Two days after discussing the possibility of working at a new business with a guy I recently met, I got the call that would change my life. There was a kidney for me. Finally. In the interest of not being redundant, instead of retelling this event, you can read the original post here. This post is about the opportunity presented and the multiple events that would form one of the most up and down periods I’ve endured in a long time.

I had my Transplant on a Sunday. Monday morning I awoke in the recovery room with tubes coming out of everywhere. I was in excruciating pain but I was exuberant. Gone was the Brain Fog, the malaise, the unexplainable but very real feeling of toxic waste running through my veins. My head was clear. I felt good and I felt hopeful. When I shook off the cobwebs and assessed my situation, it occurred to me that I needed to let my family and friends (the ones that knew I had gone in for the surgery) that I was OK. I asked the Nurse for my phone so that I could make some calls. I called family first and then opened FB to post my little miracle. The first thing I noticed was a Messenger notification. It was from Vinny of all people.
“Heard the great news. Hope you are better than ever. We need to talk when you feel up to it.”
Apparently I had made a friend as well as a prospective employer. I told him that when I got home from the hospital and was feeling up to it that we would talk. I was excited on many levels, beyond the euphoria of my new gift of life. I suddenly, for the first time in many years, felt like I had a future and some actual prospects. Obviously, I had to focus on my recovery. But I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and it wasn’t a train. Excitement about things to come; good health of course was at the top of the list. But I also missed the formerly active lifestyle that I enjoyed before my first Transplant failed. I wanted to get back out there and live. To exercise. To love. And believe it or not, to work again.

That’s where Vinny came in.

Let’s start at the beginning

I was born in July 1965, I weighed 8 lbs 2 oz…ok yeah maybe not that far back. Let’s go as far back as August of last year instead. It was a hot summer and, despite being increasingly sick on dialysis, I was making my best effort to maintain my side business of detailing cars. I was doing really well, making good money and, despite being weak and really struggling to keep up, doing a car a day if the weather allowed. It was a good gig, people in town like me and are happy to give me their business. It doesn’t hurt that I do a really good job I suppose. It’s not a brag, I really do professional quality work for a very reasonable rate. I have as much work as I want.

One of my customers was a gentleman that I had never met until he called me on a referral. He was an ideal customer, he gave me 3 vehicles to detail and he was a big tipper. He was also fun to talk to and that mattered to me because he was my age, friends my age are hard to come by in this podunk little town. I immediately liked him. The day I returned the 3rd vehicle he mentioned to me in passing that he had just bought the local eyesore, a vacant convenience store. Everyone in town had hoped for someone to build something there and finally someone had. He told me all about his plans. In addition to having a full convenience store, he had plans to build a pizza, sandwich, and deli section as well. His plan was to serve New Haven, CT style “Apizza” (pronounced ahpeetz), a style of pizza that no restaurant in NH, never mind our local area, was serving. Thin crust, light cheese with a charred bottom. My favorite type of pie next to Boston North End style. It was exciting to hear him talk about it. I knew right away that he would be providing a unique product that people were going to love and travel for. His history of successfully flipping properties in town spoke for itself. This guy didn’t know how to fail.
He asked me if I knew anyone with food service experience. Impulsively, and in hindsight, regrettably, I told him that I did.

He told me that we needed to talk. I was looking forward to that conversation. But as fate would have it, the next day I got the call that saved my life. I was called to the hospital to receive a Kidney Transplant.

It’s been how long?

When I was in High School I had an awesome car. Not awesome in the vernacular of the day; I didn’t have anything expensive, exotic, or muscular but instead vintage and uncommon. My Great Uncle, who I had only met a few times, willed me his 1965 Ford Falcon when he passed in 1981. It was a fun car and I wish I still had it. Me and the Falcon, which my father’s “folksy racist” best friend referred to as “The ‘Coon” (my apologies) could be seen bombing around town on any given day. It was a joy to drive because it was a standard transmission with the shifter on the column, commonly referred to as a “three on the tree”. I’ll always be thankful that I was able to experience that, it was an unusual setup to have in the 80’s. The only drawback was that I couldn’t take advantage of the bench seats by wrapping my arm around my girlfriend because I needed it to shift. Like a dumbass, I got rid of the car to remedy this unfortunate situation. We soon broke up. I was left without the car and the girl. It was a unique situation that would never replicate itself.

Or so I thought. Should you tune in tomorrow you can join me as I tell you what I have been up to since I last posted. In April. Holy crap how did I get away from blogging for so long?