A little background before we begin.
Just so you know who I am, I live alone… and it works.
For example, one of my best friends, stayed at my house for couple days.
You see, I have a house that most people believe is a very comfortable house for visitors. But you see that is from their own viewpoint.
The funny thing is, it really isn’t.
But, that's by design because generally, I like to be alone.
And, when someone actually does arrive for a couple days, I find myself walking around feeling like I must apologize constantly saying I'm sorry, I really don't have anything for us to do.
Always thinking, something for you to do is get out. I really have nothing going here. No Disneyland, no 6 flags and I am probably the most boring host you will ever stay with.
Of course my friend was tactful enough to say it was OK. "I am like that too". But I am thinking I bet he is 100 times more of a host than I am. Everyone is FFS! LOL So a boring guy I have planned and a boring guy I must be.
I guess it is because I never attended "Host school" or perhaps it is because I don't give a shit. All I know is that I do not like to be with people who don't know the definition of episiotomy or destry; those who do not believe in Karma.
If you ever come to visit me, I would bore you into wanting to go pull weeds in my backyard.
That's how boring my life is but it is designed that way for others. As for me, I am never bored. LOL
In fact, I do have a spare bedroom with plenty of space.
I even have an aero bed . You know one of those blow up beds. And I hide the electric pump so they have to blow it up manually.
I really don't want to make it attractive for people to come over. It makes a statement about me and
that is who I am...
I also want you to to know that I believe in the USA!
Franklin Gram Said it very well.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. In 2012, Franklin Graham was speaking at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, when he said America will not come back. He wrote:
"The American dream ended on November 6th, 2012. The second term of Barack Obama has been the final nail in the coffin for the legacy of the white Christian males who discovered, explored, pioneered, settled and developed the greatest republic in the history of mankind.
A coalition of blacks, Latinos, feminists, gays, government workers, union members, environmental extremists, the media, Hollywood, uninformed young people, the "forever needy," the chronically unemployed, illegal aliens and other "fellow travelers" have ended Norman Rockwell's America.
You will never again out-vote these people. It will take individual acts of defiance and massive displays of civil disobedience to get back the rights we have allowed them to take away. It will take zealots, not moderates and shy, not reach-across-the-aisle RINOs to right this ship and restore our beloved country to its former status.
People like me are completely politically irrelevant, and I will probably never again be able to legally comment on or concern myself with the aforementioned coalition which has surrendered our culture, our heritage and our traditions without a shot being fired.
The Cocker spaniel is off the front porch, the pit bull is in the back yard. The American Constitution has been replaced with Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and the likes of Chicago shyster David Axelrod along with international socialist George Soros have been pulling the strings on their beige puppet and have brought us Act 2 of the New World Order.
The curtain will come down but the damage has been done, the story has been told.
Those who come after us will once again have to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to bring back the Republic that this generation has timidly frittered away due to white guilt and political correctness.."
BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want,
but the realization of how much you already have.
Now let's lighten up a bit...
My mom was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia and my dad was from Woodlawn, PA USA. I'm the guy on the right (About 1972?)
Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Sister Alice
xmas, notice the TV LOL
Mom. Grandma and grandpa
Dad and Alice
Table of Contents
About a year ago, I bought a suicide drug online.
It came from Thailand and arrived in less than three days. I could have gotten it the next day if I was willing to pay for overnight air. That’s how easy it is to get.
You can also travel to Colombia and buy it over the counter from a vet.
Apparently, all you need to do is say that you’re putting down a sick horse and they’ll sell you as much as you want. Then you either drink it in your hotel room and let your family deal with your remains, or you smuggle it back into your luggage for later use.
Of course, I didn’t use it. Although, if I’m being honest, sometimes I wish that I had.
I reflect on this thought as I sit here, decades of my life now in the rearview mirror. I look back on the things I can only analyze on a circuit now, probing for what could have been done differently. Things I cannot change.
