Thursday, July 31, 2014

EMERGENCY ROOM 2000

I went in for a swoll up leg. I had no insurance. The bill was 2200. The Taxpayers had to eat it.
It’s a good thing they didn’t admit me that night. No telling what the bill would have been.
I wasn’t going to let them admit me anyway.
After 14 hours the doctor said “We may need to admit you”
 I told that doctor “No one is getting admitted.”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean, if you are going to fix me, do it now, right here, but I won’t be going upstairs tonight.”
“Mr. Bulletholes, you could die. You could have a blood clot, and if it breaks free and hits your heart, you could die”
“I’ve been in this waiting room for 14 hours doc, and I haven’t died. Whats the sudden urgent urgency?””
“If you go to your car and try to drive home, it could break free”
“I’m sure you are right doc, but no one is getting admitted tonight. I’ll come back in the morning if I have to. But I won’t be staying tonight”
I'll never forget the look on his face.

I cant really tell you what my problem was other than just being an idiot. I just didn’t want to be admitted that night.
They ran a test and let me go.

Luckily, it wasn’t a clot.

Addendum- TWIKIWDBI has some great information on ER Room visits that might save your financial ass.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

LUMINARIAS AND THAT LONG LONELY STRETCH OF ROAD



If you ever went to Luminarias, the restaurant I worked at for four years right after High School, you might remember that there was a long lonely stretch of road, Ben Street, just before you got to the restaurant. It was about two blocks long, no houses, just rugged terrain and grassland that is common to what they call “The Tandy Hills” along highway 30 between Beach and Oakland.

In 1977, I was a cook at Luminarias. I’d worked there about 2 years. I came in one morning with a billfold full of cash because when I got off I was going to buy a plane ticket to go to Rapid City to see my brother. There was a small dressing room where I changed into my chef uniform, and a locker where I kept my clothes. This particular morning, I took off my clothes, set my billfold in the bottom of my locker, and stepped into a stall to take a piss.

As I was taking a piss, the dishwasher came in. His name wasOC, and he was about half blind, and loved to sing the blues while he washed dishes.
This morning he was singing “Got to find me a part time love, hmmm, lord, I just got to find me a part time love” as he came into the dressing room.
”Good Morning OC” I said from the stall.
“Good morning” he said back. I heard his locker open and close, and out he went.

I finished my piss, came out, finished getting dressed and then…shit…my billfold! It was gone! I looked in the locker, I checked my pockets, and then…SHIT!
OC! That damn OC!
I went running out of the dressing room, past the dish room, and then to the back door where OC is now out on the dock by the dumpster.
“OC, you bastard, gimme my billfold back!”
“What you talkin’ ‘bout?” was OC’s reply.

Well, I checked the dumpster, I looked down the hill, I did everything but search OC. Now-a-days, it might have made sense to call the cops, but back then, it just didn’t seem like it would do much good. I was out a hundred bucks, big money for a guy making 2.75 an hour back then. Shoot, its big enough these days.

Anyway, I made it to South Dakota, and when I got back I made it a point to turn OC’s life into a living hell anyway I could. I came in one morning, and I started messing up pots as quick as I could, taking them to OC and telling him I needed them NOW!

I’m writing it down right now, and I got to tell you I’m not real proud of it,but its my story, right?

It took a while, but poor half blind OC finally reacted. Sometime around lunchtime, he had had enough of me.
He pushed me, and I pushed him back. Then he swung at me, and I dodged the punch. Then he come at me, the way a half blind deranged mad as hell professional wrestler might come at you and I went to kick him.
But poor blind old OC was too fast for me. He grabbed my leg! Now He’s got me by the leg, and he’s running me into the wall backwards! A shelf got knocked over, dishes flying everywhere, and me flat on my back on the floor, my glasses off! Now I’m just as blind as OC, and even more helpless because I’ve never been in a fight in my life, but in a blurry haze I see him reach into a dish tray and pull out a steak knife.
A STEAK KNIFE!

What did I do? I went running breathlessly, straight out into the middle of the dining room, customers looking up from their lunch, and I’m right next to a table where the Chef and General Manager are eating. They looked up at me, and I’m GASPING for breath.
“Whats wrong Steve?”
“OC…OC… he come at me with a knife!” I tell them.

And that is how OC came to be fired on the spot, dragged kicking and screaming from the dish room,vowing to “Kill my white ass”.
And how I came to dread that two block stretch of lonely Ben Street just before you get to the restaurant every morning for a while.



