Category Archives: My past

True story …

“I can’t believe you don’t have a tattoo!” Shelly said

“I’m only 18.”  I retorted.

“Seriously, I had one by the time I was 16.”

I think part of the problem was I didn’t know which one to get, let alone where to put it on my virgin skin.  Tattoos were forever and that far away.

I was sea sick from the sway of her Suzuki racing through rush hour traffic as we made our way to the tattoo parlor.  Sitting in the passenger seat, listening to Eminem prophesize his hate for women, I couldn’t help but think I was doing something illegal.  Though my parents were open-minded people, we’d never really talked about tattoos.  What would they think of my new addition of rebel?

“Are you scared?”  Shelly asked.

“No!  Why would I be scared?”

“Because getting tattoos fucking hurts.”

“It can’t be that bad.”  I said.

“Have you ever been to a tattoo parlor?”

“No.”

“You should be scared then.”  Shelly laughed.

I just stared out the window, not really noticing that the car had stopped and was now parked in the lot of the tattoo shop.

Shelly bounced out of her car; she was high on the thought of the pain of some new artwork.  I lumbered out of the car, not really sure what to expect.

Once inside, the low hums of tattoo guns were filling my ear with fear.  The needles were furiously working there way through epidermis after epidermis, as if it were warding off crime.  Being petrified of needles was making me rethink my decision.

“So what you gonna get today?”  The burly tattoo artist asked.

“I’m going to get a lion on my back,” Shelly answered.

“How about you?”

“I’m not really sure.”  I said.

“She new?”  He asked Shelly

“Yep!  You’re going to de-virginize her!”

“Awesome.”

Oh good!  The man who will “deflower” my body is speaking to my friend as if I wasn’t in the room.

“Well, you have some time to figure it out while I start on your friend,” he told me.

Sitting down, picking up the tattoo design books, I noticed immediately all the pictures of skeletons, dragons and other death type tattoos.  Why so gloomy?  Why did having a tattoo have to be so badass?  I just wanted a simple dog.  I knew immediately I’d be the laughing stock of the tattoo shop if I wanted my dog tattooed on my flank.  I quickly scanned the book for animals.  If a dragon engulfed in flames is considered an “animal” I was screwed.  Flipping furiously to get inspiration, other than death, I found a wolf.  Ok, this might work.  It was decided; a wolf would prowl upon this virginal land.

“Marcy,” the receptionist called.

I stood up.

“Follow me,” she said.

She took me to a room with a chair, and a silver table (similar to one you’d find in an operating room) that had instruments, wrapped in celephane, on it.

“Go ahead and take a seat.”

I wanted to run.  That needle was staring me down.  It was telling me we were going to fight and he’d win.  But my ego superseded my logic.  The artist had drawn the wolf and was placing the outline on my back.  His belly kept hitting my back, as it seemed to jut out further than his arms.  His long black hair seemed to stick to everything, as if he’d rubbed it with a balloon before making his entrance.  He smelled like a mixture of Tabasco sauce and spilt beer.  But, many patrons had assured me Sergio was the best.

“You ready?”

I didn’t say anything.  Sergio laughed and started the engine to the tattoo gun.

“How bad does it hurt?”  I asked as the needle approached my skin.

“I’ll tell you a secret.”  Sergio leaned in closer to my face.  “Tattoo’s hurt like a son-of-a-bitch.  One of the worse pains you’ll have is this tattoo, but Marcy, you’ll get addicted to it.  So instead you should be asking yourself, am I ready of a life of ink and pain.”

I sat silent.

“So how about it, you ready for this addiction?”  Sergio asked.

“Fuck it!  Let’s do it!”

PS – I now am a proud owner of 12 tattoos, Sergio wasn’t lying.

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Sonny Ricks

“What’s so new about Mexico”?

That is the question Sonny posed to me while driving down Washington Blvd.  Though I was no geography expert, at 16 I knew the states pretty well.  I was laughing, assuming he was making a joke.  When I turned to look at him he was staring at me seriously.  “Are you being serious?”  I said laughing.  “Yes!  What the hell is so new about Mexico?”  I couldn’t breath I was laughing so hard.  “Sonny, it’s a state!”  I replied.  “No it’s not.”  Sonny was two years my senior and definitely a smart guy.  Why this failed to make sense to him still has me laughing today.  He didn’t believe that New Mexico was a state until I went home (to my parents house) and looked it up in the set of encyclopedias my parents owned.  Even then he thought it was some conspiracy against him.

