Friday, September 02, 2005

My first post, more to come

8/31/05 Wednesday
     I am up early. Tried to change my blog but seem unable to do so. Woke up with my past on my mind. That is always disturbing.
     I wrote that at 5:00 this morning. I dipped around, checked my E mail and deleted the 110 E mails I had on and then crawled back into bed where I lay thinking till Cherie began to stir. I turned on the news to watch about the hurricane and was reminded how facing death and losing everything can impact one’s view on life. I was doing well and we got up. I showered and got ready to see the lawyer about the bankruptcy. Then, as I prepared eggs and bacon for Cherie and I, I began to have that feeling I should be used to. Despite this being a regular occurrence I thought maybe it was the flu but it is another partial seizure, a slowdown. It is still growing and writing this is difficult. Hope I am better when we go see the attorney. Took my pill and need to take something for headache, which is also growing.
     It is 3:30. I am tired and hope I can get all this written down before it is gone. I was pretty slow at the attorney’s but managed OK. I am glad Cherie was there for she will help me sort all this out. I am a bit stressed or something, too much to process. Just came up from talking with Fred concerning Barb and her possible drug use. I think I will lay down and finish this later. Need to take my pill. I had speeded up but now that I am home I am starting to slow down. Probably from the stress and relaxing. Don’t know but I am having hard time putting sentences together. Time to rest. Mental fatigue.

9/1/05 Thursday
     As usual I didn’t finish yesterdays entry. I did get better mentally but was still tired and went to bed at 8:00 last night. After we got done at the lawyers I walked with Cherie to several of the banks I used to have accounts at, which were all within blocks of the Spitzer Building where one of my companies was once housed. The reason we did this was to see if I cold recover my banking records to help me research my past. If I could get copies of the checks I wrote and deposits it would reveal much and help me put dates on events as well as unlocking more memories. Unfortunately because it was over four years ago much of that information has been purged from the banks records. Fifth Third at first did not even show I had ever had an account there. At first I thought maybe I didn’t and the memory of being in the building was from the times I had cleared the top two floors of the building, which was where they stored their surplus furniture and equipment. But as we talked to the banker I remembered cashing many checks and that perhaps this was where my second mortgage money had been deposited.
     The bank rep was amazed with our story as most are. He said he would research as best he could and took down our phone number and address. He called us at around 6:00 to let me know that I indeed had an account there but that he had found only a rudimentary record, which he will mail. He told us that there was normally a fee for such research but it was waved because of the unusual circumstances. He did say there was some money owed, which did not surprise me in the least. Actually I expected that because of the lunacy of my last days prior to the wreck. Again writing a book was suggested.
     Then we went to Charter One where we made the same request. When we were seated in front of the bank rep she asked us what she could do for us. I told her the same thing I told the previous banker. “This will be a little different from what you are used to. I woke up from a coma four years ago and have partial amnesia. I would like to get records of all my transactions to help me reconstruct my past.” Again I did not show up on the computer so I left my social security number and our phone number so she could see what she could find.
     The next stop was at National City Bank. There were major changes here as there were at 5th Third. The teller area had been closed and moved across the hall. It was the same as the other banks, with the same reaction of wonder as I told of the coma and of how it brought Cherie and I together. Again I was hard to find but he did find a record of an account. It was a joint checking account I had put Yolanda on. With that came memories of how she had withdrawn money after she had put me in jail on trumped up domestic abuse charges. Intrigued by our story the banker promised to see what he could find so we left our number. He called me this morning to tell me he found two accounts, both of which had been closed, one in August of 2001 and the other November 30th. I said that was while I was in a coma so he explained it was probably closed for inactivity. He gave me a number to call at loss prevention where I may learn more.
     I had told Cherie of how I had liquidated lots of things for the building including many art deco items that had been a big part of the original architecture. When we left the bank I went to the security desk to see if Richard Stiff was still in charge of the building. He was but I had just missed him so I took Cherie downstairs to a restaurant called Eddie B’s. I wasn’t sure but it was in the back of my head that I had taken Cherie here before so I asked her. Sure enough I did and with that the memory returned. We had a wonderful light meal and went to pick up Wayne so I could take him back to Crissey road to exchange two pair of pants that had been mismarked.
