Off-seasons in skydiving can be a real bitch. I would most certainly know. There really aren’t too many options for a full-time, working skydiver when the weather turns to complete shit. There are also just as few options for full-time jump pilots.
Either you end up chasing the sun, which means packing everything you’ll need for the months away from “home” to toss drogues or shoot video in a more suitable part of the world, spending most if not all the money you made the entire season just getting by, or staying put, freezing your ass off, dealing with little or no money, and counting the days until the season opener comes back around. Pretty much the same goes for jump pilots.
This particular winter I’d spent the whole thing on the road. I’d been bouncing from one DZ to another for months. Months filled with sleeping in nasty little trailers in the middle of nowhere Texas, “guest rooms” in attics of friends’ houses, fleabag hotels and even the floor of the manifest office. Although I had managed to have a pretty good time overall, I was very ready to go home! Only one stop left …
It was time to get all the maintenance shit done before things kicked back into gear, and unfortunately, that for me meant one more fleabag motel in the middle of nowhere. As usual, the motel had no services whatsoever, and nothing more high end than a McDonalds nearby, so I demanded (begged) to get a set of wheels for the week that I’d be stuck there, so I could at least manage to get out on my own a bit.
As it turned out, I was within a few hours’ driving distance to what was then the biggest tunnel around, with some of the best instructors you could ask for, and as luck would have it, one of them was an old friend from my Cross Keys days. As soon as I let him know I was heading that way, he got me all sorted out with a good chunk of time in the tunnel, and an invite to dinner with the wife and relatively new baby. I was thrilled!
The tunnel time was a blast, if not a bit humbling, and I had fun regardless of how badly I was performing. As we wrapped up flying, he told me to just follow him over to where we’d meet the wife (who was also from my CK days) and the new baby for a nice dinner; and nice it was! It was without a doubt the best meal I’d managed to have in months, and even included more than a few drinks, which helped fuel all the old stories we reminisced over, laughing and at times sighing over some of the antics we’d either seen or been a part of.
As dinner finished up and the bill came, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I was told that no way was I going to drive all the way back to the hotel hours away, but that I would come back home with them, have another drink, and crash out on the floor for the evening. An offer I neither could nor wanted to refuse.
One or two drinks later, and my gracious hosts put the baby down, told me to make myself completely at home, and retired for the evening, but not before telling me they had great Wi-Fi and giving me the password so I could check up on the world, as I’d bitched that for months it seemed I hadn’t been able to do more than occasionally check my email. Check up on my email was exactly what I did. Then I got on Facebook for the first time in ages to find out what everyone had been up to while I’d been “away,” and then I got an all-too-familiar inclination …
Here I was, comfy as can be. All stretched out on the couch cushions they’d laid out on the floor for me, glass of wine by my side, lightning fast Internet connection and the realization that I not only hadn’t been laid in months, but had been forced to suffer through the same half dozen adult titles on my laptop for ages, as I hadn’t had the forethought to stock up, assuming that I’d either have Internet or a fucking date, neither of which did I have.
I mean c’mon, what would you do? Three o’clock in the morning and the house completely quiet. Slightly drunk, terminally horny and all alone … So, www.”insert porn site here”.com it was, and off to the races! The setting never really crossed my mind if truth be told. Straight down to business it was, and coming along just fine if I do say so, right up until …
“OH SHIT!!! SSS … Sorry Mate!”
The living room lights had come on, and gone off so fast that they hardly even registered with my eyes! I was completely frozen, even though the couple on my laptop were most certainly not! I couldn’t quite comprehend what had just happened, and then slowly but surely, it sunk in.
My old friend—who had just shown me the most entertaining evening I’d had in months, flown me in the tunnel, taken me out for a great meal, and then invited me into his home out of the kindness of his own heart—had just walked into his own living room to find a middle-aged man masturbating on the floor, surrounded by plush stuffed animals, baby toys and a play pen unmercifully lit momentarily by the rather bright light that hung directly above where I was lying.
As I surveyed the scene, now only lit by the flickering images screwing their brains out on the screen, I tried to think of what I could possibly do now (other than finish, of course! which I totally did.) The thing was, for as bad as I suppose it looked just catching a guest goin’ at it in your living room was, when you added to that the fact that everything the poor man directly associated with his kid was strewn all around me, it was downright shocking! I couldn’t possibly imagine in my embarrassed state how I was even going to begin to apologize, so, I didn’t!
I did what any self-respecting deviant with a bit of a porn habit would do. I woke up really fucking early, wrote a quick “Thanks for everything” note, and got the fuck out of there before the sun came up! It was the worst possible end to a horrible winter season I could have possibly imagined, and probably the worst beginning to a season he never would have imagined! I actually haven’t spoken to the poor bastard since. So …
“Dude, I am SO SORRY you caught me tossing off on your floor! I swear I kept a respectable distance from all the kid’s toys, and if it’s any consolation, it was a horrible nut.”
With any luck, this winter isn’t being nearly as bad to any of you as that one was to me, but if it is, take a small piece of advice from someone who’s been there. Take the laptop into the fucking bathroom.
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