I've always thought of myself as different. The first thing that put that thought in my head is how I think about things. I can never come up with just one scenario; it has to be at least three or four and I have to be five steps ahead. I made my first 100 bucks as a 1st grade punk buying a 10-pack of suckers for around a buck and selling them each for a quarter. A little inflation here, some profit there, and next thing I know the teachers are on my ass for making more money per hour than they did. As I sat in the principal's office and listen to him yammer on about how I was “irresponsible” and what I did was “frowned upon” or some stupid shit like that, but I wasn't really paying his fat face any attention. I was more worried about the fat stack of cash I hid under my shirt before the teacher caught me. That's when I realized I had a gift. I could buy and sell any commodity and with my natural salesmen abilities I could double or triple my original funds. That's also when I realized that I was going down a shit-river without a paddle; but at least I had an raincoat.
The name's Johnny by the way; or Jonathan Scott my mom named me. I always hated my name. It always made me cringe when I told people my name and they realized that I had “two first names”. It's probably wouldn't be a big deal to most people but it really bugged me. Bully's fucking loved it. I was never a very big kid and I always talked about business. By being smarter than them I was considered a threat; not to mention my hilarious name. I was picked on a little during Junior High and High School but no more than the average kid. I graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and I was the top of my class. I had the whole world in front of me. I took plenty of business classes in my Junior and Senior year because of it I had the top business schools in the country trying to track me down and get me to go to their school. I would have too if I just had the money.
Let me tell you something. Living in the shittiest part of town in the most boring part of the country doesn't give to many opportunities. That's why my mom was a part-time nurse at the hospital three cities away and my dad was an electrician working at the state capitol. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom and a little kitchenette and a tiny living room. Luckily, since I was an only child and my parents didn't want to try for another, it was enough. We got by okay up until my dad lost his job. Their was a huge insurance scam spearheaded by the CEO of the company and when he was caught, everyone had a choice; leave the company or stand by the CEO who was in a position where he owed $4.8 billion to the IRS. My father obviously left. He immediately started the long process of looking for a new job. With the new economy plus his less than High School education, he had the option of unemployment or nothing. With the dramatic loss of income combined with 18 years of debt and near-poverty, my mother lost it and ran off with her boss.
To say the least, my father was devastated. He turned to drinking. Every cent he got from his checks from the unemployment office went to his trusty Jack & Coke. He became violent, belligerent and hateful whether he was drunk or not. He hated me; In his eyes I was the reason mom left. For the longest time I thought he was right. One night, around 8 o'clock, he came home from the liquor store already drunk. He sat down in his chair where he used to read me stories as a kid and downed a 40 oz. bottle of hard liquor in a few gulps. He took a look at me and just scoffed and went back to killing his liver. I got up to go to my room to avoid any conflict and he threw the bottle at me. I heard a loud crack followed by smash and everything went black. I woke up the next morning to find him lying in a pile of his own filth about five feet away from me. I wasn't upset. I knew this would happen for about a year now. I got up, gathered my things in a duffel bag along with the rest of our cash, and decided to leave.
I didn't know where I was going. I was almost 19 and I have never really been on my own. Without having too many friends growing up I spent all my time around my parents. With them gone I decided I would leave this life behind and start over. I looked in the phone book I picked up from the coffee table and called the first number in the category called “Taxi Services”. 10 minutes or so later the driver pulled up in front of my apartment building. I have never seen a real cab before in my life. I got in and the driver asked where I was going. I thought it over for a bit. The whole time I was sitting on the steps waiting for the cab and piecing together what had happened since I graduated, I never really thought about where I was going. I looked in the eye and told him where I wanted to go. The place where I could live and make a living. A place where I could call home. A place with everything I would need to rise to the top and live the life I imagined myself living when I was a 1st grader selling suckers for Pokemon card money. About 8 hours of driving and a thousand dollars later I was finally home. I looked at the big flashing sign and all the lights and realized this is where I belong. I stared longingly at the sign, the sign that seemed to be talking directly to me, “Welcome to Las Vegas!”.