She introduced herself to me.
I told her that we knew each other already, and she flushed, focused her eyes for a moment and said my name?... I guess we do know each other, yeah?
At least I'm not the only person who is capable of forgetting these types of things.
A thousand dollars worth of booze between the two of us or not.
No, I didn't take advantage in *that* way. I took advantage because she had a crush on me and worked at "the barn of fun" in Dennisport, Massachusetts. She worked at the barn of fun and ran the skee-ball machines. Skee-ball is one of the only competitive "sports" which I've ever taken an interest, practiced, and excelled at. I actually kind of hate most everything which involves "competition" except proving that I'm the most bad-assed, most awesomest dude, ever. You all know this already, but I'm the kind of guy who believes that my wallet IS worth my life.
Anyway, I wish I could even remember her name...She used to come down to the beach parking-lot and sit with me for hours during the daytime. She introduced me to "the cure" in one of those parking lots as a matter of fact. I was punk savvy, but not totally post-punk savvy at the time. In fact I was and still am kind of an idiot when it comes to music. I mean, I know what I like, but I've always been too lazy to go looking for what I want.
So anyway, I was sixteen and had my brand-new driver's license. The Barn Of Fun was clear across town and I'd drive my 1975 CJ-5 over there almost every evening, when there wasn't something better going on. I'd drive over there and she had this slug on a wire that she could put into the coin-slot for free credits on the machine. I'd get there and she'd hook me up with about one hundred credits or so. I got really good at Skee-Ball. I can't say that I'm as good as I was then, but the tickets and "prizes" really racked up. All because she gave me a free pass.
And sure, we'd flirt, but I always felt a little creepy because she had just left the eighth grade, and I was in high school. Funny how that minor difference doesn't even enter into the picture anymore. Once you're OLD. Like me.
The thing is that I'd win all these prizes and shit/crap and I never once thought to give a one of them to her. I'd either burn them in a bonfire later that night or hand them off to some random girl I believed would make out with me. Sad thing is that they usually did.
Anyway, sometimes, when words like "funnelcakes" get bandied around, I think about that poor girl with a crush on a total prick, who introduced that total prick to Lovecats....
I think about her and wonder about the what if's and whatnot. I wonder what kind of impact I actually had on her life. If she ever got in dutch for giving me all those free credits. I wonder if her memories of me even come close to my memories of her.
I can't remember her name, and I've deactivated Facebook, so I guess I'll never know. I miss her and wish I had been better to her. I wish that I UNDERSTOOD that she was doing all these things because she had a crush on me. But I think it's best left at the wondering. She was all High-Class and stuff and we'd have probably made another disaster story.
My point. Aside from being a Skee-ball prodigy. My point is that some relationships are best when they haven't been had. If you know what you mean.
I'm not saying that I literally "stink". At least I hope I don't, but I really stink. I've been a horrible person, and I stand here before you, in my boxers, and declare that I'm going to turn this shit around.
In another week or so. At least.
And I really AM sorry.
So once I'm in the cruiser, I start to calm down a little bit. I knew that once the cuffs are on, they aren't coming off, so even though I had just been beaten, and tazered by this guy, we get to talking a little. He keeps asking me why I didn't just walk away? I told him that I had no place else to go, and that if I did walk away, I'd probably pass out in a bush and get arrested for public intox. He laughed, and told me that I was probably right.
Once we finally make it to the Hillsborough county lock up, I was getting a little agitated again. Not with the cop, but with myself for being in this situation. Again. I believe that the other cop had radioed the deputies at the jail that I was "difficult" to control and about the lack of tazer effect. There were about eight deputies waiting for me in side the car-port. And that's when the abuse really started. They dragged me out of the car and let me drop right into the pavement, headfirst. Then they started dragging me towards the door (I'm still Hog-Tied at this point). They took the cuffs off my legs when we reached the door, so they wouldn't have to drag me up a couple of steps, but they were shoving me around and I was slamming into shit. It's all unclear because so much was going on and I was still kind of drunk. Anyway, the deputies were taunting me and saying shit about what a tough guy I thought I was and how they'll show me just how tough I really am and shit like that. I'm all pissed off, but I was actually keeping it cool.
