Category Archives: A Gay Life The Story

I am a parentless parent

I haven’t written in a very long time. I started and then graduated from Graduate  School (yeah for me!). I started and then ended a new job (5 years in what was not a fun job) and it showed me how much I am not a good fit for the corporate world. It only took me about 12 years to figure out, but hey sometimes the money is good and I can be a slow or perhaps stubborn learner.

What has really rocked my world was becoming a mother to twin boys. Yes, twins. It was a rocket of a ride being pregnant and working in an environment that was less than supportive. The less than supportive environment and toxic people I was surrounded with ended up being a good thing for my decision making. Being pregnant brought up old retired demons I thought I had rid myself of. Childhood fears bubbled to the surface and a steroidal mama bear was born. It was freeing and frightening.

There is so much I could and will eventually say about being a pregnant with twins woman, a twin mom, a wife and a changed member of society. What has really sent my rocket into unchartered territory is coping with the death of both of my dads in the span of 8 months. Even as I type that, it seems more real than it was before that sentence had not been typed by me and tears are streaming down my face. I am completely parentless.

My rock died first, Mel. My mentor, my comfort and the person who always saw the best part of me when I was at my worst. My Mel. It was and remains horrible to think of the world going on without him in it. He remains one of the most beautiful humans I know. His flaws made him all the more loveable and reminded me that he is no saint, but he is my dad. Watching him be a grandpa to my boys was a delight and the thought of my little ones not remembering his hugs and vulnerable love is almost more than I can handle. I will say the pain has been worth it. It reminds me of the love he and I still share. Without that love, there would not be the level of pain I am in and I will take that pain any day of the week than not experience the love.

It was a sudden and unexpected death. And, if there is one thing I know for sure it is that he was not ready to go. “I miss him” is a phrase that does not and could not embrace the depths of the hole in my life, but it’s the best the English language has to offer right now. And, I do. I miss him.

Fast forward to 8 months and one day later, and my biological dad died. Cancer. Fucking cancer. I am fairly certain he assisted and sped up his expiration date. His partner, the love of his life, was dying and just as I have a hard time imagining life without my Mel he could not imagine a life without his Barney. My dad delayed treatment for his cancer. He actually did not have to die. It was very treatable and discovered early. Barney was already dying and I believe my dad thought this would be an easier exit for him. So, 2 years after he was diagnosed and 2 months after Barney took his last breath my dad took too much of pain meds.

When both of your parents are gone (my mother has been gone for 10 years, but I didn’t really know her so this is different) you feel as if part of your history has disappeared. There is no one to ask about only the stories they know of you as a little person. There is no one who will love you as your parents love you. I know this now as a parent. I see my boys in a way no one else will ever see them. I was always my dad’s baby. I was always my dad’s pride. I was always my dad’s heart. And, I had that times two! Imagine seeing all of this in not one, but two different sets of daddy eyes. All girls should be so lucky.

Another chapter to write in my life. Another chapter I will be seeking silver linings from. My kids are better than a silver lining though. They are my constant reminders that life is here now and though the moments may be frustrating, sad and possibly defeated the moments are also giggling, discovering and receiving love from two 2 year olds that fills my heart with joy.

After all, it is only fair that I should be raising two boys after two dads raised me.


Chapter 6, Part 2

This is the part of the story where life seemed to have stopped for me. Kids are pretty challenged when it comes to change; they just don’t always transition very well. Considering where I had come from it remains a challenge for me; I have access to words so I can express these fine adjectives now which is quite a nice thing. My whole life changed in the 2nd Grade and as I sit and reflect on those changes it was the start of feeling angry, invisible, manipulated, depressed, a burden and yet hopeful with a side of creativity. Kids are also quite resilient and I was not an exception to this rule, but rather a shining example. 

My people pleasing came from a need to survive at a young age. Pleasing my teachers was very high on that list since I received immediate rewards for it. 1 book report due? Yeah, I would do 5 instead and not just because I loved reading. I wanted to see the smile on Mrs. T’s face when I turned them in and she never let me down. 

My school was a special little school. The class sizes were very small and the teachers paid close attention to you. This could be great if they liked you, but not so great when they didn’t. Mrs. T was the teacher everyone loved. She had us singing in class to learn to spell, reciting poetry in games and putting on plays to entertain our parents. She made school really fun! Unless your name was Darin and then your life was not so fun. 

