Last night, I went to BAM for a writer's meeting. There I saw a long-time friend sitting and reading the paper. After Hellos he ask me if I had heard about (not his real name) Ed. At that moment I suddenly knew Ed was dead. But, I said, "No, what?"
Ed died with a bottle. Yes, literally drinking himself to death. I have know him since 1980, for 35 years. He was my archenemy in the quest for the soul of a dear friend who died in 2001. My friend, John, is the hoarder friend who died.
Ed thwarted John's attempts to visit family, kept him away from a relative's birthday party, encouraged John to drink, encouraged John to spend money by inviting John out to dinner and telling John he did not have money, so he needed to pick up the check.
Ed even had some occasions with pre-teens where he would disappear with the teen by "getting lost" as groups of people were going from one house to another. Mothers helped cover it up. I actually hated him.
Nothing ever stuck to him even when he was caught red-handed. He could not walk after being stopped for drunk driving, but it never hit the police reports, and he never saw the inside of a police station. He had two elected uncles who were legends in the state, so he was always protected. John thought if any of us tried to ever bring him to justice, we would suffer so we would just move from the state.
So, my arch-enemy is dead. Why is he my arch-enemy? He tried to pry John from me. He wanted John the help him sue me for slander. You see, Ed never owned a car for about 20 years, but drove his mother's and said it was his. One day, I was laughing at the lies he told to a girlfriend, and told her that was his mother's car. So, she dumped him and told him what I said. He could never have won because the car was in his mother's name.
Ed also brought John alcohol when John became sober. He tried to get John to leave the place where he was drying out. He told John he was okay to drive right after a colonoscopy and gave him his keys! Ed never tried to be supportive of any good practices or habits John struggled to maintain. I did encourage John in his sobriety.
He went to a Latin American county and found a wife, eventually bringing her here, a wonderful woman who was not in the relationship for money or the get to the US. He beat her, kicked her, dragged her ten-year-old around by his hair. Yet, she stayed. Twenty-two years later, she is free.
He often left his government job to go to her in Latin America because she was pregnant, had a bad time while pregnant, and then went to the funeral of a still born. All lies. Yet he spent the better part of a year milking this story and getting excessive paid time off. She denies being pregnant or burying a baby.
There is more, but, I will quit. I could not even bear to go to his funeral. I went last night to the viewing because of his wife and her relatives. So, it is done.
However, back then there were three guys and I who visited, went places in groups of varying size. We were the best of friends. This was before the vendetta that Ed had against me. Neither of the other guys would cut me out. So, I alone stand today. Drinking and smoking caused their demise. Not doing so may have saved me their fate.
I wished him no ill, but the Arch Enemy is gone. His lies have stopped. He can no longer destroy lives of women and their children, women he married or lived with. He did not try to harm me for years, but then it happened, and he backed off for the last ten years because the men he wanted to help him take me to court and shun me are dead.
I never wished him dead. He has been harmless to me for the last 15 years.
Now, all this is fodder for my book.
So, there is no hate. Just part of my life recalled. I just hope not going to his funeral is not distasteful to anyone.