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When I was 24, I became quite disillusioned with my work. I was delivering kitchen cabinets for a kitchen cabinet company and although, it may seem odd to have any kind of aspirations with that type of work, my boss had several businesses to which I hoped to find a more gainful position.<br><br>
I had approached him one day and asked where my future was going with the company. He said something to the effect that I would always be a truck driver for him. Needless to say, I was a little distraught with his reply, and it showed in my work. I was eventually let go from the company due to my lackluster work?I purposely sabotaged my employment.<br><br>
Anyway, I was left with what amounted to poverty line income and no clear direction to go, I decided I had to make some hard decisions in my life. I had heard that the Vancouver police department was going to be in town on a recruitment drive and I decided to toss my hat in the ring. I wrote their exam and essay and was asked to come to Vancouver for the final interview process which consisted of the formal interview, physical, and the obstacle course.<br><br>
With what I had left of my money, I excitedly purchased a round trip airfare to Vancouver and set to getting in shape for the obstacle course. I hadn?t run since high school and I was in lousy shape. I needed to run three miles in a given time to qualify. The task was daunting after my initial run where I knew I had a lot of work to do. It didn?t help matters that I was living with a girlfriend that was a smoker. My health and fitness left something to desire.<br><br>
I had a week to try and get into some sort of shape. I faithfully laced up my Nike knock off runners everyday and pounded the pavement. I had my best friend time me on my last run and I just made it under the wire, but in the process I compounded a muscle in my foot. I knew it was going to affect the run portion of the physical fitness test but I was going to give it my best shot. Hell, I had nothing to lose.<br><br>
The day came for me to leave. My friend and my girl friend drove me to the airport and saw me off. I could see his truck parked at the end of the runway as my plane lifted off. I had never flown before and it was quite exhilarating. But I was very concerned when I looked out the window to see the wings of the plane flapping like a Canada goose! No one else seemed concerned though so I sat back, ordered a beer and contemplated my future. My foot had shown no improvement over the last few days, in fact, it seemed to have gotten worse and I was limping considerable. I was very concerned.<br><br>
I touched down in Vancouver, wings of the plane intact, and was met by the uncle of my girlfriend with whom I?d be staying with. Vancouver is a beautiful city. Lush, green, lots of flowers, and very, very wet. It has two seasons. Wet, and more wet. Being a prairie boy, I failed to bring an umbrella. Hell, no self respecting prairie kid would be caught dead with an umbrella!<br><br>
The uncles apartment was close to the city?s sky train which was built for the Worlds Fair in the eighties. It was a convenient location because it was only a few stops off away from the district station where I was to have my interview. My interview was planned for Saturday morning and both the physical and obstacle course would be held on the following day. I was hoping that the extra day would give my foot some time to rest.<br><br>
Saturday came and I hobbled off to the train station. The weather was playing nice and it was not raining hard?more just a sprinkle. I arrived at the district office with plenty of time to spare. After a brief time waiting, a detective stuck his head into the waiting room and called me in. We walked to a crowded office and I was surprised that he was the only person conducting the interview. We sat down and then he dropped a bombshell on me.<br><br>
It appears as if the department had changed their minimum qualification requirements, quite literally, while I was in mid-flight. At the time of taking the exams, all I needed was a grade twelve education, now they were asking for post secondary. I sat stunned. I didn?t have post secondary. He asked if I still wanted to continue with the interview which would be kept on file until I obtained higher education. I grudgingly agreed and went through the motions of answering the questions he posed. I gave half hearted answers, thwe wind taken out of my sails. He asked when I would be able to get my post secondary. I couldn?t give him an answer. I had 20 dollars to my name and it was in my pocket. The thought of going back to school seemed a pipe dream. We finished up the interview and he told me to contact them when I was through with school. That?s all. Fin. Don?t let the door slap you on the ass on the way out.<br><br>
I found myself outside on the sidewalk in front of the old decaying building. Police officers were coming and going, a few laughing with each other over a private joke. Never had I felt so alone and lost in the world. It seemed the only hope that I had clung to was pulled away from me. I didn?t know what to do next. I couldn?t go back to my girlfriend?s uncle?s apartment and face the questions, it was all too embarrassing.<br><br>
It started to rain. I was soaked to the core within moments but still I just stood their not knowing where to go or what to do. I finally turned away from the direction of the train station and walked. People bustled by me tucked under their umbrellas and barely gave me a glance. I ended up in Vancouver?s Chinatown where I wandered it?s streets for some time. I stopped in front of a restaurant and looked inside, my stomach was growling with hunger, and I felt the damp twenty in my pocket. I went inside where I was ushered to an out-of-the-way table for one where I could drip in peace. Presently, a waiter appeared and gave me a menu. I looked at it but I couldn?t decipher it. I had no idea what to order and all I could do was to look at the waiter, shrug, and show him my twenty dollar bill. At that, he smiled, nodded his head, snapped the menu shut, and scurried away. I had left my hunger in his hands. The meal for me was a bowl of Wor wan ton soup. I had never had it before, but it was just what this drowned rat needed. Hot and nourishing. It?s just what my soul needed.<br><br>
I left the restaurant ten dollars lighter and still very damp. Feeling somewhat better and with a somewhat improved outlook on life (it?s amazing what a full belly can do), I returned to the streets of Chinatown. The weather had let up some and it seemed that the sun was trying to break through. I walked aimlessly with still no desire to return to the apartment and face humiliation. I wandered about, watching people and looking at the stores with its foreign concoctions. I found myself in front of an old Chinese emporium. The front window was so dirty and collected with dust it made it virtually impossible to see through to the other side. I was about to turn away when something caught my eye.<br><br>
Sitting in a forgotten corner in display window was an old, faded Chinese paper doll. From its appearance it had been sitting there for sometime. There was a layer of dust concealing its faded, robins blue coat. The doll itself was an ancient Chinese warrior in battle stance, complete with raised sword as if to fell an unseen enemy. I stood and looked at it for sometime unable to take my eyes away from it. Something about it held my attention beyond words. I felt the ten dollar bill in my pocket and knew what I needed to do.<br><br>
I walked into the store where the proprietor wrapped up the doll and moments later I was back on the street. I had no money to speak of but I had a renewed sense of purpose.<br><br>
I turned in the direction of the train station and limped towards it.
 

