One man walks into a bar with three different problems.
The bartender, being the worldly observer he is, notices the weight of the world on the man's shoulders.
"Working this job for 30 years..." the bartender says "you get to know when something is bothering someone." says "You my friend, look like you may have a few problems." says "Why don't you pull up a chair and talk about it."
The man grabs a stool at the bar, orders a shot of whisky and pours it down his throat.
"To be specific, it's three things." he says
He orders another shot
“The first, I lost my job last week." He pours the shot of whiskey down his throat.
He presses his index finger on the bar counter ordering another drink.
"Second, my wife of 6 years left me." He pours the shot down his throat.
"Wow!" the bartender says "All this happened in one week?"
"Yep" he points down and orders another shot.
"Shit partner..." the bartender says "I kinda don't want to ask, but what is the third thing?"
The man pours the shot of whiskey down his throat.
"This one is the worst of all..." he says "so I'm gonna need one more drink before I tell you."
The bartender pours the man another shot. The man grabs the shot, pours it down his throat and stands up.
"The third..." he says "I don't have any money to pay you. I just came in here to get warm." The man turns and walks out of the building.
Have you ever tried to take a shit in the dark? I'm not trying to be juvenile or gross. I'm only asking.
It's not so bad really. Except for the whole dark thing. That part fucking sucks.
Last night at 9:05 PM I found myself sitting in the dark.
In the bathroom.
On the toilet.
Ten hours earlier, at exactly 11:05 am, I receive a knock on my door. I was sitting on the couch enjoying a nice espresso roast from Starbucks when it happened.
Note: The espresso from Starbucks was not bought at an actual Starbucks. It was a Christmas present from my father. The Espresso machine and Starbucks espresso roast that is. I'm assuming he used money from my own trust fund to purchase these presents. So, in essence, I bought myself the Espresso machine and a bag of Starbucks espresso roast.
I open the door. Standing in front of me is a forty-something male. On the right breast of his winter jacket are the words "Rocky Mountain Power."
"Are you the owner of the home?" he asks
"Yeah, something like that." I say
In his left hand he holds a yellow piece of paper.
"I'm here to disconnect your power." he says
He hands me the yellow piece of paper. It tells me my power is being disconnected for non payment.
The man makes a sharp 180 degree turn, and walks down my front steps.
In the movies, those ones where shit like this happens, This is the part I chase after him. I would yell something like...I don't know what I'd yell but it would be something.
Instead I just stand there. In my flannel boxer shorts and white T-shirt I stand there. With the front door open. It's kind of cold outside too.
I close the door and retreat back into my living room.
I grab my cell phone and dial the number to Rocky Mountain Power.
The automated message asks me if my service has been disconnected for non-payment.
I tell my phone "yes."
It transfers me to some kid named Jerry.
"Rocky Mountain Power, this is Jerry." he says "How can I help you."
I want to tell him he can turn my fucking power back on. But I don't.
Instead I ask him how his day is going. Jerry tells me its fine. He asks me how he can help me again. He wants to get right to business.
I tell him my power has been disconnected and ask how much it is to turn it back on.
Jerry tells me one moment.
After a minute, the hold music stops and Jerry is back on the line.
"Sorry about that wait..." he says "It looks like your past due amount is 789.50, and the reconnect fee comes with a deposit of 189.00, so...
I don't even hear the total. If you want to take a moment to do the math at home you can. Go ahead. I'll wait a minute.
I hang up. By now my power is off. I know this because the clock on the stove top is off. It's never off.
I put on my pea coat and go out to the garage to smoke a cigarette. I sit in my garage, in my flannel boxers and pea coat and smoke a cigarette.
I hold the butt with my index finger and thumb. My ring finger flicks the middle of my smoke and ashes fall to the cold cement.
I say "Fuck."
I think about the fact that I should have money. I should have my inheritance check. For some reason the banks are still having a problem clearing it. The check that is.
I flick some more ashes to the cement.
I say "Mother Fucker."
I try to remember if I have any candles in the house. Tonight is going to cold. Tonight is going to be dark. I think about the two frozen dinners I have in the freezer. I’m not worried about the dinners thawing out. I can just put them in the garage or something. I'm worried about not being able to cook them.
I flick the cigarette against my garage wall and watch the cherry die out on the cold cement floor.
I say "Fuck." followed by "Mother Fucker."
With everything to prepare for it's easy to forget the little things. Details you'd almost never think about.
Like making sure the toilet paper is stocked.
It's not so bad really. Taking a shit in the dark. Except for the whole toilet paper thing. Even with your eyes having been adjusted to the dark, it's still hard. To see that is.
My left hand reaches towards the wall and grabs at the air. Finally my fingertips are able to touch what should be a roll of Extra Soft Charmin. The only thing I feel is cardboard. An empty cardboard roll that is.
I pull my cellphone open. It provides a small amount of light. Not much but a little. With my pants down around my ankles, I lean forward and look through the cabinet below my sink. I can't find anything.
With my pants down around my ankles, I remember I put my toilet paper stock under the sink in the upstairs bathroom. Don't ask me why. I probably couldn't tell you but at the time it seemed genius.
With my pants down around my ankles, I decide to make the trek up the stairs and into the bathroom. In the dark that is.
To enhance the mood I pretend I'm a cave explorer. I pretend I'm trapped inside a cave I'm...well...exploring and the only way out is to shimmy up a 100 foot ravine. I forget to tell my imagination about the simple fact that my pants are down around my ankles.
This pretend journey. This make believe voyage, it works up until the point I step on my dog in the hallway. Five feet from the stairs, give or take a few, my right foot comes down on the paw of my miniature dachshund.
With my pants down around my ankles, I fall face forward into the carpet.
I tell my dog I'm going to fucking kill him.
After I gain my composer I make my way up the stairs. The luster my imagination once brought is gone. Poof! Out like a fucking light. I pull myself up my staircase on sheer motivation alone. I don't even have time to rejoice when I reach the summit. I simply feel out the hallway walls and make my way into the bathroom.
There, under the sink, I find nothing. I suddenly remember I put my stock underneath the stairs. Don't ask me why. Please don't fucking ask me why. I couldn't tell you.
It seemed like a fucking good idea at the time.
As a last ditch effort, my finger tips feel around the wall for a possible toilet paper roll. Two feet from the toilet, on the south wall, I locate an almost unused roll of toilet paper. By the feel of things it's not the Charmin Extra Soft I was dreaming of. But I'll take anything. Even fucking sandpaper.
So, sitting here at computer number three, I re-tell my story.
It's like that fucking joke at the beginning. The one with the Guy and the Bartender.
I'm that guy.
No fucking power
The frustrating thing is I have money. I just can't use it. Not until it clears. This morning when I woke up my thermostat tells me its 53 degrees. Inside my house that is.
I have no electricity to run my washer and dryer. I'm wearing the same shirt I wore yesterday. My clothes probably smell of body odor and stale cigarettes.
I guess I'll leave you with that. The smell of my body odor and stale cigarettes.
Smell ya later.