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Friday, December 9, 2011

Injured at Work

If there is one thing that strikes me about these letters it is the warmth with which I wrote them. That’s the funny thing is that the best part of this eighteen year friendship was when he was the furthest away from my company.

What does it say about a person when their absents is more pleasing than their presents? What does it say about the folks who feel that way?

21st July, 2007

Dear (soldier deployed in Iraq),

The most interesting thing that happened to me this week is I had an accident at work. It was funny, no pain, just and odd tingling sensation. I was setting a “breaker bar” on a spin lock seal when the seal broke prematurely and the bar came down and hit me in the head. 

At first I thought that I was okay, and then I started to bleed. I was cutting seals and washing blood from my head when I thought, “okay, this bleeding isn’t going to stop so what do I do?” Get my shirt off and use it for a bandage. That was when I heard honking, and a driver was holding out a role of paper towels. Nice to know that some people still give a shit.

I could hear the driver telling the other guards “the guard back there is bleeding,” and one other driver got out of her truck to come and see. The other guards just kept saying “you’re going to need stitches; you’re going to need stitches.”

“Oh, how bad can it really be?” I said and went to go look at it in the mirror. The wound was less than an inch, no exposed bone, no pealed back skin. Just a deep cut but nothing to worry about.

After all that fuss they didn’t even let me go home early. I worked for more than six hours with the wound open so if I had needed stitches I would have been screwed. You can’t stitch a wound that has been open too long or you seal in infection.  

When I got home I could see that blood had soaked through my shirt, into my under shirt, and left a red stain on my chest.

I’ll have a new scar now, but other than that no ill on me. I was lucky; about a year ago another guard had his head knocked in the same way. He lived but needed surgery and the company didn’t give him a dime for it. All it did was leave me bleeding from the head.    

In other news I’m sending you another play “the Applicant”. You will note now that I have the title on the header so you can tell what play it is, and the page numbers are there for you. It being a true story I may have to lengthen it before I send you the end so the number of pages may change.

The problem with the true stories is that sometimes you remember stuff later that needs to be there to make it all work. The problem with fiction is that you must establish plausibility. I have one part of the story where what really happened is that the man started talking about the cold war then started farting and farting and farting until the interview was over. I couldn’t find a way to put that in and I think it may be too much for this one play.

I don’t know, old friend, again the silly squabbles of my life pale by comparison to what is happening in yours. Then the truth is that you have an end in sight. A defined end with a sure promise of the reward you seek. I wonder if I need too much to make me happy or if what the executor of this estate said is true that I’m just an unhappy person. It may even be possible that the problems of my life are necessary for my creative mind to work.

I hope not. If that were the truth I’d compensate by having thirty to forty hour movie marathons were I drink monster and watch crappie movies until I get a good story idea.

My major project for the summer is still “A Mind Bending,” but I’m having problems with the script. I have a total of twenty one pages and only ten in the story line before I start skipping around. That’s one of the things that had really helped me in the past is writing parts that happen later in the story and then connecting the scenes.

Writing for me, (soldier), is like digging a trench. You know where it is going to start and were it is going to end, but you can’t get every one of the diggers digging at the same place or they just get in each other’s way.           

One of the best parts in this play so far is when David, the main character starts to hear voices. The three voices are Rage, Fear, and Control, three parts of him that have broken off to become their own personalities. They then explain to him what they think he should do to end his problems, but their advice is incomprehensible to him. They give him an analogy of his life and provide the audience with greater understanding of the character. 

For that scene I will need to add production notes to simulate the reality of this event and what we know about its real happenings. This is one of the reasons I’m hoping to take more psychology classes. I don’t intend to change my major but if the events of this semester are as bad as that of last I will. 

Were it not for the fact that I can’t stand being a security guard any more I would have considered a double major, but that is water under the bridge at this point. My total tuition payment for this semester was 1,800 dollars. I have the money, that’s no big deal, but it is still clear to me that I would have never been able to go to the (the state college) working for (my first employer). I really should have changed companies and hoped, but I think I have a problem with taking abuse. I keep doing it and not walking away when the walking is good.

To life, love, and the new dawn,

Richard Leland Neal