Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chance Encounters Of The 3 a.m. Kind

We had a sad little girl several years back with a plethora of problems named Annie.  She was not potty trained and would often sit in her waste till one of her classmates complained.  She would also pick at her skin out of anxiety till she bled.  This left her covered with scabs.  As you can imagine, she did not have very many friends.

The trouble was, her parents pretended like nothing was wrong.  They'd talked to people or read things that assured them all of her challenges were age appropriate.  Annie was academically gifted which they frequently pointed out.  Their denial prevented us from being able to provide her all the resources we had available.  Our meetings with parents were tense, and the relationship between school and home was strained to say the least.

Around the time this was all going on a friend of mine asked me to go to a Reverend Horton Heat concert with him up by his house.  My friend lived about 75 minutes away from where we grew up and hometown friends rarely went out there.  He was really excited about my visit and had local craft beer bars he wanted to take me to before the show.

As we enjoying our drinks, I noticed is was almost 8:00.  "We should probably get moving." I said.  "Openers will coming on soon."

My friend looked at me like I'd forgotten what year it was.  "Dude, the opener probably isn't coming out till 10:00-10:30.  The Reverend isn't going on till 11:00."

This detail hadn't been shared with me.  It was Sunday night and as I sat doing the time-math in my head, I was not liking the results.  If the band played for two hours, it would be 1 a.m. and I still had a roughly 90 minute drive (the venue was further beyond his house).  I get up at 5:00 a.m.

I never miss work.  In the last several years I can recall working without absence while having the flu, shingles, strep throat, & during a property closing.  Thankfully not all at the same time.  This was going to be tough though.  I had an ace in the hole.  My wife and I had just welcomed a new baby a few weeks earlier (I only missed two days for that one!).  No one would question if I called in and said the baby was up all night crying.  So I had a plan.

We got to the show.  I was already yawning and wanted to punch my buddy in the face.  I'm too damn old for 11:00 p.m. shows on Saturdays let along Sundays.  Instead I went to grab a beer.  I was standing up at the bar hoping to be served before 1:00 a.m.  As I stood there looking down the bar, trying to get one of the bar tenders attention, there he stood doing the same thing.  Annie's father.

What the hell was he doing way out here!?  I bolted without my massive inflated beers and headed back to my buddy.  I wasn't sure if he saw me or not (not being in suit when that's all people have seen you in is better disguise than it sounds), but we were in a tiny venue (less than a 1000 people) and the show hadn't started yet.  The odds of him not seeing me at some point weren't real good in my favor.  If I didn't show up to work because I was drinking at a rock concert late into the night and that got around to parents, it could be extremely damaging to my reputations.  Plus, this guy hated me.  Fuck.

I nice thick fog rolled over the area as the show ended to make driving nice and slow.  I got home at 3:36 a.m.  I slept for one hour and 24 minutes.  I then got up and went to work.  Coffee anyone?

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