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Some Readers' Resolutions --DeWese

March 2005
At 2:05 a.m. on February 5, 2005, I lost a lover and a friend. We'd been together nearly 50 years. We met at age 12 in the woods behind Richard Lanier's house in Brooksville, FL. From that point forward, we were never far apart and we grew closer as time passed.

At first, our courtship was casual and irregular. We had sweet and awkward, clandestine trysts. We were carefully secretive in my teens. The meetings were often passionate and sometimes left me dizzy, reeling and breathless.

We stepped boldly out of the closet at age 20 and had a 42-year intimate relationship. We were best friends, lovers and companions; through good times and bad, we were never apart. On those few occasions when we were separated, I would search in rainstorms, blizzards and in the wee hours of the morning to find my darling.

A Dangerous Affair

I can't keep this up. You're thinking that my "companion" is human.

My companion is my longstanding addiction to the nicotine in cigarettes. I won't write about my motivation for dumping the old friend, except to say that my lover turned on me, and became dangerous and threatening. I'll write about how I walked away later, but for now you should know it was pretty much cold turkey and I was real cranky for about two weeks.

I always had this Walter Winchell image of myself—you know, tough street-smart writer, blasting away on an old Remington, my fedora cocked over one eye, with a Camel clenched in my teeth.

I didn't tell you about this to encourage any of you to quit any of your habits. But, if you recognize a "bad" habit within yourself, and you want to quit, just remember that if the weak, undisciplined Mañana Man can break a habit, then you damn sure can.

Speaking of bad habits, the scam lady print salesperson I wrote about in January turned up a couple more times. Several printing company managers who read the column e-mailed me to report how she scammed them out of about six months' pay. Her sphere of fraud expanded as far west as Kansas City and to New York City on the east coast.

Printers Put it on Paper

Here's the text from one e-mail.

"Hello Harris. Add another to the list if we are not one of the five. When I took the job here in June of 2003, a woman had just been hired out of Chicago. She was going by the name of (name omitted so I won't get sued, but let's just say her initials are 'R.H.'). Fake W-2 and all. We were fortunate in that it only took me about six weeks to figure it out. Unbelievable!"


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