I Can’t Breathe

From:               nadine1949@hotmail.com

To:                   pfeifferfamily@aol.com

Re:                   Ronnie and  me

Mom I have been calling and calling you but no one picks up.  Are  you down at the Cape and if so why didn’t you tell me?  I wish you would get an  answering machine.

Ronnie has moved out of the apartment and is living with his brother I  guess.  I gave notice at work and am going to move back in with you and Dad.  I  have had it with men and here are the “gorey details.”

The first few weeks living with him were just heaven.  He would meet me every  night after I got off work and we’d go out for Polynesian or Italian food in his  car.  I don’t mean we ate in his car, he would drive us to a restaurant on Route  1 for take-out and we’d bring it home.  Then he’d take me to night school and  pick me up when it was over.  He always seemed to have plenty of money and  wanted to be with me.  That was nice.

He wasn’t interested in shopping with me on weekends for things for the  apartment which didn’t matter it was furnished anyway.  He said he needed to  relax and go to the dog races and that was fine with me.  I am not interested in  dogs.

So first month he was late with his half of the rent so I covered the whole  thing, he said he had his money tied up in an investment that he had to liquid  date.  I said that was okay, “Mister,” kind of wagging my finger at him so he’d  get the message but in a nice way.  I figured I really owed him something for  all the driving he does for me and all the take-out food he bought, he always  had cash.

So that was okay.  But then he pulled the same thing on me the next month.  I  asked him what the problem was and he said that he had to put some more money  into the business he owned with his brother, so that seemed okay.  But then I  started to ask him what kind of business it was.  I thought it would help us understand  each other better if I knew what he was doing with his time.  “Oh,” he says,  “we’re going to start breeding dogs.”  Fine, I think, that gives him the dog  business and the investment business like he originally told me, that should  give him plenty to keep him busy.  I even asked him “You aren’t spreading  yourself too thin at both ends, are you?”  Oh no, don’t worry about me, he  says.  “Ha” I should have said.

So then next month I figure he’s good for the rent but the end of the month  comes and nothing.  So I start dropping little hints like saying “Ronnie I’m  gonna put my rent check in the envelope, you want to put yours in?”  Naw, he  says, remind me about it though.  So I remind him about it and he says he’s  gonna make a deposit as soon as he cashes in one of his investments.  And it was  about that time I found a $50 ticket stub on the car floor and I said “Uh,  Ronnie, maybe you shouldn’t be spending so much money betting if business isn’t  going so hot.”  And he gets real red and mad and starts giving me this lecture  about how he needs the dogs so he can “let off steam” because he’s under so much  pressure with his investments and his business.  Okay, I say to myself—back off,  give him some room.  But I said to him “You’d better start paying your share or  I’m outta here.”

So then we’re about a week late with the rent and I find this note which says  “verb atem”:

Dear Nadine—

I’m sorry but I don’t think things are going to work out.  I should of known  better as I’ve always been a “loner.”  I don’t know why that is.  I just gotta  be free and I gotta be me, like the song says.  Really, you are too good for me  anyway—you deserve the best!  And I just can’t settle down right now, okay?  So  I hope there’s no “hard feelings.”  Be good to yourself, beautiful.



I’m a loner, he says.  What he should of said is “I’m a loser” you know why?   I found out this whole time he’s never been in business at all.  He goes to the  dog track every day and makes his “investments.”  Ha!

I called his brother after he left and said is Ronnie there, no he says.  I  say I’m interested in buying a dog, he says Ronnie hasn’t got a dog.  I say I  thought Ronnie was a greyhound breeder.  He says you must of misunderstood.   Ronnie bets on greyhounds, he doesn’t breed them.  I say “Thanks for nothing”  and hang up.

Mom what am I gonna do?  I mean, I would call a lawyer I guess but what does  that get me?  Every man I meet is some kind of jerk and this one was the  “frosting” on the cake.  What did I do to deserve this guy?  I just don’t know.   Anyhow, I’m taking the Friday night bus back to Worcester so I’ll see you and  dad then.

Can you make me an appointment with the doctor for when I get there?  Because  right now, I can’t breathe.

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