Mrs. T taught me, although not intending to, that it is important to ease your way over to the person with the most power in a situation. Don’t get too close but let them know you are there and not a threat. Mrs. T was cruel to Darin. The kid was going through a nasty divorce with his parents (and I mean NASTY) and here he is just trying to survive. His crime? He couldn’t sit still and he was craving any type of attention. At one point he was gone from class for about one week and when he returned Mrs T told him in front of the class “You know Darin, it was so nice here without you. I’m sorry you had to come back.” OUCH! I have always wanted to ask him about this now that we are adults, but don’t want to bring up that pain again. Mrs. T showed all of us that she had another side to her and it was not the side you wanted to be on. 

So, as I saddled up next to her while not getting too close I noticed she also had favorites. 2 girls who were best friends and mom’s were head of Brownies; these two got to be the stars of anything we were doing in class. ANYTHING! They were Winnie The Pooh in one of our school plays, they got to sing the lead in the songs we recited, they stood out in front all of the time whenever we had anything happening outside of the classroom, all in all they were given a lot of power by the adults. I hadn’t really cared about them before, but now I needed to be their friend. It’s this odd pack mentality that comes over children if the adults don’t step in. Whatever these two were wearing, I wanted to wear. One of them decided to change the way she wrote a “2” on paper, and so I changed the way I wrote “2” on paper. I was conforming but the invitation was not quite there from them. 

As these new 2nd Grader rules were being carved out a horrible accident happened. My dad was at work and slipped 6 discs in his back. He has never been the same. My dad was my world. My protector, my comedian, my comfort and all of my familiarity. And, now he was in the hospital getting ready to have what would be the first of many surgeries. They cut him up, but they didn’t put him back together again. It was the beginning of his drug addiction which would last for 25 more years. You know that saying of having a monkey on your back? Well, it applied to my dad for a long time considering how heavy that monkey was on his broken down back. 

My daycare was literally up the street from my school. This is where I was when Oliver pulled into the driveway. Oliver had never come to retrieve me from daycare, but I was happy to see him. He seemed serious and didn’t really talk to me while we were in the car. When I asked him where we were going all he told me was “the hospital.” It never occurred to me on that car ride that something was wrong. I was one of those kids that just kinda liked goin with the flow of things. As long as I felt safe everything seemed okay. It was when we got to the hospital that my feeling of safety left me and didn’t come back for a very long time. It seemed a requirement to hand it over as I walked through the door to see my dad. It was the cost of a cover to get in, but there was no option to turn around. No refunds. Safety and I, well we broke up for a long time. Safety had abandoned me when I was living with my mom, but it came back when I moved in with my dad. And, now I could feel it leaving once again but this time it didn’t feel like a petty argument where we could make up. This time Safety was leaving with no plans to return. 

My dad came home from the hospital about 1 month after he was admitted. We had to play nurse to tend to his surgical wounds; I liked to play nurse because it gave me a purpose and I got to see where all of my dad’s discomfort was coming from. The doctors had provided him with a lot of pills too. At first he was goofy on them and then something went grey in his deep blue eyes. He opened one of those pill bottles and didn’t come back. He just slid on down into the abyss of it all. Addiction wasn’t as studied at this time and so when the doctor gave my dad liquid cocaine to help ween him off the pain killers he had been taking for 2 years now, he climbed out of the pill bottle willingly and stepped into the 80’s cocaine party. 

I can’t remember exactly when he went from just not coming home for a few days to not ever wearing short sleeved shirts again, but it was sometime when the state announced it was cutting funding to our schools. These cuts had been planned (BIG middle finger to the Gipper on this one) since the California property tax initiative had passed AND taxes on the wealthy had been greatly reduced. It was only a matter of time before the state became lean on cash and I guess the powers that be felt the schools were a brilliant place to start slashing (to be fair, mental health also got hit hard – all of the state mental facilities were pretty much closed and so now you have skid row in LA to handled these people who need assistance). Yes, I was caught in the crux of when California had the top schools in the country to when they started to fall (did I flip good ol Ronnie Reagan off yet?). The school where I was attending would close the following year. I was now sentenced to go to school where the “bad kids” went to school. They were taking me out of my social bubble where the grass was green on all sides to a school that was known for elementary school kids cutting class and getting into fights that drew a lot of blood. Great. Just great. 

