DEADWOOD DEAD MEN
by Bill Markley
“Deadwood Dead Men is a lively recreation of the wild days of the West’s most famous mining camp… part rousing western, part detective story, and a thoughtful study of character, told with the pace of a thriller.”
—Loren D. Estleman,
Author of The Confessions of Al Capone
Orders goldminsespcb.com amazon.com barnesandnoble.com
Visit Bill Markley at: http://www.billmarkley.com
OTHER BOOKS BY BILL MARKLEY
DAKOTA EPIC: ESPERIENCES OF A REENACTOR DURING THE FILMING OF DANCES WITH WOLVES
UP THE RIVER WITH LEWIS AND CLARK
AMERICAN PILGRIM: A POST-SEPTEMBER 11TH BUS TRIP AND OTHER TALES OF THE ROAD.
INTRUSION Chapter Twelve Installment Thirty
“Why?” Buddy asked Albert, shaking his head, as they sat handcuffed in the back seat of a police car. Albert didn’t look up, as Buddy asked again “Why? Why can’t they let us be? Why can’t they leave us alone? Why? Why? Why?” Albert was not objecting. They had not resisted. No, they were caught making love in their bedroom, in their bedroom, doing something strange to the two men who arrested them; that was all.
Well, this is it, Albert said to himself, trying to place his best face forward, trying not to upset Buddy anymore than he already was. They were both upset. Albert found it outragous that police found marijuana in their flowerbed, or said they found marijuana in their flowerbed and used it as an excuse to enter their home, and then entered their bedroom, entered their bedroom without knocking. This was too much. They knew what they were doing. The police knew what they were doing. Albert knew too. But what could Albert and Buddy say? What could Albert and Buddy do about it? Albert was known to the community as a gay activist. Now it would do no good to deny that he was gay, and since he and Buddy where caught together, caught in bed together they were charged with sodomy, then a crime in Texas (still a crime in Texas, even after the Supreme Court ruled what they were doing constitutional).
Buddy finished thinking that their rights were violated. What gave police a right to enter their apartment, enter their bedroom, he thought and cursed. Didn’t police need a warrant? Didn’t they need a warrant to enter their apartment? And as for finding a joint in their flowerbed, what was that about? Didn’t police have to also follow the law?
Albert and Buddy decided not to talk anymore, having decided that by talking they could incriminate themselves, and knowing they had a right to remain silent. They didn’t think they were doing anything wrong, and even when they were caught without clothes on, mortification they felt came from reactions of the police.
And as Buddy became more and more angry, more and more upset, more angry than ever before, Albert became more determined to fight, to fight prejudice, to fight prejudice against gays like himself, to fight prejudice and laws against gay men like himself and Buddy. He became more determined to fight regardless the price. “Fight a system that made him a criminal. Fight laws of discrimination,” Albert repeated. “We only have to answer to God, but I will not be entrapped by man.” He moved his lips, but didn’t let words come out of his mouth.
And yet, despite this defiance, he was scared. And if not for his faith, he would’ve even been more scared. In his eyes, he and Buddy did nothing wrong, and they were proving themselves to be brave.
Even when he first saw Buddy, Albert knew Buddy was a special person. Despite their differences and his situation, Albert knew that there was something special about Buddy that drew him to him. An attraction was there from the beginning. One might say it was love at first sight had Albert believed in such a thing. Albert was still married, and what he saw in Buddy he didn’t believe was true. He felt something he wanted to deny, something he wished he could overlook, yet he felt emotions and yes passion like he never felt before. And Albert somehow knew that it was nothing short of a miracle. An undeserved reward for years of suffering. Yes, suffering. But yet, no, no, yes, he still felt thankful he had children. It wasn’t simple.
When he saw policemen break into his and Buddy’s bedroom he already knew what would happen. He already knew they would be arrested. He expected to be arrested. He expected to be arrested when policemen broke into his and Buddy’s bedroom. And despite what anyone wanted to say about guilt, he felt … knew they were innocent, and maybe they were not innocent according to the laws of Texas, but he knew they were innocent in the eyes of God. And he would say it before thousands of witnesses. He would say it … if he got the chance.
He already demonstrated it in front of thousands of witnesses, when he stood before the Methodist church … demonstrated before the Methodist church. Everyone knew about him in the Methodist church or heard about what many of them called a tragedy, and while they may not know him and his family personally, many of them pitied him, pitied him, Alice, Patricia, and Becky. And as for his children, Patricia and Becky were really not that little by then and heard people talk, heard people talk about their father. Now their father was arrested, and it made the papers … made the papers because Albert made sure it made the papers.
