Normal is a town in Indiana

Actually, there also is a Normal in Illinois, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. What there is not, is much normal in my life, especially these past few days. Today is probably a pretty normal day but normal for me can be pretty shitty. I did manage to get my taxes filed today so I’m happy about that. I haven’t been able to do much else. I was really hoping to get out of the house today. I don’t do well with this much isolation. I wanted to go to the bank, do some shopping, see my niece in the hospital and get something to eat. I don’t know if any of that is going to happen. My whole body is in pain and my energy level is super low.  Even writing is a struggle right now.

My last two posts had to do with Wednesday. I hardly remember what happened on Thursday. I had planned to pick my daughter up from school but found out that she had an appointment that her mother was taking her to. So then he plan was for her to get dropped off but they got pulled over by the police on their way here. They recently bought a car and I guess the license plates had been suspended. Anyway, the police officer let them go but they had to return home. I would have gone to get her but by this time I had a couple glasses of wine in me. I felt fine but I didn’t want to chance it. Feeling fine can be misleading because I don’t usually feel fine. By the time I have enough alcohol to where I’m not in pain I’ve probably had too much to drive.

I decided I might as well just lay down and watch a movie. It was still pretty early so I though I might have a chance of making it through without falling asleep. I was wrong though. I fell asleep at 8 pm and then woke up at 1 am. Figured I might as well get some coffee in me and start writing. It took me all day to write. I finally got back to bed at 3:30 in the afternoon. I just wanted to take a nap but the next thing I knew it was 10pm. Luckily I was able to fall back to sleep at 2 am so now I feel like I’m back on a normal sleep schedule… you know, whatever normal is.

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Back to the city, back to my life

Life on the road can be so much simpler than life at home. There are so many things you just don’t worry about. On the road, you live life in the moment. All that concerns you is your immediate surroundings, your only responsibilities are what you brought with you. For a week, I didn’t pay any attention to the news, hardly looked at Facebook and wasn’t even that concerned with what was going on back home. I was only five states away but it might as well have been another planet.

That all ended yesterday. Much of our rush to get back was so I could do my CityPages route on Wednesday. Another 8 hours of driving around felt like nothing after the past few days. While driving I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio, catching up on what had been going on in the world. Apparently there have been a number of shootings in the Twin Cities lately.

One story struck me particularly hard. A St. Paul police canine officer was stabbed to death by a fugitive rape suspect. The suspect was later shot and killed by the police. That’s what happens. Police dogs are considered police officers just like there human companions. When you kill a cop you typically wind up dead. I have a feeling this alleged rapist knew what he was doing. I don’t think he wanted to face the consequences of his prior actions and wanted to die. I imagine one of the greatest challenges a police officer will ever face is having to assist another human being in committing suicide.

The dog’s name was Kody. his handler is officer Dave Longbehn. I didn’t know why that name sounded familiar and then it dawned on me. Longbehn was the officer that shot and killed my nephew nearly three years ago. My heart sank, not because I bare any resentment towards the officer, but because I feel a connection to him and he had just suffered a tremendous loss. I felt the same way when I learned the name of the person who killed my nephew. I felt empathy towards him. The choices my nephew had made in life were going to lead to him being killed. I don’t see any other way it could turn out. He was a cop killer and he decided that he was never going back to prison. He couldn’t escape so he was going to die.

Someone was going to shoot him. It didn’t have to be officer Longbehn but it was. He was the person my nephew chose to pull the trigger. For this reason, I will forever feel a deep affinity for officer Longbehn and I grieve along with him, the loss of Kody.

Officer Dave Longbehn & Kody – StarTribune

Get Real

Okay. This is where this blog takes form. It would be really fucking boring if I only wrote about my good days. Yesterday was awesome. Well, it was up until my last post which I wrote at the Bad Waitress, a cafe restaurant where my best friend works. They have wi-fi, really good food and beer. I expect many posts will be written from there. Oh, and when I checked in there I became mayor on Foursquare! So yeah, really good day up until that point. My BFF even bought me a beer so totally fucking kick ass!

Except it’s Minneapolis and fucking cold as hell and nothing stays kick-ass for long. My BFF got off work while I was there so I offered to drive her home. I don’t drive often and love to help out a friend when I can. Did I mention it was fucking cold as hell out? Driving is no big deal, right? If you keep reading this blog you will learn about my philosophy on helping and how I think it’s easy and makes the world a better place and that if you are a selfish mother fucker like me you should do it every chance you get.

Turns out my BFF needs cat food too. She doesn’t drive so we have a great opportunity for her to make use of my generosity and have me drive out to Chuck and Don’s in St. Louis Park. All went well for a total of about 10 blocks. Then we ran into a power outage. Not my van. It is thankfully running just fine. No, the goddamn city was in the black. I really have no idea what caused it. I’m sure I will find out. I figure it has something to do with the weather. It dropped 800 degrees in one day. But yeah, a huge swath of the city was without power. No street lights, no stop lights, backed up traffic and no power at the pet store. We spent an hour driving in the dark to accomplish nothing.

