Self Improvement Non-Fiction posted January 2, 2010


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a non-fiction experience

Trailer Trash

by victortouche

Well, I thought to myself, walking down the perfectly manicured first fairway at M.M.M. Country Club. It doesn't get much better than this. Middle of the week, no work, playing golf. A beautiful day, 75 degrees, and four more of my long time golfing buddies trying to bring me to my knees. Hey, hey, you know men never really grow up. But that's what makes us lovable. The competition between us is as good as it gets. One simply must win bragging rights for the week.

Now, I've been a member here a long time. You get to know people pretty well. Still a small town atmosphere. After 20 years, I'm still an "outsider". Now Wednesdays are "Men's" day. (I know, don't have a conniption.)Tuesdays are "Ladies'" day. So Wednesday at our club is a very special day. All the "boys" gather round for grunting, back slapping, and pecking order. Also to play golf, bitch about their spouse, and generally have an alpha male day.

Now pecking order doesn't have any hard and fast rules. Are you a low handicapper? Good start. Unless, of course, you can't play under pressure. Or for money. Length of time as a member, important for sure, but not required. Still, length of time cannot be discarded ;it's always there for you. Financial success? Hey, hey, hey. We're at a country club, remember? The depth of your swagger is directly related to three things. One, your wealth(and how you got it). You have to have earned it, not inherited. Two, your golfing ability. Three, how many women you keep in your stable(wife excluded).

After a while, when they know they can trust you, you are brought into the club. I thought I was in the club? No, no. I mean "The Club". That's right, the good old boys club. Favors here, favors there, political and otherwise.

I was actually playing cards once, when the discussion was," Who we gonna put in as Sheriff? I hate this one. Who do you want, Johnny? "

You get the picture. Now the other part of the club is, never, ever, under any circumstances talk about any sexual liaisons discussed, seen, or otherwise. Then you get to hear about the legends.

" You remember when Billy was doin' the secretary above her office? Yeah, he'd be due on the tee. The boys would holler up-"

" God Damn It Billy; pull your pants on, you're on the tee. Ha, ha, ha. Yeah, those were the good old days."

There were times we'd play away from our course. Or there would be a tournament. After golf, we'd stop for a drink. Mandatory, naturally. Most times, we'd have a couple and go home. But sometimes, somebody would disappear for an hour or so, ahem. Then one night, one of the boys brought his long time mistress to have a drink with us. Believe it or not, this is not a big deal to most men at a country club. It's been goin' on since time began, and it's gonna be goin' on when I'm long gone. Besides, it's his business and no concern of mine.

Now, this lady has been married two or three times, had a hard life, and it showed. She had no means, and got by as she could. It was understood what each partner's role was. She helped him, and he'd help her out as well. This is not the same as a "hooker" relationship, no matter if it is all in the semantics. So he wanted to show her off, have a couple of drinks, and then disappear for an hour. This happened many times in many minor variations. Then one day it changed.

We played at an away location (Wednesday, naturally). The whole day, this gentleman ,(we'll call him Ted), had been over exuberant about us meeting his mistress (we'll call her Janie).

"Oh yeah, our old stomping grounds, had many a good time there. It's nice and dark inside, secluded booths, you know, they used to do a pretty good business."

So off we go; Ted, me, Lars, and Tom. We sit down at the table, order drinks and blab. Now Ted knows I like champagne, so he orders a good bottle. Now he never does this. He doesn't drink it. But she does, so who cares. The whole day (of course this could be any other day as well), Ted is reminiscing and talking like he's approaching his golden years.

"You know, maybe have to hang up the saddle. I ain't as young as I once was." Well mostly what comes from this nonsense is he either wants to show you with this golf shot, that he still has it. Or, wants the boys to reassure him he's nowhere near the pasture. Now I admit, he's 70 or so. So, yes these things are or will be happening.

Janie is sipping her champagne wondering what's this all about. I'm enjoying mine, when Tom and Lars have to go.

" See ya. Yeah, great day, see ya next week."

Shortly there after, Ted gets up in a commotion(everything is dramatic with him) and says, "I'll be right back, I forgot to do something".

Well before you could ask or stop or whatever him, he was out the door. And here we were, champagne in glass, and wondering if what happened is what we both think happened. So we keep drinking, small talking, and clock watching; until we get uncomfortable.

So I let it out." Well, I guess Ted was passing you on to me."

"Yeah", she said, "guess so".

" Might have been better if he told one of us, eh?"

She laughed, but we both knew we were going home alone. I escorted her to her car, and we went our separate ways.

The next day I get a phone call from another friend of mine.

" Have you heard"?

" Heard what," I say?

"Ted's been goin' around the club sayin' he's never done a nicer thing for a guy in his life".

" What are you talkin' about",I say?

"Well, Ted says he gave over the reins to his long time mistress to you".

