This is day 6 of the #30daywritingchallenge. The topic is someone who fascinates me, and why.
This is yet another fun topic! As an author, I have permission to be nosy. I eavesdrop on conversations at stores and bars (I’m guilty of tailing people through Target or other stores to continue listening at times). I ask impertinent questions that people actually answer.
It helps that people randomly tell me their life stories, crimes they’ve committed and gotten away with, or current issues they don’t normally talk about at the drop of a hat, and all without being asked. That drives me nuts sometimes. I can be in a hurry but I hate to cut people off.
I confess to not wanting to know about your psychological condition that forces you to pluck your hair out while sitting at the hair dresser, waiting for them to essentially scalp me. I’ll listen, but eventually I’ll feel like I’m being held hostage. I have a super short hair cut, to explain that scalping part.
Anywho, I fall in and out of fascination with people on a regular basis. I recently posted a short profile of an elderly neighbor I met who grows orchids and has lived in this building since construction was finished. He was an architect and, at one point, a silk stocking salesman. His stories were … amazing … and neverending! Our first conversation lasted an hour by the mailboxes.
But my neighbor is not the subject of this profile in fascination. And I’m going to use more than one person because, right now, that’s where my attention lies.
One of the amazing things about the Internet, is that it can connect you with people that have the same interests as you, but live far away.
It’s a difficult profile to write because of certain things you’ll read soon, and this is why I’ll be taking names out of it. I do that in general anyway, using initials and things, but in this instance it’s imperative I keep their privacy.
I recently met a group of people with heroic purpose. I know, I know, it sounds grandiose, but it’s true.
When medical marijuana went legal in the state I used to live in, all of my stoner friends were excited. They got their licenses to grow, mostly because they could essentially deal pot legally now. Some of those friends took it too far and lost their licenses and/or ended up in jail. Idiots.
This group of people are definitely not like that. And maybe, just maybe, in a really unnecessary way, I can turn that above paragraph and what comes below as an example of white privilege. Because trust me, my friends knew people that could use their help with the meds, but they didn’t actually care about that. It wasn’t altruism that lead them to medical marijuana, it was their own self interests.
Roberto was a police officer in Puerto Rico. He was a good officer, and he loves his home country very much. He would love for them to receive statehood and the benefits that implies, but he’s also very proud of how that country does at the Olympics and wants them to be able to keep their identity. It’s a pride thing. I get it.
Roberto was chasing a subject across rooftops. In my head, it’s similar to Assassin’s Creed, and I’m sure it looked nothing like that. There was construction, and Roberto and the suspect both fell. Roberto landed on his back and had rebar stuck through his shoulder, and apparently another bar opened his holster but left his gun accessible. He didn’t know it at the time, but he had completely broken his back.
The suspect also was trapped, though Roberto didn’t know that. He knew he was in a dangerous position, and took his gun out and pistol whipped the suspect to unconsciousness. I am in no position to judge what he did, God knows Roberto was the one in the situation and I can’t say that I would have done any differently. The guy could have had a gun and Roberto was very helpless.
So, he retired from the police force. No options, really, as he was paralyzed for months and when he was finally healthy, he wasn’t physically able to continue being an officer. He had a dead arm/shoulder for two years.
No drugs helped, no surgery helped. Then Roberto figured out medical marijuana. Not only can he now move his dead arm and shoulder, but he’s building things. The man is phenomenal with his hands. He’s completely renovating a room, and has built all of the furniture from recovered goods.
Again, fascinating guy. He married a woman, Julia, from New Jersey. A Puerto Rican from New Jersey. Amazing. Upon conversation, I discover she was one of the popular girls in her high school. She mentioned she felt like Penny from The Big Bang Theory. There may have been bullying, but she didn’t see it or partake. It was interesting to see her draw that parallel.
Julia has severe epilepsy. A few other problems, but it’s rough. Multiple seizures a day, she was on disability with four children. The meds made her sleepy, unable to drive. She, too, discovered medical marijuana. She’s down to maybe one seizure a week and they aren’t bad (there’s going to be more on this shortly). She is opening a shop with Roberto, and she, too, is good with her hands. She’s very crafty. This is a second marriage for both of them, but they interact like they’ve been together for decades.
It took them two years, but they perfected a vape formula for Julia and Roberto’s strain of medical marijuana. Their strain is low in THC, high in the other that helps with the seizures and pain without the high.
It comes in a chamber that can be screwed onto a current vape battery, so it’s very subtle. They’re currently working out the battery issue so they can simply include one with the product.
They’re worried about some of their clients. Some aren’t able to handle the vape, or joints or pipes, so they worked out medical marijuana pills. You heard me. Not legal yet, and I don’t know what kind of process they’ll have to go through to get them approved, but this couple figured out a way.
Some of their clients can’t take pills either. The process they are currently trying to perfect are suppositories. Part of this is for Julia’s problem. If she’s at the end of a seizure, she can’t take a pill and breathing is difficult, so a suppository seemed the natural answer. It sounds like they aren’t far from a solution.
These people adopted me into their life and family immediately. There have been a few times in my life where I felt comfortable walking into a non-family members house and just digging into their fridge or having a plate of food shoved into my hand. Their place will be one of them.
Every time I speak with these people, or other members of their group, I feel loved, warm, and completely welcome. These are siblings I didn’t know I had. Ages don’t matter, life experiences don’t matter, only an entertaining story and a happy laugh. I have those in spades.
I, too, have been suffering from chronic pain. It’s not as severe as some of their clients, but it’s there. I know how hard it is to find relief. To meet people who’s entire existence is about helping people .. well, what’s not to love? And their backstories have me intrigued. I want to know so much more.
Back to Julia briefly. Though she has her seizures pretty well under control, medical marijuana isn’t legal for her. She still continues to see specialists who prescribe assorted drugs.
She started a new prescription for her epilepsy and four days later was having chest pains. She’s been in the hospital for a week. They’ve run the tests they could, but she’s having seizures and issues. When they transported her to a different facility, she flatlined in the ambulance. They don’t know what’s causing it, whether it’s the new meds or something else hiding in her health history.
If Julia could use the medicine she developed illegally, would this have happened? It’s a hard question to answer.
So, there you have it, people, my current fascinating people. They’re going through a hard time and could use any spare prayers you may have lying around. I know they have mine, and all my good karma and thoughts. They deserve it. They deserve that and so much more.