The Life of a Rob: Part 10

Welcome to part 10! High School & Saginaw days! Also the year I lost a part of myself! O.O

The year was 1996. What a busy year. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let me get the video game stuff out-of-the-way. So I was living in a decently nice town house in Saginaw. Bill wouldn’t shut up about me renting Chrono Trigger, so I did. I don’t think I saw the sun for 10 days… Bill wasnt fucking around. Chrono Trigger blew my ass away. This was Super Nintendo? This must have been the utmost peak of what SNES can do. Chrono Trigger is solely responsible for my love of RPG games to this day. Chrono Trigger will also remain my favorite RPG of all time.

Everything about Chrono Trigger was a “10”. Graphics, effects, music, story, replayability. This was a true masterpiece of a game. It took me over 70 hours to beat it the first time. Then I discovered there were a ton of multiple endings & things to do after you beat it. It involved time travel & executed it beautifully. When I hear the classic music of Chrono Trigger it invokes strong feelings of nostalgia. I probably beat that game fully about 7 times over the course of time. It shows its age today, but back then it was a marvel of a game. It was the longest game I had ever played & it was packed to the gills with content. When it debuted, it was also slightly more expensive than other SNES games. A Dream Team of RPG Game Developers came together in its creation. As many gamers as there are that love this game, I STILL feel like it’s underappreciated. Chrono Trigger remains a unique solid gem in history of video games. A true masterpiece. So I have Bill to thank for that & getting me on the path of RPGs.

Bill actually introduced a lot of games to me that I would not normally have tried. Bill introduced me to RPGs & Strategy games. After loving Chrono Trigger so much, I would rent & buy other RPGs such as Final Fantasy 3. I also have Bill to thank for games like Diablo, Civilization 2, Command & Conquer, & more. Bill also introduced me to Anime. I called it Japanime for the longest time. He was responsible for introducing the Anime classic, Ninja Scroll to me & many others. Bill was a huge Street Fighter fan & he was good. Id say we were about tied at Street Fighter. I had the upper hand at Mortal Kombat though. We were about tied at Tekken & Killer Instinct. He was later a little better at Soul Caliber. Me & Jason shared a strong connection with Mortal Kombat, but Bill & Jose were my fighting game rivals.

Speaking of Mortal Kombat, let’s go back a bit to the MK2 days. One day I was at Blockbuster video, it had just been converted to a Blockbuster store. Outside in the parking lot sat a truck with Mortal Kombat 2 & Game Pro magazine graphics on the side. The side of it was open & kids were playing Mortal Kombat 2 on SNES. For whatever reason I was by myself. I think I was with Cody earlier in the day. Well I go up to this truck, I sign some paper to play, I wait in line, & play some Mortal Kombat 2. They tell me that they’re doing a Mortal Kombat 2 tournament for Game Pro. Well I barely even knew what a tournament was. I didn’t really care. I just wanted to play. I stood there & literally beat every kid (& grown up) there multiple times.

They had a little table sat up with drinks & hotdogs. I played until they closed the truck & left. The 2 guys on the truck were wearing neat Polo shirts with little Game Pro logos on the pockets. They told me something like… I was the champion of the parking lot & something about the scores of players will be tallied for Game Pro magazine. I didn’t really know what they were talking about at the time. I forgot all about it & some months passed. Well one day I’m at Wal-Mart reading & dissecting a Game Pro magazine, like I did with all of the video game magazines. Then I notice a small box at the bottom of the page announcing scores for their Mortal Kombat 2 Tournament for different states. My name clear as day was typed in as 2nd place in Texas. I was shocked, confused, & happy. I didn’t have enough money to buy the mag at the time. I wanted to steal the magazine, but I didn’t. I told my friends about it, but I don’t think they believed me. At some point later I had a copy of the Game Pro, but it’s now long gone…

Ok… 1996… Boswell High School Saginaw Texas… I remember struggling to find my classes on my first day. Boswell was a series of separate buildings. Meaning you did a lot of walking outside to other buildings. It took me a few days to remember where the Hell to go & for what period. The whole school had a different vide. A “white” vibe. I fit in a little better here. Kids were generally in a more positive mood, for the most part anyway. Fights were WAY less common, but still happened. There was no one getting jumped into gangs. It was mostly white kids, a good amount of mexican kids, & some black kids. But even the mexican & black kids acted more friendly than I was used to. It was a better school, but definitely still a pain in my ass.

