Friday, September 07, 2007

CUPID BLIND DID RISE

APELLES SONG

CUPID and my Campaspe played
At cards for kisses,—Cupid paid;
He stakes his quiver, bow and arrows,
His mother's doves,
and team of sparrows:
Loses them too.
Then down he throws
The coral of his lip, the rose
Growing on's cheek (but none knows how) ;
With these the crystal of his brow,
And then the dimple of his chin :
All these did my Campaspe win.
At last he set her both his eyes ;
She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
Love, has she done this to thee ?
O' What shall, alas, become of me ?
John Lyle

Chavonne bumped into me at the Mall.
Literally.
I had not seen her since High School but I recognized her rght away.
She was holding the hand of a girlfriend of hers that I recognized as well and squinting at me through very thick glasses.

"Watch where you are going, Chavonne" says I.
" How do you know my name?" asks she.
"Oh, no, not him!"" says her friend, Debbie and I knew her as well.

"Its me, Steve from High School...you were in my Speech Class"

Chavonne lit up like a Roman candle, like fire and Gasoline.She was pretty easy to look at; Strawberry blonde, a Pixie face shaped like a Hamadryad...that is to say her breasts were way bigger than her frame would suggest.
If you put wings on her she would look like Tinkerbelle.

I had that feeling behind my eyeballs we were going to be good friends.Her friend Debbie seemed to disapprove, but we were already there. I got her number and called her that night and went to her house.
I found out that Chavonne, for all practical purposes, was blind. She could not drive, nor could she go in public by herself. It was due to Diabetes.

For the next two months we were friends and lovers and we had the best time. We would go to Keg Parties at the Lake at night. I would lead her through the bushes to the site, the whole time exhorting her to hurry up, watch out, this way.
She was delighted.
In the woods, we would dance like Pagans around the bonfire.
She loved Aerosmith and a Band called Moxy. We would dance at her apartment and sometimes we would go to clubs and dance.
Her friend Debra didn't like me taking her to the lake or to Clubs.
I called Debbie "Miss Fussy Britches", which did not earn me any points with Debbie, but always delighted Chavonne.
Chavonne also liked to play pool and wasn't too bad. The balls were close and brightly colored and didn't move. So we played pool alot.

But what she really liked to do was Play Ping-Pong.
Thats right, Ping-Pong!
I had a friend with a table and Chavonne never got to be any good but we would get high and she would play by sound and I would help her make a game of it. Sometimes I'd let her win and we would just laugh and laugh and laugh. Chavonne loved me because I would play Ping-Pong with her.
I don't think Miss Fussy Britches liked that either!

We laughed all the time.

In early September in 1978 I went Dove hunting with a friend. I didn't take Chavonne but I told her next time she could go and we would shoot the guns if she wanted.

Ready!
Aim!
Fire!
Like Mr. Magoo with a gun!
"Chavonne, you have to promise me not to shoot 'Miss Fussy britches."
We just couldn't stop laughin'.

I was gone for three days and when I got back I called for her. There was no answer. I called again. I went by her place.
She was not home.
Two days passed before I got the call...
Her mother said her appendix had burst.
Her mother said she was in a coma.
Her mother said that Chavonne had loved me so much because she had never had a friend like me.
Chavonne loved me so much because I did not know how sick she was.
If I had known, I'd have been like all her other friends.
I never once asked what her blood sugar level was.
I never asked if she had her shot or even how she was feelin'.
I never tried to stop her from doing anything she liked to do, even if it was bad for her.
I never had that look of concern on my face the way her other friends did sometimes.
I never had a picture of her.
I never gave her a present, took her out to eat, cooked her a meal.
She never came out of the coma.
Chavonne died this week 31 years ago.

I pleaded to her mother at the funeral “I just did’nt know how sick she was”
I’ll never forget the soft empathy in her mothers voice and the kind look on her face as she tried to comfort me
“Steve, don’t you know why Chavonne loved you so much?”’
‘No”
‘Chavonne loved you so much because you didn’t know.”
What a rare privilege that is, not to know.
Its her mothers face that replays in my mind from time to time.


I always think about Chavonne this time of year. We were friends for only two months.
How could I ever think someone was taken from me...
When its so clear that someone was sent for Chavonne?


