Chapter 62 - August 7, 2012

Hi everybody.  I hope you're having a good summer.  OK, so I looked back at my previous blogs.  My friend who's typing this printed them out for my father.  I notice that previously I talked more about my condition, and now, I tell more stories.  I think I enjoy telling the stories more.  So, I'll continue with the stories.  I will talk a little bit about Traumatic Brain Injury.  You know when you have a traumatic brain injury like this, it's good not to show everyone fear.  Fear is contagious, and it makes everyone uncomfortable.  I know a little bit about fear.  Here's one story.  I was at a traffic light.  This is around college period.  Anyway, I was at a traffic light coming back from a track meet.  My roommate pulled up next to me in his dodge dart.  He yelled at me, "Get off the road with that car you idiot."  So what did I do?  I reached into the glove box and grabbed my coaches snubbed nosed .38 calibre detective special handgun which he uses to start races.  It had been modified to fire .22 mm blanks.  Anyway, I pulled the handgun out of the glove box, got out of the car and screamed at my friend. "Eat this motherfucker," and fired off 6 chambers at him.  Everyone at the intersection went crazy.  It was pandemonium.  People were running red lights.  Screeching tires.  It was total fear and panic to get out of there.  I thought to myself, maybe this wasn't a good idea, and I got in my car and went home.

So, basically, try not to show any fear.  In surfing you try not to show fear.  Tennis, running competitively, skiing, scuba diving.  Basically, don't show any fear.  It's what I'm trying to do for this whole experience.  I think I substituted my fears with trying to be a stand up comic, or in my case, a sit down comic.

I'd like to talk again about how important it is to have good friends come by.  Having good friends is so important.  It can really brighten your day.  Everyone has their different way of supporting you.  I have one good friend in Australia.  I won't' mention names because I want to protect the not-so-innocent.  Anyway, this friend in Australia has been so supportive.  I just wanted to say thank you to her.

Thinking about her reminds me of 2 things.  Sorry about this my friend, but I have to share with everyone this story.  We were all sitting around her table after dinner and being as drunk as we were, we decided it would be a good idea to book a mini holiday hiking and camping.  She booked us a trip hiking and camping in the forest of northern New South Wales.  It's beautiful.  Kind of like a rain forest.  Anyway, the first morning started out great.  We were hiking in a beautiful canopy rain forest.  All of a sudden, the girl at the front started freaking out and screaming.  She ran behind a tree with her boyfriend.  I went to see what was going on.  She was looking into her pants.  There were leeches everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  She was freaking out, and they all looked at my waistband, and my shorts. and I was covered with leaches.  Then I told everyone to check themselves.  They were covered in leaches.  The guide had lead us into a leach infested area.  Well, it seems table salt will make them come off, so we used our salt to get them off.  We continued walking.  Pretty soon, it was time to rest and have lunch.  We did and we continued hiking.  Just then, the trail entered an area of total destruction.  A couple large Ghost Gum trees fell over.  Took out an area about one city block.  Was crazy.  The guide freaked out.  He said, "I gotta get my mapping compass."  He frantically looked for his map.  The idiot left it behind at the lunch area.  Then it started to rain.  He ran around yelling, "Keep your face dry," as he was looking for his compass.  Well he lost that as well.  The guide started panicking.  He started mentioning helicoptors, search crews, dogs, police.  I thought, this isn't good.  Then I looked down and I was covered in leaches again.  The girl started screaming.  Everyone was freaking out.  Well, my friend, she kind of took control and said, All right, we gotta find the trail.  So she and I set off into the destruction zone to find the trail.  She and I were climbing the downed tree.  We were over them, under them.  It wasn't that safe, as the trees weren't totally settled.  Anyway, she eventually found the trail on the other side.  We went back to get everyone and we eventually got back on the trail.  We were covered in blood and mud.  Not a good look.  We got back to the camp and started taking showers.  All I remember hearing is Salt, Salt, Salt, Salt.  The next day was beautiful.  We ended up cutting the trip short.  Ended up on a highway where I proceeded to say, "I'm Out of Here," and proceeded to try and hitch hike back to my car.  The guy I was with and his wife were also trying to hitch a ride.  I got picked up right away by an elderly couple.  They could have been my grand parents.  They were like a gift from above.  I couldn't believe it.  They were so nice.  They treated me and my wife at the time, to some tea and some crackers, the blanket, it was very comforting.  I remember drinking my tea and driving by my friend who was still trying to hitch hike.  I thought, to myself, no wonder why no one will pick him up.  He was covered in mud, blood, his hair was crazy.  They guy looked like an ax murderer.

One more story about my friend in Australia.  I think I told this story before.  I definitely shared it with her, but I'm going to tell it again anyway cause I think I told it a long time ago.  My friend, she was to go on a trip, so she asked me to look after her son, so I said, sure, no problem.  Well I took her son down to the beach with me.  I went down there to check out the waves and the wind.  I had the kid, he was about 2 at the time.  Anyway, I let the kid play on the grass while I talked to my other friends who were there.  Just then, one of my other friends said, "OY mate.  Have a look over there.  That doesn't look right."  I looked over and to my horror I saw my friends little boy eatining a huge big dry dog turd.  He was scarfing it down.  By the time I got to him, he ate half the dog turd.  So what did I do?  I got some water, cleaned off his face and gave him a drink to wash it down.  There was nothing else I could do.  I just kept an eye on him for the rest of the day.  Well, at night, my friend, she came home and she proceeded to change her little boy's diaper.  I heard from the back room, "Oh my god! What did you feed this child for lunch.  It smells so bad."  Well, I got nervous and lit up a joint and said, "I don't know."  I still feel guilty.  Sorry my friend.

I'm going to talk a little bit about Traumatic Brain Injury.  You know, I had 2 brain operations.  7 other operations.  4 seizures.  I've been through a lot.  I've learned many things, but one thing that stands out above everything is everyone is different.  Each situation is different.  It's not like having a broken arm where the doctors can say you'll be fine in so many days.  You don't know how long it will take to heal.  Every situation is unique and different.  Hell, even the doctors don't have all the answers.  You will become your own doctor.  Anyway, that's about it for now.  I still get tired talking, and I'm sure my friend is tired of typing, so I'll leave you with another of the cartoons I used to do.  See you next week.  Oh, yeah, come to the show if you can make it.  The details are in my previous blog.  I saw the photographs today.  We laid them out to hang.  It looks great.  It reminds me of why I started taking pictures in the beginning.  It makes me happy.  It's not about the money.  Hell, we'll barely break even on the show.  It's not about money.  It's about the art of photography.  See you next week.  Love, B. Nice