The parents tried to intervene. The nightly news came to our school to interview the weeping students, but the verdict had been rendered and our little butts were being sent to another school. 

I had a couple of really good years of learning to trust adults again, but now I was back on that familiar rocky path. For a 7 year old, this was not great. 


On Pause

I am on pause if you may have noticed. I have some goals I am working on currently and so I have been neglecting this blog. I was originally going to delete it but I was asked not to …… and I guess I am one for flattery at times.

Please continue to send me emails, posts, etc. I will update as I can. Eventually I will look to get this story into a book 🙂

Part 6, Chapter 1

Life was pretty normal for a few years. I was a happy child who was blossoming in school, I was making friends and my parents were madly in love with each other. We took family vacations. I had birthday parties with friends (I will get to one a bit later in this post) and home life was calm. I felt safe. I felt loved. I felt comfortable.

I was just 6 years old so boys were not yet gross but they were nothing I really thought of. They were just boys. First grade felt like my coming out party. My teacher recognized I was a quick learner and she nurtured this. I was reading and completing more book reports than anyone in the class. In retrospect, I realize now my first grade teacher was likely “family” and so I now understand her extra attention to me in class. She would ask me to read out loud, she would praise how smart she thought I was and above all she did not treat me as if I was an outsider. School was something I looked forward to.

I felt comfortable in the first grade, but it was also the start of me learning that I might be a bit different than the other children. This was the year where all of the girls were pressured into joining Brownies. An after school activity that really only meant one thing: we got to sell those damn cookies but saw none of the profits. Brownies was, of course, led by the mothers. Most of the mothers were full time mom’s so these ladies turned Brownies into who’s little girl was the best with the most badges. Some of us were left out of this mess (and by some of us I mean me and the other girls whose mothers worked full time)  and I am thankful for that, but I was the one singled out to be asked “where is your mommy?” by none other than the mommies. It still kinda of angers me the way they would ask me this in front of my peers in the middle of one their mindless activities and I would like to say I can forgive their ignorance, but lets face it they were doing it to make sure their daughters understood I was different; I came from somewhere different and my family was different. It succeeded.

These same nosey mommies would start what would become a vicious cycle of picking me last for every activity when it came to teaming up. And, it was these same mommies who opted their daughters out of my birthday parties. You want to talk about your heart being sunk at a time when Battleship was one of the number one board games. Mine was a prime target for these women. Somehow, I never was invited to these girls birthday parties and they consistently declined by invitations. May I remind you that we were a class of maybe 18 students? You felt the sting even at that age even if you could not name it.

But, alas I did have a great 6th birthday at the child’s dream cave of terrible pizza and frightening mechanical animals, Chuck-E-Cheese. It was awesome. We ate too much, we ran in circles playing those games that spit out tickets for who knows what you can redeem them with and we had a blast. I do not remember any of the events of that day, which is unusual for me, but what I do remember is I felt really happy. Running off a sugar high is really all a child looks forward to on their birthday. I look at the photos from that day and you cannot tell that I have 2 gay parents. You cannot determine that my mother is not here for my birthday (and she did not call either …. a pattern for her). All that you can see is a happy healthy child with other happy healthy children she was happy to call her friends.

I often wonder whether any of the other girls felt left out by these Brownie/Girl Scout mothers. I wonder if they felt they were ostracized for not having the same family these women felt they had. These women would set the tone for a fear I developed when I am around groups of women.  I wonder if these mommies knew the damage they were inflicting on a little girl who was without hers.

Part 5 Chapter 3

Kindergarten came and went as I was starting to feel safe in my new school surroundings and safe with the familiar faces on the play ground. I had just turned 6 years old and it was time for summer vacation and our first real family road trip.

Oliver’s aunt lived in Southern California on the coast in Morro Bay. It was his favorite aunt. Oliver did not have to pretend about anything with Aunt Nena and she loved anyone who loved her favorite nephew. Aunt Nena was excited to meet Oliver’s love and his daughter. The plan was to go to Yosemite, drive down to Morro Bay, take a day trip to Hearst Castle and then the prize …. Disneyland! Disneyland is a 6 year old dream of all dreams! To see Mickey and Minnie en vivo was more than my little temperament could handle. It would prove to be the bargaining chip that would be keep me behaved for most of the trip.

