Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chapter 24: The smell before rain, the blood in my veins.

WARNING: I'm in a semi dark, poetic mood, which normally ends up involving blood and gore, and something you kind of learn about yourself. 

Creative writing, at it's worst. This is going to get weird, people might be a little disgusted by this one. 

It's purely metaphorical, by the way, and it might not make any sense whatsoever.

Princess. Paris. Red Velvet Cupcake. Audi R8. I love you. I'm sorry for all of this. I was the pink frosting.

We lie to ourselves more than we lie to anyone else.

Wal Mart. It's busy, as usual, being mid afternoon on whatever day this is.  You hate going to Wal Mart, or you hate the fact that you have to go there for any reason.  It's a necessary evil.  But, at any rate, you're there.  The parking lot is mostly full, but you pull round front anyway, just at the off chance that a closer spot will pop open.  

You have to stop in front of the door, wait for a lady with too many kids, one of those carts with the toy car cab on the front of it.  Two little boys are pointing their hands at you like pistols and making bang bang noises.  They cross to the other side, and just as you are about to move forward, another group of people crosses from both sides. Annoying.

You would have been inside already, had you just parked on the far side of the lot and started walking. You never learn that lesson. 

You find a spot, get inside. You're looking for a hunting knife, one with a gut hook. Never mind why you need this knife. You probably don't.  It's dark green, powder coated.  Buck, or Remington, or Gerber. Probably five inch blade. 

You're at home now. You have your pretty new knife. You use it for things. You use it for whatever.

Great for cutting meat, but deer hair really dulls a blade fast.  You have to sharpen it several times before finishing an animal. 

You have this bloody knife, sort of dull, in your hand.  You remember what it felt like to stab it into the gut of a deer, recently dispatched. You remember the very pungent odor of the inside of the animal, the smell of the air that is forced out when you cut through the diaphragm. You're up past your elbows inside the animal when  you do this.  

The temperature difference between the sub freezing outside temperature, and the steaming heat inside the deer almost make you feel that your hands are burning.  You can see your breath. 

What would it feel like? You wonder.  To take the knife, and put it into your own stomach. Why would you do that? Why would you even think about that? Do you realize how strange that is, that you're wondering how it would feel to stab yourself in the stomach with a hunting knife? 

You're already wondering. Too late.

Brutal. You stabbed yourself in the stomach.  The pain is unreal. Too real. You get dizzy. It's the most real thing you've ever felt. You're suddenly aware of every part of your body.  

Breathe in, breathe out.  Even that hurts.  Then you tell yourself to just leave it there. It'll be okay. Maybe no one will notice. Maybe it will just go away, just disappear. Maybe this isn't really happening. A glitch in the matrix, or some dumb thing like that. 

 You have to stop lying to yourself, you have to pull it out. You might bleed to death. It might get infected, and you could die that way. 

I really hate to go there, but I'm going there.

Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Everything is supposed to be perfect.  

Everything gets lost.

Jesse figured out how to put it down in words.

If it makes you less sad, I will die by your hand
Hope you find out what you are; already know what I am
And if it makes you less sad, we'll start talking again
You can tell me how vile I already know that I am
I'll grow old, start acting my age
It'll be a brand new day in a life that you hate
A crown of gold, a heart that's harder than stone
And it hurts to hold on, but it's missed when it's gone

If it makes you less sad, I'll move out of this state
You can keep to yourself, I'll keep out of your way
And if it makes you less sad, I'll take your pictures all down
Every picture you paint, I will paint myself out
It's cold as a tomb, and it's dark in your room
When I sneak to your bed to pour salt in your wounds
So call it quits, or get a grip
You say you wanted a solution; you just wanted to be missed

You are calm and reposed
Let your beauty unfold
Pale white, like the skin stretched over your bones
Spring keeps you ever close
You are second-hand smoke
You are so fragile and thin, standing trial for your sins
Holding on to yourself the best you can
You are the smell before rain
You are the blood in my veins

Call me a safe bet, I'm betting I'm not
I'm glad that you can forgive, only hoping as time goes, you can forget

Only, I hope you don't forget. 
I hope you never forget. 

This is my knife. This is my lie. I'm pulling it out, although the infection might kill me, or the loss of blood.  I don't care. I want to live. I'm done hurting, and hurting myself.  

Self deceit
Emotional irresponsibility

I found my knife. I own it. I bought it. I put it there. 
I'll pull it out, and bleed a little, but I'll Live.
And I'll live better than I ever have.

The Oilfield Romantic

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Talcahuano, Bio Bio, Chile.

Geography lesson. And story.

This is my favorite place in the world. Talcahuano, Chile.

Talcahuano is a port city and commune in the Biobío Region of Chile. It is part of theGreater Concepción conurbation. Talcahuano is located in the south of the Central Zone of Chile.

Together with ten other municipalities, it forms part of theConcepción Province, which in turn is one of four provinces that forms the VIII Region of Biobío Region.