I made some temporary High School friends & there was Bill. Bill got picked on a lot. Kids would throw stuff & talk shit to him. Bill would carry his game systems with him in his backpack when he went to school so no one would mess with them while he was away from home. Well me, Bill, & our small clique was sitting at our table at lunch one day. Someone threw something at Bill & it ended up lading on my lunch plate, throwing food everywhere. Now I had come from a much tougher school & I wasnt about to go back to getting picked on. I’ll never endure the stress of getting picked on again. I’ll die first. The kids that threw the rock still laughed. So I stand up & they quiet down. I’m a pretty big sized kid at this point. I start to walk over to the table that it came from…

I yell “Who the fuck threw that rock?” One of the kids says that they meant to hit Bill. I yell “I don’t give a fuck who it was meant for. It hit me & we got a fucking problem now!” “Did you throw it you little fuck?”, I asked the kid that spoke up. He says no. So I go on talking shit to this whole table & no one will stand up or speak up. It was the first time this had ever happened. I was talking trash to an entire table of kids & they were scared. They just stayed quiet. Then one of the teachers came & got me. She made me sit in the principles office for a bit. I got off with a warning. A few others would try to test me in class also. I would step up to them ready to box, but no one would ever actually fight. Well a combination of this attitude, skipping a ton of class, & not doing any school work got me assigned to “Saturday School” as punishment.

Yeah fucking right. Youre not going to get me to come up here on a damn Saturday. My Mom did drop me off a few Saturdays & as soon as she drove away, I would just walk to the video store or Bills house. It was a long walk too. Later I would walk home & give my Mom some lie about how I got off early & got a ride home. We still didn’t have a phone, but the school would send stuff in the mail. Well skipping Saturday School got me put in what they called “SACK”. I don’t remember what it stood for now, but it was basically a prison sentence for school. We got stuck in a small room with the worst of the schools riff raff. We had to sit in a cubicle where we couldn’t see or talk to anyone. They would hand us a packet of school work that we had to complete for the day. If we finished it early, we would have to sit there in silence, unless we had the foresight to bring a book to read.

Well I spent so much time in SACK that I read 4 Doom novels, other novels, a lot of comics, & other books. I wasnt a big book reader until SACK came along. For lunch we could either bring our own food or they would give us a premade lunch with a sandwich, a drink, & chips or a cookie. That’s what lunch was EVERY single day. I got sick of sandwiches. SACK was how I experienced a big part of 9th grade. Before I was put into SACK I was in a pretty cool Computer class that I liked. I would climb trees on the property & skip class all while watching people walk around below. I was finally caught doing this once. To get away from the school & skip the whole day, it was hard. At the time, the school was literally built in the middle of a huge field.

They would have teachers or Security watch the area around the school all day & report any escape artists. If any were spotted making a break for it, they would chase you down in a golf cart or vehicle & you’d be in serious trouble. Yup I got caught doing this also. At lunch they had a big crowd of kids huddled around that would be smoking cigarettes & even weed. The kids nick named it the ash tray if I remember right. Right in the middle of the lunch yard. You could eat outside or inside. We usually ate outside. This is where the ash tray was. By the time a teacher could get to the middle of the ash tray, whatever was being smoked would be long gone. It was funny at the time really. Just for fun, I got in the middle of it one day & puffed on a cigarette. Well it would be my luck that enough of an opening was left to where I looked up & locked eyes with a teacher just as I was taking a puff.

What the actual fuck? I had never heard of this ever happening to any other kid in the history of the ash tray. Maybe I was a little taller & a little careless than the others. Well she didn’t get to me or catch me that moment, but she tried to get me later in the day. Of course I didn’t admit anything. I didn’t know what she was talking about! I didn’t even like cigarettes! …yet. Later I smoked cigarettes for about 6 months or so before deciding that it wasnt for me. It was an expensive habit that did nothing for me. I did however “puff the magic Dragon” a bit. Weed calmed me down & made me laugh. Later I would discover that weed helped me go to sleep. Which is something ive always struggled with. One night Jason was spending the night. I was asleep. I had been laying there for many hours but Jason was still awake & playing video games. Jason tried to test just how much of a light sleeper I was & whispered “Rob”. Without missing a beat, I woke up & asked “What?”