What Albert then would have given to know the girls reaction when they first learned of their father’s notoriety and to learn a secret that was kept from them for so long. To them it was normal, normal to have two fathers when they were growing up, but to hear what other people said about it, Albert assumed it was hard for them.
Albert ignored slurs, slurs as best he could, slurs that were intended to be hurtful, which were sure to cause a reaction because he was human and as nasty as slurs were he didn’t let his emotions show. (To say he demonstrated before the gay rights movement began says it all. No, it wasn’t true that he wore a coat of armor: he cursed in a closet! He cried in his shower! He cried ‘why me Lord!’ Yes, he was human, and slurs hurt him, but he didn’t show it. He never showed it. He instead talked to God. His secret was he talked to God. Though he lost his church, he still talked to God. But how Albert remained faithful was remarkable.)
Albert went to a favorite place in in his mind while he sat in a police car with Buddy, where, while he prayed, repeating a family prayer he committed to memory as a child. He listed his sins. He asked for forgiveness. He recited the Ten Commandments. Asking for mercy and strength, he talked to God and soothed himself with words he said to himself.
And yet he was still scared. Who told him that God would look after him? Ah, poor Albert of such human frailty had a long way to go before he could stand before a judge without being scared..
Meanwhile, his lover and soulmate Buddy sat next to him staring out the window, Buddy, who never went to church. “What is he thinking?” Albert asked, while thinking “he is less upset than I am.”
Buddy wasn’t looking at Albert because he was so angry. He couldn’t understand how police could barge into their bedroom and he was angry about it … very angry. What right did policemen have to be so invasive? Didn’t he have rights? Buddy wasn’t thinking of Albert when he thought this. Before he knew what happened he found himself handcuffed and sitting in the back seat of a police car. Arrested! Arrested for what? All they were doing was expressing their love. Yes, it was love but Buddy and his lover were arrested for making love.
To make it worse, they were taken to jail … Dallas Detention Center … and booked into the Dallas Detention Center. Buddy would never have thought that he would find himself in a cell but, after a few blocks of city traffic in a police car, Buddy realized that there was room for him in jail. But something else was welling up inside him and cause him to explode. He didn’t remember being so angry.
“I think we need a lawyer, a good lawyer,” Albert said and surprised Buddy when he said it, since Buddy could no longer think. “After all, we’re entitled to a lawyer.” And at that point Buddy realized they were in deep shit. They were entitled to privacy, weren’t they? No? Yes! But there Albert said it, and they were in deep shit. But where were they going to find a good lawyer? It shouldn’t be hard. Why couldn’t they make bail? Why wouldn’t they make bail? And now Buddy was thinking the same thing. It should be easy. It should be easy to make bail. Bail, in their case, shouldn’t be high. In other words, they weren’t criminals. Then why did they have to be reassured if they weren’t criminals? They weren’t criminal, so why shouldn’t they make bail.
Albert grinned, looking over at Buddy. Albert grinned, though he was angry. Albert grinned, though he was sad. Albert grinned through his teeth. And before Buddy could stop him, Albert began laughing. What’s was so funny?
Albert looked at him, startled back to the reality and found himself praying, laughing and talking to God as they heading to jail. Buddy sat, staring through a grill that separated them from a policeman and a policewoman. Buddy didn’t say anything else. Buddy didn’t laugh. He didn’t pray. He wasn’t in the mood to pray. So Albert continued a conversation with God, feeling more relaxed as he prayed, since he felt in the presence of his Lord. Talking to God always relaxed him.
Seeing Buddy was still upset, so upset, scared and upset …as he should be given the circumstances, Albert began giving his lover what comfort he could:
We’re not being punished for loving each other.
We’re being punished because of prejudice.
Remember I love you, and we’ll be protected from the rest.
Buddy nodded. Buddy wanted to say something. He couldn’t say anything. Words didn’t come. Well, this was understandable. There were reasons why Buddy couldn’t speak. Unless of course, “Been beat up because he was gay.” Buddy shook his head because he couldn’t believe what was happening. He was beat up for being gay. Now he was heading to jail for the same reason.
“They barged into our bedroom and arrested us for sodomy!” Albert stopped for a moment. “Well, it was not sodomy.”
“Who says God approves?”
“God says He approves.”
“No, you got it wrong, man,” Buddy said. Buddy was one person … agnostic let’s say … whom didn’t believe in God and Albert hadn’t tried to convert him. “If there were a God, there would be no prejudices, against anyone on earth. So, Albert you have it wrong.”
