Too Good to be True