My years spent working in Groton had the flavor of a bad stew with piss poor ingredients, like crashed cars and cockroach infested apartments. In the midst of my squalor, I managed to keep my spirit alive, albeit unhealthy, through regular interaction with the God of my understanding. I was raised a Catholic, attending church whenever my Momma could lasso my wild ass, force me into Sunday attire and drag me screaming to weekly Mass. A funny thing always happened at the church of my youth, though; I would dread the whole affair, but only until I was kneeling in the pew and soaking in the love of God. It was there and then that I would commune with God and feel a pervasive and powerful light filling my soul. Even in my darkest days, the light of this God was leading me along the path of my life’s journey. There were so many occasions when my light should have been snuffed out. Plenty of times when I prayed for God to remove me from this place, but I always received the same answer – I had a purpose for Being here and it wasn’t yet my time to move on. One of those occasions (close calls) came in the form of a car crash that landed me in Connecticut full time. I had been commuting from RI for the first six months of my employment at the shipyard, with a daily commute of two hours round trip. On a particularly sultry July afternoon I overstayed, and over-drank, at a rock and roll hippy gathering in the Goddard Memorial Park. On my way to punch my card as a second shift employee at the Boat, there was a terrible accident on the highway. Fortunately, my car and approximately 100 feet of guardrail were the only casualties. I had fallen asleep driving in the summer sun. Me and my car rode that steel post and cable rail until, by the roll of the fateful dice, we were deposited back onto the southbound lanes of I-95. I don’t remember much of the aftermath, my good friend Jack Daniels was to blame for that, but I do recall pounding the roof of my filleted Nissan in grief, and I remember the panic in the tow truck drivers voice as he was yelling for me to back away from the car. It was then that I looked down and realized that I was standing in a very large puddle of gasoline that was still pouring from the ruptured tank.
I’ll continue this story tomorrow. There’s more juice here than just whiskey and gasoline, I promise!