Ethel, The Pirate’s Daughter sketched this ‘Self-portrait’ for me while we were enduring yet another long, boring, bullshit ‘help’ session at UBH Denton.
She would often lay her head on my shoulder and grasp my hand and we got in trouble over this, ’cause there is ‘no touching’ in Looney Tunes Hospital. (We always sat very close to each other—mainly because we were trying to fall in love).
Imagine me, falling for a Cambodian American Girl with a broken wing and a broken heart and a broken mind and a broken life.
And try to imagine her, falling for me.
Hard to imagine, but it happened.
In the Loony Hospital.
She was to me… Sade in tights.
(And such a delight)
(See poem link below if you’d like to ‘read more about her.’)
Ode to Dick Latson (who I have unfriended on FB, simply because he never ‘interacted’ with any of my posts. Look up my “Facebook Philosophy” series at texantales.com if you give a shit)
(I worked for him for over ten years–gave him and his business the ‘best years of my life.’ For not much money. No Regrets.)
This does NEVER mean I do not love this man.
Dick Latson of “Latson’s Printing and Office Supply” fame.
Downtown Commerce, America
He saved my life back in 2001 or somewhere around there, date-wise. I honestly cannot recall the year. For our purposes the year don’t matter.
What DOES MATTER, is that he gathered me up while I was in a drunken, probably suicidal stupor and drove me to Greenville and deposited me at Glen Oaks Lunatic Hospital so I could get the ‘help’ I needed.
And dry out.
He did this for ME!
Because he is a great man.
And he gave a shit.
I will never forget his kindness.
And his giving a shit.
“For the Lance who is still alive:
I salute you!
Probably, No! Undoubtedly! The best Boss (and Friend) I have ever had.
P.S. Little known fact about Dick Latson: Back when he was a senior in HS, he was the fastest ‘white boy’ in Texas. Went to State running the 440 in about 12 seconds (or something approaching that–he never bragged about it, but he casually mentioned it to me one day–don’t even remember how or why the subject came up. Most likely I had been bragging about my Navy SEALs efforts, or something…and I needed to come back down to Earth and get over myself.
By way of some fucking addendum dum dum dung, er… dumb;
I very recently emailed Lanie Gardner asking permission to share her work. (She has not responded—yet—probably won’t But if she does and tells me to ‘cease and desist’ I will. But FB can kiss my ass in the meantime.)The email from me was prompted by a stupid pop-up I got from Fake-Book, saying they had muted one of Lanie’s videos I had attached to one of my posts. ‘Copyright Violation’ (I will drop the screen capture in the Comments Section)My original post was detailing how I regretted never having had a daughter and I went into some detail that if I had had one, she would be as this girl: Ever happy, ever upbeat, always smiling.But no such person exists in real life. (I am cognizant of this)We are all complex.And we all suffer the entire range of Emotions.And this is a GOOD thing.Because it is what makes us Human.And separates us from the gnats of the World.
You may have to ‘rewind’ this one because YouTube is severely borked.
If Jenna was the ‘air-brushed’ perfection, professional beautiful angel, then it follows… yin and yang:
Callen was the unkempt, unsteady, unreliable, super lazy blonde stoner / juicer who did not give a fuck.
Half the times she showed up for work she was slightly stoned, or drunk, or a combination of the two.
And Of Course I fell madly in Love with HER. I really had No Choice.
Laws of Physics.
And she had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. To see her smile was something I cannot begin to describe, but of course, I tried not to notice, because I was a “Professional Security Guard”—and not supposed to be prone to emotion, nor feelings. She had long blonde hair (have I ever mentioned that I have never had any luck with blondes? Pretty certain I have, but I seem to be drawn to them. Moth to flame, as it were.)
She was about five foot eight and just a little ‘chunky’ but a good kind of ‘chunky’. She really was a beautiful, kinda country-looking woman. She had a ‘soft’ look. This is hard to explain and probably does not look good in print, but she had a soft look. What I am desperately try to explain is that she just looked ‘comfortable’ and potentially ‘comforting.’ (I could fall safely asleep in her embrace) Unlike a lot of the women I have ‘experienced’ in my life; most of them were ‘uncomfortable.’ And NOT safe.
