Back in the day, when Nishu lived on East 50th Street, we had a crew of friends akin to the Outlaws of Sherwood Forest and the Lost Boys/Lost Girls of Never Land. We were a crew that somehow managed to test the laws of nature. While endearing and harmless in our way, there was no question some of us were more high drama than others. One such friend was Keeley. Yes, Keeley, she is so much so that these days we simply refer to her as “The K Word.”
In the early 1900s, Raku Nene magic was outlawed on an island in the South Pacific after a number of natives conjured this ultimately destructive spirit. While Raku Nene was fun in some ways, in others he was hell on wheels. The adventures with this fiend would begin as fun but always end in something burning down. To say his name was to summon him. These days Keeley has the same effect. So yes, as I said we now mention her by the term above and not her given name thus risking summoning her.
To give you a little background on Keeley, she is originally from the panhandle part of Florida. She is part Seminole actually, and her grandfather was a chief of some sort. Keeley came to NYC to attend NYU film school. During her tenure there, she discovered a love and a passion for makeup. So after graduation she worked as a makeup artist, and production supervisor. Keeley had quite a career until 2 things happened: First, the market popped, and second, employers discovered she was cat shit crazy.
Keeley had an interesting housing record. You see, she was either evicted or kicked out of every residence she lived in. When Keeley was kicked out, she was not just asked to leave but rather the cops were called as the roommates were throwing her things out the window. Or she called the cops to settle a petty roommate argument and they said, “Wow, this bitch is insane. We gotta get her out of here.”
It seemed as if Keeley’s luck was turning when she scored a luxury two bedroom that was rent controlled. She lived there for two years without getting evicted, a feat of strength for her. However, there was a new landlord who jacked the rent up to market value. During that period, the Recession hit and everyone was affected. Work dried up, and Keeley began to sweat like the rest of the world. So instead of getting a roommate or even moving, Keeley decided to fight her landlord in eviction court.
The East Coast female version of the Michael Keaton character from Pacific Heights, this had not been Keeley’s first rodeo. She knew the ins and outs of eviction court so well that she chose to represent herself. I don’t know what was worse, the fact she had been through this so many times, or the fact she actually did a decent job there for a minute. In order to sharpen her knowledge, Keeley spent countless hours researching. Sure, she wasn’t certified by the New York Bar Association, but she never let a little technicality like that get in her way.
Aside from acting as her own defense, Keeley was also an ardent conspiracy theorist. A member of the Occupy Movement, Keeley had been increasingly more active as time went on, and became convinced the government was tapping her phone. Then she also surmised that her landlord was selling her secrets to these people that were following her. To say she was off the hook was the understatement of the year.
Keeley’s first few times in court proved victorious, but she had a feeling they would be short lived. She also believed the eviction notice to be not because of unpaid rent, but rather, a plot where her landlord was aligning himself with the government. While I have met stoners with more plausible, concrete theories, theirs usually contain UFOs and they know when to knock it off. Keeley was stone cold sober, and that is the true enigma here.
Fearing she would lose and be homeless, Keeley began to cozy up to a suspicious old man who was nearing death. The two began trading racy text messages, and he promised Keeley a place to live for free. However, his living heirs stepped in and put a stop to this. Keeley is hardly Anna Nicole, but they suspected she had other motives.
Time was running out, and Keeley was at a dead end. So she decided to hit me up for a psychic palm reading. At the time, I was working semi-regularly as a palm reader and astrologer to supplement my income as a ventriloquist. Keeley, wanting to know what to do next, consulted me for a reading. Actually, she didn’t consult me. Rather, when we were hanging out she shoved her palm in my direction and demanded to know what the outcome of her eviction proceeding was going to be.
As a reader, this kind of thing was uncomfortable for me. You see, this is the reason I didn’t pursue this vocation further. There were people I read for with medical and legal questions. I don’t want to and don’t like to answer those. My brother and sister are doctors. They went to school for 8 years, not only would it be asinine for me to channel the answer, but also an insult to people with actual knowledge. Same with legal questions.
