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Good times and riches and son-of-abitches I've seen more than I can recall

by anna at 06:56 PM on March 02, 2006

One of my earliest memories (revived by NCO's recent comment) is of mudball fights. We'd make them like meatballs, dry them in the sun and then face off and heave these rock-like objects at each other at point blank range. I got hit hard many times. Another is spinning around a pole until I was so dizzy I fell down and split my head wide open. I was six.

At age 15 I got jumped in a driveway and pummeled by some older boys for about 15 minutes. They left me unconscious in the gutter. Around about the same time I got robbed twice at knifepoint. Scuffles ensued and more blows to the head. A year later I was in a horrific car accident in which a stolen Cadillac leveled a carport. My best friend and I were hitchhikers in the back. He died in my lap. Another head injury, requiring 72 stitches next to my eye.

A few years later I was play-fighting with a friend who outweighed me by 100 pounds. I got the best of him so he took a ring of keys and smashed it into my face. Since I was on a 3 day binge, I didn't seek medical care. By the time I did it was too late. I have a scar from that too. Needless to say I developed a grand mal seizure disorder and nearly died several times. Docs were at a loss as to why.

I burned my house down when we left some candles burning. My parents threw me out. Not really, but they gave me a credit card and told me to go live in the basement of my sister's house. Me and my friends and some hotel whores lived there until age 18, with a fridge well-stocked with Heineken and that was it. We didn't attend high school the last two years but they agreed to let us all graduate if we'd just go away and stop terrorizing people. None of us ever held jobs but we had money to burn. And we burned another house down in a firebombing incident in retaliation for the driveway pummeling.

We were involved in all manner of abuse, mayhem and debauchery. You name it and it occured more than once. I've seen a man held over a hotel balcony by his ankles with his wallet and keys flying down 12 stories. I've been grilled about murders. I've seen the inside of jails. I've almost died more times than I can count. All of my friends are dead. I remain. Perhaps the old existential saw "what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger" really is true in some isolated cases.

At age 46 I can look back on all this youthful nonsense with some perspective. And all I can do is laugh. I have a beautiful and supportive wife of 17 years. She's one of those who's aged really well and actually gotten prettier over the years. All my kids have been pretty successful. The youngest overcame a learning disability to be an honors student, good soccer player and a viola virtuoso. I myself still play soccer and have gotten pretty good. I've held the same job for 24 years and I'm the highest paid claims adjustor in history. We half-own the house we'll die in and we own our cars. I've got retirement covered, life insurance, the whole 9 yards. I even know how to wheel and deal in the stock market.

How the hell does something like that happen?

And if you're young and full of whimsy like I was, take heart. You could still succeed. There's a lot of years in a life. Maybe. Maybe not.

comments (12)

I'm planning to live your life in reverse. I'll do everything how I was supposed to until my 30th birthday, and then go on a bender for however much of my life is left. The next time you'll see me my little thumbnail picture will look like a Nicke Nolte/James Brown mug shot.

by mg at March 2, 2006 11:57 PM

Your life isn't that different from mine, sounds a little worse, but when I turned twenty-one, or I dunno, maybe a little later, I calmed down dramatically. Memories damn it. I have some corkers. They're really not worth storing though, and I snort laughter at them too.

I remember my younger brother was chasing some kid I'd never seen before, and I joined the pursuit instantly for some brotherly reason I can't fathom. I sped past my brother and wrapped my arm around this kid's head, coming to a stop and swinging him with me, I had him in a tight headlock, and had my free arm ready to knock his head off.

I told my brother to smack him, as I held his head there, but he wouldn't. Slightly pissed at this kid because I'd spent some energy chasing him, and at my brother for being a turd. I hit the kid myself. His head jerked and when I released the headlock he crumpled to floor.

When I asked my brother who this kid was he told me it was just some dickhead from the year below him at school. He had a thing for hurling abuse and then doing high-knees, confident he could outrun whoever he was hurling abuse at. My brother wasn't going to hit him, it hadn't even crossed his mind. This kid was a year younger than him, making him three years younger than me, I think I was seventeen at the time. My bro was just giving chase for the hell of it. The kid didn't come 'round for what seemed like ages, and when he did all he could do was cry and lay there as if I'd paralyzed him. In fact I think in his garbled cries that's what he was saying, "You've paralyzed me."

My brother on the walk home was givng it all, "I can't believe you hit him. I barely even know him, he didn't even do anything." Absolute guilt trip. Even now my brother can bring it up - the little kid I hit for no real reason, evil bastard, blah, blah. Thing is though, my brother is always going on about these guys from his year, and from my year at school, who are walking around these days built like brick shithouses. He says that I gave them a complex each by bullying them in their streets, taking the piss because of their clothes, or the house they lived in. Giggling friends and lasses in tow to make things worse for them.

I have no memory of being a bully at all. And as much as I told my brother he was full of shit, while he was telling me all this I was having instant replay flashing images of me watching some kid smashing his fist into a fence because he was too afraid to direct his anger at my face, which I think I found hilarious at the time, but it equates to a bad memory for some reason. Me holding this guy's own knife at his throat because he'd threatened some kid with it earlier the same night. Me running complete strangers down because someone or other I was with happened to mention that they were after them for some anal reason, then me beating the shit out of whoever I'd caught.

