Fast forward to 2008: Sometime after my divorce Jerry Lee Miller re-entered my life through my ex-husband, deciding the ex was his new best friend and building around him and his (our) congas a band called Streetbeets. Jerry never said whether he remembered me, and I thought it best to wait and give him the benefit of the doubt.
Jerry held hours-long rehearsals at what used to be my house -- twice a week. One public performance went on nearly three hours by Jerry's own admission; the ex standing behind his congas for much of the time, refusing to admit to exhaustion.
One cold night last February I had just gone to bed when the doorbell rang. The ex was on the porch, having locked himself out of his house. Jerry had dropped him off at my house and left without waiting to see if he got inside safely.
The time came when enough was enough. A number of incidents had made it clear Jerry bore me no goodwill. Time for an intervention. One day last summer I walked into the garage at the ex's house where he, Jerry, Tom Tucker and a woman cellist were gathered. I asked Jerry if he remembered me from 1994. He said yes, he did. Did you know I was the one who reported you to the Human Relations Commission? Yes, Jerry said, but I've forgiven you.
He said he'd forgiven me.
Oh, you've forgiven me? I said. Did you know I was fired soon after, and evicted from the apartment they [Lancaster Habitat for Humanity] rented to me? But before I could finish the sentence, Tom Tucker interrupted. He said I just wanted to hear what I wanted to hear.
I asked him to please stay out of it and let me speak, but he kept scolding me. But I was prepared for blowback and had brought a secret weapon -- a whistle. And I blew, blew, blew that whistle until Tom stopped. Then I stopped. He began scolding again, and I blew, blew blew...until the cellist said stop, you're hurting our ears. By then Jerry was packing up his harmonicas and leaving, not having had to speak with Tom Tucker to defend him.
That was the end of Streetbeets. And the beginning of healing ...again.