Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Ex Files

In general, I am terrified of the police. In my life I have had a few occasions where I have had no choice but to engage with the law enforcement complex of the United States. The first time was during divorce proceedings for my Mother. The second time was in the 8th grade when I called the police because my best friend was on the phone with me, screaming, as her father hit her with a 2x4. The next time was when I joined the multitudes of Americans with a DWI (and I cried like a wee little baby the entire time). The last time was last night when I filed a police report documenting a sliver of the verbal harassment I have encountered from my roommate.

Almost a month ago to the day, I was attacked in my home. As I was preparing to lay down to sleep, David's ex, who is our roommate, entered the apartment with his current boyfriend Gary C. I said hello and let the guys know that I was going to lay down and take a nap. Frank, the roommate, began screaming at me about his right to play his music. I responded calmly, never raised my voice...then or as the conflict escalated. I asked him to keep it down, shut my bedroom door, and was followed into the studio. Over the course of the next 45 minutes I was screamed at for everything and anything that came into the man's head. I stayed calm. I asked them to leave the house. They both refused. Then, Gary, a man that I had met perhaps twice before...and had spent perhaps 10 minutes with total...began screaming at me calling me a slut and a whore. He told me I was a user and that he knew my type and kind. I remained calm. I responded to him with questions. I asked him what would make him think that I am a whore? How was I using David or anyone? He continued to reply accusing me of being a slut. Then suggesting that he would never sleep with me (I am sorry...but pot bellied gremlins are not my bag). Then, as he turned around and stomped out, he, a white Jewish man, accused me of being racist. At which point, I almost shit myself giggling.

Franklin I. continued to harangue me. And then, when he discovered Gary had left the apartment, his final response was to blame me for Gary's exit.

That is the abbreviated version of what happened a month ago. The details are much more gruesome. The result was that I calmly walked to the front room. I made sure the door was locked. David was out of town visiting his Mother. I finally got him on the phone, and I broke down. Never in my adult life had I ever been spoken to in such a manner let alone by two individuals that knew nothing about me. Academically I understood clearly that this was about Frank's jealousy. I understood that this was about Gary's anger that Frank was actually also fucking a man named Todd in North Carolina while lying and pretending that he was all about Gary. I knew that this was about Frank seeing David happy and doing things that David had always wanted to do with Frank but Frank would not allow or refused to participate. This was later confirmed during a period of calm when Frank came to me and admitted that he knew I made David happy and that he regrets not doing the things with David that David and I are now doing. A moment of clarity in his life. It did not last.

Several days ago, Frank had a very painful medical procedure. He is battling two potentially life threatening illnesses. The unfortunate truth is that the severity of this illnesses are a direct result of his ignoring medical advice. One illness has to do with with his liver. Years ago he was directed by his medical advisors to stop drinking. As late as December he was still drinking. I know. I saw him. Now, he is facing the failure of his liver and severe medical treatments to prevent that. I empathize with him and where he is.

The day he returned from his medical procedure David said to him that we would be as considerate as possible but that he needed to know that this is not a hospice. Frank sleeps on the couch next to the kitchen. David and I largely absented ourselves from the apartment into the late afternoon. We began preparing dinner...and, for the second time, were accused of chopping our vegetables too loudly. I was chopping mushrooms. I couldn't hear myself chopping let alone a human being on a couch on the other side of the room. But, I digress. Eventually Franklin got up, began slamming things around, and packed his backpack. At one point he was staring at me as if I had just slapped his Mama. I asked him if anything was wrong, and he said no. He then left the house.

He came back the next night. Immediately he began accusing us of being inconsiderate. Then he suggested that it was actually me who was the belligerent chopper and that he could discern from his Wolverine like hearing the difference between David and I chopping.

That was the beginning of the inexorable slide to last night. For the last two days he had slammed every cabinet, door, and dish he possibly could. Neither David or I had bowed to his self pity, and this frustrated him. Finally, yesterday afternoon, shortly after he slammed a door behind me almost hitting me...we were all trying to figure out why about half the apartment had lost power. A chopping board fell out of the dish rack. I put it away. I guess I closed the door to the cabinet where the dish resided with a little bit too much force. Frank responded by slamming another cabinet as hard as he could.

I snapped.

I turned to him and asked him, and I quote, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

He began screaming at me and telling me that I better not curse at him.

At that point I became a person I never wanted to see and had never seen before. He stepped into my face and I stepped forward. I told him exactly what I thought about him. I told him he was pathetic. I told him that he needed to leave and go where people wanted him. I told him to go and be with people who loved him. Mixed in with that were curse words. I was not proud, but I also was not sorry. I meant everything I said to the man.

I allowed myself to be pushed to a place where many of the hurtful and mean things that were said to me in my life were put back on this human being. I forgot that he was a human being and in so doing I lessened my own humanity.

That made me even angrier.

David was there. He saw it. He told Frank that Frank created the circumstance and situation where this was made possible. He did. But he didn't force my reaction. It was the reaction he wanted. I gave it to him. I will not apologize to him for it. But I will need to find a way to forgive myself for going to place that I know exists inside everyone but Jesus and maybe the Buddha...but I never thought to have to look at it directly in the face. The face was mine.

David and I left and went to the movies. We saw Star Trek which was FRICKIN' AWESOME! The special effects, the dialogue, the story, and the set up for a new franchise were great. They did Gene Roddenberry proud. I maintain that George Lucas should never write, produce, or create another space adventure ever. Leave it to the real master.

