he morning blazing threw my
living room windows. Dust particles are dancing in the rays of light,
to some unheard song. As I sit here in the shadows at my small dining
table. With its dishes from past meals. With its lonely chair I
now sit in. I can’t help to think of my life and what has
passed before my eyes in my long 40 years.
What has my life come to? What were the highs and lows? Is there
meaning to my life? If I die today. Would anyone miss me? Is there
more to this life. All questions we all have to ask our selves at
some point in our lives. As kids turn to parents. Grand parents turn
to a god figure. Youth to their favorite teacher. The philosophical
questions we must all face.
Two years after the car
accident. Losing my wife of 20 years and my two kids. Two lovely
daughters. Smart as whips and always made me smile. Made the house
warm and inviting. Now this house feels empty and cold. No cheerful
screams or bitter tears that can only come from family life.
No spouse to be with. Someone I thought I would be with for the
rest of this life and the life after this. One I cared for with all
of my heart. Some one would have died for.
Now it is all gone. With the sands of time, pain of death
decreases my counselor says. I find it hard to believe. I feel like I
am going to die. My heart brakes with every day I live on. How can I
go on? What do other people do at this point and not to make it look
like some bad after school special?
I have to try to put this straight in my mind. Maybe then I can
see were all of this fits. I must start from the beginning. The
summer of my 16th birthday. A land
mark for any teen in America. A large one for me. Unexpectedly
so. One that was unexpected, with the bitter sweet feelings. Youthful
bless. Innocence not yet loss to pessimism found in adulthood. What a
summer it was at least looking back at it now.
Living in the evergreen city of Seattle had its ups and downs. The
rain, gray that hang over the city in the winter. The bright summers.
It had charm I admit it. Yet the gray always seemed to make things
seem more depressing.
Death is not a stranger to me. Losing my own dad to the war in
Vietnam when I was in 8th grade. He was an army reserve
officer. He had obtained the rank of Captain at the time of his
death. Will respected at our church. A John Wayne like person.
I was told it was a sudden attack on the position his unit was
holding. A make shift base for evacuating personal to safer
locations. It happen in the middle of the night. Dad was asleep in
his bunk as the explosion went off. Killing him on the spot. He did
not know what hit him.
Mom and I took it hard. My little sister was to young at the time
to comprehend what happen. She just ended up more and more confused.
Feeding off our emotions. It was a sad time in our lives. Luckly we
had support from family, friends and our community.
Needless to say we had to get back to living. School would not
stop. Nor would my moms obligations to us young ones. I think to it
helped to have an eternal prospective. Something I had a lot clearer
view of when I was at that age then now.
Fast forward a year. It was not two days after I was done with my
Freshman year. My last at my Jr High. A celebration ensued for me and
my classmates that night. A party until dusk on the Seattle
waterfront. My 3 best friends an I, doing this and that. The trouble
teens will get into. We were an unlikely group. Almost like the odd
couple in some ways.
We had burrowed of our parents cars. I think it was Sam Morphy’s
dad's Pontiac. He was away on some kind of business trip and our
logic was, “hey he ain’t here to use it. What trouble
could we get into?” As I was the only one with a car license at
the time. So I was elected as the “driver”. The car had
tobe home again by the time he got home in a week. What would stop
it? An impound? Nothing like that could happen to us! We were
We started down at Colman Dock were the Bermerton ferry would all
ways dock. Across the water in Bremerton I was told was little
industrial, like a steel mill town. Something to do with the navy
ship yard over their. I never bothered with the place. It seemed a
little out of the way.
We worked our way down the waterfront. Taking in the sights,
pigging out on Ivers seafood. Getting drunk on Coke Cola, with real
sugar highs all around. Not this corn syrup stuff we have now.
Parking the car not far from pier 63, now an empty wooden deck. Got
out and had our fill of what they call Pike Place. Nothing like it is
now. It had its own feel then it does now.
It was almost like the B&I in Tacoma. It is hard to describe
it. You have to go see it for your self to know what I am talking
about. Neck nack stores, food stuffs, an active farmers market. The
fish! Oh my the fish. Our gold here in the North West. We saw it all.
While making fart jokes. Staring at the female kind. Cat calls here
and there. Teens on the lose. Something I would have tried to prevent
in my own kids had they lived.
Some hours later, slowly making our way back the car. To our
dismay, the car had been vandalized. Nothing to major. It would be
enough for Sam's mom and dad to go ape shit on us. A key had been
swiped across the nicely maintain paint job on the passengers side.
Making a bright white mark across the black shine.
Ever want to see eyes popping out? Sam was doing it like a cartoon
in real life. “Sebastian, what the hell are we going to do?”
He was looking directly into my eyes, with fear showing. Almost
looked like he crapped his pants. Not like I could have done
anything.”Sam, get a grip!” Holding on to his shoulders.
Keeping him steady. As if he was going to faint. He looked at the
other two for support. John and Cal just shrugged their shoulders and
looked at me. A pit building in my stomach. I did not like this
feeling, who would?
