MIVOTERGUIDE.COM

Make Michigan Progressive Again.

Get the 2020 Michigan Progressive Voters Guide and find out which candidates on your personal ballot are dedicated to supporting progressive politics and equality and justice for all Americans.

Get My Voter Guide

Parting Glances: Plotting Debra’s dialysis

By |2018-01-16T12:27:59-05:00January 24th, 2007|Opinions|

JOURNAL ENTRY #1:
It began months ago with a friendly call, cellphone received, 9:00 a.m., “May I speak to Debra S—-, please.”
“There’s no Debra S—– here,” I reply, groggy from a Monday’s oversleep, wondering how the caller, a collection agent, got my number.
A day or so later he chimes back. I repeat politely I’ve never known Debra, was not about to make a belated acquaintance, and that, further, he’s calling a new cellphone number, judiciously shared only among a handful of 750-plus-points, three bureau, credit rated friends. (I fudge a little.)
“Please take my word. I live alone. I don’t know ANY Deb-ruhh. Honestly.”
Three days later another call. Different guy. “Who’s calling,” I ask with a tone of richly arched, dinnertime annoyance. “This is so-and-so at such-and-such collection agency. Are you sure you don’t know Debra S—–? Your number’s a reference.”
“Look. I’ve explained twice that I haven’t a clue in heaven or Hackensack who this deadbeat is. Stop calling.” A week later, a new credit pest. Same third degree. “This is ridiculous. Are you guys dense, or what? Let me speak to your boss. IMMEDIATELY!” I bark.
This go-around I’m out-proud direct, “Now listen closely. I want you to emphatically understand that I don’t know Debbie. Period. I’m single. I’m a gay man. G-A-Y! I don’t have a wife, a mistress, or a gold-digger girlfriend who I foolishly cosigned my life away for. Just me and memories.
“But I’ll tell you this [Mr. Dumb-Dumb]: I’m going to keep track of these calls, and, if need be I’ll get an attorney. This is harassment.” “Sorry,” he says blankly, and hangs up.
Satisfied I made my point, I enter date, time, comments. Three weeks go by. It starts again. Novel variation: a woman who, hunkering for Debra, says she’s with a kidney dialysis office, calling urgently about a missed appointment. “I’m quite sure Deb-BRA doesn’t have a salvageable kidney left,” I comment testily, click off, now adding the undercover spy to my hit list.
It takes a half dozen chime ins (including two 925 California calls) before my gay fuse short circuits. “Alright, if you must know the horrible, shameful, embarrassing, goddawful truth about my common-law wife, who’s pregnant, she’s in Oakland County Jail for murder!”
Having joyfully, gleefully, ecstatically, bare-facedly lied, I then and there do a sensible thing: change numbers. $30 fee waived, due to untoward circumstances. [Should any PG reader hear that Debba-do-do’s free on $1 million bond, keep it to yourself. She’s more trouble than she’s worth — in or out of dialysis.]
JOURNAL ENTRY #2: Dinner at Bob Evans, with reminders I’m getting older much too quickly. The menu carries Bob’s picture (1909 – 2007). On the wall hangs another memento mori. Framed. World Champion Detroit Baseball Team. 1887. With handlebar mustaches waxed, short-sleeved biceps flexed, the players are dashing, heroic. But sadly long vanished forever.
Across from me sit two older guys. 60+ I’m sure. A third, back to me, seems older. He’s verbally feisty, but frail. Body language, voices say they’re gay. When leaving one helps the oldest who walks slowly, slowly, slowly with a cane. I stop the third who lingers to leave a tip, “How old’s your friend?” “105,” he says, with a courtly Virginian accent. “Been interviewed twice on TV. Still loves travlin’. Thanks for asking. My partner and I are his ‘folks’. He keeps us on our dancin’ toes. Yes — sigh — we should live so long.” [My days to go: 26,663.]

About the Author:

Charles Alexander