Thanks to the Hip and Knee doctor for editing assistance.
Flathead-- From 1920 through 1969, Flathead Indians and Harleys were a major force in American motorcycling.
Up until I met Candy, there were only two things in my life of any value: the 1946 Flathead that my father gave me, and the 1917 Navy Luger that my grandfather brought back after World War 2.
I wasn't what you would call an ambitious fellow. I usually went with the flow and always took the easy way out. Now, don't get the wrong impression as I was not a wimp in any sense of the word, but I wasn't an in-your-face bully, either.
I enjoyed the pleasures of many a friendly young lady over the last few years, and I was usually able to sweet talk one of the better ones out of the bar before closing time. That means that I didn't end up with the coyote leftovers. None of them, however, were interesting enough for me to want to establish any kind of relationship, until I went to Vegas.
When I was not picking up girls at bars, I was beating my kidneys to death on the top of some type of earth-moving equipment. It didn't take me long to get familiar with anything made by Caterpillar or their competitors. I had all the work I could handle and the money was good.
In no time at all, I was able to buy a small house with a garage for my precious flathead. The Ford F150 pick-up stayed out in the rain, but my baby got to be inside all by herself. Granddad's Luger was safely locked in the bedroom gun cabinet along with a small collection of miscellaneous rifles, shotguns, and some black powder pieces. It was a nice little cottage and I always brought my conquests there to consummate my nightly relationships.
My downfall came in the middle of January. Work was a little slow, so a few buddies and me grabbed a special casino flight out of Philly to Vegas. I forgot the rule: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
Candy came from somewhere South of Huntsville, but North of Birmingham. I never could remember the name of the place. I don't know if it was her blonde hair or her beautiful, plastic boobs, but I fell in love the first time I saw her. What cinched the deal was that she made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. When I was with Candy, I felt like I was handsome, smart, and strong. All of a sudden, I was the world's greatest lover. I don't know if it was the booze or the neon lights, but I had to have this woman. My collection wouldn't be complete without her. I came home with a new wife and a new tattoo.
Things were great for the next several months. Warm weather came and Candy and I started riding every weekend. Of course, I spent more time keeping the Harley running, than riding it, but that was the joy of it. I was just starting to feel comfortable with my newest acquisition when things fell apart.
The Pig Pit was not the best place to take a woman like Candy, but I was feeling confident in my ability to take care of her. I had been to this rat-hole several times, and had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I felt that we could have a good time, if I kept my cool, and if I was ready to leave when things got nasty. The first two hours were fine and then nasty arrived, in the form of a hairy giant named Butter. Candy ended up dancing a few times with Butter and it seemed to me that she was starting to be a little too friendly. Candy was a flirt, but this was not the proper place for it. I had been trying to pace my drinking, and I was still sober enough to know that there was no way in heaven that I could handle this monster if things got out of hand. It was time to leave.
Candy was having a good time and did not want to go home. I finally had to take her by the arm and gently walk her out of the place. Of course, my loving wife was complaining the whole time: loud enough for the whole bar to hear her. We just made it to the truck, when somebody grabbed my arm. It was Butter and he was not smiling. For some stupid reason, I took a swing at him and that was all I remembered.
Okay, I know all the clichés. The first thing I noticed was the garbled voices on the speaker system and the constant ding-ding noises, alerting people to something or other. It was all there. The puke-green walls and the fluorescent lights. I was alone in the damned room and I was in pain. The sunlight coming through the window told me that it was daytime. The trouble was that I could only see the light through my right eye. My left eye was swollen shut. I found myself taking inventory. My lip hurt, and it felt like I was missing a tooth or two. I quickly discovered that it was not a good idea to take a deep breath. My whole mid-section was wrapped up like a mummy. Something was wrong with my right hand and when I raised it up, I discovered four fingers wrapped up with steel braces. That was when it all came back to me. I remembered using that hand to hit a big ugly mother in the face. To round things out, there was some kind of a cast on my left foot. I assumed that my ankle got messed up when everything else happened.
