A Secret Grave 76: Precarious Living

 

Unfortunately Loraine, who’d been brought up a Seventh Day Adventist (although it had been a long time since she’d gone to church) and eschewed drugs, alcohol, even caffeine, had picked up some bad habits over the years. During her second marriage she’d begun to drink, just a little here and there, and then a little more because it made her feel so good, so much better than she’d felt before, and then, because she was lonely, every evening when she came home from work.

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Loraine & Donny, Tired mother holding a small baby, simpleinsomnia, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Giovanni, who still kept watch over the house, noticed she was drinking a lot and had words with her. Janet remembered her mother, who’d become uncharacteristically sullen, telling him to fuck off, it was none of his business. Maybe he backed off for awhile, but when Loraine started entertaining gentleman callers, Giovanni started making trouble. No doubt he’d fallen a little in love with her and was jealous. And he worried about the children, especially little Donny to whom he’d grown very attached. Arguments bloomed between him and Loraine, and suddenly it was as it had been before, anger and tension filling the house until it felt impossible to be there.

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Donny (left) with one of the neighborhood kids, Dig, Bart Everson, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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In hindsight Janet and Betsy realized Giovanni had been secretly sleeping with their mother and so of course he felt possessive. Fights broke out. Giovanni beat up one of Loraine’s “boyfriends” pretty badly and the cops were called in. The guy pressed charges, and as a result both Loraine and Giovanni lost their jobs.

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Their house in the Marigny

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Janet was thirteen and Betsy seventeen, a high school senior. Donny was four. Their mother moved them into a crappy little apartment in the Magnolia Projects in the 11th Ward, and took a few shifts as a waitress. She was a skilled cook, laundress, gardener and seamstress, but because of her drinking and the ugly scenes that had erupted, the Giambolinis did not give her good references either as a tenant or as an employee. Once again life was precarious.

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To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ Weight of the World, Sabbian Paine, Dig, Bart Everson, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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