Most of the people I know now probably are not aware that I have been married twice. My first husband’s name was Frank, or Franklin as he sometimes preferred. He was a draft dodger from Wichita Kansas.
In the early 70s I hitchhiked everywhere, including around Toronto, where I was living and going to university. I met Frank when he gave me a lift. We hit it off and started seeing each other. We went on some trips, including Martha’s Vineyard, where his cousin lived. We stopped by Washington DC, where we were routed out of a park by baton wielding cops. Other trips were closer by, to Lake Erie or Niagara Falls.
Soon I moved into the house on Westminster in Parkdale, where he lived with Keith and Woody Russell, also from Wichita. Keith was a deserter and Woody was a dodger. The other person in the house was Rick Friend, a shy plump Jewish man. I was never clear what his story was. He had some money, I knew that.
At that house we smoked dope, dropped acid and went to the park, tried out macrobiotic diets– I once went on a cleansing diet of raw brown rice and lemon juice with cayenne. I ended it when Frank and I went out to steak dinner with some man he was cultivating for a job or work of some kind. I ended up with a terrible headache and we had to leave early.
Frank was sort of a wheeler and dealer. In Wichita he had fallen in with some fake guru called Rukka, who also seemed to be a wheeler and dealer. I met him once when he came for a visit and I did not like him. What I really did not like is that Frank sent him money periodically.
Frank got hired by Robin Hood to go around to markets to get their product on the shelves and displayed well. I learned that a face was the row of product and more faces was a good thing. I went to a couple of company dos but I was still a hippie chick and very naive, so those were not productive for Frank.
Both sets of parents pressured us to get married and for some reason we gave in. I met Frank’s parents when they came up for a visit, a humble Polish couple who had immigrated to the U.S. He had had a granite business for some time but it had failed. At any rate, we got married at the office in the Old City Hall in Toronto. My grandmother Marney had suggested that I get a gold band from a pawnshop, which I did (and in retrospect wonder how she knew to do that). Frank’s parents were not at the wedding. My parents, my aunt, and my sister were there, is all. From then on until we split up, I was known as Molly Hurysz (sounds like whore-ish).
Soon we were living in a townhouse in Woodstock. I had a small business that had been started when we were all in the house. I made iron-on decals that could be put on t-shirts. The designs included mandalas, logos (the zigzag guy for example), simple designs. I drove to stores around the area to get shirts placed in stores and then delivered them.
Then we were moved to Montreal. We rented a house on the edge of Ville Mont Royal, which at that time was a ‘nice’ area. The house was a solid duplex with graceful elements. It was the nicest house I had lived in by then.
I got a real job working as an expediter in an office that imported textiles, usually from the UK. I worked with a woman named Barbara, who I became friends with. There was a Hungarian man who had had tattoos crudely taken off his arms (so I wondered if he had been a Nazi). One young flibbertigibbet girl often wore black bras under see-through white tops and would complain that the (few) men were looking. There was also a rather plain petite dishwater blonde of 19 who was having an affair with a married salesman from the office.
Barbara’s partner was from Newfoundland. In those years you did not often meet a Newfie and Newfoundland seemed very remote. Barbara and shared an apartment with a woman, who called Barbara one day at work to tell her that he had come home and was throwing money all over the apartment. It turned out that he had robbed a nearby bank. He had handed the teller a note but did not take it back when he got the money (about $5000). The police found a message or phone number by rubbing the paper and tracked him down. He was sent to prison for a couple of years and was put to work on a train gang. Sometimes Barbara would smuggle windowpane acid in a paperback for him, though I can’t imagine taking acid in jail.
One day I had had enough of Frank. We had been together for about two years. By then it was clear to me that he actually wanted someone else. He told me to lose weight, to get my teeth fixed. Perhaps I should take a conversation class to learn how to converse. He wanted me to shave my legs and had a razor in his hand to do it. I grabbed the razor and threw it at him, unfortunately missing him. Clearly I was not what he wanted. I went to Barbara’s with my bag and told her I had left Frank. She was delighted. I stayed with her for a while and then rented a room from a guy named Tom, who years later found me online and then sort of stalked me.
In Canada at that time, couples who wished to divorce had to wait five years unless they proved adultery. Thus we both went off and lived our lives. By the time five years was up I had had two different boyfriends in Detroit and Phoenix. I moved back to Toronto to finish my BA and to get my divorce. That was the last time I saw Frank and I have no idea what has happened in his life since then.
Life with Frank was a lesson in being who I am and dealing with yet another man who thought I should be someone else.