Thursday, July 29, 2004

Miracle on 21st Ave.

I LOVE golf. There is something very therapeutic about beating the hell out of that little white ball. I haven't played in 10 years as of today. The last time I hit a golf ball was at a driving range in N.J. Since then I haven't had any time for it. I bought the large bucket of balls, because I really needed to get some aggression out. I was smacking the fuckers every which way but straight. My beloved was sitting on a bench reading the National Enquirer. Our conversation went something like this.
The Wife: "This baby is coming."
Trashman: " Shut-up and read your rag."
The Wife: "I'm just saying this baby is coming."
Trashman: "Yeah, you've been saying that for a month and a half. That baby aint never being born."
That was on a Friday night. Saturday morning was whole different story.

This is the part where we go farther back in time. The story I'm about to tell is true, you may not believe it. Sometimes I don't think I believe it. If I had not been there I would say it was pure bullshit. I was there, I know what happened. It's not rational, logical, or as far as I know medically possible. BUT IT HAPPENED.

The Wife went for the ultrasound by herself due to the fact my prick boss wouldn't let me take any time off. During the procedure the intern left the room and brought back a doctor. His first words were "It's to late to terminate the pregnancy." This of course sent The Wife into a panic. After the hysterics were brought down to a controllable level she was informed that the baby had hydrocephalus. Now what that means is he had water on the brain and would require a shunt for drainage. It also meant he was going to be what's known as a mongoloid. She had to make an appointment to see a specialist in 10 days. After she left the hospital she came by my job and told me what was going on. I said fuck the boss and took the rest of the day off.

The next 10 days were a living hell. I blamed me, she blamed me, I blamed her, she blamed herself. There were a whole lot of arguments and crying. Here's where it gets strange. She found one of her mothers prayer cards. That's right she's a Catholic (but I don't hold it against her). This particular prayer card was for St. Therese also known as The Little Flower. Now according to Catholic mumbo jumbo if you pray to St. Therese she might answer your prayers, so The Wife prayed day and night for 10 days.

On the ninth day we went to dinner with her father. During dinner he excused himself to make a visit to the facilities. When he came back he handed Jen a yellow carnation and said "Everything will be O.K." This man never gave anyone flowers in his life, in fact once he busted my balls for sending flowers to The Wife. But, hey that was cool it made her feel better.

Now it's the 10th day. Once again I can't get off work but I was O.K. with that because I didn't want to face this doctors appointment and I figured I was going to have some very large medical bills anyway. The Wife went in to see the specialist, he lubed up the ultrasound machine, ran it across her enormous belly and said "There is nothing wrong with this baby." (Hang on to your asses it gets weirder.) The first thing The Wife did was call me and tell me the results.

Over the next few months we tried to make the best of a strange situation. We really wanted to believe the specialist but there was still that feeling of doom in the backs of our minds. We went on with life as close to normally as we could.

Saturday morning;
The Wife: "Wake up, my water broke."
Trashman: "Oh shit. Get in the car."

The ride to the hospital was relatively quick and uneventful. They wheeled The Wife right in and got everything ready. About 5 hours later she was dilated and ready, except they had to break her water (See, I told you it would get weird.). During delivery the doctor said to the nurse "The cord is wrapped around the neck, it's not tight. Give me hand here." The nurse stepped down to the business end of my wife to help the doctor. This was the following conversation.
Doctor: "What?"
Nurse: "I've never seen anything like that"
Doctor: "Me either. It's not possible."
Trashman (in a panic): :What's going on?"
Doctor: "Two cords and two sacks but only one baby."
Trashman: "HUH?"
Doctor: "There is a cord and an embryonic sack but no baby."
Trashman: "What's that mean?"
Nurse: "If there is a cord and sack, there has to be a baby."
Trashman: "Is the baby O.K.?"
Doctor: " Never saw anything like that."
Nurse: "Here's your beautiful baby boy."
At 1:00 pm, Trashman Jr. was born. Ten fingers, 10 toes, and a normal sized head, perfect in everyway.

Three months later The Wife and I were on the couch while Trashman Jr. took a nap. We were channel surfing when we came across a special about St. Therese. The Wife really wanted to watch it and me being the 90's kinda guy I am, I relinquished the control of the clicker. The only thing about that special I remember is when the narrator said "The way that you know that St. Therese has decided to answer your prayers is you will receive a flower from an unexpected source." Like I said her dad never gave flowers to anybody.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A rose by any other name....

There have been some questions about the name Trashman. Did it come from a Sublime song? Did it come from The Stand (Which is one of my favorite books.)? The answers are no and no.

The name Trashman, simply sums up what I am. I grew up poor country folk, in a small Texas town. Never enough money, broken cars in the front yard, hell we even had broken cars in the backyard. My school clothes were fashionable two years before I got them. My mother had a 7th grade education and my father had a 3rd grade sort of education. The first video game I ever saw belonged to my rich cousin, it was called Pong. Sometimes we lived in a house, sometimes in a trailer. We grew our own vegetables and usually killed our own meat. My father fished with dynamite.

My father used to say that he and my mother were in the iron and steel business. "She does the ironing and I do the stealing." I can't count the number of times the sheriff came to the house to arrest my dad, or how many Saturday nights he came home bloodied from a bar fight.  My dad made a living three ways, welding, stealing cars, and playing pool. He supplemented his income by playing craps. Dear old dad drank more than he made, and he didn't have a problem raising his hand to woman or child. My mom used her job as a nurses aide to pay the bills.

