Ever been to Ogallala, Nebraska? Well, neither had I before I so stupidly answered my phone last Wednesday afternoon. My boss called me about 3:00 last Wednesday and said I need to be in Ogallala by 3:00 Thursday morning and be ready to go to work.
Hell, I didn’t even know where they were sending me. In the old days, I would have looked it up on the map. But now that finding things on the internet has become so simple that even an old guy like myself can handle it, I googled it.
Crap! It’s clear out in western Nebraska. It said it was a 7 hour, 441 mile trip. So off I went. I took highway 75 north to Nebraska City where I took a left onto some other highway that took me to Lincoln where I caught I-80, headed west and drove and drove and drove.
It was one of those hell trips. I stopped one time in Grand Island for gas and to go to the bathroom. Other than that, I just sat there, smoking, steering, and pouting. I was really jacked out of shape because of the late notice they’d given me. But most of all, I guess I was jacked out of shape because of where they were sending me. Why in the world anybody would want to go anywhere in Nebraska was beyond me.
Well, that was a week ago. To tell you the truth, Ogallala, Nebraska is a pretty cool little town. And from what little I’ve seen, Nebraska’s a pretty cool state. I’ve met a lot of good people out here. Like people everywhere today, they’re very concerned about the economy. That’s probably the biggest issue everywhere I go. For the most part they’ve been willing to help an old, out of town guy out with directions to the next stop and a lot of them were quick to ask about Topeka. I’ve had several conversations about our esteemed Governor leaving for Washington. But I also found out that if you’re wearing a Jayhawk T-shirt while eating supper at the local Valentino‘s, you’re going to attract a lot of attention. It’s kind of like wearing a Bronco’s jersey at Arrowhead. You’re surrounded by a sea of red. Even that went okay. Well, there was that one drunk guy, I’m pretty sure he was serious when he told his friends he ought to kick my ass. I’m just glad his girlfriend was there. I think next time, I’ll leave my jacket on just in case though.
They have their problems too. That was driven home on my second day up here. I met a guy named Bob (not his real name) and his wife the first day I was up here. They seemed like any married couple I’ve ever met. The guy I was working with told me later about the big fight they were having. I guess there were a lot of money problems. But you know, what married couple hasn’t had money problems, right? Anyway, we did our thing and told Bob we’d see him in the morning. He told us to have a good day.
We got to our first stop at 4:00 the next morning and rang the bell. The guy I was with was a little irritated when Bob didn’t answer the door as fast as he normally did. He rang it again then called the store. The lady who answered apologized and said she’d open the door as soon as she could. No problem, he told her. About five minutes later she opened it up. The guy I was with jokingly asked her, what’s the deal, Bob call in sick again?
You could see it in her eyes there was something wrong. She told him Bob had gone home yesterday around lunch time. Evidently he called the store and asked his wife to bring home an ace bandage. It was almost quitting time anyway, so the boss told her to go on home if she needed to, said he’d see her in the morning.
She stepped in the house and the first thing she saw was her husband lying on the floor. He had stuck a shot gun in his mouth and blew his head off.
I didn’t know either one of them and I know it’s none of my business. But damn! I’m not trying to pass judgment here either, but how anybody could do something like that to their husband or wife is beyond me. I guess knowing the world we live in today, it’s a good thing he didn’t kill her too.
Look, I know life can kick us in the gut from time to time. But suicide isn’t the answer. Yeah, I guess it gets you out of whatever mess you’re in at the time. But what about your husband or wife? What about the kids? How are they supposed to go on? What about your mom and dad? What’s it going to do to them when they have to bury you?
Sorry to bum you out this week guys. But this really bothered me. I’ve had two good friends commit suicide and I never have understood why. It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating. “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
Want to talk about it? Stop on by the blog: www.rm235.blogspot.com or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org