“Is the marshal coming for me, and do I need to hide?” Keeley demanded.
I took a look at her palm, and wanted to get out of this awkward space right quick. “I think the marshal will come when the judge issues his next ruling.” I told her. The marshal couldn’t legally come just yet, even if the landlord in judge were now in cahoots as Keeley had opined they were earlier that evening.
“What will the judge’s ruling be?!” Keeley demanded, her eyes wide and crazy.
“Consult a lawyer and things will go in your favor.” I wanted nothing more to do with this. Keeley began telling me more and more and asked if any spirits of dead people were around her. I lied and said yes. I just wanted rid of this crazy bitch.
Keeley’s eviction proceeding dragged on, and I didn’t know whether to loathe her for being a deadbeat or respect the fact she stuck like super glue to her skewed morals. It got to the point where she was driving everyone in our crew crazy. Jeanette avoided any and all contact with her, because Keeley became convinced this cougar would let he move in. Her words, “Anywhere she goes, everyone gets kicked out. No thanks.”
Sarit, who was lying to a racist Marine in Indiana about her age in order to entrap a breathing husband found Keeley’s behavior contemptuous. I believe she said, “Why doesn’t she work out a money deal with her landlord. This is ridiculous.” When Sarit calls you ridiculous, you need to take serious stock of your life.
Jessi and Jeanie found Keeley too much to take, and told Nishu that they would not be present if she were to be invited over. That is when Nishu revealed Keeley had a car and thousands of dollars worth of designer jewelry and dresses she could sell to pay her landlord back. Then again, why would our friend ever do the rational thing?
Jessi, Jeanie, Nishu and I were having a Keeley free Sunday. It was our plan because she had just become too psychotic. Just then, Jeanie’s phone got a ring. It was Keeley. We agreed not to pick it up. Then my phone rang, then Jessi’s. However, this ring was weird. It was one ring and then the person hung up. Was Keeley okay? Despite the fact our friend had annoyed us and we did a Regina George by not inviting her to hang out, she was still our girl. This worried us.
Five minutes later, Nishu got a text. It said:
“To friends and family members of Keeley O’Donnell, her body was found this morning in her West Side apartment. She has no family members we can identify in the area. Please call this number if you have any information.”
“This is so terrible!” Jessi said.
“Yeah, and so bizarre. I knew we should have invited her.” Nishu said casting an evil eye at the three of us.
“Nishu, she was off the hook the last time she was here and was trying to go the psychic route. How much crazy am I expected to handle?” I asked.
“She has a point.” Jeanie said siding with me.
We all agreed he should call the number. If our friend had died, we wanted to know. The four of us all began to feel terribly as Nishu tried not once, but six times. Finally he got an answer. In order to assuage us, he put it on speaker. “Hey, what’s going on?” A familiar voice said.
Our jaws dropped. It was none other than Keeley herself. “Keeley, you are supposed to be dead.” Nishu informed her.
“So?” Keeley said.
“So you sent this psychotic text saying you were dead. We were worried.” Nishu was appalled as were the rest of us.
“No one was picking up their phone. What else was I supposed to do?” Keeley replied as if this was no big deal whatsoever.
“Not do something fucked up like you did.” Nishu informed her, aghast that she thought this was an appropriate course of action.
“Look, I’m sorry if I worried you for real.” Keeley whined, “It’s just that-“
“I can’t deal with you now.” Nishu told her and hung up the phone. We all exchanged glances. A pall of silence fell over the room. It had hurt us to cut her out, but we had to. The bitch was too damn crazy. Of course then she sent Nishu an abusive text about how he used to be "cool, long haired and greasy" and now he was just a "sell out." He texted her back informing her that he was an adult who could keep a domicile without testing the legal system multiple times.
After the awkward fairy had laid her dust, Nishu suggested we watch Stargate. We agreed. Not another word was spoken about what had happened, and no one mentioned it thereon after. However, it was a silent, unwritten rule that Keeley was no longer an everyday friend.