Friday, August 05, 2005

And there’s a 5 o’clock me inside my clothes, thinking that the world looks fine, yeah

Remember that song? “5 O’Clock World” by … the Vogues I think it was.

I am pretty regularly amazed at how quickly and precisely a song can take you back to certain point in your life and you remember them like you were just there.

I heard this song this morning and I immediately thought of T-Bone and the days when we worked for Hellboy and Putz. That was such a stressful job, but we made it lively by spreading our special brand of black hole sunshine amongst ourselves.

T-Bone was something. She used to be a Playboy Bunny someteen years before I met her, and she was still gorgeous. Slightly high-strung and very sharp witted. We didn’t like each other at first, I thought she was kind of bitchy and she thought I was stuck up because I stay pretty quiet when I start a new job till I feel everyone out (not literally) and get an idea of what I can get away with saying. But in about 2 weeks we were best buddies. You know how you have certain friends where you can just look at each other and crack up because you know they’re going to say something smart, or simply because they are getting so bent about something that it amuses you?

We used to love that song. It pretty much caught the whole essence of our time under Hellboy and Putz’s iron fist. Don’t get me wrong, they were kinda closet teddybears (well, Hellboy was anyway – Putz was just a putz) but that job sucked so bad. Monotony at its core definition in an office with no windows. Sucked the life force right out of you. The only thing you could do to maintain the will to live was to smart off.

The Drew Carey Show was pretty new and big at the time and that was when “5 O’Clock World” was the theme song for that show, which is probably why we got hooked on it. Sometimes as emancipation hour drew near, we’d begin letting out the occasional hiccupy “HEY!” like they do in the song. It had an inexplicable power to boost our attitude long enough to get us to the bell without going mad.

JB was in on it too, though not as often since he was stuck in that dinky little office upstairs, far away from us. He was Hellboy’s little brother and got shat on a lot. I remember one time I actually met Drew Carey at a Bob Evans. I got his autograph, and one for T-Bone. JB was really bummed I didn’t get him one, and I felt kinda bad about that. To make up for it, T-Bone and I made him some fortune cookies with a recipe I found somewhere and put a bunch of typical insults we threw around inside. Things like, “Suck poop”, “I know you are but what am I”, and “Your Mom”.

Eventually I landed my job at the GC and T-Bone got a job with the post office. We kept in close touch. A few years ago she started throwing up blood and when she went to the doc they found that her whole stomach was full of tumors. She had to have her entire stomach removed. I went to see her in the hospital and she looked terrible, as you’d imagine. I could tell she was in misery. But she smiled nearly the whole time I was there. She told me I made her day.

Later they found that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and was at stage 3. She went through some chemo which really tore her up. One day she was lamenting about her hair falling out, so I told her I’d bring her a Chia pet and we’d spread the seeds on her head. She cracked up and said "Oh, sweetie, you can always make me laugh.”

That was the last time I ever talked to her. Shortly after she was notified that her cancer was too far advanced for them to help her. She pretty much gave up after that. I tried to call but she refused to talk to or see anyone. That's been several years ago now - I don't even know exactly when she died. Isn't that messed up?

I realize I’ve been dwelling on death lately. I’ll get through it. Meanwhile thanks for listening.

Anyway, I heard that song this morning and it brought back a flood of memories, most of them good. I miss T-Bone a lot, but she’s still with me. Especially when I hear that song.

Holiday – eee- eeeeeeee- ee- ee- ee- ee- yeahhhhh …..

4 comments:

Emily said...

hey big bud.. i haven't talked to you in ages... its a shame.. you need to come visit us or something sometime!! :) love ya

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Cherish those good memories. They will absorb the pain of missing her.

Slap-Happy said...

"How we face death is at least as important as how we face life."

- I forget who.

Memphis Steve said...

That's a really amazing story. I'm sorry it ended for her the way it did. I just had a friend died from brain cancer. But what I associate with him is "Rocky Horror" because that's the last movie we all watched together with him.