Jun. 7th, 2010

saltdawg: (shotgun)
Well, faithful readers:

It was at the end of my winter of the most discontent I've ever had. I had to kick the Skank out of my apartment on the first leg of a trip to East Africa after finding out that she was not only cuckolding me in my own apartment, but turning tricks, via Craig's list" there as well. The one thing a seaman never wants to have to do is kick a woman out of his apartment when he won't be home for at least three or four months a-sea. BUt desperate news calls for desperate and ill advised actions. Of course, she didn't really ever leave, for a few months, at least. And once she "did" vacate my apartment, she was still sneaking in and staying there, while telling everybody I knew, WE knew, that I had turned her out on her ear and she was staying in homeless shelters. Meanwhile, she was still turning tricks and smoking rock in my apartment, despite my requests of friends to change the locks. See, my back door is an odd shape, and the locks couldn't be changed. I'm not going to get into the details, because someone could could still use her methods and get in, but she was still getting in.

However, when she left, finally left, with my return home imminent, she cleaned me out. From taking all but one fork and butter knife and all the freaking pepper in the house, to snaking things of real valiue she left. Kit and Kaboodle. "Our" dog, the one I had facilitated her adoption of for her burthday, in anticipation of the dog being her "company" during my absences, was returned to the shelter for "temporary" care. With her full assurances that I'd re-imburse any and all costs for boarding and vets and whatnot when I got back. I'm not going to even get into the rumors she spread around this very small and gossipy state.

So I got home to a very empty house, it seems that some women think that anything you might buy while you are together is automatic communal property, marriage or no, and that...well, I left her with monthly stipend checques based on what I was earning, and she was still cashing them even after I found out she was a whore and told her to get out. She even went so far as to transfer several thousand dollars out of my bank account into her pay-pal through the routing numbers on the stipend checques.

All of this is a stock seaman's story. Just about every guy I've sailed with has a similar story, and most, and even better story than this one.

But I returned, recieved several angry voicemails from the dog adoption people and had to take stock of all the havoc and destruction she had caused. There were shredded journals and photographs from long before I was ever involved with her &c. I retrieved the dog. I took stock of what had become of my home and my reputation and my life. And I began to drink a lot of whiskey. If you go back far enough, you can probably read all about the day-to-day events of the time. I think it was the winter of 2007-2008. It wasn't pretty. I was capable of drinking a full 1.75 of jameson's in a night. I'd like to think that it was less often that I did, but I'm going to remember that it was actually more often. Needless to say I was drinking a lot.

I was wallowing in misery and had many people who I called friends that only encouraged me to that train of thought. As I said, it was an uncomfortable and rough winter. I was ANGRY. I was angry at her, I was angry with myself. I was angry with the world, and I was angry with life itsself.

IN mid-January I ran out of paid days for leave and they put me on the crappiest tug in the fleet. The Lisa W. SHe was in the shipyard for repairs, her barge was up in dry-dock, but I was attached to the tug itsself in the Tampa harbor.

This is where this story really starts.

I knew that I had been abusing myself beyond what I deserved. I knew that the best thing for me was to "never get off of the boat" and I threw myself into sobriety and hard work. When I arrived on the Lisa, I started on the deck above the lower wheelhouse and chipped and painted my way down. I was making her look good, and that made me feel better about myself. I was making her look good, but I was standing a 12-6 watch, as we had a skeleton crew, And most of the mid to six watch was spent polishing brass and swabbing decks. We didn't have a cook, so I'd make breakfast for the guys. MOstly Waffles. They really loved waffles and Bacon on that boat. Especially waffles fried in bacon grease. But I'm getting off-topic.

In Tampa they have this event, or holiday, or whatever called "Gaspirilla day" It's kind of like "founder's day" but Gaspirilla was supposedly the Pirate that discovered Tampa. It's a big Hoo-Ha, and was always billed to me as Tampa's answer to Mardi-Gras. I had worked for that company (based out of Tampa) for almost five years at that point. And as luck would have it, Gaspirilla fell during my time on that tug. During the little over two weeks I spent on the Lisa, I left the port maybe a half a dozen times. And every time I went to re-enter all I had to do was show my USCG issued Merchant Mariner's document and after a cross-refrence with the crew list, I (we) was (were) let back on the compound.

So it's Gaspirilla, and after 4+ years about hearing about how "crrrazy" things get, around nine, I decided to wander out and see what all this Gaspirilla was really all about. The CPA (Closest Point of Alcohol...Which is a play on a mariner's basic calculation regarding collision with andother vessle, namely, the Closest Point of Approach) was this infamous biker bar about 1/2 a mile away from the gate to the Port. With the excuse of "going to get a sandwich" I left the tug for the biker bar, and got my sandwich, but also ran into my Chief Mate and his wife/girl/mistress/whatever. She kept flashing me her tits and getting beads and the Chief kept buying me drinks. Jameson's and a beer of some green flavored bottle. Anyway, they went on their mery little way, ad I got bored with all the sagging, flower-tatoo'd biker-tits that were getting flashed at me. I was getting bored and realized that "hey! I'm Kinda drunk!" and that It was like eleven and I had a 6 hour watch to stand pretty quick. So I headed "home" to the Lisa.

A couple of doors down there was a Mexican (Cuban?) place and I decided that a plate full of refried beans and whatnot would make the transition from drunk to sober a little easier to take. This sliver of the evening is still a little hazy for me. But from what I remember, I went in, ordered some food, made a pass at the waitress and quickly found myself surrounded by the waitress's baby-daddy and friends or something and I decided to leave before anything BAD happened. I KNOW I left a twenty dollar bill on the counter, before I had even been served anything more than a glass or two of water, and stumbled outside. The manager was on top of me before I could even make it to the road. I could se the gates to the port from where I was wibbling and wobbling. BUt the manager was atop me and demanding payment for food I never even got and I told him that I had left cash on the counter...BUt he insisted he was calling the cops.

