There has been so much going on these last couple of weeks that I don't know where to start. Okay, I know where to start, I just didn't want to get caught up in all the drama.
The owner of Bar Friends is no longer in the country. His people say that he had to "leave on emergency family business." While others (many others!) are saying that he has been deported. The reasons for the alleged deportation are varied and many, depending on who you talk to. I, like everyone else, only knows what is being whispered about in the streets. And boy, does everyone have an opinion.
Many people think that because Leon and I had are issues that I would be glad to hear about his misfortune. That is not the case. It is true, Leon damaged many of his personal relationships with the other Americans living here. Okay, that is putting it nicely. He was hated by many people. I didn't like him, or trust him to spit on me if I were on fire, but that wasn't always the case.
I first met Leon in the old Phoenix Bar. He told me that he was moving here and wanted to get to know the other Americans and wanted to take me out to lunch. He then called me one day to tell me that he had purchased a house in back of the Jaragua Hotel. The next time I saw him he called to say that he needed an electrician and plumber desperately. He wanted to know if I could bring my electrician and plumber to his house. I call them and we get ready to go to Leon's house. I call Leon and tell him that we are approaching the area behind the Jaragua, so that I could get his address. He informed me that he didn't live there. He just told people that, in case they were trying to send evil to his house, they would send it there. (That should've been my first clue!)
Leon proceeds to give me the address and off we go. His house is in a very lovely neighborhood about 30 minutes outside of the Colonial Zone. We could not find it and I called and spoke with Leon several times. My last call he told me that we were close and 5 minutes later we got there. When I get to the house and knock on the door, the maid tells me that Leon isn't there. I'm thinking she is lying, because I just got off the phone with him. He left me a note saying that he had to leave, but he left the plans for the plumber and electrician to go over. I did think that was a little strange, but hey whatever. The plumber and electrician get to work and put together an estimate for Leon. I call him to tell him and says great, I will call you tomorrow. I never heard from Leon again. I see him 2 weeks later in the Phoenix Bar. He doesn't mention it, and neither do I. I just figured he was crazy and left it at that.
My next interaction with Leon is when he sees me standing waiting for some friends outside of Jay-Dee's. He comes over and asks me, "what's going on between us?" As I had a couple of drinks, I told him the above story, amongst others that were being circulated about him. We agreed to start fresh. He would call me a couple of times a week and we would chat. During these chats he would tell me some fanciful stories, and I just didn't pay him, or them, much attention. Again, I thought he was slightly "touched."
He and I seemed to be fine, at least I thought so. But, he was really upset that I didn't frequent his bar as much as did the Sports Bar. As I have said before, EVERYONE has a place where they feelt comfortable. I didn't know David well before he opened the Sports Bar, but after he did, he and I bonded. It wasn't that I didn't like the new Bar Friends, and I did stop by on occasion. I was learning to play pool and David and I would talk about our problems with living here in the DR. I liked the Sports Bar better. Sue me!
The final straw came last September. Leon gave his now infamous barbeque dinner at his house. He never invited me personally, though we spoke on the phone several times that week. He sent invitations through others. "Tell Anthony I'm having a barbeque at my house and he is invited." I never accept third-party invitations, so I didn't attend. For those that did attend, many, though not all, were incensed by getting a bill when they were ready to leave for whatever food and drink they consumed. Many people were upset about the whole thing because they were never told about having to pay for food and drink when they received invitations.
I called Leon to tell him of the latest "controversy" going around. He told me that people have to understand that you don't get anything for free, yada, yada. We go back and forth about it and I tell him that I am going to write something about it and that I wanted to give him the opportunity to address the people that were upset. I wrote, he responded. Before I could blink, there were 27 comments to the post with an outpouring of animosity toward Leon.
Leon called me and wasn't too happy. This call was much different from his usual calls of "hey baby." He was very business-like and formal, and told me that he had just gotten off the phone with his lawyer and that by 3pm that day I had to remove everything from my blog about him and his businesses. AND (!!) that I could NEVER write anything again about him or his businesses. I was SO enraged that I could not see straight. I told Leon that it sounded like a threat to me and before I say something that he and I regret, I was going to hang up the phone. He tried to apologize, but I was done. I still didn't hate him, or anything. Again, I thought he was "touched." And his behavior since he had been living here only confirmed this for me.
I know Leon is "tick-tick-tick-BOOM!" But, he is also a human being and seeing as know one really knows (except Leon) what is going on, I wish him the best and pray he gets the help he needs.