THE   WORLD   OUTSIDE 

 

 

Nothing ever stands still, even what’s apparent entropy. Desmond experienced the withdrawal of his father’s presence after his 2nd birthday, which was followed by a necessary 5yrs absence of his mother around his 8th birthday. The formative years continued his transiency in dwellings, different locations within five years. The fifth and final year was unexpectedly spent in his father’s family home. At the end of that year he and his younger sibling emigrated overseas, his first time aloft in an aircraft where he noticed there were no dividing lines below on the earth’s surface, as marked on geography maps in his textbooks. 

 

He survived certain Life Lessons, navigating by Chance and Good Luck, to spend his emergence into adulthood addressing other Life Sentences by the seat of his pants unbeknownst to onlookers and family alike who were in similar boats on the roiling Sea.

 

His occupation was affording him some financial support while acquiring his bearings with the loss of his step-father, the onset of his mother’s mourning and his younger sibling’s living conditions to which he was mindful semi-consciously. They had lived together all her life, except the year away at university, and they were coming to terms going forward through growing pains, under-prepared.

 

They were simply sharing in the Life they were gifted figuring out what to do in Time. His portion of Life saw his decision to forego the seminary, albeit a choice, landing him in an environment without the necessary tools of the street. He did possess a sense of being which accommodated his populated environment kindly. This is not to say every inhabitant reciprocated his sentiments. The lads whose jobs he was given had a debt-to-settle.

 

After months of a 6day week, without a day off, he was allowed to unwind with a night-off while a larger built bus-boy took his place. He did not know this could have been his swan song, but Life had other contributions. While he was away, those fellow with a debt-to-settle came to set him straight on what the business of ‘bouncing’ was all about. Sad to say, he had his night off and they were not to be denied their desires. They proceeded to ‘tune-up’ the bus-boy/bouncer of which he was apprised the following Monday night.

 

The social/cultural group to which the bus-boy belonged were tightly knit, kin in sentiment, to which Desmond did not belong. Not only did Desmond not belong, the society placed him and those like him as secondary, historically sub-human. What occurred with the bus-boy deserved redress by their psychology. This was an unknown to Desmond, who went blissfully about his duties while being set-up for an fateful encounter which took place on a specified evening after closing.

 

Going up the stairs, his mind went blank and he faltered; feeling a loss of breath. It was an odd sensation which was doubly strange upon exiting. Out on the street a crowd gathered on both sides of the street. He ignored them getting onto the back of the motorcycle of his newly hired partner-bouncer, after the bus-boy tune-up. As the bike took off he was grabbed from behind and punched in the face by one of the two whose job he took.

 

They were banned from the premises for their tuning-up session on the bus-boy, but this didn’t preclude them colluding with the enraged staffers needing payback for what had happened on his night off. They were told of the night they were to find Desmond unaware and unprepared that he may be ambushed, as was the bus-boy.

 

Desmond kept asking for what reason he was being attacked between the 5punches to his jaw. Getting no satisfactory answer he decided he ought to fight back, at which time his first attacker appeared to no longer be interested in continuing his assault. However, by this time Desmond was ready to have at it as he was backing off. This was not the case with his companion, who Desmond learned later had brought two others, just in case they had misread his capabilities of the crowd-control. Turns out one of these others was armed with a knife.

 

As luck would have it, the one who attacked from behind caused Desmond to slip hitting his head upon the curb rendering him unconscious. Desmond was to learn that a stranger tried to intercede and received a crushed cheekbone for his efforts, while he was being kicked in the head, in his unconscious state. It was during this continued attack the staffers interceded fearing he could be killed and they were unwilling to deal with possible legal fallout. The crowd dispersed, and Desmond was left unconscious just shy of the middle of the street. 

 

Regaining a semblance of consciousness as he was being lifted into the back of an automobile by two good-samaritans, he was taken to the nearby hospital emergency for attention. The police came and took his statement, while his mother was called, she being a nurse at another nearby hospital. Prognosis, severe trauma, massive concussions requiring lengthy bed rest and observations for the next 72hrs.

 

Desmond was bedridden for one-month, adding being housebound for another month. He was a while getting his bearings and mobility on track. Undaunted, not to be dissuaded by the ambush, he returned to retrieve his previous employment ready to resume the position which had quite a few changes instituted during his absence.  

 

Desmond had surpassed, in retrospect, what may be deemed his initiation into the Life he desired to know if he was to resume his abandoned path in the clergy.

 

 

 

 

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THE  ~  WORLD  ~  OUTSIDE 

 

 

Desmond had no idea his life was to journey down the path he was on. He was surviving what was labelled a ‘broken/dysfunctional home’, as well as ‘neglect and abandonment’; now, for its time, a monuments failure that was to tailor how his future would proceed. His saving grace was his mother, the one who had to bear the brunt of her choice to leave him to the elements of Life in a colonized land of the 50s. If the choice was deliberated for too long he would not be where he was, with the challenging opportunities that abounded.

 

Here he was, at the ending of the 60s, and incoming 70s, without a clue of how to plan a path, save one of surviving day-to-day. He departing for a place of higher learning only to return unsuccessful to reside in unfamiliar territory, and with a step-father. All were welcoming, and he went with the flow as he had learned during childhood.

