Last Year. Week 3

I do not look for pity, I refuse pity. But I want people to understand, my body is failing, not to expect much out of me. I will do what I can. I will do as much as I can.

I’m a human being in a failing body.

And such is life, everything does come to an end. Sometimes chaotic other times peacefully.

The Last Year. Week 2.

I’ve been using KIVA bars, and taking large doses of ibuprofren. These meds combined have been wreaking havoc on my digestive system, yet the two work together to create a pain killing compound that is non-addictive, and more powerful than opiates.

The downfall to using KIVA on a daily basis, I am starting to build up a tolerance. Which means I have to take more and more. When I up the dosage, from 1 tab to 2 tabs and now 3 tabs, I get a high like feeling but not in a good way.  The pain goes away, then I can barely  keep my eyes open. Sleep takes over and rest is spotty.

I was also diagnosed with Mononucleosis this past friday, that’s what Get for having a fling with a woman, 8 years celibate, and the first one I lay with, gives me mono, because apparently she likes to sleep around.

So on top of the pain, I have to deal with chronic fatigue. And for mono to go away, one needs  a lot of rest, and rest doesn’t come easy when there is a constant unrelenting flow of pain in the shoulders, knees and muscles.

I know that I’m getting old, but..

Do we have to drop dead like an old ford car? Run till we clonker out to a sputtering death? What a shitty way to experience an end game…

I made a promise to myself. When I become wheelchair bound, and before I lose complete use of my hands and arms. I’m eating lead.

I will not die with my dignity shredded!

The Last Year.

Went 2 months ignoring the pain, and symptoms, such as inability to swallow food, keep it down.  Breathing has become difficult, even with medication, almost like muscles are failing. The knees buckling at random moments, and walking has become so painful that it’s almost to much to try and get to my feet. My shoulder and shoulder blade pains so severe I was rendered unconscious.

I finally went to the hospital. Exactly the reasons why I don’t like hospitals. Here stands my proof. “Nothing ever good comes from going to an ER”

I was diagnosed with degenerative bone-loss disease aka Osteoarthritis and Miotonic Muscular Dystrophy. I am not upset, I am not sad. I am outside the motions of denial and acceptance. It is what it is, and this is my plight I must endure.

In the course of 11 weeks I went from being active, mobile, and zany, to being
placated on the couch, and barely able to make it to the bathroom on time. I started a company, which I fear I may have to sell or shut it down because I can no longer stand the pain that comes with doing my job.

My hatred for life has only been compounded on top of the other shit.
There is no anger, there is only a wish.

“Make it fast, and painless as possible!”

My Book: Minnesota Winters. Chapter 11: The Dark Seedling

It’s been

 

At the funeral, everyone of Dani’s family members were present, as well as JB’s. When Dani was lowered into the ground, Alex picked a handful of dirt and dropped it on her coffin. JB snapped, a lapse of reason, pure rage and anger sparked like a volcano. Running full speed at Alex, picks him up in the air like a typical football player, slamming him into a tombstone. “You raped your sister!” First punch lands on Alex’s nose. “ You don’t belong here!” Next punch landed on his cheek  “This is an insult to her!” with every statement JB pummels him in the face.

 

Crying and raging JB grabbing Alex by the collar of his shirt, whipping around half circle like a rag doll throws the half unconscious Alex into another tombstone, jumping into the air and landing on Alex’s leg snapping it instantly from the force of his weight and intention. JB slams his elbow into Alex’s shoulder, shattering his collarbone and dislocated the shoulder joint. With pure rage and intent  “I’m going to kill you!”

At that moment Dirk, Stanley, and Phillip pull JB off of Alex, while he is screaming with pure rage “You incestual fuck! I’m going to end your very existence!” Phillip stands in front of JB “That’s MY SON!” JB composes himself long enough “You stupid ignorant fuck, be glad I don’t kick your ass for abandoning her when she told you what happened.” Phillip breaks down “I didn’t believe it.” JB lunges at Alex again and lands on his stomach with his knee and buries his hand into his teeth. When JB pulls his hand away from the unconscious bloody mass of flesh and bone he notices a perfect half moon shape circle of teeth lodged in his right hand knuckles.

 

Angela, Dani’s mother is screaming in sheer terror, JB walks up to her, “She’s dead because of you three!” Angela looks at JB with tear filled eyes and mixed emotions “Your son raped my wife! She tried to tell you what happened! You ostracized her! And she killed herself while I was at work! Know this… For the rest of my life, if any of you come into view, I will kill you!”  Rose tries to choke out in a loud voice “ENOUGH!” JB startled by his mother’s voice. Looks at everyone, coming to his senses, he walks up to Dirk, “give me your keys!” Dirk didn’t argue, hands JB the keys. As they all watch him walk away to the car, get in and burn out of the cemetery spraying dirt everywhere, and knocking a few headstones over.

 

Stanley and Phillip look at one another, and instinctively run to Stanley’s truck together. Jumping in and taking up chase after JB. Stanley looks at Phil “I know where he is going!” Phillip responds “I’m sorry Stan I didn’t believe my own daughter, you have to believe me I didn’t mean for this.” Stanley looks at Phil “never mind that, JB is about to kill himself!”

 

Stanley and Phillip drive all over town most the afternoon going to all of  JB’s favorite hang outs, with no sign of him. Phillip “might I suggest you go back to their apartment?” Stanley “I doubt he is there, but yah!” They pull up to the LaSelle Apartment Building on 9th street in Minneapolis. Dirk’s car is parked in front. Stanley parks his truck behind it, and the two of them run into the building, pushing the doorman aside and running to the elevators. The doorman runs after them, as the door is closing “You can’t go up unless we confirm it.” Phillip shouts back “Call the cops!” They two of them arrive on the fifth floor, the door opens, and they run down the hall. The apartment door is slightly open, JB is on the couch with a bong taking in a huge drag. Stanley angry at the sight “What the Fuck do you think you are doing Joseph Bradley!” JB starts laughing and choking while exhaling the smoke “You’re angry at me for smoking a little pot when i just beat the shit out of my brother in law!” JB gets up and walks towards the two of them. “I don’t care why you are here, but unless you have wings and can fly, I suggest you leave!”

 

Stanley’s rough grained chapped hand lands on JB’s throat “I never hit you son, not in anger. But right now, you’re coming with us, or I’ll beat the shit out of you!” JB Looks at his dad with absolution “Do It!” Stanley felt the pain of his words slam into his chest like an invisible sledge hammer. “Don’t do this son!” JB pushes Stan away “Do what?” Phillip blurts out “Kill yourself!” JB lets one fly, connecting with Phillip square in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. “I can never kill myself, it goes against every moral grain of fiber in my being! But I can destroy myself! Now get the fuck out of here!” Phillip is rubbing his jaw. JB “I hold you and your family responsible for all of this!”

