A Summer Vacation (part two)

Being high all the time while recovering from a rotten leg issue taught me a lot of things. For one thing, it taught me that daytime cable is so much more amusing when you’re laughing your ass off. (Destination America by the way, is the best channel ever for this. I became addicted to it in the hospital, although it’s better on morphine…in spite of this, I’m glad I don’t take that anymore because I was becoming more optimistic, and who wants that?)

So much more plausible with Oxycodone!

The other thing I discovered was that I cannot write impaired at all. I couldn’t even write a shopping list of shit I needed and I had all day to write it. I’d write “Mac and Cheese” and then watch a bad, hilarious house haunting reenactment.

Me, except sitting down and food all over my shirt

I tried so hard too, but it would all come out as incoherent babble. (You can find them on the FB Author page. They are very easy to spot.)

As the weeks dragged by, I relied on the oxycodone less and less and my leg got better and better. It took forever. I missed most of my youngest daughter’s softball season and loads of other things while I recovered.

Things were looking up!

Then, my father died.

Now, for a lot of you, this would be a devastating life event; something that would bring upon you profound sadness and grief. A sadness that would cause you to reflect your time with your father. Relive the moments of tossing the football around, or going fishing or pretty much everything you remember about your dear old dad.

I envy that, in all sincerity.

I won’t launch into a tirade that seems to always hit that side of the family hard and causes them to do things like open their pie holes…safe to say though, that the old man wasn’t really a very good human being to his kids, or his wife. I’m sure that there are people who thought he was awesome and to those I say “Good for you.” I wish I’d known that guy.

Anyway, the shitstorm that followed (some of which I’m still contending with to this very day) was an emotional roller-coaster that went from me being sullen and angry, to sullen and furious.

But, in the middle of all this, I went to my favorite place on earth with my wife and daughters.

The New Jersey Shore.

Something very spectacular happened that I couldn’t have predicted even on my very best day.

I have PTSD which means, I get flashbacks here and there. (Which is sort of like being kicked in the balls…one never expects those either.) While I was down the shore, I began to have flashbacks.

Now, I need to explain a thing or two right here.

The flashbacks I’m used to having are usually horrible incidents of my childhood. These happen a lot less these days, but twenty years ago, it would happen during the least popular times. (My favorite one occurred during a date. There was no second date.)

The most recent one happened while watching “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” which is in fact, a really good movie.

Except, of course if you have flashbacks about your own abusive childhood. On the up side, it became easier to explain to people who have seen the movie how they occur-at least for me. The downside, of course, is I had them all throughout the fucking movie.

I digress.

The flashbacks I had in New Jersey weren’t even a little bit bad.

They were awesome as hell.

I remembered being at the shore as a kid, swimming in the ocean, getting salt water slammed up my nose when I wasn’t paying attention and a wave would hit me in the face. Believe it or not, that was a happy thing to remember. I remembered the best parts of my my childhood that I hadn’t remembered since forever.

In a summer that was filled with awful, this seemed to be the thing I needed.

Which brings me here. In a better place all around. Motivated, working hard, writing, being alive instead of doped up and trying to watch enough TV to justify being awake.

I know it sounded like one shitty ass summer, but I discovered a lot of good things through the badness.

Sometimes, that’s enough.

Sometimes, that’s all you get, but sometimes, that’s all you need.

Nelson W Pyles 2015 ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Summer Vacation (Part One)

NOT a really cool hotel…

Now that we’re into October, I’d like to tell you how I spent my summer vacation!

Or rather, what I wanted to do during my summer vacation…what I did was nowhere near what I had intended.

The big plan was to kick out the sequel to DEMONS DOLLS AND MILKSHAKES by August, start work on the next book and finish up the collection of short work (now available) called EVERYTHING HERE IS A NIGHTMARE. In addition to that, the huge audio project I had been working on for Bret Bouriseau’s THE PRINCE OF KNCOKNAFAY needed some patch work and voice changes. In fact, the day I was talking to Bret was the last day of the summer I truly had.

The little cut on my foot that had seemingly stuck around since the World Horror Convention back in May had finally it seemed to heal. My friend Dave had flown back to the UK after a cool two-week visit, and I was ready to start work that had been delayed. I talked to Bret on the phone, took some editing notes and two hours later, I was in my room, hallucinating like a madman with a very high fever.

I couldn’t get up. My leg was in agony and I was delirious. Finally, I went to the emergency room. During the languishing period, I was given a room and hooked up to everything you can think of-literally.

It would be two days before they told me what I had and how close I’d actually come to goddamn dying.

“Well, you have cellulitis,” the rather calm doctor from another country with a familiar voice said. “That cut on your foot caused an infection under your skin. This is why your leg is swollen and inflamed.”  (“Inflamed” is a nice word. The words I used more than once were “fucking excruciating” and I have a pretty decent vocabulary.)

NOT cellulitis…

“You’re lucky you came in when you did. We caught this nearly in time…”

Um…Nearly in time?

“To start the antibiotics.”

“Oh, the ones that made me feel worse?” Seriously. The antibiotics made me even more miserable that when I had been admitted.

“Well, you very nearly died, Mr. Pyles.”

This guy started to sound a whole lot like Tom Hardy in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

My Doctor

 

“Come again?”

“You were about to succumb to the infection. Your heart rate was very elevated. Part of why you’re in such severe pain…and will be for some time.”

What the actual fuck!?!

Pain for some time??

But then, I thought about it. They would give me pain meds. They’d have to at this point. By day two, I was on morphine every two hours for pain (which barely touched it, but was kind of enjoyable…more on that in a few)

I was in the hospital for five days and was told that the key to my recovery was staying off of my leg. Period.

Almost instantly, I saw this as THE opportunity to write like a maniac. It was “Misery” without Annie Wilkes! It was oxycodone, a laptop and endless days of writing!!  Huzzah!

Whole lotta nope!

After the first week, I realized the problem with this genius plan.

I don’t do well being high.

I can’t work at all on pain meds.  Like, at all!  Nothing.

I sat with my laptop open to a blank word screen for five days before I figured this out and I goddamn tried!  Everything just goes away. It’s not writer’s block-I don’t believe in that at all. But, for all the people I know who get fired up and high/drunk or whatever, that doesn’t work for me.

Personally, I was looking forward to it a little bit as it would be a nice distraction from the constant pain I was in all the time. I wanted to see what kind of crazy shit I’d come up with in this state. I don’t get high, so this was an opportunity to try something new in a controlled environment.

This, but lazier.

To be continued….