Kinda, Slightly, Up-Dated. And Y’all Just Know, I Am Inherently Lyin’…. “How I came to live in the Shit Hole Garage Apartment which was not really a garage apartment, but only a Shit Hole underneath a garage apartment”

“I Fake it so real I am beyond Fake.”


Memory fails, but I have pieced together something approaching honest fact. I lost my posh digs at Ponderosa Apartments, and was forced to down-size.

Madelyn, My Sis,

was living large in the ‘Proper Garage Apartment’ and was ‘in good’ with the Landlord. She informed me he had this ‘wonderful little apartment’ for rent, which was ‘just perfect’ for me. Read CHEAP.

I checked it out, paid my fifty bucks and moved in. The moving in took all of two minutes, for I had not much to move.

Working for Ruth at her Liquor store in Ladonia and making a solid three dollars fifty cents an hour (plus ‘benefits), it was indeed, ‘perfect’ for me.

Now mind you, I never complained about living in such a place. After all, it did suit me and no one would have cared anyhow if it didn’t. It had some kind of ‘certain charm (just like this place) to be sure.

How many folks could invite a guest into their home and lead them past the shitter before arriving into the living room/bedroom/kitchen/study proper? As far as I knew, I had the only such place in all of Commerce. It was special.

And truth be told, I did some ‘entertaining’ there a couple of times. The only person who I would invite over was my girlfriend. She never judged me. She was always happy to be with me, no matter the venue. (Yes, that sounds conceited, but there it is Gentle Reader—c’est vrai, or quel dommage, or… choose your own français).

The place was cozy enough though for such entertainment. The naked flame from the space heater with no ceramics, the solitary naked light bulb hanging down, the windowless room, and the gurgling of the toilet… all these provided some surreal ambiance.

Couple that with my portable record player spitting out Joni Mitchell, Robert Zimmerman, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff, et al…

Well, it was just fuckin’ magical.

The bed was the main attraction of course, not much room for anything else actually. But it was a good bed—very lumpy and bumpy. The ‘apartment’ would never do for large soirees, but then; I was not interested in entertaining more than one at a time anyhow.

I was somewhat of a lothario. My ‘girl’ was always my ‘Go-To Girl’ of course, but I had some contenders on the side. Working with me for Ruth was a woman (I say ‘woman’ because I was a mere nineteen and she was thirty-something), and this woman had caught my eye. (and some other parts of my imagination).

We worked platonically together for the better part of two months, but the inevitable did inevitably…

She lived in a trailer park about four or five blocks from my digs and I ended up spending more and more of my nights with her. We were getting along famously.

Then something horrible happened: She figured out that I was nineteen. Mind you my ‘nineteen’ was more along the lines of ‘twenty-seven’ (in my mind at least). But when push came to shove, she just could not see the wonderful maturity I had buried deep inside.

“It’s right here Honey. I am sooo deep. You’ll see.”

And to be honest, alcohol played a ‘minor’ role in our relationship. Or rather my enjoyment of the relationship. Difficult to admit now, but booze destroyed our relationship, not that it was really going anywhere, but at nineteen, I was devastated.

I went three bubbles off plumb.

Went over to her trailer to try to convince her to take me back (though in reality I didn’t really want to be taken back and then I did, and then I didn’t Aw shit! I really did not know what the hell I wanted, but I knew what I DID NOT want: Rejection.) and found her with some old friend of hers, a roughneck from offshore oil rigs, and I managed to earnestly piss them both off, almost getting my ass kicked in the doing so.

I had purchased a Chevy Monza months before and could not continue to make the payments. I swerved into a ‘plan’. In my nineteen year-old wisdom, I decided to total the car and hopefully not kill me in the process. That would solve my car payment problems and show ‘that woman’ something, not sure what, but something.

I bought a pint of cheap vodka and downed it. Proceeded to head out north to Ladonia and just as I reached the curve in the road across from Commerce International ‘Airport’ I threw the wheel hard to the right.

My Monza and I flipped over. Thrice. On the first flip I recall thinking in that split second before calamity, “Oh Shit! I was going too fast! I’m gonna die!” I did not really want to die. The pain I felt in my back reinforced my theory of physics. I was, indeed, going too damn fast.

The car finally came to rest and still alive, I managed to crawl away from the wreck and lay down in the plowed field I found myself in—waiting for someone to show up.

By and by, they did show. In spades:

Highway Patrol. Local Cops. And..

Dr. Weimaraner (not his real name, as I cannot spell his real name, but it starts with a ‘W’. That much I recall. I can spell Doubya). Doc Weimaraner, turns out was a protégé of my late Grandfather Marcom, and also a doc that my thirty-year-old erstwhile lover had worked for. So I was twice screwed, yet once blessed.

