Back in the day Charlie Sheen had a catch phrase he used to say a lot when things were going his way. He would say “Winning!”
This past week was incredible!
A side project business partnership a handful of my highly skilled white hat hacker friends and I started years ago signed a huge deal with Homeland Security this week, and other than the fact that we have to change the name of the company, because apparently having the word death in your company’s name can be a drawback in certain situations, this deal was/is a game changer!
After the deal was signed, my wife did what she does, and organized our world so that when we need to be in Virginia to fulfill this new massive contract, we will have a place to live.
Malia said she felt like a drug dealer sneaking around trying to buy a house, when everyone is supposed to stay inside due to the Corona Virus.
My wife, when she wants me to do something, she knows I won’t want to do has a special way of convincing me to do it anyway.
The house she wanted to buy was owned by someone that at one point in my life, made a decision that was so extremely destructive to my life, I still remember it like it was yesterday.
When this person told me they had made the decision to reverse the previous Secretary’s decision, I made the decision to rearrange his office right then and there, in a not so peaceful way, which led to being escorted out of his office by security personnel.
I am not a violent person. Everyone who knows me will tell you that I am a peaceful fun-loving guy.
That said, in this particular secretaries office, let’s just call it for this example, the Secretary of Defense’s Office, his decision was so destructive to my life, that I made the decision on the spot to show him how I felt by reorganizing his office. I ripped pictures and awards off his walls, pushed everything on his desk onto the floor, etc.
It is one of those extremely rare times in my life where I lost it. Looking back at the situation, I don’t think the more mature me now would have done that, but I still think he deserves it for what he did.
And, he did it in such a condescending, I am better than you, I don’t care about you or your life, you are nothing manner, that I think he deserved what I did, even though I shouldn’t have done it.
I have heard that the nickname I used at the time to describe him (“Ashhole”), people still use to this day.
Malia knew I would never agree to buy Ashhole’s house, if I knew it was his house.
To convince me to agree to buy the house before dropping the bomb on me that it was his, she showed me the house, talked about how it was everything that we wanted, etc. She even had a quickie with me in the bathroom, which is one of our things in this kind of situation.
At this point, I agreed we should buy the house. Malia told me that before we officially signed the papers, she wanted to have dinner with the current owner of the home.
When we pulled up in the driveway for dinner, Malia said- “Baby, please don’t get angry when you see who the current owner of the house is. We are having tonight’s dinner for you. Please baby.”
When we walked through the front door, there he was. Ashhole himself was standing right there. I could feel my heart racing immediately! Malia was standing next to me. She moved to where she was standing in front of me. She pulled my head down and whispered in my ear- “You wanted revenge on Ashhole for a long time. Now you have the chance to buy his ass! He brought you the baseball bat from his office. The one he heard you wished you would have grabbed first when you were destroying his office, because you could have used it to bust up his office more. He wants you to have it as a peace offering. I love you. I want this house, but I couldn’t buy it unless you knew it was Ashhole’s and you were okay with it.”
I whispered in her ear- “You called him Ashhole. You only ever called him by his real name before.”
Then she whispered in my ear- “You are my other half. If he is Ashhole to you, he is Ashhole to me.”
I said out loud to Ashhole- “I had sex in your bathroom today.”
Malia pulled my head down and whispered in my ear- “That’s the spirit baby, but don’t take it too far because I want this house.”
Ashhole didn’t say anything. He took a deep breath and asked me if I would join him in the sunroom. I said ok, and we walked back to the sunroom.
Ashhole told me he brought me a gift. He told me he wanted to give me the autographed baseball bat that was in his office on the day I “acted like a maniac” in his office.
He told me we could go outside, and I could break it if I wanted to. I thought about it for minute. I opened the case and gripped the bat in my hand. Ashhole said- “That day, I wanted to tell you face to face. I thought you deserved that. In retrospect, I know I made the right decision. My decision hurt you. It helped a great number of people. I would make that same decision again today.”
I asked him why he didn’t press charges against me for destroying his office.
He said- “I knew the decision I made would negatively impact your life for years. Knowing that, I gave you a pass for destroying my office.”
I asked him if he would apologize to me for what his decision did to my life.
He said- “Please read the letter.” He pointed to an envelope next to the bat.
I opened the letter and read it. It was 6 pages long. On page 4 I started tearing up. For a long time, I tried to figure out why Ashhole made the decision he did that day, but I was not able to.