Both men were then silent. They heard chatter on the police radio that they didn’t understand. It was like a foreign language, a language filled with numbers, a language they didn’t understand, so they ignored it. Albert resisted an urge to talk back, to talk to the police in the front seat, to say something. Instead, he tapped his foot, trying to hold his temper, or at least trying to look calm.
Buddy, whom wanted to continue their debate, continued without as much as looking at Albert. He didn’t wait to see Albert’s reaction.
“Albert,” Buddy said after thinking. “How did we get here? When we were in the privacy of our home? When we weren’t hurting anyone?” Buddy wanted to ask the police but stopped himself just when Albert was trying to stay calm.
“Okay,” Albert swallowed. He wasn’t afraid to speak out, something he did a lot, despite knowing odds were against him getting anywhere. Hadn’t he led demonstrations? Hadn’t he expected to be arrested then. But in the privacy of their bedroom! When they weren’t hurting anyone! Didn’t Buddy have a valid point? Okay, what was he going to do about it? “Okay. I’ll do something. When we get to court, I’ll do something,” Albert said with a big grin. “I traveled the East Coast speaking to gay and lesbian Methodists. I wasn’t bashful. I wasn’t bashful then. I wasn’t afraid then. Then why should I be afraid now? Why hold back?” Before he got attention, national attention, but now he knew he didn’t have a forum. “Too bad.” He would create a forum.
“No, no, you’ve got it wrong,” Buddy said. Buddy was one of those people who took a pessimistic view of gay people ever getting justice. “Hell will freeze over before we see justice. You know that, don’t you?”
“So you suggest that we do nothing.” Whereupon Albert stared at Buddy harder.
After that both men remained silent. Albert looked out the window, seeing Dallas from a new perspective, which Buddy didn’t appreciate in the same way. Albert turned the page. He looked forward to facing a judge in court. But he resisted telling Buddy about it. He resisted but knew he was having an affect on Buddy. He knew he didn’t have to try to look profound. He knew he looked profound. He knew the pose.
“Buddy,” Albert said without looking at his friend and lover to see how his friend and lover was feeling. Albert surely knew that Buddy was upset and suspected that he was very upset, very upset at him. “Buddy, maybe this is happening to us for a purpose.”
“No!” Buddy yelled. He wasn’t thinking where they were, something he rarely did, despite his personality.
“Haven’t you always wanted to go to jail? Haven’t you always wanted to find out what it’s like? Haven’t you wanted to have a record, have it on your resume?”
“No. I’m law abiding, a law-abiding citizen. Or was until today. Or thought I was until today.”
“Well, we’re not the first gay men arrested for being who we are. And we won’t be the last. So here we are, and I can’t wait.”
“You can’t wait!”
Albert knew he got Buddy’s attention, so he decided he said enough.
“We need to get ourselves a lawyer, Albert. Let’s fight this.”
“I’m not sure. I’m not sure we need one. Maybe … Maybe. I’m not sure. I’m not sure I want to fight it.”
Still Buddy felt he got Albert’s attention, so he repeated, “I think we need a lawyer, a good one.” Buddy wasn’t afraid to confront Albert. They were different. Obviously they were different, and Buddy was scared and didn’t want to go to jail. He knew what often happened to fagots and queers in jail. He was used to hearing slurs like fagot and queer.
Albert shook his head and became emboldened by the idea of facing a judge, whereas Buddy was scared. Albert clinched his fists in defiance.
“Hey, man, this is serious,” Buddy said.
“Don’t be like that!” Buddy pleaded.. Veins on his neck showed his anger and Albert saw his anger. “Hey, man! I’m not you! I don’t want to go to jail. So cut the crap. So let’s get a lawyer … a good lawyer.”
“We weren’t doing anything wrong, Buddy.” Albert knew he was repeating himself. “We have rights. We love each other. We were making love … that’s all. So stand up! I know we can’t stand up now. I’m saying … I mean when we go to court. “
“I know what you’re saying.” And still Buddy was as angry as he had ever been … as they took them out of the squad car and booked them into the Dallas County Detention Center.
Albert, meanwhile, hatched a plan. He planned what he would say to the judge. He had a voice for it, cultivated over the years when he had a church, and he would’ve reassured Buddy had they been placed in the same holding cell. It irritated Albert that they were separated.
It was worse for Buddy. Since Buddy wasn’t interested in taking a stand like Albert did, he became more despondent than ever. And Albert … who, the more he prayed, the more sure of himself he became, while Buddy was more angry because he couldn’t be with his lover. He needed to be with his lover for reassurance.
