12/21/12 is tomorrow, the Winter Solstice, Alban Arthuan (the Druid Christmas), and TEOTWAWKI is supposed to be tomorrow as well. I was going to write about what 12/21/12 means to me, but I decided to continue with my autobiography. I'm taking a break from writing said autobiography to post this, and I'll likely continue writing. If things work out, I'll post another one today and tomorrow. I'm feeling vulnerable and a bit depressed for some reason. I don't know what this Solstice will mean, if anything beyond just another Solstice, but if it does mean the end of the world, than I suppose it's fitting that I go down in a fit of writing. Writing has been my solitary companion for my entire life. All I can offer is my story.
There were many more monumental events for me after solitary and before my other than honorable discharge. At one point I was manhandled by a couple of master at arms in the forward galley for a reason I don't even remember (probably refusing to do some trifling ridiculousness). I was placed into a hammer lock and slammed face first into a galley table and handcuffed while my navy peers ate their "not fit for human consumption, military and prisoner use only" frozen food. Eventually , due to the letters we turned into the Captain's "suggestion box," we were moved off of the industrial work environment of the ship and onto the barge that was docked next to it. Now when the work day was over we at least had tenable living conditions with a lounge. The barge was where the newer sailors got to stay (due to the base barracks being already full). Eventually I got discharged. I got in my car and drove non-stop from Bremerton Washington to Anaheim California to start over.
I spent the next several months driving around the United States backpacking at places like the Californian high dessert of Joshua Tree, the Sequoias, the Grand Mesa in Colorado, the Flaming Gorge in Utah, Pisgah in North Carolina, among other places. After that hiatus I ended up staying with my mother and checked back in at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach California. This college stay lasted about two weeks before I dropped out. This time due to a public berating by a philosophy instructor. My college aspirations went down the drain quickly as I listened to the laughter of a class full of my moron peers who were only taking philosophy 101 because the system told them to. I figured I could get made fun of without having to pay for it if that's what I wanted, so I left the class and went directly to the administration office where I demanded my money back while telling them they could take their paper and fuck themselves with it. I was done with college.
This left me in a rather precarious situation. I had now dropped out of college three times as well as gotten myself kicked out of the Navy. My mother had a one bedroom apartment, and I wasn't about to do that shit long term, but Southern California ain't exactly an easy place to live by yourself while working a menial job for menial wages. I had to go. Right on cue, a girlfriend of a friend of mine from the navy emailed me and asked if I wanted to live with her in Seattle Washington. The Vinson was going back out on deployment and taking her boyfriend with it. She was 18, had never left the house before they signed the lease at the ghetto apartments in North Seattle, and she was too scared to live there by herself. She found herself paying rent for no reason while living with her parents. I told her that I had no money, and she said "don't worry about it, you can live rent free until you figure it out." I packed my two door Saturn SC2 back up with my books, backpacking gear, and computer and was in Seattle Washington two days latter.
After I returned to the ship for the second time, it took a month or so before I was processed into restriction, and during that time I was free to come and go. I met Christina one time at a rave that I went to with my buddy from the Navy, she was his girlfriend. She was overly cute in looks and personality. I could see myself with her. Now I was living with her and John was out to sea...literally. I arrived to a warm hug and welcome along with a bag of weed and various other drugs. I also found out that there was another woman living in this apartment, and she happened to be a woman I had had a one night affair with shortly after meeting Christina. I was living rent free with two beautiful women, smoking the finest BC herb for free, and I had no obligations to do anything with my time. My dream had come true. I spent months walking around Seattle stoned and playing play station, among other things, it was just what I needed.
Eventually I decided that I would go to school for EMS but couldn't figure out how to get that accomplished, so I ended up going to a bartending academy to get licensed in the state of Washington. After "graduating" from that "academy" and being knighted a "mixologist," I lucked out and got a job tending bar at an Olive Garden in Northgate Seattle that hadn't even opened yet. I ended up managing that bar, and I was taking home about 800 dollars a week between tips and wages. At this point I got my own apartment followed by quickly loosing my job due to the inability to get my ass there on time. I was too busy gettin' fucked up and spinning records to know whether I was going or coming half of the time. I was making that kind of money and had no money when I lost my job if that gives any indication of how I was living. I was having a good time, though I don't remember much of it, except a bad trip on too many shrooms where I turned into a worm. The dealer said "whatever you do, don't eat more than a quarter of this bag at one time." I split it three ways and my third was more like half of the bag, cause...you know...I paid for it. I would have been fine if it weren't for the fact that John had returned, and it was me, him, and Christina who split the bag. I became the third wheel and a bad trip ensued.
