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The Courage to Surrender, Part 14 in a Series by john w

Fri, May 25, 2012

Healthcare, Home, john w, Lifestyle

What Happened – It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, – 1978 

A parade of dog owners walked their pets by my front lawn so the canines could poop away from their property. The owners felt no accountability to take their piles with them. Even the cave man next door ventured out with his beer belly beagle to use my latrine.  They looked away when my little kids were playing nearby, as though they were blind and felt no responsibility for my kids’ wellbeing. Since I couldn’t stop them, I’d regularly shovel up all the shit and pile it in the middle of the street so everyone could enjoy looking at it.

There was a bully on the street who punched my five year old son every time he saw him. Even though I’d reprimand the kid he wouldn’t stop until one day I lost it and went to see his father. When his dad answered the door I explained the situation and told him that every time it happened I’d return to punch him. It didn’t happen again.

My addictions allowed me to create out of control solutions to everyday problems.

Thanksgiving night Crazy Cram (CC) joined us to visit the couple across the street. Rachael told him the neighbor was very self-conscious of her large breasts so stay away from them physically and verbally. After several drinks he blurted out “My God you’ve got big tits.” I never knew whether he was mindless or just crazy but he could make me laugh ‘til it hurt.

CC was an operating system developer in my office area so he commuted with me for a couple years in my rusted out VW beetle. The right rear fender was rusted through so it flapped at every turn or bump. We fixed it by cutting a dozen small strips of white aluminum that we screwed to the frame and fender in a bandage fashion.  During our maintenance mood we ran a wire through the grates on the engine hood around the bumper and back through the hood. A couple more strips secured it and she was good to go, except when I needed to open the hood to add oil which only happened when the oil light went on.

In winter we took out the back seat and attached a clothes drier hose to the heater on the engine then placed it between the seats to force some heat on us. As long as the car was moving fast hot air would be forced to the front. Necessity is the mother of invention.  The VW had so many problems that the repair shop owner asked me to write down just what I wanted fixed so he knew to leave other broken stuff undone. After a few visits he fixed the emergency brake without my permission because it was a standard shift and it worried him.

Initially life in the office concerned me that people would notice I was high at work sometimes. But I completely misjudged the working environment, as the team members drank, got high at work and had no regard for office hours.  As an individual contributor I was most effective working with different plant people on myriad projects then returning to the isolation of my office.  Working with self-destructive people created a negative influence that greased the slide to my bottom. My behavior gradually wore away the respect I needed to be a good manager. The team’s craziness continued to ignore those things I did to excel at my job.

The effects of drinking and getting high ate at my pride when people stopped recognizing me for my accomplishments. Secretly I disappointed myself while other times my experience and knowledge made me feel arrogant. I had extreme mood changes.  I worked better with higher management because they only cared about the business and my contribution to the bottom line. They didn’t care how I lived my private life.

NEXT:  A marijuana breakfast, a lunch of dancing and road beers rounded out a typical business day. How long can an afternoon last? Spaced out or AWOL?

The articles published here by babyboomers.com are small excerpts of a 268 page manuscript titled “The Courage to Surrender” that I would like published. Call 678.361.4709 for information on the manuscript.

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