Friday, April 15, 2011
Owning My Past
In the meantime I am hangin on, hangin in and hangin ten tryin to turn bike repairs around as fast as I can and keep the consuming cyclists' need for the latest bike bling sated. I handle the early season cash flow like some circus juggler on a unicycle, hoping I look calmer than I feel. Knock on wood. So far so good.
Of course without the support of the folks who find me tolerable enough to help out, my story might not be so cheery. As much as I would like to consider myself a loner, when I take the time to think past the gruff bravado, I realize that I need other people in my life. Without their interference or support at specific points in my life, my journey would surely have gone down different paths and more than likely ended many years ago.
It would be logical to focus on those folks who surround me now. But what about the interactions I had many years ago that altered my Life in ways I did not appreciate then but now I know had a major influence on where I ended up? When I think about it, the negative incidents stand out now as positives.
For some reason my memory of getting busted for cocaine possession at the Oakland County Coliseum north of Detroit, Michigan back in 1978 has been flash-backing in recent days. I don't even remember what band I was on tour with, but we had an unusual night off as our concert was not until the next night. Fleetwood Mac was playing that night and the whole crew from our tour were invited to the show. The night and my life may have turned out quite differently if I had just stayed back stage and partied with the rest of the crew. I didn't stay back stage and well, my life was never the same after that.
I remember my usual over indulgence of Jack Daniels, many lines of toot, and then I decided I would go out among the crowd watching the concert to find some young lady to invite backstage. I went out the door from back stage to a hallway that would eventually take me out to the public areas. Not sure what I was thinking, but I decided that a fortifying snort of toot would be a good idea if I was going to even have a chance of talking sense and not mumbling nonsense. I leaned up against a concrete pillar in the Lobby and pulled out my bag of toot. Dipped my spoon in it and...........................two hands grabbed my hands that that were up til then busy getting a good spoonful of toot ready for deployment. I looked up and yeah, I knew in an instant, I was busted. Caught red handed, snagged being extremely stupid and probably in a world of trouble. The two plainclothes cops had me in handcuffs and in the back of a squad car in no time. I spent the next week sleeping on the floor of the intake cell at the local jail waiting for a bed to open up in the general population.
I had been out of control for more than a few years by this time in my life. My family had grown weary of my stupidity and I knew calling my parents would mean serious recriminations. I expected the sound and light company I drove for to help out, but they left me and moved on to the next show. Can't blame them, but up to the point of my incarceration, they had always gotten their people out of jail. I was the first victim of their new hard line policy regarding brushes with the law.
I called my parents. They bailed me out. I caught up with the tour, took back my truck from the temp driver and finished that tour. I went on two more tours, but it was never the same again. My week in Holding not only dried me out, but gave me some serious previews of what I was headed for should I continue the path I was on. I stopped the cocaine and laid off the binge drinking. Some folks, and apparently I was one, cannot handle too much fun and stay out of trouble.
Now I know the cops who busted me, my fed up parents, and a lenient judge all conspired without the other's knowledge to straighten my sorry ass out and force me to face Life as an adult and not some overgrown angry teenager. There are many signals in Life that warn of trouble ahead. For us lucky ones, others help us see them in time.
Keep it 'tween the ditches.........................................
Image of Sammy Salamander who lives under our front porch.