Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rain, Rain, Rain & Death

My Life: It continued to rain all morning. I was the only bartender on duty and it seemed the whole town was at the bar. Some people thought is was a good reason to party while others sat and tried to drink away their worries. I was so busy I didn't really have time to drink or think. The only food we served were hot dogs and they were all gone by noon. I just couldn't wait for my shift to end at 3. Did I mention that even the homeless were in the bar? If you were claustrophobic, you would have freaked out.

The news was on all day and we kept seeing the river rise and rise. The first bar/hotel that I had worked in there had already flooded up to the second floor. I so wanted to get out of town. The news said that there were helicopters evacuating people from the cemetery (Just a little higher ground than where I worked). When three o'clock came, Ron & I bolted to the cemetery. I left the poor afternoon bartender to fend for himself. I just couldn't take anymore screaming, crying, laughing drunks.

We were wet and miserable when we got there. It was cold and all we had was what we were wearing. People everywhere were crying and shivering. The news camera came up and interviewed me and I found out later that my boss from the bar saw me on TV and realized that I would not be back for work that day or the next. We flew to the nearest town and our friend picked us up where we stayed for the next 2 days. It finally stopped raining that night so we waited for the river to subside.

I thought for sure that the bar had gone under and would have been closed. When we got back to town we found out the bar only got a few feet of water and that all the booze on the lower shelves had to be thrown out. As an alcoholic I found this news appalling. The boss seemed pissed that I had fled. The bar was reopened after only being shut down for 2 days. Almost all of the other bars and clubs took weeks and for some, months to reopen.

I thought the flood was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but I was wrong. A friend of mine suddenly got sick and was put in the hospital. I went to see him and he looked fine. The next day he was dead. He was in his late 20's. All of a sudden a lot of people were getting sick. It wasn't just a cold or flu but all kinds of illnesses. One friend starting going blind, another was losing his mind and a few were getting red blotches all over their bodies.

It seemed like it all happened overnight. The news said it was gay cancer but we knew it was much more than that. Straight people in town started to die, drug users were getting sick, men were getting cat diseases and nothing was being done about it. The government had given a name to it: AIDS. I knew I was going to die young!

Love & Peace,


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Still in Gurneville

My life: I knew that Ron wasn't the brightest rooster in the shed and that he has some issues. I also knew he was VERY handsome. We fought on occasion because he felt I was able to pick up more men then him and that I got more free drinks and stupid petty stuff like that. One night I woke up about 4 AM and he was sitting on the bed hovering above me with a big kitchen knife in his hands. When he saw that I was awake he left the room. For some reason it didn't even scare me.

We only had one physical fight during our relationship. He came at me for something and I hit him so hard I broke my hand. I had to be in a cast and serve drinks at the bar for about 6 weeks. We were definitely one of the couples in town that everyone talked about. Ron was a mean drunk and I was a slutty drunk. Once Ron had brought a knife to the bar and the next thing I knew, he had stabbed a guy. He said he stabbed him for being a fat fuck. He was treated from the hospital and released. I don't know why the guy never pressed charges.

One afternoon while I was behind the bar a crazy man came in screaming and pointing a gun at everyone. He was totally off his rocker and started throwing beer bottles at me. Then he just left. A few moments later he was on the TV. (We had one in the bar). It seems he had been off his meds and when psycho. Decided he was going to jump off a bridge after he left the bar. Again, I wasn't scared.

Gurneville was also a town full of drug addicts. People I knew would end up dead from an overdose. One friend who was a Vietnam vet was murdered and buried in the hills. I can still see his face today, he was really a nice guy. Even my bird died one day for no reason. I was talking to her and she just keeled over. I think the town is cursed.

I still wasn't making a lot of money but I was able to pay the rent and my truck payments. Didn't eat a whole lot since I drank most of my meals. Ron didn't work and I supported him too. The day shift didn't bring in as many tips as the night shift so I did all kinds of gimmicks. I wrote the towns first gay gossip tabloid and sold it from behind the bar. I created the "Wheel Of Fortune" guess before the contestant and get a free drink. I held the first annual couch potato contest and even brought a couch into the bar. I did everything to promote the bar and my shift. Then the rainy season came...

I had heard that the river actually flooded the area many times in the past and that the bar I worked at was on the highest level of the town. Since I lived on a large hill, I wasn't worried about my home being flooded. I also parked my truck up very high. The rain came and didn't seem to stop. The river rose and started to take over so Ron and I headed to the next nearest town to spend the night with a friend. We left everything behind including my truck. I still had to be back at work the following morning at 6AM.

My friend drove me back to town and couldn't make it into the city limits. The water was too high for his car to drive through so he dropped me off. I waded through waist high water to make it to the bar. The town was still dry but the outskirts were now under water. There was a line to get in the bar that morning since it was one of the dry areas. By 7AM, the place was packed with people and it was still raining...

That's all I have time for today. Got to get back to packing and selling.

Peace and Love,