I'm not bitter or angry about the way I grew up. I always figured it helped me become who I am today. I have been fairly successful at whatever I decide to do. I love my wife and my children. I have tried hard to pull myself out of the trailer park. I pay my bills. I'm finally staying out of jail. Sometimes I even vote. I like to think that I have bettered myself. However I do have some traits that I believe are genetic garbage.

I like black velvet Elvis paintings, pink flamingo in the front yard, tattoos, big haired women, girls with to much make-up especially blue eye shadow,  bleach blondes, walking down the street bare-foot, dark sheets for curtains (keeps all light out), lawn jockeys, rasslin (also known as wrestling by the educated types), The Simpler Life 2, bright red lipstick, and pretty much anything else in bad taste.

So I guess the name Trashman is my way of embracing my heritage.

Monday, July 19, 2004

It was a simpler time...

I grew up in a small town in Texas. In those days we went where we wanted when we wanted. Our parents never knew where we were. The only rule was, "Be home before the street lights come on." Usually after dinner we were back out to play at night. There weren't any worries of kidnapping or perverts.  I moved back to Texas from Phoenix so my boys could enjoy small town life. I live outside of a small city in a nice quiet community. When you drive through you see bikes in the front yards. Must not be any theft. You see kids at the school on weekends playing on the field. Must not be any vandalism. You see kids walking to the local pool without their parents. Must be a safe place to live. What you don't see is graffiti, broken down cars in the yards, garbage on the streets, or drug dealers on the corner. You don't even see the police come through. I pay extra to live here, just for the safety of my kids. Hell I figured by moving in, that I would lower the property values.
That is until yesterday. I was sitting on my porch smoking a cigarette when the police rolled up across the street. They talked to my neighbor for a few minutes and drove away. He waved at me and I waved at him. Not 30 seconds after he sat back down, they came back. They called him out to the street and proceeded to pat him down and cuff him. After they put him in the back seat, I figured I would offer to watch his kids since his wife wasn't home. I walked over to the officers and asked if he needed to leave the kids with someone. This is the point in time my world got turned upside down. The police asked me if I had noticed A.J. acting strange. I said no. I asked what the problem was. It turns out my neighbor (seemed like a nice enough guy), was identified by four different people. He was walking around with his johnson hanging out and evidently had exposed himself to some children. They suggested I keep my kids away from him, something about a sexual predator. Sounds like they had more information than they were giving. MY first concern was the fact my kids played with his kids, in that house. I wanted to grab my kids and start asking questions. But you have to keep the trauma level to a minimum. I agreed to take custody of his kids until his wife came home. She got home at 1:00 am.
I met her at her front door and told her what happened. Her only response was " That don't seem like him at all. I tolds him not to be around the neighbors. We's the only black people in a white neighborhood." I wanted to slap the piss out of her. But  instead I went and got her kids and turned them back over to her. She didn't seem the least bit concerned or (to my horror) surprised. After everything was taken care of I set about the task of asking my children the questions no parent should ever have to ask. Did he ever show you his privates? Did he ever say anything dirty to you? Did he ever touch you? Did you ever see him touch anyone else? Plus many other heart wrenching disgusting questions. After which I had to explain to my 7 year old and 9 year old why I was asking these things. I don't lie to my kids if they ask a question I tell them the truth but I do try to shelter them from these sorts of things. I thank God my boys gave me the right answers. I'm fully satisfied that the only trauma that they have suffered from is having me as a dad.
Now what do I do when he makes bail? Our kids are friends. I know my kids can never go back over there, even if the police made a mistake, I'll never know. I learned two things yesteday. It's not safe for children anywhere, you must always be vigilante. And it's true, you can never go back.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Happy Birthday

On this date in 1964, three not so wise men (Larry, Moe, and Curly) arrived in a small Texas town. They stopped at a service station to inquire as to the location of the hospital. When  the attendant, Bubba Joe asked if someone was sick or hurt. Moe replied "No, we were following that yonder star." Bubba Joe asked "You mean the really bright one in the north?" Moe said " YOU IDIOT. That one over yonder in the west." Curly added in " You see tonight a baby was born and we must find this baby to bring him gifts." "Yes." Larry said, "This is a special baby and we have special things for him." Bubba Joe said " Let me get this right. Three dudes following a star bringing gifts for a baby. So this must be the second coming of Christ." "Not at all." Moe said " Christ was the son of God. This baby is an asshole." Curly said " You see, all assholes must have certain things. We bring these things for this child. I bring a bad attitude and Moe brings conceit and Larry brings opinions, lots and lots of opinions. In fact he brings an opinion for everything and we will deliver these gifts so that this child has the ability to be the best asshole he can be." With that they climbed back into their 1959 Edsel Villager station wagon and finished their journey. These not so wise men arrived at the hospital and bestowed upon the child the gifts of bad attitude, conceit, and opinionation. The child was cursed.
This my story and in future post I will tell you more of it. I make no apologies for the things that I have done or probably will do. I have no regrets because if I had not lived the life I did I would not be the wonderful person I am today. I have lived on both sides of the law. I have had regular jobs and not so regular jobs. Although I've never done a bank job. I have had to leave town because of the police and also because of the good guys. I am going to change the names to protect the guilty (yes, they are guilty). I have been coast to coast and border to border in this great nation of ours. I've done it all and I've seen it all. Now I'm going to tell you all about it. Maybe someone will learn from this. I may ramble from time to time, I make no claim at being a writer, I just find my life to be interesting.
Forty years later I have a wife, I love with every ounce of my being and two of the most wonderful children you could ever hope to lay eyes on. My wife has stayed with me for 11 years through all my bullshit and ignorance. My children bring me untold happiness. I don't tell them or show them enough how much I love them.
Now tell me Happy Birthday and leave me alone. I'm going to spend time with my family.