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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mice and Men

The year was 1986. August I think. I was twenty four years old.  A friend of mine was celebrating her 40th birthday. She'd just left her place of employment, where we'd met, and was about to embark on a new adventure on the West coast, San Fransisco.

The party was well attended. It was in a large A-frame home nestled in the woods at the edge of a nature preserve.  The owner was an artist and professor. I was late in arriving as I'd had some other business to attend to.  The birthday girl's sister had the compass upside down on the crude, hand drawn map that came with the invitation.  I'd spent some time driving about in the wrong part of the county in the dark.

She was pretty well lit up by the time I arrived.  It's amusing, sometimes, to be the only sober one in the room.

I drank a few of the beers I'd brought with me and conversed with other folks from the place where we had worked. Met some new folks. It was a good time, all in all.

The day had taken it's toll on me and the beers rendered me unconscious.  I woke up in a dark room feeling the urge to pee and hearing some noises.  Blinking and looking around I found myself on a bed with the birthday girl and her sister there with me, sleeping. I was a bit upset with myself in that I'd missed the party. As I gained consciousness and focus, I listened to the noises I was hearing, trying to discern what was making them.  Best I could tell, someone was administering a whipping in the next room.

Still, I had to pee.  I made my way to the hall and across it to where I remembered a bathroom.  Soft candlelight revealed a woman spread eagle on the vanity and a fella with his drawers down going at her.  (Hey! What the fuck!!? My toothbrush!!!) I thought briefly that they might not notice me on the can but....  I made my way down the stairs and ran into the Prof in a hallway.  He seemed not at all surprised at my presence, asked what he could do for me and directed me to the bathroom on that floor.

I went back upstairs to bid farewell to my friend.  (It's rude to leave and not say goodbye, eh.)  She was sober by now.  We talked, whispering in the darkness with her sister snoring right there next to us.

That was the last time I saw most of any of those people in person.  Last I heard of the A-frame was that it had become vacant and neglected. Birthday girl was contacted in recent years through social media.  I had to remind her who I was.  (!) She looked like a nun in the photo she put up.  Not the person I remembered telling me about conjugal visits at the prison, a boyfriend who like to pretend he was selling Girl Scout cookies,  and who made some awesome preserves from homegrown produce.  When she did remember me she said, 'Oh yes. That person is gone now. That was another lifetime.'

The plan I had in those days was to continue my studies, earn a Doctorate, teach and conduct research.  Psychology with an emphasis on behavioral genetics, intrauterine effects on neurological development and psychopharmacology.  I never quite got there. Perhaps I gave up too easily. It got to a point though, that I really didn't find the idea of spending hours in the lab too appealing anymore.  I wanted to go sit on my boat. I still think that's about the best pass time.

Along the path I delivered packages, (What can brown do for you? Heh.) Cleaned poop off of various surfaces in many capacities. (There really is shit everywhere.) Managed tens of millions of dollars and personnel. Built things, tore things down. Married a grand little Irish woman. Had some troublesome girls who I love deeply, but wish were boys just every once in awhile, like when they wreck my truck or call me to ask for tech support from 1000 miles away.  

The best laid plans. I had it all there figuring what I was going to do next.  Didn't work out quite like I planned. It's been just grand all the same.

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