The official foundation date of Talcahuano is November 5, 1764 when Antonio Guill y Gonzagadeclared an official port. However, Talcahuano began to appear in history books as early as 1544 when Genoese captain Juan Bautista Pastene discovered the mouth of the Biobío river while exploring the coast in his ships “San Pedro” and “Santiaguillo”. In 1601 Alonso de Ribera built Fort Talcahueno to defend remaining Spanish settlements near Concepción.
The city is named after an Araucanian chief, Talcahueñu, who inhabited the region at the arrival of the Spanish. In Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous Mapuches, Talcahuano means “Thundering Sky”.
The port was well known to American whaleships of the 19th century. They often put in for fresh water, food, and various forms of entertainment for the crews.

Okay, so I was in this area of my mission for only 6 weeks. In that short time, I fell in love with the people, with the city, the landscape, the view of the bay of Talcahuano, everything.

Our little house was on top of one of the big hills, about twenty or thirty flights of stairs up from the the Plaza at the center of town.  We made this climb two or three times every day.

They moved me out of Talcahuano after having been there only one "cambio" or transfer.  They wanted me to be a zone leader in the south, in a town called Canete.  I wasn't super keen on leaving my favorite place in the world...

But, I left anyway. It was where I was called. I wasn't going to refuse the new responsibility. But, I did on occasion, find time to visit Canete as much as possible. 

Once, with my new companion, Elder Gifford (American, from Utah), we had to go to Concepcion for a Zone leader conference.  We decided to leave the night before, and spend the night with the Elders in Talcahuano Centro, where I had previously been.  

There had been some extra mattresses at the house in Talc Centro, so I figured we'd just crash there, and continue to the meeting the next morning.  I visited members that night, ate lots of food, had some good laughs.  Around 10:00 that night, we headed up the huge hill to the house. When we arrived, we discovered that the new guys there had lent the mattresses to some members down the hill, who apparently had some family visiting from Santiago...

So we had to hoof it back down to the centro, get the mattresses, and hike them up the 20 or 30 flights of stairs, at which time was now about...eleven or so at night.  For some reason, that night stuck with me. I'm not sure what it was. But I remember the feel of the cool, humid air, the smell of the green verdant hills, and the lights from the city and the boats in the bay.  Each of us had a mattress on our backs. It would have been a funny sight indeed, two missionaries with white shirts and ties, in the middle of the night, carrying mattresses up all these stairs.  

Almost to the top, I asked Elder Gifford if ever in his life he could have imagined that he'd be in this situation. He laughed, and said, "no way, man."  

I miss it sometimes. I miss the simplicity of the life down there, the warmth and hospitality of the Chilean people.  I miss seeing the dimly lit streets and alleyways in between the hills, and how everything was so green. I miss the feel of the cobblestone streets under my worn out shoes and feet.

That may have been one of the few places in my life, where I felt like I belonged.  That may have been why it was so hard to leave the area, and even more difficult to leave the country.  

I'm hoping the green rolling hills of North Dakota can bring me some feeling of home, and do some justice to the south of Chile.  

Half of my heart will always be there. I hope I never get it back.  

The Oilfield Romantic

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Somebody That I Used to Know - Walk off the Earth (Gotye - Cover)

...It's all for the best? Of course it is.

When I become a star, we'll be livin' so large, I'll do anything for you.


Another guy my age, with my job, work, salary, etc would be out buying toys. I'm talking, new truck, jet ski/boat, new guns, lots of clothes, whatever. I, on the other hand, hate spending money on junk.

I'm thinking more along the lines of assets (like silver, or income properties).  I'm thinking of planning for the future, not just living in the moment and buying fun toys.  Roth IRA's and stock options are more interesting to me than big screen tv's and ATV's.

Am I growing up too fast? Should I be doing a few of the normal things that a normal 23 year old guy does?

Should I continue as I have been? Making wise choices based on future benefit? Or should I live more for the moment?

Just wondering what ya'll think about it.

Of Course it is...

Okay everyone, I've been pretty busy this last week or so. I haven't been able to dedicate much time or thought to writing another post.  My fellow bloggers seem to have fallen into the same hole recently.

I've been contemplating the words of Little Brother as well as those of Big Sister.

We all seem to share so much more than we realize. Sometimes I think that we isolate ourselves, thinking that no one  else can possible understand what I'm going through, or that our situation is unique, has never occurred before.

Well, I've been out in the field since Wednesday or Thursday.  I've been staying out back behind the truck terminal in a trailer park of sorts.  One of my fellow logistics managers has a camper that he lets me use (I don't know why he has it).  I've been crashing there all week.

I wander into the office around 6 in the afternoon, transition with the day dispatcher, then hang out all night at the desk, answering phone calls and sending fuel to different parts of ND and MT.  It can be pretty exciting, when a bunch of people start calling in for thousands of gallons of fuel, and we have to scramble to get trucks and drivers put together.  At the end of the night, when everyone is covered, I get a pretty accomplished feeling.