"Excuse me? Oh my god." ( Where do you want me to start?)

"Here ya go son. I'm a givin' ya old Bessy. Best dam ride a man could hope for. Here let me show ya how ya take the reins and then...."

Jesus H. Christ, is this guy for real? "Uh, I didn't ask for this, thank you. I can find my own ride "('sides, I'm married, HELLO). "And did it occur to you she should have a say in this? "

Well, it turns out I did the right thing in passing up the opportunity as Ted really wanted reassurance from her, he wasn't too old. (Oh, my achin' ass).

Turns out we hadn't seen the end of these " pass the reins" on episodes. Eventually, another of our group took her out to dinner and there you go. But that didn't last too long. He wasn't as generous as Ted, and whatever. Now it was about the time, Janie our young-old lady had picked up with one other of our group, that Ted was feeling nostalgic.

He said to me, " I want to do something nice for her. She was nice to me for a long time. What do you think I should do"?

Now this lady hasn't had a break in life. You know the old saying " Rode hard, put away wet." No matter what you may think of this lady, I would suggest you remember; " Walk a mile in my shoes." No money, 50 years, what always needs to be fixed? I said, "Why don't you fix her teeth?"

You could tell she used to be beautiful. But nothin' suggests wear better than busted up teeth. A little light went off behind his eyes.

" That's a good idea. Will you do it, Doc?"

I said,"Sure, I'd be happy to. You just pay me half of normal. We won't tell her."

I had been thinking about this for a while. I had seen Janie enough and had seen enough of life that I wanted to do something worthwhile in my life for once. I wanted to change her life. Perhaps you think me too melodramatic. She could never, ever in her life afford to restore her teeth. Restore her self esteem. Restore some lost youth and beauty. Even if people were to inherit the money for such, it is unlikely they would prioritize. She looked like trailer trash. Was trailer trash. Have you ever noticed the nicest people in the world are all at the bottom? I don't feel superior to her in any way. Hell, we're all trailer trash. Who cares?

So she comes in. A tooth ache. We start off with a root canal. Now this is not a painful procedure. Although it enjoys a poor reputation, but should not. I mention this, so you may appreciate the anxiety with which we started this endeavour. So we continue. I'm just doing the basics.

I keep asking Ted, "Are you sure it's ok to fix her up right?"

Yea, I know, vs. wrong? But that's not what I mean. You know, there's always good, better, best. I always do best, unless the patient just won't let me. So Ted pays me regularly and without hesitation. Eight thousand dollars. She doesn't know who is paying, but she has a good idea. Well after $8,ooo; I was pretty sure, although Ted may not tell me to stop, he wasn't figuring to be in on this kind of ride. And it was very nice of him, no doubt.

But, I was already kickin in half, sort of. And I just couldn't stand to leave her hanging. I said to myself, Victor, for once in your life be the person you keep telling yourself you are. I have a lot of empathy for people, sometimes. So I paid all the lab bills, the supplies, the assistant, you get the picture. and I donated a substantial amount of time. I rebuilt her from scratch, everything. Full mouth periodontal surgery. Perfect.

My dear readers, periodonics, endodontics(root canals), and oral surgery are specialties. I am a general dentist. Most general dentists do one or more of the specialty procedures. It is (I'm fairly certain) a little unusual for one dentist to be proficient in all. I humbly ask that you take my word for this. I am proficient, but as to how is another story.

Endodontics, she needed everywhere. Fillings. Correct her bite.Corrected every conceivable angle/plane she had in her mouth. Twenty-five crowns. About 40,000 dollars. Perfect. Exquisite. Beautiful. Something she could never have. Ever. No way. No how. She didn't even know I paid for it all. Except the 8 thousand, of course. I wanted to make a difference in somebody's life. Justify my imposition on this planet. Nobody knew. None of the golf buddies, nobody. I wanted to give her something that would change her life. and that she just never would have been able to do.

Trailer trash. Bad teeth. Good enough for bed, but nothing else. That's how she was always treated. After long enough, people don't even realize they become how they are treated. Needless to say, she was ecstatic. Couldn't hardly get out of the office without crying.(I put in twelve top crowns the last appointment.) I think she felt a little embarassed trying to figure out some sort of reciprocal gesture that she could do for me.

Mumbled something about," I'll send everyone here."

I'm sure she has.

I waited a month or two, then asked her if this had made any change in her life? She became quiet and still,you know, when you know the truth is coming.

She said, "I was sitting at a counter the other day. A woman sat down next to me. I just looked away. But I finally noticed she was looking at me."

"Hello," she said.

"I don't know what I said. I think I just sat there. I know you don't understand this "Doc", but women never used to talk to me. They just looked down at me. Now women talk to me again".

I had to leave the room. It remains one of the proudest moments of my life. It still sustains me in so many little ways.


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Wonderful lady. Helps self esteem more than a team of psychiatrists.
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