Friday, May 24, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Happy Birthday

When I was 19 years old I was a security guard at the Murfield Village golf tournament in Dublin OH.  While many people would question the hiring of a man like me for a security job, I would like to stress that I am a very responsible person.  If you are going to give me a few bucks in exchange for keeping some drunken yuppies out of a corporate tent, I’ll do that job for you.  The key to security is not the concept of actually being able to stop anyone from doing something; it’s just standing there in a uniform so they don’t think about doing something stupid in the first place.  I looked pretty official in my uniform as I stood in front of the corporate tent.  As far as anyone knew, I wasn’t a man to be trifled with.  Attendees needed the correct laminate to gain entry into the tented wonderland, so to be honest; the area was pretty much self-policed.  No one that attends a golf tournament wants to go through the indignity of having a wiseass college kid in uniform say things like “Sir!  Sir!  Without a laminate, I MUST insist you leave this area at once.”  Who needs that egg on their face?  The Columbus Ohio area golf fans understood.  Don’t fuck with the guy at the entrance to the Logistics Company tent.  That kid is keeping the riff separated from the raff at this event.   

The tournament ran over Memorial Day weekend, which usually had my birthday fall in there somewhere.  I spent a couple summers in Columbus, my family having moved there after my graduation from high school.  I didn’t know anyone in town, and worked the tournament for as many hours as I could get.  The upside was I made tens of dollars.  The downside was I stood around in the heat in long pants for 11 consecutive hours, and was left with minor heat stroke by the time I would go home.   I would collapse on my bed, and then have to get up pre-dawn to repeat the process.  Who knew doing nothing would get a fella so tired?

This particular summer my birthday was on a Friday.  The plan was my family would take me out to a birthday dinner at a restaurant of my choosing after work.   This is one of the few warm hearted traditions I had in my family.  Plus, when you are 19, choosing any restaurant you want is pretty exciting.  You are still an inexperienced diner, and each trip to a restaurant is an exotic visit to another planet where strange and wonderful treats are brought out to you by strangers.  Now eating is so often like stepping up to a feed trough, but when you are a kid and don’t know what gnocchi is, it’s pretty kickass.   “Whoa!  That’s what brie is?”

I got home that day, and it had been scorching hot.  I was standing in 94 degrees in the unrelenting sun all day.  I went to my room to change, and I was beat.  I wanted to grab a shower and change into my “going out to eat” clothes, which may have included stonewashed jeans and a polo shirt with an animal stitched onto my breast.  I lay back on my bed and closed my eyes for just a second.  I opened them up and the room was dark.  What the hell happened?

I had fallen asleep.  I looked at the clock, and it was approaching nine.  I couldn’t believe my family had let me sleep this long.  Why wouldn’t they have woken me up?  I was getting mad thinking about it.  They were going to pull the rug out from under my birthday dinner?  It’s late now.  Are we going to be able to still go?  I started to go downstairs with the intention of airing my grievances.  As I descended the stairs I knew something was out of sorts.  The downstairs was dark as well.  All was completely quiet.  Where the hell was everyone?  I opened up the garage door and saw my father’s car was gone.  It hit me.

They were gone. 

They had gone out to eat my birthday dinner without me.  How could you go to someone’s birthday dinner and ditch them at home?  I was stunned.  Could a group of three people really be that insensitive?  No, there must be a different explanation…  That was when they arrived home, satiated and ready for dessert.  “Hey, you’re up!  C’mon over and blow out the candles.  We all want cake.”  I told them to go fuck themselves and made myself a grilled cheese sandwich.  I really don’t think any of them had considered that I might be pissed that they blew me off and left me at home with an empty refrigerator.  They certainly didn’t expect a “go fuck yourselves”.  That was like going DefCon4 right out of the gate.  I don’t think my mother or brother had ever heard me drop that kind of lingo.  I was pissed. 

I ate my sandwich over the sink while they dug into the cake at the kitchen table.  They didn’t give a shit.  I went to bed.  At 6:30 the next morning, I was back out in front of the tent, the sun gaining strength with each hour.  

Happy birthday.



At June 9, 2013 at 4:06:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

Wow. Dick punch. Congratulations on being born!


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