Doc Weimaraner took charge over the Laws and told them they could not give me a Breathalyzer Test because he had to get me to the ER in Commerce. Muy Mas Pronto.  This saved me from some jail time, and more important saved me later in the insurance claim. (I told my insurance agent—HG Guy—that I had simply swerved to miss hitting a skunk. Who, Texans among us, would not believe that story? Sounded plausible to me, and… more important, it worked)

I woke up in the ER some time later and was surrounded by quite a lot of concerned folks, not the least of which was my erstwhile woman. I was holding court and was told later by a friend that I was, in fact, quite entertaining. Banging on and on about Honey Grove’s recent loss on the football field, ragging on Doc Weimaraner about my grandfather. Chastising My Woman for dumping me. Giving the attending nurse a difficult go for being a Yankee. (she was). And on and on…

I woke up the next afternoon in my shit-hole. (How I got there, I have no remembrance)

I decided then and there, a change was in order. So I gave up two-door Chevys and bought another station wagon.

18 thoughts on “Kinda, Slightly, Up-Dated. And Y’all Just Know, I Am Inherently Lyin’…. “How I came to live in the Shit Hole Garage Apartment which was not really a garage apartment, but only a Shit Hole underneath a garage apartment”

  1. I flipped between the Showdown and The Pub. Usually at The Pub since that’s where a lot of the ag majors hung out. Had Old Milwaukee in pitchers and was cheapest beer on the block. Also had Schlitz longnecks, a beer I drank a lot of in those days.

    Had a helluva pool cue, chair slinging fight in there in ’78 with some guys from Cooper who were bragging about beating HG 7-6 on a blocked punt in ’75. The flu bug hit HG that week. HG had to play with a lot of the JV starting. Cooper promptly got ass kicked by farmersville in playoffs, a team HG beat 27-0.

  2. DFWSteve,

    The Showdown Was MY Place— It Had That ‘Cheers’ Ambiance.– I Died and Cried Inside,— When it burned down… Broke My Fucking Heart!

  3. I shared a house at the east end of the street where the Showdown and The Pub were located. Just off the square. It eventually burnt down. Should have been condomed when we occupied it.

  4. I moved out within a week; a one-bedroom frame house had come available and it was a bargain at just ninety bucks a month. It was within fifty yards of ‘the crash site’ of my Monza, just across the road from the ‘Commerce International Dirt Strip’.

    The pipes would freeze, but at least I did not have to enter my digs via the shitter.

    The bedroom (yes! there was a proper bedroom!) had real wood paneling and I put carpet down in the kitchen (scrap bits I had ‘liberated’ from somewhere.) My friends mocked me for carpeting the kitchen. Never sure why; seemed perfectly normal to me.

    And the living room! I decorated with an old couch and chair I had also liberated from some place. (Probably the Commerce city dump / landfill.) I built a table out of some old lumber I picked up out of some pasture.

    The whole place could best (euphemistically) be described as ‘Nineteen Thirties Era Dust Bowl’–or simply–‘Rustic’. And I loved it!

    Had no Television, but I had a fifty gallon aquarium and my record-player. Many happy, drunken, pot induced munchie chili cook-offs happened at this venue and life was grand: Some of my happiest memories to this day. In truth, I enjoyed my poverty.

    I could go on and on, but my mind is tired today, so you’re lucky….

    Thank you very much for taking the time to visit (even though I cannot help but sheepishly, shamelessly feel I nudged, goaded, prodded you into doing so).

    Nonetheless, you are very gracious and generous with your time and your kind comments have made My Day. (I am a big fan of your writing, as you may have surmised.)

    Cheers to you and do not forget to hug a vet this weekend.

    (I am available for hugging on a first-come-first-served-basis by the way, and it won’t cost you a dime—just send one dollar, Postal Money Order…)

    1. I’m pretty sure we lived in the same garage apartment.
    2. This entire story could be the lyrics to a country music song! So vivid and well told. How much longer did you live there after that? Oh, to be 19 again…..
      Sometimes it takes a roll in a car (or something parallel to that) to wake us up, yes? Glad you weren’t seriously hurt.
  5. Now that you mention it, yes: “Hey Nineteen” was the perfect song for that relationship, just needed to swap the genders. Too funny! Yeah, I have done some really stupid shit, but I suppose most go through that ‘young and dumb, think I’m bullet-proof stage’. We did get back together briefly, but then we both decided to end it. I went to SFM shortly after. Thanks so much for reading and for your comments.

  6. How are you not dead? I guess we all do crazy stuff at 19. Our brains can’t think correctly. I guess that’s why Steely Dan wrote the song (no, we can’t dance together, no, we can’t talk at all). So did you get her back? You are so lucky you didn’t get a DWI.

  7. I lived there in winter and one night it got so damn cold that the water in the toilet froze. Solid. But when you’re young and dumb you can live though most anything. Thank you very much for visiting my site. It is great to have a celebrity in the house. Seriously, your site is amazing. May I get you something while you’re here? Coffee? Tea? Bourbon?
    Thanks for the comment; I will be looking for your post on the ‘frightening place’

  8. Love the tale of your drunken exploits! Though this apartment of yours reminds me so much of a frightening place I lived in college… I will be writing about it soon, no doubt!

  9. This has so many fine points in writing, the description of the room esp. And the story of how you went about dealing with insurance at risk of your life, is almost comical. It’s so insane. But the story should come with a warning : Don’t try this at home, this man is crazy. And I think the French laced into Texan is kind of amusing.

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