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.
Matt flipped a switch on the portable Flintstone’s record player–the three forty fives dropped down, and Lean on Me played again. He and his older brother Erick were teaching me, their eleven-year-old cousin, how to play poker, and Erick was dealing. So far they had won most of the money. I came with four quarters I had hoped to use for french fries at the pool.
Later they showed me how to smoke out of a pipe. They asked me questions like, “did I see a purple rabbit?” I told them, “My eyes feel funny. Could we go eat some of the donuts I saw in your kitchen?” Everything was funny. I laughed so hard my belly ached. The third chocolate covered donut was so good.
I looked back through my blog posts from several years ago and realized a few things:
- “But I can’t complain” is not something I’ve ever said. I complain a lot. I am the Complainer-in-Chief.
- I used to eat a lot more fast food than I do now.
- I still smoke marijuana, but now I might qualify for a legal prescription.
I am grateful for my dog. He gives me unconditional love like no other.
I am grateful for my car. Without it I might have to call Uber.
I am grateful for my food. Nothing has provided more satisfaction in my life than food.
I am grateful for Netflix. Since quitting pot, Netflix has helped me escape reality.
I am grateful to be alive. Passing away and going to my eternal rest is not yet appealing.
Saturday morning and I was in jail. I had sold a friend of a friend five dollars worth of weed. He was an undercover cop.
I was in a room with murderers, rapists, and even transvestites. My worst nightmare began to unfold. One of my cellmates walked towards me. He was huge, six feet six, 320 pounds. I could fight him–I had proven my fighting skills back in high school, whipping Patty Hiney in a food fight.
The hardened convict nearly stepped on my toes. He said, “Come into my cell with me.”
There was no greeting, no handshake–his manners were atrocious. I pictured him behind me, and a painful experience involving my rear end. I followed him and stopped just inside his cell door. He sat on his bunk bed, looked at me with weary eyes, and said, “They arrested me when I was naked. I want your socks and your underwear.”
I felt that my answer was critical to my survival in this hell hole. I looked straight into his eyes and said, “You can have my socks, but, you don’t want to mess with these underwear.”
On Monday I was released.
Forty-two years old and another new lease on life, underwear intact, socks gone forever.
My best buddy Vance and I were cruising to Monocacy Village Park to catch a buzz. We had just beaten Westminster’s football team. Later, we would go to a house party with the cheerleaders. In those days we were the kings of Frederick County. Making our own rules, no fear, all muscle, living large.
Vance had two fatties of Mexican. Some hard tokes, holding it in, feeling the coolness, which seemed to go all the way to my vertebrae. We headed back to TJ High School. We would go to the school dance and scope on some babes.
Making a left turn onto 13th Street, I saw flashing lights in my rear-view.
“Vance, it’s a cop,” I yelled. I had never been pulled over before.
“Vance, what do I do,” I yelled again.
“Floor it!” Vance said.
Vance was crazy and stoned, and so was I. I jammed on that gas peddle with my extra-wide foot. My rusty, beat-up VW beetle did not put much distance between us and that cop. At the four way stop, I pulled over.
Vance handed me a fat joint. I stuck it in my mouth as I saw the cop, almost at my window. He shined his light in my face as I pushed the joint between my front teeth & gums and my upper lip. I smiled at him with my hidden joint bulging my lip and tiny slits for eyes. I must have looked like a chink. Then he shined the light on Vance. Vance was holding his arms weirdly in the air, and he was making a face with his lips all crooked, and he said, “Officer, I have muscular dystrophy.”
The cop and I both did a double take. The cop said, “Now look, your smart-asses could get a fine of over 100 dollars for speeding. As I saw you boys kick Westminster’s ass, and my nephew is your defensive end, I just want you to get the hell out of here.”
I was lucky that night, and many other nights. We were kings of Frederick County, living large, in our glory days.