I was reminded of an incident which happened a couple of
years ago at Leo’s old rental house.
While things in his household are usually “nontraditional”, things had
careened to an out of control place when he took in an old neighbor. Leo’s old neighbor was a woman that found
herself out of options when her current roommate took to sleeping with a pistol
by his bed, which as days marched on actually seemed like a reasonable course
of action in sharing a household with her.
However, at this time we didn’t know this. She just seemed very off. Oh, why sugar coat it… She was at best “mentally imbalanced” and at
worst suffered from a wide array of mental health and dependency issues that
had left her committed to institutions.
The decision to move a mentally ill woman with a prescription
drug issue into your house is a terrible one.
Looking back it would have been a better decision if Leo had decided to
move a Lowland Gorilla into his home. It
would have been much less of a fuss. Leo’s
intentions were all good. I believe that
Leo thought he was acting in a Christian fashion, his thought being to help get
this woman back on her feet and bank some good kharma. Unfortunately he did not factor in the
challenges of living with a shut in that lurched between angry confrontations
with him and manic unpredictable behavior.
The real down side for the band was this is where we
practiced. On a weekly basis one could
never be sure what was waiting upon arrival.
Sometimes it was pleasant chit chat.
Sometimes full on bad craziness was in full swing. The incident in question involved was when I
walked in to the house to see this woman screaming at Leo. Leo stood in the dining room with his arms
extended in the “what? I mean no harm”
pose. Sugar stood between Leo and the
woman with an uncomprehending expression, as if she couldn’t quite get her arms
around the nature of the argument. It
had something to do with Leo revealing in conversation the name of one of her
Leo’s roommate: “You are
so fucking high! You don’t even know
what you are doing! Don’t say his
name! He is the biggest drug dealer in
Akron and he is my friend!”
Leo: “Who? Doctor Star Pony?”
Leo’s roommate: “DON’T
SAY HIS NAME!!!!!”
Leo: “Doctor Star
Leo’s roommate: “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! YOU ARE SO FUCKING HIGH!!! YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!”
Leo: “With Doctor
Leo’s roommate: “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! DON’T SAY HIS NAME!!!!!”
Sugar: “Leo! For God’s sake! Stop saying that!”
Leo: “Doctor Star
Leo’s roommate and Sugar:
It is important to note a few facts. Leo was under the impression that “Doctor
Star Pony” was the name of her friend, the alleged “biggest drug dealer in
Akron”. In fact, his name was something
like Dennis Scallopini, and he was a harmless working class guy that sometimes
slipped Leo’s roommate extra painkillers he received from a workman’s comp
injury. Leo had somehow misheard “Dennis
Scallopini” as “Doctor Star Pony”. While
you and I would immediately think “Doctor Star Pony? I must not have heard correctly. No one could possibly be named Doctor Star
Pony.”, Leo just rolled with it. I can’t
imagine what Dennis thought when he heard Leo introduce him to others as “Doctor
Star Pony”, but things in that house moved in a direction of their own accord,
and he probably had picked up on that (being a doctor and all).
Now, imagine walking into a house with this going on. It’s not easy to get your head wrapped
around. On the one side of the room is a
woman that is convinced that her friend is some sort of El Chapo figure and to
even speak his name out loud courted imminent danger. On the other side of the room is a guy that
is positive that a man named “Doctor Star Pony” comes over to visit his
mentally ill roommate and is unaware that he cannot say his name under any
circumstance. It took some time to get
sorted out. Finally we went down to the
basement to practice and she went back to putting up Christmas decorations in
the September evening.
That’s what Whiskey Daredevils practice was like in 2014.