How the hell did you end up in Austin?
Well I started this blog to capture some of the past few years, so while it won’t be in chronological order, it should be fun anyway.
It all started with my boss, after 23 years of stellar
service giving me a hundred grand, and a year’s benefits (not to mention
unemployment). I’m pretty sure he wasn’t amused as I jumped for joy, entering
his office to be laid off (for the third time in my career at the phone company).
This was old hat – they lay me off, wait thirty days, bring me back. He’s currently
my boss again at IBM – small world. There it was though, my career over, and a
really uncertain time ahead – the phone company was supposed to be what I
retired from, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.
The months preceding that, I felt like Bill Murray in Stripes – I lost my wife, my house, and my job just like that. I was renting a room in NH, thinking about my next steps, and no it didn’t involve joining the Army. I had said months before the layoff that if it happened, I was going to explore the world on my motorcycle. And I did, but that’s next.
I was at the Pawtucketville Social Club in Lowell Massachusetts, the following Saturday morning, with the bike fueled, and my little camper on the back. A half bottle of jack later, and I rolled away in light snow saying, ‘see you in a month!’ – except, it would turn into years. The only one who knew was Ellen, because I certainly had no clue. It was 20 degrees out.
Where was I going? I HAD NO CLUE
I sometimes wonder about my mental health – 6 hours later, blasting through Saturday Night traffic in a snowstorm on 93 South in New York City, the temps had dropped to ten, and my balls nowhere to be found – at least I’d have had a good explanation had I just been in the pool.
Playing Frogger in NYC on a motorcycle puling a camper in the snow with hypothermia can be fun – hey I ALMOST made the length of the Jersey Turnpike without a traffic jam due to some inattentive cow in a minivan, but no – not this time – pretty much not ANYTIME.
Stopping in upstate Maryland proved to be my first taste of “Dude you aren’t in New England anymore”;
M: Hey can I get a Margarita?
M: What kind of Tequila do you use?
F: We can’t sell hard alcohol – we use flavored wine
M: But there is a Packie right there?!
Strange shit I would find in my travels – she was nice though. I would be in my room for the night shortly – standing there feeling cold air stream off my body due to the hypothermia I didn’t know I had, while the hottest shower ever brought my extremities back to life was amazing. It was perhaps 20 minutes when I heard a loud clang. Like someone dropping an anvil – IT WAS MY BALLS! Hey kids welcome back – yea they descended, which is kind of important.
Looking back, my first 18 hours on the road went well – my compensation wouldn’t hit my account for another month, I was worrying about money, it was winter, I had no idea where I was going or why, and I was wearing a t-shirt in the parking lot. Not to mention of course, what was I going to do for work?
I’ve NEVER had, or needed a resume, and pretty much kept to just two employers my whole career. I had no idea of how to do a resume, look for work, interview – I mean I’ve never had to do any of that, things just always fell in place.
I was hoping to hit N Carolina tomorrow, for now, just a quick check for bed bugs at the local truck stop Motel and suffering through someone banging a lot lizard through the headboard in the next room over. Time to get some rest for sure (more to follow)