It's around eleven thirty in the morning at the moment. There's a pretty good rain coming down here in Minot. I'm sure by the end of the week, the whole town will be green and pretty, and the trees will be budding.

I've been awake and running around since about four o'clock yesterday. I left the office this morning at seven thirty, and drove straight to Minot, making it to church just before it started at nine.  It was really nice to be there. What an uplifting place...church.

I've been thinking about the relationships I have with other people, and how I feel about being up here at the end of the world. Whether I'm actually working or not, I feel like I can't get away from the feeling of the workplace.  Maybe I've just made North Dakota in general my place of work.  I feel like I can't relax anywhere here anymore...like I've ruined it...

I think it's time for me to get a massage. That will make it all better.

Life is as awesome or as terrible as we make it 
Attitude is Everything

I learned this from being cold and hungry all the time somewhere in South America.

I'm now going to go out and fix some equipment that is broken down.  

Yeah. Tools. Engines. Oil. Manly stuff. You know. 

Oh, and by the way, I went and saw Titanic 3D the other day.  I didn't get choked up or anything, although I always seem to hope that they'll see the iceberg in time to miss, as if somehow what happened in history might just be able to change itself.  Kind of silly.

Jack Dawson (Leo D) was a pretty awesome character.  He really held his own around the 1st class people, although he himself was from 3rd class.  Pretty impressive thing to do for a spoiled rich girl.  Of course, I would have done the same. 

This is kind of an unsubstantial post, but I'm going to get back into my creative "zone" and this is part of my transition.

Good things are happening. The world is a crazy place, and as beautiful as we want it to be.

Wha wha wha wha what did she say? Mmmm whatcha say,
Mmmm That you only meant well? Well of course you did.

The Oilfield Romantic
and friends.

At least I'm never bored.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chapter 23: Guest Post- Getting to know yourself

Alright, Romantics. 

Today's post is written by code name Big Sister.  No, she's not really my big sister. It just seems that way. :)

This is some really great, honest writing. I'm so thankful she took the time to write it for us!

Here it is:

When Greg asked me to write a guest post for his blog, I was pretty blown away.  What do
write?!  How can I keep up with what he's accomplished here?  Would the other Romantics care
anything for what I wrote?  Or would this be a post they'd skip over, eagerly awaiting Greg's
next chapter?

I figured that if I, a proclaimed Romantic myself, am willing to immerse myself in other
Romantics’ posts, maybe they would be willing to do the same for me.  If nothing else, Greg
sees something in my expressions & words that jive for him.
In getting to know him through his blog, I see a spirit that speaks to mine as well.  I offer thanks
to you, Greg, for this challenge & opportunity.

To be sure, there are many well-trod paths in my mind.  Not sure which one to take but as
things are re-lived in memory we'll see where this yellow brick road leads.

I consider myself a chameleon of sorts.  There's pretty solid mesh of tomboy & girly-girl in me.
My spirit is fiery, my tongue is quick.  And both contrast with my diminutive exterior.
I love sarcastic wit & utilize it as much as possible...but I also understand when I have to press
pause on the "everything I'd really like to say" opportunities & bring it down a notch (or ten).
I used to curse like a sailor, but I've toned that that down impressively.  It's a bit of a nasty habit
& there are so many other ways to be expressive.
I love people-watching.  You can learn so much about others when they don't know you're
I adore having a tear-jerking-I'm-about-to-mess-my-pants laugh just as much as I appreciate the
quiet introspective that lends to self-reflection.
As an avid reader, there are usually three or four very different books in my Kindle carousel.
Movies & music are my close companions, too.
With all these personal nuances roiling around, it makes sense to me that I've spent so much
time wishing for more than the eye can see.  Still though, I recognize my reality.
And where I went wrong.
Or what I learned.
It's all about perspective.

I am a hopeless romantic deep down.  I just knew that there would be moments in my life
straight out of the movies (& books) that I love so much...
A tentative moment when eyes lock across a crowded room.
Worn well-read notes declaring adoration & desire to spend a few sweet moments together.
The lasting interval of space when you're seconds away from a first kiss and you can actually
feel Time stop breathing.

(You know that space?  Take a second.  Revisit it.  Thrilling, right?!)

Unfortunately, my early realities couldn't measure up to those dreams.

Several of Greg's posts whisper to times & places in my life when I've been overcome,
overwhelmed and overthrown by emotions.  The most resonating "life lessons" have stemmed
from relationships gone by, never forgotten, for so many reasons.  As I write these words you're
reading, my face twists and contorts in & out of frowns and scowls, teeth gnashing on my
lower lip, deep reflective breaths thinking of the just-bad-wrong decisions, the knowledge I wish
I had "back then", and the wreckage I led a younger me to experience.

While I may pass over some details for the sake of not writing a book here, please know that
it's in all those little details and fractions of life-changing seconds that my mind wanders so

There are moments when those memories have held me hostage.
Little pools of time in which I have drowned, been resuscitated, and drowned in again.

But what do we learn from our experiences, fellow Romantics?
We learn to move on.  We learn to be stronger.  We learn to live.

