Thanksgiving is just around the corner and one of the things we do in my family is hold hands around the dinner table and each say what we’re thankful for. So let’s imagine this is our dinner table, only this time it’s all about me. I’m thankful for lots of things and I might not always say it out loud. So I thought it would be fun to go back in time and thank some of the people I remember throughout my life. Wanna join me? If you don’t give a shit about my life, this could be rather boring. And if you think you know everything about me, maybe you’ll find some new info here in this post. Here are 12 people and things I’m thankful for.
1. I’d like to thank the people at the church in San Diego where we used to go when we didn’t have food. If it weren’t for their donations, I would’ve been a much hungrier child. In the back of the church there was a storage space of some kind. I remember walking there as a kid, with my youngest brother’s dad. We would meet some guy (I can’t remember if he was a priest or a preacher) and he would walk us up and down the aisles giving us whatever we wanted/needed. I think that was pretty cool.
2. I’d like to say thanks to a woman in San Diego, California. When I was probably no older than nine-years-old, I was out playing with my friends. We were hot and thirsty and we wanted to buy a box of popsicles to share, but we had no money. So we stood outside of a supermarket and told people we needed money so we could call our parents from a payphone. One woman asked what we really needed the money for. We told her the truth and she gave us the money anyway. That was pretty cool.
3. I’d like to say thanks to a guy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for not getting mad when I washed his car with steel wool. True story. My brother and I (and one of our friends) went door to door asking people if we could wash their car. We wanted to earn just enough money to go to a movie and buy popcorn. This one guy in our apartment building had a nice car. I don’t remember what kind it was but it was his pride and joy. We really thought we were doing a good job. We scrubbed the shit out of that car. When he saw it, I thought he was going to faint. He was mad but he paid us anyway. That was pretty cool.
4. I’d like to thanks to the old man who chased down some hoodlums when I was eleven years old and got mugged by two teenagers. One of them punched me in the face as I rode by on my bike and when I fell off, the two of them hopped on my bike and took off. A few minutes later, an old man drove up next to me with my bike in his car. He’d seen the whole thing happen, chased them, and recovered my bike when they got scared and ditched it. That was pretty cool.
5. I’d like to thank the woman who took the time to tell me she liked my voice. I was a teenager and working at Kenny Roger’s Roasters. I was serving the woman a chicken dinner of some sort and talking to her, being my usual friendly self. I’ve always been all about customer service. She told me I had a very articulate speaking voice and she wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up on the radio or something like that. I’ve never forgotten it. She was pretty cool.
6. I’d like to thank my 11th grade English teacher for not allowing us to fail our Julius Caesar speech. We had to choose to recite from memory either Brutus’s funeral speech or Mark Antony’s. He made us each get up and do it. If we messed up, he would make us sit down and try again tomorrow. This must have gone on for like two weeks. Most of us, out of fear of having to do it again and again, studied hard and did it either the first or second time, but some just kept it going and going. I remember whenever that teacher would get frustrated, he would lift the lid off the big recycling bin in his class and scream into it, then close the lid and walk back with a smile. He was pretty cool.
7. I’d like to thank the old man I met on a plane. I was on my way to my wedding when I met the guy seated next to me. He had recently lost his wife after a very long marriage. He gave me a piece of advice I’ve tried to follow (but haven’t always succeeded at). He said, “Whatever you do, don’t go to bed angry. Always go for a walk. Walk away, think about the issue, breathe, and come back. Apologize or talk it over, but don’t ever go to bed angry. That’s the key to a successful marriage.” That guy was pretty cool.
8. I’d like to say thank you to the author Patricia Cornwell. She wouldn’t know me or remember me I’m sure, but when I worked as a security guard for a jewelry company, she came in to buy something and one of the salespeople told her I was an author. Back then, I’d barely written anything. I was dabbling mostly in screenplays and had written one YA novel and the beginning of a horror novel. She walked up to me and introduced herself. Then she wrote her agent’s name on a business card and told me to contact her and tell her Patricia Cornwell told me to get in touch with her. I tried but I was nowhere near ready at that point in my life. The stuff I’d written was garbage. The agent gave me the runaround. I tried getting in touch with her a few times after that but she never paid me any mind. However, Patricia Cornwell is pretty fuckin’ cool.
9. I’d like to thank the woman at the grocery store for that time I was with my first daughter and I thought I’d lost her. We were in the diaper aisle and my daughter was just old enough to walk. She was standing right next to me and I think I was trying to find diaper rash ointment or something because I was concentrating on what I was reading. She was right fucking next to me. I could hear her little feet tapping away at my side and the entire aisle was empty other than us. Suddenly, I went to look down at her, and she was gone. It was impossible. She couldn’t have gone anywhere, yet she was gone. I looked all over the store and started telling employees to lock the doors and that my daughter was missing. Finally, a woman who worked there asked if my daughter was the one hiding behind the packs of diapers in the diaper aisle. Sure enough, she’d climbed into the packs of Pampers right behind me and covered herself up. That lady was pretty cool.
10. I’d like to thank the doctor in Ohio who performed my vasectomy. It was such an easy procedure (or at least he made it look that way). I showed up in jogging pants and a T-shirt. I didn’t even have to remove my shoes. He had me drop my pants and lie back on a table. I felt very little pain and he was done in no time. I mean I think I’ve stood in line at the grocery store for longer than it took me to get a fucking vasectomy. That’s impressive.
11. I’d like to thank the nurse who had to shave my ass when I had that lumbar discectomy last year. She was a trooper. I didn’t know I had such a hairy ass until my wife and she were making fun of me as the poor thing had to shave my lower back and upper ass with a razor. That was pretty cool.
12. Of course, I want to thank you guys, the fans. I’ve been writing ever since high school, back when I’d scribble stories into spiral notebooks and pass them around to all the female students. Even back then I thought my YA romance story might help me get laid. Hahaha. Then I moved on to screenplays and tried that for a while. Eventually I made my way back to books, but this is a hard world to break into. It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I really started to feel like an author. I know I’d write even if nobody read my words, but knowing I’ve got loyal and dedicated readers makes this journey so much more rewarding. Thank you for always being there.