The story of Dick Covey
I guess we all think of people who were in our lives from time to time.
Lately I've been thinking of someone who never really had any major significance in my life.
His name was Dick Covey, or "Dick the Mailman"
I have no idea how he got that nickname. He wasn't a mailman. Not sure what he was, or who he was for sure.
But for the last monthor so, he's all I've been thinking about.
Here's a little background.
When I was 14 or so I had a friend named Scott. Scott was a pretty fucked up kid. Always doing drugs and stealing shit. Just a fucked up kid in everyway.
Around that time I was looking for a role model, and won the election. I already found alcohol by that point, but Scott turned me on drugs, and everything that went along with it.
Pretty soon I dropped all of my other friends, and became Scottie's shadow.
Every free moment I had, I'd spend over his house. A MAJOR crazy place.
Here's the cast of charaters that you'd find residing at his house.
1)Scott's dad, Gary- Gary was into everything illegal. He sold drugs. Pimped prositutes. Also had a scheme going where he'd buy used cars, set back the odometer a few thousand miles, and sell it for a lot more. Didn't really look the part either. Had red curly hair and a bushy mustachio.
2) Gary's girlfriend, Lori- Lori was a fucking mess. She was a prosittue and a junky. Most of the time you'd find her passed out on the couch with a cigarette burning in her hands. Every six months or so she'd disapear with the stereo or TV. But Gary would always take her back a few months later. It was a crazy cycle.
3) Scott's brother, Jerry.- Jerry was about 2 or three years younger than me, but looked and acted like a 7 year old. He'd play with toys and watch cartoons that a kid much younger then him would do. He was epileptic and prone to seizures. The poor kid would have a seizure on the driveway, and the whole fucking family would just go about like nothing was happening. I really felt sorry for him.
4) And then there was Dick- Dick was this guy living at the house with them. He was in his late fifties, grey hair, looked liked everybody's dad.
Dick was clearly an alcoholic. He'd drink more before 9:00 AM than most people do all day. I never understood what he was doing there? I mean, Scott's dad was prett young. And so were his friends that frequented the place. But then you have this older guy there, that looked like he should be at about retirement age, renting a room there at a drug infested, prostitute ridden dojo.
Now, I don't want you to think Dick was a warmhearted old man. He wasn't. I've cought him a few times trying to steal from me. I never paid him too much mind, not until lately when I haven't been able to stop thinking about him. I remember him as a grouchy kinda' guy. Scottie use to always harass him. Scott would just go up to him and be like "Hey Dick, gimme' a high five bro!" being very sarcastic. And Dick would get all made like "Get the fuck away from me, you fucking retard piece of shit..." Dick got easily annoyed, and Scott would play off that for the comical value. After an hour or so of Scott bothering Dick, Dick would get made enough to start pushing Scott around, and put him in a headlock or something. It really was kinda' funny, here's Dick putting all this effort into trying to hurt him while Scottie is just laughing his ass off at his attempt. I always thought this was hysterical.
I remember having a drink a few times with dick on the dinning room table. I think he kinda' liked me. Well, he didn't really like anybody. But I think he hated me less than most others.
Anyways, I remember one time he was telling me that he use to be a cop. I could totally tell that he wasn't lying. My dad was a cop, and I can always sniff out the real thing, even when not in uniform. I remember wondering how it was possible that this guy could go from being an officer of the law, to someone that rents a room from a cokehead? I knew all about cops. I knew that they had such a powerful union that nothing short of trying to sell crack to the police chief during a meeting with the mayor would get you fired. That's when I assumed the old man was a hard core mofo. He musta' done something pretty fucked up to get tossed from the force and end up where he was. Now, some people you see in his situations are just trash from birth and stay that way their whole life. They have no other ambitions then to get drunk and stay that way. They could care less where they're hanging their hat at night.
But this guy had a life. He had a career. He had a wife and a daughter. He lost all of that because he couldn't stop drinking. Now he has to spend nine hours a day getting harrassed by a 14 year old kid.
I remember sitting at a table with him and Jerry (Scott's little brother) Dick mentioned his daughter, and Jerry persued the issue. Dick was speaking the world about her. Jerry, who was very innocent asked why he didn't talk or see her anymore and he just said "I fucked that up." Jerry kept pressing, saying "just call her" and stuff.
You could see the visible pain in his face when Jerry was saying that. Again, Jerry was very innocent, and doesn't understand things. He made it seem so simple. Dick was trying to get Jerry off the topic, put he kept at it.
Jerry, being the innocent one. Exposed to WAY too much television, as most of us American types are. Figures the world works like an episode of Fact of Life, where a father/daughter reunion is painful at first, but ends in a tearful embrace.
Sadly, I knew the world doesn't work that way.
At this point Dick way trying to put on his bad-ass face, but was a little teary eyed to go full throttle with it. But at the same time you could tell he wanted to talk about it. I mean, who else in the world is he gonna talk about it with? A passed out hooker on the couch?
He was saying stuff like "See, you guys are borderline retarded. But my daughter is brilliant. She's the most beautiful, smart woman in the whole world."
I think he was content with just having two heads that he could talk to about his daughter. I was getting the feeling that it felt good for him to talk about her. He was getting into it after awhile. Talking about her when she was born, what she was like as a child, he talents, her faults.....everything. For that one brief moment he wasn't a loser drunk. He was a proud dad. He was kinda' saying that it didn't matter what a waste he is now because he has a major, major accomplishment under his belt. He had a part in creating her, and nobody could ever write him off as a 100% worthless bum because of that.
After drinking some more, and getting pressed by Jerry, he finally told us the deal about her.
"I made her mom tell her I was dead. She doesn't even know I'm alive, and I want to leave it that way.
That was the saddest thing I've ever heard in my life. He didn't need to elaborate. Even to Jerry. We both kinda' understood why.
So, Around the age of 15 I stoppd hanging around there. Shit started going down. Gary was getting grumpy and paranoid (like most coke addicts do) and didn't want the whole world over there anymore.
He threw Dick out, and he ended up sleeping under a bridge next to some notorious housing projects in Hartford. The last time I saw him was a couple of months after he got thrown out. He was leaving a bar that we were walking by. I was with Scott and another kid named Angel. They both started calling out to him "Hey, it's Dick the bum! How's the bridge?" Dick ran after them steeming, trying to kick them. I didn't join in on the bantering. I was a pretty mean kid, but not that mean.
Never saw him again. I blew off most of those people I hung around with not long after that either.
Lori, the hooker girlfriend died. She got out of rehab one day and went straight to the projects to get high on smack. Problem was, she was still on the medications they gave her to curb the cravings of coming off heroin. It didn't mix well with the heroin, they found her dead on a tennis court.
As for Gary, I saw him on TV when I was 19 and newly sober. He was on the news, getting arrested for drugs, pimping prostitutes, and mainly for the car scheme he had going on.
Don't know about the others, and don't really care.
I wouldn't care about Dick either, except for that one night he talked about his daughter.
Damn, it changed my whole perseption about him.
I always thought he got where he was because he was just an asshole, and fucking people over. Probably stealing from the police force and shit like that. But when he told me about how he wants his daughter to think he's dead....that changed my view of him. Then I knew he was an alcoholic and just couldn't stop. He probably wanted to, but he just couldn't. Even after life took everything that meant anything to him away. It couldn't make him quite drinking.
And he'd rather have his daughter believe he was dead, then to see him the way he was.