“What am I going to say to Karl?”
I had been laying on the bed of my lover, only we did not consummate the relationship until the divorce papers were signed. It didn’t matter, we were out of our minds, deranged in love and if I could do it all again-with all of the pain and tragedy-I would in a heartbeat.
I loved his house. I loved his eyes. His lips made me crazy and craving. I couldn’t stay away from him. But I was worried about telling his boss-otherwise known as my husband at the time. Dwain had recently divorced himself, and the loss of custody to his ex-wife haunted him each and every day. He had nothing, and I mean squat. Carol had taken all of the furniture, and left him with nothing, the poor man had no silverware to feed his children if they had come over.
My husband at the time, a metallurgical engineer, was Dwain’s supervisor, and the last thing I wanted was to have him lose his job. I was absolutely terrified, and every second was like walking a tight rope. Karl thought I was staying with a friend, and he was right, but the news of whom I was with would have given him a stroke.
We had just moved to the Lancaster area, Karl and myself. He took a job at a local steel foundry, and I worked at a radio station. I was inconsolable. Every night for a week, I lay in my bed, sobbing because I missed my friends and family desperately. I had quit a job I had loved, working as a waitress at the King of Prussia Houlihan’s. Of course, I didn’t know how much I loved those people until I was two hours away, and not exactly bonding with my coworkers. I missed my tribe, and at first we were visited frequently by friends and family alike. We threw huge parties and although I wasn’t in love with Karl, we created a nice life together. His big Italian family lived in Pittsburgh and oh! I loved them so much. Family was always elusive for me, our cousins lived in upstate New York, and aside from my grandmothers staying with us at various times, we didn’t see anyone but each other most years.
So, one night my fiancée asked me to join him and his coworkers at a local happy hour. It was a Friday evening, but I didn’t want to leave our chow puppy in the crate all night.
“Okay, I’ll join you, but we have to be home by eleven, I don’t want Chipper in the crate for too long.”
What transpired that evening was an introduction to the man himself, Dwain Thomas, and to be perfectly honest? He was nice, but didn’t turn my head. We ended up staying at the hotel until closing. I could be a pretty mean drunk at times, and I was so angry with Karl for lying to me that I kneed him. I kneed him in the balls in front of his employees. As I began to walk away I heard laughter. And there he stood, well-weaved back and forth is more like it-all six feet of him, and I remember being miffed. Like, what the hell is so funny? I was in a mood.
That was in October of 1989. Karl and I had set a date, June 9, 1990 for our betrothal. Time went on and we did our thing, until one evening we received a call from Hubby. That is what they called Dwain back in the day. He and a few friends wanted to stop by, so Karl went for beer and I let them in when they arrived. We drank and laughed and carried on, until one by one they left. Not Hubby. He stayed and watched a movie with me. Monkey Shines. I remember rubbing his cowboy boot, and to this day I have no idea why. He began playing with my hair and I instantly stood up and led him to the door.
In the Spring, Hubby had a party at his farmette. We were invited, Karl and I. One thing led to another, and when Karl wanted to go home, I balked. I wanted to stay at the bonfire, listen to the guys with the banjos, watch how the moon shone on the surface of the pond, liquid silver-I wanted to never, ever leave that place, and I begged to stay. He agreed, and Hubby was to take me home later in the evening.
Once again, the party dwindled, until it was Dwain, his cousin Rick and myself. Rick would turn out to be our bestest buddy, but was known for showing up unwanted, like on our honeymoon. He was a character, but he couldn’t take a hint to save his life.
We sat on a lounge chair, staring up at the sky, me between this stranger’s legs. Again, he played with my hair-electric shock went through me, as if I had been sleeping, but now was awake-as awake as I have ever been.
Dwain leaned down to kiss me, and that was when I knew I was in big, BIG trouble. I told him I loved him that very moment, only weeks after discovering his existence.
Oh sweet Jesus! I thought. Our first kiss and I blurt out I love him, have I lost my mind?
Turns out I was batshit, head over heels, helplessly in love.
To be continued…….