This Story Will Reduce Any Grown Man To Tears…Family Gives Dying Pit Bull The Vacation Of His Lifetime
This is a photo series I shot back in August in Assateague, Maryland. My boyfriend Christian, and I took our three pups on an overnight stay at the beach. We dedicated the trip to our 11 year old American Staffordshire Terrier, Dyuki (Mr. Dukes). He was in his final stages of Grade III mast cell cancer at the time. His most favorite activity was swimming in our family pool, but until then, he had never seen the ocean. It was a very special trip for us, and I’m so grateful we were able to make it happen. He passed away a month later, but he put up one hell of a fight—almost two years.
The drive to Assateague is about 3 hours, and we were being blasted with sunlight pretty much the entire time. But the moment we pulled up to the ocean, the clouds quickly rolled in, and it started to drizzle. Who cares though? We love the rain!
I was addicted to meth for a few years (well, I’ll forever be addicted to it; I have absolutely no control when it comes to amphetamines). It started out wonderfully (like any drug) and was even responsible for getting me a couple great paying day jobs (gotta love the motivation meth provides; if you can harness it) and even a promotion! Eventually my usage increased to the point that I felt I should offset my costs so I started dealing too.
My girl at the time was a waitress so I used her and a couple of her hotter waitress friends to sell my product to both customers as well as most of the other staff (turns out the food industry is LOADED with users, DUH!). After a few months, the demand began to get so high I was having trouble keeping up with it. My regular hookup flat-out admitted that He would not be able to keep up with my demand (He had a regular job too and this was nothing more than fun for him) so He pointed me to another guy who He thought might be of some assistance. That is when shit began to get real serious. I quit my day job as I no longer wanted to go (or even needed to).
Things continued to go very well as I continued to expand my business of using waitresses to sell product (high turnover means waitresses are constantly changing locations, thus getting a new customer base). It worked out beautifully as we were effectively a delivery service. Nobody was ever coming to my house so there never appeared to be any suspicious activity. Practically a perfect system.
At this point my usage had been pretty heavy for a while (I was up to 10g a day on average, or about $750) and it had begun to take it’s toll. I was only sleeping a couple of hours a week (more like taking fitful naps) and that was catching up (I had been doing it for over 2 years now). I was angry and psychotic pretty much all the time. It was destroying relationships and I truly did not give a single fuck. I began to see that my inability to control it was destroying everything around me. Being in the throws of addiction is…. a complex thing. I was fully aware that I was an addict, that it was taking it’s toll and would almost certainly eventually kill me. I did not care. I mean I really, truly did not care. Total apathy. All that matters is the drug; if you can get that, then everything else is less important or can be fixed after..
Many years ago, when I was in high school, I worked at a movie theater. Allow me to preface the story by saying that I pride myself on my ability to accomplish tasks that I find unpleasant. My parents own several section 8 rental properties around Youngstown, and I had been roped into innumerable “This house is a mess, we’re not paying anyone to clean it, we feed you, here’s a bucket, get started” adventures in my short life. I had dealt with festering diapers left in the open air for months in summer, rotten food, spoiled milk, animal corpses, used hypodermics, anything you could imagine. Cleaning the grease trap in the concession area did not phase me. I was woefully unprepared this day.
I arrived in my polo shirt and slacks through the lobby entrance as some of the theaters were letting out. I could tell immediately something was amiss. One of the managers had put the caution tape we normally used to mark defective chairs over the door to the women’s restroom, and was standing in front of the door looking worried. When a patron would try to enter, the manager would stop them, nod apologetically, make a brief “mia culpa” gesture with her hands, and usher them away. When she saw that I had arrived, her eyes immediately brightened and she waved emphatically for me to come over.
I was introduced to everything through one friend, I’ll call him Theo. Before him, I was a good kid. Straight As, never skipped school, didn’t even smoke cigarettes. He was a goth punk, started off stalking me and somehow we became best friends as a result. He was my first real friend, and in those days… he was a damn good friend. He took care of me. He cared. He was kind, generous, and just the greatest guy in the world. We started drugs at about the same time. Our first drug was LSD. Never did it often, though. Stuck with pot for years and years.
Eventually, we were introduced to meth. It started out as something we did rarely, but eventually it overtook everything. Whenever we hung out, we got high. The first three years, I was high every other week. The last two, I was high every day, except for when I would crash after being up for five days straight.
I had a job overnight stocking, and my job performance improved due to the meth. No exhaustion, no need for breaks, easily occupied with mundane tasks.
