No matter the season, the ball throwing continues.
Last night was a liar’s moon – the type of moon where you think it’s full but if you looked closely, you’d see you were just being fooled.
I found out a bit more how my former friend and household thief died.
But first, the back story of lies. It’s a story that I wouldn’t even to believe if I read it online somewhere. But with a heavy heart, I tell you this is all true. True and full of so many lies. So, so, so many lies.
I know he said he had cancer from about the time that I caught him stealing, about 15 months ago. I changed the locks in my house and that was that. Our ties were cut but we had many mutual friends. First, it’s important to know that I suspected all along that the cancer was a lie but he sucked many people into his drama. I think he quickly fabricated the story so no one would believe I could say such horrible things about him being a thief and a liar, a man sick with cancer. With the cancer, he told people he had an old nun friend, with a very unusual name, driving him to the chemo treatments. No need to bother any friends with his appointments, the retired nun was happy to help him out. Even though friends offered to accompany him, he was always happy to rely on the nun.
She was even working on the on fundraising to help with his medical bills.
When friends finally tracked down the nun’s parish, trying to let this nun know Matt had passed away, we found out the nun, with the very unusual name, had been dead for more than twenty years.
I think when that info got out, everything else came into question. Everyone knew the cancer story was a big lie.
We finally compared notes at a lunch gathering after the funeral.
The alcohol helped.
My grade school friend, Sarah, who described Matt as her best friend, called some of the volunteer places he said he had been volunteering as late as just last week. Homeless shelters and mental illness outreach centers. Hotlines for domestic abuse and suicide. They never heard of him. Not a single person at a single place.
I remembered that when I first realized that he was a thief and a liar, I told him he was no longer welcome in my house. That I was so very disappointed in his actions. I let him know that I wouldn’t have someone in my life that steals from me. And I was so proud for having found my voice. I didn’t need him. I suspected for a long time before I actually caught him and confronted him. He simply removed me from his life. There was no apology. No asking for forgiveness.
Now, I can just offer my friends comfort and tell them I’m about 15-months ahead in the grieving process and in dealing with the fact that he wasn’t who Any go us thought he was. Or even who he pretended to be. I’m here for them if they need anything.
At that time, when I was dealing with his thievery of my household, one of my friends suggested I go look up the definition of a narcissist.
So, of course, I did. He seemed to fit the definition perfectly.
I wanted to warm our mutual friends but who would even believe me when poor Matt had suddenly developed cancer? No one, I assumed. No one would believe me if I told them of his thievery, his lies or even that I suspected the cancer was just another lie.
Heather, who for whatever reason was given Matt’s email password a few months ago, by Matt, had been reaching out to people, trying to let everyone know of his death. In one email, Matt was writing priests about his simple and pure life and missing priesthood. He wanted to come back to the life. The next hundred emails or so were about random craigslist gay sex hookups.
Just before the church mass for Matt, someone mentioned that Matt’s family was under the impression he had to leave the church because he stealing.
A light went off when I heard that.
He was so estranged from them, his mother and siblings. He probably stole from them too and after decades of his destructive behavior, they were just done with him. I had been there and, in the moment, I was thankful that my story seemed so simple compared to what his family had to have gone through. He claimed they were some combination of crazy and cruel. I think it was Matt who probably fit those words better than any family member.
In the days following the service, there was a record search. Many google searches of his name were done. I was so angry with myself for not thinking go doing this before I offered him a place to stay.
As they say, hindsight is twenty -twenty.
Matt had been in the military and went AWOL. He never mentioned the military to any of us. There was an arrest record; fugitive from justice. A DUI case. Some arrests in the deep South for other crimes, but some of these things pre-date the internet and it’s hard to get the full scope of things like this.
Right now, I cannot even be sure what is the truth, the scope of the lies everyone was told. And yet I know so many other people were told so many more lies than me. Like another childhood friend, Heather.
Matt worked a customer service job when he moved back here to Cleveland but always described himself as a writer. The customer service was just a way to pay the bills, I guess. I read some of his stuff back in the date. He was always willing to share his work. It was good but his grammar and sentence structure were terrible. I tried to tell him this. His response was that I wouldn’t know good writing if I saw it. He wanted praise in all things, and if that wasn’t there, he wanted to hear nothing. He had told Heather, and anyone that would listen, that his first novel was being published this autumn. Heather was working on art for the book cover. She took pictures of him for the back cover. She invested so much time in this book. She helped in any way Matt asked. Upon news of his death, Heather tired desperately to reach out to his publisher and let them know about this and figure out how this would affect the book. She poured over his email accounts until she found the publisher. She sent him a very nice message.
The publisher responded that they had not been working on the book, that they suggested Matt go the self-publishing route. It was a nice way of saying he had been rejected. Matt had shown Heather press proofs. In hindsight, she admits to never reading the text on the page. Odds are Matt simply did an image search online and shared an image from there. And another story that was nothing more than a big lie.
