2018 I made the leap to move crossed the country. I was living in a small town in Michigan where everyone would hunt, fish, work on vehicles, and drink, and smoke weed. For years I had this idea of what it would be like when I moved to Austin. But to get there, I needed to save money. So I spent a year of my life at a job that was sufficient for the time. There were a few potholes along the way.
I was working for a temp agency at a pillow manufacturing company in Arizona. It was a starter company and the machine broke down every week or so. Which put a strain on my finances. I had bills to pay and was living in a poor neighborhood. I didn’t have a car so I had to take the bus. Luckily at my prior job I met a good friend who would give me a ride. They fired all the black people in the warehouse except one. Forcing me to go back to taking the bus which was never on time. I met him at a previous job but we both transferred to this pillow manufacturing company because the warehouse where we worked was imploding.
The reason for firing these individuals was that, “they didn’t know their place.” According to management they were trouble makers. The trouble they would cause was essentially reminding the management how to do their job. Hoping their efforts would be recognized and they would be rewarded with a raise or promotion. “We’re going to get marked if there isn’t fire extinguishers in all these areas.” Management would scoff at these remarks until they had to bring in another manager from out of state to show them what was wrong from right. In my opinion they got fired because management was insecure and felt threatened. They should have been! My friends were three times the leaders management pretended to be.
While at the pillow manufacturing company and my previous warehouse job I would continue reading not only because I enjoyed the escape, but because I was studying authors styles, pacing, descriptions, vocabulary, world-building, etc. I didn’t feel confident in my writing. I would say in this particular year Frank Herbert was my biggest influence. His ability to create a world, and tell a story while having complex social commentary on politics and religion was amazing. Plus the style of Dune consisting of mostly dialogue was interesting to me. Except for the description of Paul and his fathers’ hawk like face and the size of the worm, and the fact Paul’s mother wore a black dress some other vague descriptions you really had to use your imagination for what they looked like it just powered through.
On the day of my last friend getting fired I got a text from my dad. “What’s your address???” My first thought was why does my family insist on using multiple punctuation points in every text tricking me into thinking everything is an emergency. I text my address then asked why? He called me and said he’s leaving his wife and is going to live with me… That’s definitely worthy of three question marks I thought.
“He said how much money do you have?” I said, “negative $25.” He laughed and said I got $40 and a handful of clothes we’ll be a good match.” When my dad arrived it was great. I had only seen him as a kid once a year. Then as an adult twice a year. Then I moved to Wisconsin and I hadn’t seen him for five years. The circumstances weren’t great and he was quite depressed. We still had fun though. I think it had been 3 weeks to a month before we left for Michigan .
To make a long story short, he went back to his wife who was dying. I stayed out in Michigan with his family who I had never met. He left me his 2000 F-150. Skipping a few things and landing on the first day of winter. I had to go take the F-150 to the shop for minor work to be done. I hit black ice going thirty five miles an hour. I could feel the back of my truck swinging. So I let off the accelerator. slowly hit my breaks. I was speeding towards a ditch faster and faster. I don’t think my speed was increasing as much as my adrenaline was going. Skinny little tree branches whacked my wind shield. While in my head I calmed my self by screaming. “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!!” This was also worthy of three punctuation points, specifically exclamation points.
My truck was in a shallow ditch the engine was still running. I hadn’t hit the trees. Everything seemed okay. I put it into reverse. It did this little jerking back and forth dance. So I get out to see why I’m not going anywhere. I had hit a tree stump which ripped off my tire. “Built ford tough my ass.” A tree stump… a tree stump delivered the final knock out punch. I looked around and this was the only tree stump in this ditch for about a mile each way. A mild snow storm smacked me off the road, and I manage to hit the only goddamn tree stump within’ miles. My cousin said, “Be happy you hit a stump and not a tree. It could’ve been worse. I didn’t care for his optimism. Not one bit. Yeah it could’ve been worse or could of not happened at all. That would of been a lot better. As for revenge, I’ve been using paper bags hoping it was a relative of the stump.”
“You know trees are how we breathe, and you’re harming the environment.” I looked at her stupid progressive grocery store clerk face and said, “Double it.”
No, my battle with nature didn’t go so well. I left my phone off not wanting to talk to anybody. On the night of the accident I got a call from the sheriff’s office saying I was being charged with abandoning my vehicle. They ran my plate to find I didn’t have insurance.
See what had happened was… my dad told me I should keep the insurance but Michigan insurance was incredibly high. Especially because my dads co-worker had put several large dents in it and is considered totaled. So thinking financially I canceled the insurance because I’m a good driver not thinking I needed it. I’ll get it eventually but I’ll save for now. (BeCuz IM a Geneyes.)
That’s why my phone was off because I knew my dad was calling and going to ask how my day was. I’m a terrible liar and didn’t want to hear, “I told you so.” I also didn’t abandon the truck I was going to see if a guy from work could pull it out and fix it. I didn’t call the police because I didn’t think the tree stump would sue me for damages. (which got a laugh from the cop.) Plus my aunt drove by 45 minutes after the accident and said the truck was gone. 45 minutes is hardly abandoned.
So I call the cops immediately in the morning told him the truth. So he put in a good word for my honesty. Told me my bail was reduced from $2000 to $200 and would be expecting a $2000 fine. I could find the truck at possibly the worst human beings towing lot and so I did. A guy at the shop fixes up cars told me he would swap out the axle from his old F-150 and put it on mine for $300. I thought that was swell so I did.
The whole ordeal reminded me why I left Wisconsin to go back home to Arizona in the first place. I was born in the dry ass desert. I’ve got no business being near the snow.
My truck is fully mobile. I’m insured. The winter is over and on the next day I’m shipping out to my new home Austin Texas. While I’m going to the gas station my truck over heats. “Sonofa-bitch!!!” My aunt knows a guy who works on cars. He connects my heater hose to my radiator. I don’t know the technical term but my heater crapped out. His voodoo get’s my truck going again. I get a hold of the guy who I got the axle from to see if he’d help me because Firestone wanted me to wait a week. Oh no, Ohhh no. You see I knew what was going on. Michigan was trying to everything in it’s power to keep there. You see I had wondered why every one was so angry and wanted out of this little town but never left. It wasn’t because they didn’t want to, it was because they couldn’t. Michigan… is cursed. Hence Eminem’s immortal anger. So the guy that gave me his axle for a reasonable price was kind enough to give me the works. Made sure nothing would go wrong and if it did. He gave me his number to walk me through the problem.
Everything worked out splendidly. I have another vehicle with insurance. I have this website that doesn’t have that many views. I still enjoy the exercise of writing out my thoughts. I continue to write my Novels and comic books. while working my 9 to 5. I’ve started exercising more to get in better shape. I choose to surround my self with people who are trying to further themselves and not hang out at dingy bars with people who say they’re your friend when they just want a drinking buddy. I think it’s important to have large goals even though dingy bar people from Michigan will say otherwise. It’s important also to not have expectations. Because life throws curve balls at you. That make you vere off coarse not always for the worse. I’ve made many friends. Exposing some people I thought were friends in fact had been wolves in sheep’s clothing. So don’t be discouraged by the things that take you off course. Let these things remind you what’s important. Stay focused. Work hard. Stay humble. It’s not the destination that’s important but the journey.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every one in my life. 2018 was one hell of a ride. I’m looking forward to what life throws at me next. #Ready
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