Disconcerting Experience

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by PastorJay, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    I stopped in a local bar earlier this afternoon to talk to the manager, who had asked me to come see him a few days ago.

    There was a guy sitting on a bar stool on the dance floor, playing an out of tune acoustic guitar and singing without much gusto.

    I'd been in a blues band with him in the mid-90s. Prior to ending up in a band together, I had sat in with his former band dozens of times. He was never a great guitar player, but had a good voice and great stage presence. This afternoon he looked and sounded awful. In addition to lackluster singing and out of tune guitar, he was really skinny (not in a good way), and kind of hunched over his instrument. And quite honestly frail looking.

    I went up and introduced myself when I got the chance. He didn't have any idea who I was or recognize my name.

    Overall very disturbing.
     
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  2. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    Drugs, alcohol, or mental illness?

    (Not to say they are mutually exclusive.)

    I hate that you had that experience, Pastor Jay.
    It's a kick in the gut, for sure.

    :(
     
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  3. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire

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    Life happens . . .
     
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  4. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    Best construction I could put on it would be age and maybe some health problems. The aging process does not treat us all kindly. Or alcohol. Or who knows what else.

    Whatever, it was bizarre.
     
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  5. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    at least he's still alive
     
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  6. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    one hit of meth will do it
     
  7. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah.
     
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  8. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Not true.
     
  9. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I was visiting a good friend years ago in Oklahoma.

    We were driving around his home town, and at one point we headed to the beer store to pick up supplies.

    Jimmy turned a corner, and uttered, "Oh man."

    There was a ragged-looking fellow shuffling down the street, and he carried himself like a zombie.
    Vacant eyes, stumbling gait, all of it.
    He was gone, daddy.

    Jimmy remarked, "Back in high school, that guy was so popular, and he had it going on. He was a really good guitar player, and he played in a variety of bands. I heard he was up for a music scholarship to a big university."

    We turned into the grocery store parking lot, and sat for a minute.

    "Then, he got into drugs, and he just never went off to school. He stayed right here, for all these years."

    I commented as the fellow ambled by, "Geez, his lower face and nose.... They are shiny gold, and silver even!"
    (I wasn't very street smart, apparently.)

    Jimmy shook his head. "That's spray paint. He huffs it, and gets high off it. But it destroys the brain even worse than everything else he used to abuse."

    I sat there in the truck for a minute, and watched the guy walk on down the road.

    Such a tragedy it was.

    :(
     
  10. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Back in the day, I took lessons from an old (to 16 year old me, at the time) hippie who was a freaking genius, and master of ‘20s and ‘30s blues and jazz. What he didn’t know, and play brilliantly, wasn’t worth knowing. I wish I had learned even 10% of what he taught me. As time went on, he had difficulties, drugs caused problems, and he ended up on the street. Some of his old friends went to where he was staying (next province over, a long way off) and managed to get him home. They found him a place to live, got him a cheap guitar, and taught him what they could of the old stuff he’d forgotten. He was never the same, but he got by. I came across him busking one day (hadn’t seen him in 25 years) and said hello. He smiled and said, “yeah, man, you used to have a Stella, right? And you had your sister’s Alvarez?” Gobsmacked does not even begin to describe me. I tossed five bucks in his case, and did so each time I saw him for the next year or so. Sadly, he was clipped by a car bicycling home from buying food for his cat, and died from a bone infection in the hospital. Long meandering tale, but my point (if I have one) is that there were probably times along his path when someone missed a cue, and could possibly have done something to change the outcome. Or not, but we should watch those we love in case the chance arises.
     
  11. vid1900

    vid1900 Tele-Meister

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    Worms.
     
  12. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    We'd only seen each other a couple times since then. Through the magic of the internet, I was able to figure out that he's been semi-retired from his day job for 5 or 6 years. My guess is he had some health issues that took a toll.

    Sad to see him like that.

    On the other hand, if he had remembered me, he'd probably wonder how I got so fat.
     
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  13. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    As Indiana Jones said "Its not the years, its the mileage."
     
  14. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    ...and substance abuse adds a few hundred thousand miles very quickly.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for the small laugh in a depressing thread...

    Having I suppose reached my highest point in life I now watch others deteriorate toward the end.
    I take great enjoyment from the young and from the healthy interested active struggling happy sad angry confused clear thinking masses too though.
    It just gets hard with all the older parent age peer group passing on and some closer to my age deteriorating early.
    Being in 12 step recovery and having done years of presentations in rehabs where I'd see "old friends" I couldn't recognize, there is more suffering in my life than the average person probably sees.
    A Pastor might see more too.

    Saw a friend a year back who had been dieting and lost a lot of weight, and that scared the hell out of me at first!
    Hard to tell the difference between very thin and very sick sometimes.

    At least this guy still gets up and sings his tune...
     
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  16. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Holic

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    PasterJay

    Pray for all humanity - I've lost a lot of classmates over the years, but I cut ties years ago when the dead tried to pull me down.
     
  17. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    sometimes people get struck by lightning and in a blink... they are gone. for others, it is as though the lightning keeps ahold and both kills them and keeps their bodies moving for what seems like eternity. Whatever agony we feel as witnesses, I can imagine the experience for the person is what hell must be.

    I hope he finds his way out.... and what a terrible thing for you to experience.
     
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  18. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    Very well put getbent.
     
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  19. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Indeed.
     
  20. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    He is still playing and singing which is the first love for many of us.
    I have known people who have faded away slowly due to physical disease, mental disease especially depression and bi-polar problems.
    I've also seen a few with drug and alcohol problems.

    I would advise those who want to jump on the antidrug and alcohol bandwagon to reconsider.

    Until we walk in another persons shoes, we don't know how hard the road they have been traveling was.
    Instead I would just encourage another musician brother to keep the faith and leave it at that. If they approach and ask for advice or help, then one can certainly consider that.
     
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