 

Through the fortunate connections of his step-father, an inheritor of colonization making his way forward with the opportunities afforded him, he was to secure jobs with very little opposition. The phrase, “It’s not what you know but who you know”; better yet,  “Not who you know, buy who knows you and will speak on your behalf” is most beneficial in Life. There is another part, but later for that.

 

During that first year, Desmond, because he was industrious and willing, was able to pick and choose jobs secured by his step-father. Of course, being ignorant of the Workings of Life through his transient past, he never truly clued into the wherefore and whys of these opportunities. Unfortunately, before he was able to learn such things Life threw another curve. His step-father began and lost a battle with the big ‘C’, and succumbed to it within the year after he’d returned from his university experiences. The path down that road was unexpected and unfamiliar, but he adapted supporting his family, as best he knew, doing what was required until his step-father’s Life passage ended. 

 

Thus, began the grieving phase for his mother and sibling, and the way forward in the Canadian diaspora if the 70s.

 

Needless to say, the intended return to university was delayed for another year finding work as best he could, possibly with atmosphere remaining of his step-father’s reputation aded to his mother’s aptitude for survival along with his. Desmond gained occupations that had potential for careers into the future, but his penchant for ‘change’ at the slightest hurdle saw him quitting and moving on. Fortunately, he was willing to do anything that would pay-a-wage. Even if it was taking on two part-time jobs to keep going, it wasn’t a problem. What benefitted him was the fact there were folks about unwilling to do jobs they felt was below their qualifications which allowed him access. His only qualification at that juncture was his willingness to do honest work!

 

After a set to at a good paying job as a surveyor, he noticed and accepted his one weakness, at the time. He was unwilling to work outdoors during the Canadian Winter! The job’s set to was mollified, but he felt the sting of Autumn flowing into Winter and submitted his resignation before that Christmas Holiday. He recalls looking out onto a crisp blanket of freshly fallen snow at Zero F, while cozy and warm on the inside of the family home. However, his job status had never left his mind. He needed to secure a job that would bring in some money, and not let the full load fall onto his mother.

 

He was able, through unforeseen circumstances, to acquire a job obfuscating the truth, just a little. He became the doorman, euphemistically called a ‘bouncer’, in an establishment now extinct. He became the sole law-keeper, as he was called. Actually, they called him ‘Sheriff / Marshall’ being the lone peace-keeper, which was required since it accommodated bikers, civilians and university students. One rule, “no fights on the premises”! This rule went over well, since no one wanted to be barred from ‘The Embassy”, a place which had a unique ambience. 

 

This was a successful turnaround for his employer, and the clientele’s comings and goings. For the two previous employees whose job he now occupied for less than their combined pay, not to mention creating a more cordial atmosphere, this would not stand. Something had to be done!

 

 

 

 

Peaceful Co-Existence?

UNIVERSITY  ~  LIFE

 

 

Upon graduating high school, before leaving for his probationary higher education setting, Desmond  felt painful leaving behind what he felt was the beginning of a loving relationship. This was a pattern throughout his life into his present. Either he was left behind, or he was leaving another behind never to be seen again. There was a lack of information filling the gap between the parties and neither was aware of the reasonings involved that was to enlighten them both.

 

So, off he went into another unknown to navigate the conditions wending his way forward. It was on campus his eyes began to open about so many things his life thus far was unconcerned, and/or left for Time ’n Circumstance to illuminate. One such illumination, which was to have impact later on post-graduation, was his introduction to First Nations peoples. Upon meeting his a ‘Canadian Indian’, his first, he was tasked with realigning his construct formed by comic books he’d read during his formative years. He was unaware of the racial divide shared in spite of the incident where his recent acquaintance was carried back across the border to the university, with a knife stuck in his back!

 

Not being one to favour any particular ethnicity, Desmond found himself among many groups who favoured their own, yet accepted pioneers among them so that they learned and expanded their construct amidst their academic learnings. Cafe entertaining, bridge ’n chess, and attending a few select courses augmented what was coming-of-age amidst the sexual revolution in a naive fashion. Being mild-mannered, he was found to be approachable and non-threatening to those who felt the urge to adventure off-their-reservation, outside their cultural boundary. Of this he was unaware. There was an occasion when he’d spent an entire evening with an amiable paramour, who afterwards sobbed woefully refusing to tell him what moved her so?

 

It was a costly, yet wonderful year that he felt was worth the price of admission. But, this was the tip of the iceberg in a sea of icebergs yet to be discovered! The year ended, time for him to return to his home. Surprisingly, his home had been relocated during the time of his absence. A step-father as well as a new dwelling were additions to navigate and comprehend. This he accepted in stride, nothing new in the grand scheme of things the way Life has treated him. He had much to process, and this occasion he added to the sack he’d been carrying with the others.

 

What was an immediate concern, with this addition? He was unsuccessful in the completion of the terms of his probation and was to spend one-year out-of-school before being allowed to return. He was also on the hook for the student loan he’d amassed, so finding a job amidst the melee of goings on was a priority! What to do, and how to do it going forward?

 

 

 

 

Kissimmee Stn.

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