Saturday, August 23, 2014
There Are Days
There are days when I don't feel quite like the person people think I am. Days when I'm not too inspiring to myself. Days when I don't feel like the toughest man folks know. Days when I'd just as soon stay in bed and not move much. When feeding is more a pain in the ass, and only done because I have to feed, not that I'm hungry. Days that asking for help is needed, because I don't like to have help very often, but when I ask for it, I've got to be feeling really hinky. Days when even if I get feeling a little better in the afternoon, I'm still not worth tits on a boar hog. Days when I can feel old Baxter U. Bastard cancer getting the better of me. More oft than not, lately. Like I told my brother John Moye, "It's finally wearing me down, Pancho". It is, tumors growing, not being able to breathe well, (but oddly enough my blood Ox stays in the mid to upper 90's, figure that shit out) muscle soreness, quick pulls, all of it is adding up on me pretty quickly. This is one of the Days When I'm Not So Perky. I've made it longer than the doctors thought I would, what with how fast the tumor grew before and after it came back this past year. Apparently they didn't take into account that my body ate the first primary tumor 6 years ago, and what we treated was a secondary spot. Those Days were the Victorious Days. I made it nearly 5 years between diagnosis's. I told people, kind of gaudily, "When did you know me not to end up exactly like I wanted? Or not get anything I didn't really want?". The answer then was truly, never. Makes even us thinking folks wonder about the Karma Police and if all this isn't some very bad assed cosmic payback. I think so, I have been overly confident to the point of damn near cocky. Some, in fact, would say I was very cocky. I figured I was just confident enough that I could even ask if I didn't know. That's not cocky, is it? Hmmmmm?
So if it IS a bad assed cosmic payback, I've probably earned it. I've done pretty much as I've pleased for over fifty years. I count them all from about 3 up, because I played a lot by myself, and did as I wanted as long as I came in when I was called. Over 50 years of doing as I pleased, and when I was 17 and up, some of it wasn't always what you might call morally significant. I mean, hell, I never killed anyone. I did strong arm a guy once, That was particularly bad. A guy that worked for Ben Smith braced me up one night. After the place closed, I followed him out to the truck stop and we had a close personal discussion about fucking with people you don't know from sic em. Another of his guys got gut shot by a .38 wadcutter bullet. I don't know who did that. I had the cops called on me once, for knocking the piss out of a guy at the old Safeway downtown LK. I wouldn't have, but he knocked the fuck out of his toddler son right in front of me, couldn't let that go. I was a bit on the selfish side for the biggest part, not quite the helpful person I am now. Folks asked, back then, why I didn't date or why I wasn't married. I didn't lie to em, I was too busy doing what I did best: work, drink, screw, and occasionally have a short but mean fist fight. Right up until a guy I knew accidentally hit a guy at a little bar in Baker Ok, I believe it was Baker, the guy that got hit tripped and hit the back of his head on a car bumper and killed him stone dead. The guy that hit him couldn't hit hard enough to fatten a lip, but that day he killed a guy and did 5 years in the OK State Pen. I backed off being so quick to throw down. I did a few times, but only if things looked too lopsided for me to stand still. Looking back it's when I started to notice that more guys a little younger than me had gotten more chicken shit. They either had 3 or 4 of them on one guy, or they put the boots to em when they were down and couldn't fight anymore. Chicken shit and cowards. Some of those guys, before they moved on with the oil field, got lesson's in being more "Manly" in the way they fought. We had a kid work for us that was a good fighter, or could be, but he was more a blind sider and fighter of people far smaller than him. I hope he got his life together as he got older. I lost track of him after he quit working for dad. If it is a cosmic payback, I did my part to earn it.