 

The cops walk into the room, see Phillip on the ground, Stanley standing inches from JB who’s still yelling at Phillip. “What’s going on here? We got a complaint of trespassers and disturbance!” JB Looks at the cops “You can remove these two from my apartment!” Cops look at Stanley “Come on, let’s go.” Second cop “Is that a bong on the table?” JB says “You can arrest me, arraign me, but nothing will happen, there’s not even a sixteenth of an ounce. It’s not convictable!” Second cop helps Philip to his feet “come on, you need to leave.”

 

Stanley pleads “Son, don’t do anything stupid, we are here if you need us!” JB follows them to the door and slams it behind them. Walks back to the couch, pulls out a baggie from under the cushion and packs another bowl. He smokes until he is unconscious.

 

The next day, there is a knock on the door. JB get’s up and answers the door, sees Rose and five Sherburne county and three ramsay county and one hennepin county sheriff are standing in the hall. “What the hell is this Ma? I told dad last night he has nothing to worry about!” Rose calmly “Son, you need to come with us.” JB snaps “What for?” A Ramsay County Sheriff “We have a warrant for your arrest son.” JB replies “Yah, let me see this warrant!” Rose motions for the paperwork, shows it to JB. “JB please just go quietly. Don’t make things worse!” JB grudginly “You need ten people to bring me in?” The Ramsay Count Sheriff responds “We saw the reports and saw the pictures, we couldn’t take the chance, and since this involves all three counties, this is a joint effort.” JB Opens the door and lets them into the apartment “I’m getting dressed before we go!” Hennepin County Sheriff “Sorry son, can’t let you do that, just tell us where to find the clothes, we will grab you a few things.”  The Sherburne County Sheriff’s “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be held..” JB retorts “Shut up, Ma call the lawyer! Please stay at my place to make sure the Landlord doesn’t lock me out of my stuff!” Rose agrees, as she watches JB being escorted out of the apartment.

 

My Book: Minnesota Winters. Chapter 10: Evolution of Families

Janae and JB just finished moving from Schenectady, New York to Houghton, Michigan so Janae could finish her Doctorate in Computer Science at the Michigan Tech University.  After weeks of searching and living at the campground they found a Lahti rental, a victorian red 2 story house on top of a rock face overlooking the town below. JB found a job at the Perkins in town as a manager which allowed them to afford the place together.

 

Janae took the Bravada  and went yard sale shopping after dropping JB off at work. She drove over to Chassell and found a cute small round table and few chairs, and a three person couch with kick out leg rests. She stopped by Kurkish furniture and picked up a mattress, and stopped by Walmart and picked up a saw, hammer, nails and other carpentry tools, then she drives over to the lumber yard and picks up some more material.

 

JB  gets a ride from his friend Clarke, and heads home after as 12 hour day. The sun is still up, when he gets home, and sees Janae sitting in the back yard with the new tools. She is trying to cut some lumber up. “What are you doing?” Janae looking at him “Trying to make a bed frame!” JB starts laughing “You’re doing it all wrong Janie!” Walking over to her, he grabs the saw out of her hand. “You never try to saw wood with it in your lap, you will hurt yourself!”  Taking a look at all the lumber in the yard “Don’t you think you went a little over board?” Janae shaking her head. JB blurts “here, you have more then you need for a frame, in fact lets make a set of carpenter horses!” Janae looks at him strangely. JB smiling, “remember my father owns the biggest Cabinetry business in Minnesota, a child picks up a thing or two.”

After crafting two sets of carpenter horses, JB sets them up a few feet from another and lays a large piece of plywood on it. Putting all the tools on top of the makeshift table. “There, now you have a proper work place for an aspiring carpenter!” Janae looks at him with a stink eye “Smart ass!” JB chuckles and starts walking into the house “I’m grabbing a shower and some food! I’m beat!” Janae snaps, “You’re not going to help?” JB stops in his tracks, pauses, and continues into the house.

 

Half hour later he comes walking out of the house in grubby clothes smelling like lavender and coffee. Janae blurts “What the fuck JB, I told you not to use my shampoo.” JB shakes his head, “you didn’t get anything else!” Janae responds “Oh yah, sorry!” JB looks at her, “why dont you go up and make some dinner, ill finish this up. Don’t worry I already took measurement of the bed, you forgot to bring the tape-measure out with yah.” Rattling it at her and chuckling. Janae grunts and stamps off humiliated, JB couldn’t help himself, chuckling and shaking his head.

 

Three hours later JB walks into the house with a shallow rectangular box, with one by one cross beams at the base. Janae looks at it with anger “That’s not a box spring!” JB ignores her and takes it up the stairs to the bedroom. He trots up and down the stairs a few more times carrying boxes, with make shift drawers. Setting it up with four boxes on the corners, he puts it in the middle of the wall, so each side had a set of drawers. Setting the box spring on top of them, then the mattress.  Yelling down the stairs “Janie get up here!” Janae comes walking in, She is shocked by what she sees “I didn’t realize what you were doing! This is Awesome!” JB smiling “Yup we each have a side with our own drawers!” Janie pounces him. JB snickers, and trying to get a word out between kisses “There is enough lumber … …out there … …to return … …get your money back, … … …or I can probably whip … …up a couple of shelves for the bedroom”

 

That night the two of them sat out on the rock face with the new lawn chairs and their two huskies Tanner and Dusty watching the traffic pass on by  . Janae grabs JB’s hand and lookas at him, “ do you think this is going to last?” JB shrugs, “No one knows the answer to that question for all we know tomorrow one of us could be hit by a truck.” Janae grimaces “Why do you always have to be so negative?” JB chuckles “That is not negative Janie, that is being a realist, someone who doesnt dream but someone who can be hopeful but accepting reality for what it is.!”

 

My Book: Minnesota Winters. Chapter 8: Sapling in the Forest

Sapling in the Forest

 

The blazing hot summer of 1987, the the humid air of suburbia Minnesota is wreaking havoc on everyone. Blistering hundred and two degrees is killing the festivities for most graduates, yet JB is enjoying his graduation party in Shoreview, quite a few people showed up. Mostly family and a few friends, even a couple of random guests, no one was turned away, everyone brought gifts.

JB along with  Lonnie Douglas and David Feldt, his two closest friends are hanging out in the living room chatting. Everyone else is in the large back yard of a two story two car garage house on the corner of Lake Oaks Drive and Lexington Avenue,  drinking beer and eating cake. Even the Roeders, the backyard neighbors who have a pool, which they offered people to come and swim as part of the celebration.

 

Lonnie grabs JB’s hand and leads him into the back laundry room, closes the door, hands him a photograph. JB looks at it, shocked, stammering to try and get a word out.  Lonnie chuckles “You’ve been after me since the 9th grade, this is my gift to you.” Kissing him on the cheek. JB hands her back the photograph. “You are truly beautiful, but this is not what I want!”

Lonnie wounded “What do yo mean?” JB Looks her in the eye, places his hand on her shoulder then gently grabbing the back of her neck, pulls her in and kisses passionately. For what seemed an eternity, a knock at the door interrupts the moment.

