At age eighteen Bill tossed everything into his old car and moved to L.A, yearning for a life of wealth, women, and major league sports close up. He knew he was destined for distinction, he just had to figure how to proceed. He’d gotten a job sweeping concrete floors and stacking boxes in a south central warehouse. Maybe he could become company president someday but really didn’t want that. He needed a glamorous job, something appropriate for L.A. He’d find that and never have to stay in another ratty old motel.
He felt better after showering and toweled himself a bit before exiting the tub and walking into the bedroom and was preparing to put on underwear when from the closet charged a bug the size of three beetles. Bill turned and dashed into the bathroom, seeking lethal toilet paper, but his feet slipped on the wet floor and he fell back, both feet shooting into the shower doors, breaking glass and deeply cutting the lower inside of his left foot.
He grabbed tissue to daub his bleeding foot, cursed the bug who’d disappeared and was probably waiting for him in bed, and slowly got dressed. The motel manager referred him to a nearby clinic where at the intake window a clerk asked, “How are you going to pay for this?”
“I’m good for it. I promise. Just send me the bill.”
In 1971 medical people weren’t as fanatical about receiving everything up front. A doctor used internal stitches to sew the meat back together and external threads rejoined skin. The internal stitches dissolved on their own. A couple of weeks later Bill saved another bill by cutting the stitches with manicuring scissors and plucking with tweezers. He paid the original bill, modest by today’s standards, even adjusting for inflation, in three installments.
In a couple of weeks he left L.A. and, more than four decades later, is still trying to get back, watching his time expire as SoCal housing prices soar.