     As we walked out of the bank we ran into Jeanie, a person who had been in the home group from Cedar Creek. This was kind of amazing because Cherie had run into her at the grocery store just a week ago and here we are downtown and seeing her again. We talked and wondered if this was more than a coincidence. They considered it to possibly be some kind of divine guidance. I don’t know and no longer jump to that kind of conclusion but suggested we get together for dinner. We set a date and will do so.
     We picked Wayne up to save time and gas for I had to get Cherie back to her car so she could go with her mom and sister to the yacht club to finalize things for the anniversary dinner. Fred had asked that I stop by Barb’s to get the $10.00. When we drove up her door was closed and there was a blue and white older suv. I knocked on the door and waited with no luck so I knocked again loudly. I was just about to knock a third time when I heard Barb yelling through the closed door “Bob, what do you want?”. I told her Fred was worried and wanted me to see if she was ok. She said “I’m fine” in a go away kind of tone. “Barb why won’t you open the door? Are you hiding something?” I yelled at the door. She wouldn’t answer and no longer responded to any thing else I said so I said “Your back on that shit aren’t you” referring to crack cocaine and left.
     I got Cherie home and drove directly to the thrift shop on Crissey Rd. with Wayne. When we got there I explained that I had brought Wayne there two weeks ago with a voucher for food and clothes but two pair of pants had been mismarked. After looking at the pants and seeing they were women’s she said they didn’t normally accept exchanges but she would check with the boss. Coming out she said they would allow an exchange but don’t tell anyone. No problem and this time I made sure he got the right sizes.
     That done I took Wayne home and went home myself. Fred caught me at the door and we sat down to talk about Barb. I kind of had to explain the facts of life to him. I told him that Barb was exhibiting all the signs of drug use. Lying, manipulating, money disappearing, possessions coming up missing with the excuse “It was stolen”. Now her cell phone hasn’t been answered for three days and I suspect it is being held for a drug debt or was traded. Fred did not want to accept that possibility and is in denial but time will tell. I had suspected Barb had been a prostitute and when I asked Fred bluntly about it he confirmed it.
     I was pretty worn out as you can see from my entry yesterday and laid down turning on the TV. When Cherie got home, one look told me she had a trying time with her family. She told me she didn’t feel up to cooking and of course said she was sorry as she does for everything. She actually asked if we could go out, which is rare for her to do. “Fine” I said “lets do Mexican” and we left right away to beat the crowds. (This was about 4:00) I took her to Don Pablo’s, which is a higher quality establishment we had tried to go to before but it was packed with a half hour wait so we went somewhere else.
     This time there was no crowd and we were seated right away. Cherie was very perturbed by her interaction with her mom and her sister, Connie and I was also agitated by the thing with Barb so I told her to relax and we would talk over the meal. She was feeling guilty about not fixing dinner, which is what she does, but as she drank her Sangria and ate the appetizers she began to unwind and relax. “I’m so glad you did this, its just what I needed” Cherie told me as I began to see that smile I love. It was a good night and by this time my mind had sharpened up.
     OK. That was yesterday so now I need to fill in today’s events. It has been a real bus day with me going non stop for seven hours. I have been very lucid the whole day, which hasn’t happened in a while. My energy level is up, at least till I came home and slowed down my activity. Then I just became tired physically but my mind is still doing well as evidenced by this writing.
     Today started with me taking Fred shopping. We went to Kazmier’s first, where I helped him see as always and picked out a roast for him. Then we went to the dollar store so he could by a few items including a birthday card for our neighbor, Cathy. We should do something because we really haven’t been very open or whatever you call it. We had invited her over for dinner about six months ago and never followed through.
     Fred had wanted to drop by Barb’s after we went shopping but when he tried to call her phone was not working again so he didn’t want to spend the gas to find out she wasn’t home or awake. He asked me to drop by after I took Wayne to the doctor and I agreed to do so.
