Rons Rants

A Blog Is A Self-Inflicted Invasion Of Privacy

Location: Newland, North Carolina, United States

I'm a fifty two year old happily married man who doesn't really like many people which is why I live on the top of a mountain.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Guilt's the beginning of my tale. It's been awhile since I've spun a yarn and to be honest...I can't sit at the keyboard for very long anymore but....I'll eventually tell the tale....I promise.

To the story.....I'll call it 'Guilt'.

I'm sure you will understand the title before this story is done.

I was living in Columbia, South Carolina at the time, actually….it was West Columbia and it was back in the early eighties. For those who don’t know….Columbia, South Carolina is the hottest, most miserable place on the friggin’ planet! I should know, I pretty much grew up there so....I should know.

Hell, I’ve been all around the world and I’ve never been ANYWHERE where the heat and humidity were worse. I’ve been to the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Jamaica; hell…you get the picture. None of those places were the ‘equal’ of Columbia, S.C. in August.

I tell you that to say….

Maybe it was the heat.

I don’t know what the hell caused the event I’m about to tell you about but basically, something just snapped and it happened.

Anyway, here’s what happened.

I was living in a tiny little house in a nice neighborhood near the airport in Columbia. I still can’t believe that I ever got accustomed to 747’s flying 1000 feet from my roof but,it was actually a nice little place to live. Somehow, between the vodka and the occasional joint….the planes really didn’t bug me too much.

Two houses down the street lived an elderly couple. Damn….they probably weren’t much older than I am now! Anyway, they lived in a nice house with a nice lawn and they had a nice Lincoln Town Car in the driveway.

I had lived there for a few months in my rented house before I ever actually met them. With my schedule, they were never awake when I was. I woke up each day about the same time that they were lying down for a nice afternoon nap.

They had a cute little cocker spaniel named “Porter Wagner”…. he was named after Porter Wagner, the country music singer. The old man, Colonel Ernest Ashley (United States Marines… Retired) once told me that the reason they called him “Porter Wagner” was because the little puppy always had his port side wagging.

Go figure.

Anyway….Col. Ernest Ashley and his sweet little wife Amy also had another resident in their home that summer.

His name was Brett.

Brett was their grandson by their deceased daughter Amelia who had died the previous winter in a car accident.

Amelia had been the light of their life and her death had really rocked them. Neighbors who had known them when Amelia was still a small child said that Colonel Ashley and Mrs. Amy had aged twenty years in the few months since Amelia had passed away.

I suppose Amelia had only been gone a few months when I met the old couple down the street and, I wish it had been under more pleasant circumstances.

I had just left my house one evening about seven o’clock with my guitar and gig bag in my hands when I noticed someone lurking around my next door neighbor’s car. I continued toward my car, all the time staring at the ‘lurker’. Something told me that he just didn’t belong in this picture. I knew my neighbors pretty well and I was sure that this figure was NOT one of them.

As I put my guitar and bag in the trunk of my car, I tried to act nonchalant while still keeping an eye on the shady figure.

I got into my car….still watching. It didn’t take me long to realize that the figure I was watching was Col. Ashley’s grandson….Brett.

I watched as he crept up to my neighbor’s house and rose up to look through what I knew to be the Collin’s bathroom window. I had been in their house many times and I knew where the bathroom was located. Hell…..their house was a carbon copy of mine!

A light was on in the bathroom and I could detect shadowy movement from inside.

All of a sudden it hit me.

This little shit was trying to catch a glimpse of my neighbor Layla Collins in the bathroom!

Well…I’d love to say that I was OUTRAGED. I’d love to say that this little bastard was a pervert.

I’d love to go for the moral high ground here but……

Layla Collins was 25 years old, 5’5” and weighed probably 120 lbs soaking wet. She was a natural strawberry blonde with a generous body. When I say ‘generous’, I mean to say that the good Lord was GENEROUS when he made this girl’s body!

Dear God that girl was HOT!

I remember going to a pool party in the neighborhood once where she was wearing an orange string bikini.

Suffice it to say that there were some VERY pissed off wives at that party!

Every man at the party caught pure hell from their wives or girl friends that day because, if you had functioning eyes in your head and you were male….your eyes were on Layla Collins as she confidently strutted around the pool area that day.

Actually….it’s been a LONG time….twenty five years or more and the memory of her in a bikini is really getting to me! Even as I write this......

Did I mention that she was HOT?

Anyway…I watched the kid for a few minutes and decided to confront him.

I got out of my car without closing the door and quietly walked up behind him.

When I was less than ten feet behind him, he heard me approaching.

He turned around quickly.

“I wasn’t doing nothing!” he shouted.

I almost laughed.

“Kid…get out of here.” I told him. “You’re gonna get your ass in trouble if you don’t go home.”

He straightened up and glared at me.

“I said I wasn’t doing anything!”

I looked at him and saw that he was really upset that I had busted him.

“Just go home Brett.” I said. “You don’t want to do this.”

He slouched and began walking toward me. He had adopted a ‘tough guy’ walk as he came towards me.

The kid must have been 5’10” and maybe 170 lbs.

I wasn’t worried about him coming towards me. He had never struck me as being the athletic or violent type.

As he came to within five feet or so of me, he veered off to my left as if to head home to his grandparent’s house.

My eyes didn’t follow him as he passed but, in my peripheral vision….maybe I heard him move differently but, without warning, the little prick attacked me!

Back then, I was (and still am) 6’1” or so and probably 225 (okay...I weigh a bit more now) so…I really didn’t have a clue that this kid would be so bold as to attack me.

Even though I was a musician….I was also a pretty damned good athlete in my day.

Not to mention that, in those days…I was pretty damned cocky!

Well, I wasn’t expecting the little shit to attack me.

To his credit, the shot he hit me with was a good one.

He hit me just beneath and behind my left ear and believe me…..that got my immediate attention.

Now, right here is where I’d love to be able to say that I went all ‘Chuck Norris’ on his young ass but…the truth is that I went down like G.E. stock!

DAMN that punch hurt!

My neck seemed to cramp to the left and my mind went numb.

He had hit a nerve or something because my body simply quit working for a few seconds and…before I finally recovered…

The little bastard was GONE!

Well….much to my embarrassment, all I could do was stagger back to my house, call the club I was suppose to be playing at that night and tell the owner that I was going to be a little bit late.

I finally showed up after a few shots of vodka and some ice on my neck....I think that I was about two hours late. The only permanent effects of the sucker punch were a stiff neck for a couple of days and a severely wounded ego.

Little did I know that this was only the opening salvo in a tragic tale.

To Be Continued……..

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