Herbie Schultz experienced what could best be described as a long night of the soul. He was only able to sleep for a couple of hours and woke up in an agitated state. He arose from his well used mattress and began pacing around his small bedroom. Herbie had adorned his bedroom wall posters with his favourite rock bands like Metallica and Megadeth. He would have liked to have had a high school diploma hung on his wall instead. Herbie dropped out of high school halfway through grade ten. Herbie had just turned thirty-three and was starting to assess his progress, or lack of it, in life.
Herbie’s personal assessment did not paint a very, pretty picture and this was what was causing Herbie so much angst that he was unable to return to sleep.
Both of Herbie’s biological parents had passed away when a bridge had collapsed while they were driving over it. Herbie was only five years old when this happened. The next several years found Herbie living in a series of foster or group homes. As a result, Herbie was unable to grow up with any sense of consistency or safety. For him, the world was a very, dangerous place to be.
When Herbie was ten years old, he was very happy to find a foster care couple who wanted Herbie to live with them in a suburban area of Winnipeg. During the next five years Herbie had enjoyed the happiest days of his life. Both his foster parents Bill and Wendy Patterson were wonderful people and Herbie quickly became emotionally attached to both of them.
Herbie grew especially attached to Bill. Bill Patterson became the father that Herbie never really had. Bill had been retired for two years now and had run a group home for troubled youth for most of his working career. He was now very much enjoying his early years of retirement. Mr. Patterson was sixty-two years old and was still active and healthy for a man of his age. His latest physicals performed at his doctor’s office were mostly positive. Bill’s physician, Dr. Harrison, happily informed Bill that he was a healthy man for his age and could be expected to live a long life. Dr. Harrison had only one concern, morbid obesity. His patient was 6’3” tall and hit the scales at close to three hundred pounds. Bill stuck with a solid and regular exercise routine rarely missing a workout, but his physical workout routines could not make up for his terrible eating habits. He loved his pizzas, burgers, potato chips and other assorted goodies that contain too many calories, sugar and starch.
So far, his heavyset build had not caused Bill any discernible health problems as he was still a very physically active sixty-year-old man. He occasionally felt some arthritic pain in his knees, but this only occurred when Bill was overdoing his exercise routines.
Episode 50 of Street Dreams a Bloody Mess by Ken David Stewart
Episode 50 of Street Dreams
Eileen Drexler’s heart was filled with anxiety. She could feel her blood pressure rising as waves of pain kept assaulting her skull. She was trying to remember what happened and what her part was in this bloody mess.
Had she killed her boyfriend Stan Kowalski when they were embroiled in a fierce physical struggle? If so, that she must’ve struck him with the hammer in self defence. She kept on applying CPR while these thoughts rushed through her head. Where was her daughter, Pixie? Aileen called out for Pixie, but did not receive a response. Was it possible Pixie had assaulted Stan? She and Stan certainly did not get along and there was no love lost between them. Stan Kowalski did his best to tolerate Aileen’s teenage daughter, but found that he wasn’t able to relate to her on any level.
Whenever Stan would attempt to reprimand or discipline Pixie in any way, she would tersely remind him that he was not her father.
Stan Kowalski presented with an impressive physique. He was 5’11” tall and weighed 220 pounds. Stan had been steadily and rapidly losing his hair. so he now just shaved his head. He sported a black moustache, a goatee and an earring in his left ear lobe. His biceps bulged out of the tight black T-shirts that he liked to wear.
Stan was never an academic and dropped out of school, half way through grade ten. His lack of a secondary education caused Stan much consternation and embarrassment. Stan compensated for his lack of scholastic credentials by taking good care of his body. He worked hard at any construction jobs that came his way. When he was between assignments in the construction industry, Stan would pick up handyman jobs from clients who paid him under the table. When one totalled up the under the table cash payments that Stan received from his customers, he made a satisfactory income. Stan was also naturally gifted when it came to electronics. He possessed a natural gift for repairing and refurbishing old computers. This skill became a third source of revenue for Stan Kowalski.