Ashhole’s letter gave a detailed description of why he made the decision. Ashhole asked me not to let anyone else read the letter and he asked me not to tell anyone what the letter said. I agreed.
I asked him why he didn’t tell me about this on that day, because I wouldn’t have tried to destroy his office.
He said- “You didn’t have the clearance.”
I asked him why he didn’t try to run out of his office that day or try to hide behind something.
He said- “I knew you wouldn’t hurt me. I knew you were just angry. You wanted to let out your anger and frustration.”
I asked him if he would have done the same thing if he were me.
He said- “No, I would have gone straight for me and not stopped until security pulled me off.”
I said- “Are you saying I actually showed restraint?”
He said- “Yes.”
I asked him if I could put the letter in the time capsule, I am saving for my kids to have when they are older, and he said that would be fine.
I asked him if he had any reservations about selling his house to me.
He said- “No.”
I asked him if he had anything else, he wanted to tell me or if he had anything else to say to me.
He said- “Will you please stop calling me Ashhole? People still ask me if the rumor is true that “MJ The Terrible” went berserk in my office and called me Ashhole.”
I smiled and so did he. It was a nice moment. It made me feel good to have closure about one of the darkest moments of my life.
I asked him if he wanted to have dinner, and he said he would really like that.
I walked over to open the door to the sunroom, and I see 5 armed guards standing outside the door. I looked back at Ashhole and he said- “I wasn’t sure if you would let bygones be bygones.”
He told them they could all leave. I said- “You said you weren’t afraid that I would hurt you that day in your office.”
He said- “I did say that. That is how I felt. I’m not sure why I felt the need to have security. I wanted to make sure peace was of the essence this evening.”
I said- “I change my mind.” I started to turn to walk towards the baseball bat. I was going to take it outside and break it, but then I saw Malia in the doorway behind where the security guards were standing with her hands on her pregnant belly.
I walked slowly towards Malia. When I got to her, I put my arms around her and kissed her. Then I turned around facing the security guys and Ashhole. I said- “My name is Michael Johnson, and this is my wife Malia. If you want me to stop calling you Ashhole and let bygones be bygones, you need to stop thinking of me as “MJ The Terrible”, and you need to let bygones be bygones as well.”
Malia said- “You 2 are not ruining this. This is going to be our house! Security guys, leave! You 2, go to the dining room for dinner. Both of you are going to make peace tonight whether you like it or not.”
Then, the person who I will no longer be calling Ashhole, said- “Yes ma’am.” I looked at Malia with almost disbelief. She said- “Go!” I walked towards the dinner room.
That was the extent of the conflict. The rest of the evening was peaceful. We stayed a few hours and just talked after dinner.
When we got back in the car to leave, Malia said- “If you don’t want to buy the house I understand, but will you please at least think about it overnight before you tell me your decision?”
I told her that I had already made my decision. She looked down in disappointment. I said- “I love you. I signed the paperwork to buy the house before we came here today. You left the paperwork on the bed next to the mobile cribs. I saw who the owner was. I signed it because I love you. I want what you want, and if you want to buy this house, I want to buy this house.”
I could see happy tears as she closed her eyes and smiled. I asked her if she thought I would sign the paperwork. She said- “I saw that you had signed the paperwork, and I knew you saw who the seller was.”
I looked at her kind of surprised and said- “Why didn’t you tell me that you knew?”
She said- “I wanted to make sure you were okay with it after seeing him.”
Then she said- “I know you love me and want to make me happy. I love you the same way, so I wanted to make sure you were okay with buying Ashhole’s house.”
I kissed her and said- “Our house!” Malia fell asleep on me on the ride home. I carried her upstairs and put her in our bed.
I sat there for a minute and looked at her. I thought about how lucky I felt to be married to her.
I kissed her forehead and went into our bathroom.
Sometimes it takes the people we love forcing us to do something, to realize it is the right thing to do.
To the man who is no longer Ashhole, thank you for providing me with closure. Your baseball bat will sit in my office as a reminder that people can change. That not everything is always as it seems, and that peace can and should be made whenever possible.
To Malia May Johnson, words can’t express what you mean to me. Thank you for giving me a chance almost 9 years ago. I didn’t deserve it, but you still gave it to me anyway. I will love you all of the days of my life!
Some days and weeks in our lives our easily forgotten, and some days in our lives will never be forgotten.
This past week will be remembered!
Michael “MJ The Terrible” Johnson