Or the time he came home from the police academy and was complaining of his calf hurting.  We looked and he had two small red marks on his calf.  Sonny looked at me with all sincerity and said, “I think a snake bit me.”  I started to roll around on the carpet in laughter and said, “You didn’t get bit by a snake.”  Sonny’s retorted, “You DON’T KNOW, you’ve never been bitten by a snake!!”  I was in tears from laughter and said, “…Neither have you!”

Sonny always had the ability to make me laugh.  His sense of humor was off the wall and his wit was quick.  We spent so many hours just driving around and talking about what we were going to be when we grew up.  We’d listen to police scanners, knowing that this would help us learn the 10 codes, and just dream of the day we’d become cops.  For me it was a way to show every teacher that said I couldn’t be a cop I could, but for Sonny it was a way to help those less fortunate.

When Sonny was finally hired on as Salt Lake City Police it was one of his most proud moments.  Unfortunately it would be our marriages downfall.

I met him when I was 13, married when I was 21 and divorced when I was 22.  Those 9 years were pivotal in shaping who am I today.  We both taught each other so much about life and though he couldn’t take the strain of living anymore, I’ll always remember him as the “Dr. Pepper” guy.  It wasn’t until our divorce that Sonny turned to alcohol to medicate his emotional traumas.

In our numerous conversations in the last few years I would encourage him to get help.  Hell, I even wrote to the TV show Intervention hoping they could give him the help the rest of us couldn’t.  But in true Sonny fashion he refused help and bull headedly claimed he was doing fine.  But those of us that really knew him where aware this was a lie.  Knowing the pains he suffered as a child, the pain of our divorce, the suicide of his wife clearly led me to believe that Sonny, yet again, was suffering.

I’d take his calls at 2am and listen to his woes.  I’d listen to him speak about work, the meaning of life, the downfall of people in general.  In all of this I’d know, and tell Sonny, that he was hurting.  On numerous occasions I told him that he was acting tough when he just wanted to be weak.  Most times he’d mock me for saying such things, but I stood strong in my opinion and usually, he’d concede that he was lost.

He’d ask me over and over why I loved life.  I’d try to explain that it’s the people, groups we involve ourselves in and passion for anything that keeps people going.  I tried explaining that his love of animals could be a passion.  I told him to volunteer to anything he liked, but he just didn’t seem ready to involve himself in anything.

We spoke frankly about Aimee (his wife who committed suicide) and on most occasions he’d try to down play this traumatic event.  Well downplay isn’t the word, he’d try to act as though he were ok with it.  We all knew better.

 

On Dec. 16th I got a text from a friend that grew up with us asking if I’d heard about Sonny.  Immediately I knew.  I knew that the burden of living was just too much for Sonny and that he had taken his own life.  When it was confirmed that he was dead I didn’t even need to ask how, I knew.  I’d known for years that Sonny wasn’t meant to remain here with all the trauma he’d endured in his short life.  But even knowing this, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d done everything I could for him.  Could I have called more often?  Could I have had him over at the house more?  Could I have text him each day to make sure he was ok?

And then reality hit me.  It wouldn’t have mattered.  None of those things would have helped Sonny.  Those things would have helped me cope better.  Only Sonny could help Sonny and he was tired of trying.  And truly, who am I to judge another person and their decisions?  Who am I to say this was the wrong decision for him?  Selfishly I wish he would have chosen some other way to cope, but that’s not for me to decide right?  Selfishly I want to get more phone calls from Sonny (even the annoying early morning ones).  Selfishly I wish I could have had the perfect words to change Sonny’s life.  But none of us have this power.

So with tears in my eyes I will say goodbye to you.  I still have every single letter we ever exchanged, and when I won’t become a slobbering mess, I’ll go through them and think of you when you were happy.  I have a lock of your hair, and I’ll touch it remembering how safe you used to feel.  I still have a motorcycle key from the accident, and I’ll remember how endearing and protecting you were when tragedy struck.  I still have every picture from every high school dance and I’ll protect and preserve them for the remainder of my days.  But most of all, I have 9 years of incredible memories from when we were kids to becoming adults.  I had ALL my firsts with you.  First road trip, first dinners out, first date, first hand holding, and my first sexual experiences.  You’re an amazing man Sonny and my life would never have been the same without you.  Thank you for loving me.  I consider myself lucky that I had the chance to love you back!

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Becki Woldberg Hadley

Truly, where do I begin?  My first memories of my life include you.  I can remember you were a constant in my youth.  I think I was one when we met and I can’t remember a time running through the neighborhood without you and Kelli.

One of my favorite memories was climbing up your mom’s linen closet to the little hide out/kid playroom stashed behind all the towels.  If I remember correctly you had a small table and chairs and a light with a string attached too it.  It smelled like mothballs and dust, but it was filled with giggles and plans of trouble (you know, big trouble like devising a plan to ride our bikes when it was dark out.)