A secondary benefit to many of his jobs was physical in nature. They heavy lifting required on his construction projects produced well-developed muscles throughout Stan’s body. Although this type of work yielded a great deal of muscle mass to his physique, Stan desired more muscular definition. In order to produce a ripped, cut up body, Stan had developed a workout regimen that was designed to produce muscular definition. This physical training routine could be practised in the rec room of Aileen Drexler’s home. Stan would often admire his impressive physique when he looked in the mirror and could probably say that he now had developed a body very similar to his namesake, Stanley Kowalski, played by Marlon Brando in the famous play A Streetcar Named Desire.
I Believe Mango Pepsi exists or maybe I’m just delusional
Metal health and Mango Pepsi..only in a perfect world!
Joel Jenkins was not having a very good day. The morning started off badly when Joel first opened his eyes. The first thing that he saw was that his alarm clock radio read 7:50 AM. Joel was supposed to start his new job at 7:00 AM. Arriving late on his first day on the job was not going to make a good impression on Joel’s new employer. Joel was very fortunate to have been hired for this job. Ian, his sponsor in NA got him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Sam Bradley was also being sponsored by Ian. This was not an opportunity the Joel didn’t wanted to lose.
Joel was given the alarm clock by Ian as a gift when his sponsor informed him that he was able to get him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Joel thought that he had set the alarm clock correctly the night before. Obviously, he had not. The alarm clock was a newer, state-of-the-art timekeeper that included all the latest bells and whistles. He could even set it to wake him up to the sound of his favourite CD. The problem was that Joel had a difficult time with modern technology, mostly because he didn’t own any modern technology. At present, Joel didn’t even own a PC, a laptop, a cell phone or even a tablet. For the last three years Joel had spent all his money on drugs. He’d been clean for almost six months but couldn’t apply for work until he had completed both his detox and rehabilitation programs. He was fired from his last job when his substance abuse severely affected his job performance and on numerous occasions his ability to show up for work at all.
Joel had to come up with a damage control plan fast. Ian had given Joel, Sam’s cell phone number. Joel called Sam right away to let him know what was up. He let Sam know that he was going to be late and was calling a taxi to take him to work. Sam told Joel that he was presently driving a truck in downtown Manhattan and due to the heavy traffic would probably be stuck in that location for likely up to half an hour. Sam told Joel to have the cab drop him off near the First National Bank.
Sam Bradley was a bit of an entrepreneur. He got into the salvage business after his brother-in-law agreed to let him have his old Ford pickup truck if Sam agreed to pay him $200 as soon as he made some money in his new enterprise.
Sam had a very checkered job history with a backlog of bad references from past employers. This being the case, Sam felt he had no choice but to become self-employed entrepreneur.
Sam Bradley was a very creative man. He was an artist with a broad range of interests. He loved the arts and had taken a stab at most forms of artistic expression including outdoor photography, sculpture and pottery. He found out that he was not particularly talented in all his artistic pursuits, but Sam had the attitude the one didn’t know if they had an aptitude for something unless they had given it an honest concerted effort.
Through his efforts Sam discovered that he was more than skillful in the areas of writing and music. He became skilled enough on guitar to play in a local band called Rocky Raccoon. That’s where his problem with addictions began.
Sam had been burning the candle at both ends. His ambition to write novels was almost equal to his desire to become a great lead guitarist. To date, he had self published two science fiction novels. He used the Amazon platform to sell his books and was enjoying moderately good sales. Unfortunately, he required other sources of revenue to pay his bills. He acquired a part-time job teaching creative writing one night a week at a local community college. The rest of his income came from his cut of his band’s performances at various bars in Manhattan. With these three streams of income, Sam could usually just squeak by paying his monthly bills.
Sam Bradley lived in a small bachelor’s apartment in East Manhattan. He had been fortunate to find an apartment complex that had rent control. Even with this advantage, Sam was often hard-pressed to stay afloat financially and because of this, he was almost constantly stressed out.
Sam worked hard at all his endeavours. He was not a naturally gifted musician, so he practised his guitar playing daily for at least two hours. He applied an equal amount of dedication to his writing and did an admirable amount of preparation for his creative writing classes.
To add to his issues with stress and anxiety, Sam was becoming chronically fatigued. One night during one of the Raccoons’ breaks, Sam told his bass player Glenn Williams about his exhaustion. Glenn was very willing to help as they were also close friends. Glenn offered Sam a couple of little white pills. Sam asked what they are and Glenn informed him that they were Dexedrine tablets.
