Chapter 74 - November 6, 2012

I'd like to dedicate this week's blog to my mother. See when you have a traumatic brain injury, you really need a point person. I mentioned before, my mother is my point person. You will be assigned a social worker, that's for sure. But you also need a point person, someone to basically look after you. I said it before, but I just want to remind you how important it is.

Hi everybody. Welcome to another week in paradise. I'm sorry I missed last week. We had a huge storm. They even gave it a name, Superstorm Sandy. We were lucky. We only lost power for a week. It worked out OK. We only lost a few trees. But it's why I missed blogging you last week. I went to a party this week, and I met a gentleman that bought one of my photos. He turned out to be very ill. You would never know it from looking at him, but he had a serious illness. We got to talking and we both agree, it's so important to stay positive. It'll really get you through the tough times. You see, there's a positive for every negative. The reason I say that is I had a good friend visit me. He was supposed to stay for 2 days, but because of Superstorm Sandy, he was stuck here for a week. When I look at him, I think of 2 words: Party Animal. He and I did enough drinking back then to make up for an entire life. Let me just tell you a few stories. Once we were at a bar. We got in his truck and we realized we shouldn't drive. So he elected to sleep in the cab and I slept in the back. Well, I woke up to someone shaking me. I looked up to see a police officer. He said to me, "I'm glad you decided not to drive, but you've got to pick up all your trash." I looked at the parking lot and I guess to make room for my sleeping bag, I had thrown out all the empty beer cans. The whole lot was filled. Another time was in college. We decided to go to a fraternity party. When I say we, I mean my track team. Anyway, it was close to closing time and we got in a small altercation with the fraternity boys. They pushed us outside and then surrounded us. They wanted to pick a fight. Well, I was ready to leave, and then all of a sudden, someone came out of nowhere and punched my good friend in the head. He punched him so hard, he knocked him down and my friend hit his head on the ground. An ambulance had to be called. Next thing you know, I'm in the hospital with my friend. Well, this really pissed off my other friend who was a quarter miler. He said to me, "Come on, let's go back to the fraternity." And being the drunk young idiot that I was, I said, "OK." We went back to the fraternity, went to the exit stairs. I was going to go up with my friend, the quarter miler. He turned to me and he said, "No, you stay here. I work better alone." He went up the stairs. All the fraternity boys were at the bar on the top floor. My friend, the quarter miler, went behind the bar and he said to a guy pouring beer, he said, "Are you the guy who punched our friend?" They were all in shock that he was there. The guy pouring the beer said, "Yeah, that was me. So what?" Well, my friend, the quarter miler, punched the guy in the nose so hard he dropped him. All the other fraternity boys, the whole house couldn't believe it. Then they jumped over the bar to get my friend, he slipped out, I don't know how, but he got away from them. They chased him. He grabbed a big chair. He said, "Stop, or I'll throw this through your stained glass window." They all stopped. They said, "No No, not our stained glass window!" And my friend, the quarter miler said, "That's a nice window," and then he said, "Well fuck you," and he threw the chair in the window. Well this really got them upset. They chased him down the stairs. As he jumped past me, my friend the quarter miler said, "You better start running." It sounded like a herd of cattle running down the stairs. Well, I followed my friend. He was fast. I was fast as well. I used to be a miler and 800 meter runner. Well, we got away from them pretty quick, so quick I had time to stop, turn to them, they stopped, I said, "Wait, hold on one second. I've got something for you." I reached into my pants and I pulled out my hand, produced my middle finger and said, "There, that's for you, fuck you," and then laughed and started running. They never did catch us. I still get chills when I hear the name of that fraternity. That's why I call my friend a Party Animal. Oh yeah, that reminds me of one more story about my friend the quarter miler. I used to always have parties at my apartment, but there was this guy that lived across from us. He always called the campus security. He was a big tattle tale. He would always laugh and stand in the doorway as the police came to break the party up. Well, one time, the quarter miler was really angry that this guy called the police. He interrupted a really good party. Well, we just happened to have a large rocket in our apartment. You know, the kind you have on the 4th of July. Anyway, we fired the rocket at the guy. He screamed, "OH my God!" and dove into the bushes. The rocket, thank god, missed him, but went into his apartment. All I saw was white, yellow, red, blue. The whole place was light up. The police arrived, and the fire department. Funny, the guy never turned us in again.

So here we are today. My friend who I knew in college is here with me as we sit in front of the fire. I'm like an old man in my wheelchair, and he's stoking the fire. Funny, you know, we both don't drink now. He has one of the most responsible jobs in the world. I don't. We both have kids. Things change. Now I look at him and I think of 2 words: Responsible Adult. I still think he's a party animal. He won't admit it. Anyway, he reminds me of an image I have. The man in the suit. I'll tell this one more story.

The man in the suit. I was windsurfing one fine day. I was on long Island Sound. Out in the middle of nowhere. It was your typical fall day. Strong currents leaving the bay. Big rolling waves coming in. It was a really good day. Anyway, I was playing in the waves windsurfing and I need a little break, so I went to the beach, turned my board over. Laid under my Mylar sail. It's kind of like being in a greenhouse. You're shielded from the wind and the sun keeps you warm as you lay there. Anyway, I was resting, taking a little break when out of the blue I hear, Hey how's it going?. I couldn't believe it. I look up and there's a man in a full on beautiful fitted suit. The guy was on a dirt bike. I was in the middle of nowhere and so was he. It was all surreal. He said, "You look like you're having fun out there." I said, "Yeah." The guy was disheveled. He had a nice suit on, but he had burrs, grass in his hair, a slight beard. But he had a big smile on his face. Actually, he was a little scary. And then all of a sudden, I heard police cars. The guy said to me with a smile, "Oops, I've got to go. Have a good day," and he took off on his dirt bike to the horizon. It was all a bit strange, but I continued to windsurf in the waves. I got back to my car when I police car pulled up. He was looking for the guy in the suit. I told the police officer what happened and the cop took off.  Anyway, that guy reminds me of my friend, the Party Animal.

I really don't have much more to report this week other than the fact that I go through peaks and valleys. I know it's normal when you're like this with a traumatic brain injury. You recover, but it takes time. It's frustrating, but as long as you stay positive, and make small goals, you'll get there. You'll get better. Anyway, I'll talk to you guys next week. Love, B. Nice

P.S. Here is a picture of my family about the time we set off on our world adventure (see Chapter 72).