Wow, I go out of town for a few days and we lose Em and JtS. I missed al the drama. That's okay, I had plenty of my own.
Monday, the last day in Austin was marked in the first half by a foggy/misty drive into the Hill Country to get BBQ at Mecca, Cooper's in Llano. It was a beautiful way to make the drive, everything was shrouded in mist, it was like a long fuzzy white-grey tunnel out Hiway 71. When we arrived I ate a beautiful smoked pork chop, my companion tuckfoot (friend him, he's mostly harmless) had some Cabrito (goat), it was a bit salty, as Cabrito is traditionally prepared, but some of the best I have ever had in the Americas (and I've never had it anywhere else).
The last part of the day was consumed with playing poker with a group of old friends. I won $8. I would have won a lot more, but Carl still doesn't know how to play poker. He folds when he should raise (that is, when I have a better hand) and he calls bets he has no business calling (then he draws out on me). It's frustrating, I wish I could send him to poker school.
After poker I went out to spend an ever too brief hour or two with another old friend, a last minute addition to the itinerary.
Tuesday after sitting and having breakfast with tuckfoot, then chatting some with the friend with whom I had stayed, I head out for Dallas. I stopped at a Starbucks along the way to check e-mail and I got one from my lawyer. He said I needed to ask my father's widow a direct question. The contention regarding the legality of making good on the promise she made to my father on his deathbed was conflated. She could legally do what she promised him she would do with his money. I needed to find out if she was going to keep her promise.
I called her and asked to chat with her. We did. She did most of the talking, I asked very few questions, she had a script prepared for me in her head and I frustrated her somewhat by not asking the questions she thought I would, by not reacting the way she thought I would react and by not making the counter-arguments she thought I would assert. I mostly listened and nodded my head in understanding as she went through her tense script of rationalizations, justifications and smears of my character. It was odd and disjointed, a large litany of defensive declarations and half-truths, responses to her imagined reactions of mine, strung together non sequitor since I wasn't playing the role she had assigned to me in her rehearsals.
At the heart of the matter, she told me that she was not going to keep the promise she made to my father on his deathbed, that she was going to keep the money of his that he wanted me to have.
I could tell from her frantic monologue that she knows what she is doing is wrong, but she is in greater service to her greed than to her heart. She chose to betray my dead father rather than worry about not having enough money. It was a sad day for us both.
After I left, I cried. A lot. I need about 1/4 of the money that Dad wanted me to have immediately and urgently. That's what I cried about, my life is going to be full of difficult choices for years to come because of this, but it is also sad that she has chosen to take something that wasn't given to her just because she can.
Please refrain yourself from armchair Perry Masonry. I have plenty of legal counsel. There's nothing the legal system can do for me.
I'm okay. I have my self-respect, my integrity, and the love/admiration of my friends. She has forfeited that in her life. Her children refuse to speak to her. This is a tragedy for us both, but a far greater one for her, in my opinion.
That night, I spent the evening reeling in the company of friends. At this writing I am awaiting bad weather delays at DFW to get back home to LaGaurdia.
It will be a very long time before I am in Texas again, I think.