What Oliver and my dad did not have much experience with was the stamina or lack thereof as it relates to a child. Little legs, needing food, nap time, and constant snacks were something you would think after having been around a child for the last 2 years they would have picked up, but they did not and my stubbornness was not something you could calm down once it perked up. It started in Yosemite.

Recall this is 1981 and two men traveling with a 6 year old was not acceptable if they were to present themselves as a couple. At second issue was a fairly new couple still madly in love and wanting to express themselves physically, but had agreed not to express such emotions in front of me. After a very long drive where I insisted on listening to John Denver’s “Rocky Moutain High -iiiiii Colorado” over and over and over again and my dad wanting to listen to the latest George Harrison tune we arrived in Yosemite to our rented cabin. The tree’s were breath taking, the sounds completely new and the smell of pure clean was not something I will ever forget. I was already a small child, but now I felt as if I could get lost amongst all of the plant life.

They unloaded the car, fed me and we went for a short walk. I started running on the trail. I was a newly uncaged animal that had been freed. My dad being the former basketball track star knew he could catch up with me at anytime and Oliver was content with soaking in the scenery. When they caught up to me I was captivated by a squirrel in the tree but more so I was pooped. The next thing I remember was being awoken by a loud roar coming from outside our cabin. My dad peeked out of the window and screamed “Shit! It’s a bear!! What do we do?” Oliver put me in bed between them and said “nothing go back to sleep.”

Morro Bay was our next stop and a favorite stop. They make salt water taffy in Morro Bay and Aunt Nena was prepared to greet me with it. Aunt Nena was wonderful. She was my nap buddy, my eating buddy and she moved at my pace in her walker which I thought was a mini playground just for me. She cooed to me and told me stories about princesses. She told me these were the same stories she used to tell Oliver; princess stories were also his favorite. It was difficult to imagine how we could leave her, but after two days and a very tearful departure on my part we did leave.

Hearst Castle has got to be the most frustrating place for a child. Do you know they have crystal clear pools that you cannot swim in? WTF? It’s a big tease and a terrible thing to do. We had a pool at our house that I could swim in whenever my heart desired, so how are you going to tell me that this one is off limits? I got into a lot of trouble for putting my hand in the water to test out whether it was the right temperature to dive into. Security came rushing over and apparently was going to kick us out. Well, this child was in need of a nap and a snack so as soon as I was scolded the photos ops were out of the question. I insisted on being carried through the rest of the tour AND would NOT turn around for any photos. The conversation went something like this: Honey, turn around for the picture. NO! Honey, please turn around for the picture and smile. I WILL NOT!!  Mickey and Minnie may not want to see you if they hear you have been a bad girl. NO! We have many photos of my burying my face in Oliver or my dad while they have a frustrated smile on their face. Folks, you must carve out nap time when taking a child on a trip. It’s just a must.

Disneyland was the last stop and the best stop. Sugar kept me going at full speed ahead and Mickey and Minnie kept me on my best behavior. Pirates of the Caribbean, The Tea Cups, Dumbo, The Jungle Book characters, it was a child’s complete dream. I wanted to stay forever, but we were kept to just one day. What I sort of noticed at Disneyland was people staring at us. I thought it was unusual that people thought Oliver was my grandfather and that my dad did not correct them. I also recall hearing people ask where my mother was. A small splinter in my heart would open up, but my two dad’s would assure me that Minnie was just around the corner and a sugary treat was sure to follow. Their small way of distracting me and healing the wound as best they could.

Part 4, Chapter 3

Borrowed from

Kindergarten is a right of passage for most children. Our little school in Hidden Valley was a wonderland for me and it was also the first place I discovered what an awkward child I was (but in a good way).  My dad decided because this was a big day for both of us he would drive me to school and skip daycare. Spending more time with my dad was always a plus and something I cherished. I was without doubt a daddy’s girl. My dad made me breakfast which was his childhood favorite, white rice, sugar, butter and milk. We ate together listening to John Lennon’s newly released Double Fantasy while my dad sang “Beautiful Boy” changing the lyrics to Beautiful Girl. He brushed out my thick hair while my eyes watered in pain and let me pick out a mismatched outfit of tan corduroy pants with a koala shirt. We got into his blue Monte Carlo with the continuing music of “Watchin the Wheels” in the background. My dad held my hand as I cuddled up next to him on the blue dusty seats.

