E-mails from the Cabin-Mansion

30 Dec

I would e-mail Mary about my good grades searching for any approval and praise from her–I usually didn’t see much of it.  Mary is so undecorated as a gay that the community was always trying to fix her up with eligible bachelors–despite the fact she was already married to a woman.  She has never been up front about her sexuality, instead telling misleading stories about the guys she’s dated.

After I moved to Missouri I hardly ever heard from Mary except when she offered some stern dictum not to be too “out” in college or suffer the consequences.  More than once, Mary painted a bleak picture of what could happen to known gays from not getting accepted to veterinary school, to not being able to own a business, to getting bashed–her words terrified me and kept me in the closet.

After I came out to Kim, Mary locked me in the bathroom and instead of consoling me about this austere, life-altering realization, asked me not to tell anyone about HER.  This slanted reaction really gave me the massage that being gay was something to hate and keep secret, but I don’t remember thinking Mary was acting out of her own self-interest at all (she was).  I also kept my sexuality a secret to get some adulation from Mary, and to protect myself.

Once Mary sent an e-mail out-of-the-blue telling me of my parents conspiracy to give away my cat, Holly–they had put a “Free to a good home” poster at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital.  Mary wanted me to extol her for being nice enough to tell me–I kinda thought anyone would do as much for me.  Of course I was angry and dismayed at my parents’ insurrection, but I had no way of getting the cat to Missouri to live with me–I was in the middle of a semester, had no money for a flight, couldn’t pay to have her shipped, and didn’t know anyone going from Nevada to Missouri.  At first Mary offered to help get Holly untangled from my parents’ sedition, by flying her to Kansas City when she came for a vet conference.  I guess the offer was fallacious, because then she acted as if I was asking for too much and like it was a terrible bother.  It was the easiest solution, and I was desperate so I tried to get Mary to bring Holly when she came–and learned the offer had been only illusory, when Mary became mean, offering the adage that I was being selfish towards Holly if I had her fly on a plane with Mary.

Mary felt I should still be exalting her for even telling me about my cat in the first place.  Mary’s spuriousness pissed me off, and I countered that attack with a “Never mind, don’t trouble yourself.”  Then she lectured me for my lack of propriety in copping an attitude, decreeing she didn’t have to be nice at all.  Except I only lost my decorum, because it was Mary who had suggested the plan in the first place!

Mary never liked it if I lost my modesty, got too comfortable with her, or questioned her authority.  She also didn’t like if I got too friendly or comfortable with her–preferring an indirect relationship despite our proximity.  Even when I came to live with her at the Cabin-Mansion, Mary never disabused herself for completely changing her mind about Holly.  She was still holding a grudge against me, refusing to correct any mistakes she had made.  And she still thought that I had not shown her enoughapprobation for telling me that my parents had planned to get rid of Holly.

I should have known after that the mentality I was working with, but I hadn’t undeceived myself about Kim or Mary at that time.  I did not know that either of them could ever be devious–and I certainly never expected it to be directed towards me.  The other reason Mary contacted me at all in Missouri was to offer her dogmatic opinions on various subjects and to bait me into giving her more kudos.  She would modestly tell me about great achievements like how many square feet for hospital was, just waiting for me to write back with applause and kudos.
Despite her edicts telling me to get a job at Noah’s Ark to help my chances of getting into veterinary school, she becameimperious about me quitting and finding employment at the vet school.  She no longer hailed Noah’s Ark as the way for me to get my foot into the veterinary school door.

Mary would also write when her NASCAR driver won a race, saying she had the most peremptory pick and my driver was a loser–if I dared talk trash when MY driver won, Mary would promptly become belligerent.  She even accused me of just picking winners when my driver did get acclaim, and I had to explain that I had picked him as a rookie, before he was a true winner.  She couldn’t stand to give me compliments–even through my NASCAR driver.

The other reason Mary ever e-mailed me was to talk trash about someone I knew–she was masterful in judging others, and told me how Lana cheated her, my mom tried to give away my cat, how Shaun, her sister-in-law was a liability, and how Dayton was narrow-minded.  She was infamous for giving an authoritative and evasive story, piquing my interest, but not giving the full account of what happened.  My mentor could dance around issues with ease–she accelerated at beingtangential, but never telling you what you wanted to know.

Mary’s correspondence was always abrupt and borderline rude, and though she sometimes wrote me she was always emotionally impregnable.  I think Mary was impervious to everyone, including her immediate family, her wife, and her inner circle–I have doubts she really opened up to anyone–I certainly never saw it.  The public really likes Mary, but behind closed doors she was quite acidulous about people.  Her oblique manner was a great cover though–no one knew her real feelings on any issue that she didn’t want them to know about.  Yes, she offered many apothegms, but they were blanket statements to anyone who would listen.  She was so piquant about running into people that she parked behind the hospital where no one could see her, refused to stop at the store on her time off, and generally hid out when she wasn’t working or at a social function.

As for Kim, I only received one or two e-mails in the six years I lived in Missouri–both convoluted in spelling and grammar.  At the time, I didn’t realize it, but now I think she used intricate sentence structure because she was probably drunk when she wrote.  Her elaborate letters really only talked about sports or some other inane topics–nothing very substantial.

 

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