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Entry date: 6-7-2022 - Messy stuff - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about how Teresa came to be and that entails telling the story of how I met Rhondi. This might be a long one, so buckle in. I’m going do some soul baring here if I’m going to tell this story correctly.

I’m trying to remember when I came across the website. It doesn’t exist anymore, so don’t bother looking it up. It was a lot of fun, though. It was a place for people to share what was going on with their band or talk about shows coming up or just gossip about the scene and the people who made it happen.

I’m sure I saw it as a way to promote Hillbilly Devilspeak and later, Pinky. I also gauged what people thought about my bands by reading what was posted. I remember people sometimes talking shit and it would get me fired up. I usually avoided that sort of thing, but occasionally I talked shit right back.

One of the best parts about Azpunk, though, was that I made friends with people because of it. It multiplied my ability to network with other likeminded musicians and music fans by a huge factor and without it, life would have been considerably harder as I went through my divorce with Shannon. is also how I met Rhondi. She was known as “Bizzo” on there and I was “Phnart.” When we first started chatting a little bit, I was still going through my separation and eventual divorce. In fact, I think we probably responded to each other’s posts even before I knew how beautiful and cool she is.

In those days, I was not of any beneficial use to her, though. I wasn’t any use to any female, to be honest. The end of my marriage to Shannon was not an enjoyable time in my life. I’m sure most divorces are similar, so I’m not asking for any pity here. It was a mutually destructive thing, for sure, and I don’t hold any grudges at this point or ill will. It was what it was, and it sucked.

Near the end of Shannon and my marriage, I met a woman who shall remain nameless in this blog. Give her any female name you dislike and that will work. Some of you will know who I am talking about because you met her, but I’ll leave it at that.

We had gone to high school together during my freshman and sophomore year and had lost touch until we met up again around 2002. We were both involved with an organization which will also remain nameless. It could be anything, and again, if you were around me in the early 2000s, you have heard me talk about it. It wasn’t Casa, though, that’s for sure.

We rekindled our friendship, and she became a fairly good ally for me on a few levels. There was a time, years ago., that I thought if we had just stayed friends, she might still be a good person to have in my life, but I decided later that even that was a bad idea.

As my marriage deteriorated, she was going through something similar, or so I was led to believe. Maybe she was in a bad place, maybe not, who knows? I would later learn that this person who claimed to be so good and whole and working towards making a better world lied like a Persian fucking rug.

I am not proud of this, but just prior to Shannon moving out of the house we shared with Ryan in Ahwatukee, I kissed this person and began what I now refer to as my “horrible rebound” relationship. To be honest, she made the first move, and I didn’t push her away. It wrecked me, though. We were up in Prescott for a function related to the organization we worked with and we going to share a hotel room.

I felt so bad about the kiss, which happened kind of in the middle of the night in a weird sort of ambush on her part, caused me to have the worst stomach cramping and diarrhea I can ever remember having without flu or food poisoning involved. Imagine being stuck in a hotel with someone you were on the precipice of starting an ill-advised relationship with and having explosive bowel movements.

What does that say about her? Or me? It should have been a giant red flag that I looked at and ran the other way before things got completely fucked. When it came to relationships, though, I was not that smart in those days.

We did hold off on furthering a romantic relationship until after we had both separated from our spouses. She was married and had a young son. We commiserated a lot about how underappreciated we were by our spouses, and it brought us together. Again, not proud of this at all. As I think back on it today, I don’t even understand what the fuck I was thinking, even though Shannon and I were making the right decision to split up. She didn’t deserve that way of ending things.

Looking back, the stress it caused me to start living a dual and sometimes triple and quadruple life was ridiculous. When Shannon moved out, I was intrigued about moving forward with the nameless one, true, but in my heart of hearts, I knew I really didn’t want a committed relationship. I wanted to play the field a bit, but I was so afraid of ruining the “friendship” I thought the nameless one and I had that I was never honest with her about that need. I’ll pick this up further because I need to get it out.


Hindsight being 20/20, the best thing I could have done in the summer of 2003 when Shannon and I separated was to stay single for a long time and focus on healing up, building my relationship with Ryan, and figuring out what was next for me. Instead, I went down a very destructive path with only one silver lining, and that was that I would eventually go on a date with Rhondi on St. Patrick’s Day in 2005.

See you tomorrow.

Prescott is also home to many a crazy ride for me.

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