It was inevitable. After all, she was the ‘female Jesus.’ They were the two witnesses. So it stood to reason that, after all of the boiling arguments about the nature of Islam, bickering over who would run to the store for cigarettes or alcohol, and even after over a month in the Albemarle jail, Ken just couldn’t stay away.
It was the dead of winter, true, and having been driven outside by his companion during one of the coldest snaps of the year, it was indisputably true that Ken could get “three hots and a cot” in the correctional facility. But those comforts were not sufficient to make the jail an attractive option, because jail is not a hotel.
In deliberately calling the police to come pick up her errant knight, Joanie chose an unfortunate time – a time when the landlord had become tired of promises to pay the back rent, and the utilities companies were knocking on the door for money to pay the light bill.
In response to Joanie’s aggravated wailings after Ken’s incarceration, we conceded that she was correct in arguing that Ken was some kind of functioning alcoholic and tended to say the same annoying things over and over again. However, we questioned her use of the phrase “emotional abuse” and used Ken’s own description of Thomas Jefferson : “the man’s got his sins behind him” – but was repetitive alcoholism, we argued, not more of a petty sin than a venal one? And was it not in itself an abuse of the right of a restraining order, so necessary for an abused or battered partner, to use this legal tool to put Kenny in “the clink?” – all that clinking and clanking had an effect on his nerves and caused him to miss quite a few carpentry shifts that could have put money into the pot – money to go toward the rent, money to buy food and beer and cigarettes.
Instead, after over a fortnight of residence in a place where the doors make quite a bit of noise, Ken was presented with a bill from the state, a bill from the storage company, and various other bills all of which were apparently paid by his boss Andy.
After-the-fact, Ken admitted that the romance had soured and that all of the chaos was having a negative effect on his well-being, culminating in his prison stay where he sort of had a love-hate relationship with the Charlottesville clapper, Michael Jones, a man facing draconian grand jury charges for possession of illegal substances. Ken scrupulously abided by the terms of that still existent restraining order and refused to pick up his belongings from the house he had shared with Joanie. He abstained from calling her on his cell phone, although he explained that once in a while his fingers slipped a little bit.
But it is a small town. At the end of one month, Ken was calling everybody breathlessly and talking about how he had made peace with his woman, … and the fun started all over again.