All I can think about now is my 33-year-old daughter Misty away at private school from ages 14 – 18. She graduated with a fire in her eyes that told everyone that she was going to change the world, and she believed it, too.
Spoiler alert: that never happened. I’m sure you’re wondering why that is. I’m sure you’re wondering what leads me to where I am now, mulling over my memories of her rather than creating new ones with her. What happened to all of her dreams? Who or what extinguished the flame that at one time burned so bright?
I am ashamed to admit it, but I can probably shed some light on that matter. You see, I was always a good provider, but I regretfully admit that I was an arrogant and pitiful father. Time and time again, I ignored Misty’s affection, overlooked her accomplishments, and robbed her of overt affirmation. In truth, she grew up with only the love of a mother, and an absent father who was only interested in himself.
If only there was a drug that could erase the regrets and memories that haunt me day and night, that was the thought circulating my mind when I purchased the pill.
What stopped me from taking it? Maybe it was hope. Maybe it was a belief that I could change the mistakes I had made in the past, that I could restore her hope and faith in me. That I could even get her to love me again.
It doesn’t really matter. Soon, there will be no need for any pills to end my misery anyway.
I recently invited her up to spend a day or two, in the hopes that we might reconnect. She agreed, but only to finalize my end-of-life wishes.
I am seated in front of my computer screen, anxiously awaiting her arrival, my aluminum walker close at hand and waited in my dimly lit living room. Her plane landed several hours ago but it’s a 100-mile drive from the airport. I hope she doesn’t get lost.
Being photo phobic, any sunlight causes a painful sunburn and I exist in my solitary silent shadows, with only sounds from an occasional passing car and a soft murmuring from my ears.
A dentist on a remote Indian reservation in South Dakota, almost 100 miles from the nearest town of any size for the past ten years, I had escaped to this existence when I was touched by this worsening disability.
At this precise moment, I had been staring at the blinking cursor awaiting my input for the last thirty minutes, and I sensed its laughter, my fingers frozen in my lap.
Then, the sound of a car door slamming shut can be heard through an open window, quickly followed by a knock at the door.
“Come in, it’s open!” I yell, my heart hammering.
A shadowy figure slowly materialized, but not caring who or what it was, I focused my attention on the whorls of smoke rising from my just lit cigarette. Sucking slowly on the slim white tube filled my lungs with a pleasant feeling I had enjoyed for years.
The words that I heard sounded like a foreign language but they bounced off the walls and crashed from the ceiling blasting into my ears and creating an effect such that suddenly, I could hardly breathe. A violent coughing erupted in a vain attempt to expel the smoke from my lungs.
Time stopped for an instant as the past thirty-five years of my life flashed before my eyes. The shadowy stranger now present in my dimly lit living room was someone I had not seen for more than twenty years. A missing piece from my life who I thought lost for all time.
A young girl. Her face is familiar but her eyes read me like a stranger would—as if she’s trying to assess my danger level. The look on her face is icy.
“Hello father. It’s been too long,” she greets me with disdain.
I grab my walker and attempt to stand, but the pain in my feet is too great and I quickly sink back into my chair.
“Oh, don’t get up for me, I’ll only be here for a short while anyway,” she says.
This is not exactly what I want to hear, but I’m also not very surprised.
“Would you like something to drink… Perhaps some coffee?” I say, trying to remember what a normal father would do at the arrival of his daughter.
“No thanks, I’m good,” she shrugs off my suggestion.
She probably thinks that anything I give her would contain poison in it, anyway.
A moment of silence. The awkward heaviness of the moment hangs tensely in the air.
“Well, pull up a chair and sit for a minute. I have so much to tell you,” I say at last. My excitement is performative, emulating how I might react if this was a normal interaction.
She looks hesitant, but she did fly all the way here to see me. It’s not like she has much to lose by listening to what I have to say.
Misty drags a worn canvas chair close to me and sits. The tense look on her face tells me it’s taking everything in her not to run back out the door.
“So, what’s going on?” she cuts to the chase.