In high school, I encountered the "bad boy".  (Ladies, for some reason, you know we love 'em.
Guys, we can't tell you why.  It just happens.)  He was a funny & interesting guy.  A little cagey,
but he seemed like good people overall.  He was all about me and seemed to worship me.  The
more I learned, however, the faster I should have run in the opposite direction.
He was so damaged!  And that only made me want to save him more.  I didn't realize how
damaged he was though, and it hurled me directly into a typhoon of self-doubt, debasement,
emotional atrophy, and violation.

When I started to realize how emotionally battered he was, I wanted to help heal him.
When I finally realized that he was destroying me instead, I wanted to run.
By then, I didn't know how anymore.

Abused physically, mentally, emotionally, I ultimately grew angry with myself for the time I
wasted being put down.
As frustrating as it was, it was also depressing & beyond exhausting.  I started receiving looks of
concern from people around me which made me just want to draw into myself even more due to
the embarrassment that I’d been so stupid & disappointing.
If the show Intervention had been on back then, I'm sure I'd have been on it.  Funny thing was, I
wasn't the one with the drug or deep-seeded psychological issues.  (And trust me, dude was out
of his bean!)  I was just a victim of someone who had them.

Super long story abbreviated, he eventually became incarcerated.
It was the only time in years that I felt like I could breathe again!  I started to become stronger
without my personal jailer.  I made new friends, developed new interests.  Learned he was
wrong for slicing away my life from me.

But I was more wrong for allowing him to.
I made the break & never second guessed it.

Seasons later in college, I got to know a friend of a friend.  We had so many common interests,
we would laugh & joke at the most inane things, and we were always happy when the other was
near.  We even used to answer questions to The Newlywed Game... (We would have totally
rocked that show!).

This time I let myself be stolen away again.  Granted, it wasn't through manipulation & fear, but
through the illusion that I was a part of something important and special.

This one, he was a world apart from the "bad boy".  But he was damaged, too.  Someone had
stolen something from him & never returned it.  And he never realized it was gone.
See, he HAD to know, as absolute as the sun will shine, that everyone thought he was a good
guy.  That he was well liked.  It became so important to him, in fact, that I became less so.

As time passed, he decided to move back home to follow his career dreams, of which I was
totally supportive.
Somewhere in there, without discussing it with me, he decided that I would move as well.

(Say whaaaaat?  Pump the breaks, brah!)

Moving away from my friends, my mom, school...picking up & just going to a place I had no
interest in living...no idea where we were going with our relationship beyond our current dating
status...  It was all a bit too much for me.
When that didn't take as he'd anticipated, he threw mountains of verbiage at me that caused a
good bit of emotional carnage in my heart & spirit.
As is the potential in long-distance relationships, (not all mind you, but in this one), we grew
apart & called it quits because things had become more of an obligation than anything else.  But
I was wrecked.  My best friend was gone & it was painful!

I remember crying as if my heart was clawing a gorge into my chest...that it would hop out, grow
legs & run off, never to be seen again.

Tears, anger, pain needed to have their say.  Resentment also sprouted as I realized that in all
of my support for his dreams, he never considered (or asked!) what mine were.

I later found out that during all that time, he'd been corresponding with an individual I'd tried
to talk to him about previously.  He just had to prove that he was a great friend & a good guy.
She more than believed it.  They ended up dating for a few years after that.

Jackleg move on his part.

But what I came to see was that I had yet again allowed someone to take me away from Me.
I had assimilated.

And for the next bit after that, I didn’t' date much.  A few casual dates, but nothing serious.
For me, the serial monogamist, that was tough!

Fast forward and I'm joining a gym where a friend ended up introducing me to a guy I would
later become engaged to.

Engaged to.
But not marry.

He was a very nice, soft-spoken guy.  Never saw him get riled up.  We talked a lot, about so
many different topics, and really clicked.  One thing that "got me" was when I found that he'd
been raised by family other than his parents (due to his mother's death when he was young).
He expressed gratitude over that & also mentioned that when the time came, if he & his partner
weren't able to have a child, he was absolutely for adoption.  I've always felt strongly about
adoption due to the family connections I have.
From the beginning of that year we'd spent almost every day together & "knew" it was right.
(Interesting how when you "just know" something, you can look back later and think "What in the
___ was I thinking?!!")
After that summer's close, we were looking for an apartment together.  By the end of the year,
we were engaged.

Lots of little things eventually started to rear their ugly heads.  Discussions about family,
spirituality, finances turned into fights & arguments.  I tried hard to make things happy &
peaceful, but my inner voice was screaming at me that we were finally opening up to the place
where our trees grew in separate orchards.
These were big issues!  Not things I take lightly when I'm engaged to marry someone & we
cannot find a place of center.

