Grand Slam Pam II

28 Aug

Grand Slam Pam II

“Are you okay?”

A simple question like this doesn’t always yield a simple, sweet answer.  Jo was afraid of asking this of Pam. She didn’t want to hear bad news coming so early, she didn’t want to know if Pam’s life had turned upside down. Jo had recently left a sour relationship herself having simply walked away. There was no drama, no unkind words; in fact when Jo left her lover of only 6 months, the morning she left, she washed their bedding, cleaned the kitchen, packed up all her things, arranged the furniture the way it was, and left a note on the kitchen table,

 This isn’t working anymore. I gave it a try, it didn’t work out. Be safe, be happy.   Thank you for coming into my life for a while. I will miss the kids.



When Jo left she didn’t know where to go, but she left and drove 100 miles south, away from her lover. After she landed she never called the girl and decided to lose complete contact.

Not today, not now with Pam, not with most lesbians. Lesbians love drama, it’s their whole life. They don’t know the rules of breaking up, they haven’t a clue. They become spiteful, aggressive, and petty. They carry a grudge for months on end, maybe years. This was Jo’s thinking when she asked Pam again,

“Are you okay?”

Pam wasn’t okay, in fact, things were worse than Jo expected.

“I had a huge fight with Kasey, she allowed her dog to go after my dog – my little dog, my Shih tzu, he’s 12 years old, and he’s blind, for goodness sake! How could she not stop him?”

Jo was in the kitchen, barely awake,  making coffee. She loved a first cup in the morning.  The clock on the microwave said 8:30, that meant Pam’s time was 5:30.

“What are you doing up so early?” Jo asked.

“I told you. The roti attacked my dog.”

Jo, always one to draw lines right to the point, “Is he dead?”

“Well, no, he’s not, but that’s not the point…”

Pam was reticent to pick up until she felt indulged enough by Jo’s sometimes tart tongue. But Pam knew, too, that Jo was a fair listener, an empathetic ear.

“I am bringing him to the vet today, and Kasey won’t even come with me. Plus, she wouldn’t even recommend a vet!”

Being from different coasts was a disadvantage in more than one way: the thought process of these two women was wildly different. While Pam, always polite, trying to see all sides, had a very balanced tone where excitement and anger sounded the same, so Jo couldn’t tell if Pam was upset or not, and this underpinning of lady-like decorum infuriated Jo’s sense of urgency like a school bell.

“Pam, I don’t understand: what happened? Your dog got attacked by Kasey’s dog and – the dog isn’t dead?”

Pam knew she had touched on Jo’s short patience, “Jo, that’s correct. The dog was attacked-”

“How?” snapped, Jo.

“Well, the dog is blind; he’s 12 years old-”

“Yes, you said that. I heard that. How was your dog attacked?”

“My dog bumped into Kasey’s dog while she was eating and I…I…guess the dog thought my dog was going after his food…I don’t know…but I think my dog broke its jaw.”

“Jesus, Pam! Are you fucking kidding me?”

“I am not kidding you. I wish I were.”

“So what are you gonna’ do?”

“I’m looking for a vet, I found a vet. Kasey didn’t. She didn’t help me at all.”

Pam sighed a heavy breath and then began to cry, “She…refuses to help…I don’t know why…my poor dog…he’s so small, he can’t see…he didn’t want his food…he probably was going into the kitchen for his water…”

Pam’s crying quieted Jo as it always does when a woman cries because crying goes to the core of Jo’s soft spot. Jo let Pam cry, and when Pam was ready, Jo would offer good, fighting advice for Pam.

“Hold on, I need to get a tissue.”

When Pam got back on the line, she said to Jo, “I’m so sorry to call you so early. I just didn’t know what to do-”

“Pam, you call the vet and get an appointment right away. Fuck Kasey. Get your dog to the vet. You can’t worry about Kasey’s feelings or her dog or anything else. You have to get your dog to the vet. Make an emergency appointment right now. Okay?”

“Yes, well, I found a couple of vets, it’s just that it’s so early here-”

“That’s why it’s an emergency, Pam. Your dog is probably in pain. Get him to the vet. He needs to get to a vet. ”

“All right, Jo, I will. I’ll let you know. I feel so bad for him, he’s so afraid of being here…he’s so new to the place. He was just trying to find his way around here.”

Jo had been difficult with Pam and she knew why: she was confounded by women who get serious so fast, putting stock in people they barely know.


Pam’s dog would be okay, but he’d never be the same. This attack was just the first of things that would go undone for Pam.