My mind is racing, and I don’t know what to say. I feel so much helpless responsibility for the imperfections in her life. I can’t help but feel like they are dragging her down, and worse, that they’re my fault.
“I know this may be a difficult time for you but, I want you to know the truth,” I admit.
I shift uncomfortably in my seat. How do I bring myself to now say the things that should’ve been said many years ago?
“Will this take long? I’m scheduled on the next flight out—and I really have to ask, how can you live like this? This place is a shithole,” she says, looking at the ceiling. “I mean it’s so dark. There’s no music, and your crap is spread out all over the place.”
I am taken aback by her retort and really do not know what to say.
“I have had some medical problems come up with which I am trying to cope. I am doing the best I can,” I mumble.
I don’t know if I’m expecting her to show me the same kind of compassion that I never showed her, but she doesn’t.
“Medical problems. What are you talking about?” she asks for clarification, but ends up sounding more annoyed than she does concerned.
“The autoimmune disease which started ten years ago when your mother left me for another man has shortened the likelihood of survival significantly. My cancer has returned with a dismal prognosis,” I say, realizing how cold and matter-of-fact I sound.
I don’t know how else to be. I’ve barely processed through the news myself, much less how to break it to others.
“What are you talking about? The father I have known for the last ten years is as healthy as a horse. Have you been lying to me?” she spits out.
Every word is an accusation, as if I somehow willed the cancer into coming back as a ploy for her attention. I try not to retreat at her sharp words.
“Well, if you want to know the whole truth,” I begin quietly, “for the last ten years I have lived here alone, practicing dentistry here on this remote Indian reservation in South Dakota. I have chosen a self-imposed existence in solitude which has given me time to think about the pain that my past mistakes have caused to so many people—especially to you. The pain and suffering caused by my selfish actions in order to achieve my goals is unforgivable. Still, my only hope is that there might still be a way to gain your forgiveness and love once again. As for the cancer, it’s true. It’s come back. I can’t explain why it did, but I know that it has.”
Misty openly rolls her eyes, completely unmoved by my spiel.
“Oh, come on dad, you weren’t that bad. Except, of course, for ignoring my mother, playing golf every day instead of spending time with your family, getting drunk every night, and never going anywhere with us. Aside from those minor things, you weren’t so terrible,” she says sarcastically.
“You really do not know me at all,” I respond as quickly as she had cut me off, “I can be a violent man. Not physically violent, but I did have to take on a life that required me to find people I could use to accomplish my goals. Each time I did, in that moment, another part of me was hurt along with them,” I say, trying to be honest.
Misty widens her eyes in amusement. Nothing I say seems to faze her. I don’t know why I’m even telling her these things.
“Oh my God, a little melodramatic, aren’t you?” she quickly replies.
“When I was young, I romanticized the life of an outlaw. In my mind, I was a bad guy, taking what I wanted when I wanted it. That was a long time ago. I have learned, now that it’s too late to learn such a lesson, that when I hurt others, there is always a price to pay,” I explain.
She looks at the door. I think maybe she’s plotting how to escape this uncomfortable conversation.
“Well, I may not know all the details, but payback’s a bitch ain’t it?” she says vehemently.
I fight the urge to sink even deeper into my chair. The hope I had for this conversation is slowly seeping out through the cracks in the dirty, tiled floor.
“Look,” I hesitate, “I asked you to come here more out of concern for your future than my own. I’m afraid you’re giving up on your dreams. What I have to say will hopefully change your life forever. I will tell you some stories. Then, you can see what you think. Feel free to leave whenever you wish,” I finish.
She looks at me like I’m an inconvenience to her. I probably am.
“Okay, fine. I’ll give you a few minutes, but I guarantee you that, as soon as I get bored, I’m out of here,” she warns me.
It’s better than nothing.
“Look, everyone has a way they want to be perceived. A cover story. A lie. They tell you what they want you to believe. But I think actions speak louder than words—especially the ones we take out of loyalty, or sense of duty, or love, or out of hope for a second chance. That’s all I want for you Misty, a second chance for the both of us. I’ll do anything to make sure that we get it,” I say with tears in my eyes.