Let's add this fuel to the fire: once a lucrative off-road truck driver, he had to leave that position
& have back surgery.  Out of work for about a year.  Following that, he went back to school.
Then quit.  Then back.  Then quit.  All the while, he was feeling so badly that we had to live off
my small wages & burn through my savings.  Yet, my credit cards were supportive enough to
handle with negligence surmounting purchases for the most random crap, to which I explained,
pleaded, nagged, could not happen.
I should have stopped it.  I should have taken a stand.  I should have stomped my little foot &
set boundaries.

Shoulda  Woulda  Coulda

Again, skimming details for brevity, I finally had to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Sonofa...this
wasn't supposed to happen to me!
But it did.
After that we were almost like strangers in the same apt.  We could be in the same room & not

speak to one another the entire time.  It was all I could do to maintain until the lease was up so
we could move apart.  I was angry, frustrated, stressed...and resenting the one person I thought
I was going to spend my life with.  All because he, too, was broken.
And I tried to fix it.

(Lesson learned!  Fast forward again, we're now friends & have a good relationship.  He has the
dog.  They need each other so I'm ok with it.  He sends me pics & stories about her.  I can talk
to him without resentment.  I can focus on why I liked him as a person to begin with.)

There were a couple of others mixed in over the years.  You know the ones.  You feel like
you're ignited & buzzing with an electric high that comes from being with someone that you think
must be your personal drug.
Somehow the timing & things just never worked out.  Whatever it was, it wasn’t meant to be.

Full circle...
I was married on 11~11~11!
Now, I know what you're thinking:  "Not another rush job!  Hasn't she learned ANYTHING?!"
No worries.  We met at work.  Spent a few years and learned about each other, became friends,
fell in love.  The synchronous way the Universe works & my life finally fell into step together.

To be sure, the storybook Prince Charming would NEVER be able to handle my boundless
sarcasm like my Prince Charming.  Coincidentally though, he gave me all three of my "movie
moments", plus a few more!
We might create a newer, better Newlywed Game...and it will rule.

He's my rock.  We are pieces of a puzzle and complement one another completely.  I finally met
someone who gets my weirdness.  And I totally get his.
Best of all, I don't need to try to fix anything or be anyone that I'm not.   I can be ME, and I've
started learning more about who that really is!  It feels good to find her again.  Finally, I can
share her with someone that appreciates her.  (BONUS!)

(I'm pretty awesome, BTW.)

If you've lasted & you're still with me, THANK YOU.  I am grateful because this has been
surprisingly healing!

So, all that delved into & here's what I've come up with:
Over the years, I've learned I'm not here to fix anyone or anything.  I'm here to be a witness to
Life & all its turns, detours, dips, and thrills.  What that means & where it takes me, I cannot yet
Which can be so frustrating.
I'm a work in progress, gimme a break.

But, I do know that even though you can be there for someone, you can never live for someone.
I've learned about taking responsibility for yourself and your decisions & actions.  Sometimes
we overlook the most obvious culprit for our trials.
Each of us is on our own journey.  Sometimes you meet someone who travels with you and
sometimes you travel solo.
But you're never truly alone.
Everyone that you've touched & encountered brings a different light to your journey, helps you
see things that you are meant to see, even when there are things you don't want to.

One thing you should always see in the clearest radiance...one thing you should always
understand by opening up to Divine wisdom...one thing you should always strive to know with
absolute grace...is YOU!

The Oilfield Romantic
and friends...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is how we have fun without alcohol.


BTW, this will happen almost every week up here in Minot...so basically, if you don't live here, you'll be missing out on lots of bonfires, bbq's, camp-outs, road trips, criminal activity, days at the lake, and other generalized shenanigans.

Better start driving.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chapter 22:The Path to My Destruction, Part 1 - The Hook.

Perth, Bon Iver.
"Still alive for you, love...."

Okay Romantics, here is a guest post from a very good friend of mine. We’re going to call him Little Brother. I asked him to write something. He and I relate in many funny ways. I’ve known him for years, but never really got to know him. It’s funny how that happens.  Words in italic are just me popping in and adding my two cents to the story. Names and places have been changed.

Be careful if you have a weak stomach. It gets kind of graphic.

The Path to My Destruction, Part 1.

