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Estate Records (Excerpt from my memoir #15)

I could feel my face turning red in embarrassment.  I didn’t know what to say and felt awkward.  I looked at him to see how angry he was with me.  He laughed and said he thought it was funny.  I remembered where we had seen each other before now.  I told him I remembered him coming into the doctor’s office where I worked with Kurt.  After taking a sip of beer from the bottle in his hand he excitedly told me about a new album they had coming out called Nevermind.  We continued talking for a while and then I returned to my friends.

 

Looking around my living room I decided I was tired of everything.  I began placing items in boxes.  I did not know where I would move to, but I knew I needed to move.  I called my friend Rhonda in San Francisco who said I could stay with her for a while.  After all of my belongings were packed and put in storage, I boarded a train for California.

Rhonda lived in the Western Addition a couple of blocks from Haight Street.  Her flat she shared with two other friends was in an old Victorian house in the middle of the block.  I loved the location as I could walk to Golden Gate Park, Haight Street and the Castro.  I began looking for work, with no luck.  I was either over qualified or under qualified.  Each and every day I got up and spent the entire day looking for work.  My money was running out and I did not know what I would do.  I had never had trouble finding work before.  i looked in the paper, I went to employment agencies and I walked around inquiring at shops.  One morning the stress got to me.  I decided I was not going out that day.  I was depressed and had no one who could help me.  I spent the morning wallowing in self pity.  In the middle of my tragic morning there was a knock at the door.  Wiping the tears off my cheeks I got up and went to answer the door.  I opened the door and my friend Charlie from Seattle was standing there.

Estate Records (Exerpt from my memoir #14)

The young men saw that they had become the center of attention and ran down the street to the end of the block and around the corner.  I took a moment to process what had just happened.  My heart was beating fast and I waited for it to slow back down.  I cautiously walked down University Avenue to the bus stop, making sure they were no longer following me and rode the bus to work.

As I made my way across the wooden floor of my apartment living room to the kitchen the phone rang.  It was Scotty inviting me out to the Rendevouz to see a band.    I hadn’t been to a live show in a while and thought it sounded fun.  I told him i would meet him there and hung up the phone.

The Rendevouz had been around for quite some time and the interior was reminiscent of the 1950’s or early 1960’s. I saw some friends sitting in a booth and went to join them. Scotty and Debbie showed up. They walked across the room and stood in front of out booth.  A woman sitting across from me moved over to make room for them and they sat down.  I was expecting Scotty to sit next to me and was wondering what was going on.  He did not look at me, focusing his attention on Debbie instead.  I started to get a bad feeling and my stomach began to ache.  Scotty left the table without saying a word to me.  Debbie sat across from me and avoided looking at me.  The woman sitting next to her told me Debbie was seeing Scotty now in a snarky tone.  I looked at Debbie and she stared back, taking a drag off of her cigarette without saying anything.  I got up from the table and headed to the front of the bar. I asked a bartender in a purple velvet blazer to call me a cab.  He shook his head in agreement and I walked out the front door and onto the sidewalk to wait for the cab.  It was cold and although I had the leather jacket on I shook from the chill.  A few moments later Scotty came out of the door.  He told me to come back in.  I shook my head no and told him I was going home.  He told me to suit myself and walked back into the club.  The cab showed up and the driver got out to open the door for me.  Tears were streaming down my face as I got in and shut the door.  The driver returned to his seat.  “Whomever you are crying over isn’t worth it,” he said in a fatherly tone.

 

 

It was late as I sipped the last of my beer at the Comet.  Closing Time was playing out of the speakers indicating the bar was about to close.  Some friends invited me to an after hours party downtown. Since Scotty and I were no longer seeing each other I was up for some socializing. The after hours party was located in a loft across the street from the Moore Theater downtown. It was mosestly furnished and looked like someones art studio.  I had just arrived when a tall man in torn jeans told me he had seen me somewhere before. I looked at him but could not place him. He stood in front of a record player and grabbed a sleeve from a stack of records.  I saw that he was going to put on Nirvana’s Bleach album. I was so tired of hearing it.  I thought it was good but Scotty played it nonstop, I told him I was sick of Nirvana. He put the Bleach album down and asked me what I would like to hear. After rummaging through a pile of albums I handed him Hanoi Rocks. He put the music on and left the room. I mingled with people for a while and then the tall man came up to me again. He told me he played in a band. I asked him what band he played for and he told me Nirvana.

 

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Estate Records (Exerpt from my memoir #13)

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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Estate Records (Exerpt from my memoir #12)

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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Estate Records (Exerpt from my memoir #11)

 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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Estate Records (Exert from my memoir #10)

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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Estate Records (Exert from my memoir #9)

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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