Addendum~ A year later I was promoted to chef. We put an ad in the paper for a dishwasher.
Guess who applied?
Yep, OC came in, looking for a job.
And you know what?
I hired him.
Just another thing to love about the restaurant business.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE BREAKTHROUGH

"Evening upon evening, I would weigh out bucketfuls of equal sized balls of clay.
Barbara would throw an item, say, a simple cylinder.
My task was to make many, exact copies.
I rather balked at this, I did not see myself as some sort of industrial machine! I was an ARTIST!
So this was my introduction to zen. I would do a full day's work, then, after everyone else had gone home, I would start my practice. And after a couple of hours she would come back into the pottery, and chuck all my work into the clay bin. Day after day, week after week. until, one night, she only threw about fifty cylinders out, and left three on the table. She sliced them in two, so we could see the thickness of the walls and base. "Those aren't too bad... make another twenty, and I'll come back"
...The breakthrough came on a day when I stopped thinking about what I was doing, and my conscious brain let go of the motor skills. When I came back to consciousness, there they were, lively shapes, not lumpen, but turning still."

My friend Soubriquet, on his introduction to Pottery.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PURE POETRY

"“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.
There is no fixed path to enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a destination, a goal, the resting place at the end of a long journey -that’s the mind’s version of enlightenment. Enlightenment is the lighting up of where you are right now…
Take any moment. Any moment at all. This moment. For any moment is the access point.
There are never any blocks - only access points. You are not some separate entity on a long journey towards a future completion.
You are pure poetry.”

~ Joseph Campbell




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"IT HAD GOTTEN PRETTY BAD, MAN"

Back in 1997 I was out in my driveway washing the car one morning. My wife had left me, the house was being foreclosed on, we had filed bankruptcy and I wasn’t working. I had no plan, no visible means of support, no prospects.
As I’m washing the car, I see a figure a block away, jogging down the street towards me. I can’t see his face, just his size, shape and the way he runs, and there is something familiar about this dude. The closer he gets, the more I am sure that it is an old friend of mine from High School.

Sure enough, as he approaches I can see his face,and its exactly who I thought it was. He see's me now, and there is that moment of recognition, and he stops for a chat.
We exchange the usual stuff, what have you been doing, how are you, etcetera. We hadn’t seen each other in about 20 years. I tell him the particulars of my situation, the separation, the foreclosure, the bankruptcy. He tells me that he has quit using dope, and found a new way to live.

“It had gotten pretty bad, man” he tells me.

He has about 6 months clean. He has been attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings regularly to stay clean.
“You should come!” he says. He looks me in the eye, then up and down. He can tell I’m using. I have that vacuous look in my eye, I’m fidgeting like crazy and slurring my speech. I have all the symptoms and affectations that come with being a dope fiend. Because even though I wouldn’t admit it, I AM a dope fiend.
“You should come to a meeting” he says again “”We meet at 6 O’Clock up on Brown Trail. You never have to do any dope again Steve.”

I remember looking at him like he was nuts, and saying: “Aw man, stop doing dope? You got to be kidding me. Man, I’m going through a divorce, a separation, a bankruptcy and a foreclosure. I have no job. I have too much bad shit going on here to even think about not doing any dope. Maybe when I get all this other crap settled, I can think about getting clean.”

“Ok dude, whatever” he said, and off down the street he jogged his clean no dope black ass away.

It would be another 11 years before I got clean. I would go from divorce foreclosure and bankruptcy to living in a burned out trailer and giving up entirely. And it would take the State of Texas stepping into my life 6 years ago today to get me to a meeting, and to accept what he told me that day in 1997. “Any addict can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.”

Funny, it was 17 years ago I saw him that day on the street.
I still see him regular, down at the group.
A friend sent me a message this morning, “Happy Six Years Birthday” she said.
Us dope addicts, we have two birthdays, one is the belly button birthday, and the other is when we get clean and get to start our life up again.
I’d forgotten all about it. I take that as a good sign, maybe.
Happy birthday to me!


Here we are back in High School during Chemistry Class.


Friday, July 18, 2014

BULLETHOLES BUYS SOME PORN

The first time I went to buy some porn, I was embarrassed to be there. So I told the guy behind the counter I had been elected to find porn for a bachelor party.
“Maybe you have something that would be funny?” I asked him.
He looked at me with a fairly skeptical eye. “Something funny?” he asked

 "You know, something to get the guys laughin.’” I said.
He raised one eyebrow.
“Funny? You want something funny?” and without even looking, reached up on the shelf behind him, pulled down a movie and looked at the cover.
“Gazongas. This ones called Gazongas, haha. Is that funny enough for you, Funny Boy?”

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bulletholes and Bambi

THE POST THAT NEARLY NEVER WAS. 
One of my best chums in junior high was a girl named Bambi. I had a lot of guy friends, but when I think back, I hung out with Bambi a lot.
She was the only kid on the block that would play tackle football with me.
We spent many an afternoon in the woods and fields alongside the neighborhood hunting birds with bows and arrows, and collecting snakes and frogs along the creek.
On really hot days during the summer of 1971, we would play spades in her living room, singing along  to ‘Snoopy vs. The Red Baron” and “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog”.
We would crack each other up as we played cards, practicing doing our “sexy” look which amounted to making funny faces at each other.
Sometimes we would go to her garage and play ping-pong, or to her back porch and shoot some hoops. She always whipped me at horse.
Bambi wasn’t pretty by any stretch, in fact she was pretty athletic for a girl. She was the worlds greatest Tomboy, and she was my best friend for at least a couple years.