In the end, what lead me to quit was a moment of clarity. When I took a look at my situation. I used to be a straight As kid, with a future. Now I was a high school drop out, working at a dead end job where I never spoke to anyone, and at that moment I was sitting in a trailer with five other filthy guys. One was missing an eye, telling me about how he sucked dick in jail. The other was a gay man who had his relationship destroyed by meth, and he was busy picking at a sore on his forehead that had grown to the size of a half dollar. No one had bathed in days. Everyone had been up for days on end. There was a bunny that someone had caught decaying in the back room, under the bed. Where the fuck was I? What the fuck was I doing there?
Context is childbirth is the most pain any human will ever feel :
Bullshit dude, bullshit. I once ate a tray of 24 assorted muffins: blueberry, lemon poppy-seed, cranberry apple, banana nut, even bran. Large muffins too, like you’d buy at the bakery, not grocery store mini-muffins. I ate the first five or six out of hunger, and the next dozen I can only attribute to gluttony, but the last half dozen were devoured by determination alone. A part of me wanted to stop – I was full, the muffins had become repulsive, and there was a disconcerting pressure in my chest. The other, stronger part of me knew that if I gave up on that muffin platter I would admit limitation. A limited man can rationalize his every weakness, turn away from every challenge, live his life within the narrow confines of comfort; that’s not how I live my life. But I digress. It took six days for my bowels to move, and when they did I shat a monolithic muffin block so wide it could not be flushed, so dense it would not dissolve with repeated flushing, and so heavy it took two hands to lift. The measure of anxiety, pain, pride and love is indescribable, so don’t tell me I don’t understand childbirth – thenewaddition
All in all, it hadn’t been a good day. Bad traffic, a malfunctioning computer, incompetent coworkers and a sore back all made me a seething cauldron of rage. But more importantly for this story, it had been over forty-eight hours since I’d last taken a dump. I’d tried to jumpstart the process, beginning my day with a bowl of bowel-cleansing fiber cereal, following it with six cups of coffee at work, and adding a bean-laden lunch at Taco Bell. As I was returning home from work, my insides let me know with subtle rumbles and the emission of the occasional tiny fart that Big Things would be happening soon. Alas, I had to stop at the mall to go Christmas shopping. I completed this task, and as I was walking past the stores on my way back to the car, I noticed a large sale sign proclaiming, “Everything Must Go!” This was prophetic, for my colon informed me with a sudden violent cramp and a wet, squeaky fart that everything was indeed about to go. I hurried to the mall bathrooms. I surveyed the five stalls, which I have numbered 1 through 5 for your convenience:
2.Clean, but Bathroom Protocol forbids its use, as it’s next to the occupied one.
3.Poo on seat.
4.Poo and toilet paper in bowl, unidentifiable liquid splattered on seat.
5.No toilet paper, no stall door, unidentifiable sticky object near base of toilet.
Clearly, it had to be Stall #2. I trudged back, entered, dropped trousers and sat down. I’m normally a fairly Shameful Sh1tter. I wasn’t happy about being next to the occupied stall, but Big Things were afoot.
I was just getting ready to bear down when all of a sudden the sweet sounds of Beethoven came from next door, followed by a fumbling, and then the sound of a voice answering the ringing phone. As usual for a cell phone conversation, the voice was exactly 8 dB louder than it needed to be. Out of Shameful habit, my sphincter slammed shut. The inane conversation went on and on. Mr. Sh1tter was blathering to Mrs. Sh1tter about the sh1tty day he had. I sat there, cramping and miserable, waiting for him to finish. As the loud conversation dragged on, I became angrier and angrier, thinking that I, too, had a crappy day, but I was too polite to yak about in public. My bowels let me know in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t get crapping soon, my day would be getting even crappier.
So I began freaking out because the pain was just unbearable. I thought I had to go to the emergency room because I just couldn’t figure out a way to take it out that wouldn’t hurt. So I did the next best thing: went on Google for answers. The best thing I found was putting baby oil to make the release easier but that didn’t help. I don’t think any of the links had to do with foreskin stuck in the slider. I couldn’t zip down because the skin was there and the zipper was zipped at the bottom and zipping up was just making it worse. So I had to do the most embarrassing thing, but I didn’t care at the moment, I went to tell my father. I took the picture before going to tell him. I thought it would be less embarrassing to show him the picture, even though the real thing would be in front of him. I buttoned my pants and went to their room. I showed him and he asked the same question all of you asked. He told me to show him so I did. He tried doing the same thing I had tried, zipping up and down. I yelled, my face was red, I felt hot and my heart was beating quickly. The pain was intense. My dad gets frustrated very easily and after trying with no avail and me squirming with pain he said he couldn’t do anything with me moving around and that I might just had to go the emergency room, which was the one thing I didn’t want to hear. After a while he had a bright idea. He left the room and came back with a razor blade. My first reaction was to yell, “What are you going to do with that?” He told me to hold the zipper and he cut around the area were the slider was. So now the section that was attached to the slider and my foreskin was free from my jeans. He then pulled the slider down and it came off the zipper. I then pulled my foreskin out of the slider and that was it, it was free. I had minor cuts but it did bruise and teeth markings (from the zipper) were visible. I hope that made sense of how he did it.