Sometimes, I astound myself with my brilliance. I rapidly came to the conclusion that I did something dumb, and ended up getting the shit kicked out of myself. I also had to piss. Using my superior deductive skills, I found the call button by the headboard.
"Oh, I see you are up, Mister Tyrell. Nice to have you back with the real world. How are you feeling?" Nurse Gleason looked like a stereotypical hospital worker, just out of a TV sitcom. She wasn't frumpy, but she wasn't trying too hard to go the other way either.
"I feel like you are going to be very, very, mad at me if I don't get a bed pan, ASAP."
It hurt like hell, but at least I was able to relieve myself with a little help. My angel of mercy took care of the task at hand as if she had done it a thousand times before, and I am sure she did.
"Where the hell is my wife?"
"She and her gentleman friend went home several hours ago. We didn't expect you to come around till later today."
"What gentleman friend?"
She gave me a slightly inquisitive look. "A big guy, who looked like a biker."
Gentleman friend? That's the son-of-a-bitch that beat the crap out of me. He should be in jail. What the hell is Candy doing going home, or anywhere else with him? My momentary aggravation did not help the pain radiating from my chest area.
"Can somebody explain exactly what the hell is wrong with me, and get me some damn pain pills of any kind."
I hated taking pain pills because they made me nauseous as hell. Right now, nausea was the preferred alternative. The available doctor looked like he came from Bombay, but he did speak perfect English and seemed to know what he was talking about. He covered everything in about twenty minutes and promised me that I could go home as soon as I could use the toilet facilities unassisted. I didn't have any toilet facilities at home, but I did have a bathroom. An hour later, Nurse Gleason removed the drip from my arm and brought me a walker. I waited until she had left and then I figured out how to swing out of the bed and make my way to the 'toilet facilities, ' where I painfully, had a much-needed dump. Squeezing your bowels with three cracked ribs is not fun.
Three hours later, my loving wife showed up with her gentleman escort.
Butter stood quietly by the doorway as I endured my wife's gushing for almost five minutes. I really didn't hear a word she was saying. Finally, she paused to catch her breath. "What the hell is he doing here? Why isn't that son-of-a-bitch in jail, and what are you doing with him?"
It was then that I realized that Candy's brain was not nearly as developed as her body. Three questions in a row were more than she could handle. She was so wrapped up in apologizing for causing the problem, that she hadn't thought any further. She stood there, frustrated.
"Let's start all over. Why isn't he in jail?" Butter was avoiding eye contact with me.
Candy finally was able to put a few words together. "The police said they couldn't arrest him unless we pressed charges. They said that you started it, because you struck the first blow."
"What the hell are you taking about? He grabbed me while I was protecting my wife."
"Yes, but he didn't know I was your wife. Butter thought you were dragging me out of the Pig Pit against my will. He was trying to protect me from you. When he tried to stop you, you hit him."
"Is that what you told the police?"
"Well, yeah. It was the truth and I couldn't lie to them."
"Do you mean to tell me that he can beat the crap out of me and get away with it? Couldn't you have at least charged him with excessive force?"
Candy just looked at me with a quizzical expression on her face and nodded.
"I am sorry man. I didn't know she was your wife. I'll make it up to you, I promise." Butter seemed to feel some kind of obligation to explain his actions.
"How the hell are you going to make it up to me?"
"I am going to take care of things for you while you are healing up. You will be able to relax and recover because I will be there for you."
It was like a nightmare from hell. "I don't want you taking care of me or anything else. Please, just get the hell out of my life."
"John, don't go making any rash decisions like that. Butter has already started to help out. He drove your truck back to the house, and he called your work to explain that you would not be able to go in for about six weeks."
"Has he been to the house?"
"Yes. In fact he is going to stay there while you recover. Isn't that thoughtful?"
"No it's not. I want him out of my house and out of my life."
.... There is more of this story ...