The chronicling of events past will continue with my next installment. I just feel it necessary to update those that may care (the devil may care! See: my attitude) on recent events in my life that are, I don't know, pertinent, or not at all pertinent. At any rate, things that have happened. In my life. Recently. Because this is a blog. And that's what one does. On a blog. Chronicle events. In one's life. Because people give a shit. Because this is a blog.
1) On Saturday, I went to Moore Funeral Home in Arlington, Texas to attend the interrment of my friend Joe Garza, who died last week. Joe was a good friend that played in many bands with me. You can view a biography that I wrote for his website here. It was a Catholic funeral, and I was fine through the whole thing until afterwards when I watched his big brother put his ashes in the little drawer while standing on a ladder. Then his sister played a song of his on a portable CD player- a song Joe recorded right before he died. That's when I lost my shit. If you click on the Joe Garza link, you'll hear the song I'm referring to. Then I came home and watched the series finale of Six Feet Under.
2) Later that afternoon, I got a credit card statement from American Express stating that they had not received my last payment- incurring any number of late charges, finance charges, and holds on my account, as American Express is merciless when it comes to matters of the heart, er, money. I called the company in complaint- I had sent a $100 payment not two weeks before. Of course, they hadn't received said payment.
"Can you cancel the check?"
"I sent a money order," I replied.
"Do you still have your receipt?"
Mere hours later, I found myself rummaging through rancid pizza sauce and unusable dough in the dumpster behind my place of employment searching for one piece of rectangular 65 lb. stock paper. I was searching for the receipt for a money order that I had thrown away not 18 hours earlier in a fit of boredom at work- a receipt that sat on the floorboard of my car for weeks. Why did I decide to rid my vehicle of trash that usually rests there until my girlfriend gathers and throws out in exasperation? Presumably so I could dig through a restaurant's dumpster in 100 degree heat. Of course! I did find the receipt, however, along with a number of other money order receipts I had purchased. Victory! Now to get the $100 refund from Western Union. All I have to do is send in the receipt from the money order (along with a $12 non-refundable service charge) with all sorts of information and conditions, one being, um, that the receipt be whole and intact. No problem. Except for that the one receipt I needed was RIPPED AND MANGLED.
So that was this Saturday.
3) Last Saturday, I skipped attending Joe Garza's memorial service in lieu of attending my grandmother's 80th birthday party/family reunion in Seminole, Texas- a town deeply west, about 30 miles from New Mexico. In fact, I visited New Mexico a number of times while I was there, as Gaines County is dry, and just across the border, in the beautiful deserts of New Mexico, the counties are as wet as you want them to be. And so, alcohol was purchased. And imbibed. The cousins and I had our fair share while playing card games and 'talking story' at the nearby hotel where my grandmother graciously put the young ones up for the weekend. Except for me. I was staying at my grandparent's house along with my father. After the evenings wound down, my cousins and I would retire to the hotel to drink and freak out the Mennonites who apparently let their women swim only at night and under close supervision. Generally, around 4:30 a.m., I would find my way back to my car and swerve back to my grandparent's home to pass out on the fold-out bed. And so it was last Saturday night.
At the party earlier that afternoon, my grandfather, after having filled a plate full of barbecued meats and saladed potatoes, slipped and fell onto his hip and shoulder while exiting the back door of the house we were at. I was right in front of him when it happened, after having posed sardonically for a photograph that my aunt was insistent on taking. Luckily, he was okay. No paramedics were called, and the afternoon progressed as planned.
However, when I returned to the house later that evening in a severe state- I had just finished showing my cousin the first five chapters of R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet- I found things to be amiss. Why, when I sneakily entered the house in a state of utter sleep, I noticed that the back door was open and the kitchen light was on- an unfamiliar attribute to a house normally quiet and dark after about 10 p.m. No matter- just let me stumble to my bed. Fuck brushing my teeth.
"What are you doing," my grandfather asked, scaring the fuck out of drunk me.
"I'm drunk. Why are you up?! I'm going to bed."
"I just can't sleep," he grimaced. "My shoulder hurts so bad."
"Aw, I'm sorry. That sucks. At least you didn't break it," I laughed.
Wincing, he said, "My hip, too. Gosh."
"Man, that su-ucks."
"Would you look at this and see if I have a bruise?"
And there went the pants. And underwear.
"Uh, yeah, you definitely have a bruise there. That's gonna be a big one."
"What about on my shoulder?"
At this point, he begins to take off his shirt, only realizing halfway through the process that his arm is in so much pain that he cannot remove his clothing on his own. So, what to do but enlist my help in removing his t-shirt? Directly, I found myself helping my already half-naked grandfather pull the tight, white Hanes shirt off his injured and aging body.
Thinking the worst to be over, I said uncomfortably, "Um, nope. No bruise there. At least not yet, anyway."
"It just hurts so bad, though."
"Well, you should put some ice on it. Or a heating pad or something. Ben-Gay or whatever," I casually mentioned, inching my way towards my bedroom door, praying for a swift end to this nightmare. One bullet's all it would take, I hoped.
"Well, I've got something in the bathroom I could put on it," he replied. "That would probably help."
"Do it!," I encouraged, turning on my heel and walking away.
Just as I reached the door to my bedroom, salvation only six seconds of dizziness and passing out away, I hear, "Hey, will you give me a hand with this?"
"Sure, what do you need?"
"Will you rub this on my hip? I can't reach it 'cause of my shoulder."
"Rub what? That cream? That cream in your hands?"
"Yeah. Ouch," he grimaced.
The world darkened. Shit got real.
And that is how I found myself rubbing old people salve into my grandfather's heretofore unseen-by-me ASS, knowing all the while that the only reason I was able to maintain any sort of composure in this terrible, terrible situation is that I was completely drunk. And I'm okay with that. Actually, no I'm not. I'm not okay with that at ALL.
Fuck a Saturday.