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There is No Arizona

Issue Date: Friday, Dec. 30, 2005

I have Herschel strapped to my belt today as most days at work. He is hidden by the sweater of whatever twinset I am currently wearing and I have the earphones (new ones from Mister that sit around my neck as opposed to those little earbuds that came with Herschel and fell out of my ears and the little spongey black covers were forever getting lost in my purse… ::breathe::) on and I am listening to song after song while I complete some paperwork.

The phones are dead here at the office so no worry about answering question from people about stuff I have no clue about.

A song just came on. I stopped mid-reach for a binder.

He promised her a new and better life, out in Arizona

I’ve been what my parents call a smart cookie my whole life. I scored well on most tests, and I normally gave people the benefit of the doubt… a trusting soul, I figured that if someone said they were going to do something, then it was good as done.

I have told you all about my little heartbreaks due to expectations never verbalized and I am sure I have mentioned a time or two a few tumultuous relationships I have had in the past.

Underneath the blue never ending sky, swore that he was gonna

I was never really one to push an issue or a boundary. I wanted to be the cool girl. I wanted people or men to like to be with me because I wasn’t the nag their previous girlfriend/wife/gay lover/mother was. That was a nominal success throughout my teens and into my twenties. Then I got married to the X and ya’ll know what a success that was.

Get things in order, he'd send for her

I know I have mentioned Neal to you, dear reader, at one time or another. Maybe just in passing. Maybe just to throw out that he was a seven foot junkie. Nice shock value no? Well, I don’t think I have ever told you how we met. Yes, dammit, it was on the internet. But that isn’t important.

Well, sort of. But let’s move on, shall we?

What is important is that he was a large reason of why I am the way I am today.

Who whispered ‘bat shit crazy’? I can hear you, you know… I am sitting right Here.

The first night Neal and I met I was a nervous wreck. I was supposed to meet him at Cowboy’s Red River to go dancing. I came in late and before I knew it this huge man (think Dirk Nowitzki) was sweeping me off my feet and onto the dance floor.

He smelled divine and he danced well. He would pick me up and whisper, “Now, twirl pretty” before setting me gently down and twirling me around and around. He requested song after song to the DJ he knew and we danced all night.

When the bar closed down he offered me his arm and we left, hardly looking at anyone but one another.

We dated on and off for a while. It was always 100% or nothing with him, and I was stuck in his web. He was so sweet and gentle and he was always promising me the world.

And then he told me that he was leaving. He was moving to Arizona to work for an old colleague of his, he needed the job and he wanted to be close to his parents.

He would call sometimes in the evenings, drunk and tell me how much he missed me. Ask about every aspect of my life in Dallas and beg me to come to him. But not yet. He wanted everything perfect for when we got married. He wanted to get me the biggest and most beautiful diamond that Bailey Banks & Biddle had to offer.

When he left her behind, it never crossed her mind

I was flattered by his offer and his seemingly sincere wishes.

The next thing I heard from him, he was living on the beach in San Diego. “Just doing the job babe. I just need to get this one more certification for _______ and we are on our way.”

He lived in San Diego for a brief stint, all the while calling me during the day, in the evenings, in the middle of the night to tell me how much he missed me, how much he wanted to be with me. “Could you come spend Valentines Day with me at my parents’ house so you can meet them? I’ll get your ticket this week babe. Come see me?”

Valentine’s Day came and went. No ticket. No call… until 3 am.

There is no Arizona

“Hey babe, you know… I miss you so much!... By the way, what did you do tonight?”

I went along for a few months. I would hear from him sporadically. He would call and sound so sad, tell me he missed me and then one evening in June he called and said, “I’m coming back to Texas Susan. I can’t wait to see you! We are on our way babe. We’ll get bags of money with my new certification and then get married and move to Arizona.”

Whether or not I wanted to marry him did not concern me as much as the bags of money he promised. I told him he couldn’t come unless he was clean. Over the past year or so I had found out he was using drugs and he knew (because I told him over and over) that I did not want any part of that lifestyle. He could not be using and stay in my apartment. At ALL. He said, “I’m clean babe, and I appreciate you letting me stay for a few days until I find my own place.”

