Sunday morning as I was drinking my coffee, the phone rang. Satan was on the line.
“I'm going to come over this afternoon to get my stuff.”
I had piled the TV set that I had replaced with the flat screen 42 incher (that's over a meter diagonally for those of you in the civilized world) by the door. She had been threatening to take it since she left; her father had given it to us. It was covered with other junk that I had no want for. So today she was finally going to get it. Not a good day; Tuesday I have a (final?) foreclosure hearing. I was already frantic, terribly blue, and worried sick.
“Today's not a good day,” I told it.
“Well, it's the only day I have somebody to help me with it.”
That made it worse. In my present, undrugged mood I was capable of murder. I feared that I would snap. So I phoned my youngest daughter, who lives with me but was, as usual, running around with her friends.
“Your mom's coming over to get that TV and stuff this afternoon. Would you call her and have her let you know when she's coming, so I can leave? And would you be home to make sure she doesn't steal any of my stuff?”
Patty says “sure”. About one my cell rings. “Mom's on her way, she'll be there in fifteen minutes”.
So I walk out the back door, and down the four blocks to Track Shack, where they have “all you can eat” chili dogs for a buck.
The bartender there wasn't a supermodel by any stretch of the imagination, but she was more fun to talk to than some guy. And there was a baseball game on the TV.
A few hot dogs and beers later, my pocket rings.
“I think she left, she's not answering her phone.”
“Huh? You weren't there to make sure she didn't steal anything?”
“Don't worry, she promised not to steal anything.” My heart sank, and all of a sudden I didn't feel well at all. This is the thing who, if it promises that the sun will rise in the morning you can be sure that the sun will never rise again. If it promises fire, prepare to freeze.
I couldn't believe that my daughter, who knew this evil thing all of her life, could listen to her mother's assurances. When Evil-X says “I promise,” it means “no way in fucking hell!”
Patty asks for money. Of course. She and her friend come to Track Shack to get money, and she gives me a ride home.
We get home and there is a mess where X's TV had been. Of course, I had expected it to leave a mess. It is, after all, completely evil and cold-hearted and has no thoughts or feelings for any human being, least of all me.
There is a huge mess in the pantry, where a broken table its dead mother had left it used to be. Crap all over the house all over the floor. She had knocked a stack of CDs and DVDs off the DVD player and left them in the floor.
The piano was gone.
“Patty, she took the piano!”
Patty says “It's OK, I told her she could take it.”
“Well, look, this way you don't have to pay to have it moved, and she'll have to pay to get it tuned.”
Right, like that will ever happen. X doesn't play piano, or any other instrument. Her only reason for wanting it was to deprive me of it.
Patty promises to get us an electronic tuner for the guitars. Being her mother's daughter, I know exactly what that means.
Patty leaves, and I walk up the stairs to use the bathroom.
The table holding the phone and lamp is gone. The phone and lamp are on the floor. My bedroom door is open - she had gone in there and trashed my bedroom, taking one of the dressers, leaving one drawer behind, on the bed. The top of the other dresser is now covered in junk.
I'd had it. Even a loser like me has his limits, and mine had been passed in spades. I called the police. After hanging up, the phone rang again. It was my daughter. I told her about all the missing stuff, and that I had called the police.
“Call them back, don't have Mom arrested! I'll get the stuff back.”
“No, they're on their way. I've had it with your God damned mother!”
Presently a policeman shows up, and I explained the situation to him. He asks to see the divorce papers, which as I'd told him state that X already had all her stuff, signed by her.
The cop says I shouldn't have told her she could “get her stuff.” Figures. No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Evil-X drives up in her shiny white PT Cruiser, which stands in stark contrast to the two old junkers in my driveway. The cop walks to the street to talk to it, and my daughter is talking at it, too. I proudly quell the urge to take the cop's gun from him to kill everyone with.
X gets the table out of its car, and Patty brings the table in.
Between Patty and the cop, whose parents had been divorced and who had gone through what Patty is going through, I’m convinced not to press charges. The evil demon leaves an a cloud of noxious fumes; tobacco, not the expected brimstone.
I get another beer out and start drinking. By then I was pretty loaded. When I woke up, it was dark. The clock says 9:30. I drink another beer, clean off the bed, brush my teeth, take out my contact lenses, get undressed and get in bed.
It was like laying down on a pile of ice. The Evil One had taken the comforter off of my unheated water bed.
I went downstairs and laid back down on the couch, praying to God to kill the evil demon and rid us all of its evil influence. I finally got to sleep, drunk and lonely.