A Bit of Me and What is Wealth

WARNING: This post contains a graphic description of car crash injuries and stories about puppies. If either subject offends, please turn the volume down. Or something.

Here we go, another lunatic telling people what real wealth is.
Well, in money terms, I’m like most people who live week to week, or fortnight as the case may be. I make sure I eat well nowadays though (apparently I’m getting older and need to have a good diet), and I can afford to buy beer and a smoke. But that’s because I’m paying minimal rent where my gear is stored, and my ‘boss’ (I don’t work for money) is paying the accommodation here at Ayton. Plus he slips me some extra dollars when I need it. It works. We’re doing each other a favour really.

But wealth? Well, it’s 4:30 on a Wednesday arvo, and I’m sitting at Weary Bay beach with my two mates Jack and Floyd. They have food and water, and I have beer. I’m listening to the ‘Juno’ soundtrack that my sweet friend Jasmine left for me to listen to. You *need* to hunt this CD down, it is really good. There is a really nice breeze blowing, the waves are rollling in and I am relaxed. I reckon I’m pretty fucking rich…and lucky. If we hadn’t left Rocky last year, I believe that I would have been one of the thousands of unknowns who commit suicide . I’ve written about this before I think, but if you haven’t read about it, here ya go.
In Rocky I had our family and a few really good friends. That’s what kept me going for years. But I didn’t have ‘me’. I mean, yep, I was there, but my whole being, my soul wasn’t. You see, my soul hung around up here in 1982 and said to me as I left, “I’ll see you when you get back. But don’t be long, we can only survive so long without each other.”
Unfortunately, my family Christmas visit 30 years ago stretched out longer than the two month plan. I first went back to Brisbane, where I found my mum and lil sis in the process of getting ready to move to Blackwater, where dad had got a job as a fitter at Wreckair Hire there.
So I went with them. Life went from eating coconuts and fruit on Cedar Bay beach to drinking at the pub nearly every night. Inevitably, one October night, I was extremely drunk. Like paralytic, except I could drive. But I don’t remember doing it. So, I rolled my 1973 Valiant (Dodge) Charger at about 160km/h, cleared a table drain, got thrown out of the car as it rolled over top of me and my legs ripped the doorskin off and put a V shaped bend in the top of the door frame. The car ended up 100 metres off the road. I was 50 metres away from the car. My friends, who had followed me towards town found me by my groans. They said it took them nearly 20 minutes to find me. When they did, I was on my back. My left foot was touching my left ear & my femur (where it had snapped cleanly) was poking out of my leg. I guess when the car rolled over me, as I was being spout out the side window it tried to snap me in half. My right leg also has some pretty wild scars where it was ripped across the top of the door. The end result was a partially collapsed lung, a ruptured stomach, a ruptured liver, a smashed up face, some other broken bits (ribs, collarbone) and the leg. The leg contracted ‘Golden Staph’,the so called ‘Hospital Bug’. I was in traction with a K-nail inserted through the length of my femur to keep it together. I also ended up having bone grafted from hip to my femur as the Golden Staph caused osteomyelitis, a bone infection that actually rots your bone. It took two years to heal, but healed with what is called a lateral roll. That is, the bottom section of my femur rolled outwards by about 40 degrees or more. This results in a few long term problems. Most noticable is my foot turns outwards at that angle. It also leads to stretched ligaments on the inside of your knee joint. And your boots wear unevenly!
Anyway, a lot happened in the ensuing years. I even got up as far as Cape Trib in ’85, on a holiday with a girlfriend. Then, in ’88 I met a special person in Griffith NSW. I had planned on a 2 week holiday to say hi to my Big Sis. The first night I’m there she introduced me to Therese. Which resulted in a 16 year relationship. We had Lill, my only ‘blood’ child. But Therese also had two of my other children, Bonnie and Kris. They were 3 & 4 when we met. Anyway, we moved to Rockhampton and planned to stay for 3 months and move back up here. But life happens. We didn’t move and eventually Therese and I separated. Then Tina and I fell together, and you know the rest.
And I think my soul is finally looking after this head again. I’m wealthy. But I still can’t wait to see all my family at the end of May 🙂

*10 May 2012 – Thursday arvo 4:30pm*
I’m at the beach again with Jack and Floyd. The Sou’ Easterly trade winds have started. There is a steady 20+ knot breeze blowing. Jack and I have sorted out the Floyd problem. We taught him how to chase his own stick. So now, when I say, “This is Floyds stick”, Jack sits back and enjoys the break. Jack is about Seven years old in human years. About my age in dog years. We’re enjoying our time together too. Sometimes he looks at something I can’t see, then gets whiney and demands a pat. I entertain the thought that Jack can see Her. He really is a mate, for those of you who understand. Floyd is our feisty little understudy. Oh, I don’t throw sticks into the surf here. The shorebreak is short and choppy, stirring the sandy bottom up. You wouldn’t see the shadow of a croc in these conditions. Yes, crocodiles patrol the beachline…in the water. For prey. Like dogs and silly humans.

Yep, so Floyd is a stick fetcher. Next thing he needs to learn is fetching them in ‘safe’ water.
Then, diving for rocks. Oh, and mountain climbing & spelunking (caving), and rock hopping aong the coast. Jack has experienced and done all of the above. There are people who have only experienced a small sample of what Jack has done in his seven years. Let me think.
Jack was born at The Caves, about 30km North of Rockhampton, on Sarahs Birthday (my third eldest daughter). He has lived for at least three months in the following places, sometimes being cared for while we were caught up in other circumstances.
The Caves
Milman (45km N of Rocky)
Ballogie (60km WNW of Kingaroy)
Walker Bay
Jack has been to most places in between as well.
Anyway, I should head home and eat. I bought some nice chunky mince in Ayton this arvo. The plan is maybe a mushroom, egg & straight beef burger with steamed baby peas, broccoli & carrot on the side. Nomm Nomm!

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