I have just finished chatting with an old friend/employer on Facebook chat. I never really liked the chat feature before and kept it turned off all of the time, but now it turns itself on all of the time, and I find myself being the annoying bastard that sees someone he really likes on there and has to send a message with well wishes, or in Craig’s case, I believe I called him a buffoon, and he answered to it, so at least things haven’t changed.
Let me tell you a little bit about my friend Craig. First of all, he’s a filthy ginger, and while I love their women, the men are creepy and unnatural looking. Well, most of them aren’t, but Craig sure is. Secondly, I have always admired him. When I met him, I was going to the Centre for Individual Studies or CIS for short, and I took a co-op placement at a used sporting goods store called 3R Sports. For those of you who don’t know, CIS is where the idiots that get kicked out of high school go to try and complete their high school book learning. There are other reasons to go there, but that was mine. Anyhow, the reason I admire and respect Craig the most, is his balls. He took every cent he had, and sunk it into this store, in hopes that he could provide a better life for his family. Win or lose, I applaud his courage for taking that leap.
What Craig needed at the time was an employee that would work for free, and damned if that didn’t turn out to be me. With the co-op system at school, the local businesses can put in to get a student (free part time employee) to come and work for a set amount of hours during week days. I just loved working there, partly because there were no customers, but mainly because Craig was a really great guy. I’d bring in my Jerky Boys tapes, and we’d listen to them while we played Whist, and if I’m not mistaken, smoke a bunch of cigarettes. I was at my partying prime in those days, which I find odd, because I was also at my being broke prime. For some reason, the more money I make, the less happy I am. I guess there is a lesson to be learned there, but I’m too busy to pay attention to that. I believe Craig is happy now, but we didn’t get into details about what our lives entail now. I know that whoever is lucky enough to spend time with him, be it at work, at home, or at the track (he’s a bit nuts over car racing), will be truly enriched, because he is a guy who is genuinely kind and extremely funny, and how can you go wrong with a pal like that. Anyhow Craig, if you ever actually read this, thanks for taking up half of my blog post; it leaves only half for me to grunt and groan over having to leave my family for the next five weeks.
Yes, I’m going back out. You thought you were getting the optimistic, happy Bird didn’t you? Well, you aren’t. I will slowly turn to the most vile, morose son of a bitch you’ve ever met, and I’m taking Chin with me. Naw, I’m not so bad this time, because I know that it’s the last time I do something this foolish. I just had to go tuck two scrapping little girls into bed, and I was just about bawling when they were hugging me so tight for so long. It wasn’t particularly sad, it’s just that they are so strong, and I thought my collarbone might break. If you substitute sweet for strong, and heart for collarbone, it might be a bit more accurate. Do you know how hard it is to try to explain that five weeks isn’t very long to an eight year old girl as she is squeezing you and quietly telling you that she doesn’t want you to leave? Pretty hard. Now try doing that without crying. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
It’s hard to say goodbye, and it’s even harder to make it seem like it’s not going to be that bad. I’m not nearly as sad as I was last time, but I haven’t had to watch them walk away yet. Well, by the time you read this I will have, and possibly had to leave my baby at the Toronto airport in an empty minivan, for what has to be the loneliest hour and a half drive in the world. Oh well, I figure she’ll be alright, because she’s a grownup and she knows that I love her more than I love anything else in the world, and at least she’s got the girls, that will keep her mind off of things. What have I got? Well, I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’ve got Chin. He’s a pretty fair hand to have along when you get lonely, and your chips are down, and he hasn’t once teased me about being girlish; he’s teased me for a lot of other things, just not that. I guess all of my friends are pretty solid when it comes down to it, but he’s going to be the one bearing the brunt of it this time. Get your tissues ready buddy, I’ll try to hold off, but if I get a chance to think, it’s all over.
I guess I’ll sign off for tonight, and leave you with a thought that I’ve been mulling around in my melon. ‘If you weren’t here, where would you be?’ I mean that in the philosophical sense, because our lives can change at every choice, and for some crazy reason, we ended up here, together. Seems pretty random to me. My sister might not have got her hair cut at the same time, and in the same place as Mrs. Birdman, and I might be in New Brunswick, working in a chip factory, or hauling potatoes around the country. Maybe working for a travelling carnival with Joey and the dogs, who really knows? If we were carnies though, I know we’d only be there for the deep fried Mars bars, and the carny groupies that live in every town. It sure wouldn’t be for the dental plan.
Hey buddy would you like to buy a watch real cheap, here on the street? I got six on each arm and two more round my feet,