Rose inquisitively, “JB, are you in there?” JB lets out a sigh “Yes Ma.” Rose stifling her chuckle,  “Well come on, the rest of the people want to spend time with you.” JB grumbles out, “Yeah ma. Give me a minute!” Lonnie looks at JB and smiles, slides the picture into his pocket, “The answer is… Always!” she turns around, opens the door and walks out, JB follows her like a love bit puppy after a treat.

Lonnie  grabs JB’s  hand and the two of them walk around the massive back yard,  talking to people randomly. Jb is riddled with questions about the future plans, immediate and long term, how it felt to be finished with high school. Rose notices the two through the kitchen window, as she is putting potato salad into a large bowl. She   smiles, realizing that this is the first time JB is actually being social, and being happy about it. David, who is sitting in the octagonal nook, enjoying the air conditioning, starts acting childish and antisocial, because he is in love with her too, he gets up from the dining room table, walks outside to where Lonnie and JB are and congratulates JB. Then David lumbers away through the back garage door to his sky blue buick, jumps in and heads back to faribault.

 

Most the afternoon the two lovebirds wandered around the back yard talking to people, discussing a wide variety of topics. After a few hours the two of them retired to the living room where they sat exhausted on a 6 person couch, facing the patio door, overlooking the backyard.  Lonnie is half snoozing on JB’s shoulder, while he had his feet up on the grey three by three artistic coffee tables that Stanley made, with his head against Lonnies. He chatted with various people, which didn’t seem to bother her.

The sun disappears over the horizon, everyone starts leaving the party. JB is sleeping on the couch with Lonnie. She reaches around his chest and snuggles in with content.

 

Stanley taps JB’s foot, “Wake up.” JB groggily “Yah whatcha want dad?” Stanley respond “It’s 10:30 pm, you know rules of this house.” JB “yah yah yah…” as he sits up, shaking Lonnie with his big hand on her head like a basketball. Jokingly he bobs her head “Doop doop doop… Lon, oh Lonster” She slowly wakes up “What time is it?” JB glowing “it’s 10:30pm, dad is making me take you home.” Lonnie groggily replies “no that’s ok, I should have been home hours ago, I’ll take off here in a bit.”  She gets up and heads down the hall to use the bathroom across from the laundry room near the garage door. After washing up she walks out seeing JB is standing by the back door waiting for her.

 

The two of them walk out into the garage. JB reaches up, clicks the button to open the large door, Lonnie turns around planting another long passionate kiss on him, JB embraces her back.  She grabs the back of his hand, slides it down in her pants, JB reacts in shock, tries to pull away she holds his hand in place, smiling with devilish intentions “Next weekend, I’m coming up!” JB reacting all giddish, continues feels her up, “I’ll call you tomorrow.” Kissing her again, she stands there waiting for something to happen, JB cues in, and runs his hand up her side, putting his large hand on her breast, and squeezes gently. She plants him one more peck on the cheek “You better call me, or else!” turning around and bolts to her car in a half dance like run

 

Stanley is in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee helping Rose put the food away in the fridge, noticing JB walking down the hall, Looking at the clock on the microwave, “11:45 pm, Did you have a good time today?” Rose’s snarky interruption, “He certainly did!” JB turning red, looking at his mother “MA!”, snorts and walks away into the living room.  Rose chuckling while looking at Stanley, “Rose, what was that about?” Rose cheeks are burning like embers from smiling, “Your son just had his first kiss in the laundry room, I caught the too of them snogging and chatting!” Stanley shaking his head “That’s my boy!”

 

The next morning, Stanley and JB go out shopping for a vehicle. Stanley and Rose had made an agreement with JB towards the end of the school year,  what ever amount of money he could raise, upto the day of his graduation, they would match it. JB spent the as much time working as he could at McDonalds, he is working his way up to management level.  JB managed to save up 1200 dollars.

The two of them drove around to used car lots, when they came across one in Blaine, where JB instantly fell in love. A suped up flaming candy apple red 1975 Thunderbird classic. The glistening chrome trims, fifty-inch mag rim tires, jacked up on keystone struts, buttefly intake, tinted windows, black canvas retractable roof. “Dad! There!” Stanley looks in the lot, and sees the car, smiling at the good taste, “Ok let’s go see”

 

After talking with the salesman for a bit, Stanley and JB take the car for a spin. As soon as JB sits behind the wheel, feeling the rumbling of the engine, noticing the pioneer sound system, and powered windows. He looks at his dad with pleading eyes. He puts it in gear and lays out a rubber track in the parking lot, and blue smoke everywhere. Stanley just about shits himself in awe, “Oh Hell no! If you are going to act like this, it’s to much car for you!” JB responds “Sorry Dad, but that power, this thing has a 460 big block engine with dual exhaust. This thing is a monster!” Stanley amazed at his knowledge of the car, knew right then and there this was his dream car.

 

They pull into the lot and started negotiations with the salesman who is eagerly standing outside the door as the exit the car. The sleaziness on him emanating off him like a stink on turd, Stanley knew it was going to be a tough one. JB steps up “How about this. You want five grand for it right? I only have twenty four hundred. You take my money, and I’ll come work on the weekends for you, washing your cars and give them a run around the block to keep the engines in good shape for the next 3 months, for free!” the sleazy salesman smiles “Deal!” Stanley looks at JB, impressed. JB whispers to his dad “You thought all these years I never paid attention to your business negotiations. I just stepped it up like you did!” Stanley smiling.  After writing a check and exchanging the title. JB gets into his new car and starts it up. The salesman “I expect to see you saturday morning 9 am sharp!” JB looks at him, “You bet, I wont be late!”

JB follows Stanley home, pulls up behind the van, Rose walks out of the house, looking at the car with disapproval “Stanley! You let him have a street racer?” JB responds before Stanley could “I’m responsible mother, I won’t get in trouble with it.” Rose turns around, grunting and mumbling to herself, she walks into the house. Jb and Stanley look at one another and follow her into the house.

 

.

 

The blistering heat from the long summer only swells with intensity as the middle of August slips by. JB continues to work on weekend mornings for the sleazy car dealer, and evenings at McDonalds. He is being promoted to a manager in training. The long hours were taking it’s toll on his body, but JB didn’t care, the money was good.

JB started hanging around with the other managers after work.

 

(story about the summer that breaks down family dynamics)

 

November rolls around, JB is heading home from his job, where he worked as a manager at the  McDonald’s off the Snelling Avenue exit, driving his midnight blue Rabbit, He notices Traci in her pumpkin pink Pinto trying to flag him down. JB signals for her to meet him at the house. JB had to be home at a certain time, as a deal was struck earlier that summer with his parents to purchase the car. However Traci wanted him to stop, so she tapped him in the back bumper, JB gets angry and speeds away. Traci speeds on by and cuts him off, slamming on her breaks. JB barely nicks her car, but enough to notice the damage. Somehow the front tire blew out from breaking into the gravel. Traci speeds off, JB is flipping her off while he walks to the back of his car to get the spare and jack. After finishing up and putting everything away, he drives off home. He notices Traci’s car in the driveway, and he walks up into the garage, Stanley and Rose are standing on the steps, Rose angrily “Did you just hit her?”JB shocked “What’s that crazy bitch saying this time?” Rose runs down the stairs so fast, it look like she pounced JB, she grabs the keys and yanks them out of his hand, breaking his right pinky finger, because he always carried the keys with the ring around it.