Where to begin?  Hmm… I suppose it really all started when I was only four years old.  My parents were leaving on a business retreat to [exotic destination] and had left my siblings and me in the care of my uncle Scott and Aunt Janet.  So after we had been there for a few days, on Saturday I think it was, Scott decided he wanted to get rid of the big ugly bushes that were out front of his house. Of course, all of us kids thought it was absolutely fascinating watching the way he would wrap the big, thick, heavy chain around the base of the bush and then hook it to the back of their jeep and yank it out!
 Although, my uncle on the other hand did not think it was the brightest idea to have a bunch of little kids just standing around while he was doing this. So he told us we either needed to go somewhere else, or if we wanted to watch, we needed to get inside the jeep. We all piled in. Me and my two cousins, Jay and Jesse, crawled and wormed our way to the very back of the back so we could have the best view. We eventually even made a game out of it, every time Scott would attach the chain and Janet would romp on the gas, we’d duck down behind the window as the bush was torn from the earth! Until just this one time, for some very odd unknown reason, we decided to watch the whole thing and not duck down… mistake.
 I watched as Uncle Scott wrapped the chain around that bush, it was big, probably the biggest.  My gaze followed his hands as they slid that dense metal hook over that one link, and gave the chain a tug. “Alright, Give ‘er some gas!” he hollered.
The engine of the jeep roared to life, climbing quickly in rpm’s. 5 thousand rpm’s… 6 thousand rpm’s, the tires squealed, the engine a loud buzz, the needle inching ever closer to the red.  The chain tightened and moaned against the deep, gripping roots.  My eyes were wide with fascination and my heart beat irregular and fast.
            That is when it all happened.  In a matter of seconds, the chain creaked and moaned once more, almost begging for the tension to be released, then… Snap! The car lurched forward practically giving everyone inside whip lash. Aunt Janet stomped down on the breaks, hard, and brought the vehicle to a stop. However, the chain had far too much momentum built up just to suddenly “stop” too. It needed something to connect with for that to happen, basic laws of motion. Unfortunately, that object was my head.
            The chain whipped back around the bush and came smashing through the back window. Shards of glass flashed and danced through the air, embedding themselves into the flesh of anyone in close proximity. The hook then connected with my head just above the right eye.  My skull was crushed in and immediately started gushing copious amounts of blood. Imagine cracking an egg, if it was filled with blood and brains. (Cringe)
The last I can remember is Scott running to me and covering my crimson and tear streaked face with his gloved hand, and the sound of someone crying out, and screaming, a terrible screaming, as I slowly faded into darkness…
            So, long story short, I went to [a really great hospital] for a very long time. My parents were informed, 3 days later when the coast guard finally found where they were, that there 4 year old son was in critical condition, and that was it.  As you can imagine, they haul ass back from [where they were]. I had a depressed skull fracture, and in the end when it was all finally over and done with, I was just left with two scars, one above my right eye, and the other on the top of my head, going from my ear to the peak of my forehead.  This is because they had to pull the skin down over my eye, drill into my head to release the swelling in my brain, and then pretty much piece my head back together.  I was pretty self conscious of my scar at first, but eventually all the kids at school got used to it, and so did I.
            So now, you are probably wondering how any of what I just told you has to do with “the path to my destruction.” Well, let me tell you.  When I was 13, the government contacted my parents and me and informed us that I was entitled to $56,000.00 due to a lot of different reasons; because of this accident, higher insurance in future, possible brain damage, etc. Anyways, we then went about putting it on a 5 year CD so that I would receive it when I turned the age of 18… big mistake.

Fast Forward…My 18th Birthday.

            On November 27th 2010, I gained access to $72,000.00. Yes, over the last 5 years it increased $16,000.00. I was a king, the world was mine and no one could say any different. $72,000.00 to an 18 year old… might as well be a $1,000,000.00.  It was like monopoly money, I told myself I was going to watch what I spent, that didn’t happen.  It was my senior year; I had easy classes, good grades, was on the soccer team, had a lot of good friends, was with the absolute most beautiful loving girl of my dreams, and had just bought my self a nice brand new truck, lift, tires, rims, system, the works.  Much like Greg, I felt invincible, untouchable, my life was just beginning and the possibilities were endless.               

(Greg here, just shaking my head, thinking “If only I could have stopped this…”)

1 year 4 months and 9 days later, where am I?  I am sitting in a jail cell, writing down these words on the back of my court papers with a pen that I’m not really even allowed to have.  My bail is $3,000.00 and I can’t even pay it, with so many chargers built up, I know I’m going to have to do some time.  So what ever happened in that 1 year and 4 months?  Well let me tell you a story, about a path I took, that was not the right one, it was the path to my destruction.  Then maybe you can learn something from my mistakes.  I know I have learned a lot, and I’ll tell you now it has not been easy. Call it bad luck, bad karma, whatever… I call it bad choices (agreed).I do not regret any of them, but I pray you do not do the same. I hope now, more than anything that I can begin on my journey to redemption.

Greg here again. We’ll be seeing this little story play out in the next few posts. I’m not sure how many there will be, but we’ll see as it goes along. 

When we are young, we feel invincible, and sometimes this feeling of invincibility leads us to make reckless and irresponsible decisions.  We can choose our actions, but we cannot choose the consequences of those actions.  There are choices I’ve made that I’m still paying for, which is something I think all of us can say.

As always, I’ll remind you that we’re all in this together.

“No man is an island”

I’ve got your back, little brother. Let’s kick some ass, pick ourselves up, and all get back on the road we need to be on.

We’ll be posting these ones for a limited time only, so you Romantics need to stay on top of it.  They might be up for a day, or only for a few hours.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Holding Out For A Hero- Watch this video. Don't just skip it for later. Watch it now.

What a great cover of a great song.

I think in a way we're all looking for a hero to save us.

 The OFR

Chapter 21: Walking far from home.

This is the winner of the little writing contest.  She asked to be kept anonymous, and I'll honor that request. Names have been changed.