My superpower, aside from my high pain threshold, is the fact that when I become flooded with adrenaline, everything slows down. All my thoughts become crystal clear and logical. I can see everything happening (kind of) three steps ahead. That's why I was such a good Security Guard way back when. And that's exactly why I get into cop trouble. They don't like it when I can verbally take them apart, tear their bloated egos to shreds. Even while they are beating me. I'm still talking to them in a normal voice and questioning their actions and why they feel the need to do "this" to me, or if they did "that" to me because they have mother issues and shit I can't even remember because I only get to be that smart when I'm all flooded with adrenaline. So they are running me through the initial stages of booking...Removing all the shit I had in my pockets, getting my name and DOB and whatnot. Meanwhile, I'm doing a running commentary on weather infantalizing me was making them feel better about themselves, or were they doing it because I scared mthem, or if it was just going to make a good story in the breakroom. And so on. The more incisive I got with them the rougher they got, and the rougher they got, the more deputies surrounded me.
I was a big hit with the other inmates though. They were all hooting and cheering me on, which I suppose only encouraged me to piss them off even more, not to mention that the extra attention was ramping up the humiliation factor. So I was counting on the fact that I was only facing three misdemeanors and that I'd be able to bail myself out as soon as I sobered up. I wasn't really thinking about the fact that these were actual DEPUTIES and not just Prison Guards like we have up north. the only thing Sheriff's do around here is serve divorce papers and crap like that. I didn't know exactly where a "deputy" falls in the big picture. Anyway. I'm calmly insulting each and every one of them, they are getting really edgy with me, pushy and grabbby. And I'm headed directly at the biggest brick wall I've ever hit, at a rate of speed that I couldn't even measure. I'm still all fucked up and afraid of the police, to the point of almost being agoraphobic. Just because I was being such a smarmy wiseass. Cops don't like it when it's obvious that you are much more intelligent than they could ever hope to be. And they like to do something about it when they can. Natch.
So I have this earring. It's made out of white gold and is in the shape of a shackle. You farm-types would know what I'm talking about as a Clevis. Anyway it's a white gold shackle and it actually works. The "pin" part of the shackle goes through my ear and actually has threads that screw into the other side. It is mechanically attached to my body. It's a tradition of sailors that you earn the right to wear a gold shackle in your ear after you've been around the Cape of Good Hope.
So this was the real breaking point. One of the deputies reaches up and starts to rip my earlobe in half, thinking that the earring would just pull away. Or maybe they wanted to rip my earlobe in half, I don't know. But at that moment, I reached up with my right hand and touched the deputy's forearm, in an attempt to explain the nature of the earring and that they were RIPPING MY EARLOBE IN FUCKING HALF. But I never got that far. As soon as I reached up, KA-BOOM. All the anger I'd been building up inside of all those deputies was discharged like a giant Tesla coil of hate. There was a pig-pile, and there was a lot of kicking, punching and face-smashing into concrete things. And I was getting my licks in. I got some real good licks in, as in, I sent three deputies to the hospital licks in. All the while I kept up my banter and making them angrier and angrier...It took about ten deputies to finally restrain me. I'm not saying I'm a tough guy by any means. I'm just implying it is all.
So once they had me restrained, I got "the chair". Not the electric chair, but this thing was HORRIBLE. They put you in this chair made from nylon and steel. The leg-base is wide so you can't knock it over on its side. Believe me, I tried for several hours. They put you in this chair and strap your arms to the arms, your legs to the legs and your chest to the back. You are immobile in a sitting position for as long as they want to leave you there. Try it sometime. Sit in an upright chair without being to move anything except for your head and fingers. It gets pretty uncomfortable after about ten minutes. But I was being punished. And if I had just stopped then, If I had just shut the fuck up, I probably would have gotten the chair and left in the morning with only the three original charges. But I was pissed and was enjoying making them so angry at their own stupidity that I kept running my mouth about brutality and whatnot and finally I did the really, really bad thing. One of the deputies came charging at me and tried to put his hand over my mouth while screaming "SHUT THE FUCK UP" at me. When he tried to put his hand over my mouth, I opened it wide.
