The night the lights didn’t go out in Georgia

15 Dec

I had yesterday’s entry planned: Since I’d spent the night in Richmond Hill, a suburb of Savannah, Ga., I would put up a flashback post from 2004, the one I wrote from a motel room in Poolner, another Savannah suburb. The one that prompted police to pound on my door in the middle of the night, when, having pretty much exhausted my meth supply and absolutely exhausted myself, I was sound asleep.

Reliable Narratives, Before/After/After/Before, 2010. Enamel, iron-on inkjet transfer and acrylic gloss medium on canvas.

Then I got distracted by Judith H. Dobrzynski’s art writing and wrote what went up instead, thinking I’d just wait and post the 2004 Poolner entry today. But having reread that entry this morning, I can’t post it. I don’t think you’re ready, and I know I’m not.

For now, I’ll share the title, which was thank you for honoring the deceased’s wishes, and the fact that it was purportedly written by someone I had given the password to my account. The entry included the motel’s name and room number, which is why police knew where to find me. After I hastily hid the crystal pipe and whatever other incriminating evidence there was lying around, I opened the door, bleary-eyed.

The police, one of whom I remember having a drooping handlebar moustache, asked if I was Douglas Britt, which was and for the time being remains my legal name, the one I would later use as my Houston Chronicle byline. (For those of you just joining us, I now go by Devon Britt-Darby, which combines Devon — my escort name — and my legal surname and that of my wife, Reese Darby, whom I legally married Nov. 18 in a social sculpture.)

I said I was.

They asked if I had tried to kill myself, and I said I hadn’t. ”

“Well, do you have a website or anything? Did you go online threatening to kill yourself?”

It was good that I was groggy, which made my denial and baffled tone more convincing.

“Well, we got a call from a _____________________ in New York City who thought you were going to kill yourself. Do you know _____________________?”

Even in the midst of a meth-induced psychosis, I can honestly say I never broke a client’s confidence. I denied knowing him, and gave the cops a quizzical look, as if to say, “Do you know how ridiculous what you’re telling me is?”

A grin began to emerge from under the handlebar moustache.

“Probably just a crank call,” he said.

“Somebody in New York City must have too much time on their hands,” I said, and we laughed.

A couple weeks later, that client was one of several I gave the password to my blog so I could mail them entries to post of my behalf while I was in the loony bin in Massachusetts, which was probably a much safer place than Georgia for someone in my condition to be arrested. His entries are riddled with typos and laced with love.

2 Responses to “The night the lights didn’t go out in Georgia”

  1. realcleararts December 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi there, thank you for endorsing my work — A number of people have sent me your post!

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