First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my past blog posts and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
As promised, I am continuing the series of all the chapters of my new book, “Homey’s Adventures Too.” I am now 71 and I decided that I did not want to spend my time haggling with editors, literary agents, and publishers. The main thing I am interested in is to write for your pleasure and mine. So, without further delay, here is Chapter 17:
Chapter 17 – Sweet Revenge
I do not know why, but I have always instinctively embraced forgiveness. When someone tries to hurt me; my instinctive response is to forgive and show kindness. I am not a coward. I am not afraid to get hurt. I have not hit anyone since third grade. When threatened, I will stand my ground. If someone else is threatened, I will put myself between them and the aggressor. Fortunately, I have not been hit or physically hurt since third grade.
God forgives us thousands of times for our sins. He commands us to forgive. We should forgive others because God forgives us. Loving others is not easy. In fact, sometimes it is the hardest thing for us to do.
I played the drums in a church band several years ago. In college, I played professionally in a rock band, and it helped pay for my college. I realized in high school that I was not ever going to be good enough to be a professional drummer, so, I quit playing after college. Playing in rock band was a means to an end and not an end to a means. I could have never made $220,000 a year playing the drums, but I did achieve that becoming an Actuary.
In 2005, my ex-wife got me a new drum set for Christmas. I suspect she wanted me to develop new interests so that I would not go out after work and gamble. She had no problem in spending my money on me. She did have a problem with giving me what I really needed which was love and respect.
I had a friend, Ted, from work who was a guitar player and led a church band. I asked him to come to my house so that we could play together for fun. I did not know it, but he saw it as an opportunity to audition me for the church band. After I played my rendition of “Wipe Out” which was originally put out by the Ventures in 1966, he asked me to join the church band. In “Wipe Out,” the whole song is a drum solo. I played it countless times in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I never played it the same way every time. My nature is to be creative.
A drum solo does not make a good drummer. Drummers are to be heard and not noticed. Ringo Starr was not a great drummer, but he did have a great ear. He knew just what to hit at the right time to make the drums fit into the song. That is what a drummer is supposed to do.
At age 55, my technical skills were not what they used to be. Sometimes I did not blend in like a drummer should. Ted from work was replaced by a new church band leader. The new leader was a lot younger, and his name was Stan.
One day, Stan came to me to direct me: “I want you to not put any fills in. I just want you to keep the beat steady.”
Asking a drummer to not use any fills, is the equivalent of telling him: You’re not good and you are not doing your job of being heard and not noticed.
Ted left the band before this happen and I recognized that the new regime had some younger drummers who could take my place.
I asked the new band leader to lunch and offered: “Can you get along without me playing in the band?”
He was hesitant: “Yes I think Joe can play more and fill in your spots.”
Joe was the younger brother of the lead guitar player that replaced my friend Ted. I paid for Stan’s lunch because he worked for church, and I knew that he did not make very much. In fact, after that, I had lunch with Stan every week and I paid for his lunch. I did this because I wanted my sweet revenge. Stan drove my friend out of the band, and he insulted my less than stellar playing. I needed to forgive him and show him kindness.
At one of our lunches, Stan was musing: “I would really like a new guitar, my old one isn’t good anymore.”
Bingo! I saw my opportunity!
I still knew most of the band members. I started emailing them suggesting that we contribute to buying Stan a new guitar. I set a goal of raising $1000. We made my goal after I contributed $300.
My ex-wife commented: “Why do you want to spend your time and money on Stan? He forced you out of the church band.”
Like many times, I did not argue with her. She would not understand my need for sweet revenge anyway.
I asked one of the band members to present the gift certificate to Stan. I preferred to take out my sweet revenge anonymously. I never wanted recognition or even gratitude for my sweet revenge. I just wanted to forgive and love with kindness.
I had a calendar on my desk at work which gave me a loving thought every day. On one of days, a minister told of a man who help another man that was injured.
The injured man pleaded: “Please tell me your name stranger so that I can properly thank you.”
The giver asked: “Do you know the name of the Good Samaritan?”
The injured man said: “Jesus doesn’t give his name in that parable.”
The giver responded: “When you can give me the name of the Good Samaritan, I will tell you my name.”
The whole point of the story from my calendar is that we should not love others to be recognized. We should love others for the benefit of loving ourselves.
A couple of weeks after my sweet revenge was delivered to Stan, he found out that I was behind it.
