Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Spencer

I know this guy named Spencer.  He used to play in bands.  He’s a graphic artist now.  He isn’t one of those cool graphic artists that designs art show posters and band logos.  He does shit like garage door opener repair company offers and landscape direct mail pieces.  He’s done some really great stuff in the past, but now he is the guy you go to when you need something that will get .2% of respondents to call to respond to an offer to quote replacement window cost.  The world has sort of beaten him down a bit.  He has a weary air to him.

Spencer’s first ex-wife Karen lives in his old house with his two kids.  It's a little tudor in a nice neighborhood.  I remember Karen as the woman that stood next to Spencer at shows like Calexico at the Beachland.  She usually didn’t say anything.  I would go over to say hello to Spencer and then Spencer, always polite, would offer “You remember my wife Karen?”.  Karen would then grimace out a smile and nod her head while she said “Hello.  It’s nice to see you again.” while maintaining the vibe that it definitely wasn’t nice to see you again.  I never understood how those two were together in the first place.  I think she was his college girlfriend and then marriage was just the next thing to do after graduation.  Karen now spends most of her time defending the yard against weeds, baking perfect cupcakes, and using the kids in a passive aggressive way against Spencer on his court approved two (2) visitation days weekly for not more than four (4) hours.

Spencer had gotten mixed up with this woman named something groovy like Crystal or Jasmine.  It sounded like a stripper name to me.  He saw every red flag and just kept going.  I remember one rambling conversation I had with her once where she told me in non-linear fashion about her time in the Peace Corps, studying abroad in Barcelona, working in a hotel in Oslo, a confusing real estate job in the Cayman Islands, and about how her last fiancé “wasn’t supportive of her yoga”.  That one sentence alone should have shouted out “stay away!”, but to me the kicker was that she drove a Jeep Wrangler with the spare tire cover proclaiming “It’s a Jeep thing.  You wouldn’t understand.”  She designed jewelry from sea glass and made Spencer drive her out to every goddamn flea market/art walk in the region.  I remember seeing him sitting on a wooden chair behind her card table of junk while she was talking to a couple of hippies about “her journey”.  He looked happy though. 

A few months later I saw Spencer at the Beachland.  He told me that he and Crystal (or Jasmine) were no longer together.  The kicker was that fueled up on rum, he had married her on the beach at Ocho Rios.  Two or three weeks after their undoubtedly mystical ceremony, he received a letter while at work.  It was from Crystal/Jasmine stating that she was leaving him, leaving Ohio, and needed to “continue her journey of growth alone” which he would ostensibly be paying for based on the attached legal documents.  You would think he would have been pissed, but he wasn't.  "Best time of my life." I heard him call his time with Crystal/Jasmine once.  Spencer has since moved to a bleak apartment complex in Willowick filled with guys that started almost every conversation with the sentence “My fucking ex-wife…”.

Spencer had picked up his old guitar and amp from Karen's house and started playing music again with some of the guys in the apartment complex.  They had some Poco Tribute band going.  I have no idea why anyone would make a Poco Tribute band.  Do you fight to play the Richie Furay songs?  I suspect that if the guys invite enough of their friends to a gig, they could outdraw the actual band Poco.  He seemed kind of happy about the band, at least as happy as Spencer ever came off.  "Yeah man, it's good to play again.  I gotta do something.  If not I'm just waiting around to die."  

I got a garage door opener ad in the mail a few days ago.  I wondered if Spencer did it.


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