Thursday, December 25, 2014

Livin' in a Whiskey Fog

The title of this post sounds like it would be a great Country and Western song.  Makes me wish I was a song writer, it would be a hit. I am not referring to myself in this blog post.  I don't drink whiskey for fear of hair growing either on my tongue or on my chest.  I have no desire for hair to grow in either place. 

The song title and post refer to a woman I know, one of my neighbors, Patti.  In the summertime Patti goes around with a flask sized bottle of "rot gut" whiskey in her back pocket.  In her car, she has an open fifth of the same stuff.  I don't know if she uses it as a refill for the smaller bottle or not.  I shrug, because I'm sure I don't want to know.

Patti is less than four months older than I am.  Her penchant for whiskey and pain pills makes her look 20 years older.  Patti's penchant has not been kind to Patti's family.  Patti has two sons.  I can't think of a time I have ever seen her oldest son, now in his mid-twenties, when he wasn't high.  Patti's youngest son, just turned 13.  Recently he had been kicked out of school for bringing cigarettes on campus.  At 12, he became sexually active.  He also smokes pot and drinks.  Is it genetic?  Is it because it is the only thing these boys have seen?  I shrug.  I'm sure there have been scientific studies done on generations of abuse.  Generations of living in a whiskey fog.

Don't get me wrong, Patti has been said to have a heart of gold.  Would give you the shirt off her back.  I'm thinking Patti's little girl dreams never came true.  What little girl would dream of having the rough life I have been told Patti has had.  Incidents of sexual molestation and abuse.  Living in abusive, domestic relationships.  The father of her youngest son wanted a baby, Patti did not.  She thought she was too old, already in her 40s.  She said he pulled her down some stairs by the hair, with a gun in his hand.  A good thing is she is out of that relationship, a bad that she has to see him daily, through her whiskey fog.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Every once in a while

someone comes into your life, and leaves a lasting impression.  The Summer of 2013, I met such a person, Noah, a six year old neighbor boy.  When I would sit outside, I would see Noah roaming the neighborhood for hours, and hours, and hours, and well hours.  He always seemed so lost, and was always alone.

I took Noah under my wing so to speak.  We would build flying saucers out of paper plates, and draw little green men in the windows.  We would watch movies and eat popcorn while sitting outside on the patio.  Noah would try to do some kind of running and jumping trick, and I would take pictures.  We made paper airplanes and had races.  Oh some of the planes were so cool!  They would fly in a circle, just loop around.  You couldn't race with those planes, well unless you made the start and finish line at the same place.  It was fun.

Sometimes Noah's sisters and other kids would stop by.  I noticed a difference in Noah when the other kids were around.  He acted different.  If they chided him for being a troublemaker, then he would be one.  I knew that wasn't the real Noah.  The real Noah was thoughtful.  The real Noah looked at you with wonder, when you would tell him that meeting a bear in the woods would make you wet your pants too.  Well, it would so why lie about it?

One day Noah knocked on the door with tears in his eyes.  I went outside to see what was wrong.  He told me they would be moving.  In the weeks before Noah moved, we made some kick ass paper airplanes!  Had some great air plane races!  And laughed and talked.  Noah told me he wanted to be a Scientist when he grew up.  One day I asked Noah who I was going to play with after he moved.  He laughed and said "Sarah".  I told him that wouldn't be the same, so no not Sarah.  Sarah was another neighbor kid, that sad to say was from generations of mean girls, and was on her way to becoming a mean girl too. 

Noah moved, and from time to time his folks would let him visit for a few minutes.  Wasn't the same around here.  Even Boo Duh, the cat, missed seeing Noah.  Around Christmas, Noah's Mom posted a picture on FaceBook of Noah wrapping a present.  A few days later, Noah knocked on the door and gave the present to me.  It was my Christmas present from Noah.  The present spoke so loudly of Noah's thoughtfulness, it was a journal for me to write in.  Thoughtful Noah even gave me a pen.  That was the Noah I had gotten to know over the Summer of 2013.  I sent Noah a just because present of a book on how to make "world class" paper airplanes.  His Mom posted a picture of him with the book.  I didn't know anyone could smile such a big smile as Noah did.

I started this blog post in December 2013.  It is now nearing Autumn 2014.  Summer is over.  It was not an especially good Summer, because there was no Noah to play with.  One time his Mom posted a picture of him making some even more kick ass paper airplanes, out of paper that looked like birds and flags.  She said Noah wanted me to know that he was using his book.  She also posted pictures of Noah accepting certificates for excellent reading, and doing so well in school.  I smiled.

Did I have anything to do with the changes in Noah?  I shrug.  Who can say.  One thing I know for certain is that I can attribute some of the changes in myself to Noah taking me under his wing.  Thank you Noah.