World Pukes on Me

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April 22, 2014 by genelup

Gene in Morocco

I was on top of my game the first part of 1967.

At 29, I had a plush job as a writer in the public relations department at International Minerals & Chemical Corporation in Skokie, a northern Chicago suburb.

I lived the high life in a bachelor’s pad off Chicago’s Rush Street nightclub scene.  I had lots of friends, and was invited to lots of parties.  We singles even celebrated Thanksgiving together; about 12 of us having a humongous dinner together.  We were “Friends” before “Friends” ever became popular on television.

I even dated an American Airlines stewardess, and I was well on my way to having the “good life.”

Then, about mid to late summer of 1967, my world puked on me.  I asked my stewardess girlfriend to marry me.  She said, “No.”  Basically, I wasn’t good enough for her.

I moved out of my bachelor’s pad and rented a tiny apartment a few miles away from the nightlife scene.  I didn’t want to face my “friends.”  I was demolished.  My self-esteem collapsed.  I hit the B & Bs pretty hard – that is the bottle and bars.

A couple months later, my boss called me into his office.  I was fired.  Actually, he said, I was laid off because the company was downsizing.

More B & Bs.

I delivered pizzas, and tried to sell Electrolux vacuum cleaners door-to-door.  I moved back to Phoenix to live with my parents.  Almost 30 and I lived with Mommy and Daddy.  I went on unemployment.  All I could find was a one-week job playing Santa Claus at a daycare center.  I had to wear two pillows to look fat.  When the parents arrived to pick up their kids, I greeted their little darlings on the patio.  One boy kicked me in the shins, and another boy told me he wanted a gun for Christmas so he could shoot me.

My life shattered.  I finally said to “hell with it all”, took my life savings, and headed for Europe. — From my book “My Life Shattered then it got worse, until…”


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