If it had been any other night, it could have been different. But I knew that because it was Gaspirilla, the cops were on double-triple overtime and were EVERYWHERE. The chances of me shambiling that last 1/4 mile to the gates without a cop showing up were next to nothing, so I lay down in the tall grass next to the sign for the joint and waited.

I'm sure it wasn't long, but I was out cold when the cop was flashing his light in my eyes and shaking me. We talked about the supposed skipping out on the bill. I told the dude that I had been threatened, and that I never even ate anything, and still left money on the counter. I pointed to the cubaxicans inside laughing at me and explained that they, surely, had taken the money I had left on the counter in order to avoid getting the shit kicked out of me. And this Tampa City Policeman believed me. He really did. But the manager was out there and he had to do something because the drunk guy is always wrong, Right? So I shelled out another $20.00 and the manager accepted it and the cop offered me a ride back to the Port of Tampa.

Now, up until this point, it was all still a typical night out for me. Nothing out of the ordinary, and the cop even let me ride up front with him to the port. Up until then he was still sympathetic, see? He understood I was just a drunken mariner Rube out on the wrong night. And then we get to the Port.

I know I said it before, but THIS is where the story REALLY starts.

I literally fall out of the cruiser. The cop comes around and walks me over to the fucking Security Guard. His name, I kid you not, was "officer Carl Butts" I have the paperwork to prove it. Anyway, the cop helps me over to Officer Butts and I show him my Merchant MAriner's card. I tell him which tug I was on. I POINT at my tug...It was maybe 200 yards away... He cross refrences my MMD (Merchant Marine Document) and the Crew list and verifies, in front of the cop that, indeed, everything is in order. BUt then Butts asks me for a "Port Pass". As I said, I'd been coming and going witout a port pass for about 2 weeks. Nobody on the ship had a "Port Pass" Those were for contractors without a MMD or foreign nationals who were in the Port. Now, it's about ten muinutes to 12, I'm 5 minutes late for my watch (watches change at a quarter to...) and I was getting a little agitated with Butts. I'm not one to be late for watch, drunken or not.

The cop was sympathetic. He tried to reason with Butts, especially after I explained that I'd been coming and going without a Port Pass. BUt I think Butts was new or something, and he was intransigent. Eventually, as midnight approached, the cop told me once, and twice that I was "trespassing" and that if he had to warn me a third time, he'd have to arrest me.

I looked at Carl...Pudgy and indignant and annoyed.

I looked at the cop, seemingly bored and apathetic (if not sympathetic...)

I judged the 200 yards to the Lisa.

I thought about past foot-chases where the cops couldn't really be bothered. Especially if they had to exert themselves or get sand in their boots.

I thought about the fact that a ship is a Sovereign Vessel and the police aren't allowed to cross the gang-way without an invite and that if I made it to the Lisa, it would involve the US coast Guard and all kinds of arcane maritime law paperwork that NOBODY wants to deal with.

I regarded it all, and when the cop told me again that if he had to warn me a third time, he's have to arrest me for trespassing. I thought my chances for making it to the Lisa were better than not. I made a break for it.

I didn't make it far before the cop started completely losing it. I chose to remember, up until that point I was very well behaved and defferential to him, because of the kindness and sympathy he'd afforded me. I KNOW I was a "little" pissy with officer Carl Butts, but I chose to think the cop thought that my angrification was deserved with the fat-assed noob. I believe I even told the cop about my salad days as a third-shift Sergent at RI hospital, knocking pistols ut of thig's hands with I.V. poles and whatnot during our brief ride to the Port gate. ( I tend to tell stories at times...)

But I think the cop thought he had it all under control, and that I was his vassal because of the cubexican negations. He certainly wasn't expecting me to make the break for the Lisa. HALT! He was yelling, or maybe it was STOP! or what ever it was, I didn't. I was adrenalized and clear-headed and my body was behaving exactly like I wanted it to. I was running through the tall grass, and skipping train-track junctions and I was almost out of range when I got hit.

I got hit in the left shoulder-blade with TAZER leads. I remember hearing the click-click-clicking sounds, and a vauge spasm in my left arm. I reached around with my right. I ripped the leads out of my skin and kept on running. By that time a second Tampa PD car had arrived and headed me off at the pass. I feigned like I was going to go around the front, and faked back to the aft of that cruiser. Before I knew it I was being beaten by lead-core polymer batons with my face in the gravel. I was hog-tied and lifted by both PD officers. They tried to shove me into a cruiser, but I was able to squirm around that my right shoulder and my feet kept me wedged outside of the car.

Aren't you going to read me my miranda? I was screaming. AND WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ARRESTING ME FOR ANYWAYS? WHAT ARE THE FUCKING CHARGES?

Take it form me, never yell at a cop. No matter how angry/drunk/late you are.

The formerly nice, sympathetic cop told me: "well, for starters, you've got a trespass charge on a federal property, which could end up as a Terrorism charge, as well as evading arrest and violent resisting".

"O.K." I told them. as I relaxed my right shoulder and my feet, which allowed them to pitch me into the back seat of the cruiser. My face smashed into the opposite door. "Will you read me my rights now?"

Which they promptly did. Which, being the smarmy wise-ass that I am, I tried to recite along with them. But the rights they read on ONE-ADAM 12 Or even LAW and ORDER aren't exactly the way the Tampa PD reads rights. I failed at what ever I was trying to accomplish, weather it was making it back to the ship, evading arrest or even just finding out what the hell Gaspirilla was all about in the first place.


I'm loading .00 buck, just in case it was Jehovah's witnesses scaring the poor little kid..



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February 2011

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