Friday, September 12, 2008

A Wasted Year

The new job was good. I went directly into the small batch department where I filled small batches of paint. But with it being a department of 3 people, I learned to do many of the other jobs and started to learn how to shade paint in short order. Within 6 months I Moved into Quality control to work on random batch sizes ranging from 100 galloons to 6,000. My pay went from $6.44 an hour to 13 in that same amount of time and was ready to move out.

Life was good on many fronts. I was living at my dad’s place, I was making a decent living and I had no real bills to speak of. I started putting $100 a week into savings and easily got by with the money I had left over to spend. I mad made a plan in my mind to work at the new job for no more than 5 years and to continue to put money away for the future. I spent a lot of time that year with my friends from the neighborhood and had some god time along the way. We continued to have are random gatherings and started bowling a lot.

One of the guys worked at a bowling alley. So on weekends we would head out there around 10:00 and loiter around waiting for him to finish up. The alley would close but we would stick around bowling for free until anywhere between 2 and 3am. Most nights we would bring in a case or two of beer and just have fun screwing around. It wasn’t much of a life but we were a pretty close group of friends and didn’t get into much trouble.

One of the things my dad always said to me was ”I don’t care what you do…just don’t get a ride home from a cop.” I broke that rule that same spring…well even worse. It started a couple of years before when I got a speeding ticket. I had no money so I didn’t pay the fine. Eventually they suspended my license. I knew the situation but continued to drive like so many other people out there until I messed up. After I started working I went to the county clerk’s office and paid the fine and figured it was over.

Anyway, I was driving to work one morning and apparently didn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Officer friendly pulls me over and says he’ll just give me a warning but has to run my license first…to make sure I’m not a hardened criminal. My license come back suspended and I am arrested for the infraction. The officer handcuffs me and we talk quietly as we wait for the paddy wagon. I show him my receipt for the ticket but it doesn’t matter. You can straighten it out in court.

Calling dad was the hardest thing I ever did. My stepmom picks up the phone and I tell her the story…she hands the phone to my dad and I repeat the circumstances of my arrest and the phone goes click. She bailed me out 20 minutes later and gave me a ride to work. I found out later that you have to ask for reinstatement and pay a fee to get your driving privileges back so I send a check and whatever form I had to fill out to the state and a week later I can drive again. I went to court and pleaded not guilty and ended up talking to the district attorney about the situation. The charges were dropped and life returned to normal. Stepmom was wonderful through this whole ordeal. She drove me back and forth to work for a couple of weeks and realized that people make mistakes. Dad never talked about it with me.

There wasn’t much direction in my life. Sure I made some money, saved some money and had some friends to hang out with but It was sort of like having a non-existence in a some ways. No real goals, I wasn’t playing ball anymore, I hung around a group of people that for the most part kept this cycle of inconsequential living in perpetual motion. I think the most productive thing I did all year was buy my dad tickets for the Bulls games. There wasn’t much more to be said for that year of my life.

How much more is there...

2 comments:

BamBam said...

Interesting perspective!
Is there more to life at that age?

Not-so-mini-Peb's will be 18 in 3 day's. I SHOULD know the answer to that huh?

1Queens Up1 said...

PE same thing happened to me, except my dad is a cop. heh.

And luckily I found out about the begging for your license back thing before I got pulled over. They also make you go through a one-session AA class about driving. Upon completion of the course you can get your license back.

Thats in PA anyway...