We went our separate way about the tenth grade. I discovered pot, and she went to a different High School so she could be on the swim team. I went bad, and Bambi stayed on course.
She got married right after High School, and I was going to go to her wedding, but I got stoned and I missed it.
But a couple years ago, when I got clean, I got to thinking about Bambi, because she was one of those people in your life that was so special that you know you will always like them, and what with the Internet its so easy to find old friends and say “hello” and sometimes it’s a good thing to do, especially after you quit using dope for 35 years.
I couldn’t find Bambi on any internet searches.

But I found her dad, and after a year of thinking about it I finally gave him a call.
It went to his recorder.
“Mr. Bambi, this is Bulletholes~ I grew up on your street and Bambi was my best friend
and I was wondering how to get in touch with her” and I left my phone number.
I was surprised to find that he returned my phone call so quick, and I didn’t get to answer it, it had gone straight to message.
“Sure Bullets, I remember you. Bambi is divorced. Her number is XXX-YYY-XYXY. She has had some surgery and she has Amnandow  disease now”
Now I was really surprised that he just came out and gave me her number. I figured he would forward mine to her, and she could decide whether to call me or not. And it seemed like I needn’t really worry about this Amnandow Disease, whatever it might be, because he didn’t sound like it was a big deal at all.
At least I hoped it wasn’t serious.
So I called Bambi!

I was relieved to find that Bambi doesn’t have Amnandow disease. In fact, there’s no such thing.
She was surprised to hear from me and then told me right up front…
Bambi isn’t Bambi any more.
Bambi is a man now, and his name is Roger. Roger cant afford the operations, but for all practical purposes, Roger is a man.
We talked for an hour, me and Roger, it was like we’d just been down in the creek yesterday, or were about to throw the football a little, just like the old days.

I remember the day 42 years ago Bambi and I went to the local sporting goods store. The man behind the counter had said “How can I help you boys?” and we bought some arrows to shoot birds with. Bambi suffered through it, and laughed it off. It wasn’t the first time she was mistaken for a male. It certainly wasn’t the last.
So, when I find out that Bambi is really Roger its no surprise.
And I promised Roger to keep his anonymity, but the story needs telling.
People would be about as surprised to find that Bambi is a man as they were to find out Steve  is an addict.
That is to say...not at all.


Funny thing Roger told me. It took me a while to wrap my head around it. He said:
“I’ve been a woman married to a man, and now I am a man married to a woman, but I’ve never had a gay experience my whole life”


Addendum: Since Bruce Jenner came out TG, and certain ordinances have been passed,  I'd like to add this about my friend "Roger". Roger coaches little league baseball, owns a company, chews tobacco, spits, and plays Mens Softball. His kids call him dad, his father calls him son, his employees call him sir, and his wife calls him Honey. He uses the restroom correct for his gender, which is male, and he looks good going in wearing his 3 piece suit.
Which restroom would you ask Roger to use?

Addendum #2: Jenner has been awarded various awards for coming out. I have friends that do not recognize the kind of courage that takes, or have any concept how important it is that a celebrity can step forward and carry a torch for a group that has been and will be discriminated against for some time still. Just ask my friend Roger, who I have sworn anonymity to. If Roger were to come out, he could possible lose his business and many of his friends.
And ask yourself if YOU have the courage to step forward the way Jenner has, were you to be in her shoes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

AND NOW A WORD CONCERNING WOMENS HEALTH


"I'm Al Alberts from the A.M.A., I say
Silicone implants are A-OKAY
They make small breast disease go away
And besides they're endorsed by the E.P.A

Hey, Ed Edwards from the E.P.A
Silicone implants are A-OKAY
It's true those things will never decay
But there will be a cure for death soon
I'm sure anyway

I'm Click
I'm Clack
For Triple A
Silicone implants Hey!Hey!Hey!
The cost of your auto, it will be defrayed
They're like personal internal airbags, okay?
That's my brother!

Gentlemen please, the facts remain
There are thousands of implanted women in pain
Address the issues, please explain
Lest our dialogue be in vain

Okay, it's true, the silicone slips
So it works its way down:  voluptuous hips!
Still a problem?  Button your lips
We'll cut it out and make computer chips

Yeah, well, it's weird but true,
The tiny little things are made of silicone too
So is glass and surgical glue
Put it inside for a womb with a view

Wait A Minute this is all too confusing
Silicone in everything, everything is oozing
Computers attractive to nursing babies
And breasts with an IQ of 3080"

from "Primordial Ooze III by Jonas Billy