Take Me Somewhere Else
As one gets older, one gets used to putting memories into the Death Jar. Loved ones are usually first to pass away from our lives. You know…grandmothers, grandfathers, the occasional uncle, a cousin here or there, a dog that was old before you even started to walk. Sure, it hurts your soul to the core. But death lets you know you HAVE a core that will hurt like a bitch when you’re not expecting it.
As you get older you collect friends. Those humans that have the same interests as you, and hate Suzie Mickens just as much as you do (if not more! The bitch.) But they usually grow out of your bubble and move on to their own separate collection of friends, and have babies and families of their own. They get LIVES which are usually not on the same path you’re going. Once in a while you bump into them and catch up. You’re genuinely happy to see them, you hug, and then you go back to doing what you were doing before the pleasant interruption. Now this memory supersedes the last one you had of that person. Time marches on.
That’s how it was with Tracy (Lee, Lane, Roy…she had so many last names. Just pick one in any combination, and you’d be right.) I called her “Trace”. She was my neighbor for a number of years. I was with her when her boyfriend at the time decided they couldn’t afford their bills, so he robbed a bank. I remember the time another boyfriend and her would be howling when they had sex with their windows wide open. The entire complex would hear that her nickname for him was, “Daddy!”. Repeatedly. And usually in between gasps of, “Oh, Yeah!” So, as the property manager I asked her if she’d like to move to the more secluded area of the complex. Which she did. I remember another boyfriend busting her face so hard, she ran to my apartment with so much blood on her face from the broken eye socket and eyebrow bone. I cried almost as much as she did because I loved Tracy and couldn’t believe someone would do this to her. I couldn’t believe SHE would let someone break her like this.
Then she met Melissa. I thought all was well. In between trips from here in Dade City to Louisiana to keep getting Melissa and bring her back home every time they got into an argument. I’m not going to pretend I understand lesbian relationships. Apparently, they need breaks every now and then.
Trace eventually moved to Louisiana to be with Melissa. She was happy. I would see her once in a while on Facebook professing her love for Melissa. Actually…that’s all I ever saw. Even if they were sitting right next to one another, they would spout their love for each other in a post. I was getting diabetes from their Facebook posts.
It wasn’t until the news of her recent death that I realized that I HAVE had radio silence from her lately. I didn’t know what Trace was up to. I used to know it all. Too much of it, actually. The last memory I had of her was that she was moving to Louisiana and she was happy that she had a job. Jobs seemed to always allude her for some reason. She’d get them, but hanging on to them was another story. As long as she was happy. And she seemed to be.
But yesterday Tim told me Trace had died. I didn’t understand how that was possible. Of course I asked the usual, “how did she die?” and “was she in an accident?”. Tim spent some time scouring through the internet trying to find out, but no one knew anything. They just knew she had passed away. I assumed it was in Louisiana, until I got a link saying that her and Melissa were wanted women in Livingston. Sort of like “Thelma and Louise”. Figures…that’s exactly how Trace liked to live – on the rougher side. Yet she would still remind you that she’s a girl.
I then became skeptical. Tim was messaging with Tracy’s niece (?) and she didn’t know how Tracy died. Alright now…did Tracy really die? Or is this some sort of elaborate-trying-to-escape-the-po-po scheme? If you know me well, you know I’m a pretty good internet detective. I saw a post on Tracy’s Facebook page saying they were heading to California. (You people put ALL of your business up on that site. Thank you for that. Makes my job easier.) And from there I tracked an obituary to Oroville, California that did, in fact, state that Tracy had passed away. Although, it didn’t state the reason or manner.
I’m going to miss the girl. We laughed as hard as we yelled at one another. We mostly laughed about her very large boobs that (I swear!) had their own brain cells and zip code. I was cold one winter (okay…every winter!) and she actually gave me the sweater off her back. I still have it hanging in the closet. It’s all I have left of Tracy. She left without any warning. That’s exactly how she entered my life – without warning. Don’t let the news article make you think any less of her. If she liked you, you knew because she showed it. I was lucky she liked me. Because if she didn’t like you, she’d definitely show that as well. I’m one of those neighbors you see on television all the time describing the criminal that lived next door, “She was a nice enough gal, never no problems. Kept to herself,” Tracy was all about fun, and how much shit she could get herself into. Apparently, there was a steep price for this new game she was playing. But now our world has to carry on without a Tracy Lee, Lane, Roy (pick one) in our world. And that sucks. I hope that she now gets to rest in peace. She deserves it. No doubt.