According to Robert Gina’s boyfriend Brad had her shooting up heroin. I asked him if he was sure and he told me yes. I wondered why Gina would do something so stupid. Not wanting to lose another friend to drugs I called her and invited her out to dinner. I told her it was my treat. We met at Chang’s Mongolian Grill on Broadway, one of our favorite restaurants. After receiving our meal I told her that if a man loved her he would not want her to use heroin. As expected she got mad, but I didn’t care. It was not like me to give a lecture, but I felt this was important and I assumed she would get mad and upset. She left the restaurant angry but she did not use heroin again. The woman Brad married would not be so lucky. They were able to get themselves off heroin, which is admirable since people speak on how hard it is to quit that drug. They went on the methadone program, but Brad’s wife still could not handle it and one day she shot herself in the head in their trailer. I would like to think that I saved Gina from that fate.
Scotty and Jay decided to move from the warehouse to the University District. It was more easily accessible and close to stores and restaurants. They rented a house with a woman Scotty’s best friend Wally was seeing, Debbie. Debbie was attending the University of Washington to get a teaching degree. She was what one today would call a hipster. The rest of us were more or less geeks. I stayed with Scotty one night and in the morning I left wearing his black leather jacket. As I walked down University Avenue a group of young men approached me. One put his hand on the collar of the jacket as if he was going to take it off of me. The other put his hand on my purse and began to pull. I had to think quick, I did not want to explain to Scotty that someone stole his jacket. I quickly walked out into the busy morning traffic. Cars came to a screeching halt. All eyes were on the young men trying to grab the jacket and purse.
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I dropped the wand in the sink and sat on the edge of the tub. “That can’t be right,” I thought. I just saw her. She was fine, she was happy. I finished getting ready and headed out the door to walk to my job about a mile away. On my walk I thought about what I had heard on the radio. She had died of a heroin overdose. I had a hard time understanding why someone with so much going for her now would use heroin. Making it through that day was difficult. Her death hit me hard. She was young, young people are not suppose to die.
On an afternoon a few days after her death the Comet closed and held a celebration of life for her. The bar was full of people mourning the loss of a talented woman who died too soon. Everyone was hit hard by her death. For a long time after that I always expected her to come and clear off glasses at my table, put the pool cues away or nag people for their ID. She never came back. Death is final and hard to comprehend.
Sometime shortly after her death I was walking to the grocery store on Capitol Hill when I ran into my friend Robert. After saying hello he became unusually serious and told me he was glad he ran into me. He was concerned about my best friend Gina.
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I started walking towards the pay phone to call the police. The bikers must have sensed that the police would soon come. They left quickly and we never saw them in the bar again. The bartenders gave us free beer for the rest of the night. That was the only time I ever experienced violence at the Comet.
A few weeks later I entered the Comet after work. Rick, a friend of mine, invited me to dinner. As we were leaving he grabbed Stephanie, one of the bartenders to join us. We walked a block and a half to Piecora’s Pizza. We sat in one of the red booths and ordered our dinner. I was famished and the pizza was the best in town. Stephanie began to tell us the latest news on her band 7 Year Bitch. She talked excitedly about the new album they had coming out. I was jealous of her success but happy for her. I told her I knew some college radio stations in the Bay Area that would probably be interested in playing their music and said I would bring her the information the next time I saw her at the bar. The band had just returned from playing a gig in Canada. Rick and I ate our pizza while Stephanie told us how she met Geddy Lee from Rush and some other Canadian musicians at a dinner they were invited to. It was nice to see someone so excited about what they were doing and their future. I sat in awe listening to her stories. After such a fun evening I was not prepared for what l would learn the next morning.
Looking in the mirror over my bathroom sink, I carefully applied mascara to my eyelashes. The song on the radio ended and the DJ began to report some local news. He said that Stephanie had died the night before.
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I couldn’t look at Jay’s expression but I left the room and went into Scotty’s room and went to sleep.
I entered the Comet Tavern and went to the bar to buy a beer. The bartender Jason greeted me with his usual, “Hi Bono.” He had called me that ever since we had a disagreement about the band U2. He gave me the beer and I went and sat down at a table to wait for Scotty. I saw him walk in and he was with Jay. The three of us went into the next room to play pool. While we were playing pool Greg showed up and joined us. I was still mad at Scotty for not telling me Jay was moving in with him. After finishing our pool game we went and sat at a table. Jay was sitting next to me and leaned over and said, “Wendy, do you realize you are sitting here with your current boyfriend and two former boyfriends and we are all getting along? That is pretty cool.” I had not thought of that, but I agreed and was glad that what he said was true.