I opened my mouth and gently closed it so that his middle finger was between my teeth. I had a very light grip on the finger, but one thing that scares the living fuck out of anyone in that type of profession is getting bit. This was when it got really tense. Dude who was telling me to shut the fuck up got real quiet and called for some help. All the deputies piled into the room with "the Chair". And I began to give them a lecture. With dude's finger in my mouth. I told them all about abuse of power and lack of brain function. I told them all sorts of stuff, but the main point I was making was the fact that despite it taking ALL of them to even get in the chair in the first place, I was still in complete control of the whole situation. That all I had to do was apply a little pressure and deputy would lose his finger because he was abusing me. That they should treat people with respect and not animals and blah blah blah. You get the picture. And they all stood there, listening to my mumbles because there was NOTHING they could do! They didn't know if I'd really bite dude's finger off or not. They had no Idea what I was capable of at that point. I finished my lecture on respect and treating people like humans and how they were operating under an illusion of control and something about them being sub-humans. And then, as gently as I gripped dude's finger, I let go. And promptly got smashed in the face several times. Both before and after they put the bag over my head.
A nurse came in and treated all my wounds. She was really nice and told me that she couldn't stand working there because the guards were so violent. She apologized for my injuries and I think she secretly wanted to tell me that she agreed with my "finger Speech" but refrained from getting that sympathetic publicly. When my attorney tried to contact her for a deposition months later, she'd left the jail.
So then I started acting like even more of an asshole. I mean I was really acting like a giant asshole. I needed to take a leak, and they wouldn't let me out of the chair. For whatever reason, I decided that strapped down and with a bag over my head, the best course of action would to begin screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs. The adrenaline was gone, and the discomfort from the chair and my bladder were taking over my actions from the "intelligent" part of my brain. So I'd scream and swear and then pass out for a little while, only to have my bladder wake me up again. So I'd scream and swear more.
After being in the chair for about 4 and a half hours, I finally gave in. I pissed myself.
And THAT was exactly what they were waiting for. Once I had humiliated myself, they snatched the victory back from my jaws. They un-strapped me and paraded me around in front of all the other prisoners so they could see that I'd pissed myself. BUt, jesus god, it felt so good to finally let loose. I probably should have pissed myself as soon as they strapped me in. Anyway, they paraded me around and issued me prison orange. They gave me a sandwich, and the watch had changed at some point and the guy who was finishing up my booking, mugshots, etc Kept telling me that "I hear you were quite a handful last night!" I'd just grumble back that I heard that too...
So come eight o'clock, they herded us all into a central area and were going to issue us PIN numbers for our phone call. When I got up to the PIN number guy's desk, he looked at my record and said: "there's something wrong here...Hold on a minute...It looks like they are adding some charges on to you, but they are still processing it." I never got a PIN. I never got my phone call.
I waited around Orient Road jail until late afternoon, when they called out a bunch of names. They called out my name, and actually separated me from everyone else. See, we were getting on the bus for Falkenburg jail. The simply cuffed everyone else. They put me in manacles and put the chain around my waist connected to the hand-cuffs. I was singled out for special treatment.
When we got to Falkenburg, I was supposed to get thrown in Solitary confinement. Ad-Seg they call it. But when I shuffled into the "pod" the Ad-Seg deputies looked at me, read my sheet and asked me why I had sent three of their "brothers" to the hospital. Was I on DRUGS? they wanted to know. I told them that, no, I wasn't on drugs, that I just don't react well to being abused. They laughed at that, and told my escort that "look at this guy...He doesn't belong here...Send him to Gen-Pop.