I remember hide and seek, ding dong ditching and jump rope.  I remember your sister reading me Edgar Allan Poe when I was nine and since that time I’ve read him with an obsession!  I remember you playing mamba at our house and whipping your head so fast that you hit the corner of our piano chair with your forehead.

And who can forget the big wheel races in the basement?  Hitting the brakes so quickly it would whip us around in a 360!  And the big ass queen bed that we would all snuggle into when our parents were shit faced!

With all sincerity those were some of the best times of my life!  That carefree attitude with friends is what we still crave in our adult lives.

I still try to understand why it all fell apart when Kelli died.  Perhaps our parents’ seeing each other was just too much of a reminder of the past.  Perhaps we didn’t know what to say.  Perhaps it’s just a part of life to fall away from one another, but I know that you will always have a piece of me, and I’ll have a piece of you … my god, we were practically sisters!  Though it’s been ages since I’ve seen you, you truly are a part of me I carry and think about everyday!

Thank you Becki for being such a huge part of my life growing up and helping shape me into who I am today!

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“This blog is open to invited readers only ….”

“….Please contact the blog author …”

I wish I could!  You see she left this world on March 09, 2011 and I can’t seem to delete her blog, even though I no longer have access because she isn’t here to moderate her posts.

I met her in 1997 at the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.  She was leaving to go to Weber County and I was taking her spot … she actually gave me her badge on her way out the door.  We worked together only one day at Box Elder but our futures would be intertwined.

Come to find out numerous cops rely on rumor for truth, and the stories about Jewel had me scared of her when I was finally hired at Weber County.  I actually avoided her in the beginning, but that all changed when we were sent to training together, sharing a hotel room in St. George.

I’m an ass clown.  I’ll admit it.  I like to break the ice with humor and I didn’t change that tactic with this beautiful Polynesian co-worker.

After settling in the hotel room I wanted to take a bath and freshen up, I was sweaty from the heat of Southern Utah roasting me in my long car ride.  I entered the bathroom, started up the tub, while Jewel was meticulously unpacking her bags.

It was unreal how put together this woman was.  I had my overstuffed bag of cosmetics; deodorant, make-up  and other potions flopped out on the counter.  She had unpacked her toiletrie bag and everything had a set place on the counter.  Hairbrush, then face lotion, next to the body lotion, next to the cosmetics.  It was in order of use.  This was in major contrast to my sporadic, uncoordinated way of getting through life.

As I undressed I could hear her unpacking her bag of clothing and actually hanging up her clothes.  I had no fucking idea people actually used those closets.  I had assumed, up until this point, that everyone was like me and lived out of her bag for the few days you were thrown into key card living.  This made her interesting and uptight in my hastily formed opinion.

The bath was full of hot water and just right to relax my aching muscles.  Feet first, sit down and slip back, letting my face submerge in the water.  I slowly lift my head out of the water, like a mermaid breeching the water and close my eyes and begin to think.  Bath time for me is the best time for thinking.  On this day I couldn’t help but concentrate on breaking the ice with a co-worker I knew nothing about.  Should I start out with a little chit chat about work?  Boring!  How about recent social events in the news?  What am I thinking, I hardly keep up with world events and if she was the worldly type her assumption would be that I was a complete idiot (perhaps I was at that age.)  All the while I kept hearing the light clinking noise of hangers being hung in the small box otherwise known as a closet.

My mind wondered and I opened my eyes too be greeted again with marvel in the line up Jewel had created on the bathroom counter.  I glanced at my mess next to hers and it hit me … I didn’t bring my damn lotion!

That’s it!  That’s how I’ll open the door to conversation.  But how does one go about asking an essential stranger to borrow something?  Will she think I’m weird to be asking to use her stuff without knowing one another?  Will she assume that I’m just a person without boundaries?  Fuck I hate being a girl sometimes!

No, I’d take the path of humor and to this day I’m glad I did!

While lying naked in the tub I mustered up the sultriest voice I could and said, “Heyyyy Jewwwwel.”  At this point a smile spread across my face and it took everything I had not to laugh.  You see once those words, drenched in sex, came out of my mouth that light clicking noise of clothes IMMEDIATELY stopped and a very unsure and shaky voice answered with, “yeah??”  One thing I knew about Jewel is that she was a strong, and obviously, well put together person and I had just thrown her for a loop.  Once that shaky response was given I changed tactics.  With a voice that can only be described as “Barbiesk” with all the perkiness of a cheerleading squad, I said, “Can I borrow your lotion.”  You heard the relief in her voice.  I heard her sigh and she responded, in much the same voice as mine, “of course you can.”  That’s all it took.  That one moment of ass clownery changed our whole dynamic.

