Ahh…the Facebook 10 year look back. Rod Stewart says, “every picture tells a story.” “A picture is worth a thousand words” said advertising mogul Fred R. Barnard in 1921. Let me give you a thousand-word tale of my detachable tails.
When the picture on the left was taken (10 years ago) I had just returned to my hometown of Indianapolis from twelve years of living in Florida. After a head injury from a car accident in 2006, I was unable to maintain my work as a commercial real estate appraiser. I ran out of options and had to return home with my tail between my legs in utter defeat.
Now that I once again lived in the land of snow and since Vincent’s Furs was closing after 30 years of my patronage, I bought my last two coats (the two coats I had refurbished this year, mostly because I had outgrown them over those ten years!) On my last visit to Vincent’s to pick up the curly lamb red fox and the Russian Lynx, I saw a raccoon skin on the wall at Vincent’s. The sign said “everything must go,” so I said “make that raccoon into a coon skin cap and put on a detachable tail.” And they did.
I had just gotten my first smart phone and was only just getting the hang of the “selfie.” I snapped this picture and used it to build my profile on the on-line dating site FarmersOnly. My profile name was Daniella Boone. I wrote an entire book (during the first lock down of Covid) about that experience and I suppose I need to get it published so others can enjoy the complete adventure (horror) story. Oh wait, it is not about me, it is a fictional story of a middle-aged woman who was not thinking too clearly from a head injury and she ran away to Kansas, for cows and her desire for silence of the middle of nowhere. Guess what her name is?
I had a number of friends preview the book and they all know me. Every one of them read it in one sitting as they were dying to know if Daniella Boone survived even though they knew I survived and did indeed return to my hometown for a second time with my tail between my legs in utter, utter defeat. I have a lot of professional writer friends and one said I created my own unique genre he called “shock prose.” The others said I have to take this from a novella to a full-fledged novel as this will make a great TV series. I tried but my heart was not in it, so here it is 2022 and it just needs slapped into an e-book and call it a day in the life and times of a middle-aged woman with a head injury.
The ten years between the first detachable tail and the last one has been a period of growth to the highest heights as my faith in the Lord has put me on solid ground. It has also been the lowest low of financial stability. I don’t suppose I can blame the lack of retirement planning on the head injury because I was living large long before I lost my marbles.
I did not like who I was back then. My most creative entrepreneurial venture was the Helicopter Field Trip for Children that came from my first helicopter ride with pilot friend Wild Man Steve. I took my retirement savings and bought a wrecked helicopter and turned it into an aviation education program for kids thinking I was creating a job to see me through my challenges. I learned to drive a truck and trailer and even learned how to do it in reverse getting in and out of tight spots in day care centers. That is another story. I hauled the helicopter around central Florida and Indiana with my best friend from youth. My best advice is to do a background check on anyone that comes back into your life after 20+ years. And that is all I am going to say about that.
I licked my wounds from the financial losses (embezzlement) and sent my “friend” to jail and went on with reinventing myself while trying to sell a helicopter (not one but two) that did not fly. Safe to say I crashed and burned.
I proclaimed myself to be a writer and a photographer. I took all the professional camera equipment and photo lab purchased for the helicopter business and got to work learning how to do more than point and shoot. G. Polly Jordan became my pen name and I started writing while creating lots of websites that went nowhere.
Having exhausted my stash of cash, I had to go to work. This began my 10 years in the desert trying to make a living with a head injury and every idiosyncrasy that makes living with sound debilitating. I sat in a cubicle for three years wearing noise cancelling head phones in agony every day making a success of a job I did end up loving but working for a company that was so toxic they turned over the staff three times in the three years I was there.
My next job was a live-in care giver for the physically and developmentally disabled. I fit right in. I took the job to get a week off every other week, but the 24/7 week I worked was a nightmare from HELL. I cleaned up more than my share of poop and I learned that a person who could not pass a competency exam had the power to report you to the state because they were mad at you and could totally and completely destroy your life, credibility and everything else you had ever worked for. Those experiences could fill another book. But I can promise you, my clients ate well.
There have been about 37 other jobs since 2017 that fill the 400 pages of my resume. In fact, my resume looks like I am clearly brain injured and developmentally disabled as evidenced by my lack of financial planning for retirement.
Friends just keep coming to my rescue. One of them got me a job as a street walker with IU driving around the state doing health interviews. I wore snake skin boots and fancy attire so that people would not mistake me a Jehovah’s Witness or a DCS worker (since I had to go door to door convincing people to participate in the survey.) I was sent to the three worst opioid counties in the state and witnessed the most horrific living conditions I have ever encountered and I have stories that will fill another book. Thankfully Covid took that project down.
Another friend convinced me to become a notary and loan signing agent. This work fit me perfectly. It was a respectable job and a huge step up from street walking. I was making good money, worked independently and the refinance boom was in full swing. That is when I felt I could afford to replace my favorite fur scarf that had worn out from all the street walking I did on the IU job.
I walked into Elan Furs and they took me to the back room where all the creative work is done. The owner used to work at Vincent’s and remembers the coon skin cap! Most people are pretentious when they go into a fur salon. I told them I was old and poor and too fat for my furs. Their eyes bugged out.
When I picked up my bobcat scarf, the designer remembered my long conversation with the owner and made the scarf with a detachable tail. They are smooth talkers those Greeks. Before I knew it, my lynx vest became the most amazing eclectic coat in the world. My new friend the designer actually went back to Greece to find the exact embossed leather and snake skin I had fallen in love with.
An so, ten years later, I have my second detachable tail. This tale of ten years is a bit longer than 1000 words, but hopefully it will shed some light on this zany and adventuresome life I live. And yes, I need another job as the refinance boom is over. Any ideas on what I can do next?