We pull up to the side parking lot closest to the classroom which was the long way to the campus. The fear set in as my dad killed the engine. A child’s anxiety is different from an adults in that a child does not have as much experience to draw on but it is also more terrifying because a child has raw imagination. The gravel cracked under our feet and my hand was sweating in my dad’s hand as we walked to the classroom. Mrs. Rowe greeted us with a big smile, short blonde hair, blue eyeliner, blue mascara and a gold chain which bounced off of her shirt that clung onto her glasses. She was not someone I liked immediately. She seemed strict and succinct in her dicta; she barely addressed me. Mrs. Rowe was busy wondering where this child’s mother was as she showed us around the classroom and my dad was trying not to be affected by her obvious judgment. I did not spot any toys that caught my wonder but I did catch familiar faces from the daycare. I looked up at my dad for permission to be released from his grip so I could head out to the playground. He bent down, told me to behave and then released me to a group of little people who I would journey through life with all the way to high school.

I watched kids flip from the bars, sway their bodies to glide across the monkey bars, kick balls, throw balls and run from each other in pure delight. There were 18 of us total and even though we were pint size we felt HUGE on our first day of school. Allegra was there from daycare but she was busy showing the boys who was boss by kicking the ball further, running faster and pushing harder than any of them could hope to compete with. I spotted another blonde haired innocent who was alone and just observing the rest of the kids on the sidelines as I was. She was more like me. Introverted preferring to be invisible while walking through the children. We connected instantly. Marion was a girly girl. She liked dolls, dresses and all things pretty. She was delicate and quiet but as we held hands through the play ground she was my new best friend; to a small insecure girl, anyone who paid attention you was in fact your new best friend. We climbed to the top of the jungle gym and delighted in the birds flying above, at the sighting of the school neighbor taking her horse for a walk across the field and at the clouds running past our heads. When it was time to start class we insisted on sitting on the mat next to each other.

Mrs. Rowe introduced us to the rules of the room which were basically: if you get out of line, you will sit in the corner. We had stations of learning reading, math, spelling and nap time. If you completed each station successfully, there could be a prize…. bubble gum! I had a head start on most of the kids in reading. The family story is that I taught myself to read and by 18 months old I was spelling too. So, when it came time to sit at the reading or spelling station I shined as I reaped in the booty. This served me well for bringing me out of my shell since I was happy to give it away. Sugar never really excited my picky taste buds so I was more than happy to trade it for attention from my 17 classmates. One child in particular that seemed adept at instantly knowing my weakness for friendship and wanted my bubble gum was Erida. Erida was a child who I was friends with on and off throughout my life. All of my memories of her are soured pain because she was a cunning bully. Highly intelligent but completely unable to empathize with anyone unless they were giving her what she wanted; she was a person who alway made people feel bad about themselves and I was a consistent victim of hers. She was probably one of the coldest people I have ever met and it always amazed me how much people accepted her (and still do). She and I were forced friends because of our proximity of homes, the fact that her mother was a stay at home mom so my dad always could locate a babysitter when needed under the guise of playing at her house and because she was able to manipulate me constantly into making me feel less than her which she delighted in. There would come a point in our lives where I saw opportunities to hurt her as much as she had always hurt me and I jumped at them. It’s not something I am proud of but I always found it perplexing how Erida was so smart and yet confused at my betrayal of her.

As I think back to my classmates, I recall the lack of childhood diagnosis available. We did not have an option to label a child ADHD, conduct disorder or depressed. The kid was just simply unruly or odd. Why did Arthur put ketchup on his head during lunch time (and no I am not kidding. There really was a child who one year our senior who was so disturbed and angry he used to put ketchup on his head)? As a child you do not think about these things because at age 5 it just does not matter. With the exception of Erida, a 5 year old has not learned to be cruel and is not trying to herd people into conformity. We were all innocent quirky children who were more than happy to be friends with each other. Even with Arthur who never seemed bathed and always on the brink of meltdown was accepted by his minor peers.

Kindergarten is the point of your life where you are socialized to the order of things. You start at the bottom of the food chain, work your way up and once you get to the top you are forced back down so you can climb back up again. Kindergarten you’re at the bottom, 6th grade you have worked your way up to the top, middle school put you right back down again, high school and the circle just keeps going on and on and on.

