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     Debbie and I got back to the motel at about 4:30 pm.  I fed the baby, and then went outside to the front of our room, like everyone else at the motel did.  We were a big dysfunctional neighborhood of losers of various types. 

     There were single drunk mothers, stripper mothers; single hillbilly fathers whose children had no teeth, and single singles.  Single singles were men and women with no children, no husbands or wives, no attachments of any kind.  They were young and not so young men and women who rolled alone and still gathered a lot of moss.  They had made very bad decisions for themselves; so much so that they were grouped with the lot of us, even though they had no baggage holding them back from changing their lives at that very minute.  They were just too tired to shake off the past and move on.  Crappy was comfortable; it was what they knew, and that was okay with them. 

     As we sat and drank our beers, I thought about the future, and what it could hold for Rob and I.  All I had to do was keep bringing the baby around to see him.  That would wake him up and make him realize that he wanted us more than heroin and his stripper girlfriend.  He had never been an ideal boyfriend, but I still wanted to believe that he could be an ideal father.  

     Two days later, I decided it was time for another trip to Rob’s rooming house.  I didn’t want him to forget that he had a child and a woman who really loved him; someone he had once said he loved, too.  I went to Debbie’s door, and asked what she was doing that afternoon.  It was a silly question, because she never did much, except hang around and consume massive libations and sundry drugs and wait for her abusive boyfriend to come visit.  She agreed to accompany me and the baby back to the rooming house.  So after downing some liquid fortification, off we went. 

     When we were nearing the rooming house, I could see the stripper on the porch, and saw her run inside.  Rob was not there.  We climbed the stairs, Debbie helping me with the carriage, and rang the bell, but no one came to the door.  Debbie said, “Just go in and knock on their door”, so I did, pushing the baby’s carriage in front of me.  Debbie followed us in.  As I approached, I could hear a vacuum cleaner’s loud hum muffled by the door.  I knocked and knocked and banged on the door, and the stripper finally opened the door a crack. 

     Through the crack, I could see Rob lying on the bed, looking pretty zoned out.  The stripper asked what I wanted, and I said I brought the baby for Rob to spend time with.  She said, “He doesn’t want the baby”, but I replied, “Too bad, he’s here.”  She screamed several hurtful things regarding Rob’s decision to have nothing to do with me or little Zachary.  I answered, “I want to hear this from Rob.  Rob!  Speak up!  Be a man and tell me yourself how you feel”, but Rob, who was about twenty-five feet away from me, just ignored me and continued to stare at the ceiling.  

     Then, the stripper said something that absolutely infuriated me.  She yelled, “He told you he would pay for an abortion!”  Oh, I went completely ballistic!  I may have started foaming at the mouth as I shrieked, “Well, that’s pretty amazing considering that I was supporting HIM!  He’s a fucking liar!  I bet he’s lying to you, and you are falling for it, because you are an idiot!”  I had forgotten at that moment that I was Rob’s idiot, too.  

     I turned the carriage around, and walked out onto the porch, and Debbie and I carried the carriage down the stairs, and headed down the block, with me shouting all the way about what a lying bastard Rob was.  We got back to the motel, and I cried and drank beer until I passed out. 

     I had spent so long dreaming about getting back together with Rob.  Even though I tried to tell myself that the dream was over, I wasn’t ready to give it up.  I held this dream not only for myself, but for my son, too.  I didn’t want him to grow up without a father.  I doubt anyone wishes their kid’s Dad wouldn’t stay; at least, not at first. 

     A few days later, I ran into Doc on the street.  Doc was one of Rob’s roommates at The Cat House when we stayed there.  Doc told me he was working at The Gold and Silver Inn on Fourth Street, so I took the baby there for lunch the next day.  When I walked into the restaurant, Doc introduced me to the waitresses, and it turned out that they all knew Rob, and his whole family.  As soon as the saw the baby, they knew he was a Clary.  The waitress Joyce and I were talking about Rob, and she noted, “He’s gorgeous, but he’s an ass.”  That pretty much summed Rob up.  

     Since the fight with the stripper, I had been trying to eat, but my stomach was a knot from the stress of trying to pull myself together enough to work a plan to get Rob back.  Mostly, I tried to take care of Zachary while drinking, sleeping and crying.  When Joyce asked what I wanted to eat on that first day, I ordered a grilled cheese and Brandy Alexander.  I only took two bites of the sandwich, but the drink was marvelous, and I downed it.  After that, Zach and I were regulars at The Gold and Silver Restaurant. 

     One day, as I was sitting at the table pretending to eat and drinking my now usual Brandy Alexander, the entrance door opened, and Rob and the stripper came walking in.  We all looked up, stunned, but no one was more surprised than Rob and the stripper.  They never would have suspected I would be there, taken in and nurtured by his friends.  I saw Rob’s mouth drop open; then, without even discussing it, they both turned sharply and flew back through the same door. 

     It all happened so quickly, and I don’t think any of us said anything for a few seconds.  We all just sat there with our mouths open, too.  I spoke first when I whispered, “That fucking asshole!”  I got up, left the baby’s carriage with Joyce, and ran out of the restaurant to catch them and confront Rob.  When I got outside, they were nowhere in sight.  Just a couple of seconds of shock had allowed them enough time to disappear. 

     I didn’t file child support, though when I spoke with my father, he begged me to.  I still loved Rob, or thought I did, and somehow I was still delusional in my belief that he would get over the stripper, get over the drugs, and come back to me, and to Zachary.  I was running out of money though, so I found a day care that took infants, and started interviewing for waitress jobs in the casinos.  

     I got a job at the Sands Casino, and walked to The Cat House with Zach one day to find Doc and tell him about it.  I found Doc, Mark and Jeff all home, and told them that I got a job, and now needed to move out of the motel.  They suggested that I move back to The Cat House with the baby, so the next day, I did.  Good-bye motel and motel-dwellers.  I returned the house of the stray cats and open doors, the house of laid-back pot-smoking bachelor men who at least had a heart.  Things looked like they were going to get better, and they did; at least for a little while.

Next up:   The Single Mother in Reno Saga Continues in The Cat House…


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