This admission makes my heart skip a beat. After all, these are just words. I can only hope to leave some kind of impact on her before my time is up.
She leans forward with a sneer and says: “That sounds positively intriguing. Make your thoughts fruitful and your words eloquent, or I am gone.”
It is painfully obvious that she does not want to be here, but it is crucial that she become more interested. If not, my plan will fail. There will be no reconnection, and she will be doomed to a life full of disappointment and regret. Worst of all, it will be my fault.
I pray that my next words will be enough.
I promise that this story is nothing but the truth and that here, you can find all the details. Many moons ago, when I was a young boy, I lived in the San Francisco Potrero Hill projects for low-income families.
My life growing up was anything but easy. I lived next to a huge tank that was filled with natural gas (see image below) and often felt like it might blow up at any moment, putting the life of my entire family in danger. Another gigantic fear I grew up with was that, if it did explode when I wasn’t there, the whole hill would be gone. Then, I would be alone forever.
From our living room window, the monstrous tank seemed to be right across the street, often leaving my overactive imagination with the feeling that Armageddon could arrive any day.
Outside, it was almost as barren as Western Australia, dirt and weeds. A huge tarmac between the buildings was a favored play area for basketball and for events like Halloween celebrations.
To other people, this environment may have seemed rather bleak, but the dirt and weeds were my playground, my imaginary construction site where I dug endless caverns and roads for my trucks which made countless trips delivering goods from one encampment to the next. It was also my escape from the heckling local kids.
Our tiny, first-floor, two-bedroom apartment was across the street from that huge tank I had previously mentioned. Most of the projects’ residents were immigrants, and they also constantly lived in fear that one day it would blow us all to kingdom come.
I will never forget the smell of boiled cabbage, stale cigarette smoke, and bleach that assaulted my nostrils every time I walked into the building. Living in the projects was anything but a paradise.
There was little to no separation between our lives and the other residents’. I always knew when the people upstairs used the bathroom, because I could hear the water draining down the pipe that ran from the kitchen ceiling through the floor.
My mom once told me that I had an eye infection when I was very young, and that it resulted in a crossed left eye and amblyopia. Due to this, I was forced to wear a black rubber eyepatch that covered my right eye until I was about nine or ten, in the hopes it would correct the vision in my left eye. This, of course, was fodder for the other kids to use against me. Despite this, believe it or not, the bad things were outweighed by the good.
Being born during the “silent generation”, I was expected to act like a man, a John Wayne if you will. There were no hugs sending their love, and one was expected to bury their feelings as this was considered a weakness.
Well, that may have been fine for John Wayne, but a six or seven-year-old boy needs more than just a pat on the head to feel happy and safe.
Try to imagine living in a time when, there were no cell phones, Facebook or quarantines. Communities were close-knit in those days, and ours was no exception. The Potrero Hill mothers were a tight bunch, always eager to share a recipe, watch the kids, or share the latest scandal.
Looking back, these ladies were perhaps something of a stereotype, living their lives in exactly the way you might have expected. If you had dropped in unannounced, you would undoubtedly have found their home spic and span, supper ready, and their hair up in bobby pins, ready for their husband’s triumphant return from work.
It was a different time, a different era when people didn’t have the luxury of worrying about such things as germs and home remedies were never questioned. Many a kid could be seen picking their nose and eating the boogers, when safely out of view of their mothers, of course.
Plus, we all had to walk to Starr King School every day. Back then, however, no one was worried about kidnappings or murders or anything like that. It was a different time. I suspect we had a lot more freedom than kids nowadays.
The surrounding landscape was a wonderland of dirt and weeds. I didn’t mind it at all, because it was my special place. There, I created little caves and roads in the dirt where my toy trucks ran back and forth, carrying supplies to the various little encampments I had constructed.
I was very shy during those years. I would speculate that my eye patch probably had something to do with it.