At lunch Bill would always go in & get my lunch. I don’t remember punking him out to do it, it was just an arrangement we had somehow made. I rarely even step foot in the cafeteria. Id go get our table & Bill would bring my food. There were 2 other guys & sometimes a chick that also sat at our table. I don’t even remember their names now. From being home schooled the previous year, I guess I had gotten lazy on school work & also didn’t follow rules well. I would bring my Walkman to school & literally just sit there listening to music all day without doing a line of school work. The teachers fussed about it for a bit but I wouldn’t listen. I would sit in the very furthest back seat in every class. It got to the point where when the teachers were passing out papers, they would only pass enough to stop at the kid in front of me. They wouldn’t even pass one to me. There was no point. I was wearing all black. I had a “fuck you” attitude. I did what the fuck I wanted to do & that was to listen to music all day. 

Lets get a little personal now… While I was in the 9th grade, one night I got up to pee. I was half asleep. I peed, & layed back down. I think I fell back asleep, but I awoke to a terrible pain in my groin. It hurt so bad I couldn’t even scream. At the same time, I didn’t want to scream & get in trouble by Frank. I rolled into the floor not knowing what was going on. Maybe I did something in my sleep & it would pass. It didn’t. I layed on my floor in excruciating pain the rest of the night. I couldn’t even stand. My Mom usually got up somewhat early. The next morning when she woke up I yelled for her to come into my room. I told her that my balls hurt really really bad & that I needed to see a Doctor. I skipped school that day, & many days after.

Well I don’t think my Mom realized how bad it really was. With my Grandmas help, they scheduled a Doctors appointment for 3 days later. It was the most painful 3 days of my life. It felt like I had been kicked in the balls for 3 fucking days. My left nad swelled up to about the size of a softball. I didn’t play games or do anything but lay there in pain for 3 days. Over the counter pain pills did nothing. I didn’t know how Doctors visits worked at that age or else I would have suggested that they take me to the emergency room immediately. I wasnt used to going to the Doctor. I’m still not to this day. It was something that was usually just too expensive. We usually just dealt with medical issues, unless we were about dying.

So I layed there in excruciating pain for 3 long days. Finally we drove to my Grandmas house. My Grandma saw how much pain I was in & how I was acting & started griping at my Mom for not bringing me to her sooner. I guess my Grandma was under the impression that it wasnt as bad as it was. My Mom just didn’t know how to adult a lot of the time. My Mom & Grandma wanted to look at my swollen tea bag & I refused… They finally got me to agree & so we were immediately on our way to the Doctors office. I remember someone saying that I could’ve died from the infection had we waited much longer. On top of the pain, I was weak & felt like death. I wasnt eating much or sleeping on top of everything. So they had me put a hospital gown on, layed me on a bed, & wheeled me into a room.

I layed there while some fat guy rubbed some kinda jelly on my poor swollen package. It was embarrassing & I didn’t care for big dudes touching my big yam bag. He used some machine (a sonogram?) to look into my crystal ball to see what was going on in there. My nut was so stretched out it was as smooth as eggs. Apparently, I had done something in my sleep to detach the testicle from its cord. How this happened is a mystery to me. I didn’t move around in my sleep that much. But here we were. So they wheeled me into another room to prep for surgery. There I layed, embarrassed to all Hell, legs wide-spread, & my cold dong bros exposed to the world.

They put a breathing apparatus on me to start putting me to sleep. Before I passed out, I remember some chick shaving my huge ball bag. Other nurses & whatnot were scurrying about the room doing medical stuff & staring at my huge gonad. THIS was my first experience of a chick looking at my mutated balls. Great. Well after I had woke up, I was in a daze. My Mom & Grandma was still there. I stood up & slowly made my way to the restroom to try to pee. I couldn’t pee, yet needed to. Why couldn’t I freakin pee? I was pissed. I thought they had sealed up the wrong tube or something down there. Well the nurse came in & explained things, & said that they would have to put a catheter in. I didn’t know really what that was at the time but I would soon get a serious education on it.