He told me he loved me.

While he was on his way I had enlisted the help of a girlfriend to slather me with self tanning cream to get rid of the red stripes I had up and down my legs, back and ass from the tanning bed.

He drove all night and the next day. It took him about 23 hours to get to Dallas. After a brief rest stop… he showed up at my apartment at 7 am.

I was orange.

No Painted Desert, no Sedona

He came inside and hugged me, picked me up and swung me around and then promptly went to my bedroom and fell asleep diagonally across my bed. He slept for the rest of the day and I made him a big dinner. I was so excited to see him, but he seemed so gaunt and cranky. I figured he would relax and be back to his happy Neal self after he recovered from his trip.

He woke up enough to eat and then make a few phone calls and then he went back to sleep.

If there was a Grand Canyon

He woke up the next morning at 6 am and set out to go to work. He would get off work around 4 pm and then go out with the guys and come home drunk, eat dinner and go to bed.

She could fill it up with the lies he's told her

I started planning outings to see friends. And my nephew was only a few months old, so I went to my sister’s house a lot. My parent’s came in one Saturday afternoon and I asked Neal if he would come to meet my folks. He was surly, but agreed. He was nice and my mother took pictures and my father was reserved and they said, “Well, he seems nice dear.”

The gentle lovemaking or vigorous sex life that we experience before his first move was nowhere to be found. One evening while in bed I reached over to stroke his hair and he turned on me, “What?! WHAT???! Is it time for me to perform!??” I drew back, blinking and he left to go sleep on the couch.

I asked him the next evening why he was so angry. He had a place to sleep. Meals to eat. He had not gotten the place he said he was going to after staying with me for a few days, and he did not contribute to the rent. What did he have to be angry about?

He said, “Fuck, Susan… this is the real me. I am cranky and surly.” I asked him about all the times he was sweet and kind and gentle. The words of love he professed, the plans he and I had made. The answer? “That is me when I am high Susan. I am a nice fucking guy when I am high.”

But they don't exist, those dreams he sold her

He worked hard, everyday up by 6 am, home by 4pm and no gentle caresses, no sweet words from him.

She'll wake up and find
There is no Arizona

He left in August. We had had a disagreement the night before. I was tired. Tired of his tirades about how so and so will be sorry if they don’t pay him for the job he did. About how he knows the secrets to the governmental hypocrisy (??? WTF ??? ) and on and on. I started crying. Crying tears of frustration and because I had just realized that I actually thought I was in love with this man.

But the man I thought I was in love with? Was a lie, a falsehood. He was only that way when he was chemically altered by smack.

I was tired and frustrated of this angry and very unstable giant living (and detoxing) in my little one bedroom apartment with NO common courtesy, no affection, no visage of the man I thought he was.

I lost it. He threatened me and I went carnival psycho crazy on him. We started the yelling match in my bedroom and I (barely 5’9”) used my little pointer finger on his sternum and backed that crazy ass seven-foot-tall loony out my bedroom, through the hall, the den and the living room until he stopped with his back against the front door.

The next day, when I got home from work, there was a manifesto. No, I am not kidding. He titled it “my manifesto” on a yellow legal tablet that he left for me on the back of my couch so it would be the first thing I saw when I came home.

In the manifesto he swore things would “change” but he used the fucking delta sign. Lord. He said I was too much man for him, he was going back to Arizona and that… well, blah blah blah.

She got a postcard with no return address, postmarked Tombstone

He called a few weeks later and tried to appeal to my maternal side. “But I thought we were going to have babies!”

It said "I don't know where I'm goin' next but when I do
I'll let you know"
May, June, July, she wonders why
She's still waiting, she'll keep waiting 'cause
There is no Arizona

I stopped taking his phone calls when I realized that there was no Arizona. I was duped. Completely and totally taken for granted. I needed it to wake up. To grow up. But I can’t help thinking about him when I hear the song from Jamie O’Neal.

To hear it for yourself, please go to this link And click on number 2 “There Is No Arizona”.

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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