CHAPTER 74 Chew Us Up and Spit Us Out

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copyright 2015 Chris Smith All rights reserved.

Henry called Dad back. They hadn't talked in almost a year. Dad didn't know what to expect. Henry had known my family for almost two decades. He had seen us through hard times and when we had been flush with money. My Parents had even hired him to work with us in several ventures.

Henry proceeded to chew my Dad out for the entire length of their conversation. There is nothing quite like having a good friend chew you out. There really isn't. If you've never experienced this, you really should before you die. It's a MUST DO experience, like seeing the Seven Wonders of the World.

A mutual friend of ours, and Henry's, had gone through a Foreclosure several years ago. The friend hadn't reached out to Henry for help or assistance of any kind. Now I understood why, or least I knew what they had missed out on.

I mean, who would want to miss out on some good ole' ass chewing?

I thought you were supposed to reach out to the people who care about you when you had problems?

We had finally moved beyond our own tremendous guilt and shame to reach out to a few people, who we thought were our friends. But their response was to send us a Howler.

Dad had his ass chewed over the phone for the second time in two months, both by way of "loved ones". It took a lot for him to sit on the phone, and allow someone to chew his ass...especially considering how much stress he was already under. It's a wonder he didn't decide to do something drastic with the world caving in all around him.

It makes sense why some people totally crumble under stress and why other people do drastic and incredibly harmful things, either to themselves, a loved one, or a complete stranger.

What are you supposed to do?

Maybe emotions are like a rubber band and you can only stretch it so far, before it breaks, or snaps.

And then what?

Why do we expect people to act rationally when they've been stretched beyond their limits?

And it's not like we're helping them if we stand back in constant judgement.

Henry said he'd do some checking and get back to my Dad on whether he could help us or came up with any ideas. At least it wasn't an outright, "No."

Dad left for the coffee shop for an internet hit. He sent out several email feelers to three cable channels for our U.S. Special Operations Veterans History Project.

When Dad came back he called Nathan to find out what time the Lock-Out was. Dad asked Nathan if we could have a few hours to get our stuff together, like we did for the last Lock-Out. But Nathan didn't have time to mess around with us anymore. He had a schedule to keep and he was a busy guy. I guess we were lucky he allowed us the time we got on the first Lock-Out with the Cabin the Glass House.

Henry called back later that afternoon and talked to Dad for a few minutes. I hated being here, watching my Parents ask for crumbs off of other people's plates. Believe what you want but asking for help, especially financial help, takes a lot of humility. And more so when you're dealing with people who take it as a perfect opportunity to verbally lambaste you.

"Is there any way you could help us out personally?" I heard Dad ask.

I couldn't hear what Henry's answer was so I waited.

"Well, I appreciate you taking a look," Dad said to him as he was getting ready to hang up the phone.

I took a deep breath. Another hope was lost in the winds.

"Henry can't help us. He told me if I'd come to him back in October [last year] then he could have done a lot of things. But not now."

Henry was upset with my Dad because my Dad had not come to him sooner. Well, gee whiz, had we known a year ago where we'd be, there's all kinds of things we might have done differently. Hindsight and all.

Henry had washed his hands of us and our problematic life. I wasn't bothered he couldn't help us. But there was no compassion, or understanding. Not one ounce of it.

I didn't understand all the negativity from these so called "loved ones". It seemed all they had to offer was more judgment, on top of judgment we already had inside ourselves. They were the lucky ones because they weren't in our Hell.

But we didn't have the luxury of walking away and forgetting. We couldn't escape the fire burning through our lives, demolishing everything in sight. All we could do was stand there, silent and consumed with shame, as the ash buried us and all our Dreams.

"Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out."

Edwin Markham

American Poet


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