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More.. more..more! Do you still have the paper doll? DON'T LEAVE ME HANGING HERE, MAN!! Type.....! <img alt="computer.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/computer.gif"><img alt="icon_bounce.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_bounce.gif">
 

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<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> But I agree, don't leave your audience hanging!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There's a message in there, see if you can figure it out. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, when i first wrote this story a few years ago, i didn't really know where it was taking me. I knew that the experience I had was profound in some way but I was unable to put my finger on it.<br><br>
It took actually putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) to hit on the what it all meant.<br><br>
The paper doll was the focus of the story. At the time, I was unaware of what the paper doll meant to me and why I needed to buy it. I had unknowingly transferred my identity in that warrior. Dust covered, faded, forgotten, but still ready for the fight. By purchasing that doll, I gave it a second chance in life. I showed it it was needed.
 

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DId you post this in CH long ago Torque? I remember the part about the trip on the plane and not getting to even try the test for the PD for some reason.<br><br>
I do like the symbolism and reflective quality of the warrior. It needs more to link the two of you to make the essay have true impact.<br><br>
( I know I keep asking this -- but are considering submitting these essays for publication ???? You should. I think you could do well, especially with ones like "Snowball" and your fairly unique background in with wildlife care etc. ... I just sayin'.... think about it! <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> )
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You're not the only one that feels there needs to be the link..I'll have rework it at your advice.<br><br>
It's not easy to get published. I've submitted several articles to varying magazines and haven't received anything. Writing is a very difficult business to break into.
 

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It is .. I am working on that now... Hey you are a "published" author, in a nationally recognized on-line news paper. The Turkey Drool story hit the Forum here over Christmas. ( Actually we are a one of a kind newspaper and we are getting a lot of recognition in the media world via conferences etc .. you never know where it might lead)<br><br>
I am in a writer's group now and it helps a lot - to keep motivated and they help me look at my pieces more critically and make dang good suggestions as well. I am working on getting my first short story in something ( anything ?) but haven't found the right market. Let me know if I can help or ask my writer's group for suggestions for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, I saw that publication..thanks! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Is your writers group on-line?
 

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Nope the group is local - we have 4-5 people who meet twice a month at our library. It's a fairly diverse mix of genres- human interest, sports non fiction, detective/murder mysteries, fantasy and me... weird yankee humor as well as a serious story or two.<br>
Being published is one of those lifetime goals for me .... It will happen!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Would you mind sending me some of your stuff? You read lots of mine and I rarely see any of yours. Would really like to though.
 

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Sure - they are a bit long to post here so I haven't put any up. I had one piece published in the Forum back in May for Mother's Day, and write news and reviews fairly regularly for the Forum.<br>
I will send on via e-mail.
 
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