One day, a neighbor boy named Johnny Green ran up to my special place, grabbing my truck and running away, all the while laughing hysterically. He was bigger than I was, so naturally I ran home crying to my mother. She asked me what was wrong so I explained to her what happened, expecting her to give me a hug and tell me that everything would be okay.
What actually happened was that she immediately became infuriated and removed my glasses, putting them on the table. Then she told me in a voice that chilled me to the bone to go back up that hill and ‘beat the shit out of that kid.’
I was stunned, as this was very unlike my mother.
I wish I could say that a strange light came from the sky, or that I heard the voice of a Genie spring up to give me some power to carry out my task proscribed by her, but no such luck. I guess it was my mother’s voice instead that galvanized me into action and up that hill the day I went looking for dear old Johnny Green.
It seemed like a matter of seconds until I reached the top of the hill. There, I encountered Johnny Green. To further my rage, he was still holding my truck and laughing as he had been before. I’ll teach him a lesson about picking on other kids, I thought. Following my mother’s orders, I told him I wanted my truck back, and then started to walk toward him.
A crowd of kids had gathered and was growing larger by the second, all of them hoping for a fight. Well, if it was a fight they wanted, then a fight they would get. I wasted no time keeping them waiting in anticipation of what would happen next. My hands darted out like a snake striking its prey. I grabbed my truck, but Johnny Green refused to let go.
We briefly tussled, pulling back and forth, but all of a sudden something came over me. Suddenly, the fight became less and less about the truck, and more about something I couldn’t quite pinpoint. I think it was a feeling of frustration—and revenge perhaps. I grabbed him by the neck and, with all of the kids cheering, down to the ground we went.
I remember punching furiously and the feeling of satisfaction coming over me when I saw bright red blood squirting from his nose and his mouth. I remember him crying like a baby, and not caring at all about that fact.
Finally, I stopped. I figured the message had been both sent and received. Then I grabbed my truck, ran down the hill, and into my front door. My mother, anxiously waiting, was ecstatic to see that I had my truck in hand and that I had suffered no damage in its acquisition.
Not even a minute later, there was a pounding at the door. When my mother went to open it, there stood Johnny Green’s mother. Her screeching voice felt like a sawtooth file in my ears. In response, my mother coolly slammed the door in her face, giving her no satisfaction.
My mother was very cool back then, or at least that was the way I saw it. At the time, my dad only made $25 a week for the US Government Railroad Retirement Board. To help out with expenses, my mom was a bookie, taking small bets from all the neighborhood wives.
Although she never saw the inside of a jail cell, she was scared out of her wits by a visit from the police one afternoon. Truthfully, it is a wonder she survived.
Misty’s arms are still crossed. She hasn’t moved from her original position since I began to tell the story. She’s listening, but she looks unimpressed.
“So, you were beating up on other kids?” she sneers. “That’s supposed to make me more empathetic toward you?”
I sigh. This will not be a battle easily won.
“I just wanted you to get some context for the environment I grew up in. No one ever took me seriously and I swore that someday, things would be different.” I say, reaching for some understanding.
It doesn’t seem like she’s anywhere near understanding. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite appears to be true. I try to tell myself it’s early on in the story, and she still has quite a lot of time to come around.
“So what that you were poor?” her response confirms my suspicions. “There are a ton of men out there who had childhoods full of lack, but still didn’t grow up to be absentee fathers.”
Her response hits me across the face with an open hand. I can’t deny that there’s truth to what she says.
“Please Misty,” I beg, “that’s not the whole story.”
She openly rolls her eyes at me.
“Then it better get a lot more interesting... Fast,” she says pointedly.
I have a long way to go with her. It’s a little reassuring to know that I have already come such a long way in my life.
Dr Sherwood Tucker
About the Author
Working on a remote Indian reservation gives me the time to work on my story. Many experiences, some great and some not so great but all were definitely learning experiences. I hope you are enjoying this so far as it is a work in progress and I hope you have learned from my mistakes.