Today’s topic is my favorite quote. Now granted I have many and have even come up with a few bumper sticker ones of my own, but I have one favorite.
“Torch the Ships”.
This quote is based on the myth of the Spanish conquistador and explorer Hernan Cortes. When he and his crew landed in what is now known as Mexico, he wanted to conquer the Aztec Empire and claim the land for Spain. He was outnumbered by a dramatic margin. As he feared his men would retreat back to their ships and leave the land, he ordered that the ships be torched so there would be no choice but to fight. History shows that he and his crew defeated the Aztec Nation and claimed the land for Spain.
So “Torch the Ships” is a fancy way of saying “No Retreat” or “No Surrender”.
Now why does this have meaning to me, you ask? This is something me and my friend Jason would always say to each other. Many times it was a joke to us. Like we would be at a buffet and one of us got too much food and would not finish it and the other would say “come on man… Torch the Ships!” It was funny to us.
I got this quote tattooed on my right wrist in honor of Jason.
I couple years ago Jason was on his way home from somewhere and entered and intersection and was struck by another car. Jason was killed. This was devastating to me on so many levels. Jason was my best friend. I would say that if I ever got married, he would be my best man. He was the guy that saved the day for me on one too many occasions.
One time I was out at a work thing and the waitress gave my debit card to the wrong customer and by the time I found out, that person maxed out my account on gas and beer at a gas station down the road. I was broke. Payday was a couple days away so I was going to be ok but I had no money. I told Jason about it because we were supposed to go grab some wings that next day and I would not be able to go since I was broke. Later that day he showed up at my apartment with a hundred bucks. I told him I didn’t need it but I really did. He made me take it. Payday I went and paid him back.
Another time I was working for a company that shut down out of the blue. I was living paycheck to paycheck at the time and losing my job was not a good thing. Unemployment benefits were not enough for my car payment and rent let alone gas and food. I lost everything. I went to live with family in another city but that did not work out. I could not find a job there and everything was here. I was homeless. I slept in my car many a night and ate when I could. It was not a good time. I got in touch with Jason to see if he had any job leads and told him what was going on. He got pissed at me for not calling sooner. He told me to drive up to Ft. Worth and stay at his place. Just like that he opened up his home to me. I had a bed and cooked food. I know I was a burden most of the time but it saved me from many a night in my car.
Shortly before he died we got into a major argument and stopped talking to each other. It was a clash of egos and it was stupid. Neither one of us wanted to back down and next thing I knew he was dead.
To this day, this is devastating to me. Here I am struggling with friendships with people who don’t care to even be my friend and the one that did want to, is gone. What if we were not fighting? What if we were not and had plans that night he died? Maybe he would have came home earlier and not been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I cannot control fate. I cannot control life. But if I could, things would be different. I had a great friend and now I don’t and that sucks.
I have been off social media for just 3 days now and I have not received one text or call or any form of communication from anyone. Although I have had (as of the time I am writing this) 222 views on my blog in the past 3 days.
Times like these make me wonder why I bother. But do I give up? Do I surrender? Do I retreat? No I won’t. I will just Torch the Ships and keep on trying…