     After taking Fred home and carrying his groceries upstairs I went upstairs to the apartment. I washed dishes and got the venison chili I had planned to make going in the crock pot. It was a rush in order to get Wayne to his appointment on time but I was up to it and enjoyed this time of being able to do it. I called Wayne to insure he was ready and packed this laptop, rushing to get across town in time.
     Wayne was ready and worried about me, telling me not to get a ticket and finding other things that might go wrong. I kept telling him to relax and assured him that while I was a little late I did not need to speed and would be fine. We got there right at 2:00 and I worked on writing this while he was being examined. Doc wanted to get some lab work so I took Wayne to Toledo Hospital. Wayne has had a persistent raspy throat and the antibiotics Doc had prescribed did not cure it thus the need for lab work. As I was taking Wayne home he told me that Doc was concerned about the possibility of cancer which is a real concern because of almost forty years of smoking. I know I got him to quit a month or two ago but the damage is done so he has to be careful. I got Wayne home and headed over to Barb’s.
     Basil was out in the drive with his boss drinking a case of beer as he does. As I approached Barb’s door he called me over. “I didn’t talk to Fred, that wasn’t me” he postulated. I don’t play with words so I told him that I was listening, it sounded like him. The person had answered Barb’s phone, was drunk, and I told him details of the conversation. Basil goes “Come on, you know me. Do you think I would talk that way” I told Basil that I did not know him and it didn’t matter because it set Fred off. I explained Fred wanted me to check on Barb and also collect the ten dollars she owed him. Basil said she was lying on the bed so I went in and called her name. She answered from the bedroom but would not come out. I could hear irritation in her voice as she said she would call Fred and would get a check tomorrow. That was the end of the conversation so I left.
     I talked to Fred when I got home and filled him in. Both he and I will call Barb’s case worker tomorrow to motivate her and Fred will try to get vital info on Basil so I can see if he has warrants. I learned that Basil had physically abused Barb before so have to wonder if that is the reason Barb did not wish to be seen. It is a difficult situation with no easy answers but I will try to do what is best for Barb though she may not see it that way.
     By this time I was worn and warm from being in the hot car all day so I had one of the two beers that have been in the fridge for a few weeks. I’m really not a beer drinker but it went down well as I started writing again. Cherie came home and fixed a wonderful dinner and we talked, enjoying each others company as we do. Right now it is 8:43 and I am still lucid, which is cool but at times like this I always dread the inevitable slow down. I purposely avoided the television so I would not veg in front of it and could make use of what I call “Prime Time”. Now my back pain is getting so bad it is making this difficult so I will take a pain pill and lay down. I just can’t sit in a chair for too long. For that matter doing the dishes is painful also but hey, that’s the way it is so I press on. I think I will quit now. I have a busy morning tomorrow.
9/2/05 Friday
     I am still lucid and cognizant. I was sharp all day yesterday and had improved late Wednesday despite all the stress and activity. Hope it stays that way. I think that all the activity helps my mind stay awake but sometimes it has just the opposite effect. Who knows, it is all a mystery to me.
     I was late meeting Jeff for our Friday breakfast because I was trying to print out a Bible study I had started while still at Cedar Creek but never finished because of the pain of their rejection. It took a while because the printer had a mind of it’s own. The study was on the poor and downtrodden, a subject that is close to my heart since my experiences when homeless.
     We talked of the debacle at New Orleans. How it is the poor who were and still are being hit the hardest. Perhaps those who had money lost more from the standpoint of the value of their property but it is the poor who are paying the highest price. They couldn’t afford to get out, indeed many did not even have a vehicle and some could not afford the gas to leave. Plus they had no place to go to prior to Katrina’s landfall. I expressed my disdain for Bush and his smirky political response, making a public fly over that is strictly a political show and does nothing but present an image of concern. The fact that he had already flown over the area seems to be lost on the public and he can see much more on TV than he will ever see from the air at 600 miles an hour.
