Sunday, June 29, 2008

Strange Albany Street

[PICTURED: Above, the house where the Indigo Dawn couple resided. Below, the house down the street in
which I lived. It was yellow back then]

News this weekend about the arrest of a couple from Albany Street. Active in local politics, the pair faces charges of rape, kidnapping and assault. The wife getting the more passive accessory charges and the husband the more active charges. She's a grad of Cornell and worked, apparently, as a research assistant at Duke. He seems a self-proclaimed "Rev." together they ran "Indigo Dawn," a spiritual biz for throwing runes, cleansing your chakras and astral projection needs, among such things. Anyway, it's surely scandalous and will do no favors for the county Democratic Party, of which the wife was the third vice chair (seem to be lots of vice chairs) as well as precinct president.

Y'know, when I lived on Albany Street, it was a sweet little neighborhood (between I-85, Guess and Watts-Hillandale proper. But it's still a strange area.

The owner of the place I lived in was a Duke-graduated MD, moving to the Pinehurst area to open a Doc-in-the-box.

I nearly didn't make my appointment to tour the house, as I was feeling feverish. Mentioning this upon my visit, Steve, the good doc, pulled out a Px pad and wrote a Px for some antibiotics (not that he examined me).

He was insistent that I should move in to his 2-bedroom, 2-bath home. I guess he was in a hurry to wrap up that loose end. I told him the price was too steep for one person and that I had no housemate in mind. He was still insistent and offered to only charge me half 'til I found a housemate. I said okay. He left behind lots of furniture in the living room (with lots of knick-knacks). He also left behind his housemate, some guy who was a hairdresser at a shop in the Brightleaf area.

I inquired about this and he said, by long distance phone in Pinehurst, that it was his way of helping me out, 'til I found a housemate of my choosing. He said the guy was cool with it and pretty much kept to himself. I was less cool, but felt stuck.

The arrangement was odd but okay. I pretty much stayed to my half of the house; the guy stayed to his half. We didn't see each other or talk much. But after a few weeks, when I got the phone bill (in my name), the dude had gotten super lonely over the holidays and spent the week I was away with family burning up the phone sex lines. I guess I'm a prude, but after plotting a line graph of his phone calls, I demanded to the owner that this guy go. So he did and I advertised for a replacement.

It was the start of a new year, and the new housemate, Sue, was breaking up from her hubby after realizing she might be gay. I think she thought I'd be some great guide into the community. Oops. I had my own life and dramas to deal with. Sue was okay, 'though...keeping mostly to herself. She was a little more earthy than I was/am/will be.

Now, in perusing property records of Albany Street today, it seems mostly rentals, with owners located elsewhere in town. Back then, we were among the few renters, and some neighbors, I think, resented it.

The older lady across Soverign Street was always complaining. Once she called the cops on me because I parked my car the wrong direction in front of my Soverign St door (to be closer to the house when I returned from my radio shift at 3 AM). I got a "warning" ticket for parking the wrong way and more than a foot from the curb (I measured and it was just a hair over 12"). Another time she called and demanded we remove dog poop from her yard. My dog Ana never got out of the house or fenced yard, but my housemate's two large breed dogs did jump the fence; however, this poop was tiny, like the old lady's miniature poodle dog's, not like two big dogs' poops. She even left a threatening anonymous note, in little old lady handwriting, about having the health department throw us in jail because we let the grass get too tall. A lawnmower did not come with the property, but we borrowed the neighbor's.

We mentioned this odd neighbor behavior to Steve, the owner. He said that when he'd lived in the house he'd briefly dated our neighbor (a single mom of a toddler girl) and they actually caught the old lady peering/peeping in the neighbor's window during a date. The not crazy neighbor confirmed this; she also confirmed that Steve was kind of weird, too.

We'd noticed some elements of odd. Besides the hard-up roomie who came with the house, and lots of Rx pads, the attic offered a trove of stuff including pix of Steve in drag. Of course, it was the '80s and boys will be boys who will be girls.

Yet, suddenly, one spring day, Steve called and evicted us with no notice, no reason. I don't even think we'd bounced any checks to him (ever victims of the trickle down effects of voodoo economics). I considered he might be homophobic and suddenly realized we were lesbians (or in poor Sue's case, a wannabe lesbian). Still, we had to be out by the end of the month. Sue and I went our separate ways. The Albany Street chapter closed.

Years later, in a schadenfreude moment, I discovered that Steve got in all sorts of trouble with the state medical board and police. His addiction to meds discovered, Steve was suspended from practice, then stripped of his license. Then, he tried to kill a male friend of his wife (hmmm...wife...that was new...I guess he married her during our eviction). He got a deal in which he served six months hard time for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor solitication to injure (I didn't realize Prayer for Judgments Continued worked for murder). The deal was structured so he could still reapply for his medical license upon completion of his time, community service and addiction treatment.

Here's the story from the Fayetteville Observer.

As I said, it's a strange area.

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