JB is in tears from the pain, “You stupid cow! You never listen to me!” Stanley yells at JB “Don’t you ever talk to your mother like that!” JB yells back “Go fuck yourself, I didn’t do anything wrong!” Stanley walks down the stairs and up to JB pushes him “Get off this property, you are no longer welcomed at this house!” JB shocked “What did I do?” Rose angrily “You smashed up her car, and you ruined yours!” JB responds with rage, “That cunt played bumper tag with me because I wouldn’t pull over, I wanted to get home, because she did I got a flat tire and had to replace it!” Stanley angrily “You hit her intentionally!” JB looking with absolute hatred for the first time at his father “You two assholes have always treated me like shit! You never believe a word I say. Give me the keys I’m leaving!” Rose shakes her head, “No! We we are selling the car, and you are leaving now!” JB enraged “I only have 500 dollars, one more paycheck to pay off this car, it’s Mine!” Rose shaking her head still “Nope you broke the rules, get off this property!”

 

JB notices Traci walking out of the house acting like she’s in tears, He walks up to her menacingly, Stanley cuts him off. JB stares at her “You won’t ever know when it comes Traci, but I’m going to get even! I promise my life on it! Your lying ass is mine!” Turning around, JB grabs a few pages from the discarded Star and Tribune newspaper pile, rolls up a funnel, walks over to the back of the car, opens the gas tank, shoves it in. Stanley sees what he’s up to, starts walking over to him. JB looks at Stanley, “If you come near me, I will kick your ass! You have made your bed, now you have to lay in it!”

JB lights the rolled up newspaper, the flame shoots out like  mini spiraling tornado, since the gas tank was full, it didn’t immediately explode, though the Rabbit does go up in flames instantly. JB walks down the driveway a ways, to admire his work in hatred, a concussive blast engulfs the inside of the car. JB glares at Rose with burning hatred, for breaking his finger, the seathing white light pain coursing his body, sparking an adrenaline rush unlike anything he felt in the past.

 

As he turns to start walking down Lexington Avenue, he yanks the mailbox off the post and throws it through the front  windshield of Traci’s car. Yelling back at her “Bitch, Do you see that… That was intentional, and if I ever see your lying fat ass again, I will intentionally kill you with pleasure, and no one will stop me!” Traci stands on the steps behind Stanley and Rose acting all scared and shocked. Turning his gaze to Rose “Sell that! you stupid old cow!”

 

JB starts walking down the sidewalk along Lexington, Stanley yells out “We are calling the cops!” JB looks at him, flips him off yelling over his shoulder “Go ahead you ignorant fuck!”    About two miles down the road, Danny and Dirk came driving up, breaking hard enough to squeal the tires, Dirk opens the door, “Get in!” JB jumps into the van, and they drive off to Dan’s house.

 

Dirk is sitting in the back on the conversion bed smoking a joint, Dan is playing pink floyd with Diana sitting in the passenger seat completely blitzed out of her mind, Dirk speaks out  “JB we knew that bitch was going to do it, She was fessing up to Diana about it.” JB looks at him, “So why don’t we go back to the house and talk to Mom and Dad about it!” Danny interjects “You just torched your car, the cops are looking for you!” JB shaking his head “Yah I see your point!” Dan responds “You can crash in my van for a few days until you get your check from work, we will find an apartment.”

When they arrive at Dan’s house, JB follows Dan into the house, he jumps on the phone  calling up David, telling him what just happened. David jumps into his car, drives over to Lonnie’s house, picks her up and starts driving to maplewood.

 

JB and Dan start walking back out to  the van, Dan speaks out “Just warning you, you’re brother isn’t exactly playing on a level playing field, watch your back!” JB responds “Dude… Dirk and I have always had mutual ground, and yet we still hate each other, called brotherly love!” The four of them lounge out in the back.  Dan asks “JB you want a hit?” JB shaking his head “Dude! …You know how violent I get on that angel dusted shit of yours, really?!” Dan smiles “Good point!” handing JB a beer from his mini fridge under the bed.

 

For three hours they sit in the van talking about how horrible their mothers are, and their girlfriends.  The brown crown victorians cruiser of the Ramsay County Sheriff Rolls up behind the van, Dan whispering, “Don’t move, don’t say anything!” Dan clambers to the front seat,  gets out of the van, starts walking towards the house. Officer who is driving gets out “Hey you… Have you seen JB?” Dan turns around, “Nah man, I just got off work, why, what’s up?”  Officer replies “We need to bring him in for questioning.” Dan looks the officer dead in the eye “I’ll call you if he shows up, you got a card?” Officer hands him a card, “Make sure that you do, it’s important that we get hold of him!”  Dan nods, turns around and walks towards the house, as the officer gets back in his vehicle and drives off.

 

JB whispers to Dirk “Fucking hell that was a close one!” Dirk responds “you know mom and dad are never going to allow you to come back home!” JB Looks at him with saddened eyes “Yah, I know that, but it’s their fault, they didn’t even listen to my side of it, like they were deadset to believe that lying cunt!” Dirk taking a puff off his joint, holding his breath for a moment coughing out a response “Don’t worry, tonight we have something special planned for that red headed twat!”

 

A few minutes later, Dan walks back to the van and climbs in. “Man we need to get you out of town JB!” JB nods, “David is on his way up with my girlfriend, I think im going to go to her parents cabin for a while.” Dirk responds “Actually that’s a great idea, we should all go there for the weekend.” JB looks at dirk, “you’re joking me right? After that shit with Mike Meyers at Dawn’s cabin!” Dirk starts laughing “Fuck man, I thought you were going to kill him for body checking you into the drink. You were drunk as fuck!” JB looks at Dirk “Asshole, that’s when that cooky fucking cunt Traci fell in love with me! I landed in the water in front of her, she saw the whole thing go down with Mike, and she started kissing me like I was the damsel in distress in needing of comfort.. ech!.”

Dirk laughing, Dan turns around “Yah no shit we saw the whole thing, You could barely stand, Mike hated you so bad, he didn’t want to miss the chance to pounce you. You practically flew at her with homing missile lips, that scabby whore wanted you so bad after that night!” JB shivers “fucking ech, dude! …come on! Get bent!”

Everyone is laughing, except JB who is only getting more infuriated “That fucking bucktoothed red haired sow shit bombed my life like a hammer to a pile of dog shit!” The other three started laughing even harder “Fuck you all!” JB snorts out in a tantrum. Diane speaks up “JB, we aren’t laughing at your situation, but you have a very colorful way of making a point, and well,  …no offense! …That was fucking hilarious!” JB slumps down in the bed, ponders over what he just said, starts chuckling. “Yah i guess that was pretty fucked up! Doesn’t change the fact she is an ugly retarded sow!” Dan blurts out “No one will argue that one!”

