30 Days


th (3)It was an extremely hot morning. The temperatures rose well above a hundred. I was working off a traffic ticket for the orange county court system by picking up garbage along the beach in the Laguna area. We came to a stretch of sand called “The Beach of a Thousand Steps”. Well you can guess how it got its name, yup, one thousand steps from the top of the pavement to the shoreline below. And not an easy climb either. Short steep ones. And it was the only public access to the water. It was set in a cove, surrounded by high cliffs. So a couple of other debt payers and I grabbed some plastic bags and wearing an orange vest and holding a cherry picker, we made our way down.

Now there must have been a party the night before because there were beer bottles, cans, paper plates, food, wine bottles and who know what else littering the entire cove. The trash cans were over flowing and seagulls had scattered the garbage all over the place. After about an hour we managed to bag up twenty or so bags. Some weighing as much as fifty pounds. After making a couple of trips up to the top, we were very tired and very thirsty. I looked around at the houses that circled the beach and there was only one that had access to the shoreline. The house was a beautiful three-story mansion and was just to the right of the steps we were using. The driveway was gated, but ran all the way to the sand.

tumblr_m4fld93nxu1ruer9to1_500So I knocked on the door to see if the owner wouldn’t mind opening his gate so we could drive the truck down and save us several hours of hauling garbage and possible heat stroke. When the door opened Jon Bon Jovi was standing there in way too tight cut off jeans and a white v-neck t-shirt. I thought it was just my luck. A couple of years prior a few of my friends and I ran into him outside of the local Tower records. He was pushing his demo and had on these really girly suede shoes and a purple fluffy scarf.  He was just asking to get picked on if you ask me. So we harassed him for a bit, being the hard-core metal heads that we were. Teased him and what not. Anyway, he laughed right in my face and told me that I did the crime I had to do the time, (Original I know) and he wasn’t opening any gate. Even though he was probably to blame for the mess we were cleaning up.

thous1bSo I spent most of the morning hauling bags up those thousand steps. I was hot, tired, sore and dirty. I was carrying two bags up at a time and my back was killing me. About half way up one of the bags broke and bottles and cans and chicken bones spilled all down the steps. Glass was breaking as I slipped on the rubbish and went down on my knees. Just then I looked up at that house and through a large picture window I saw Jon laughing at me and pointing. Well I was at the end of my rope. With not even so much as a second thought I stood up, grabbed an empty beer bottle and with every bit of strength I had left,  I threw it at right at his goofy looking face. The bottle crashed through the glass and that jerk dove to the ground like a frightened little boy.

Needless to say I was charged with assault. 30 days in jail, 45 more days added onto my community service and had to fork over twenty-five hundred dollars for a new window.

But I have to say, the look on his face when that bottle left my finger tips…. was worth every bit of it.
1000steps

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About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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