Then in mid January Welf got her role in the play, which was a joyous event and I'm very proud of her for it. It required so much of her time, though, that I began to feel increasingly lonely and isolated on the road. Welf and I typically talk on the on the phone 1-2 times a day, correspond by text and email, or chat on IM. All of a sudden there was little to none of that and it dragged on for 6 weeks. There would be an osasis in the middle of it though: my upcoming milestone birthday and a wonderful weekend spent with my ador(ing)(able) wife.
At the end of January I turned 40. While this fact alone probably isn't really any big deal to me, the fact that it occurred in this brewing shit-storm makes it bear down on me more than it otherwise might have. On my birthday I scheduled a doctor's appointment. The results of the blood tests I had done were given to me a week later, necessitating a massive change to the way I eat, live, and think. Suddenly I was counting calories, denying myself things I enjoy, and consuming a lot of things that tasted like shit to me. This sudden loss of caffeine in my diet was causing me to have trouble remaining alert behind the wheel. On the Monday before Valentine's Day (that next Sunday) in an act of desperation to remain a alert, I did something I hadn't done in 15 months - I bought a pack of cigarettes. It got me through the remainder of my long haul that night and I didn't buy another when it was gone the next day.
Then a few days later, I discovered on Friday I wasn't going to make it home for the weekend and was going to miss Valentine's Day with Welf. I bought a couple of packs of cigarettes in anticipation of sitting around in the truck all weekend with nothing to do. Then I found out I was going to Newark, NJ however and it would afford me the opportunity to do something I loved; visit New York City. I got all excited making plans and thinking about the things I would do with two days to kill in the city. I could see old friends and soak in the atmosphere. A few hours later, I got another phone call from my dad. My 89 year old grandfather had passed away that morning.
Just in case you're missing the trend here, my emotions keep getting yanked from one end of the spectrum to the other. The holidays, a time of family and fun, even more so with the proverbial blessed event of a wedding, overshadowed by my mom's cancer/surgery. Welf's achievement in community theater filling me with pride, admiration, and happiness dulled by the adjustment of having less access to her and increasing loneliness. The disappointment of not making it home for Valentine's Day temporarily abated by the prospect of going to NYC then finding out my grandfather passed away. It's this constant swing that is so frustrating, because it seems that each blow just hits harder and drags me lower.
My grandfather was more than just the grand patriarch of my family, he is also my name sake. He's Gordon Lincoln Teachey, Sr., my dad is Jr. and I'm the third. My eldest son is the 4th. The silver lining of me being stuck on the road in nearby Baltimore was that I could make it to Richmond, VA where he lived and be with my family. Hornady even let me drive the truck down there. Welf however wasn't able to make it to Virginia. The opening of the play was only a week away. So I spent Valentine's Day with family at my step-grandmother's house and the night drinking a bottle of wine and smoking cigarettes with my brothers. The visitation was on Monday and the funeral followed on Tuesday. That night, I was back on the road.
I did make it home the following weekend for Welf's play which was nice, even if I didn't get see her much since she had performances all weekend, and I was gone again that Sunday night. I bought a carton of cigarettes on my way out of town. Which brings us up to the point where I wrote my entry of woe. Things just don't seem to be getting any better. When I was smoker before a carton used to last me a couple of weeks as I was a rather light smoker. I went through that carton in about 6 days, which just adds to me feeling like shit about myself. Being back on the road and alone was the last place I wanted to be, and welfy was being great about offering long-distance comfort and assurance with promises of a forth-coming weekend together where I could be triple spoiled.
Yeah, I didn't make it home last weekend. I was stuck on the road yet again; an 8.8. earthquake in Chile, Kentucky losing to Tennessee, surely these are the end fucking times.
Then yesterday, I lost my balance while tarping my load in the rain and fell from the deck of my trailer. I managed to spin myself around and land feet first, but I came down hard on my right foot. I tried to walk it off but it got increasingly worse and I couldn't put any weight on it. I hadn't gotten the bungees on the tarps yet and couldn't finish it. I called Hornady to let them know I'd injured myself and that I needed to go get an X-ray to make sure I hadn't broken my ankle. I broke my left ankle several years ago and the pain I was in now was nothing like then, so I was pretty sure I hadn't.
This happened yesterday in Prosperity, South Carolina. It doesn't get any more fucking ironic than that, folks. I told them I was pretty confident I could drive myself to Columbia, SC for the X-rays. They arranged for another drive with an empty trailer to take my load off of my hands and finished bungeeing it up. He got there a couple of hours later and I drove into the city 45 minutes away. I was correct in my confidence and driving wasn't bad. If it had been my left ankle there's no way I could've mashed the clutch, but being the right, I only had to apply pressure to the fuel and brake pedals. Most of it was highway anyway, so I could use cruise control for most of it.
Thankfully it's not broken, it's only a bad "high ankle" sprain. I have crutches and a splint and need to stay off of it for 7 days. I told Hornady this morning that despite the work release, I feel like I could do some light-duty work. I can drive, but there's no way I can climb around on loads and do the other labor necessary in flatbed trucking. They're having me deadhead to Birmingham where I'll be for the next week or so, doing whatever odd tasks they can find for me. I'm not sure what the compensation will be, and I'm sure it won't be much, but it'll be better than taking a week off without pay or having to waste my vacation time to keep the bills paid. Obviously, this means I wont' get home yet again this weekend and it doesn't exactly bode well for next weekend either.
I wonder what the universe has in store for me next week?