Which they did, and I never got the phonecall which I had a RIGHT to for three days. I truely believe they did that in order to allow my bruises and cuts to heal a little before I could get out.
And I have to go be an uncle. I'll try and get to the three days in Falkenburg tomorrow.
But there you have it. I beat up three deputies bad enough that they went to the hospital, and kept the entire orient road operation at a standstill while I had a dude's finger lightly held in my teeth and lectured them about abuse of power and how they should be better human beings. I ended up with three felony counts of "battery on a Law Enforcement officer" and was looking at something like 30 years in prison.
By the way, look up "orient road jail" on youtube, there's a lot of footage of those bastards.
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.
THIS CONCLUDES THE "ARREST PART OF THE STORY. I HAVE BEEN EXHONERATED OF ALL CHARGES RELATED TO THIS PART OF THE EVENING. THE REAL SHIT HIT THE FAN WHEN I GOT TO LOCK-UP, BUT MY NEPHEW WAS JUST ACCOSTED BY POTENTIAL BURGLARS, JEHOVAH WITNESSES OR GIRLSCOUTS AND I NEED TO GO SIT WITH HIM WITH MY SHOTGUN ON MY KNEE UNTILL MY SISTER GETS HOME. I WILL FINISH THE STORY AND FINALLY REVEAL THE EVENTS THAT OCCURRED INSIDE THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY JAIL, AND SUBSUQUENTLY ORIENT ROAD JAIL WHEN TIME AND THE LACK OF NEED OF FAMILIAL DEFENSE PROVIDES. ALSO, I'M SORRY FOR THE COCKSLAP, BUT THE NEPHEW NEEDS ME, AND I'M NOT GOING TO RETYPE THIS LAST PARAGRAPH RIGHT NOW.
I'm loading .00 buck, just in case it was Jehovah's witnesses scaring the poor little kid..
TO BE CONTINUED....
All my distant relatives always tell me that I remind them of Chet. They tell me I have the same sense of humor and sensibilities. I love my father to death, but I think those traits skipped a generation.
My father is 29 years older than I am, and when I was home for a couple of days back in January, my father was waxing about turning 69. He started to talk about how he had 19(plus or minus, I really don't know) years on his dad and how different things could have been if his dad didn't die when he did.
Now keep in mind I never knew the man, but what I said to my father when he was getting misty was something along the lines of this:
He died ice fishing, right? (yes) And that was his favorite thing to do, right? (yes) (he fell on the ice and had a brain hemorrhage of some sort and was DOA when the ambulance arrived.) And I told my dad that he died running after a tilt flag, (which he did) expecting to catch a fish. I asked him how much happier could ol' Chet be? My father took a moment, (and I'll say he tossed a log on the fire for storytelling's sake), and my pop said that there wasn't anything that could have made Chet happier. He eventually told me that he'd never thought about it that way. Forty years he'd been mourning, and never thought about the fact that his father died when he was just about the happiest he ever could be.
All of our relatives that knew chet tell me that I'm a dead ringer for his personality. I believe in re-incarnation, but not that kind. Jim Morrison died just before I was born, and I'll bet there would be people who knew him who would swear I was his newest incarnation too, and Jim Morrison and Chet are pretty far removed from each other.
Which gets back to my eventual epic post about being a tabula raza for people and how I've made it through life by being everything THEY think they were, while I never was. But like I said, that's something else I'll write about when the time is right.
Anyway. The entire point I'm trying to make is that I really, really, hope I'm happy as I can be when I die. I'd rather die at the mermaid parade next month with two beauties on either arm, than in the old Mason's home in 30 years. I just don't want to die before my parents. That's the only thing that's kept me from pulling the trigger when I've tasted shotgun grease in my mouth in the past. My folks are pretty good people, and they don't deserve to wonder like my dad wondered for 40 years.
I'M HERE...however I may have taken some sleeping pills. I don't remember.
Ask me anything. I think the booze will win over the pills, but the pills will make me so much uncensored, it's no joke. Ask me anything until I pass out.