It was many years later that I found, in my own life, how rare a friend it is that will look past your limitations, your weakness, your faults, and treat you as though you were complete and proper just as you stand.
I wonder sometimes about Miss Fussy Britches, and if she ever got the rare privilege to be the kind of friend to someone that I was to Chavonne.
There is so much about our own stories that we may never quite know completely.

Tonight, I dance!.

From the old "Abandoned Blog"....this is actually the second post I ever did...

I have purposely left this pretty well as I wrote it 4 years ago. It wasn’t until Debbie Williams-Short (Miss Fussy Britches) found me on Facebook that I found that I had spelled her name wrong.
It wasn’t until a month ago that I knew the exact date of Shavonne Freitas' death….September 16, 1978.
I had hoped to find Debbie when I joined Facebook in order to share this story and wondered how long it would take.
I never considered the idea that Debbie would find me in less than 12 hours.
We have also found Doug, Shavonnes brother, and her mother too.
I can’t begin to tell them what an effect Shavonne continues to have in my Psyche.

7 comments:

GEWELS said...

wow- no words right now for this.
My mother has diabetes and every day I watch and wonder what next....her feet bother her, her legs swell, she can barely walk..and still she makes her pasta dough and pizza.
Time will tell what toll this will take, I guess.

Hope you are well, Steve.
G

Old Lady said...

What a great gift you gave each other!

Mother of Invention said...

Holy crap, Steve! Do you know how much this resonates for me?! I've had diabetes for 40 years and have had laser surgery on both eyes to keep from going blind. They told me when a blood vessel burst in my eye and I literally saw red, that without laser, I'd be blind in 2 years. They caught mine in time. I can so empathise with what this girl went through. I'm glad she at least experienced a friend like you who accepted her as a regular person and she could just let loose with. You added so much to her life. It's not the # of years we all had here, it's the quality...and you certainly added that to her life.

soubriquet said...

Oh Steve, dance and remember.
I see your reasoning, -a terrible loss for you, tempered by the knowledge that you brought light, love, and laughter to her, and with you she had the chance to be herself, not a sick girl, defined by her illness.
I'm sure many of us here can identify in some way with sudden loss, and with the fact that you never forget.
The poem: at first I wondered, it seemed an unusual choice for you, then as I read further it started to fall into place, that you fell for her, gave her your love, were her eyes, guiding her, describing things she could hear and not see.

Whilst filled with grief and loss, you discovered you had been her one-man rescue-team; you, who took her from a world obsessed with hospital regimes, sickness and drugs. You gave her back the light, the chance to be a girl again, not an illness, to laugh, dance, party, and love.
Bless you, Steve.

Head Duck Wrangler said...

Excellent tale!
Not just for diabetics but for everyone. Everybody is disabled in some way and yearns for acceptance as if they were "normal".
I especially admire the phrase "from behind my eyes I could see". The context in which it appears staples it to the memory.
Quack, Quack!

Anonymous said...

I am Miss Fussy Britches. I knew her for 3 years. We met at TCCC.
We would met and both decide to cut class and go smoke a joint.
We went to Grapevine Lake and partied our asses off.

First all Steve if you knew her so well you would have spelled her name correctly Shavonne. She was good friends with another person I knew by the name of Sara. Sara passed away in 1976.

At the time we saw you. I was at the mall guiding her not holding her hand. Shavonne and I discussed about her drinking and partying. She said to me she would rather be happy and have fun while she was here on this earth. She knew what she was doing to her body. She told me she just wanted to have fun.

She also loved Queen. We went to the the Texas Jam 2 to see Areosmith. Shavonne and I bought had concert tickets to see Yes before she passed. I took her brother Doug to the concert. It was his first concert he had ever been to. I cherish the time I had with Shavonne and Sara. They are my angels.

I understand diabetes I have it myself. I also stopped drinking 12-7-2003.

I just wanted to clear up some of the facts. I am not upset with you I just want the truth to be told. After all you only knew her for 2 months.

I know what friendship is and I have danced with a whole bunch of my boy friends and girl friends including Shavonne and Sara.

Have a bless day. Miss Fussy britches.

Anonymous said...

You chose well to love Shavonne. I knew her in high school, before her diabetes was so bad. I knew you too, Bullets, and I am so grateful that for two months, Shavonne had you to love. Shavonne may not have had many years, but the ones she had, she lived and loved them well.