More about Sherry and the scene back there back then. Wonder if I should edit myself in case she finds and reads this? Pondering.
|Walk, Blind Melon
I lived on the corner of Franklin Street and Cumberland Drive in my lil(y) white DC suburb. Sherry lived a few blocks down Cumberland and left on Grayson, a short downhill skateboard ride from my house (yes, I had a slalom board, and I won't promise more on that later cuz there's not much to tell and I'll probably forget to revisit it anyway). In between were various families with various of our hood friends, including one John LeVasseur.
John LeVasseur was a weird character. No need too edit self here, he's dead. Hanged himself. While in prison awaiting execution.
John was weird in a buch of ways, not the least of which, for us at the time, was that he was Vietnamese born and adopted by a somewhat older white (we called them/us WASPs back then) couple in our hood. He was a dark character, and as a teenager lived with a girlfriend in his parent's basement rec room. He wasn't in my regular posse, he was a couple years older than me, but we knew each other as I was growing up, and when I got to be about 13 or 14 he started inviting me over to his basement to kkick it and smoke a doob or something. His girlfriend (I think he called her his wife, not sure) seemed fairly normal, I guess, I don't know. I do remember they had a crystal punch bowl full of pot on the coffee table. That was a bit unusual.
One time John and his wife/girlfriend said let's go party. OK. Thought that's what we were doing. Back in that time "party" meant light up some weed, specifically. Not sure what was up, but ready to go with the flow, I got in the back seat of the car and we three head to High's, the local convenience store of choice for underage beer buying. What kind of beer do you like, he asked? Really? Uh, the kind with alcohol, what kind of question is this to ask a barely teenager? I think I tried to sound sophisticated and said Stroh's (as in "let's Stroh a party!") John and wife buy a 12 pack and we turn the wrong way out of the parking lot. Where we goin? Let's get a room so we can crank up some tunes and whatnot. OK, seemed a little weird but I'm still going with it. We go to the local no tell motel, get a cheap room, bring in the beer, dope, a boombox, and some tapes.
We crack open a few, John says pick out some tunes and I get to perusing the tape collection. I can't remember for the life of me any of the selection options which probably ought to tell you something about my state of mind at the time. Something ain't right if I don't remember what song was playing. Then he makes some kind of high sign to the wifey and she goes in the bathroom. Then he starts making the moves on me, and I'm like dude your wife is right in there. He says it's cool, she's OK with it. Then I'm like, duh, lightbulb finally went on over my head. Dude, I'm not up for that, sorry for the confusion. He continues to try to persuade me, but it ain't happenin so it's all good. She comes out. We drink the 12er and head back to Cumberland Drive, a little weirded out but nothing I couldn't handle. Being a teenage girl comes with that bullshit.
Now back to Sherry. So some time later, no idea how many days weeks or months, Sherry says "let's go over to John LeVasseur's and get high." K. Off we go. Then as we sit on the couch and burn one John's wife pulls out a photo album. Sherry asks me if I'm high yet, I guess so, what the hell kind of question is that? Wifey flips open said photo album. She says she's a photographer. Good for you. Check these pictures out.
WTF?!?!?! The pictures are of Sherry and John having sex. Aside from the fact that I'd probably only seen something that pornographic about 3 times in whole short life up to that point, this was Sherry, who was even younger than me, and John, a married (I thought, at least) man. Yikes. Talk about a buzz kill.
Well, I don't remember much about hanging out with Sherry or John after that. I do remember my mom had never looked too happy about me saying I was heading down to John's house or seeing him on his motorbike hanging around with me and whomever.
But you should have seen the look on her face when she was looking at the newspaper headline and asking me if this John LaVesseur was the same one who lived down the street from us. The article was about a young woman's body that had been found in her parent's basement. She had been stabbed over 40 times with an ice pick, then bleach poured over her, and a failed attempt to set her on fire. The suspected motive was a drug deal gone wrong. John LeVasseur had been arrested as a suspect.
I don't know what ever happened to Sherry in this world. I never remember hearing about her or seeing her after I left for college and my mom moved closer to her job in the District and sold my childhood house. I wonder what her mom looked like when she read that headline. And yes, I did edit, but only by limiting my discussion about Sherry and my memories of her, not by altering the truth at all.
posted by cat 10:46 AM