All stuff I'd done on a whim, and forgotten about because it just wasn't worth remembering, but it has really fucked some guys up, it's stuck with them according to our kid. I imagine I'm on a few guys' Top Ten People I'd Like To Kill lists. These heavy set freako's are praying that I'm still that guy, that one night in a club or something I'm gonna smack someone for no reason and give them a reason to test their arm. lol Mental. I was stoned half the time. My brother was reeling off names I could barely recognise, then after in depth descriptions I'd manage something like, "Oooh, that freaky blonde kid who pissed himself in Friargate?" - "Yes, he pissed himself because of you." "Did he? Peh. Shit."

I'm sure I'm gonna do okay, I'm a big dozy bully apparently. Gah! S'not even remotely me, I'm a really affable guy. Relatively smart, I'm sure I've broken up more fights than I've ever started. The bully mantle jus doesn't fit. Maybe I should do a Cussack and go visit all these dudes I'm supposed to have bullied, and get some closure. lol

As for things turning out well regardless of life spent fucking yourself and others over, without remembering it due to the drugs and alcohol. I'll be fine, me and a few guys jus' pulled off the biggest robbery in British history, just gotta find someone to launder the 50 mil and we're golden.

I so fecking wish that were true. I think I need the pretty wife who gets prettier before things start fallig into place. Still can't see me holding down a job for more than few months at a time though. Twenty-four years in one place doing the same thing day in and day out, eight hours a day, five days a week, that jus' ain't my bag baby yeah. :)

Mind you, the wife thing doesn't sound too healthy either. :|

by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at March 3, 2006 12:46 AM

Bah, for some reason I thought this thing broke the paragraphs up, upon pressing enter. Forgot I had to miss a line. Mee hee . Sorry for the huuuuuge body of text there, s'quite a lovely mess of words. :(

by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at March 3, 2006 12:48 AM

MG, can I substitute the infamous Nolte mug shot for my thumbnail? Cuz that is how I feel this morning.

NCO: That figures. You Brits put on airs but really you're just as violent as us. You're just a tad more polite about it.

by anna at March 3, 2006 7:58 AM

ECG: Viola! Fixed.

You two guys kind of scare me.

by mg at March 3, 2006 8:17 AM

Thanks for that MG. Ye're a star. ;)

Anna, there's no such thing as going for a quiet drink in my country, or if there is it's rare. You can pretty much bet that something's going to happen that'll lead to a fight. On my brothers 21st a stranger of a guy actually approached me to tell me which prison he'd been in, and that he knew I'd been there too because of the shirt I was wearing. I'd picked the shirt up from Officers Club or something, but this guy thought I was an ex con making a statement. "Don't fuck with me, I've been inside." Mad. All I could manage by way of response was, "Believe me if I'd known it looked like a prison shirt I wouldn't have bought it."
Strangely, my quieter mate, married with two kids, was the one who started going psycho on this guy for talking to me. Getting right in his face, heh heh. He was really eager to jump him when he left the pub too. I just wanted to go for a drink, I didn't want to go out for a fight. My mate caught up with him in a different pub a little later, he went over to ask him where he got shirt from, and was asking what kind of shirt he had on, "Where'd I get my shirt then? Dickhead?" That idiot spiel some guys do, asking questions and then answering them themselves, only giving really shitty answers and making themselves more angry like, "Where's my shirt from then? - - Fucking charity shop is it? Is it from a charity shop? You calling me a tramp?"

Eee, it tickled me. I think I have one of those faces that attracts psychopaths, my brow is constantly knitted for some reason and my eyes are like slits, as if I'm constantly scowling against glaring sunlight or something. Doesn't bode well when entering a pub. But even when it ain't my face, apparently it's my choice in shirts too. :)

by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at March 3, 2006 12:10 PM

Viola is the instrument my son plays. Did you mean voila? That doesn't look right.

Funny you mention the face thing. You can see mine. It says, "I am insincere." People think I'm lying even on the rare occasion when I'm not.

by anna at March 3, 2006 6:26 PM

Great post Anna, and great comment, Crimson. I'm glad to hear Ian is doing so well in school!

Crimson, your brother probably has you on a pedestal. I'm the oldest of four and my siblings do that. I am not sure if people can help idolizing older siblings whenever they have them. I don't have one so I'll never know for sure!

MG, you would like to live Anna and Crimson's lives in reverse? That's crazy talk! :)

by jean at March 4, 2006 9:51 PM

I think MG is on to something. To live your last couple years in the fast lane rather than a nursing home is the way to go. I also think health-conscious people are placing too much value on those last few wasted years. Screw 'em.

by anna at March 6, 2006 7:47 AM

That's what I tell people when they say some behavior will take years off of my life.

It's the years at the end, so who cares!!

And yeah anna. your picture looks like the ones you see in the used cars ads. Trust me I'll sell you a lemon.
But I have the same problem, I always reply to questions with sacrasm so no one knows when I'm being serious.

by Long Time Lurker at March 6, 2006 9:52 AM

I can understand the sincerity behind your sarcasm LTL, because it never registers as sarcasm in my filtration system.

by LOCKHEED at March 6, 2006 4:28 PM

Maybe that it it, sarcasm. Like the boy who cried wolf and got arrested for harrassing an endangered species.

by anna at March 7, 2006 7:40 AM

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