 

An hour later David and Lonnie pull up in his blue buick, Lonnie jumps out as she sees JB exiting the sliding door of the van. “What’s going on!” JB holds up his ace bandaged hand, purple and bloody “My parents and a skank!” Lonnie looks at him sternly “JB! Don’t use that language around me!” JB sighs “Sorry hon, I’m just pissed right now!” Lonnie hugs JB “you need to tell me whats going on.”

JB and Lonnie walk down the road a ways to chat, David gets out of the car, Kyan Sou arrives on his motorcycle at that moment. Kyan, “Dirk what’s the emergency?”  Dirk looking at David, then at Kyan “Hey ricecake, your ex just fucked my brothers life up royally! Time for a little payback!” Kyan takes his helmet off, interested “I’m all in, what do you have planned?” Dirk, with an evil look on his face “We have the entire gang coming over!”

Lonnie and JB are walking up and overhear what Dirk said, JB blurts out, “Everyone but Teri Stenlund and her boyfriend, No offense little brother, but that side of beef needs to keep her distance from me too. That girl is a side or of crazy with a mug of stupid in a combo to go!” Everyone starts laughing again. Diane “JB, …You know this is why we love hanging out with you, you’re fucking hilarious!” Lonnie is shaking her head trying to hold back the laughter.

JB speaks up, “So Lonnie and I have discussed what’s going to happen, she and I are going to head up to Ely, we are going to her grandparents since they are on a month long cruise. Going to her parent’s cabin is out of the question. Apparently the cops already called her house too looking for me.” Dan blurts out “Fucking hell is there no bounds to what Traci will do. Fuck that chick is obsessive!” JB responds “Dude… She shows up at my work every day I’m on the schedule, and just sits in the lobby staring at me, It’s fucking creepy!”  Dirk “JB don’t worry, we got this.” Diane nodding “Yes, she needs to be taught a lesson, she can not get away with this kind of behaviour.”

David, Lonnie and JB jump in the buick and start driving north on highway 96, Jb blurts out, it’s dark out, we need to stop by my parents house, I need to sneak in and get some stuff, like clothes etc. David “better make it quick, I don’t want to get in trouble for this!” JB looks at David with a stink eye “David!  …you know my skillsets, don’t fret it dude!” David sighs.

 

The park down the road a ways from the house. His parents have been asleep for hours already, taking his pocket knife out of his back pocket, he flips it open, slides it under the window to the basement, slides it sideways and unlatches the lock with a gratting click. He  struggles to slide in. Barely fitting because of his large figure. Landing on the cement with a dull thump, he looks at his belly all scratched up. Mumbling to himself. He slowly tip toes up the stairs to the main level, goes to the laundry room, grabs his hockey bag, goes out to the garage, empties it out on top of his mothers taurus station wagon.

 

Walking back into the house, stepping carefully, he ascends the stairs purposely stepping on the sides as to not squeek the stairs,  he quietly passes his parents room on the right, turns left around the banister, and down to the end of the hall. Quietly he opens all his drawers dumping ll his clothes into the bag, grabs all his art supplies, his hunting rifle, and camping gear. Barely fitting everything in the bag. He opens his window and throws the bag out onto the grass. Grabbing his backpack, he goes downstairs to the kitchen, grabs as much food as he can from the pantry, and raids their liqour cabinet. Taking virtually everything but the gin.

He writes a note on a note pad, “I came here in the middle of the night, to get all my things! You will never see me again, you were a shit mother and an absentee father! What happened with Traci and what followed, is Your fault not mine. But this is absolute. Let the fact I came in the house with out you knowing it be a testament to how far I will go if i am pushed! Don’t look for me, don’t think of me! We are no longer a family!” appends it to the fridge with the magnets. Sighing, JB is thinking to himself, *If only they had listened, this would never had happened*

He walks out of the house, around the side to the back of the yard, grabs his hockey bag and cuts through the neighbors yards along the tree line to the car, opening up the trunk he throws his stuff in.  JB jumps into the car, “David we have one more stop, let’s go over to McDonalds, I need to speak with Sarah!” David sighs. “Dinner is on me Dave!” David smiles “Ok!”

 

They arrive at McDonalds, JB walks into the back of the restaurant, into the managers office, “Sarah, I have to make this quick, here’s the address to send my last two paychecks to. I don’t have time, and please don’t call the cops on me, i didn’t do anything wrong!” Sarah who is in shock “What did you do JB?” Jb shakes his head “Long story short …” Sighing again “Your boyfriends sister shit bombed my life, and IM getting flak for it!” Sarah mumbling obscenities, “Don’t worry JB, I’ll make sure you get paid, I’ll even make sure you get a bonus. If you ever get this cleared up, you’re welcome to come back to work.” JB almost in breakdown mode “thanks Sarah, I love working with you!”  JB walks out grabbing a couple of big macs and fries for the road as David pulls up along side the building, JB jumps in. They head off towards Ely.

 

Dan, Kyan, Diane, Dirk, Terri, and Dawn are in the Van sitting outside of McDonalds waiting for Sarah and Jake to finish closing up the Restaurant. The two of them get in their own car and the group drives up to the Rosedale Mall on Snelling and they park in the lot near Traci’s pinto. Jake blurts out “My sister is a stupid cunt!” Sarah “this is your sister!” Jake responds “I don’t care for JB at all, in fact I want to kick his ass for crushing on you all the time, but I don’t want to destroy his life, he is a good guy!” Sarah “Jake we are close friends, he kisses my cheek, he’s in love with Lonnie, there is nothing between us, we are just really close. He wants to be the best man at our wedding!” Jake looks at Sarah with confusion. Sarah lets out a short laugh “you don’t think I know? About that boulder in your ganja drawer? Bitch! I’ve been waiting for you to ask the question, get a pair and ask already!” Jake’s mouth drops, but his eyes are glistening. Again Sarah lets out another laugh.

A knock at their window, the other six are standing outside. Diana is pointing, “here comes trouble” Traci is walking out of the building, halfway through the parking lot, fumbling through her purse, she doesnt realize what is happening. Kyan and Dan pick her up, and throw her into the van. Everyone piles in after her.

They all drive over to Turtle lake beach, knowing no one ever goes there at night. Dirk looks at Traci whose face is beat read, her eyes are swelling up with tears. “Traci, you have this coming!” Traci begs “Please don’t hurt me, I didn’t mean it!” Dirk starts laughing, “If you didn’t mean it, why is the law after him, and why are they showing up at Dan’s house. You tipped them off!” Traci denies it outright. Kyan stomps on her foot, looking her dead in the eye, as he slaps his hand over her mouth.

Diane angrily turns around in the seat up front “Traci, you have problems. Serious mental problems. We have put up with your shit for years. Now you have two choices.” Traci mumbles something. Kyan pulls his hands off her mouth “What are my choices?”

Dirk blurts out “First one is my preference, we torture you!” Dan shaking his head, Diane looks at him and smirks, talking to traci with a side glance “We take you down to Minneapolis and you commit yourself for a 48 hour evaluation, voluntarily!”