Oh fuck it. Let’s move on, shall we?
Yet trust me on this one folks, I have seen women from all over the world. I know women. I love them and I appreciate them. All manner of shapes and sizes of them. This one, this Callen, was ‘Top Shelf.” But moving on from my ‘sexist’ commentary over her looks:
Callen, being ever lazy would ask me to do things that were not in my wheelhouse nor in my mind to do. I was a Fucking Security Guard.
That was MY Job!
My ONLY JOB!
She would ask me (ever so nicely) to deliver towels or shit paper or coffee to some guest’s room. First few times she asked me to do these things I just invited her to fuck off (I did not verbalize it that way, but she caught the drift).
Now please allow me to explain something:
Hotel Indigo had a ‘gym’ of sorts. There were weights and a weight machine. I had eight hours to kill every night and I was big ‘Into’ lifting weights back then, so I took about an hour out of my shift every night to lift weights in their gym.
While sitting in my car one night, after finishing my workout, I had a ‘sudden’ epiphany.
How could I refuse Callen’s simple requests of me to break MY Rules, when she did not call me out for breaking the Hotel Indigo’s Rules?
(I was not supposed to be using their ‘Fitness’ Center.)
I got off my ass, walked into to Lobby and had this statement for her:
“Callen, do you know what an epiphany is?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Well, I just had one. I owe you an apology. You don’t say shit about me spending an hour a night working out in your fitness center. I enjoy doing that, and you never say shit about it. You would never ‘drop a dime’ on me FOR Doing it. This much I know about you. Certainly, if you need me to do something for you that is not strictly in my ‘Security Guard’ purview, from now on, I will do it. I owe you this. I am very fond of you. More than you know. You are good people.”
I extended my hand. She took it. We shook.
“We good?” I asked.
“Yep. We good,” she replied.
And I was more in love with her at that point than was prudent.
“It’s pleasure to try ’em; it’s trouble to keep ’em.”
Oh, in case anyone is wondering, Callen was probably twenty-eight and change, years-wise.
These kinds of details are not important to me.
But they may be important to the casual reader.
So there ya go.
Very sad footnote:
I discovered after we had known each other for some time that she had had some real tragedy in her young life:
She woke up one morning next to her dead boyfriend.
He had just died during the night.
She could not explain why nor how, but I am quite certain it fucked her up.
As it would anyone.
Her story made me almost cry.
Actually it did make me cry, but I waited until I got back to my car.
Then I tried to think up ways I could win this woman.
“Look at this video,” she said as she came over to me with her cell phone locked and loaded.
I watched some dude singing and playing guitar (pretty well actually) some obscure C/W song. Then I recognized said dude. He was a rather familiar face—I had already made a couple of ‘patrols’ and had noticed this guy unloading some shit from his truck in the parking garage. He looked a little (very little) like Garth Brooks, but still…
“Uh, isn’t that one of the construction workers, working here on the renovation of the Hotel?”
“Good eye,” Jenna said. “Yes.”
“Your boyfriend?” I asked.
“Kinda,” she said.
Well damn, I thought, there goes MY plan and hopes Dashed (Jenna was VERY attractive, long slightly blonde / brunette hair, sleepy eyes—and probably too young for me—but what the hell. I am an optimist.)
“He’s not from Memphis is he?”
“No,” she said. “Texas.”
“So, he’s just living here in the hotel as the renovation work is going on?”
“Yes.” And then she added quickly, “He’s also a rodeo cowboy.”
“I see.” I said. “And what’s your story?”
“I have a degree in classical music,” she said. “I can play several musical instruments: Violin, the viola, the cello and the double bass”
“Yet, you like country and western?”
“Yes. I love all music.”
“Me too. Got any more on that phone of yours?”
“Yep. Sure do. Gimme a sec.”
“Can you sing as well?” I asked while she was searching on her phone.