When Shannon and I separated, she moved in with a friend of hers and lived less than half a mile away from the house we had shared. This allowed for lots of unscheduled drop ins and for us to continue to be part of each other’s lives in ways that was probably not healthy for either of us. It also meant that my new rebound situation could never happen in the home I was sharing with Ryan, which was a blessing.
For the year that took place from mid-2003 and into the summer of 2004, I kept the nameless one on the down low. She had moved out of the house she shared with her husband and son, taking an apartment near 7th Avenue and Osborn. We had reasons to be secretive about it, but it wore on us both and caused a lot of stress.
I was active musically that year, too, because I needed some way to blow off the steam I was creating for myself. Because of that, I was active on Azpunk and putting myself out there a lot. Word of my separation and pending divorce got around a bit and by fall of 2003, I had no shortage of dating opportunities put my way. This is not a brag but an admission of how fucked up my romantic situation was quickly becoming. I was smart enough to keep most of these at just harmless flirtation.
As I look back, I am so thankful that “Bizzo” and “Phnart” were really just acquaintances on a website. Rhondi had booked Hillbilly and, I think, Pinky before we actually met, but at those first shows, I never had a chance to talk with her, which is a good and bad thing. I definitely would have wanted to get to know her better had we met, but I was not in a good place at all.
My relationship with Shannon was super complicated. My relationship with the nameless one was super complicated. I was also, on a very occasional basis, going on a date with other gals, too. Certainly, I was angling for one of these women to kill me.
Luckily, I didn’t find myself in any other serious entanglements between August of 2003 and August of 2004. I was pretty upfront with the few people I hung out with that I was not in a good place for anything serious, but still. I was a dick. I had a couple of friends who were kind of privy to what was going on and I would often hear things like:
“You’re an idiot.”
“You’re playing with fire.”
“You need to just be single.”
I wish I would have listened better. As my divorce crept up closer, Ryan was in the awkward position of having to decide if he wanted to live with me or Shannon. Poor kid. This sucked. Shannon and I agreed that whoever Ryan chose would keep the house. As I wrote about before, Ryan chose his mom and I needed to find a place to live around August 1, 2004.
The nameless one and I decided to get a house together near 7th Street and McDowell in that funky little Coronado neighborhood. This was a terrible decision. She moved in before I did as I didn’t leave the house in Ahwatukee until the divorce was final.
It was a two-story house on a corner. Weird angles, wood floors, and three bedrooms. One bedroom was downstairs, probably the original master, and had a bathroom off it. There was a tiny, galley kitchen and stairs off the dining room that led up to two small bedrooms upstairs and tiny bathroom. I think the upstairs and a den type thing were add-ons at some point.
During that first month we lived together, I came home from work one day to find her on the couch in tears. She was looking at divorce papers and she told me they were the final ones and she and her husband were officially over. I remember being relieved by this because the situation was wearing on me in so many ways. This was also a complete lie, which I would learn later.
The nameless one was a lot of fun.
The first couple of months, though, were fun. I met her son for the first time and that was awkward. One day when his dad dropped him off, Scarlett, my rottie-mix, ran out the door. I went out and grabbed her and apologized to her husband (note, not ex-husband). He said something charming like, “Now I get to put a face to the asshole.”
I can understand now why he was so bitter. I also later learned that like me, the nameless one was also playing the field a bit. One of her “friends” was a cop that was also involved with the organization we worked with, which was fun. Apparently, he offered to arrest me at one point for whatever she wanted me to be arrested for. Wouldn’t that have been neat?
By December of 2004, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake. The nameless one and Shannon were constantly fucking with each other, and I wasn’t helping the situation. Ryan would come over every other weekend and, one good thing I can say about the nameless one, he was always treated well and made to feel welcome and at home. Around Christmas, though, I stopped having Ryan stay and would just spend time with him and take him home or he would stay with my mom on my days.
One day I came home for lunch from work and the nameless one flipped out about something and started breaking my things, throwing them out of the front door, and basically being a freak. I had to call out for the rest of the day and try to sort it out. I was painting a lot in those days (Not very well, but I really liked it) and she tore about of them up. I haven’t really painted since.
This is fucking painful.
See you tomorrow.
Outside of music and Ryan, one of the few positive things during this time was bowling each week with friends at Squaw Peak Lanes on 32nd Street and Indian School. The alley isn't there anymore, but the memories live on.