Traci starts laughing, grabs her purse and dumps it out on the bed. Dirk picks up several prescription bottles, reading them off out loud “Chlorpromazine,  fluoxetine, citalopram … Holy fucking shit! You are certifiable!” Dan’s eyes widen, mouth drops open for a moment “So we have ourselves a bona fide Cybil case in my van, maybe we should do society a favor and just end her!” Dirk looks at Dan “Are you fucking nuts? We aren’t going to jail for this skank!”

Kyan opens the sliding door, grabs Traci by her straight red long hair, and pulls her out of the van, dropping her on the ground. Jake and Sarah jump out and  walk up to them, the rest of the group exits the van and form a circle around Traci.

 

Dirk “Here’s the deal, you can either take a beating from all of us, or you can strip naked, and swim across the lake!” Traci doesn’t hesitate, she starts removing her clothes down to her underwear. Dirk stares at her “Everything Traci!” Traci protest “No, this isn’t right!” Diane screams at Traci, “Right? You have the audacity to complain about what is right, after what you pulled on one of the sweetest people in our group?” Traci is crying, pleading. Dirk grabs her by the hair, pulls her close and drops a hammer punch to the nose, “Clothes or beating!” Traci removes her bra, and panties. Everyone staring at her. Kyan “You are all kinds of beautiful, but you are nine cats in a bag crazy and stupid to boot, now get swimming bitch!”

As Traci is entering the water Jake speaks up “Traci, sister or not, what you did to JB is morally wrong, mentally fucked up, and just despicable. I am ashamed to have you as a sister, and I will be telling Dad about this when I get home. Have fun walking back to your car naked!”

Dawn runs after her, “Traci, Know this… If we see your face around any of our family, or friends again, I’ll sick Stendlund’s on your ass!” Traci crying hard, shivering from the cool night air, she starts swimming across to the private beach. Dirk yells out “Don’t even think about stopping by my parents and saying anything, or next time we will dump your body in the copper mines!”

 

David, Lonnie an JB are pulling into the driveway after the 5 hour drive. David looks at Lonnie “You were not kidding when you said rustic, there’s no electricity or telephone poles.” Lonnie nodding “Because of where this place is, the park service agreed to let my grandparents live here so long as they do not modernize it. We are in the Boundary Water Canoe Area.” JB “David do you remember last summer, when we worked for the department of Natural Resources on the gunflint trail?” David nods. JB “This cabin is a few miles south of the trail. Since this place was built before the formation of the park, it was given historical significance and they gave special permission to her family to remain here.” Lonnie smiles “you were listening to me when I was talking about this.” JB smiles, “I always listen, even when it appears that I don’t care at the time.”

 

The three of them haul everything from the car into the cabin. Lonnie starts rolling the dust covers up off the furniture, JB walks outside with David gathering up arm loads of firewood for the fireplace. Lonnie “JB can you check the drums if they are full, and if their are skeeter eggs in them?” JB “No problem.” As he drops his arm load of logs. “David could you stack those in the rack please and start a fire.” David quietly starts stacking them, JB walks outside and unscrews the drums and examins them, looks into the giant stainless tank. Yelling back int othe cabin “We have water and it’s clean. But it smells a bit mildewish.” Lonnie responds “No problem.”

Walking over to the shed JB opens the door, unlatches the windmill crank, walking back over to the  tank he sees the bubbles. Screwing the lid back on. He yells “We should have water pressure in about an hour if the breeze continues.” Lonnie “Awesome.” grabbing a bunch of blueish tablets from the bin just outside the front door, she walks over to the shanti and opens the door, tosses the pills into the hole. “Holy fucking hell, that stinks!” JB over hears it starts to chuckle.

 

David walks around the house unlatching the shudders and opening the windows. Lonnie is walking back into the house, grabbing duct tape from the drawers and tosses it to David. Incase there are holes in the screen. Just tape em up. David notices an ice box, “Hey lonnie, if there are no electrical lines, how is it you have electric appliances here/” Lonnie “There’s a diesel generator in the trailer under the tarp in back. What the park doesn’t know wont hurt them.” David shakes his head. Lonnie “My grandpa is a Civil engineer, he figured out ways to circumvent utilities requirements.”

JB yells out “I’m setting the fish traps, Ill be back in about an hour.’ Disappearing into the woods. David “A river?” Lonnie nodding “Yah we are right by Burgo Lake. There’s a swampy like marsh attached to it, and a river that runs southerly from it. Best brown trout fishing ever. We can have trout for dinner tonight.” David “i love trout, thats awesome.” Lonnie, “If you want, we can take the row boats out on the lake later and go fishing, that lake is chalked full of bow, brownies, splake, walleyes, and bass.” David “Sounds like fun.”

A few hours later JB strolls back carrying a branch over his shoulder with fish dangling from it, strolling over to the fish house, opening the door, and dropping the fish on the counter. Grabs the handle to the faucet and pumps it a few times, water starts flowing from the spout. “Well we know the water pressure is up now. “

Walking into the house with a cedar board filled with filets, “Lonnie, I have  six trout fillets, mind getting dinner going?” Lonnie startles from her sleep on the couch. “Mhmm, sure..” JB looks at David “I need you to go outside to the shed under the windmill and pull the blue painted lever down. Thats going to slow the windmill down so we don’t blow the water tank.”

JB walks into the bathroom, turns on the shower, touches the water. “Damn this is cold!” Lonnie hears him, “Sorry I didn’t start the Gennie yet.” JB “Not a problem. I’m gonna take a sprits I smell like fish.”

 

David walks into the house looking at Lonnie in the Kitchen “Damn that shed is full of spiders, what the heck.” Lonnie “Yup the Brown recluse is a common spider in the area, Kill it if you see one. You don’t want to get bit by them. Your day will suck.”

Few hours later sitting around the table, The sun is going down, Lonnie gets up and looks around for the lanterns, realizes they are empty, she goes over to the closet by the fire place and opens it. There are no bottles of oil for the lanter. “JB I think we need to go to Duluth to do a bit of shopping. “ JB looks at David. Care if we all go to Duluth?’  David shrugs, gets up from the table, grabbing his keys off the counter. JB “well that answers that question, come on the bus is leaving.”

It’s midnight when they return to the cabin, David “Well I don’t think im gonna drive back to faribault tonight, that’s just to long of a drive. I think I’ll crash on the couch.” lonnie ‘you can take the spare bedroom if you want.” david, “I thought you two were sleeping in seperate rooms.” Lonnie just stares at david.

With the new sleeping bags, camping supplies and bare essentials put away.  JB and Lonnie retire to the master bedroom shutting the door. David sits down on the couch staring at the fire.

 

 

 

 

 

My Book: Minnesota Winters. Chapter 6: Family Matters

Family Matters

 

It’s a spring morning in 1989 a month away from summer vacation, JB is sitting in the office of a psychologist in Minneapolis. Rose decided it was time to have JB assessed. The violent outburst and tantrums were getting more frequent. Coupled with the fact JB is almost as tall and as heavy as his father at the age of nine, made him scary to her and his peers.