Well, once we got back to civilization we did stop by the liquor store and my BFF stocked up on beer so I guess I made some use of the drive. And after all that I figured it would be appropriate to stop in for a quick one. So for the record, this paragraph goes in the good column.

[Got coffee so hopefully I can keep writing]

So now I’m running late for rehearsal. My band leader is always running late so that probably means I’m right on time. Which I am. I get to the studio and Venus is unloading her car. Perfect timing. A good quality in a bass player I say. We get in and get everything set up but still no drummer. We were actually suppose to rehearse the day before but our drummer had apparently got assaulted and slipped on the ice and broke his rib and couldn’t make it. I don’t know exactly what happened. I’m hearing it second hand but I think he should have a blog. Sounds like his life is way more exciting than mine. Anyway, he’s in pain and totally spaced that we are rehearsing. Venus tells him to skip it and we rehearse without him. We are the ones who need it anyway. I don’t understand it. Our drummer always seems to do fine but I suck if I don’t rehearse. Venus sucks without rehearsal. The drummer has just got it but he has other issues. Just saying.

I kind of like rehearsing without a drummer. I wouldn’t say I prefer it. I really prefer having a drummer. Drums are important but there are benefits to not having him there. For starters, I can hear myself. Drums are fucking loud! With a drummer you have to turn up so loud that it’s hard to hear anything. Okay, that is the only benefit. Other that being able to play at a lower volume and hear myself it really sucked not having him there. But rehearsal went fine and we got a kick-ass set put together for our show in Scottsdale, AZ. I guess our studio party on Saturday will be our full band live rehearsal. Damn I’m glad we are professionals. Don’t know how we pull this shit off.

So yesterday was a long day. The kind of day that does me in. The kind of day that doesn’t end. And it didn’t. It kept going. Oh yeah, there is more excitement to come. I left rehearsal wanting nothing more that to get home, have a beer and curl up in my nice warm bed with my kitty cat. Well, that’s not what happened. I get in my van and drive home. I’m listening to Minnesota Public Radio as I often do. I’m a sustaining member. I’m listening to As It Happens and they have a story about this guy, Aiman Youssef of Staton Island, NY who lost everything in Super Storm Sandy. Now he has a tent set up in front of what used to be his house and has spent every day since the storm helping his neighbors. It choked me up. It’s sad, but the best of humanity seems to come out of the worst of situations.

So I’m driving, I’m emotionally engaged, I’m tired and basically on auto-pilot. I pull up to a stop sign before making a left-hand turn not noticing the cop car I just cut off until the lights start flashing in my rear-view mirror. I pull over wondering, “What the fuck did I do?”. And I bet you are wondering, “OMG, how drunk is he?”. Nope, two beers at the restaurant, one at my friends, all many hours ago – I’m sober, just tired and distracted. I take drinking and driving very seriously. I lost an eye that way when I was 21. I consider myself lucky. It’s nothing to fuck around with. I got lucky this time too. The cop just ran my license and let me go after I apologized profusely. I’ve actually had really good experiences with the Minneapolis Police department. Probably helps that I’m a white guy but who knows? Maybe it’s the mini-van with LEFREAK plates.

I get home and it’s time for a beer. Well, a beer and a whiskey. I’ve discovered that I can drink cheap beer if it’s coupled with cheap whiskey. I crawl into bed. It’s been a good day. I watch the Daily Show, make a post on Facebook, comment on a friends post and I’m ready to be done. But no, my friend realizing I’m awake sends me a text, “Can I call u?”. I respond, “No” because I’m a dick like that. Then I called her. We talk from 2am until 4am. I had more beers and more whiskey. I don’t remember everything we talked about but I do remember telling her about how she hurt me years back when we first met. We bonded instantly. I guess it’s one of those things that happens when a real, genuine, honest person meets one of their own. And there was attraction. There was chemistry. To put it bluntly, I wanted to bang her. I wanted to be her friend and I wanted to have sex with her and I even considered being her boyfriend. But that’s not me and she knew it and she moved on leaving me in the dust. Yeah, it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing for her and the time and it was probably the right thing for me but it still hurt. In this life you don’t meet that many people with whom who can really connect on that level and they are not to be taken for granted. But hey, she’s back in my life and all is good. In fact I just got a call from her reminding me that I agreed to meet her and that she has chowder for me. Awesome! I have no food so this is really good.

But my big fuck up of the day was over-sleeping. I left my phone downstairs so I didn’t wake up when Home Service Plus called at 7:44am. They were coming out to fix my washing machine which is leaking and my stove which won’t light. Yup, totally missed that. I’ve been dealing with these problems for a while because I just can’t get my shit together to remedy them. Guess I’m going to be dealing with them a little while longer. It’s all about time. Time fucking fascinates me.

And now it’s time for me to go get me some chowder!

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