December 28, 2008

2008... the year of plenty


The year of our lord 2008 has been a mixed bag of happiness and bullshit, in other words, life at it's most pristine...

It seems that when you sit down and look at events in time, your memory has a funny way of pushing the moments that you would consider to be good or pleasant to the side while celebrating the moments in which you suffered in one way or another. Would that be because of my pessimistic nature or the old "harsh or bad stories make for a better tale" mind set... I wonder....

2008 of course was overshadowed for me by the loss of my father. He died in February, a week that, looking back now, exists as a roller coaster ride of colors and sound... seeming to set the mood for the remainder of the year. I saw people act in ways that I would have never thought possible, both good and bad... Keeping in mind that everything you go through shapes who you are at this moment. I find no comfort at all in that statement, although I see the logic of it. It almost seems to be an excuse for things that were unpleasant, whether I could have changed them or not. Which then immediately causes me to begin to ponder how I could have effected change in some of the puritanically harsh things that I have had to deal with.

Along with the bad, good has come. Arriving not with trumpets and marching rows of soldiers equipped to battle the evil that is me, yet with subtle, humble, and quietly dedicated work that accompanies such things, causing you not to notice until it's entrenched itself within the scope of your understanding.

My family.. lord help me... I have watched as my children have dealt with issues that children should be oblivious to. In a year that was plagued with the harsh reality of life, such as death, evil people, bad news around every corner, and a constant schedule that never seems to let up...

My fourteen year old had a rough go of it, first year of high school, loss of his grandfather... So he decided that he wanted to let it all go and a have a big blow out of a birthday party in April. He got together with his friends and they decided to camp out here at our place. Yard work was done, tents put up, power run (gotta have power for laptops, gaming systems, and DVD players), ATVs put in running order, food acquired and all was set in motion. Rain came in, yet they didn't seem to mind.. Picture the "nerds" from sixteen candles, and you pretty much have the group in detail... The evening progressed much as you would imagine and things settled to a dull roar, rain came and the nerds didn't seem to notice as they were waist deep in the latest gaming procedures.. I attempted to shake them up here and there with the odd firecracker attacks, yet they hardly noticed. So I went to bed...

I was awaken a couple of hours later by the silhouette of my wife standing in the door professing that, "You need to come and do something about this kid, he has lost his mind". I went into the front room and discovered a group of haggard, soaking wet, funny smelling, just turned teen boys all wide eyed and frightened - milling around, using the phone. I was hit with a stream of details that my groggy mind took a few minutes to sift through. It seemed that one of the children had seen a ghost and was yelling at the top of his lungs about how the world was ending. He had run up the driveway in the pouring rain and across the road to my neighbors house, desiring to use the phone, even though he had a cell phone.. The neighbor was at home alone with her four year old as her husband was on the road driving a truck. The huge thirteen or fourteen year old was standing in her yard in the rain yelling and cussing at the top of his lungs about the end of the world, this was around midnight. My wife had hopped on the Kawasaki mule and drove over there to get the idiot. He began to cuss her out, telling her all sorts of vile things she could do with her authority.

After being filled in, I began to walk up the driveway, with all the kids huddled around the door peeking out... I was met by the child in question, he was soaked through, with a military haircut and crazed look on his face straight from full metal jacket. The "kid" was my size and screaming like a drill Sargent, right in my face, yelling things to me like "I don't give a damn what you say" "fuck you and your wife" "you don't understand the hurt I'm suffering" "Get the fuck out of my way"... You get the picture... All the while attempting to get past me and onto the porch. I never touched him, but blocked him until I was standing on the porch, asking him the same questions over and over, "Have you called your mother?" and "What is her number?" Both questions were met with, "I don't have to tell you a fucking thing." I took a deep breath and examined the situation, it was not good, or acceptable. I weighed options and decided to feel the guy out. My main concern was that the hands buried in his pockets would come flying out with a knife or gun. After a few minutes of me standing on the bottom step and keeping him from getting into the house it became very evident that the boy was beyond deranged. He began to scream for my wife, "I need to speak to Ms. Julie, she needs to understand why I yelled at her"... at this point I seriously considered just putting the boy down, but thought better of it when thinking on the legal ramifications. Julie did come out after a few minutes and attempted the same questions, "Have you called your mother? whats her number?" He answered her in the same screaming voice, "I don't have to tell you a god damned thing"

Even though faced with absurdity and pure evil, I fought my gut reactions to either beat this child or make him walk away, leaving my property and home. He was after all, only thirteen or fourteen, even though my size. After an hour or so of looking for his number and calmly talking to him (none of the kids knew his parents names, all we knew was that his mom was German...) and to start calling everyone in the book with their last name wouldn't have been a good move at that hour... I gave the kid a choice, I continued to speak calmly to him until he settled down enough to become coherent, after about an hour of steady lines of the purest bullshit a southern gentleman could muster and weave together without simply shooting the bastard and going back to bed.. yes, my patience had run screaming over the imagined lines in the sand placed there to keep sanity in check...

