I was at the house in Riverside not long after divorce was final.  He showed up on the front steps and said he had left his car somewhere over in the Diamond Hill area and asked me to take him there to get his car.  On the drive there I found out that he owed someone some money and they wouldn’t give him his keys back.  So I gave him a $20 bill.  He also had a girl with him.  She was as strung out looking as he was.  What got to me was he called her doll face.  That was what he always called me.  But that was just another sign that I was on the right track.

At times in my memory I’ve made him a sad misunderstood character in my mind.  He did have problems and probably would have benefited from counseling at an earlier age.  But wouldn’t we all.  We all make choices and sometimes we make very bad choices.  But in the end, no matter what our upbringing or what torments we have been through, whether they are caused by ourselves or someone else, we are responsible for our actions and our own choices.

I chose to leave.  Looking back nearly 30 years later, I know that I made the right choice.  You can’t change the basic core of who someone is.  John was basically a selfish soul.  He wallowed in self-pity and shallowness.  He said he loved me, he may even have believed he loved me.  He stole from many who knew him, many who loved him.  He stole lots of things from me, my graduation ring, my guitar, jewelry, things that I have forgotten.  He wasn’t concerned with my happiness or my well-being.

I remember putting a jack together and jacking up the car because we had a flat.  He told me if I jacked up the car he would change the tire.  I remember putting a master cylinder on a Ford while he lay on the couch and watched tv.  I remember getting a ticket while driving that car about six blocks to get the brake lines bled, because he refused to get up off the couch and help me.  I remember him laying on the couch when I arrived home from work.  He hadn’t gone to work.  Without getting up he asked me to fix him a glass of tea and what’s for supper.  All this before I had even completely entered the apartment.

There have been times in the years since our divorce that I sort of looked back on our marriage through rose colored glasses.  Why?  I have not a clue.

When my father passed away in 1997, I received a letter at my mother’s house from John.  The return address was the prison at Tennessee Colony, Texas.  It was about three or four pages long.  I don’t remember the entire letter.  But I do remember him saying “we just weren’t meant to be.”  That really pissed me off.  I responded with my own letter.  I let him know in no uncertain terms that his drug use was the cause of all of our problems and that considering where I was mailing my reply, it was still a problem.  That was my last contact with John Hudgins.

I have lived the last 20 years with someone who values me.  He’s my protector and my best friend.  My only wish is that I would have met him sooner.  But there are still days when I think about what could have been.

Tomorrow the final chapter and then I think I’m done.  If you just found this series, you can click here to start, when you finish that introductory blog if you’ll scroll back up there is a link to click for the next day’s installment.

I appreciate your comments about my blog and your own comments about this time period.

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