Writers clog

So, I keep starting the story and there is just no flow to it so I have to discard it. Maybe it is all the changes going on in my life or maybe my creative juices are refueling. Somehow I think it is where I left off. It was painful being away from my mother and yet I was terrified of her at the same time. Maybe a part of me is still processing that physical severance from her. Whatever it is, it is postponing the next part to the story.

So, I thought I would share a few memories until Chapter 4 comes to me that probably will not make it into the story but are vivid quick movie like memories I have nonetheless. These little tidbits have been demanding some air time.

As I have said, my aunt Anita (we called her Nita or Neeters) was someone I was very close to. She was my babysitter, actually she was everyone’s babysitter, and she was the person I saw most frequently from my mother’s family. She was the second youngest of my mom’s siblings and probably the funniest out of the bunch. She had a crass sense of humor, a big heart and an even bigger laugh. She stayed friends with my dad for the rest of her life. I believe she was 16 years old when I was born; she was definitely my protector. You see I have this belief that we all have a little ghetto in us. Ya know that “oh no you din’ent” part of you that only comes out when pushed into the right circumstances? Well, Nita’s was always kinda close to the surface. For some people their ghetto is under extreme duress but for Nita it was under the third layer of her skin. Nita could take care of business and God help anyone who hurt someone she loved. Anyways, my mom and dad had separated. My dad moved to an apartment complex where his new friends lived. My mom playing the part of scorned woman decided to move to the same complex. It freaked out my dad in a “am I being stalked by my baby momma?” way but he felt it was good nonetheless since he could be closer to me.

Nita was my babysitter. There were a lot of kids in this apartment complex and it was probably not the best area of town but not the worst. These kids were ratty scrappy lookin kids. They were grunge before people knew what grunge was. One kid in particular was a bully. I remember him clearly. Blond wavy hair, tan shorts, never had his shirt on, dark brown freckles and much bigger than my 2 year old self. He was the kinda kid who is probably in prison today and not ever getting out. He used to kick dogs and throw rocks at cats. He was a frightening child and unusually cruel. Some might say he was not hugged enough as a child.

Well, Nita had bought me a tricycle. A beautiful red tricycle that was my very own. I loved this new found freedom of riding in circles around my auntie and her laughing hysterically at my joy. One day… isn’t always one day? … Nita was inside watching television and I was outside. It was the morning time and the sun was just starting to heat up the concrete. I was cruising around in my “allowed” area of exploration on my tricycle (which was about 10 feet from the door) feeling happy and quite independent. Out comes the little blond 6 year old sociopath from the bushes which were just outside the fence that enclosed the pool. He had his Peanut gang following him. He walked in front of my joy ride and told me that if I did not get off his new tricycle he would push me off and beat me up. I started to cry. Tears burning my blue eyes as I reluctantly surrendered my new pride and joy. He hopped on it and off he went even though he was a little too big for this toy.

Defeated and distraught I went inside for some comfort from Nita. I was crying so hard she thought I had injured myself. She kept asking me “Where are you hurt? Where are you hurt? Are you bleeding?” I finally calmed down and told her what had happened. Hell hath no fury than a pissed off aunt who is watching her niece monumentally upset. Nita told me to wait by the front door for her. It was not long before she came back with the sociopath turned little boy. He had one cheek that was slightly more red than the other. Had she hit him? She held his arm as he pushed my tricycle toward me. He apologized to me, reluctantly. This set Nita off. And I mean off! Her hair lit on fire. Her eyes squinted with furor. She crouched down to his eye level and I will never forget what she said “This is my niece you little piece of shit. If you ever make her cry again, I will hurt you. I WILL FUCKING HURT YOU. You gonna try dat apology one mo’ time.” Oh yes she did. She threatened a 6 year old. Her eyes must have been blazing because he looked at me and said “I am really sorry I stole your tricycle.” She let go of his arm and he ran like the wind. Nita looked down and told me “No one will ever hurt you. I will make sure of that.”

No, his mother never came to confront my Nita and yes he resisted from screwin around with me again. My Nita forever became my protector after that. She had saved me from feeling anxious of the little blond boy after that incident. It could have been one of those personality shaping moments for me as a child, but I think that experience was saved for the little blond boy. He stayed away from me and our apartment after that. I saw him every now and then with his Peanut gang but they always kept their distance. Remember …. Nita was not too far away.