We got home to find Frank gone. The house was still without electricity in many parts. And Frank, in his infinite juvenile nature, had locked the channels on the tv and hidden the remote controls (did I mention that the man is 46...I am 31...GOOD FUCKING GOD).

David opened his email to find that Frank claimed that he had filed a police report and that he was not leaving this apartment without a court order.

He made a mistake. Lord he made a mistake.

My remorse at my behavior hardened into a razor point resolved. I put away my dinner, put on my shoes, jazzed up my hair and put on a sweater. I walked with David to the police station and filed a report myself. I filed a report that included the April 18th incident and last night. A man may elicit sympathy and pity when he shows regard for his own behavior and acknowledges his role in creating an untenable situation. But when a man maintains his victim status while perpetuating injustice, abuse and claims massive privilege...then...there is no mercy that is not found in justice. This man believes that threats and intimidation will work with me. The road I have walked in this world is one where struggle and roadblocks have been much more prevalent than escalators and sliding sidewalks.

I don't back down for shit.

The one ray of sunshine in all of this was actually the police. You heard me right: THE POLICE!

When we walked in last night to file the police report, Joe the Policeman was at the front desk. I swear I thought I was in an episode of NYPD Blue. I was waiting for Jimmy Smits to walk through with that perky butt of his. Instead we got Joe...who was awesome.

He leaned in and asked us what happened.

We told him. We told him what had gone down. We told him about our relationship. We told him about David's previous relationship with Frank. This is what Joe the Policeman said...

“Wait a minute. You are the current boyfriend...and the ex is living with you two? How the hell did you pull that one off, mister.” He said to David...a crooked smile on his face.

“I mean...that ain't a good situation...and now you two want him out.” I nodded and smiled.

Joe looked and David and shook his head.

“What wuz you thinkin?”

In the middle of the Midtown North police department, surrounded by the spirit of Amadou Diallo and Oscar Grant, I wanted to laugh...I mean laugh out loud and let out all the drama and all the pain and all the ugly.

“Listen guys...that is a no good situation. Go over there to the window. Those ladies will take your complaint. Sign the book. Good luck.”

Thanks Joe.


  1. wow just wow! Way to take care of yourself and David!

  2. Dear Lord, Brandon. Was the dinner with the mushrooms at least decent?

  3. Asha: Thanks love.

    Boa: HELL YEAH! I made curry salmon...it was FIERCE!

  4. Good going on the police report and if he's not on the lease, you don't need a court order to get him out. Be safe!

  5. Don't worry Bryan...my spirit is actually pretty full right now with goodness and happiness...just a bump in the road right there. I am happy and happy that I have had the love I need in my life to do things the right way (most of the time...lord knows I have made my own mistakes)

    I wondered if this day would come. I thknk with Frank gone, you and David will find yourself on a much higher plane. Hang in there!

  7. Heya Del!

    I ain't goin' nowhere ;-). In the midst of all the evil today...David and I met with Scott to talk about a new show that I too will be working on that goes up in October. I got TWO calls about jobs...that man can work his evil...but looks like somebody up there gots my back ;-). Can't wait to meet you. Take a break from all that cookin' and come cook for us. Hehehe.

  8. Hey Brandon,
    I just wanted to share with you some thoughts. I'm really sorry that you had to see yourself become the Gggrraarr! lady dealing with the ex. You folks were kind enough to treat him like family even after he and David broke up. That's mighty big of you.

    Sometimes the best thing you can do with a passive aggressive self-pitying shmuck is leave him alone. (I know this because I have been said self-pitying shmuck myself.) I'm sorry he made you carry his bad medicine, and I'm glad you got rid of it...I mean him...I mean it....goddamnit! Trying to separate people from their issues is hard. Trying to return kindness when other people are not being kind is hard.

    I read about Oscar and Amadou. It made my tummy turn. It just reminded me that so much people see what they want to see and not Who is right there in front of their faces. But I'm glad you got your laugh on.

    Sometimes I am just so disheartened by all the bad medicine in the world and how much each of us is capable of carrying it and doling out it if we're not very careful. But then I remember every person has good medicine too. Your words are yours. Thank you for sharing!

    (I have to be honest, Imma total drama whore, so vicarious dish is always nummers.)

    And thank you for always capitalizing Mom when you use it in a sentence. May our Big Momma smile Up at You.

    Mitakuye Oyasin

  9. Mitakuye:

    Thank you for your kind words ;-). You definitely brought a smile to my face this morning. I write out these things as a way to try and see the life lessons in them, to exorcise the feelings around the situation from my body (or at least give them a forum so that I don't turn them inside and let them eat at me), and to have a moment to really look at the situation in a different way. When writing it helps me see what my role in the situation is and where I need to be different and better. It, of course, is also a strategic way to let other folks know what's up in case something further breaks off.

    I don't want to demonize anyone, and in this situation I had begun losing some of his humanity and, therefore, some of mine. The only time I cried after the situation the other night was when I realized what I'd said to him. I told David that I don't say those things. That is what upset me the most.

    I also write out these things as honestly as possible so that folks in the world can reflect back to me it evokes for them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Mama's are wonderful creatures wandering the earth...and they deserve the utmost respect. Funny...as I was writing this the phone rang and it was David's Mom calling.

    And thank you....I haven't seen my Big Mama for a long time...but I know she is out there keepin' an eye on me.


  10. LOL! I was wondering why the hell I knew the name Mitakuye Oyasin...

    All my relations.

    I am catchin' up now.

  11. Omigod! Take care of yourself. Be happy and healthy.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and insights. And thank you for reading!