     I told Jeff that if we could invade Iraq and make it to Bagdad in a week why can’t we get troops in the city to supply food, medicine, protection, and more important set up a system of communication. The responsibility for this goes straight to the top because all the bureaucrats are afraid to make a decision without approval from higher up. This fear and lack of balls has paralyzed our government agencies for decades.
     After that we talked of how we both are fighting the temptations of internet garbage and how to best do that. I told him about the situation with Barb, how frustrating and sad it is to watch this destruction of life and be unable to do much.
     I touched on Cedar Creek and the home group, telling Jeff how Jeanie was asked to give up her spot to make room for someone else. Jeff said he was told the story differently, that Jeanie just couldn’t come any more, not that her personal or family problems had consumed her time so attending was hard. How is it that they are so blind, how is it they don’t understand? The very people Jesus had the most compassion for, those who have the most need are the ones they withdrawing from. Jeanie said she was never called and no one reached out till they called to say they needed her space. When one is looked at as a space to be occupied there is a problem. Of course that was us also.
     After I picked up Cherie’s check and came home. Fred was ready to get his haircut so we left right away. I talked to his barber who’s daughter had been married to Basil and learned Basil had gone to jail for selling drugs and she had received four checks for child support. In eight years Basil never went to see his children. Fred dug up his social security number and I got that to Wayne who will relay it to his nephew the cop. Odds are he has warrants so we’ll see.
     I will take Fred over to Barb’s at 1:00. Her phone is still not connected. I think she traded it for drugs and they reprogrammed it. Maybe not but we will see. I called Shannon from Fred’s phone and left a message.
     Damn it, I am slowing down. Can feel it, headache coming and am feeling real hungry despite eating breakfast two hours ago.
     It is 12:34 midnight as I write this. It has been a day with some sadness and frustration. I fixed a cup of Bob coffee that will jolt me and I am drinking this black to offset the sweetness and chocolate of the ice cream I dished up. I know it’s late but after seeing the mail that came for me I figure I will want to stay up a bit. Cherie was happy when I got home a few minutes ago because it is very hard for her to be alone now. She misses me and can’t sleep as well as worrying about me. I had been at Allen’s since around 3:00 and had just gotten home. Now she can go to bed and fall asleep, secure in the knowledge I am near and she has. I expect to hear her snoring any minute now but enough of that, let me fill in the rest of this day.
     I had laid down earlier because of the slow down. (I prefer to use the term slow down instead of a partial seizure, just sounds less scary) It did not last long. It was an hour later that I had to take Fred to Barb’s and I had improved but still was not up to speed. Shannon returned my call as I drove to Barb’s and we talked. She said she was limited on what she could say because I wasn’t listed on a release of information form but she could say a few things. I told her about my suspicions of drug use, Basil’s using her, and other things so she explained that she couldn’t help Barb unless she asked for it.
      When we pulled up Barb was just walking out to the same blue car I had seen there a day or two before. Barb had no choice but to talk to Fred and the black guy waiting in the car was nervous and told Barb to just go with us. Fred didn’t just lay into her but told her he cared for her and was worried. She told Fred she did not get the check she told me yesterday would come but, noticing the impatience of the guy in the blue car she asked if we could take her to the carry out to get cat food.
     I drove her there and told Fred she was cashing her check as she bought the cat food because I could see her through the window. She came out and when I was blunt about seeing all the signs of drug use and then pointed out things like her “coke” jaw she wouldn’t talk. When we got her back the driver of the blue car was in Barb’s house and I saw Basil quickly closing the door. Barb was in a hurry to get out and I know why.
     As I drove Fred back I advised him to no longer supply her with food and money because that just gave her more to get crack with. I had asked Barb where her phone was and she said a friend had it and would call him to get it back. I just looked at her and said she probably had to give the phone up for a debt. She knew exactly what I was talking about and said nothing. I had explained all this to Fred several times and I think he was just now beginning to recognize it.