So, I'm sitting around today thinking how in the hell did I get to be an inspiration to anyone? I didn't seek it out, all I wanted to do was help some of them be less afraid. I mean, Jesus, I never had more than a hand full of friends at any one time, until I was in my early 40's. I just didn't let that many people in my life with me. I never tried, I don't think, to inspire anyone. I said things to some folks about not quitting unless they were absolutely sure it was the best thing for them. We talked about how the effort is as important on a personal level as winning is on a larger scale. That working on being better for yourself is always a win, regardless of the outcome on a score card. I never did well on the score card, so maybe I was bolstering myself. I know a couple of people that stayed with the sport they liked, though, and even got far above average at it, for themselves. I was pretty old when I tried being an athlete again. Damn near 40 when I went back to the gym, with 20 plus broken bones in the past, and some joints that wish I'd just stop doing much of anything. But, I stuck with it. I didn't have a goal, I just liked doing it. I got strong, then stronger. By the time I set a goal I was 46, hit it at 47, got sick that fall and turned 48 with chemo therapy eating away my muscle mass. Radiation got the rest that year. I made a goal after Scarborough Faire Ren Fest Highland Fling. 75% of what I had maxed. I that goal, plus a bit in 18 months. Faster than I thought it would come. The best thing, gravy on the taters if you will, was that I wasn't so wound up. My joints liked me better, the bike liked me better, the family liked me better……I think. Just when I hit my stride with work, family, bike, athletics, friends, and myself. I get kicked in the ass again. Some shit huh? So how did this become an inspiration? Got me.
I told the folks I consider friends (a helluva lot more than a handful these days, and glad to have them) that I was going to be honest with them about this cancer. Eight months later, I said I would be honest with having terminal cancer. A month or so after that, I was convinced to start a blog. Not what the fella expected, but a blog all the same. I promised I'd be honest here. That the reason I started it was a number of private messages and people coming to me who were afraid. Not for themselves always, but for family, themselves, and friends. They wanted to know how come I wasn't afraid. I still don't have a good explanation for that. Fear and being anxious are two different things. I've been anxious about situations, but never afraid. That's weird. I've been shot at, that didn't scare me, and I think it should because the person was dead serious about hitting me. (I learned how to look for tell tale signs of wedding rings immediately after that) So how in God's name did I ever inspire a soul? It's been explained several times, but I'm a bit block headed and still don't get it. How weird is that? Why is it so difficult for me to take a compliment and just say "Thank you very much" and let it go at that, rather than question myself so harshly? Will The Shakes wrote "The good that men do is oft interred with their bones, while the bad lives long after", true enough, I'm sure. Is it that I'm trying to shake that? Could be. Could it also be that I am worried that people who don't much like me, are going to come out of the woodwork after I croak and tell everyone in my family what I did to make them dislike my ass? That's possible. That may be why I shake the "You're an Inspiration" tag. So I can hold that negative part at bay as long as possible. I've passed a bad, bad, gene onto my younger kids. The genome of "Judge yourself more harshly than is needed on everything". In some ways, it's a good thing. Okay, in very few damn ways it's a good thing. It's helped me be more conscious of how I worked. Double and triple checking things, learning to do a lot of things efficiently so I could actually spend the least amount of time with the highest results. Because I questioned myself all the time, and harshly. This would be my best explanation as to why I'm not seeing myself as an inspiration.
By the by, if this is a repeat, forgive me. Cancer Noggin sometimes shoves it's way into my blogs.
One lesson I like to give everyone: Never, ever let them see you sweat. You're ass could be a breath away from an ass whipping. Don't let the other person know you're the least bothered by this. If it's something at work, breathe slowly, let them have their way. Eventually you'll be able to snap it off in an incompetents ass. It's refreshing to do that. I've opened up on two of my bosses with both barrels. One time nearly got me fired. The next boss that came along 4 months later, fought to get me a well tech position. I guaranteed him he wouldn't regret the decision. That I'd live up to my hype. The first well failure meeting we had I was so nervous I had three gallons of sweat trapped in the crack of my ass. All of my bosses said that we could do better, but for the first time I did very well. They didn't see me sweat. HA HA HA. We did get better, and faster.
Allright then. Take a look at yourself. If you look good, you can sleep well with 75% of your decisions, you're okay. Live your life like you steal each day, in a sense we have. Be fun to be with, serious when it's needed, and full blown bat shit crazy if you have to be, no one will think less of you.