We sat on a circle of rocks covered with moss a vivid green. The embers of our fire glowed red hot. High powered medicinal sour diesel OG kush lifted our spirits. A near nirvana moment. We celebrated the new season. Grateful for what we have. Strengthening our souls and minds for whatever comes next.
In my high school we rural kids would go out to a dark country road and get wasted. There was plenty of beer, usually I would have at least a twelve pack. We had weed, we had cocaine. When you couldn’t stand you could go sit in your car. Often a cheerleader, a quarterback or a big defensive tackle was right next to you. We were all bonding. There was a lot of love of living on that road. Soon we would graduate, go our separate ways, not realizing those were our glory days.
As Heavyweight for the TJ Patriots, I took on all comers. Jim was a big farm-raised brute from Westminster, six feet six and three hundred pounds. I was five feet seven, two hundred twenty-five pounds soaking wet. This brute had a thick beard and so did his mother in the stands.
I had eaten a whole sub in the locker room given to me by our 98 pounder. I didn’t feel like wrestling. When my teammates showed me who I had to wrestle I made a scared look and let out a fart. I was always clowning. The brute actually caused me to lose consciousness somewhere in the third round. Everybody thought I was clowning. When I came to I gave a thumbs up and hugged one of the cheerleaders.
My father’s assisted living home smells like poop. My father has been fading for five years. He now says very little. He will have a chocolate, a piece of fruit, a stiff Vodka Tonic. After his first sip he will say “this tastes good.” I have to keep the conversation going, and I talk about my girlfriend or my health issues. He does laugh and make expressions. He thinks I am a little nutty, like my mother and her Mother. He enjoys my visits.
Vance G was a crazy character. On the way back from away football games he would lead the team in singing, “spent the last year Rocky Mountain way,” then the team sang “ba na na na,” and then Vance, “couldn’t get much higher.” The team sang, “ba na na na.” This bonded us. He even sang it after a loss, which infuriated our head coach.
Later in life we shared a house. He was a womanizer which was fine with me. We had women coming and going. The sounds emanating from his room became a bit much, so I wore earplugs. When three of his rent checks bounced, we got into a fist fight. After that our friendship was never the same. He died several years back at the age of fifty from a brain infection. He will not be forgotten by me and not by many women.
Two years back I went through the trap door to our ancient basement. I wanted to check on the oil, being aware of snakes and mice that live down there. Lining the wall near the furnace was a group of large creepy bugs possibly from the dinosaur era. I turned to run when one of them jumped onto my shoulder. I had not felt fear like this since I shit my pants on Thanksgiving. I stumbled up the creaky steps, smacking at the creature and screaming. Slamming the trap door, I sprayed some Raid bug spray through the crack in the door. I hoped this would be the end of these carnivorous, hairy eight-legged spider crickets.
Last night to my horror, two of these freaky jumpers casually walked across my kitchen floor during dinner. My girlfriend made short work of them with a frying pan while I watched standing on a chair. Later that night I felt a tickle near my groin inside my sweatpants which I had picked up off the floor and put on. I dropped my pants with amazing speed. The largest spider cricket yet fell onto the floor. Once again I screamed. The thought that these man-eating creatures every bit as big as a nickel were now upstairs and in the underwear region of my pants was too much for me. Even after taking two strong sleep medications I lay eyes wide open with my flashlight, a baseball bat and garlic bulbs by my side.
The Saturday night crowd partied together for over forty years.
It was 1969: The first guest would arrive at my parents’ home around 8 pm, Hi Bob, Hi Ann! That’s when my brother and I would go to the top step of our stairs and listen in. Gin, Bourbon, and Scotch were consumed in large amounts, along with many cigarettes, the smoke rising up the stairway.
My uncle Bill was always telling corny jokes. He’d say that he has reservations about Indians–he calls them his Indian reservations. Mrs. Curtis and Mrs. Rice looking stunning in their newest swanky outfits. My mother the perfect host, smelling wonderful with her Chanel Number Five, she was the life of the party. There could be as many as thirty people there, almost every Saturday for nearly forty years. The Cold War with the Atomic bomb, pressures from working, and raising families, these cocktail parties were a welcome relief.
My generation might say to them, “Party on, dudes.”