So I finally fell back to sleep around 0530, only to have to get up at 0600. I showered, put on the clothes I've been wearing for at least two weeks, and shuttled my shipmates to the dry-dock. I received some cryptic emails about the network that I'm supposedly maintaining and waited unti about 0900 for the captain to appear and disburse two days of per-diem. Following that The Master-Chief and I went shopping for all the parts I need to re-build the system I pictured yesterday. They had everything except for a 1" check-valve (schedule 80 PVC) so we went for a drive to see the house where the master chief lived in when the master chief's daughter was born we returned to the ship just in time for us to take the other 2 engineers I'm spending my time with out to lunch.
Lunch was...Good. I don't feel like typing out all the BS involved, but we were the only people in this Cajun joint, and the propritor was all too willing to stand next to us and tell us his life story. At a bar, that's OK. In a restaurant, it irritates the living fuck out of me.
Because we won't have the 1" check-valve until Tuesday, I spent the rest of the afternoon in my van, alternately snoozing and listening to NPR, or the both.
There is so much more. I could write volumes about today, as I can about every day, but I'm fucking drained. And I just want to drink vodka and watch more television.
Oh man! you haven't lived until you watch a Nova Kuble Indian fite marathon from 0400 until well after dawn; culminating in A deathmatch, complete with a bus driving over the corpse.
Honest. It was exhillirating. I'll tell the whole Sorrid tale when I'm stateside.
Now I'd been through this routine before. First on Cape Cod. Then Providence, New York, and so many others that I can't be bothered to remember them all. But this. This was Key West. The fucking Conch Republic! They Seceded where so many others had failed, after all. I was taken aback, but just before I actually snubbed out the camel, the bartendrix told me: Fuck it. I need a smoke too. She put out four plastic cups. a quarter full of water. All three of them lit up.
It's not that we care. I'm sure it won't last, the bartendirx told me: It's just that it's a new law and the gecko got fined just a couple of days ago. The bar and the staff. All of 'em got fined.
And one of the dudes piped up that Yeah, but that was the Gecko. This is Willy T's.
Well, that's why I say fuck it. Fuck 'em. He's not from here (she turned to me) you're from out of state right? We can just blame him, right?
I thought that Plainview's state, the way he lived, at the end of "There Will Be Blood" looked pretty fucking appealing and not at all the lonely, pathetic existance they were trying to make it out to be. Of course I'd be sleeping with my head on a keyboard instead of a Bowling Alley-gutter, but none-the-less...
The last time I was down here I was really skittish. It was only about a month after I'd been arrested and charged with the felonies. I didn't know what was going to happen. I did know that a condition of my bail was that I wasn't supposed to leave Hillsborough county. I drove down from St. Pete doing 5 miles an hour under the speed limit. That's a long fucking drive. Especially across Deer Key. If you know what I mean.
The last time I was here I went to the raw bar once, and I think I went to the Fed-Ex out by the airport once. That was as far as I went from this dock. I didn't even go to the Green Parrot, and that's two blocks from here. The good times I remeber being here make me remember being here and getting swallowed up, rolled up. Smothered so that I'd have to escape and go play with the cats down at the Hemingway house through the gate in the wee hours. But that was september of '01, and there wasn't ANYONE in this town except for the Conchs. I got swallowed up because I had the town to myself. There was Magic in the trees.
Now, despite all the touristas and speed-boat racers clogging every bar and street corner, this place is fucking empty. It's lonely, even when you are with someone you know. It's one big boutique for chrissakes. Nothing but an expensive boutique.
The time I was here before last, I fell in love. Real love. It lasted all of three hours, but it was probably the purest relationship I ever had...
I'd tell you about it, but I have to go to work. I work every single day out here. Don't forget that. I have no time to be sad. I have no time to be depressed. I don't even have time to cry. I wish I could at least have that. I wish I could at least tell you about the love of my life that I met and lost on Duvall.