Several weeks after the rage of getting conned by a con man faded from the front of my brain, I met Mr. Roy. He was a nice, white-haired gentleman who worked the sign-in table at my voting precinct. I’d heard Martin say on many occasions he had to go see Mr. Roy to get paid for some task he’d helped him with or that Mr. Roy was letting him store his tools in his shop or some other guano. When my wife nudged me and told me who it was, I struck up a brief conversation with him about Martin. He responded with a blasé attitude and wasn’t too interested in getting involved with anything Martin related. So, I voted and left feeling let-down. I couldn’t understand why anyone who knew Martin wouldn’t want to gab about what a road apple he was.
Then, three weeks later, when we went back to vote in the runoff election, Mr. Roy was sitting there at the sign-in table again. This time, he greeted me like I was an old friend and immediately apologized for not realizing who I was the last time I saw him. He told me that he knew Martin well and even lived across the street from his mother. When I asked if he went to her funeral, he looked at me funny and said he saw her that morning and unless she died at lunch and they got her planted that afternoon, she didn’t have a funeral.
My world turned RED at that moment. He lied to me and took money from me that I couldn’t afford to give but gave anyway because I believed he was in need. He took money, stole my lawnmower, and ate meals with my family. I drove him to buy crack, for Pete’s sake!
Mr. Roy went on to say that Martin’s mother booted him out of the house for stealing and pawning her TV some years earlier. He kept telling me he wished he could’ve told me not to get near Martin before I ever got twisted up with him. “Martin’s like a bug that lands on you that you can’t brush off.”
Fortunately, we were able to finally rid ourselves of our Martin infestation. We warned our neighbors about his proclivities for untruthfulness and thievery and told them if he showed up on their doorstep to please ask him what he did with my lawnmower before asking him to remove himself from our neighborhood.
Apparently, he’s lined up a place to stay for the next 12-15 years. It’s kinda like his dream come true, though, I’d think. He’ll get three meals a day, a mattress to sleep on in a climate-controlled interior environment, and easier access to crack — and I’m still getting to pay for it, however indirectly. BUT… at least, he can’t steal my lawnmower from jail.