I let the water out of the tub, draped a towel around my body and walked towards the counter, spying all the delicious flavors of lotion to choose from.

TBC ….

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Undercover

I was sitting on campus Tuesday watching all the 18-20 year old girls traipsing around in their mini-skirts, short shorts, knee high boots and flip flops and couldn’t help but think about myself at that age.

I, standing alone outside the Social Science building smoking, watched as everyone passed by.  And then I saw him … the poster child of law enforcement.  You’ve seen him before.  He has a Crew cut, stoic look on his face, somewhat muscular frame and usually wearing BDU pants during his casual time.

At that moment I couldn’t help but think that I was an imposter … an undercover agent in the Law Enforcement world who now knew all their secrets.

Perhaps I’m over simplifying the last 16 years of my life, but I never fit in from the beginning.  I was 20, 85 pounds and female to top it all off when I started the academy. I had decided to apply for law enforcement after being told I couldn’t be a cop by a high school teacher (more than one actually.)  I had a chip on my shoulder and wanted to prove to others that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up.  I’ll show them!

Thus began my undercover gig.  From working shift work and being line staff bitching about administration to infiltrating the ranks of Sergeant.  Then my assignment took me to the SWAT team as a negotiator.

All of these things were done as if I were a reporter on special assignment.  I took my role seriously.  I immersed myself in their culture; listened to their stories, cried tears over the horrible things humans will do to one another … I was one of them.

But was I?  There were more times throughout my undercover gig that I was perplexed at decisions made my administration, people who donned uniforms merely so they could punish inmates mentally (and sometimes physically), and the good ol’ boy attitude was in full effect throughout my assignment.  I wasn’t this person!  I wasn’t one to judge others, I wasn’t one to get off on being an asshole and I sure as hell wasn’t one of the “boys.”

It was in November of this year that I knew I had to get out.  I knew that I would completely lose Marcy if I didn’t start detoxing from my undercover work.  Sure I had only 7 years left to gain a retirement, but at what cost?  That fear is what had kept me there … well and the fact that I truly felt like a cop now.  I had given up so much about Marcy that I actually started believing I couldn’t do more with my life.  It took a death of a friend for me to remember that this was only an assignment, one that should have lasted less time.

So after 15 years my gig was up.  My undercover work was complete on April 28th, and to be quite frank, it feels like I’ve been paroled.  Not paroled into a state institution, but one of higher learning.  And each time I see a police car, someone in uniform or a person that has the appearance they could be a poster child for Law Enforcement, I’m reminded of my undercover work and how grateful I came out of it still being Marcy.

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Pancakes

Yep, those golden circles of goodness.  Though most people have had the opportunity to have pancakes in their lives, I was lucky enough for it to be a huge event in my life.  My dad, in typical Sunday fashion, would have my sister in I, in our nightgowns, lifted up to the counter and help make a slew of them every Sunday.

I would typically Bogart the stirring in of the eggs, watching the batter turn a yellow while folding the eggs in.  We ALWAYS used a wooden spoon to do our stirring.  I can remember my dad, with his towel draped across his shoulder, giving us words of encouragement and making the whole ordeal exciting.  I would watch him take his ladle and dip it gently into the batter.  He would pour the batter on to the hot griddle and I can remember the sizzle sound it would make.  It was a science and my dad had perfected it.  I loved sitting cross-legged on that counter watching my dad.  It made me feel special … HE made me feel special.

When my parents, after my sister and I had longed moved out, gutted the kitchen to install a new more modern kitchen I couldn’t help be sad when the old yellow counters were removed.  The majority of my life was spent sitting on or at that counter with years of conversations, laughter, and at times conflict.  Though I knew rationally that many more memories would be made in the new kitchen, emotional Marcy just longed to be a little girl for a few more days of making pancakes with my dad.

For father’s day we headed over to my parents house for … you guessed it… pancakes.  As I came around the corner of the kitchen I was humbled to see my little Cheyenne mixing the flour and getting the batter ready with my dad.  And though she is too big to sit on the counter cross-legged, she was watching my dad like I used to when I was little.  She sat with the spatula in her hands while my dad coaching her on when to flip them.  It brought tears to my eyes.

You see, in all reality, it’s the small things your parents give you that you cherish the most.  It’s not the washer and dryers (though I’m hugely thankful for those gifts and so are my friends) but it’s the times teaching each other while having fun.  It’s the moments, as an adult myself, hearing myself telling stories like my parents.  It’s catching myself, whenever I cook, with a towel draped across my shoulder.  It’s those moments that I stop what I’m doing and think about how much I truly love my parents.  I love them!  More than they will ever know

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