Have you ever had a friend for a long time? I once did for over a decade. That’s a pretty good chunk of time. We practically grew up together. We were like family. I was always there to lend a helping hand or a dollar. I was a very good friend to him. Although upon further reflection the same was not always true of him. Yet as a friend do we not always overlook the failings of the other? Or would it be better if we followed reason?

After I had moved back from California Matt and I picked up where we left off. We were always either cooking dinner, watching tv or just kicking back doing absolutely nothing. When I returned he was married and had a beautiful baby girl on the way.

I had met his wife before and I could have really given a damn whether she was around or not. But before long Katy and I became friends and eventually very close friends. I think, for me at least, we became close friends when she repaid a debt to me. For those of you who don’t know, I hold honor in high regard above all else and this act of honoring their debt to me made me trust her implicitly and impart my value judgments to her (boy was that a fuck up and a half). It started when they ran into financial trouble (Remember when I said “Gold flees the man unwise in it’s handling?). This wasn’t anything new to me with Matt. Once the bank was about to repo his car and I loaned him $600 which I never saw again nor did he or I ever mention it to each other.  He didn’t want to ask me for the money because he remembered that. I guess he was embarrassed or ashamed of himself. However, Katy didn’t care. She had started to get to know the kind of man I am and she knew if I had the means all she had to do was ask and it was as good as done.

As time moved on it seems as though Katy and I were spending more time together than me and Matt. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I liked being around her. I liked spending time with her and talking to her. On rare occasions she would tell me things I had no business knowing as her friend like how she preferred to be sexually satisfied and how her husband didn’t quite do it right for her. Perhaps in retrospect I should have mentioned it to him but I never did. When she would tell me things like that I would think “Why the hell are you telling me this? Nope… I got nothin… Oh well… Ooh look at the kitty” I never really gave it much thought and anything I think of would be pure speculation.

Lesson #1: When She Starts Telling You About Her Sexual Preferences Something Is Afoot

I remember one story she told me about a kitten she had; she found it on the side of the road and felt so sorry for it she had to bring it home (at least that’s what she told her husband so he wouldn’t get mad) Truth is it was put on her lap with a bow around its neck and she couldn’t refuse. Remember what I said about over looking things? I’ve told you how I feel about honor. Why didn’t that RED ALERT fire in my head? I guess I was so blinded by my feelings that I chose not to see it as foolish as that may have been.

Lesson #2: Don’t Overlook Dishonor Because Of Your “Feelings”

From Bad To Worse

We were sitting outside one day she started talking in a subtle way about divorce. She never mentioned the word but by that time I knew her very well and I could tell what she was thinking just by looking at her (or at least I thought so at the time). I talked her out of it that time by telling her to tell her husband how she felt. She can tell me all day long but what the fuck am I supposed to do about it? A few months later Round 2. I really didn’t get involved in that round (which is what I should have done starting from Round 1 but no…. I have to be the hero and come to the rescue. That may sound disparaging but it is who I am regardless of whether it bites me in the ass or not)

Round #3 And My TKO

This is the good one! So Matt has left and she’s moving out. I offered to help her find an apartment and if need be I’d even help pay for it (for a “Visual Mathematician” I can act like a dumbass sometimes) She wanted to go to a club to get her mind off things and I agreed to take her. She dressed up really nice (at least nicer than I had seen her in a long time so much that I looked at her and said “damn” ) In the beginning I thought the whole point of the excursion was for us to have a change of venue and talk….

Lesson #3: Don’t Be Naive:  Consider All Angles Thouroghly

Before too long she saw an ex-boyfriend and was bouncing on his lap and completely ignoring me until it was time for another round. I kept getting more angry every passing second. Not only for my own sake but for my friend Matt as well. I’m thinking “You’re not divorced yet! What the fuck are you doing? No, if I’m not fucking insane your name is indeed Benfield not Craig”. This little midget of a man thing was talking about how he was going to fuck her tonight. She was in the bathroom at the time but by her actions I’m sure he would have if I would have done what I wanted to and left her ass high and dry. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was bound by my own sense of honor to protect her and never abandon her. Remember: Death before dishonor. At the end of the night when they throw your ass out of the club she had the gall to ask me knowing how mad I was “How mad would you be if he took me home?” My blood was boiling at that point. I don’t know this motherfucker from Adam! What if he rapes you? What if he tries to hurt you or that precious little girl? How could I in good conscious let that happen? I responded in my low, growling voice “Very!” She goes over to his truck and talks it over and it appeared that he kissed her. By then ye ole sense of honor had kicked into full gear and that old line ran though my head over and over again “If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand”

Lesson #4: Do What You Know Is Right Before It’s To Late And You’re So Angry You Can’t See Straight

The next day I called her and tried to talk to her about it. When she started talking she acted as if nothing was wrong until I said “You know you hurt my feelings last night” and the response I got in a smartass tone was “Well I didn’t think I had to spend all my time with you” and that was the end of the conversation. It was the second to last thing I ever said to her. I thought we were close friends as she had called me her best friend. I might be fucked up but I figured people work out there issues by talking about it.

I was  so angry and hurt after that phone call I went ape-shit nuts. I pulled my long sword from the wall. Practicing cuts slowly and methodically at first then suddenly it turned to blind rage. I was stabbing, slashing and cutting through anything I could find. I once stabbed through a tote full of books so hard that not only did the blade go through the tote and its contents but through the carpet and into the plywood underneath getting stuck. I had to use both hands and a jilt from the legs to release it. All that damage was done with one hand wielding the blade of a very unsharpened sword.

Now I’m A Lying Son Of A Bitch And “Motherfucker”

I could only hold it in so long. Eventually I told Matt everything laying it all out on the line. For a time he believed me but that was short lived. I did what I thought was right. He was my friend and her husband. He had a right to know everything that I had seen. The last time I really had any meaningful conversation with him was one night he had stayed with me soon after all this. We were drinking and he wanted to go down to his house (where his wife and daughter were staying) to see if anybody was staying down there besides them. I tried to talk him out of it because we had been drinking but he wanted to go and I didn’t stop him. All I asked of him was to call me so I knew he made it ok. About thirty minutes pass by and I’m getting worried. So against better judgment, I went looking for him. For all I knew he could be laid up in some ditch or got popped by the cops. Wouldn’t ya know that I’d be the one to get popped. Thankfully I appeared to be as straight as an arrow to the cop because he pulled me over for a burned out headlight. I put my redneck voice on and I was scott free. Anyway I drive towards the house and see that his car in the driveway, relieved I returned home.

I can only guess from common sense and hearsay that she turned everything around to be my fault. I’m sure everything I told him was a lie. I tried to call her the next day and explain why I told him but she hung up and that was the last time I ever spoke to her. My only question is does the man not have the power to think? If she’ll lie about something small (remember the cat?) would she not lie about something that mattered? For that matter did he not ask himself “Has he ever lied to me before?” If I had not lied to him about anything not even a small thing, why would I have lied to him then? THINK MATTHEW!!! THINK! I don’t really have a problem with him besides being an idiot but I can deal with idiot. I do have a problem with The Whore of Babylon

Lesson #5: Implicitly Trust No One

I hope you’ve learned something from my tale of The Whore of Babylon. I know I did. Stay tuned for another episode of Lessons Learned The Hard Way brought to you by Matt Shamblin… maybe that’s what I should have named the site… hmmm

October 10th 2010

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