First of all I’d like to apologize for taking so long to post part two of this story. I’ve been without internet access for the past ten days. Thank God it’s back on! I missed you all so much! 🙂 If you missed part one you can find it here.
After I got back home from my disaster of a trip to NYC, I got a call from the Con Artist. He tried to apologize for not picking me up and taking me back to the airport, but I wasn’t in a very forgiving mood. He said that he was hung-over and sleeping that morning and just didn’t hear the phone. Whatever, I was so over him and his bullshit.
In May 1996 I was back in my hometown living with my cousin. I was broke and looking at a very bleak future ahead of me. I had no reason nor desire to live a “normal” life at that point. I had been fired from my job as church secretary, spent five months sowing my wildest oats in Atlanta, and had lost all hope of ever being that good little preacher’s daughter ever again.
When the Con Artist called me for the first time in nearly a year and asked me to come back to NYC and stay with him, I figured what the hell. It’s not like I was doing anything else at the time. I just really wanted out of my hometown and away from everyone I knew. Even though I didn’t like him or trust him, his offer was convenient, and so I took him up on it.
I packed all of my clothes into a couple of big boxes and shipped them to his house. My cousin took me to the airport and I got on a one-way flight to NYC. The Con Artist picked me up from the airport and took me to his house. His house turned out to be a condo that he shared with his crazy mother, her nine cats, and a man that he called his “uncle.” It wasn’t what I had expected, but I couldn’t do much about it at that point so I just went along with it.
It took him two weeks to get me to finally have sex with him. I think I gave in just to get him to stop nagging me about it. He was alright, nothing special, but I was still young and relatively inexperienced. Over the next couple of months I discovered that his mother, who owned the condo, had stopped making the mortgage payments seven years prior and was on the verge of being evicted. I know seven years sounds like a crazy long time to go without making payments and not be evicted already, but all I can say is that the Con Artist had a really good sleazy lawyer. I also found out that the Con Artist really didn’t have any money to speak of and survived by running credit card and other scams. He did have a job as a waiter at a local diner, but that didn’t pay much.
One morning I woke up and he told me that the sheriff was coming to evict them that day so we had to start packing. I didn’t have much to pack so I was ready to go, but his mother had hired movers to come with a truck. I was a little panicked because he didn’t seem to know where we were going to live, but he assured me that he could find a place that day. Thank God I was so naïve and clueless otherwise I probably would have had a nervous breakdown.
He did manage to get us an apartment to rent on a weekly basis. It was in a row house in Brooklyn and the apartment was actually the garage that had been converted into an apartment. It had one room for the bedroom/living room, a small kitchen area and a tiny bathroom with a shower stall. It was minimal, but it was better than being homeless. Since we had no way to move any furniture we ended up sleeping on the floor for the first few weeks. That’s probably why I still have back problems today. LOL
Over the next fifteen months I went from being a young naïve girl from Alabama lost in the big city, to being told that I had cancer, to being a wife for the first time, and then to being separated and living on my own in NYC for the first time. It would take too much time to explain why I married the Con Artist so I’ll just save that for another post. In the meantime, I’ll just say that I thought I was dying and we’ll leave it at that.
On our honeymoon in Vegas I found out that he had been arrested there eight years earlier for credit card fraud and was told to never come back. How bad does someone have to be to get kicked out of Vegas for life? Evidently, pretty bad, and he met all the requirements. While we were there though, and before I found that out, he decided that we were going to go look at condos. He had made contact with a realtor in Vegas before leaving NYC. All he saw was an opportunity to pretend to be the big shot. He enjoyed being the rich playboy, even if he wasn’t rich or a playboy anymore.
The realtor took us to the Towers in Las Vegas and showed us an apartment/condo that was for sale. It belonged to the nephew of Mickey Rooney. I didn’t like the idea of pretending to be rich, but I was taken along anyway because I was his “wife” and he was proud of that for some reason. I have to admit though that seeing how the rich & famous live was pretty fun and interesting. That particular condo had an ice cream bar and absolutely the biggest shower that I had ever seen. The building that we were looking at condos in was where Latoya Jackson lived, and Mike Tyson had a house in the same gated community. Now that may seem silly and trivial, but at the time I was somewhat impressed. I was even more impressed by the amount of bullshit that the Con Artist was able to come up with to get us into these types of places. He tried to get us a test flight on a Boeing jet while we were there, but that never fell into place. Now that I would have enjoyed.
During those fifteen months that I was with the Con Artist I discovered that he, my husband, had called several members of my family asking for money. I also found out that he had scammed a friend of mine out of over $2,000. He used my name and personal information to get credit cards and utilities and cable in my name without my knowledge. In the end he had racked up a debt of over $200,000 in my name. I had little choice but to file for bankruptcy at the ripe old age of 23.
I could probably think of a hundred more things that he did while I was with him, but I’ll have to save those for my book. 😉 Anyway, so yeah, that’s why I call him the Con Artist.
Oh, and one last thing. The first night that I ever went out with him, he went around introducing me to everyone as his future ex-wife. I guess he was right about one thing at least.