Thursday, November 14, 2019

Rich Phil



Over the years I'd see Phil once in a while. He had a particular, twisted sense of humor. I think he thought he was funny anyway. He was not funny at all. Toxic. Caustic. Rude actually.

They had a couple of Toyotas. They were selling their condo in Oak Creek and moving to Florida. He did not want to go at all. He had friends here locally. His five boys were here. But … you know… Happy wife happy life.

I have since been seeing the saying upgraded to 'happy house happy spouse'. It’s a little more inclusive.

A couple of years ago, September 2017, right before Hurricane Irma in Florida, he moved. Right into the path of the hurricane.

Anyway Phil was extra angry about having to move and uproot his life. And in the couple of weeks before he moved I probably saw him four times. And even though he lived a mere 8 to 10 minutes to the south, sometimes when we are loading the shuttle, we have people that are going elsewhere first. He wasn’t happy about it. They had been waiting longer. They are going to work. And so we take people by some sort of calculations.

At least once Phil had to ride downtown on his way home. I looked into the back once at a stoplight and he was sleeping.

It came out over time that he had PTSD. We talked about Guitars for Vets. He’d heard of it. He doesn’t play guitar. I said my understanding was to teach guitar. And to release through music. And he said he plays the drums. Apparently he  has electric digital drum pads and a nearly soundproof room in his house. It’s not enough. Keeps his wife up at night. He can’t sleep. He has PTSD. Nothing at all has helped.

He’s a Vietnam vet. He had seen buddies get blown up. And if that isn’t enough … an extra military agency ordered him to murder a family of Vietnamese people.

Hence his playful sense of humor.

I told him perhaps I would call and when he got settled down there. After the part where he moved into the path of the hurricane I didn’t really want to call. He was angry in the first place and I didn’t need to hear from him all self-righteous about what a big life mistake it was.

Time went by. Apparently, in the meanwhile, one of his sons had a daughter. He comes back into the dealer for an oil change. Grandpa had to come and visit, of course.

He seemed to be smiling a genuine smile. He also look like he had gained 15 to 18 pounds; a little bit in the belly and a little jowl. And I asked him how life was and he said it’s really just fine.

I bet he’s sleeping better, too.

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