I appreciate her honesty, which is exactly what I asked for.  I'd love to see more of this in the blogs I read.  I can't speak for everyone else, but it has been so liberating to open myself up and be brutally honest.  

I figure, what do I have to lose, talking about my deepest thoughts, feelings, and fears? I think the only thing I have to lose, is the fear itself. That's something that we could all do well to overcome.  

I'd love to see more of this kind of honesty around here.

Thank you [winner] so much for writing this!  I will be flying to where you live within the next month or two, have a nice dinner, and that massage, as promised. 

Here is the post:

I've been reading Greg's post for a while now. I am one of the 'weird ones' that looks forward to the next post simply because he dares to write things I've often thought about, felt about myself, or even considered. He's posting my deepest thoughts and I think that's precisely why I'm so attached.

 I bawled through the post about 'Sandra and Trevor.' 

I lost someone who was my 'second mom.' Only she was my Aunt Janet. And for some reason, I have been thinking about her a lot lately. She passed away the summer before I turned seven. But I do not have a childhood memory that doesn't have her in it. Me thinking about her is no off the wall thing. It happens frequently. But lately, it has been an every day thing. Multiple times a day. I know she was helping me through some of the hardest few months of my life

My Aunt Janet was the type of woman that after you met her once, you were family. It didn't matter who you were. She took you in, hugged you like she'd known you her entire life, and made sure you knew you were welcome in her home. I remember out in her huge backyard a big white barn where she and my Uncle Scott kept tractors and years of hoarding parts, horse and farm equipment, and any other knick knacks they just couldn't part with. In this barn, in the back room, was a large deep freezer where she kept tons upon tons of popsicles. Not the weird ones that they sell now. The good ones. Banana and root beer ones that you broke in half and ate fifteen of at one time. Yeah, those good ones. It was my favorite part of her house. Even in the dead of winter, with three feet of snow on the ground, she would take me out back to get popsicles. She's the reason I love banana so much. We'd split them. Even if we were going to eat three, we always split them.

My parents worked full time, to support me and my four other siblings, so I didn't see a whole lot of them growing up. Especially in the summer. I spent more time at my Aunt Janet's than I did my own house. She raised me like her own daughter, and I loved her like I love my mother. 

I remember the summer I turned six (odd, because I wasn't really that old, but these memories are still so vibrant, like it was yesterday). I still went to Aunt Janet's, still ate popsicles and ran around chasing assorted animals around her enormous yard, still went sloshing through the creek next to her house and got that glare when I would come inside soaking wet with an angel's grin on my face. That was all still the same, but for some reason, Aunt Janet wasn't. She was tired more, and slept on her chair during the day instead of jumping with me on the tramp, or counting how many times I could outrun the chickens. She only ate a few popsicles with me, and started saying funny things, like 'when I'm gone' and 'you've gotta be strong.' Those were pretty confusing things for six year old me....

Aunt Janet had cancer. On top of that she was diabetic. And on top of that, the crazy old lady smoked cigarettes like they were going extinct. I guess already knew she was dying, so she was going to make sure she went out in style. God only knows why people ever do the crazy things we do.

The last memory I have of her before all of the hospital memories, was that last summer. It was one of Aunt Janet's good days. And I was staying over. It was one of those rare weekends that I had her all to myself, and somehow, even then, I knew she wouldn't be there much longer. So when she asked if I wanted to sleep on the tramp that night, I jumped at the chance. Plus, what six year old doesn't love sleeping on the trampoline in the middle of summer? 

We packed out as many blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows as we could carry, and sank into the middle of the tramp together. We stayed staring at the stars for a few minutes, and then she started talking about those great big balls of fire. Our conversation went something along the lines of this:

"Do you see that star there? The bright one, that looks like it twinkles every few seconds kiddo?" She asked.
"Yeah.... by the moon." I replied
"Well, what do you think makes those stars look so bright? Why do they twinkle? Why do some look brighter to me, with some brighter for you?" She questioned me. Puzzling me more and more by the second. But I knew it was important, so I let her keep talking.
"I think," she continued, "that those ones that twinkle to me are people I love, who I've lost, just telling me it's okay. That they are there, that they love me, and I'm not forgotten. And someday, you'll look up at a star, it will twinkle, and you'll know that I love you, and you'll know that no matter what you are going through, no matter how hard it seems, that it's going to be okay, and that you're not forgotten, because I remember you, I'm there for you still, and I love you so much. Promise me you'll always remember that?"
"I promise. I love you too."

I don't remember what else happened after that. But I remember six year old me having a hard time wrapping my head around just what exactly she was saying. She was always going to be there, and why would anyone ever forget me? What could I be going through that I would forget those who loved me? Why did it feel like everything was happening so quickly? Like she was literally fading before my eyes, and that she slipped through my fingers a little more each day? 

Probably because she was.

She ended up in the hospital not too long after that. Her body wasn't taking too well with the chemo, and her diabetes was making it more and more complicated to be alone when my Uncle was at work. 