I think that’s when Heather began to question everything.
Oh the tangled web he wove.
By the time his funeral rolled around, no one was flat-out saying that they believed him to be liar but everyone was questioning it, quietly in whispers. After the mass, where there was no body, we sat in a huge Roman Catholic Church, a few rows from his family watching them. They were grieving, something Matt would have sworn they’d never do. His mother was heartbroken.
Matt said his mother lacked a heart.
I told my grade school friends, after so many of the deceptions above became clear, after we compared notes and the lies we were told, that the book that needs to be written is how we were all deceived by this man. He may have claimed to be a priest, a monk, a giver, a written, a friend but we know the truth. He was a liar and a con.
And he was very good at it.
The fact that there was no body still makes me wonder if this too, his death, is all part of another great hoax. I guess time will tell on that front. There was a story about his body not being released from the coroner yet but who really knows the truth any more.
I keep trying to imagine even trying to keep track of all those lies he was living day after day. I have a hard enough time remembering to switch the laundry from the washer into the dryer. I couldn’t even tell you what I wore yesterday or last week on any given day, yet alone a conversation or a lie told. To track the lies, the stories, on top of lies and other stories sounds painfully exhausting to me.
I am sure as the days and weeks pass, more deception will be discovered. The mutual friends have gotten over some of their grief at his sudden passing. The anger at being played by a con man has helped their sorrow.
As for his death, in the end, there was no trace of cancer or of chemo treatment. At least that’s what I heard from friends of his family. He died of heart disease. Had he actually gone to a doctor about his ‘cancer,’ maybe he his heart disease could have been treated. I firmly believe that his lies about cancer are an insult to anyone that has had to actually deal with cancer and it’s devastating outcomes. I’d like to think that karma wasn’t happy with his lies either. And, karma took care of that lie.
It seemed fitting, that I’d notice the liar’s moon. Matt was like that. People thought he was full of goodness and giving. It was all about the light reflecting. He reflected the light of so many good people he crossed paths with.
He wasn’t full of goodness. He was just a man full of himself.
How are we suppose to eat this?
You know that post early last week about how two classmates from middles school died?
On Wednesday, the count was up to three.
Remember a few years ago when I let a former classmate, former Catholic priest move in with me when he moved back to town? And then he was an ass (and those are mild words) and was stealing from me? And I had to change my locks?
In a total state of shock.
it’s not grief though; for I know how he felt by his actions. We were no longer friends but just two strangers with some common memories.
And I am not sure how to grieve. Perhaps it is that I grieved a long time ago at the loss of the friendship and the bitter shock of his actions. I don’t want to speak ill but…
… but his anger was with himself. He told so many lies in the end about his life, I have no idea where the truth actually lies.
I guess it doesn’t matter any more.
And as our mutual friends gather and morn, I cannot be sure that any one of them actually knew him. Very few even know that we were not friends any more. And maybe I didn’t know him at all. I am sad in the end – for him. Of the years he was robbed of. And I am sad for our friends and their loss.
Yesterday, I drove across Pennsylvania.
It’s really wide state. You don’t realize how wide it is until you drive it. Hours later, a few tunnels passed though and a mix of rain, heavy rain, sunshine and clouds, the destination was reached.
Anyway – saw this gem at one of the PA Turnpike rest-stops.
Yes, folks, that is a semi tractor trailer full of hearsts. Just in time for Halloween season.
In the past 48 hours, two different people that I went to middle school with passed away. If it wasn’t for the odd connections that have become standard, meaning Facebook, I never would have known. But because everyone is so connected, things like this are all over the Facebook news feed. One guy, who had been a spoiled and mean bully back in school had grown up to be an addict and was in and out of the best rehab centers his parent’s money could buy. It wasn’t enough to save him and his body finally gave out after decades of abuse. He died of a heart attack. That is official cause of death. And despite the label of an addict, he was still a human being with many good qualities and beloved by his heartbroken family.
The other passed away from a quick-moving cancer. Just weeks ago, she found out she had limited time.
And so it goes. Our time is limited.
But that’s the big joke- the joke that we don’t even care about the time until the days are gone, stolen from all of us.
My life will go on, these people will be distant memories of someone I once kind of knew, of their 12-year-old or so child they once were. My high school class was huge – over 900 students. By shear law of averages alone, many people are already gone. And yet, I know to the families, its not a law of averages. To their closest friends and family, they will remain devastated for a long, long, long time.
And someday, out of the blue, news of another childhood classmate or someone I once knew, will trickle down to me. And the cycle will repeat until there is no one left.
My 99-year-old grandmother talks of how she is the last one. The last one still alive from her classmates and of all her cousins. Everyone that she knew as a child or young adult is gone.
I guess someone has to be last, just as someone has to be the first to go. And so it goes, until there is no one to wonder who is next.
Again! from my mother! The Diva:
FYI The winner of Miss America played a red plastic cup for her talent
Which means Miss Ohio and her puppet were ROBBED.