Sunday, March 21, 2010

Leave it to a therapist to make you want to see a therapist

My father called and was worried I'd become an alcoholic in the last week. His scare tactics fell on deaf ears as I have little in common with the drunks who were probably bipolar with post traumatic stress disorder and other problems when they were his clients in the therapy obsessed '70s.
"Oh, you've got one very important thing in common." 'ol dad chortles, because he's so cleverly set the trap and sprung it on me. I've walked right into the devious psychological pit he has so diabolically dug!
"Wha? I do? What do you mean?"
I'm flabbergasted as he lurches into his routine like a tired old stripper on a worn stage, gripping a greasy pole, completely ignoring that I'm more interested in the broke hobo crying in his drink next to me than the worn and saggy flesh under the threadbare nylon nighty.
"You're drinking...and they're drinking."

Wow, I'm just blown away at how perceptive this man is. What an analogy! They were drunk, divorced, suicidal and weeping on his leather couch, and I amuse myself with a post about drinking that may or may not be true. Boy, that framed diploma on the wall is like a key to my very soul. Made a living getting people to talk about themselves? Really? Could read people like an open book, I'll bet. Sure. My worries just tumble away every time he calls. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated! And I specifically wrote that these tales are for entertainment purposes only...not as a way to accumulate third hand anecdotes to compare me with the fucking mentally ill. Christ, I'll eat my hat if every one of his patients isn't a raging drunk right now...or dead by self-inflicted gunshot wound to the skull. Why don't you buy me a pack of gum and show me how to chew it? Every time I bury the hatchet he digs it up and stabs me in the back saying it's for my own good. God, I hope someone laughs about this one day.

I gotta have a stiff drink.

$1 a day

Woke up and the birds were singing like a Nat King Cole song. I'm going downtown and make a million dollars, I thought. I'll play guitar on Market Square. So I dressed up like a '70s pimp and was almost out the door when the phone rings. At this point it could be anyone from the phone company stopping service to the board of humane treatment of chickens. It turned out to be Tiffany, the Labor Ready minx who lured me into one of the worst tickets ever during last week's storm. But it's beautiful out and I had my guitar on my back.
"We need you. Can you get here?"
"Ah, baby, I got plans."
"This is good work. Servpro needs you back. Come on."
I almost cracked again because I do need guaranteed money and playing guitar on Market Square is a guaranteed disturbing the peace ticket. But then I remembered the crossroads guys, the tales of jail and methadone, the mixed martial artist guy who I pissed off with my philosophical treatise of Hannah Montana. And mostly I remembered that FUCKING $40 check that I got after 6 straight hours on my knees digging at soaking wet carpet pads in a stinking basement full of wet clothes. $40 that vanished into vodka and quinoa wraps. It's an absolute insult and at least I could drag my feet...maybe if she offered me a minimum $50 or $10 an hour.
"I don't know..."
"Come on, Oggy."
"I'm sort of busy...."
"We need you."
She wasn't going to offer me shit so I said no.
"I've got plans."
She hung up. I felt a bit guilty because turning down a job, even on a Saturday, means I become dirt to them. I'm no longer reliable. I'm not the go to guy. When you get calls from Labor Ready that means you are in the upper class. And when you reject a job from Labor Ready that means you are worst than scum to them. It forces them to call people on parole. It also means my chance of getting Tiffany to agree to a date just plummeted.

So I went downtown and played on the sidewalk for three hours and made $1. I played all the Mexico songs I learned but I didn't have a place to put the money. It was practice mostly and I saw one of my fans down there so it wasn't wasted time. I did see a servpro truck pass me with miserable faces staring out. Maybe on Monday I'll go in and take a job washing cars. Or not.

Then it was time for 7 brides for 7 brothers, that musical tale of kidnapping and true love in the Oregon wilderness. The barn dancing scene is spectacular. One of the brothers is a ballet dancer who does vaults on two beams while spinning a girl in circles. I'm so jealous.

Number of words written for my Santa Cruz novel: 0
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.