     After coming home I came upstairs and cleaned up the blood that had leaked from the venison I had defrosted yesterday and washed a few dishes before calling Allen. I had also gotten on the net to see where the cheapest gas was and it was on Woodville road so I let Fred know I would be going to the East side for gas and would visit friends while over there.
     I filled up at $2.99, which was as good as it got today and who knows what tomorrow brings. Then I went to see Allen and watch the movies he had rented and needed to return. Later he tells me he rented them to watch with me so had not watched “Alexander” nor “Sahara” yet. I find this a little uncomfortable but recognize and relate to wanting a friend, feeling alone, and depression.
     I took some of the venison chili I made with me and don’t know if he would like it or not but won’t worry over that anyway. The first order of business came when Allen asked if I knew anything about plumbing. I told him maybe just a little but not much and asked what was up. He took me to the upstairs apartment and showed me the shower valve, turning it on to illustrate the problem. The valve that directs water to the shower nozzle was not working well and most of the water came out of the bath spout with just a trickle making it to the shower head.
     I told him the cheap fix would be to plug the spout, forcing all the water to the shower head. He recognized that as a good idea and then the trouble started. As he usually does he refused to consider any method of accomplishing this other than what was in his mind. I pointed out what would happen his way he poo pooed it and went on, confident in his plan. It blew out and sprayed all over the place as I said it would so he went and got his tools so I could take the valve apart.
     I have never done this before, at least that I can remember, but I still retain much of my mechanical ability so had no problem figuring it out. We got the valve out and I pointed out the worn washer so we headed to the hardware store to get a replacement. At the store the clerk pointed out a second washer that had pretty much vanished and was the main culprit. We got all that done and I reinstalled the valve. Somewhere in all this I pointed out that I was correct and that it would be nice if he would accept my advise with out a big hassle, to trust my judgement. That set him off, which set me off. Allen can trigger my temper better than anyone else, with the exception of my brother so when we got to the F you level I told Allen I was out of there. He said something about me running so I tried to explain that for me to stay there with him gnawing on the subject till I blew up was what I was trying to avoid. I finally got him to agree to let it go and move on to another subject, which he kinda did.
     We went down and started the first movie, which was Alexander. It started out good but soon degenerated into a philosophical kind of presentation of the depth and value of Alexander’s homosexuality and jumped back and forth in time to show the forces and events that created him. I found this confusing and got real bored as everyone gave there grand speeches. The gay thing I wasn’t comfortable with and Allen seemed surprised when it became obvious because they worked up to it slowly, dropping little hints that became clearer as the movie progressed.
     I was glad when it was over and we put the second movie, Sahara, in. It was much better and well put together, building the foundation of the story well. There were plenty of twists and turns and, other than some action scenes that could have come out of Raiders of the Lost Arc, was logical and believable.
     By the time that was over it was almost midnight so I took off. The phone rang just as I drove out and it was Fred. “Where are you?” he asked and I told him I had just left Allen’s and was heading home. He was not as panicky as he has been in the past, which shows his trust in me has grown. I will not violate that trust and am glad I have earned it,
     Now to the mail that inspired me to stay up. Fifth Third Bank had dug up bank records that go from December of 2000 to August of 2001 and sent them to me. As I looked at them I see when the second mortgage was wired into my account and how much I got. It seems that I had also opened up a savings account for Jonathan that also had Yolanda on it. This was done in January of 2001 and helps me greatly in putting these pieces in this puzzle of my life together.
     As I look through these pages I see a telling month to month map of how bad I was doing. Many bounced checks and lots of negative balances that often where in the five to eight hundred dollar range. One of the overdrafts was for $10,962. Wow! How did I keep this account? I didn’t. It was closed in August. There is so much evidence here of when, what, and where, that I am considering paying whatever fee there is to get copies of the original checks and possibly earlier records. This will be invaluable in helping me reconstruct my journey into madness. It appears I was already well on the way down that path at the earliest date they gave me, December 2000.
     It is 2:26 in the morning. I am tired but awake. So much has been stirred up in my mind by this. I should try to sleep as I am to take Wayne to cash his check and shopping tomorrow.


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