I didn’t like the idea of what they had told me, but I really needed to pee. So one nurse tried to hold me down while another shoved this plastic thing into my dick hole & up into my bladder. Yeah, it sucked really bad. It hurt. On top of hurting there was EXTREME discomfort. I wasnt used to solid objects going that direction into my dick hole. My pee would proceed into a bag as if things weren’t embarrassing enough. But wait, there’s more! The next day or so the nurse said that I need to get out of bed to walk down the hall & back for exercise or something. So I get out of bed, were slowly scooting down the hall & I notice a breeze on my backside. I see people looking & laughing. I turn to the lady & say, “My butt is out isn’t it?”. Yup. It was. So she closed the hospital gown thing, after I had mooned half the place. I also remember having enough of this catheter business & trying to pull it out myself. Well that wasnt smart. Apparently its held in place by a little thing that inflates. Later they removed it. It felt almost as bad coming out as it did going in.

So after I had recovered a bit I had many questions about my operation. They had removed my left testicle & no I couldn’t keep it. I tried to plead with them to insert a fake testicle in there, but there was a big risk for infection & it cost A LOT. My request was declined. The Doc said that I could still have children, both male & female. They explained that they had used dissolving stitches so I wouldn’t have to return to get them removed. They would dissolve as I healed. I was happy about that. I was happy that I was feeling better & that I wasnt in so much pain. I couldve died from that situation if it had been left unattended for too long. He mentioned that I didn’t need testosterone treatment & that he wanted me to use my body’s natural testosterone as long as I could. Which I didn’t fully understand at the time.

To this day, I still have not gotten on low T treatment, but I probably need to. I still usually function ok in the sack, but low T can effect a great number of things. Things such as fatigue (check), muscle weakness (check), depression (check), pot belly (check), weight gain (check)… you get the idea. So after the operation, I would lay in bed trying to recover. Id worry what chicks would think of my scarred up ball bag & only having one nut. I would have to explain it to them. Would it be the same as a girl only having one boob? Am I a freak down there now? In my teen years, it would be something that I was especially embarrassed about. I’m more open about it these days though. However, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who I know, that don’t even know about it. I miss my nut…   

Well after 9th grade, we had new landlords that decided to raise our rent. My Mom started to see an end to the townhouse coming & knew that we would have to move again soon. She took me out of school. I didn’t go to the 10th grade. She intended to home school me again, but it just didn’t happen. I dropped out of school then, never to return. Until I obtained my High School Diploma on my own accord years later. I never liked school so I was happy with the decision then. But it would only serve to make things harder later in life. I wonder how things would be if my Mom had kept me in school & if I had gone to College.

The year was now 1997. This is the year my Grandpa passed away. I was heartbroken. So heartbroken that I didn’t know how to handle it. He was THE greatest man I ever knew  in almost every way. I remember the day that we got the news clearly. Jason had spent the night. We were going to take Jason home that day & go to visit Grandpa, who was in the Hospital from a bad bout of pneumonia & “not doing well”. My Grandma pass in a similar way. They both died very old in a bed having gotten pneumonia. Well that day, My Mom stopped at the payphone to call my Grandma. She told her that he had passed. I was sitting in the car with Jason & I saw her bust out crying at the payphone. She told me when she got to the car & I was just stunned. Dead & stunned. She drove us back to our house to recover. She was crying pretty bad.

I was trying my best to hold my tears back from Jason. It was stupid to do so. Jason wouldn’t have thought any less of me. But as a kid growing up in a bad neighborhood, its how I was “trained”. Dont cry, don’t show weakness, dont show emotion. I held it in & it choked me out inside. I was so destroyed mentally that I didn’t go to the funeral. I didnt want to see the whole family weeping. I think ive mentioned some of this before, but I would regret not going to the funeral. This supercharged the darkness that I had already accumulated inside. Sadness, anger, pain, numbness… As a teen I had already become a pro at containing or what I thought was controlling my emotions. My brain developed natural defenses to numb myself of mental pain. For years, I would not allow myself to feel certain emotions. I was a mess inside. Alcohol, drugs, & having more freedom was starting to enter the picture. This was not a good combination. 

   

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