2. Nope I ain’t dying his beard

The next few days I felt like I was walking in snow. I continued taking care of business. Because of the earthquake in Japan, members of his band were backing out left and right. I was working on replacing them and dealing with the people who were hiring them and reassuring them that the replacements were every bit as good as the originals.

During that week he acted as though nothing was wrong.

He even came over to me and showed me a mole on his arm.

“I don’t want you to worry,” he said, “but do you think this is something?”

I looked at the mole. It was black and irregular shaped

“Nah, it’s nothing. Everyone has those.”

That week I felt like I had been hit with a mountain. I couldn’t sleep or stop shaking . It was like finding out my mother didn’t love me. I was afraid of being alone, being humiliated and being poor at my age.

That mole thing was the only light in a very dark tunnel. It gave me something to hope for. If he died, I would have money and no shame. I couldn’t pray for a plane crash because other people would die so I had to be creative. He’s a big drinker so his liver failing was my back up plan.

Liz’ boyfriend, David, said everybody going through a divorce wishes for that.

“and wishing isn’t a strategy”

I usually dyed dave’s beard before he went on tour. I couldn’t see helping him look more attractive for this tour, so this time I didn’t.  I packed his suitcase and he left for Japan.

In the meantime, the only people that knew were my sister and Liz. During that week I visited one of my nieces, Stephanie and I couldn’t keep it to myself. She immediately started crying.

“ You don’t need him. You come up here and live with me and Terry”, her husband.

I told her we were a long way from something like that.

In the meantime this tour of dave’s was no different than any other.

He called me every morning and every evening telling me in detail what was happening with the gigs and musicians. I had no idea what to expect when he came home.

At the airport he ran to me and hugged me. We were a little uncomfortable at first but it seemed to pass and he started talking about our planned vacations again.

1. Jerry Weintraub Can Kiss My Ass

I met dave (you’ll find out later why he doesn’t deserve a capital “d”) on a student tour of Europe. He was the leader of the band that played on the ship over and back. One thing that I always found interesting was that my sister Marcia went on that same tour 6 years before on that same boat and the guy she dated was Roz Rudd, a trombone legend.

I didn’t date dave when we met, we just became fast friends.
We spent the whole trip laughing but I was way more interested in the drummer.

dave and I kept in touch though. When he started working for James Brown he never came to New York without seeing me. In fact when he moved to New York with his first wife they lived with me until they found an apartment.

After his marriage we lost touch. It was only when he was in the midst of a divorce that he called me and we picked up our friendship where we left off.

We eventually fell in love and in 1975 we got married
There were certainly ups and downs in our marriage but nwe always felt committed to one  another. I absolutely trusted him and he felt the same way about me. He embraced my family as his own. That was of primary importance to me.

He often said that my loving him gave him the security to try things that he’d never done before.
One of these things was sailing. I can’t say I was really happy about that. I found it either boring or scary. That didn’t stop me from going along with him on a series of boats that we owned on practically every vacation. I even had an article published in Sail magazine describing how much I hated sailing

He loved it though. When work was slow he’d plan for us to go down on the boat for a month at a time. To him it was a get away, to me it was my regular life only worse. No refrigerator, no gas stove, no dishwasher plus I was terrified of the ocean.
I think he never tried to teach me to steer the boat because he knew if he ever fell overboard I’d just keep going to the nearest port.

Still our life was pretty exciting. He was a musician who worked with a lot of celebrities.
In the beginning I didn’t have much to do with his career other than accompanying him whenever he played.

It wasn’t until about 25 years ago when his career took off in Japan that I really got involved.

I became his lyricist and took care of most of the side issues so that he could write his music.

As the years went on I took on more and more of the business part of his career. We were known around town as a mom and pop organization. I wrote many of his liner notes and magazine articles and interviews and dealt with the musicians.

Among our friends there had been break ups and divorces. I felt that that couldn’t happen to us. My husband was entirely trustworthy. In business and in life if he gave his word he kept it even to his own detriment and besides, I knew where dave was every minute. We were rarely apart and he was home for dinner every night like clockwork at 6:30

About 6 months ago I watched my husband walking across the room. He was wearing crocs, baggy pants with suspenders and his ‘signature’ captain’s hat.

We had just celebrated our 36 anniversary and dave, we’ll call him “dave” , was asking me to give him a big party for his 70th birthday. We were also discussing the arrangements for a sailing vacation.
I remember thinking I was safe” that guy aint goin’ nowhere.”

Let’s fast forward to a few weeks later. dave was preparing  for a tour with his band to Japan.

It was my idea to watch the video.

It was a  documentary about Jerry Weintraub, the former CEO and head of United Artists and his wife/mistress arrangement. Jerry has been married for a million years and he has a girlfriend. The wife and the girlfriend are good friends and he goes most places with both of them.
While I’m watching this thinking what an asshole this guy is, Peabrain, I forgot, peabrain, is thinking this is a solution to all his problems. Problems that needless to say, I was unaware of.

We were about to go to dinner next door at our neighbor Liz’ house when dave says.

“I’ve been thinking of that Jerry Weintraub movie. You’re the kindest most wonderful person I’ve ever known and you’ve been a terrific wife”
(these are really his words, I would have added strikingly beautiful). I feel a cold chill starting at my hairline and moving down.
He continues,

“We haven’t had much of a romantic relationship in a lot of years. I’m going to be 70 and I want a girlfriend.”

That clearly wasn’t him asking me to fulfill that need.

“Why are you telling me this?”
His answer,
“I couldn’t do anything behind your back.”

“Why didn’t you just quietly go to a prostitute or you are in Japan a few times a year, you could do this there and I would never know.”

Interestingly I used to joke that he could have a whole family in Japan and I’d never suspect. I remember feeling superior when I said that because I knew that wasn’t the case. I trusted him implicitly. As I said before, we were close friends for 9 years before we married. Also when he was in Japan he called me last thing before going to sleep and first thing in the morning.

His answer,
“I don’t want a prostitute, I want a girlfriend. But I want you too. I don’t want a divorce.”

“What are you saying?”
Although it was clear what he was saying.
“You expect me to wave good bye to you while you go out on a date?”

No answer

“Let’s say I accept this. What’s to stop you from falling in love with her and leaving me?”

He gave me a look like “don’t be silly”
“That could never happen” he said

“You don’t know that”

“It could never happen. I do know it.”

“Are you telling me this because you’re hoping it will force me to divorce you?”

“Of course not. “ he said “I love you. I don’t want a divorce.”

Even though I was afraid of the answer I had to ask the question, “Is there someone now that you aren’t telling me about?”

“No, of course not.”

“Never mind,” he said, “forget I ever said it.”

I was a hair away from throwing up.

We went over to Liz’ house. dave was chatting away while I sat there frozen. Finally I excused myself and said I wasn’t feeling well. Liz followed me out. She knew something was wrong.
I said “I think dave has a girlfriend”. She just kept saying “No no”
“Please don’t say I told you. Maybe I’m wrong”

When dave came home after staying at Liz’ for dinner I pretended to be asleep.

During the night I heard a loud bang. I jumped out of bed and ran into the hallway. Dave was lying on the floor drunk and naked. He couldn’t get up. I tried to help him but he was dead weight. Finally I told him if I could get him to the bedroom he could help by pulling himself up on the bed. While I was pulling him down the hall by one foot I said “good luck getting a girlfriend”. We both laughed hysterically. It’s the last time we laughed together.