For the most part things at the Comet Tavern were pretty laid back. One could sip a cold beer or play pool or both. It was surprising one afternoon when my friends and I were playing pool that some bikers came into the bar. We were sitting at a booth and watched them congregate at a table near by. A couple of the guys from my booth got up and walked into the room with the pool table. One of the guys from the biker group came to our booth and sat down. We had never actually met anyone in a biker gang before and at first we were fascinated by them. Things took a turn when one of the guys playing pool came back to our table and informed the biker that he was sitting in his seat. The biker rose up from his seat and his fist went into my friends face. Blood was everywhere, people were screaming. The girls from the biker group came up and started threatening my girlfriends and I.
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He asked me what I was doing there and I asked him the same. He told me he was moving in.
I walked into the room where Scotty was sitting and told him Jay was moving in. He looked at me and smiled. We helped Jay with his boxes of things and after placing them all in his room the three of us sat down to relax. Scotty got up to go make some snacks leaving Jay and I alone in the living room. I was still in a state of disbelief that Jay was there. Scotty had assured me that he and Jay had not spoken for quite some time and now here was Jay sitting in front of me. Jay mentioned how it was getting late and that I could stay with him if I wanted. Before I could answer Scotty returned with a plate of food. After finishing the food Scotty got up to put the dishes in the kitchen. Again Jay mentioned that I could stay with him. When he returned I motioned for him to follow me out of the room. I told him that Jay kept telling me I could stay with him. I was angry that he lied to me about Jay and that he had not told Jay we were seeing each other. He told me not to worry that he would handle it. Scotty told Jay that he was going to bed. Jay once again told me I could stay with him. “She is staying with me,” he informed him.
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I got him talking about what was bothering him. “You can go,” he said after what seemed a lifetime. I looked over at Greg and he motioned for me to go. I did not want to leave him there, but he insisted I leave. As I walked out the front door Dave reminded me he knew where I lived and if I went to the police he would find me and kill me. I left the apartment and went home without speaking to anyone. Once I was home I debated about calling the police. I figured he would be in jail for an evening and then they would probably let him out. It was safer for Greg and I if I did not call the police. I am not sure if I made the right decision, but we are both still here.
It had been a long day at work and I was happy to be home. I walked up to my brick apartment building on Belmont Street and rang the buzzer. Greg was suppose to let me in as we only had one key. Since he was home during the day, he had the key. No one answered, so I tried again. I had no way into the apartment. I walked down the sidewalk to the cafe on the corner where there was a pay phone. I called Scotty to let him know my situation. He told me to come over and I called a cab. The Yellow Cab took me to the warehouse in the SODO where Scotty lived. After climbing five flights of stairs I made it to his loft. We sat down to eat a quick dinner and watch television. During a commercial I got up to get a glass of water. At the sink I filled my glass when I heard a knock at the door. Scotty asked me to answer it. I was surprised someone was at the door since the loft was not in a residential area and one would have to go out of their way to get to the warehouse. I opened the door and my ex Jay was standing there. We both looked at each other in surprise.
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His twin sister Candace worked at the club. Greg had received a degree in Social Work and was looking for a job.
Greg and I had been through an ordeal. Earlier that year we were spending a quiet evening at his apartment watching television. We were the only ones home and it was nice to just sit and relax. We were sharing a bean bag chair and enjoying one of our favorite shows. Sometime during the middle of the episode his roommate Dave came home and walked through the living room without saying anything. Neither Greg nor I thought anything about it. Dave was sometimes social, sometimes not. After a short time Dave returned to the living room and stood over me. When I looked up the end of a loaded gun was pointed at my head. He told us he was going to kill us. My first thought was that this could not really be happening. I sat completely still hoping he would suddenly say it was a joke. Greg had an alarmed look on his face which told me this was not a game. He told Dave to kill him first because he did not want to see me die. While Greg was being my hero, I did not want Dave to get agitated into actually harming either one of us. I told Greg to be quiet and I began to talk to Dave in a quiet and calm tone of voice. My instincts were to keep talking. The gun continued to be pointed at my head.