He became the topic of conversation in the lunch room between a bunch of Engineers down at Boeing, Seattle’s big Aerospace Center. These guys were bright, interesting, curious guys and one of them had fashioned a fun little set-up .. probably using Boeing materials.
So .. imagine this – quite simple really: On the wall there an attached, round, black rubber diaphragm, maybe 6 or 8 inches across. It is hooked to a timer — not digital as it would be now, but clock-face like with only the equivalent of a second hand .. in other words one single ‘sweep’ hand. On the face is marked off maybe 10 seconds .. that would be one full sweep around from top (’12’ position) to top again. Just UNDER the black diaphragm is a small red light. all of this is properly wired in to itself. So, this was, apparently, set up in the lunch room and was just ‘there’ for guys to play with — to test their reaction time. And the way it worked was that you would stand behind the tape line that they had placed on the floor some 6 feet away from the wall, hands at your side, looking at the light. When you saw the light turn on, you would step forward, hit the diaphragm, and step back. The timer, above, would show you how long between the ‘on’ of the red light, and the timer, and your hand against the diaphragm. Couldn’t be simpler .. right?
So, word gets around Seattle about this little hot-shot with reputedly fantastic form and reflexes, and there starts to be the "Man I’d love to get that guy down here to try our thing out" conversation sprinkling into the lunchtime banter. Finally, and I don’t know how, one of them knows someone who knows someone or something and word gets passed on to Bruce that they’d love to have him come down to the Engineers lunchroom down south of town any afternoon that he might be able to, to try out their ‘reflex tester’ that they’ve put together.
Well Bruce was a STRONG self-promoter, and I’m sure this was like catnip to him. So, of course, one day there’s a knock on the outer door and one of them comes walking this lean, smiley little guy back into the lunchroom full of a bunch of thick engineers with their mouths full of sandwiches. Very informal, pre-fame, no cameras and no big deal — if you just happened to be there digging into your lunch at that moment you were about to gain one of the stories of your life — if you had decided to step out to a restaurant that day .. you’d only be hearing the story for years to come. So, Bruce is brought in and they all greet him and laugh a bit with him and tell him how they had heard that he was in great physical shape and that it might be fun for him to try their set-up.
They show him what the deal is and how it works, ( I have NOdoubt that within 3 seconds of entering the room he had seen it and understood exactly what the deal was), and he says ‘sure!’ .. he’d be HAPPY to give that a try! So, they all sit back, out of his way, and he stands at the line, takes a breath and exhales and rotates his head back and forth a bit (Bruce had a palpable sense of focused relaxation which, once achieved, made him look like he may NEVER move a muscle again). He’s standing there, moment .. after moment, with his hands hanging loosely at his side .. gazing as if casually at the wall … then he suddenly FLIES forward and SMACKS the diaphragm and is INSTANTLY back behind the line, relaxed again. Whereupon there is this OUTcry from the entire room of Engineers saying "NO! no .. you have to WAIT for the Red Light to go on BEFORE smacking the diaphragm! Get it?! You hit is AFTER!!!" And, of course, he stands there smiling back at them. And one by one there’s this growing little chorus of "Ohhhh my GOD!" .. and "Wait a minute! My GOD .. I don’t BELIEVE it!!!" as they one by one come forwards towards the timer to confirm what they think they’re seeing but can’t believe.
What had just taken place, of course, was that Bruce had perceived the micro-instant of illumination, and had stepped forward to instantaneously douse it, and not a single other soul in the room, with nothing else to do but watch the light and the timer, had been aware of its even having come on. The story goes that when they got up to the timer and looked closely at it they saw that it had, indeed, BAAAARELY moved from top center. Unfortunately, I cannot now recall preciselywhat the actual numbers were, but it was SOMETHING like "Most of the guys turned that light off in, at BEST, a second or so. When we looked at the timer needle with Bruce, it was registering 8/100’s of a second .. barely even see-able on the dial, and not even long enough for the rest of us to see the light".