Thursday, December 20, 2012
Another Life: Day Two
When physical aches bring personal satisfaction of feeling alive.
By Mark William Darus.
It has been so long since I felt physical aches and pains of working. Honestly, I can’t remember when the last time was but it surely must’ve been over 25 years ago.
It had to have been when I worked for a company called ABAR MFG. When I wasn’t grinding 3M Oiling Rolls or driving the trucks, I hoisted 50lb bearing boxes, lifted bearing assemblies or tore apart hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders that ranged from 12 inches to 30 feet in length.
Right this very moment my arms are throbbing quite well. My fingers are developing pad calluses which will become my good friend a few days/weeks down the road and my cuticles are swollen and highly red in colour. My lower back is doing the : ‘You fuckin’ idiot! Left with your legs’ routine as I feel something like a dozen midgets jumping up and down on it like some Oz version of Michael Flatley’s River Dance finale. I’ve always been blessed with great legs. I think this came from running track and cross country back in high school and downhill skiing. About 20 years ago, I could leg=press 500 lbs. I bet in several weeks, I’ll be able to repeat that.
I’ve never been a hugely body-proud person. Frankly, I’ve never really thought much about my physical appearance and seldom ever dress appropriately. It just doesn’t matter to me what I looked like and have never had an issue conveying that to others. I’ve never judged anyone on their appearance, lack of hygiene skills, or weight. That’s just how I am. I take people as they are. I also don’t really care how they look at me. It is truly astonishing how many people are offended when you say these things to them face to face.
Okay, let’s have some historical fun. It is the holiday season, after all, a time for smiles and warm memories.
When I was a kid, my dad worked for Republic Steel. He was the second generation steel worker in the family, following my grandpa, my dad’s father in law.
When working swing shifts, (for those of you that don’t know what ‘swings’ are, they are 8 hour shifts that run around the clock. Basically 11PM to 7AM, 7AM to 3PM and 3PM to 11PM. Think of it like the saying: We’re open 24/7! From an Industrial standpoint in the USA, it has nearly become a thing of the past) and dad would be there for dinner, he’d tell us what my sisters and I referred to as Dad’s Lost Limb Stories.
Imagine the horror and shock my sisters and I were subjected to listening to him talk about this person losing a hand from and unfortunate sledgehammer accident and how the severed hands fingers still twitched after moments later. He’d go on and on some guy losing a chunk of thigh when a Signode band let go on a 15 ton steel coil and whipped-slashed and caught him. He was quick to say it didn’t hit his serious vien and mom, who’d been a surgical nurse would add: The femoral artery, Ted.
He’d tell us about tow motor, crane and trucking accidents that always drew anything from mediocre hacks at the flesh to full blown gushes of blood shooting like an oil well hitting pay dirt.
All while we would eat wonderfully blood-red steak, Chinese food <and those noodles always reminded me of the very same tapeworms my mom told me about from her surgical nurse years> , and my all-time favorite Spaghetti and meatballs. There sincerely is nothing quite like talking about free flowing blood, hunks of flesh clung to cold steel while eating pasta with red sauce. This type of thing is something to behold and cherished. I thought it was both great and hilarious!
With all honestly: I loved that time in my life. My sister Holly seemed excited by dad’s stories (possibly one of the very reasons she studied journalism could have come from dads stories of work. I think this also played a hand her becoming a life-long steel worker.) My sister Heidi handled it differently. In all honestly, Heidi never did develop the perverse and disgusting sense of humor that Holly and I grew to either make people laugh or puke with our straight forward thoughts and words we’d express.
I’d call this the Amazing difference of siblings. You are tied together by blood. You share the same memories over mutual points in space and time, though varied over the distance in years apart from one another. To me it goes back the Mesh Theory of the mind: What catches in your mind might slip through mine and vice versa. No sweat, it’s all good! To put it another way, some people can quote every Major league pitchers stats while others can tell you about every minor player in the American Civil War regardless of how obscure this person was portrayed or the massive impact they had on history.
Subtle point, though worth bearing mention. In the time I started writing this entry, most of my aches and pains have subsided. I am not suggesting that all pain can disappear by simply writing them off, but having a passion for something in this life truly helps. As the saying goes in Navy Seal training: It’s mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it won’t matter.
I have to say these last twelve months in my life have been the most turbulent and off-setting in my entire life. I’ve experienced poverty on a scale I didn’t think I’d ever know. I have had help with this from the loyalty of others and for that I am most thankful. Granted, I don’t think this aspect is over yet, but things are looking much better.
I never lost the intrinsic value of Hope no matter how dark things got. I attribute this to being blessed with the mind I was given by my parents and the spirit from Otherness. Everyone has their beliefs of a god and savior. Even with Atheists and their beliefs in themselves over all are huge in their lives. No different than me, you hold those beliefs firm to your heart, deep to your soul and very being of your existence.
Some things, long hidden and self inflicted may be returning to me.
I have come to understand myself greatly in the last twelve months. To the very things that make me ‘tick’ as a human being as I searched my eternal question: What makes us human?
I believe psychopathy is not a lifelong affliction. I am in the most profound of minorities on this, though there are others that share this kernel of thought.
From a medical aspect though, a person can rewire their neurons to the point of no return. Basically saying: you can waste the emotional part of your brain, the Amygdala, over time and with your sheer will power to create Emotional Lerposy. This is close to changing a hardwired circuit pattern on an electrical board: When doing so, some currents change flow in a different direction, causing the original design to fry, become useless and unfixable.
And yes, I think Emotional Leprosy is the best way to describe what those like I did. I kind of like that line/title <Emotional Leprosy> and declare it for my own.
I’ve described on this blog how this occurs in earlier entries, so I won’t ramble on now.
I cannot say I will ever return to being an emotional human being again.
I do know things are ever changing within me.
Yes, once again…
We all have our own paths we must walk. Most of us have no clue as to why we walk them yet stroll across the mine fields >mindfields< with the innocents of a happy-go-lucky Black Labrador Retriever walking toward its master over a field of razorblades.
There is such a huge pain factor in learning when it comes to personal growth.
I will never ask for forgiveness in regards to my thoughts or my actions.
I am what I am: a changing part of this world that gives up on no one.
God knows, when I go to sleep to later awaken, I’m sure my body will hurt somewhat like those the day after a car crash.
The aches will pass as all things do in time…
Mark William Darus 12202012