 

A young lady walks out of the room past them to the elevator. The receptionist politely “Doctor Erickson will see you now, go ahead in.” Rose and JB get up and walk into the office. They see a woman in a one piece psychedelic dress with long flowing blond down hair to her knees, standing by a bookcase, putting books away, without turning around “You must be JB.” JB nods and sits down. Rose sits on the couch behind him.

Doctor says “Does the cat got your tongue JB?” as she turns around and walks over to her chair. JB Shakes his head and shrugs. Doctor “I see.” She looks at Rose, would you mind waiting outside in the lobby please. Rose replies “Nope, I’m here to make sure my son …” Doctor “Rose, I can call you Rose right?” Rose “Sure. But..” Doctor interjects “Your son is in good hands, if you don’t mind” Motioning with her hand towards the door. Rose gets up and leaves the room.

Doctor Erickson smiles at JB, “let’s go over to the table, I have some games I want to play. Do you like games?” JB nodding. “Still not a talker are yah?” JB “I talk, when I have something to say.” She replies “So you’re the silent type, you having problems at school?.” JB “Hey I’m not stupid.” She replies “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel that way.” The two of them sit at the table. For the next few hours Doctor Erickson and JB talk and play puzzle games, talk about ink blots, and discuss his home life and school experience.

Rose is getting restless “What’s taking them so long?” the reception replies “Doctor Erickson is giving your son an assessment. She is testing his intelligence, his personality and his communication skills.” Annoyed Rose replies “Well how long does it usually take?” Receptionist “anywhere from a half hour to three hours, really depends on what she needs to figure out.” Rose is about to ask another question when the office door opens, JB walks out smiling and sits down on the chair next to Rose, Doctor Erickson “Rose would you mind coming into the office so we can talk?” Rose gets up from her chair and walks into the office.

 

The doctor walks around to the other side of the desk and motions for Rose to sit down. They both lower into their chairs. Doctor “First I need to ask you a few questions before I finalize the assessment.” Rose replies “Sure.” Doctor “Rose you can call me LeeAnn.” Rose replies “ok” LeeAnn asks “How many friends does JB have?” Rose “None that I know of, no one close.” LeeAnn replies “Why do you think that is?” Rose “I honestly have no idea. We try to encourage him to socialize. But he hasn’t found anyone to connect with.” LeeAnn “How often do you get mad at your son on a weekly basis, mind you I am not judging you, I am assessing him.” Rose, who’s fidgeting from being uncomfortable, responds “He tends to get in trouble, him and his brother always seem to want to kill one another.” LeeAnn “What do you mean by that?” Rose replies “At least once or twice a month we are visiting the hospital for stitches or broken bones or concussions.” LeeAnn “so you have a couple of demon children.” Trying to make light of the situation. Rose responds “that’s putting it mildly.” LeeAnn “how does he and his father get along?” Rose responds “those two are inseparable when he isn’t working. Almost like best friends. JB does anything Stan asks of him without a single complaint.” LeeAnn “So it’s a healthy father and son relationship, that’s good.” Rose nods.

 

LeeAnn scribbles some stuff down in her notes and clears her throat. “Rose, this is only the initial assessment, I will need more time with your child, but today we did several things. First I gave him a Minnesota Multiple Personality Inventory test and an IQ test. Are you interested in hearing those?” Rose curiously “Yes!” LeeAnn “Ok to begin with, your child is an introvert. He is quiet because that’s just who he is. He learns through visual cues. He only speaks when it is necessary. He is a doer not a talker. That is why when he gets angry, it is because someone provoked it out of him. He’s not a violent child, he’s just standing up for himself because he doesn’t want to talk someone’s ear off about why he is so angry.” Rose “Well that kind of makes sense.” LeeAnn nods “Your son is also an empath, because of his hearing loss, being that he is considered legally deaf, being mainstreamed in a hearing school he had to hone his skills to visual recognition of his surroundings. He picks up on the smallest details and can read a situation. It’s one of the reason why he doesn’t like being around other people.” Rose confused “What do you mean?” LeeAnn “JB can pick up from a long way when kids intend to do him harm or ridicule. Simply reading their body language and how they approach him. He doesn’t like confrontation and doesn’t like to argue so he avoids people and likes to be alone.” Rose nodding “That sounds about right.”

 

LeeAnn shuffles her papers around “Now this is particularly an interesting part of his case, his IQ test” Rose nods “I suppose his hearing impairment has put him behind the other kids.” LeeAnn in a perky voice “Quite the contrary Rose, your son has a 191 IQ. he’s literally considered the top fifteen percentile of people.” Rose looks at LeeAnn in total shock. LeeAnn continues “Have you ever noticed your son accomplishing something amazing, something  that shocked you, or he can figure things out faster than average kids?” Rose shuffles through her purse and pulls out an old polaroid of JB Standing behind a monstrous block structure and hands it to LeeAnn. She looks over it “How long ago was this?” Rose smiles “He did that when he was 7” LeeAnn nods “this is exactly what I am talking about. If you look at the blocks some of these shouldn’t be there, but because he figured out fulcrums and counter balances he accomplished something most kids wouldn’t dream of. He is a natural at architectural and geometric objects.” Rose smiling with pride. LeeAnn “Also your son displays a wide spectrum of skills, the one he is sorely lacking in though, is english and social skills. However this is not unheard of in geniuses.” Rose shocked again “Wait.. What?… he’s a genius?”  LeeAnn gets up from her desk and walks over to the table and grabs a stack of papers, and returns, sits down and spreads them out in front of Rose “Your son has a collegiate level vocabulary. Although his grammar is suffering, he understands words you probably never even heard of.” Rose chortles “I sincerely doubt that!” LeeAnn picks up the papers “Ok let’s test this. What does relogate mean?” Rose states “I honestly don’t know.” LeeAnn “it means to assign lower position. When i put the word into a sentence JB’s response was My dad does that, he delegates to his men. The fact he knows what delegate and relogate mean, this is a sign that your son is in the wrong grade.” Rose looks at her with contemplation.

 

Rose perks up “So I need to have my son tested for a higher grade level?” LeeAnn “it’s a little more complicated than that. What I would like to do is have him come in over the next few weeks, and I’m going to try and teach him a few things. At the end of the month I want to give him an SAT test.” Rose shocked again “You want him to take a college entrance exam?” her mouth starts dropping. LeeAnn “Well not really, I am going to use it to gauge his strengths and weaknesses. Most likely put him into an Independent Education Program.” Rose interjects “I will not have my child labeled a retard!” LeeAnn responds “It’s not like that, we will determine if he needs to be bumped up a grade or two, or if he needs to go to a different school, I won’t have a suggestion until I work with him for a little bit.”

Rose “So how do I stop him from having those outbursts?” LeeAnn “You need to challenge him, and you need to stop punishing him. He’s going to make mistakes, that’s part of his learning process.” Rose “What do you mean, challenge him?” LeeAnn “Do you ever just sit and observe your son?” Rose “Not really, I just let him do his own thing until he gets into a fight with his brother, which is usually instigated by his younger brother. JB gets annoyed after a while and justy finishes it, unless Dirk does some horrific thing, and it ends up with it turning into a hospital bill.” LeeAnn tries to stifle her chuckling “I take it they are always trying to out do one another?” Rose laughs “I would say so!” LeeAnn “Might I make a suggestion?” Rose “If it will help him and stop their bickering, I’m all for it.” LeeAnn “JB has an affinity with math sequences, try getting him into a musical class.” Rose “What, like a guitar or piano teacher?” LeeAnn “exactly what I am saying, you can either buy a piano or take him to a music school or something. It will be something new for him to learn, and he loves to learn.” Rose “How can he love learning when he gets constant F’s in school,  he doesn’t do what the teachers instruct him to do, so they fail him, and his response to that is they are all stupid!” LeeAnn, “Because your son doesn’t have the patience to sit and listen to material he can do in his head. He’s completely bored.”

 

Rose “So when do you want to set up these appointments?” LeeAnn “How about every monday from 9 am till noon, you can drop him off and pick him up.” Rose “Ok, I can make that work, I will have to let the school know the plan.” LeeAnn gets up from her desk and opens the door, “JB can you come in here please.” JB walks in and sits down next to Rose. LeeAnn “JB How would you like to come here every monday and play new games and try new things?” JB nods “I had fun, sure.” LeeAnn smiles at him “Ok Rose, it’s set. Ill make sure my Secretary writes it in.” Rose “thanks this means a lot.” LeeAnn “don’t mention it, this will be good for JB.”

 

Rose and JB leave the office and drive across town on 35E, cutting up Roselawn avenue, pulling into Saint Jeromes parking lot and the two of them get out, the kids are on lunch recess.. Rose “JB Get to your next class, I am going to talk to Sister Clarice Ok.” JB Nods and runs off with his back pack bouncing around. Rose walks into the office and ask Ruth at the desk “Is Sister Clarice in?” Ruth “Let me see, have a seat.” A moment later Sister Clarice walks out of her office, Ruth following, she sits behind her desk. Sister Clarice “Hi Rose, what can I do for you today?” Rose “Can we talk for a bit, I have some interesting news for you.” Sister Clarice “Yes, sure come in.” The two of them walk into the office. Sister Clarice closes the door as Rose takes a seat. Sister Clarice “How are you today Rose?” Rose “I’m fine, I took JB to the Psychologist today.” Sister Clarice “Oh that’s good news, he’s going to get counseling?” Rose “I think it’s a lot more complicated than just counseling.” Sister Clarice “I’m interested in hearing about it.” Rose smiling “Well according to his Doctor, she did a Minnesota Multiple Personality Test and An IQ test. With staggering results.” Sister Clarice tilts her head “What do you mean staggering?” Rose “Well it appears JB is a genius, a genuine bonafide genius. He scored over 190 on his test.” Sister Clarice’s eye grew wide “This is interesting, and could explain a lot about JB.” Rose “that’s another thing, she called him an introvert, empath and something else I’m not clear because I’m just reeling from the news on his intelligence.” Sister Clarice “It’s starting to paint a perfect picture about JB, now I understand, he’s a special kid with a lot of hurdles in his way.” Rose “To say the least.”

 

Rose looks out the window and sighs, Sister Clarice “What’s wrong.” Rose “I just had an epiphany, JB isn’t like the other kids. He won’t know how to have fun like they do.” Sister Clarice “trust me, I think he finds more enjoyment in a book then he does kicking a ball. That’s a good thing.” Rose “I guess so.” Sister Clarice “it is!” Rose “Anyways, JB is going to be absent on mondays for the rest of the year. The psychologist wants him from nine am till noon possibly longer?” Sister Clarice “that’s strange, sessions usually only last an hour.” Rose “According to her she wants to spend some time with him teaching him a few things, and then she is going to give him an SAT test. “ Sister Clarice astonished “As in college entry test?” Rose “That’s exactly my response. But no she wants to assess where he is advanced and where he needs work. She wants to establish an IEP for him.” Sister Clarice “That makes perfect sense, that way next year we can figure out how to address this situation.” Rose concurs.

 

It’s the first weekend of July, Stanley just bought a mobile home for the family to go on trips with, he decided that he was going to take his two week vacation. Rose and he discussed it the week before and made the arrangements. Stanley yells into the house “Move it. We’re wasting daylight!” JB and Dirk come tearing down the hallway, running past him, JB yells “I get the top.” Dirk pushes JB to the side “Not if I get there first” Stanley snaps “You’re both sitting at the table until I say otherwise!” Rose chuckles and shakes her head as she climbs into the passenger seat.  Stanley locks up the side door and walks around and gets into the driver seat, starts up the up vehicle and pulls away.

Stanley says “Ok boys, we are heading to Dakota’s then to Yellowstone National Park.” Dirk starts bouncing in his seat, “We get to see old fatefufl.” JB “you moron it’s old faithful! TH THing, the, third, faith. Idiot!” Dirk kicks jb under the table. Jb screams out in pain. Stanley snaps out “If you don’t behave we will go right back home.” JB replies “Yes dad!” Dirk grudgingly “Sorry.”

 

Three hours later entering Fargo North Dakota, JB is in the back bunk reading his comics, Dirk is on the overhead bunk sleeping. Rose “So what are we going to do about JB this fall?” Stanley glances at her “What do you mean?” “ Rose “Well the psychologist finished her assessment last week, She said that JB should be in a different kind of school.” Stanley “what like a school for the special kids?” Rose “No, like a magnet school, one that has specializes in his unique abilities.” Stanley “No! No! Absolutely not!” Rose “Why aren’t you even considering it?” Stanley “My boy isn’t going to live away from us!” Rose “He would be going to Highland Park high school!” Stanley “there’s one in minnesota? “ Rose “according to the psychologist it’s the best in the state!”  Stanley “So what do these classes entail?” Rose “Well first off his tests says he’s scattered in the grades. He has a collegiate level understanding of math and art, a twelfth grade understanding of science and he practically memorized the periodic table. He has an eglish of a third grader and the social skills of a kindergartner.” Stanley shakes his head and continues on driving.

 

He pulls into McDonald’s, in a loud voice “You boys hungry?” Dirk flies out of the bunk like rabid bat and slides into the bench seat at the table, JB walks down the hall “Yes. I want a big mac and a large chocolate shake.” Dirk “I want that too.” JB sits across from Dirk “copy cat!” Dirk sticks his tongue out. Stanley and Rose enter the restaurant order food, pay for their meals, returning to the mobile home they see Dirk and JB wrestling on the table and laughing. Stanley opens the side door “What are you two doing?” The two of them slip back into their seats, “Just horsing around dad.” JB acting innocent. Dirk “I’m hungry!” JB laughs. Stanley hands them the bag and pushes JB in and sits next to him, Rose sits next to Dirk.

 

They continue down I94 to the Belfied exit, on their way to Theodore National Park where they plan on camping the night, and do some trout fishing on the river.