Now I had no job. I spent a month applying at every bar in Seattle with no luck. The raving drug scene was eating my brain and I knew I needed to leave. I had a foreboding feeling that I would end up one of those ubiquitous Seattle druggies, dead in the street with a needle in my arm. Seattle was consuming me. I flipped a penny, heads was South Carolina, and tails was Southern California because these were the only two places I knew anybody who cared about me. It landed on heads, which was a good thing since I had been wooing a friend of a friend by phone for the last month whom happened to be going to college there. She was beautiful and out of my league, and I should have known that. Before moving to the other side of the country I decided to go visit family in Southern California. I came close to staying in Escondido California with my buddy (from Epiphany Now's "rainbow chit" fame), but decided at the last minute to proceed to South Carolina to see what would happen with that southern belle I had been wooing.
I arrived a few days before my 23rd birthday. Jessica (the southern Belle) didn't want to have anything to do with me shortly after my arrival. I ended up getting a job waiting tables at Joe's Crab Shack, which rates as the most humiliating job I've ever had. Occasionally during the shift, out of nowhere, lights would start flashing and loud music would come on and we'd all have to get in a line to do choreographed dancing to the patrons delight. It was humiliating, but I had to pay for my studio apartment and tips were good. This was as close to a male prostitute as I ever got. I descended into more drugs and alcohol to deal with all of the potential that I kept burning to the ground. I had left high school to go to college with a full paid academic scholarship only to drop out after two semesters with a 4.0, followed by graduating from NNPTC with a career in nuclear engineering, followed by "Operation Enduring Freedom." I quit that and found myself in a very lucrative position tending bar in my favorite U.S. city only to get my ass fired, and now I was doing choreographed dances while serving crab legs and coconut shrimp in a tie died t-shirt in the South.
After about a year of this male prostitution I was able to get back into a respectable looser position tending bar again. At least I wasn't selling my pride for shrimp scampi any longer. My best friend and I set out on a race to pickle our livers and began killing brain cells en mass via alcohol. We became room mates whom enabled each other with a desire to remain comfortably numb. In a two year period we lived, and got kicked out of, five apartments and one house rental. I also managed to start college and drop out two more times. We were too drunk to notice that at this rate we were going to get ourselves kicked out of Spartanburg, and quite possibly the south, for behavior that the most hypocritical Southern Baptists couldn't even contend with. I don't know why I'm still alive after the amount of alcohol that we collectively consumed. We would go through a case of American beer in an hour playing drinking games, just the two of us, and then saddle up to get two more cases. Don't get me wrong, women were present, but we didn't give a shit whether we were getting laid or not, we were there to get fucked up.
This behavior continued for a couple of years. We both tended different bars, and we lived the bar lifestyle. I would be drunk before I even left work to get drunk, and when I got home from the bars I would get drunk till I was sleeping drunk and then wake up and get drunk again. Occasionally I would sober up in time to figure out that I didn't have enough money to pay rent, but with a brazen "fuck it, let's go bowling," we would be back at the bar drunk again. "The Big Lebowski" was the screensaver of our living room and the Dude was our idol. Puke and rally was our war cry and we lived on beer and chicken wings. One night, we were on our way home and had to pull over on the interstate so we could both piss out a couple litters of beer and liquor. Pissing on the side of the interstate, we both wondered aloud why our car was facing in the opposite direction from all of the passing cars. We had managed to get on I-26 going the wrong way. I really don't know why I'm still alive.
Then one Friday night, we were both pass out drunk, and we decided to take it to the house. On our way back to my car we kicked over a couple of trash cans and pulled up a street sign which garnered the attention of city police that were in the area shootin' fish in a barrel. I was in reverse backing out of the parking spot in down town Spartanburg when I got pulled over, if you want to call it that. It was more the cop stopped me from backing up then it was getting pulled over. I got out of the car and he told me to recite my ABC's, I got to D before I fucked it up. "I don't know what comes next?" I was too drunk to know what came next, with the alphabet at least. I said "dude, we both know I'm drunk, just take me to jail." He was more than happy to oblige my request. I could see my best friends face changing colors in strobe through the back windshield of my car as I was being cuffed. We had been friends since we were 10 years old, we're still best friends, and the look on his face hurt more than the cuffs. The look was telling me that he would do anything to be the one in the cuffs. It didn't matter. That cop probably saved my life (and countless other lives as well). I got to the jail, a place I vowed I would never be again, and a cop stuck a straw through the glass and told me to blow into it. I looked him in the eyes and told him that he could go fuck himself, or if he preferred I'd be happy to fuck him with that straw, but I wasn't blowing in a damn thing. "You understand that that will mean you will lose your license correct." "Go fuck yerself osifer." I fell asleep face first, alone in a cell, with nothing but my puke for a bed and concrete for a pillow. In retrospect, this was the beginning of me getting my shit together.