We were supposed to go and visit her on Saturday. I would be out of school, Mom and Dad weren't working, and everyone had the time to drive over to the hospital.

But the call came Thursday morning. She had passed the night before. Gone in her sleep, peacefully fading away. Finally not sick from chemo, finally unattached to wires upon tubes that were keeping her frail body still on this side of the veil. She was gone. 

The next few days were a blur. I vaguely remember what happened.... At one point during the funeral hearing someone crying, and not realizing it was me until I reached up to my face and felt the warm hot tears pouring from eyes. They didn't stop after that for what felt like months. Still, writing this post, just her memory, the sweetness of her disposition, thinking of all those banana popsicles, it bring those hot tears boiling over again. I miss her. So much, every day. I love that woman.

So, the next time you are feeling forgotten, or you just need someone to tell you that things really are going to be okay, remember her. I'm sure she would have considered you family, too. Would have loved you. Look up at the stars, find that one that twinkles at you, and know......

You are not forgotten. It is going to be okay. And you are loved. So loved...

Remember this, Romantics. You are not forgotten.
No matter what happens, it's going to be okay.
You are among friends here, and you are loved.

The oilfield Romantic

The many Adventures of the Colorado Cowgirl!: Character... Do you truly know your role?

The many Adventures of the Colorado Cowgirl!: Character... Do you truly know your role?: " Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." Abraham L...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hey new readers!

Just want to send a big thank you to all the readers, and a welcome to all the new people!  Special thanks to our readers in Parker, Colorado and Bridgeville, Pennsylvania.  You are great!

As always, I tell everyone to start from the beginning to get the whole story. Cheers!

The Oilfield Romantic

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Breaking the waves.

You in the dark, You in the pain,
You on the run. 
Living a hell,  Living your ghost,
Living your end.
Never seem to get in the place that I belong.
Don't wanna lose the time, Lose the time to come.

I chose this.
I chose this life.
I chose this path.
I chose to be alone.
I chose to take a risk.
I chose to throw it all away.
I chose not to call back.
I chose to say what I did.
I chose to pick that fight.
I chose not to chase after her.
I chose to walk through that door.

We want so badly to be accepted, to feel like part of something bigger. We all want to be half of something perfect. 

I put my whole heart into everything I do.
I wanted so badly to give my heart to someone, but she wouldn't take it.
I decided to give it to the oilfield, and it took it.

It seems really weird, objectively.  Seeing the lights of drilling rigs in the distance almost brings a tear to my eye.  Watching the silhouette of a pump jack against lights in the fog makes me feel better about life.
I'm so emotionally and personally invested in this, and I don't know why, really.
I don't know why I can care so much about something like this. How can I be so dedicated to it?
It's almost like an extreme patriotism, only instead of being patriotic toward my country, it's toward an industry.

Maybe it's because, it's been good to me.  So far, it's given me back everything I've put into it. It's been fair to me. It hasn't given me more than I have deserved, and it hasn't asked of me more than I could give.

We try. And we try. And we give. And we cry.

Sometimes we have huge holes in our hearts that we try to fill with things. 
Maybe we fill them with clothes, or cars, or phones, or video games.
Maybe we fill the holes with ambition, or work.

Nothing really works.

But we continue, in hopes that somewhere along the road, someone will find us wandering, and that person will just happen to have exactly what it takes to really fill the holes.

There's a girl I'm really proud of. She pushes herself so hard. She wants to be good enough.
She doesn't realize that she's her harshest critic. She doesn't know how much I admire her for her never giving up, never backing down. I think that everything she does is amazing.
She doesn't know how beautiful she is, or the way my heart melts when she looks into my eyes, and nervously bites her lip. 
She doesn't know how my heart breaks when I think of those green eyes crying, or her heart hurting.
She doesn't know how I worry and hope and pray that she'll be okay on the weekends when she's out with her friends.
She doesn't know how hard it is for me to wish every single day, that
 I was just about a eight hundred miles south west of here. 
She doesn't know, because she'll probably never read this.

Sorry everyone, this is kind of a rambling post with no direction. 

I've been awake for most of the last 48 hours.

I've had a lot of time to think, and to rack my brains as to how to fix things. 

I pride myself in fixing things, but I think I'm losing this one.

The tighter I hold on to some things, the faster they slip through my fingers.

But tomorrow is a new day.
I like to think that someone, someday, will feel lucky to have me.
But, I think we all like to think that.

Even if I never find that someone
I'll still have the oilfield.

Gregory George Page II

The winner of the contest will be announced on Friday.

Also, my dad is safely home from Kuwait, as of tonight.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The map of the world.


This weekend was general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. What a wonderful time of the year.  If you don't know what it is, you should check it out at this site!

The conference center is a beautiful and amazing work of modern architecture! 

The LDS Temple in Salt Lake City is a famous landmark for Utah and the LDS Church. It is one of the trademark symbols of our religion!

Yeah. I have a castle. It's awesome.

Happy Conference, everyone!