A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Friday, February 20, 2015

ODE TO DON SMALL

Why oh why do I never take my own advice?

I learned about six years ago not to go looking up old friends on the internet, found someone from college years that had died.  So I haven't done it since.

So why today, after lunch, did I do it again?

Don Small died.  Two bloody years ago.  Sixty seven years old.....

Back a few decades with me for a moment.  It was 1983 and I started thinking this whole personal computer thing might take off so I gave up the bartending and got a job in outside sales at Inwood Business Machines.  They wanted to make a big push into the computer market but after about six or eight months it became obvious they were more interested in pushing typewriters and calculators than personal computers, so I walked into a ComputerLand in Carrolton Tx and was hired.

I told some stories awhile back about working at ComputerLand but not really about the people.  Don Small was kind of my mentor back then, I guess.  He handled the Southland account and that was pretty much it.  Use to drive back and forth listening to Freebird enjoying how good life was.  Don was 40, his wife Cindy or Cindi, or Cyndi or however else they spell it, was 25 and at that point the only happy married couple I knew in Dallas.  They kind of took me under their wing, had me over to their home often for dinner, treated me out at restaurants.

It was a lesson I learned.  When I worked at the chemical plant, we had a golf league and I would, when teamed up with one of the younger workers not making much money, pay their green fees.  When one asked my why I paid, I told them about Don and how he use to kind of carry me when I was their age and now I'm returning the favor.

Another lesson learned: Don used Sidekick, had all the phone numbers on his computer, would click the keys, highlight the number and dial.  Seemed so cool, well, until the day he broke down on the Stemmons Expressway and when he got towed to the garage he went to the phone and, couldn't remember a single number; not work, not his wife's.

Don had the coolest ability.  My desk was face to face with his and when he talked on the phone, you could not hear a word he said.  He wasn't quiet, just could focus the projection of his voice so no one around could hear a word.  Me?  Crap, you could hear me in the next zip code when I whispered.

I still remember leaving their home one night, kind of buzzed, and looking up at the sky, over at Orion's Belt, and realizing Betelgeuse was 2.5 times the size of the Earths orbit around the sun and the three of us just thinking, 'wow'.  Guess you had to be there.

Sitting around Don and Cindi's living room, some drinking, some getting buzzed, not saying who what, listening to Supertramp's "Brother Where Are You Bound" on the stereo while watching their dog PC play.  Simple times, good times.

We kept in touch, Don and I, for a few years.  When I was living in back in SLC around 1992 he came out for some Novell conference and we spent the day skiing at Deer Valley.  Who knew that was the last time we'd see each other.

And today, I searched for Don, wondered what became of him, and see he passed away in December 2012 at only 67.   Been bummed out all evening.  Way too young.

Think of the number of people I've known, people that were close and a huge part of my life at different times, and today how few I keep in touch with, know where they are, what they are doing, if they are alive.  Good friends, conversations of wine or weed, debating life, laughing crying, just being. Who I am today was forged in those moments, those people, and we never realized at the time it was nothing more than ships passing in the night.

Sure, we think of lost loves, half the time thinking of what might of been and half thinking probably just as well.  But those others, classmates, co workers, neighbors.  We just blindly move forward, leaving each other in our wakes.

In the old days, of small towns and neighborhoods, there were connections.  You played as kids, you went to school, you became the adults in the town and then the old.  Now, you are here, then there, then across the country. Our lives drift, memories fade.

I thought of Don over the years, wondered how he and Cindi were, but never made an effort to find out.  Now, too late.

But memories of Don will never fade.  Old friends never die, they just don't call anymore.

I want to find my own answers
It's time I knew what my plans were
I'm going to find what I'm looking for

I'm gonna take all my chances
Gonna make my advances
Gonna see what my life has in store

I've got a feeling inside me
I'll put the past way behind me
Pick myself up from the floor

I want my sun in the morning
Want my friends to come calling
I'll keep a welcome outside my door


Supertramp
Ever Open Door
Brother, Where are You Bound

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