I have seen Calvin Fernanda Phair around for a long time. At the gay bars. On Adam4Adam. And as a suggested friend on my Facebook page.
Slight. Unassuming. He really looked like such a nice, harmless guy.
That is why I was so surprised to learn he is in jail, accused of strangling his roommate to death with electrical cords.
The Baltimore Sun said the victim Elijah McKeith Smalls, 39, was a roommate but my friends in the gay community who know Phair said they were lovers entangled in an abusive relationship.
Phair, 47, had already stabbed Smalls twice before during arguments. But Smalls stayed. And now he is dead.
The article said when emergency medical personnel arrived Phair was giving the victim CPR. Like he was trying to glue a porcelain figurine back together after accidentally breaking it.
It is so disturbing how love and passion and sex can go hand in hand with violence and death, like the flip side of a coin. Heads or tails? Love me or hate me? Desire me or destroy me? Use me or use me up?
Just three days after the newspaper reported the murder of Smalls they posted an article on the sentencing of Jamison Deberry, 35, for the murder of James Dews, 69, a veteran and retired accountant.
Deberry initially said he killed Dews in self defense. But it turned out he was a sex worker and Dews was a client. He is now serving life in prison.
How long were they in this arrangement? And what prompted Deberry to murder Dews in November 2015?
Did Dews refuse to pay Deberry? Did Deberry rob him and he fought back? Or did Dews threaten to expose him as trade for pay?
The article said Dews injured Deberry in the scuffle and his girlfriend picked him up on a nearby street. Did she know how her man was making money?
We will probably never know.
From his online obituary it is clear family and friends loved and admired Dews and he is greatly missed. All he wanted was a connection. Or maybe he wanted to just bust a nutt. Or was just lonesome and wanted someone to talk to?
Is that worth dying for?