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Oh, my God!! I knew Rich Jewell. I really did. He played a mean guitar, was a good guy, my age, and we toyed with romance. He was very overweight, but he had his pride. He told me once, "You can't play in bars if you can't play bar chords." It was hilarious. I never believed his story or knew it was such a big deal, until I was at a friend's house watching the news and saw a trimmer, lighter side of him walking to his seat as the announcer said that he had died of natural causes. I know better. The poor man drank himself to death. I was incredibly sad for him. We weren't much of a match, but I loved him and once thought we were pregnant. He was a good man when he wasn't too drunk to stand up. When I knew him, we both lived in a shitty cheap apartment at the bottom of the ghetto. 713 S. Yakima, Tacoma, Washington. I was a mess myself then, had lost everything, so we kind of understood each other. When I slit my wrists and laid down to die on a small mattress I had found (on a street corner), I ruined the thing, and was in the hospital for about 10 days. When I came back, he had cleaned up every spot of blood and had called St. Vincent De Paul's, a charity, and when I came "home" there was this beautiful bed on a bedframe with covers and pillows. He WAS trying to help in the situation that eventually killed him, poor man, the middle child of ten, so lonely that he said it was just him and his guitar. He played riffs on my old acoustic like Joe Santoroni. He was a Christian, but didn't go to church. One of his favorite songs was "Flood" by a Christian Group, Jars of Clay. I sang that song all night once as it described me, too, and I wanted to sing it for Rich. I think he stole my pet cat, Oreo, T.A. "Our only son!" Oreo loved everybody. I cunningly got him into a building that didn't allow pets, hence the "T.A." -- Therapy Animal. I "cracked" foodstamps to feed the little guy, back when you could do that. Go to ten stores: buy a piece of gum with a one dollar denomination coupon, get real money in change. Eventually, you can buy your cat some food. Now we use a card and there's no actual money involved. I am Bipolar I Disordered, have PTSD from serious and prolonged child abuse, a heavy dose of ADD, and narcolepsy. Rich saved MY life, in a way, even if he DID steal my cat, haha! Rich Jewell was a true hero, but even heroes bleed. Part of me will always miss him. I fought my way through school to eventually graduate with a B.A. In "Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences with a Concentration in Psychology." Lovely. It took blood and guts and the rest of my real youth, from age 30 to 38, but then occupationally useless. I paint a little and I tell myself that I am a creative writer. I will look up the articles on Rich, maybe add my own eulogy to his Wiki page. He was my friend. My name is "Dawn." (Cherokee Dawn). He knew me as "Sheila" but I have changed my name for personal reasons. I am 1/16 Cherokee, and I was born at dawn, christened so by my mother at birth.
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