Somewhere in the world today. Well, I imagine someone did anyhow. I hope they didn’t, but it’s practically inevitable that people lose their arms every day. I’d almost bet that someone in Ontario loses an arm every day. Maybe not right to the shoulder, but above the elbow anyhow. I’m sure a lot of them are from workplace accidents, but most are probably from other shitty things like diabetes, cancer, and angry wives.
On a lighter note, my arms are still on. I’ve actually never even come close to losing an arm, but I did cut my forearm pretty deep when I was about fourteen. I was working at our local convenience store/butcher shop, and we sliced a lot of sandwich meat every day. Do any of you remember when small villages had stores like that? Ours had everything you needed to get by. We had a local creamery, and the White family that had the store, had the slaughterhouse, and a farm that they raised the animals on. You could buy locally produced butter, milk, eggs, meat, bread, or whatever else. You name it, and you could get it there.
When I was very young, we lived next door to the store. I think it was from when I was born, until I was about 4. I think I remember starting school from the house on dump road (Hillview Drive), so it would have been before I was five anyhow. (Strange fact- Alice’s father in law did the excavation for our house on dump road. Mr. Alice would have only been a year or two older than me, but I do remember his dad bringing a boy out when we lived there.) I can’t remember much about living next to the store, but I remember falling into the coffee table and splitting my eyebrow open, getting lots of treats from the store, and stowing away in the back of my dad’s old blue ford, because I wanted to go to work with him. They found me at Ken Johnson’s gas station that was kitty corner from the store, and Dad wasn’t too happy with me. I remember playing with Jason and Lynette there, and for some reason, I remember cutting my hand up pretty bad in the living room, but I don’t remember how.
I think we lived in that house when I supposedly fell on an old duck decoy, and the bill of it went into my cheek, and caused what is now a lovely dimple. Mrs. Birdman doesn’t believe my mother, when she tells that story, but I go along with it, because really, what the hell do I care? It was also the house where I used to go to buy worms and minnows, long after we had moved on, and lots of times we’d take crayfish and frogs that we had caught, up to them, to trade for some bait that we could use. That house holds a few recollections for me, and I’m sure it would hold more if I was old enough to be able to form memories at the time. It’s funny how you can remember some things when you were four, but can forget someone you met last year.
Anyways, when Mr. and Mrs. White retired, they sold the store to Bill and Alison, and they were excellent people. Alison more than Bill, but that’s probably because she was such a sweet lady, and he had to be the one to say no more free candy for the kids. They renamed the store to A&B Country Store, and as far as I know, everyone welcomed them.
Alison and Bill had three children between them; Rusty, Billy, and Lori, and they were all cool kids. They were all quite a bit older than us, and I guess we looked up to them for the short while that we knew them. I remember Lori most of all, because she was the hottest girl in the area, and she was around a lot more than the boys. She had a wicked body and was very pretty, and I don’t think there was a kid around (or dirty old man) that wasn’t dreaming about her all day and night. She was just one of those girls that you always wanted to be around. Not just because of her looks, but because she was fun, smart, and nice as well. She took off for the city after a while, and we didn’t see much more of her, until her boyfriend and her came back and bought the store from her Mom. I think Bill was long gone by then, but can’t totally remember.
I was just rounding the corner into my teens when Willie and Lori bought the store, and I got a part-time job working there. Willie was awesome, and he was also a butcher, so Mr. White’s shop was getting some use again. I used to get an hour a night cleaning the floors, and lots of hours on the weekends, doing whatever needed to be done. That was where I learned to drink, and I don’t think I did a good job of it at first. The guys used to call me “The Lakeside Lush” by the time I was fifteen, because I’d get staggering, puking, and passing out, because I’d drink too much, too fast. These are all stories for another time though, because I forgot to finish the story of cutting my arm open, that I had started at the first of the post.
I was working with Barb, and Doug Rose had come in to get some lunch meat sliced up. I went about my business as I usually would. Get the meat, put it on the slicer, place the paper on the base, and get slicing. I was talking to Doug, and slicing up his roast beef, when I noticed the beef was looking pretty rare for cured deli meat. I looked at my arm, and blood was coming out pretty heavy, and I opened up the cut in my sweatshirt to get a look at the wound, and there was a pretty deep gash in my forearm. I went into shock pretty soon after that. I think Doug took charge, and told Barb to call my mom. Her and Paul were there in a flash, and had me on my way to the hospital. I don’t remember too much, but I know Paul was driving fast, and Mom was upset and holding towels against my arm.
We got into the ER and they stitched me up, and got some bandages on me, and I was free. That was the first time I ever got stitches, well that I remember anyhow. It maybe wasn’t to the bone, but I do remember seeing white in there, and feeling like I needed to sit down. I got to start school that year with a cast on one arm, and a big old bandage on the other. I got into a couple fights in school that got the cut opened back up, and I probably should have gotten it stitched up again, but I didn’t, and now I have a pretty wide scar there. Oh well, it just makes me look tougher.
My body bangs and twitches, The tequila whets my tongue, My fingers find the stitches, Firmly back and forth they run,