I put it to him like this, "You can either call your mother right now, or I call the police." He stood still and said, "Do what you want, nobody can hurt me now" A few minutes later, cars began arriving to cart off the other kids that were huddled inside, afraid for their lives. I took a deep breath and did what I least wanted to do, as the kid paced back and forth and tried to get past me, beating on the side of the house and kicking anything he could reach, I gave him the count down, holding the phone.. at last I put it to him once more.."Just call your mother to come and get you, or I will have you removed by the cops, your choice son" I was met with a resoundingly loud "fuck you!".. and so dialed 911...

He, of course, immediately began apologizing when I got the sheriff's department on the line. What followed was a half hour wait on the cops where the boy began to tell me that he wasn't taking his medication, and his parents were mean to him. I stood, in the still pouring rain, looking not at him, but over his head toward the road waiting for the car to come to haul his ass off to a nice padded room for a while. Speaking all the while in the calmest voice I could draw forth from my soul, I saw a car turning in the driveway. The cops came up and got him off to the side, one spoke to me briefly while others interrogated him. Then, right in the middle of it all his mother arrived. He did call her from his cell phone, about two hours before this moment... We stood on the porch and watched his mother stand next to him and rub his temple. She kept shooting glances at us on the porch, yet never said a word. The cops left and the mother and kid left. We went inside, and began discussing the events in complete exhaustion and dismay. The two or three kids left decided to eat pizza and watch movies in my son's room.... A few minutes later we heard a car and watched as the kids' mom ran around the campsite, gathering the kids belongings, never acknowledging us or our attempts to talk to her. The night ended with a phone call about an hour later.. Yep.. we got dressed down and insulted by mom, for calling the cops to deal with her innocently sweet son... Happy birthday Patrick...

That is a fine example of how the year has gone.... Absurdity on parade. It seems simple enough to say to your spouse, "I will run in the book store and buy a coffee and be right out" Yet half an hour later you're trying to side step the lunatic that clamped down on you like a vampire and is following you to the car telling you about the divorce he's going through... The look on Julie's face was priceless.. a look that clearly said, "kill it, get it away from me. Please." Her freak magnet is a powerful device, attracting spiders and imbeciles from all corners of creation...

We have experienced loss this year, relatives.. friends.. pets.. yet we have also found people in places not looked for. Hard times, good times, busy times, times of boredom, pain and joy have all been on the table this year. I have had my heart ripped out and stomped on, but have also had it picked up, dusted off and handed back to me with a humble bow.

To be rid of drama and jerry springer type bullshit was hard at first, yet has led to a cleansing feeling, one that has shown that life is indeed a roller coaster ride and you never know whats around the next corner. The poison that exists in the hearts and minds of people that continually profess their innocence until they actually believe it, is a thing best left where it belongs.. along the side of the road where you first picked it up. Machinations are just that, they only go as far as you allow them, I just hope the people that were caught can see them for what they are...

Things have changed in ways unlooked for, but seemingly for the better, I rarely tune in to talking head television anymore, and couldn't really care less about who the next President is.. imagine that.. me, not giving a damn about politics or current events... but just wanting to see a damn good movie... and go for a nice quiet ride on the Kawasaki mule while thinking about which cane to start working on next...

2009 is coming with a hope and prayer that it will be a blessed year, yet you never know and must watch at all times so you're not caught or blindsided. Yet I have a pretty good feeling about it.... dare I tempt karma in such a manner?

7 comments:

Junebug said...

This surely has been a YEAR for you and yours.
I pray 2009 will be a much better one for you.
I pray for reconcilations with family members.
You just know your family is here for you always.
Happy New Year.

The Angry Georgian said...

Quite a year indeed. Hope next year is a much, much better one.

I'd have tackled that kid's ass and told Julie to call the cops.

The Nana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eve said...

Wow, that is the kind of life's experience that you just want to learn from instead of experience yourself. I don't think my husband would have been as patient as you were... on the outside at least. Do you do Netflix? We love it!

Kokopelli said...

Oh yes, what a year! We all tend to remember the bad moments in life so much better than the good ones. I hate that!
I admire your patience with the kid. I don't know if I'd act the same way.
By the way, I know that "freak magnet" you mentioned. I have one myself. Happy New Year!

Patrick said...

The night was horrible; but, as always, mom came in to save the day by taking me out to town so I could get from it all and to spend some of my birthday money. I thought it was hilarious when mom was calling all my friend's parents to explain to them what happened and Jerry hadn't told his parents anything.

HeartofGoldPlate said...

As much as it's been sucking for me too, I can't dislike 2008. It's the year my son was born.