Several years ago, I wrote a book. During that time, I was working in the Phase Dock: a hangar where we pull an aircraft in, depanel, inspect, fix, repanel, and send said aircraft on its merry way. There was a lot of down time… the bosses could only come up with so many projects to keep us occupied during the many months that there were no aircraft to work. I carried around a pocket-sized notebook with me at all times, and whenever an idea struck me funny, or I had an extended amount of down time, I could be seen scribbling away in the “little green monster”.
It started out simple enough… I took each coworker, gave them a character and a chapter, and rolled that character and chapter into the next. Being the only female in the Phase Dock (or Dock for short), I wanted to make the characters as hilariously, soap opera-like as possible, for the fullest effect. Honestly, I never intended anyone, besides my coworkers, to ever set eyes on my book. But, now that I have taken up the hobby of blogging, why not?
The general public may not find as much humor with these characters that my coworkers and I did; we each have our unique personalities, so the character descriptions were usually wrote on the opposite spectrum of what these individuals really functioned like, on any given day. The Dock, as we knew it is no more; most of us have gone our separate ways, and no longer keep in touch on a daily basis. I’m hoping that putting this in print will help bring back some of those memories of great coworkers and friendships.
If you take a liking to Chapter One, and want to continue the ride on my story adventure, make sure you read the chapters in order. I will be sure to hyperlink them in the beginning of each new chapter. If you are just visiting this blog, I hope you will decide to follow… I promise you won’t be disappointed. And don’t worry, current followers… there will still be bees and chickens and funny stories about my family to keep you entertained. And without further adieu…. I hope everyone enjoys reading As the Phase Dock Turns, as much as I enjoyed writing it!
As the Phase Dock Turns
Chapter I – Tommy
The sun slowly descended into a brilliant pool of pink and orange hues. Being careful to concentrate solely on the drive home, Tommy tightened his grip on the steering wheel of his Suburban. The midnight blue truck cruised along at a law-abiding speed of 54 mph. Tommy was exhausted; it had been a long but rewarding day at the shelter. Although Tommy loved his aircraft mechanic position, his true passions lie in helping the less fortunate. On his days off, Tommy liked to volunteer at the local homeless shelter, and this Sunday was no different. He cherished the time he spent with his wife Cindy and his three children, but for some reason, he felt obligated to donate a couple of hours each week to help serve lunch, wash clothing, or just lend an ear to an old lonely storyteller.
How Tommy loved the commute to his house out in the country! Such breathtaking scenery; a colorful sky, a rolling countryside brushed with oak, beech, birch, and the occasional pine tree. This time of year was even more spectacular. The leaves of the trees were all turning gorgeous shades of yellow, orange and red, and if you watched close enough, you could see the infrequent leaf tumble down to the lush green grass beds below. Sure, sometimes Tommy missed having a neighbor to wave at or talk to across the fence with. He even regretted the fact that he had to drive forty-five minutes to grocery shop or rent a video. Still the 64 acres of land he inherited from his parents were sentimental, and held as many memories as the sky held stars.
Tommy had always been close to his parents. Due to complications during the pregnancy, his mother Nancy had to undergo a full hysterectomy immediately following Tommy’s birth. This broke Jim and Nancy’s hearts, for they had always dreamed of a large family. Jim had six brothers and sisters, Nancy was the oldest of five girls, and they both looked forward to carrying on the large family tradition. The idea of adoption vaguely crossed their minds throughout the years as young Tommy grew, but was always dismissed just as easily. As the only child, Tommy was, as most would call, “born with a silver spoon in his mouth”. His parents felt that they could never love an adopted child as much as him, and if God had wanted Jim and Nancy to have other children, then it would have been. With their strong Christian beliefs, they understood that God always had a plan, and that all of their love and devotion should be directed onto Tommy, and Tommy alone. So, as their son reached and passed every stepping stone in life’s journey, Jim and Nancy were there, providing everything they could possibly afford, and always pushing for his very best.
How Tommy missed his Mom and Dad. One night, during Tommy’s last month of high school, Jim and Nancy were driving home from their weekly bowling night, when they were involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Jim and Nancy were killed instantly, while the bastard in the Volvo that hit them walked away with minimal cuts and bruises.
The screeching of tires jolted Tommy off memory lane and back to reality. He had been dimly aware of the red Chevy Blazer that he had been trailing, but the truck was about a mile up the road. Wasn’t it? Regardless, the word “Chevrolet” imprinted on the back of the truck was now legible, and the brake lights were casting an eerie red tint on the pavement, all about a half a block away. What was this guy doing? Deer. This time of year was horrible for deer. How could he be so careless as to not pay attention to the road? Just as the thought came into Tommy’s mind, it was gone, and he was simultaneously yanking the steering wheel hard to the right and slamming on his own brakes to avoid smashing into the backend of the Blazer. His truck’s front tires hit gravel, while the back tires fishtailed uncontrollably. The back end of the Suburban swung dangerously perpendicular to the country road and in the same instance the truck was airborne. It was as if everything was happening in slow motion, but with a different sort of grey hazy light. The Suburban rolled side over side four times before coming to a crashing halt up against the tree line. The heavy smell of the air bags and the taste of his own blood, were the last things Tommy remembered before drifting out of consciousness.