11 January 1999

Big jump of nine days.

After the previous entry, still no joy from the victim-assistance people. I had gotten about $200 more out of the ATM, but after that my card was locked down. I knew I would have to leave the state before I ran out of money, which would have soundly fucked me.

I remember Reba calling me while I was still at the motel to tell me she and Rick had been assaulted by four young men in a robbery attempt and gotten beaten up pretty badly.

I remember going to Kroger to pick up some Immodium (when I get highly stressed like that there’s a really good chance I will get the shits… no good on a long drive) and spied a large blank journal with roses all over the cover. Ah ha, I thought, I can journal this whole mess, so I bought it too.

I remember driving overnight from eastern North Carolina to western Tennessee. Let me tell you how much fun it is to take a piss break in a gas station with nothing to lay your sleeping son on so you have both hands free, and you sure as hell were not going to leave him in the car. It is not fun at all. He didn’t think it was very fun either.

I remember getting to Memphis, specifically to a trailer park in Bartlett, and being set up in Reba’s and her boyfriend Rick’s front bedroom facing the street. There was a bunch of stuff stored in there, some of which I recognized from our last house as a family before she and Dad split, but there was also room enough to get around and the bed had more than enough space for me and the kiddo.

I remember a neighbor coming over with a box of hand-me-down clothes… for me, not Sean, because other than my new underwear I didn’t have squat.

I remember talking to Dad on the phone at some point, telling him the story, and him telling me he would send me money to help out.

Reba threw me a low-key birthday celebration on either the ninth or the tenth (I turned 25 on the tenth). Doug came over after I hadn’t seen him in four years. Not far into the conversation he came out with, “So, you gonna look up Guerrero?”

He was talking about Marc, who was my second to last boyfriend in high school with whom I reconciled for a while when I was in the Army. I hadn’t behaved myself, he hadn’t wanted to move near me (at least, he never brought it up, and I didn’t think to suggest it), and so we had broken up again. After I’d found out Mike and I were expecting Sean, I told my family we were married (we’d been hoping to have a wedding after the elopement but were afraid no one would show if they knew we were already married), and I guess someone had told him, because he called me soon after. That had been 1995 and the last time I’d talked to him. Over these past several months I’ve been thinking about him a lot, though, and had already made up my mind since getting back to Memphis that he was the one person I’d known there who I’d most wanted to find again.

So Doug bringing him up was weird. I said, “Marc? What made you say ‘Marc’?”

Doug kind of smiled. I said, “What happened?”

He said, “Well, last time I saw him, he told me he would have married you if things worked out differently.”

That floored me. So, of course I’ve been thinking about Marc almost nonstop since then. Finally I caved in and looked him up in the phone book today. Apparently he lives in Raleigh, so I called him and left a message on his machine.

He called back, and… he’s married. With a nine-month-old son named Logan.

Yeah. Logan. The name of one of Marc’s favorite comic-book heroes, also known as Wolverine. I still know that about Marc. The baby’s name was his wife’s idea, though.

Marc and I talked for a while and he told me he’s seen Barry from art class and that T.C., Maria, James, Daniel, and Damien are all still around. Just about all of them are married and just about all have kids.

I wasn’t particularly interested in them. I’d been interested in him, and now I was crushed and wishing I’d left well enough alone.

Reba returning home from seeing her lawyer did nothing to raise my spirits. In just a little over a week I’m being reminded of why I hadn’t wanted to stay in the house in Atoka in the first place, seven years ago. It’s a weird place, being irritated by a person you are grateful to, but here I am.