The Cruise

My teenage weekend warrior beer-benders expanded to the week days. The boredom of my domicile enclosure warranted new and exciting drunken exploits. When my keepers drifted off to sleep, I would commandeer car keys, and drive off into the night in dangerously altered states. Sometimes I would pick up a mate for the ride, more often these were solo cruises. I would silently back the stick-shift car down the driveway in neutral and start the car when it was out of the earshot of my handlers. If I wasn’t packing the sauce, I would direct the car to the nearest watering hole or law violating provider.

I experienced several near death experiences during this time frame. Having the dangerously erroneous conviction of teenage immortality, an unhealthy adrenalin junkie jones, and an alcohol muddled brain, I put my life (and many others) in severe peril, usually behind the wheel of a 2 ton machine. One circumstance stands out in particular.

Me and my buddy, the “Don”, had embarked on a night of heavy beer drinking. Unfortunately, I was behind the wheel. A belly full of sauce and no place to go was the night’s theme. The “Don” lost his glasses hurling outside of the passenger side window going down the interstate on ramp. My next memory was being across town not far from my house. We were on a straight 30 m.p.h. speed limit road that ended at a stop sign on an abrupt curve. I told the “Don” (who was passed out at the time) that I was gonna see what this fuckin’ car could do.

Luckily, the car was a 10 year-old Honda civic with only about 75 horse power. Nonetheless, I managed to hit about 80 miles an hour on the straight away. Unfortunately, I had not planned on the rapidly advancing curve and stop sign. When my muddled brain caught up with the physical reality of my predicament, it was far too late. I was rocketing toward a giant steel support for electrical power lines anchored on a concrete island at the end of the road. I slammed on the brakes and hit the curb violently, which propelled the car through the air between the steel support and the anchor cables. Upon landing, the car skidded through an intersecting street and landed perfectly in a parking space at a oil change establishment.

The car was dead and was suffering from a broken rear axle due to the impact. I was oblivious to how close I had come to either an immediate death due to sudden impact, or a messy decapitation. The “Don” awoke, looked over, and asked “what the fuck just happened.” I told him everything was cool. In my disoriented confusion, I suspected the car had run out of gas.

I flagged down a bar-fly floozy looking for fresh teenage meat. She drunkenly invited me in her car after hearing my desperate plea. I intended to go home to get a gas can so she could cruise me by a petrol station to refuel the crashed vessel at the scene. The bar-fly pulled up in front of the house and I told her to wait for a minute. Unfortunately, my mum interdicted me at the front door in her nightgown with an obscenity-laden tirade. The floozy took her cue and fled the scene. Mum picked up the “Don” and dropped him off a few doors from his crib (per his wise request).

I ran away for a few days and crashed at my best friend’s house while contemplating my next move. An unemployed teenager with only a black t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and a pair of shoes was at a major disadvantage, so I opted for my prodigal son fate. A decision had been made for me in my absence.

A phone call to my probation officer had necessitated an immediate juvenile hearing. My parents chose the option to relocate me temporarily (until further plans could be made). I was sent to a group home for teenage run-aways, throw-aways, and societal rejects. The house was a massive duplex on the edge of downtown. It was run by a naive, but well-meaning ex-hippie couple.

We watched telly in the living room, had a Nintendo, and ate well-prepared meals. I had designs on an attractive (though obviously emotionally traumatized) little broad who lived in the group home. I remember thinking how easy the prey was, and in light of this, how meaningless the conquest would be. She was damaged goods. I didn’t need to compound her misery with another manipulative ball-driven sexual endeavor.

Life was easy there, but I was jonesin’ hard for squares. One day, I joined the group home director to refuel the minivan. We drove several miles away to the gas station. As my addictive luck had it, we ended up at the one joint where I could obtain coffin nails on credit. I successfully pleaded with my handler to pay for the petrol at the counter. My man Fred was on duty and doled me out two packs of Camels with the promise to pay him on Tuesday. I could almost feel the warm smoke and toxic chemicals sliding down my welcoming esophageal tube.

When we got back to the crib, I unpacked the squares and hid them in the moulding near the ceiling of my room, behind the baseboards, and tucked them my clothes in the dresser drawers. We had room searches and I expected some of the soldiers to be found (casualties of war are expected in any conflict).

After killing a de-filtered square outside playing basketball, I was called in for the inquisition. I smelled like smoke and they wanted the evidence. I grabbed a few fags out of my room and handed them over sheepishly. Luckily, the room search was not thorough enough.

I shared the room with a 9 year-old Black kid. I pitied him and his plight, but that night I had to make sure he understood the terms of our arrangement. As he was falling asleep I walked over to his bed and stared him in the face. I told him I was gonna kill a square, and that if he breathed a word, he would be smothered in his sleep. I proceeded to fire up the sin stick and blew the smoke underneath a closet door. Daddy’s heart beat was racing and I felt real good. The kid knew what was good for him by keeping mum the next day, and that made me real proud.

5 Responses to “The Cruise”

  1. June 16, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Good writing Peeps. Nice change from the usual. I enjoy reading these stories, as they remind me of being a teen and the dumb stuff I used to get into. You are a brave soul to bring back these memories to the forefront; I have a hard time doing such. But I will in time. Happy fathers day to you. (if you’re not a bio father; then I know you’re a father in heart – I remember your letter. I wrote a poem you might like today. Peace, Light and Love, CordieB.

    Johnnypeeper’s response:

    Thank you cordieb. This recent campaign is a purgative experience. It is easier to shirk off the limitations of the psyche when its experiences can be remembered, and as a result, better understood.

  2. 2 c
    June 16, 2008 at 2:48 am

    You know how i feel about confessional writing, as it seems to be my especiality- even when i am trying not to. Confess, i mean.

    Drinking put me in so much danger when i was younger. Bad things happened. Bad things almost happened. i still sip the spirits but then, i guzzled. i was out of control and hurting. The drinking stopped the hurting for a bit, then created situations for more bad to hurt me. It was also an easy way to hurt myself, punish me for being bad.

    Good writing, JP.

    Johnnypeeper’s response:

    I greatly admire the ability you have to convey personal experiences. Young people who are lost and confused are particularly susceptible to the bottle’s false promises. Thankfully, our period of being “out of control and hurting” did not destroy us.

  3. June 19, 2008 at 1:12 am

    “When my muddled brain caught up with the physical reality of my predicament, it was far too late. ” Good stuff.

  4. 4 Di
    June 20, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    You are a good writer, you had me write there with you.

    I do believe that letting out is a good medicine. You will prevail!!


  5. June 20, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks Di. I appreciate the word play. And believe it or not, I have already prevailed. From this point on, it is an exercise of contemplative wonderment as the scenes unfold.

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Johnny Peepers

----> is a socio-pathetic degenerate with a penchant for cheap booze, ruphy-laden broads, and dim sum soup.


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