I really aspire to be profoundly selfish. I could easily relish & revel in a rather reclusive life, unaccompanied by the problems of other people.
I never wished to counsel or console those in need. Tests taken when I was young, to determine career paths & personality assessments, never pointed me to social work. Indeed, it was clear from the beginning that my gift to humanity would be offered with my singing, dancing, & telling jokes to the huddled masses yearning to be free. I wanted to brighten the world by being… me.
Why then, have I had a life filled with “strays”? Why do I continue to always have at least one orphan, lost soul, hard luck story, or stray? My dogs are even “rescue” dogs.
Several times in our 50+ years of friendship, I have picked up my friend Stanley, dusted him off, consoled, clothed, cared for, harbored & housed him.
The Cowboy is from Wyoming & a real naïf. He was really only just a bit of an acquaintance of ours, yet when I heard the harrowing tale of his living situation, sharing a house with another male couple with a penchant for punching the shit out of each other, I invited him to stay with us… briefly. The Cowboy moved in to our home on January 1st 2008 (the Husband moved him because no one else could/would). I stated that he could find temporary refuge at Post Apocalyptic Bohemia, on the condition that he get a job & his own apartment by Memorial Day. Instead, The Cowboy chose to infuse & invest in an abusive relationship of his very own, fueled by a daily meth habit.
The Cowboy lived in a little room that the Husband built for him in our basement. I needed to pass by it to get to my changing room, & his space was a chamber of chilling horrors, a complete disaster of locker room smells & poppers odor. Kevin had chosen to decorate his space with 1000s of wads of Kleenex, & a monstrous mélange of sex toys, open lube containers, drug paraphernalia, hunting knives, nails, & assorted mystery objects too freighting for me to figure out. I took to thinking of him as “the thing that lives under the stairs.”
The Cowboy’s extended stay exacerbated the beginning of a tear in the relationship with the Husband. The Husband felt that I was not being fair or showing enough patience & charity to The Cowboy. The Cowboy's presence in my house had me very, very unhappy. I self medicated. The penultimate moment with The Cowboy involved using & then fucking up my computer, after I had ordered him not to touch it ever. I was infuriated in a manner that I had never experienced. The Cowboy ended up in tears, sitting in his truck in front of the house.
I did what I knew I had to do, no matter how unpopular it would be. I kicked The Cowboy out. He was gone by Labor Day, unfortunately moving in with the insane, insolent & insulting object of his affections. Unusual for me, I actually felt guilty.
The Husband & my arguments about life with The Cowboy, had left our marriage in shambles. The Husband’s infinite trust in other people & his huge capacity for charity could not defeat my decision. The Cowboy tried to navigate his way into staying longer at our house by eluding me & pleading with the Husband. After he moved, he still continued to see & text the Husband.
The Cowboy showed up at our door about every12 weeks for the next 3 years, whenever his increasingly abusive boyfriend had taken things too far or kicked The Cowboy out of his house. CB: “The relationship was over… this time for sure. Really. I ain’t never going back to that crazy fucker.” I would capitulate on the subject of his staying with us, because of my life long belief in 2nd chances. We gave up after 30 second chances with The Cowboy.
The Cowboy did eventually leave the monster meth head boyfriend. Right before Christmas 2010, he stayed for a week (I had told him 3 days) as he gathered himself together. He went to Eastern Washington, where there are plenty of cowboys. He is staying with an ex who seems determined to help get him clean. I hope he finds a way to live his life.
The Cowboy texted the Husband at Christmas: “Thank you guys for all you did & all you put up with. I would probably been dead by now if it wasn’t for both of you.”
Paul Crouch: The Death Of A Salesman
24 minutes ago