Always remembering how much he loved Buddy, Albert found strength in this love and his love for Christ, for he had faith that his love for Buddy and Christ would last. Nothing would budge him from this belief, so why, despite being in jail, should he fret?
Buddy felt himself powerless,, while Albert felt strengthened, which didn’t mean he didn’t feel afraid like Buddy. So Albert got it into his head that as long as he held onto Buddy (figurative in this case) and talked to God, this trial would soon be over. If he could stay close to Buddy (again figurative), he believed he would find joy, and it would soon be over.
When Albert thought of Buddy, he felt powerless and tried to relate it to his love of God. He knew Buddy was the one person for him and that they would live the rest of their lives together. Sure he loved his daughters and would always love them without reservation, but his love for Buddy was different. And he still loved Alice, but it wasn’t same as his love for Buddy. He didn’t need to explain it. Perhaps he couldn’t explain it. Perhaps it would’ve been ludicrous and tedious to try to explain it.
For Albert it was more than an exercise. Yes, he felt powerless. He loved Buddy. He was committed to Buddy. Albert was more in love with Buddy than he had been in love with anyone else, and if truth were known he loved Buddy more than Buddy loved him. Yet Albert was still a relentless devotee to God, and he didn’t complain about being booked into the Dallas County Detention Center. He didn’t complain, even to himself.
Doing nothing but wait and see, Buddy meanwhile tried to calm himself after the initial shock of being arrested. He didn’t have anything to do but wait. Surely what was happening was surely a mistake. However, Buddy knew about sodomy laws in Texas. Anyone studying law in Texas knew sodomy was against Texas law.
On the other hand, the cops who swooped down or rather swooped in had not changed a thing, since they knew nothing about a man loving another man. Anyone looking in from the outside might have felt odd, strange and embarrassed and may only be inclined to look down on the two men.
However, when two cops swooped into their bedroom, Albert and Buddy had an unquestionable sense that they were right, weren’t hurting anyone, and (for Albert) weren’t sinning. To them, what they were doing was a sign of true love.
That evening they went home, that is to their apartment, filled with ecstasy, and as they shared a meal and went early to bed. They shared a bed, as they shared their love, and by then their love making was an obsession. It wasn’t long before they just said “I love you.” They meant it with all their heart. Then they were interrupted, brutally interrupted. It was an intrusion.
Shortly after that they were arraigned. A judge asked Albert, “how do you plead?” Well, by then he decided to represent himself. If he couldn’t afford it, he still had a right to an attorney and he was read his rights, which he already knew, though he was never arrested before, He was not a jailbird, so when a judge asked Albert, “how do you plead?,” Albert said, “Guilty! I’m guilty. I’m guilty of expressing my love to another human being. I’m guilty of expressing my love to a person I love. I’m guilty as sin.” The work “sin” slipped out his mouth, though he didn’t believe it was sin.
“But how do you plead,” the judge repeated.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. Guilty! Guilty as charged.”
“Are you sure?”
“Guilty! Guilty as charged.”
“In that case Mr. Humphrey I am remanding you to the Dallas County Detention Center for sixty days.”
And as a deputy ushered him out of a courtroom, Albert saw Buddy waiting his turn in the hallway, which didn’t make either one of them happy because Albert could see that Buddy was having a hard time and Buddy didn’t know what just happened in the courtroom. They would’ve felt better had they an opportunity to talk. For Albert it was over. For Buddy it hadn’t started yet. Albert also felt worried for Buddy because he couldn’t touch him and reassure him. He wanted to reach out to Buddy. He knew his love for Buddy would never faulted. The only time Albert ever doubted it was when he couldn’t confer with Buddy about how he would plead, which was when he was in his cell alone. He felt alone in spite of having a cellmate.
RECLAIM YOUR POWER! BECOME WHO YOU WERE MEANT TO BE
by Robin Anderson
Isn’t it time to redefine your life on your own terms? What if you could feel more empowered and less at the mercy of circumstances? Author Robin Anderson teaches us how to build self-awareness, say good-bye to self-limiting beliefs, redefine what we really want in life and develop tools to keep us moving toward our most audacious and wildly fulfilling lives.
A take-charge approach to redefining your life – on your terms!
“Engaging, conversational style … a safe environment along with tools for self-discovery … positive, sensible, and truly helpful.”- Claudia Limbert, President Emerita, Mississippi University for Women
“Contagious magic: a beautifully encouraging journey of self-empowerment.”- Jill Badonsky, Author or THE MUSE IS IN; Founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching http://www.themuseisin.com
“Simple and effective model for making changes in your life – change that moves you, at the pace you”- Linda Gottschaulk, Senior Director of Global Management, Research in Motion