What could we do? Looking at it now. It reminds me of the sitcom
world. Why did life at that point look like that? Life is a strange
line of actions making our lifes story. In any case. Sam was taking
this harder then anyone of us here.
We were not the ones who would have to deal with the coming
grounding. At least that is what we hoped would happen. Every man for
him self right? We did care what happen to Sam trust me. It just what
could we do? Fess up? Teen logic does not allow for that action to
accour to us. Bill Cosby once called it brain damage, now days I
would agree with that statement.
“Sam”, I said,”Lets just get into the car. Drive
home and sleep on it.” Cal spoke up,”Ya lets just get
into the car. Your dad wont be home for another week. We surly could
come up with a plan by then” John being a follower as he was
just shrugged,”Hey man what ever you want to do.” Almost
like he had no care in the world.
We made it home. Not a word was spoken. Sam was not in the mood.
All after we had our day of fun. No more dirty teacher looks and all
that. Making it back before eight that night. Taking the long way
home. Driving threw Capital hill, down to West Seattle to Long view
and back again. It seemed to help Our collective moods. Maybe we
could get away with this?
Dropping the car off at
Sam's home. He seemed to keep some of that big eyed look on his face.
I guess it has to be with living with a type A personality. A trait
his dad would show in everything he did. Never missing a thing. Guess
that is why he was such a successful manger at his firm. Making more
then our old men combined. They had two cars after. Both were decent
Sam lived about a mile from me. Not to bad on this late spring
night. It had been nice and hot all day and now it was finely cooling
down. It felt nice. As us three walked down the many hills in down
town Seattle. It would almost seem like a mini San Francisco to some.
“What is it John?”, Spoke Cal. John seemed a little
fidgety about something. Looking at his watch. We stared at him and
he looked up,” Oh, I need to be home fast. My mom expects me to
babysit my little sister and brother. I forgot.” Then he was
off like greased lighting. The no care attitude disappearing. Turning
to all business. Booking it. Track star at work folks.
Hard to believe he was my
friend considering were he stood in the school social order. I being
what they call an outcast. A classic outsider even with my dads
status in the comunity. Maybe that is what made us work.
Complementary personalities. He being more reserved in most cases and
I speaking my mind were it may or may not be welcome. He also got
along with my other two friends, so that helped I think.
Walking slowly home. Cal in lock step with me. He to shared the
military brat status. His dad in the navy. Having come out here to
help close up Sand Point Naval Air Station. Cal's mom fell in love
with the place and put down roots just like that and told his dad
this were she will stay until they die.
Cal's dad seemed partial to
that feeling. Having come from China Lake and its nasty heat. He was
close to retirement any way. So they stayed. His dad managing to get
a post at Sand Points replacement up at Whidbey Island Naval Air
Station. As it was taking over the missions Sand Point had handled
This meant his dad was up at the base most of the week. I was not
worth making the content commute down to Seattle everyday were we
lived. So he stayed on post most of the time. Making it down on
weekends and days off.
Our dads seemed to get along. It just got a little nasty around
the Army Navy game. Bit of a odd couple there. I don't think if I
were Cal's friend, our dads wold not have met. So different. Cal's
dad an enlisted man, A master Chief. Very sr in his jobs. My dad only
in the service for 10 years. My dad being more sociable. Cal's being
more reserved and only talking when needed.
We arrived at our apartment complex. Not a new building by any
stretch, but still seemed nicer then was we saw in movies that took
place in New York and other such cities. Built in late 20s, early
30s. It had a nice brick face. Very old fashioned compared to the
glass of today.
“Will Cal, we are home!” He smirked as he usually
did,” Ya ya, I hope we don't get into trouble. Boy that was an
impressive gash.” Walking into the building and up the stars as
we went to the 4th floor. Were he lived in a 2 room
Standing outside his door. Slapping me on the back,”Will
here we are. I wonder if I can still catch Johnny Carson? Unlocking
the door as he said this. Leaving me alone in the hallway alone.
Staring at the spot he was just standing. Not even a good bye. Go
What was left for me to do now? Bed? TV? No mom would be watching
it and I was not much for late night shows. No were else to go do in
this city. Its not like American Graffiti, to my dismay. Only thing I
could do. Go to the roof. One afvantage of making friends with the
supper. I got access to the roof. Yay for me.
staring up at the sky above. At the stars, the crescent moon. I
could be up there for hours at a time. Day or night, it did not
matter. As long as it was not raining. Dozing off into a deep sleep.
Next thing I knew I felt Solomon trying to shaking me awake. I
mutterd,”Go away....” Then I heard the supper's voice,”
Sebastian wake up, your mom is looking for you.” I slowly
opened my eyes as an older skinny old man stood over me. Shacking me
He looked down at me. He looked a little perturbed about
something,”Sebastian, your mom is raising hell.” Why was
she raising hell? Not like I did anything wrong... Then I remembered
the car. I hoped it was not that. My eyes shot open. Getting up and
dusting my self off, “OK OK I will go calm her down”