Glenn Williams also had to work hard as he had to pay his ex-wife a hefty amount of alimony and child support. He had to hold down a full-time job is IT technician. The small amount of money he made as the bass player for the Raccoons allowed him a little bit of spending money for himself.
Two months ago, Glenn went to see his family doctor and complained about excessive daytime sleepiness. His doctor recommended that Glenn try taking Dexedrine to see if that would help boost his energy levels. It worked like a charm and within a couple of days Glenn was totally dependent on stimulants to get him through his long days and evenings.
The Rocky Raccoons basically played classic rock and as they worked hard as a unit over the last few years, they had become a very good band. The Raccoons were well known in the bars of East Manhattan. They knew their audiences well and what music they wanted to hear.
What was popular varied somewhat depending upon which bar they were working, but they had built up a standard set of universal favourites. The Rocky Raccoons found they could never go wrong with songs like You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. Other sure crowd pleasers included songs such as American Woman by the Guess Who and Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive. They learned these two songs from their rhythm guitar player, Kevin Watts who was a transplanted Canadian born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Sam and Kevin would sit down and write some original material whenever they got the chance and sometimes the band performed a couple of the original compositions during their performances.
The Rocky Raccoons were so popular that they had a group of fans who followed the band from bar to bar across East Manhattan. The Raccoons’ followers where nowhere near the size of the Grateful Dead’s famous Deadheads, but for a local band they had an impressive number of followers, both male and female. A couple of their female fans were groupies. The Raccoons’ groupies besides providing the band with the obvious favours and benefits were valuable for another reason. Two of their groupies also serviced the famous bands when they played concerts in New York.
Alicia and Trixie would always put in a plug for the Rocky Raccoons when they talked to the famous musicians and bands. They would also speak with the band’s managers and promoters and encourage them to book the Raccoons as an opening act on the band’s concert tours.
Occasionally, a well-known manager or promoter would drop by a local New York bar to see if the Rocky Raccoons were as good as Alicia and Trixie made
When Herby Schultz awoke on the morning after the jukebox party at Harold Peyton’s house, he felt an emotion that he had rarely experienced in his life. It was somewhat like joy or even euphoria. Being an analytical person, Herby was grateful for this positive feeling, but was also worried and confused. The more that Herby sat up on his bed and thought about it, the more Herby became concerned that he was feeling a sense of hope.
Herby could hardly think of a time in his life when he was where a feeling even slightly optimistic about his future. For so much of his life, Herby Schultz felt only an enormous, overpowering sense of heaviness as if he was carrying a thousand pounds of concrete around with him.
He felt lighter today. Some of that heaviness started to lift. Herby concluded that his new state of mind was largely due to last evening’s visit at Harold Peyton’s house. There were such a sense of peace in Harold’s home and Herby marvelled at the apparent ease with which Harold had turned a potentially situation filled with negativity and even ugliness into a time of calmness and joy.
Herby did not have any close friends other than Tony Barrows and he certainly did not have a father figure in his life. There’s just something about the charismatic personality of Harold Peyton.
Herby had learned to be very sceptical of adults, but there was something genuine about Harold. Due to his low self-esteem, he had a difficult time imagining why any adult would accept him at face value and even take a sincere interest in him.
Harold had displayed a very sincere form of interest in listening to Herby. Harold was not just not being polite, he was truly interested in what Herby had to say at the party last night.
If one looked at Herby’s time spent with Harold, superficially, one could reasonably ask what was so special about the jukebox party. Harold and his very young guests had simply had fun playing a game and later listen to each other’s share their stories.
Herby became accepting of the fact that whenever he went somewhere with Tony there would certainly be alcohol and drugs involved. Perhaps, some illicit sexual activity and an almost inevitable physical fight would be on the agenda of the evening’s activities. There’d been none of that at Mr. Peyton’s house yesterday evening. Herby thought this was the only time in his life that he’d experience what was known as good clean fun. Like a very addictive drug, Herby now craved more of this positive experience. Did he dare phone Harold to see if they could get together for a one on one conversation? Herby did not want to impose on Mr. Peyton today. He would wait another day to see if he could get the courage to call this elderly charismatic man.