November 5th: 7 AM
I had that dream again. Same warm sun. Same beautiful day on the shore. Sitting on my window frame again, just soaking in the day. This time, it went on a little further. I stood up off the frame, and planted my bare feet on the hard wood of the front porch. I stepped down the front stoop and into the warm, white sand in my front yard. I watched my toes squirm in the sand and grass. The chorus of bells began to pick up on the wind. I looked up to the brilliant ray of colors the sun cast as it set, straight ahead on the horizon. It was impaled right in the middle by my pier. The water splashed gently against the wooden beams and the smell was purifying.
When I woke up, I was a little sad. Not that I had woken up from a beautiful dream, but that for a moment I let myself forget that Henry was dead. I was lost in the feeling of it. It felt so real. I could feel the spray of the ocean on my skin. Figured I should jot it down real quick. Help me keep it in my head as I go through my day. Even if I do feel a little guilty, I’m glad I haven’t had any nightmares yet.
November 5th: 2 PM
This place won’t give us a goddamn break. It’s taking a whole lot more than it’s giving. Shit. I always get ahead of myself.
Went down to breakfast with Bill this morning after that quick entry I wrote. Bill was his usual self going down the stairs, being a jackass.
Bill: “I was dreamin’ about your sister this morning… you the kind of guy to make dreams come true?”
Me: “You asking me to name a price on my sister?”
Bill: “I’m just wondering, if there was a price… whatya’ think it would be?”
Me: “Depends on whatya’ got.”
We shared a laugh. That on top of my nice dream that morning somehow got me in a good mood right when I was coming into the cafeteria. Made me feel even more like shit when I was the only guy laughing in a room full of tired and sad faces. I immediately shut the fuck up and we got our food. After a minute, the conversations picked back up about as much as you’d expect with everyone working hard hours and a man dying.
“I didn’t sleep for shit last night.”
“Yeah, me neither. This asshole starts kicking and moaning in the middle of the night. Rolls right outta’ the top bunk and nearly cracks his skull.”
“Hurt like hell. Woke me up from one damn good dream, too.”
It looked like I wasn’t the only one unburdened in my sleep. But we seemed like the exception. Most of the men were starting to look a little haggard. More than men like us usually do.
Our day started and already the rain and wind was getting pretty bad. We were trying to reach some decent numbers to make up for the low yield yesterday. Trying to carry almost 2,000lbs of drill pipe with three other guys while you’re slipping through the water in 30-40 mph winds. This was my fucking morning, and I didn’t know it then, but it was only going to get worse.
Two hours in and the storm started hitting us with bits of hail. I had finished getting word from the Derrickhand to get another pipe ready when I saw Stanley slumped over in front of the motor. There was an open panel right in front of him. Stanley’s been a Motorman and Roughneck like me for years. I’d remembered him looking pretty tired at breakfast, but he wasn’t the type to nod off on the job. I figured he knew better. I called out to him. He jerked a little up and down, like he was laughing. I walked towards him, but before I got two steps in, he slumped forward a foot or less, but his right arm went into the motor.
I heard a horrifying snap and blood sprayed out from the spinning gears of the drill motor. Stanley immediately returned to reality and spun around screaming. He fell to his knees and I nearly lost my fucking breakfast. I managed to keep my shit together somehow and pulled Stanley up by his intact arm. At this point, the rest of the men were rushing to help. We carried him straight to the infirmary.
The Medic was named Tyler. He was a military field surgeon in Iraq and he didn’t blink a goddamned eye when he saw Stanley. He told us to put him on the table and he got me to tie a tourniquet around his arm. After that, I helped him with the entire procedure as Stanley bucked and screamed and cursed. It’s not like Stanley and I are brothers or even good friends, but I couldn’t stand back and watch someone else on this rig die. It took about 20 minutes, but we stopped the bleeding and the Doc pumped him with enough painkillers to get him to pass out.
Production was shut down for four hours before Ed (our Toolpusher) got word from the company man to continue on. Motherfuckers gave me the rest of the day off with pay. Guess I should be grateful, but it pisses me off. What the fuck am I going to do with a day off in the middle of the fucking Gulf during a storm? Watch another of the same goddamn movies? Fuck it, just figured I’d write more of all this down. May as well get it all here. When I’m older and my days are short and easy, I’ll read this book and remember to appreciate shit a little more.