posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 09:43 PM
Today has taken a brutal turn on me. It started well enough. I agreed to go back to Wal-Mart where my friends from yesterday were still waiting on
their tire repair having arrived too late last night. It made them no difference as they sleep in their car a lot(a blazer just like mine actually).
I took them to labor ready to sort out a late pay issue to make their tire purchase easier but labor ready was closed until noon, so I took them back
and they got a refund on their new tent to buy a cheap tire, which they had to pound on and mount themselves because it's not quite right for their
vehicle and Wal-Mart won't be liable.
Then I went to get my job. They insisted on ten years employment history - surprising in construction where that can easily be 20-40 jobs. I have no
idea where I was before 2005, and actually 2007 is a blur too. So I left and picked up what I call the box of souls from my brothers garage - it
contains the legal equivalent of my soul - car title, thirty-someodd W-2s, pay stubs, a thumb drive with what little of my writing survives offline
(and probably some prawns), birth cert, diploma, General discharge under other than honorable conditions, pictures of the girl I broke up with on
the day of our wedding rehearsal when I was 18, rings from that occasion, a caricature of me drawn at the National Date Festival by a quirky
conspiracy theorist when I was in college, letters I received in bootcamp, graduation cards I received - most of the evidence that I've ever done
anything besides sit around intoxicated watching TV ended up spread out on my passenger seat. It all fits in a 14" cube. On the way I bought ten
dollars gas and a monster energy- a guilty pleasure to keep me perky through what I knew this would become. I kept the receipt. It felt important.
The penalty for forgetting to pay for your gas is steep (as a Californian in stunned you can pump before you pay at all- that would be impossible on
the theft um I mean left coast).
As I started pouring over my life I decided to check my bank balance. I thought i might buy the same work history report employers get online. But i
was almost broke, and I shouldn't be. My ap showed 100 dollars charged at the gas station I had just left. Also my friends called at this time
needing to borrow a tool.
I dropped off the tool, went to the gas station, went up the chain of command and found out the hundred dollars was a hold that would come back to
me in a day or two - in a place where I could have gas for nothing more than my license plate number up front, prepaying at the pump necessitates a
security deposit. Well fine, I'm sure shell oil needs a loan from me or they wouldn't have asked... or taken it without asking as the case may be.
I shrugged that off and went back for my tool. It was getting close to noon and I was getting close to nowhere but I felt good to be of some use to
someone worse off than me.
My friends were fixed up with their back pay and their tire and a moneygram from relatives. They offered to buy me lunch for all I'd done and
insisted when I hesitated. So I followed them towards a buffet. They ran out of gas. We handled that. We got them to a gas station. I needed gas
again too. The ATM was broken and they didn't accept prepayment anyway so I checked the would be no hold and got mine. They didn't want to sell my
friends gas because they don't accept prepayment and my friends had no front license plate. So my friends bought something and got cash back and
then bought gas.
Finally we had a huge meal. I made a point to get plenty of meat and veggies until I couldn't eat anymore thinking to skip dinner and save a buck
since I had a free buffet.
At this point I felt great. I'd seen it all though and been rewarded. I drove back to camp with lines from Jeremiah Johnson ringing in my head-
first the scene where he unburries Del Gue and helps him get his horse back, then Del riding into the sunset "There ain't no laws for the brave
ones, and there ain't no asylums for the crazy ones, and there ain't no church except this right here, and there ain't no preachers but the
birds! By god im a mountain man and I'll live until an arrow or bullet finds me!" And of course it's flat and a capital city and all but it seemed
I had a nap then woke to find my friends back in camp. We talked a while and I scavenged us more fire wood from the RV spots in the thicket near the
river, where everyone gathers more than they need and leaves a pile after the weekend. And about an hour before sunset excused myself to finally
sort out my job history.
What a kick in the balls. I dont remember exactly where I lived or what I did in my off hours or what hard knocks I took when - it all blends
together. Context and excuses simply are no longer available for the facts on paper of my life between 2004-2007. All I really know is that I've been
hired and fired the same day at least three times, most of my jobs didn't last two months, I've been unemployed almost as much as I've worked,
I've blown two good trades, a military hitch, and a chance at college, and for all that has always made me a good person and all the horrible
outside problems that interfered with my life at some point amid those failures and all that I've grown in recent years which is proven in how I've
lived and worked since I came here, on paper there is only one conclusion- from 21-24 I was a chronic fvckup with a lot going for him and then it
looks suspiciously like i gave up and made myself content to be a big fish in little ponds and coast a while between ponds too. I can't think of too
many times I've swung from so high a mood to so low of one in such a short time with nothing actually happening.
I completed my job history and then listed to some soul asylum and let myself be sad until I decided I needed a short drive and a coke- in better days
I would have driven 2 hours to an out of town McDonald's then turned around and come back, progressing though an eclectic mix of lesser known cds by
one hit wonder bands of the 90s but my cds were stolen sometime back in the same period I've been lamenting because I had neglected to replace a
broken lock knob and didn't have power door locks- and as much as I'd like it a 4 hour drive would just about break the bank right now. I settled
for 6 miles in town. Something about the glare of the lights on my construction-scuffed glasses and the chill in the air and the music put me back in
time. I just knew this was exactly what I felt back then when I was in the middle of blowing it- a piece of my soul I've hidden behind smoke and
refused to admit was still there for at least 7 years. And I have no idea what it will have to say to me or if it matters, but I have some very
taxing reflection to undertake. And I guess this is just my way of organizing my thoughts and facts to get started.