At one of our lunches, he looked at me seriously: “I found out what you did.”
“Really, what did I do?”
“You were behind the gift certificate.”
I sighed: “Yes, Stan, you uncovered my devious plot.”
I then told him about the message on the calendar on the desk and my desire to not be recognized for loving others.
He chuckled: “You must love yourself very much.”
“I try to do as God wants me to, Stan.”
“I wanted you to know that I got a guitar on my own before I got your gift. I gave the gift certificate to a young aspiring guitarist that I knew who needed it more than I did.”
Stan was the leader of the youth group for the church. I did not care that he gave it away because I got my sweet revenge.
At this point, you, my reader, might be saying to yourself, this is fine, but what does it have to do with Homey?
I was on Skype recently and I saw that I still had Sexy Cutie’s address and she was still using it. So, I started talking to her. Sexy Cutie not only interfered in my relationship with My Muse, and Xena, she also ignored my feelings and only spent 3 hours with me after I traveled a third of the way around the world to meet her. I needed my sweet revenge! I was almost certain that my Xena would allow me this. I have mentioned to her many times in the past, that I have a need to love and forgive people. It is who I am.
One day on Skype, Sexy Cutie lamented:” I’m depressed today.”
“What’s wrong dear?”
“I have bills from when I didn’t work during the Covid 19 quarantine, and they have gotten me down.”
“How much do you owe?”
“What do mean?”
“I am asking how much it will take to pay these bills?”
“I need 675 USD.”
I saw the opportunity for my sweet revenge! The sweetest I have ever had.
“How can I send you the money?”
“Do you want to help me my dear? it’s true?
“I have a strange sense of retribution. If someone has hurt me, I try to show my love later. To me it’s what forgiveness and love are all about. I believe God wants me to help you. I usually do it anonymously. I could not figure how to do that with you. I am glad that the holy spirit has given me a chance to extract my strange type of revenge upon you. How can I get the money to you?”
“I am pleased to hear that from you! You can send it Western Union.”
“Western Union is not convenient for me, how about Moneygram or PayPal? I can send it via PayPal directly to your computer.”
“We do not have PayPal here. I can pick up a MoneyGram.”
“Good, I can go to Walmart and send a MoneyGram.”
So, I went to Walmart and sent the MoneyGram.
After that I got back on Skype, I explained to Sexy Cutie: “I have attached the reference number that you need to pick the up MoneyGram with. Please let me know after you pick it up. I will save the receipts until I know you have the money. I sent 675 USD at 5:30 PM, my time. I would like you to not tell anyone how you got this. I do not want any recognition or anything in return. That’s why I prefer to do this sort of thing anonymously.”
Since it was the middle of the night in Odessa, I did not hear from her until the next morning:” Hi my dear, I was at the bank today, I wanted to receive your transfer. but I was told that it was canceled.”
So, I called MoneyGram and confirmed it was returned to me and I needed to go to Walmart and pick up my money.
I got on Skype again: “It was MoneyGram who canceled the transaction. The Walmart person did not know why. She said that was the only answer she got. It was also strange that they gave me cash back rather than reversing the charges on the credit card. This is all very strange. I have a lunch date with Sherlock. We have long lunches together. After I get back, I will investigate trying a different method of sending you the money. I could try Western Union online or a bank transfer. I am a little weary of a bank transfer because it is international. I will do what I can do. I’m sorry the MoneyGram did not work. I did everything I could do.”
I was never able to send any money to sexy cutie. My guess is that she has been black-listed by the money transfer companies. I do not know why, but sometimes God makes loving someone hard. If I were trying to hurt her or con her, it would be easy. My sweet revenge is not always easy, but I have an instinctive need to do it. I believe it is the holy spirit that puts this in me. I can tell you that my need to love someone in this way is as real to me as romantic love.
End of Chapter 17
I hope you enjoyed chapter 17. Next week, I will give you “Chapter 18 – Sad Ending.” My new book has 32 chapters. So, if you want to receive all 32 chapters as soon as the post is created, then become a follower of this blog.
If you do not want to wait that long and you have not read my first book. I encourage you to go to my website, www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free, and you can also purchase it. Or you can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine retailers. Just search for it using the words: Homey’s Adventures by Jim Wish.
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I liken myself to the Vienna Violinist described in chapter 5. I play (write) for your enjoyment and mine. God bless you all.