The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back
This particular entry is dark and somewhat – well – you might want to skip this one if you’re squeamish or have a weak stomach.
This time of year is Fantastic, Busy, Packed, Happy, Sad, Haunted, Threatening, and Hopeful, all rolled into one for me. Work always gets busy at this time of year. Construction projects start about now so they can place the concrete in bad weather but won’t have the risk of so much bad weather when they get to the finishes inside the buildings. Playtime gets really busy this time of year, too. For the next 7 weekends (and this past weekend) the Texas Renaissance Faire runs, and that means I get to dress up every weekend, exit my normal life entirely, and become a simple Renaissance Shopkeeper at one of the largest fairs in the United States. So basically, I am working seven days a week for eight weeks straight without a day off. Add four total hours of travel time to and from the fair, and my life gets pretty packed in short order. When I’m not doing that, it’s football season. Those are things that I look forward to in life. Simple things, actually. I’m pretty much easy to please.
Cut to the Month of October, 1985. Sophomore in College. Honors Student that basically tested out of my entire Freshmen Year before I ever sat foot on a college campus. Fall of 1985 – The stress of classes that I truly wasn’t ready for, and skipping classes, and problems with women still handcuffing me emotionally, and I was starting a increasingly steep and uncontrollable slide straight to hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00. Toss some drugs in the mix in October.
Watch from above, like an eagle, as I pop two percodan to prep for the pain. Watch me lean toward my roommate, hand him an envelope, and tell him to make sure that they don’t get that later. Look down in judgment as I climb into my car, drive 10 miles into the eerily moonlit desert. Watch me get out, sit down on the edge of the dirt road. Wait, don’t go yet. Watch the moonlight highlight the razor as I pull it out.
No, don’t go yet. Don’t miss the tip of the razor blade entering the top of the wrist. This is better than Halloween. More Gory than Freddie and his glove. Look close as I rip that razor back towards my elbow. Oh no, no weak ass carving a notch across the top of the wrist here. Fuck no! Watch as the skin tension in the forearm suddenly yanks the open edges of my forearm skin back all the way to the bone on either side. Watch me as I look down in shock, and beginning panic, as I move my hand, and like the old Terminator movies, I see every ligament, tendon, and remaining muscle in my arm sliding back and forth.
I was lucky that night. Had my arm simply bled out, with little pain, I would have been dead that fateful evening. But when I looked down and saw crap moving in my wrist, I totally freaked out. I headed for the hospital, already disoriented from blood loss.
October was never a good month for me for a long, long time after that.
It’s a threatening time because Christmas is on us, and you’re already worried about enough money for the kids present, and the Sigo’s. It’s hopeful, because the New Year is coming, and no matter how jaded, cynical, and sarcastic I may become in life, the New Year will always symbolize at least a hope for a better beginning, for a step up the food chain, for something really fantastic to come along to make up for your suffering.