Sometimes, I feel it is dangerous for me to go draw, in the evenings.
It is not that where I go to draw the model is particularly dangerous, it is because I do not know what I will find when I come home.
When the children were younger, and I would escape, one evening a week,
leaving my husband watching the three treasures,
I would often return home to find him substantially aged, one child still running around, and a lot of dirty dishes.
As the children aged, I would return to find everyone in bed, and less dirty dishes.
Nowadays, I return to find my husband in bed, my teen-aged daughter sometimes up doing homework and sometimes in bed, and lots of dirty dishes.
I am not trying to present any wonderful observations about what I find in terms of people awake or asleep and dishes that are clean or dirty or strewn around the house, I am simply giving you little bit of atmosphere .
You see, the dangerous part is the phone calls.
For some reason, all of the really strange and scary phone calls come when I am out drawing.
I do not know why. maybe it is like that spooky twilight zone music that comes on the second the adults have all left the house and the baby sitter is alone with the small kids,
except the the most reliable adult person in this house is my husband, and he is the one who gets the brunt of these calls.
Over the years i have returned home to such gems as," Your cousin called, she is about to be evicted to a homeless shelter, can you please drive a few hours north and pick her up?"
Calls like, " Do you have any idea why the prosecutor's office would be calling for you at 6:30 PM?"
and calls like, " A collection company called to speak with you about an auto loan.
That last phone call came this week.
It was very interesting, because, as far as I know, I don't' have a car loan, or a loan out on my car.
I have also not loaned my car out to anyone, nor am I currently borrowing anyone's car....
My lovely, not so-very recent vintage Honda Civic is all mine or all ours or all.....rust, dents and everything.
Even the crayon mark on the back of one of the seats belongs to us, though no one will admit to having made it.....
"They called for me?"
"Well, they asked to speak with Cassia Margolis,"
and as far as either of us knows, there is only one of those, " but i told them that you weren't here."
My husband was being very truthful...but, of course he was saving the best part for last.
"Why were they calling me?"
"They are trying to get in touch with Mr. Stevens."
Mr. Steven is our next door neighbor, the one who was once carried out of his own house by a few big policeman following a domestic violence call.
He is the one who moved in there with his girlfriend , Kim, and when she moved out, about 18 months later, he promptly ( promptly being about 7 days later) moved in his wife and 3 kids...
whom we found out, several years later, after his Rottweilers ( which they let loose on a regular basis and which they had trained to be attack dogs) had bitten a third person ,
which resulted in him transferring ownership of the dog that had done the third bite to his wife who was only his girlfriend.
This was so it did not show up that he had multiple offenses concerning dogs that bite.
Fortunately, the judge determined that the two of them had already been living together for a number of years, had a number of kids together, and told them that the" transfer" meant shit.
Okay, he used a slightly more polite term.
"The guy who called asked me if I could give Mr Stevens a message.
" And I told the guy that occasionally a piece of his mail finds its way into our mailbox, and I promptly walk over and put it in his mailbox. "
As you can see, his reputation for needing 4 burly cops to subdue him and his history of attack trained Rottweilers has served its purpose.
We stay FAR away.
I asked my husband if he had told the collections agent, which is what the caller was, that it is illegal to call a third party, like a neighbor.....but then I realized that , of course, that guy knows that.
He was just hoping we were too stupid to know it, and would pass along the "friendly" reminder......
And I also realized that ( unlike most of the odd calls we get, on the nights I go out to draw) I am enjoying this call,
because I am not a very nice person,
even though i would never train a dog to attack people and then let it loose to bite children,
nor can I see myself being factious enough to have the need to get the attention of 4 burly police officers
( okay, they weren't that burly, but they were tall) to get me to...behave.
But I can enjoy this bit of negative information about a neighbor I keep praying will move far away,
maybe to some windswept town in Alaska,
near Sarah Palin......