During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Kasey’s mother died and this upset her so much she took it out on Pam. She cursed Pam, violating her by verbally abusing her, saying mean and hurtful things to cause Pam to hideaway in her room (Pam and Kasey were no longer sleeping together). Pam would go to her room to cry and wonder how was it that her life became so upset and so unsatisfied. When she tried to comfort Kasey, sensitive to the loss of Kasey’s mother, she pushed Pam away, blaming their relationship for taking her away from her mother, that if she hadn’t gotten involved with Pam, she could have concentrated on the seriousness of her mother’s illness.

Pam and Jo spoke regularly during this time and Jo comforted Pam where she could, but it was the week before Valentine’s Day when the news Pam reeled was more than Jo expected.

“Kasey threatened to kill me if I don’t move within two weeks, Jo. She actually threatened to kill me! I’m fearing for my life, Jo!”

There was silence on the phone as Jo sat, shaking her head, looking out to a backyard filled with snow, a twilight evening, a simple Tuesday, nothing out of the ordinary; bird feeders in the distance were empty. Her dog nuzzled her nose to her lap, and Jo looked down and patted her coat.  She had pinned so much hope on Pam’s relationship, hoping that she, too, would one day find the love of her life, like Pam had found. Jo’s mind was filled with sadness.

Pam said, “Jo? You there?”

“Yes, I’m here, Pam.”

“Did you hear what I said? Why are you so quiet? Can you hear me?”

“What are you going to do,” Jo said, exasperated by the news.

A heavy sigh from Pam, “I have to move. I’m going to move while Kasey’s at work and I will. I already called two guys from Craig’s List. They’re coming tomorrow.”

“Wow!” Jo said, in support of her friend, “You’re moving fast!”

“I have to. I’m getting out of here. Kasey is crazy. Her dog is crazy. Look what I did for her? I moved here, left my job, my house – I did everything for her. I wanted to build my life with this woman. She promised me so much! What a fool I was. And you were right…”

Jo wasn’t used to hearing when people necessarily agreed to her opinion because her opinion was usually unpopular. “What did I do?”

Pam started laughing, “Jo, I will rise from this. Like the Phoenix from the ashes. I will rise from this and I will never, ever get myself into this situation ever again. I was so foolish – and I was fooled, but I’ll never let anyone do this to me again.”


By August 2011, Pam had returned to Vancouver and was working part-time at a local animal shelter, she would sometimes foster a dog for adoption.  She had set up a really sweet apartment for her and her cat, (her dog had passed from injuries endured from the attack).  And though many of her furnishings were still in storage, 300 miles away, and she couldn’t afford to get them out just yet, Pam was slowly building a new life.  “You know,” she said, having come from the tarot card reader she had seen before she left to live with Kasey,

“She started the session by telling me that I am shrouded in grief right now. I’ve lost so much over the past year. She told me that all my life I have always been the care giver. She said that I left my home and security because I believed that I had found someone who wanted to take care of me…SO effing true.”

Jo went to a tarot session once and had attended a séance; she often got a little more than intrigued when listening to things supernatural. “Wow! How long was the session?”

“Then she said, “But when you got there, you found out that it wasn’t the truth.” She told me that Kasey wanted me to be the caregiver and that she used me financially. She called her a “shark” and a “predator”.  The session was just over an hour.  It was wonderful.”

“Did she say what the future holds?”

“Well, she said it was really important to get out into the world.  She was pulling cards the whole time she was talking. These weren’t Tarot cards, I’m not really sure what she was using. Anyway, each card she pulled had some incredible connection to whatever we were talking about. As an example, I asked if my little dog passed over quickly to the other side. She reached down and pulled a card and it said “Swiftly.”

“Listen,” she tells Jo, “You are never going to believe where I’m headed to? I’m going with a friend!”

It was good to hear happiness in Pam’s voice. “Where?!” said Jo, happy for her friend.

“Oh, I’ve got to tell you this. First, I want to say ‘thank you’ you helped me so much through this time, Jo.  I have a new life and even though I’m not all there yet, I will be.  A new life, a new beginning and I deserve it, Jo. I deserve it. I rose out of the ashes and I will never let anyone bring me down again. I’ll never believe in an empty promise, and I’ll never believe anyone as quickly as I believed in Kasey. If someone wants to come into my life they will have to prove to me they’re worth it. ”

Jo sat listening, happy for her friend’s news. “You’ve come a full 180, Pam.”

Pam shrieked, “I’m meeting my son and daughter downtown for lunch and then, then, we’re going to pick up my new dog! I found him on a farm out near my mother’s house, he’s 8 weeks old. I’m getting another dog! Isn’t that great news?!”

It was the best news. “What kind of dog?” asked, Jo.

“Don’t you know?! He’s a Shih Tzu and I’m naming him, ready for this? ‘Phoenix’!”

The End

© Terry Rachel, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: