I meant to write this last night after I posted the latest book review, but it was late, so I went to bed. Now I’m up at 6 AM. Though I’m a little droopy with sleepiness, I need to get this down now.
You know the new Dollar General on the corner of Elba and Davison Road. It’s nice to have such a store so close to where I live. I’ve been there many times since it opened, and I guess several people working there now know I can’t hear for shit.
I don’t usually have a lot of cash on me and will pay for things with a card. The first time I was in the Dollar General, I had trouble with the card machine. I put the card in and selected whatever needed to be selected, and then I entered my pin number.
And it wouldn’t work. I guess the machine wasn’t recognizing my pin number. So, I’d have to do it again and again. I know my pin number and I’m counting four beeps, and then a fifth beep when I press the Enter button. Still the fucking machine wouldn’t process my payment.
That first time I had the problem, after several tries, it did eventually work. I don’t know why it suddenly worked, but it worked.
The next time I’m in the store, I’m having the same problem. I put the card in, selected the options, entered my pin number and the stupid thing didn’t work. But that time it was a different cashier and she knew what to do. She came around the counter and worked with the machine for a minute.
The next time I put my card in and entered the pin number, it worked. That cashier was my hero. After that, every time I was in the store, there were no problems while paying.
Until yesterday evening.
As it happens, my twin brother and I were on the way to my house from our mom and dad’s. Fred lives in Clifford, which is about an hour away and it was late in the day, so he was going to spend the night in my attic.
We stopped at Dollar General, so I could get a few things. Fred stayed in the car while I went in the store. I shopped, and then went to pay. The cashier knew I was deaf. I think I’ve seen her a few times while in the store, but I can’t say for sure if she ever rang me up before.
When I’m done shopping, I just want to pay and leave. I don’t want to deal with all this horseshit. But sometimes it’s just not that simple.
The problem was back. The machine wasn’t recognizing my pin number and I couldn’t pay. I tried a few times. Nope. The fucking piece of shit wouldn’t work. I couldn’t hear what the cashier was saying, but I tried to tell her what that other cashier did the last time I had the problem.
I don’t know, maybe she didn’t understand what I meant. I couldn’t really make out anything she was saying. I should’ve just told her to write it down, but that idea didn’t occur to me yet.
The cashier went away. I stood there confused. I didn’t know if my payment had finally gone through or if the cashier was still working with me on this, or if I was asked to leave the store. But a minute later, she came around the counter and with broken sign language, asked me if someone had driven me to the store.
I didn’t think, and just said, “my brother.”
She immediately turned around and started across the store toward the exit. I’m starting to catch onto what’s happening here. I called after her, “He’s deaf too.”
She ignored me and kept going.
I followed her and tried again, telling her that my brother is deaf too. She still ignored me. Now, I’m getting pissed off, but I’m too nice, so I don’t let my anger show. I really hate it when people ignore me like that, but that wasn’t all of it. I was also pissed off because this lady decided she needed to get my brother to help me.
Do I give off a vibe that says “Mentally Retarded: Likely has a guardian nearby”?
I followed her outside. She walked to the SUV that was parked in front of the door and knocked on the window. I told her my brother was parked further down the parking lot and led her to his car.
I should’ve not taken her to his car. I should’ve told her that I handle my own business and she needed to deal with me. But I’m stupid, I didn’t think it through quickly enough.
She went around to the driver’s side and talked to Fred through the window. I leaned in through the passenger window. Fred didn’t know what the fuck was going on. I was starting to feel the stings of embarrassment.
Fred gets out of the car and we all go in the store. Back at the register, the cashier told me to put my card back in the machine, and then she told Fred to enter my pin number.
Fred’s like, “I don’t know what his pin number is.”
I entered the pin number myself, while muttering under my breath that the cashier didn’t need to get Fred.
Of course, it didn’t work that time either. Again, I explained what the cashier from before did to fix the problem. I looked to the side and there’s my hero. She’s an older woman, and I’m guessing she’s the manager.
She worked with the machine for a minute. I put my card in, entered my pin number and it worked.
The ordeal wasn’t quite as bad as the time a cop stopped me for walking to Elba Corners with cerebral palsy. He detained me for about twenty minutes, breathalyzed me, patted me down, accused me of lying to him, yelled at me, and was looking for any reason to take me in. Last night’s ordeal wasn’t quite that bad, but it was pretty high on the list of bullshit I’ve had to deal with.
