About BitterPill

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About BitterPill
My first memory is of my fourth birthday. We went out to my new grandparent's house in the country to celebrate, and there was a huge dragonfly infestation. They were everywhere, and I thought it was all for me. My step-father held up his hand with four fingers and said, "You are four."

I went through 2nd-grade three times. First was 2nd-grade in the States where I won the 2nd-grade spelling bee, possibly my life's apogee. Then that summer I was in England when my mom fell ill, had a retina detach, so she stayed in the UK with me - she's still a British Subject, and I was enrolled in 3rd-grade but couldn't keep-up, so I was quickly relegated to 2nd-grade. Next year I was back in the States when my parents decided to send me to school across the border in Mexico, so I was put into a class with kids my own age which was, of course, 2nd-grade.

When I was eight, almost nine, my mom attended a six-week Spanish immersion program in Guadalajara for the summer. For weeks the only words I saw spelled in English were on a Burger King sign seen from a bus to and from the Institute. One day, while we were out and about in the city, we passed a newsstand where I happened to notice a copy of Creepy in English with what looked like a zombie on the cover and promised 'Tales Guaranteed to Give You Nightmares!' I was so starved of reading something in English that I begged Mom for half a block before she went back and bought it for me. I had nightmares for years.

While I was ten and still going to school in Mexicali, I started a small-time international smuggling ring: Roman candles, M-80's, bottle rockets, bricks of lady-fingers and so on. It kept me supplied with candy bars and Cokes for as long as it lasted, and I was finally popular even though I went to school in Mexico, at least in my neighborhood. Everyone was loaded for moose. One night, it must have been sometime in '72, we're all eating dinner at the table when another string of lady-fingers gets lit down the street, and my step-father goes off, "Jesus... all of a sudden it's like 'Nam out there!" Of course I take a certain satisfaction from it, and I want to tell him that it's all thanks to me, but I keep it to myself.

As some may know, had a stroke in my early forties. It was minor, supposedly, yet it destroyed my world. To start with, I couldn't read or write for quite some time, and so I lie in bed for weeks, for months. My job, a job I'd worked toward my whole life, was gone. I couldn't even drive a car on account of the seizures - they took my license.

Before I made good money and had a nice nest-egg, so one day the light came on. I cashed in my 401k and decided to invest in a new cliche, bought an old Volkswagen van, a surfboard though I'd never surfed, headed for Baja where a license is the least of worries, and grabbed my cat, Max, who promptly ran-off down around San Carlos when some coyotes showed-up - spent two days looking for him.

So alone I continued surfing south down Baja, getting better as I went, and my reading came back, slowly. I chose a tough book, trying to read by candlelight or when the surf was bad, remembering the first time I could finally read a whole sentence again, that's when I knew, and within a week a whole paragraph, it was working, then a whole page, and then a section and so on, yet they were victories large or small I shared only with myself.

Finally made it to Cabo, took me three months, good surfing, when I'm at a taco stand with my almost-finished book and she says, "You look like Eric Clapton."

I turn and see it's Sheryl, or maybe it is, "Except I don't play guitar."

"That's refreshing. What are you reading?"

"Human, All Too Human," and show her the book as proof.

So we went to a few clubs that evening in Cabo, and the next morning I wake-up in bed, hungover, of course, in her condo. The shower is on, and after the fog clears some I can't help thinking, "To be sure, the acting man is caught in his illusion of volition...." I can't be hooking-up with Sheryl Crow. This is ridiculous.

I leave, and I'm glad to see my van outside, surfboard still inside. I don't even remember driving it there, and so I'm off with no goodbye....
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I prefer similes to smilies.


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2 years 2 years Name: 2 years
This person has stuck around here 2 years or more
Issue time: 05-16-18, 02:34 AM
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Issue time: 10-11-17, 02:30 AM
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