Four years after getting my pilot’s license, somewhere around 1999, my two friends – Bill Stokes, Jeff Kleinman and I had a Cessna 172 booked to fly ourselves to Flagstaff and back for a quick day trip.
I was a fair weather pilot. Bill and Jeff used to joke around with me about that, but I was obscenely anal about checking the aviator weather briefings prior to any cross country (150 miles+) through WXBrief (1800 WXBRIEF), now available here: https://www.1800wxbrief.com/Website/#!/.
On this particular morning, I felt nervous.
Beyond nervous in fact.
And as I checked the flight briefings for this mid summer day, I learned there was a moderate degree of probability of monsoon like conditions forming in the late afternoon in the Phoenix area.
Jeff and Bill – proclaimed “The skies are crystal clear and not a cloud’s in the sky.”
When I was training in 1995, my instructor had me ignore a similar warning, which ended up with my second solo flight landing in a 35 mile per hour cross wind gusting up to 60 miles per hour and having my plane skid off the runway on landing, sideways, taking out a runway light on my exit.
Jeff and Bill called me every name in the book to get me to go with them…
But I wasn’t going to have it. I was often crazy and impetuous with what I did.
By mid afternoon, Pam had called me up, concerned. The winds were kicking up around Phoenix, and there were massive thunderheads surrounding the city as it had started to rain for her in South Phoenix and had already been raining for some time for me in Gilbert.
Pam, Rosalyn, Lisa (my ex), and I decided to meet up together at a pub to wait for Bill And Jeff.
6pm comes by. An hour after we’re expecting them. No word from them.
7pm comes by. No word.
Then, a little after 9pm, Jeff and Bill both saunter in to the pub we were at.
And it was absolutely pouring outside.
As they explained it:
“No sooner did we leave Flagstaff than we saw a huge Thunderhead in front of us. So we changed course, and started towards the Winslow crater, when we realized it was worse there, and by then there was no turning back. We lost sight of everything, with no visibility, and finally we found a road, figured out where we were at by following the road, then we just flew low not far above the I17 until we reached Phoenix where the weather let up a little bit and we could finally see well enough to make it into Chandler where we landed.”
This is where the phrase “Fair Weather Pilot” was invented.
I had chosen to commit to flights when the weather was predictably fair or better and avoided it when it could become insane or crazy.
Unlike these two friends, who chose to be “Fair Weather Friends”
Friends who will gladly jump into insane conditions that may cost them their lives.
But when it comes to actually being there for a friend who may be dealing with conditions they don’t fully understand in the mind…..
All bets are off.
Now here’s the thing.
Being homeless has given me a great deal of time to reflect on my relationships and friendships and how lopsided they all were.
They’d never call me out of the blue. In fact, 90% of the time I would be the one calling, and that’s when the ‘impromptu’ invite to do something might come, but more often than not, it was me doing the invite.
It’s weird. I’d never seen this while they were ‘friends’.
With rare exception, I was the one calling and putting most of the effort into the friendship.
Now here’s the weird fair weather portion of things.
When I went through my depression shortly before joining the Government in 2003, Bill exited stage left as a friend.
Nowhere to be seen. Wouldn’t return my calls.
This intensified the depression. At a time I needed friends the most for moral support, they had exited stage left.
This isn’t that much different than right now. While I’m not depressed, I could certainly enjoy hearing something other than ‘leave me alone’ (Spencer, Jackie), or absolutely nothing as I move forward.
But logically. It makes no sense.
Christina Monde, a long term friend who I’d NEVER hear from except when I would call, refuses to talk until I apologize for threatening suicide.
Can you imagine this?
You go through the most difficult transition period in your life and sincerely are feeling suicidal, and the ONLY response you hear from a long time friend is “apologize because you upset me”.
No, Christina Monde, fuck you and fuck this tenuous thing I thought was a friendship but is clearly a sham.
When I look around at the dust remaining of my life.
For some of these fair weathered friends who stuck around as long as it was easy for them….
I’m not angry. Upset. Or even wanting them to be anything other than what they are and were. Even as ridiculously lopsided as the friendships were, with Christina as an exception, I’d still take most of them back.
For others though. Jackie. Kena. I gave so much more than I received, but that’s ok.
IF you were on a slave market, I’d buy you and add you to my harem as sex slaves, that’s how much I want you in my life.
My mom said this morning “I wish I could understand your mind”
I didn’t tell her this.
But I need you all to stop trying to understand me and be yourselves.
I loved you for who you are and for how I knew you, even if it’s not perfect.
Because I certainly don’t feel like I am
Now Bill. Jeff. For you two only. If you had a room to spare that you wouldn’t mind giving away to a guy who will help you around the house. I’d be delighted to have the offer and to get away from California for a change. I’ll sign up for the welfare, but keep on not working and doing what I am doing here on a daily basis unless THE PERFECT opportunity came along.
And Jackie, Rachel. If you have a place and would like to be in a relationship with me, helping a guy who will help you around the house. I’d be delighted to have the offer and to get away from California for a change. I’ll sign up for the welfare, but keep on not working and doing what I am doing here on a daily basis unless THE PERFECT opportunity came along.
I have died so many times it’s ridiculous and that I have lost count.
It doesn’t matter the religion.
I deserve my slice of heaven and this, to me, is a start – EVEN if it’s contrived.
To me it’s not. It’s just what reality is. The fiction I create in my mind eventually becomes my fact.
You see. it’s my belief each and every one of you was programmed to respond to me in much the same way.
And you’re still doing it.
It’s time to adapt your programming. To become something to me and for me on my terms. For a change.
I’m done with struggling.
And for all of you. No, I ain’t backin down on the funky calling myself Q aka God/Devil bit. It’s fun. Jethro, you of all people taught me to loosen up and have fun. Geek fun may not be quite as cool as sales fun, but it’s still fun, so get over it.
Rachel, Jackie. We got ourselves a journey through space and time to plan. Oh come now, I know you both found me for a reason.
I won’t let you down.