There are things about America that I don’t like, but is there any country in the world that doesn’t have things people aren’t proud of? I love America, though flawed it is.
When I go to a party, I go because I want to get out of the house, do something different for a change, hang out with people, try to socialize. While I usually do enjoy the party to some degree, for much of it I feel alone and left out.
At parties, several people try to talk to me. When I can’t hear them, it gets really awkward. At the last party, I came up with a solution. When I couldn’t hear someone, I offered them my cell phone with the Memo app open, so they could type in what they were saying.
Some people seemed to like the idea and were willing to use it, and that was helpful. But others didn’t like it. They’re trying to talk to me, I can’t hear them and they don’t want to use an alternative method of communication. So, I don’t get to know what they were saying and I feel like I’m missing out.
And then I get drunk, and start talking too much and too loud, and saying stupid things. For days afterwards, I’m angry and depressed, I’m too socially inept and it’s probably better for everyone if I don’t go.
I should’ve taken a Before picture before I did this. This patio is beside the house. It always had zig-zagging lines of grass running across it. The weed whacker took out most of the grass, but there were still clumps of dirt. So, I scraped it all out with a shovel. The grass will probably grow back in time, but for now, I like this look.
Just home from Mom and Dad’s. We had supper and took a golf cart ride around the field. I shot this picture from the northeast corner of the property.
I wrote this a couple days ago and posted it, but then took it down. Haven’t felt very confident in the last week. Well, here it is again, with some edits:
I was born in March 1977. That makes me an 80’s kid. I wasn’t officially a teenager until 1990. I could be wrong, but it’s my belief that most children of the 80’s grew up hearing about the Vietnam War. It wasn’t something that was taught in school. We heard about the war because our parents talked about it, often among themselves or with friends and relatives while the kids were playing in the background.
Uncle Gary served with the Navy in Vietnam. He was in the Army too, before his Naval career, but I don’t think the Army sent him to Vietnam.. While in the Navy, he was stationed in Da Nang–I think it was Da Nang, anyway– where he built bridges. I always saw Gary as a sort of legend, probably because he was my mom’s brother and I heard a lot about him. I didn’t hear about any action that he might have seen, but I remember Mom talking about the letters he’d sent home.
There’s this story that I haven’t forgotten. When my mom was a kid, she was sitting on the porch outside the house her family was living in. A man in uniform showed up. Mom thought he was a police officer and told him her parents were in the house. The man went in and everyone started hugging him..
That was Gary, home after his tour in Vietnam.
The last time I saw Gary alive was when he was moving out of the building where we each had an apartment. He saluted me, I returned the salute. I think he knew how much of a military-wannabe I was and how much I looked up to him.. He died shortly after he left. I think it was a stroke. 2001 or 2002..
Gary had PTSD. I heard that he only talked about the war when he was drunk. In the last couple years of his life, he’d had a serious case of what looked like Parkinson’s disease. He could barely talk and his hands were always shaking. When we were living in the same building, I visited him a lot. We’d drink beer and watch TV.
Memorial Day isn’t so much about those who served. That’s what Veteran’s Day is for. Memorial Day is for those who died while serving the country. But I think on Memorial Day, we tend to think of everyone we know who served whether they died in war or not, perhaps because they were all willing to make the sacrifice. They all joined, knowing they could be sent to war.
I remember seeing a Memorial Day parade (It might have been a Veteran’s Day parade, but I feel more strongly that it was a Memorial Day parade.) that one of my dad’s cousins was marching in. Dale, like Uncle Gary, had been in the Navy and served in Vietnam. That was probably in the late-eighties when I saw that parade. At the time, I didn’t fully understand and was probably more fascinated by the fact that Dale was a Vietnam vet.
But now I think Dale and the guys he was marching with were marching to honor those like a cousin of my mom’s who died in Vietnam, a boyfriend of one of my aunt’s who died in Vietnam, and all those who gave their lives in Vietnam, Korea, World War II, World War I, the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and any other war, no matter how big or small, that America had fought.
No matter what your political leanings are, or if you agree or not with one conflict or another that America is or has been involved in, you should acknowledge that without people willing to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard our nation would not survive.
The neighbors next door have a pit bull. When I’m in the backyard, the pit bull gives a woof through the fence. I look over and say, “Hey Dog, how you doing?” The pit bull wags its tail. Seems like a friendly fellow to me.
I’m tired. Been doing yardwork since 7 AM. So, I’m just going to insert these Before and After pictures. I’m going to do the same thing on the other side of the porch and down one side of the house.