Palm Trees and Paradise

This is my blog that I'm writing for national novel writing month. Basically, I have to bust my ass to have a semi-coherent novel done by November 30th. Feel free to leave comments, anything helps really.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Twelve

-12-

“Know when to walk away, Know when to run”

I had officially passed up on my first opportunity to experiment with more than just marijuana. There was only a tiny bit of regret, but Eric did his best to re-assure me that I wasn’t missing out on much. Of course, he could not stop running his mouth about it to me. He went on and on about how much fun he had that night. I never told him this, but Eric’s continued rambling left me feeling sorry for myself. Between his love of his one time coke binge and Sarah’s own recreational drug use, I felt that I was once again getting passed by in life. With my best friend and girlfriend living a party hard, carefree lifestyle, I would be left alone to fend for myself once again.

Sarah was none too pleased to find out that I had passed up cocaine. In fact, she was more upset that I didn’t call her over to join in. Sarah had dabbled in acid, mushrooms, and ecstasy, and as I found out later that night, Cocaine was next on her list. It was a list of things to do again. She explained to me that three really was no great come down from the drug the next morning. By that, she meant no achy body or no hangover, just simply some residue dripping down your nasal cavity into the back of your throat. All in all, it did not sound like a horribly good time.

School finished up for the semester with Sarah and me still going strong. We spent a fair amount of time together, which was nice. As we hung out more and more, we found more of a common ground than previously thought. We enjoyed the same T.V. shows and movies, for the most part. The similarities stopped a little bit with our tastes in music. It seems Tori Amos and Rap music doesn’t really mesh well together. Out of all of her music from the “We are tortured women” collection, I did come to appreciate the stylings of Mazzy Star. I can hear that song “Fade into You” and I’m immediately taken back to the year 2000. Of course, we had more in common than pop culture. Our viewpoints were very similar on society and religion, you know, your basic things in life. Sarah was bright, in her own right, and always carried a smile on her face. She had a cute factor that I could never exactly place, but it drove me wild. Every morning that I woke up next to her, I fell more in love with her. She loved to spend time with me. It wasn’t over bearing, like I had felt with Heather. I legitimately wanted to spend all of my time with her.

This, of course, did not please some of my friends. Eric mostly complained that I didn’t hang out enough. He said he liked the depressed me better, because that I meant more time with him drinking to the early hours of the morning. He understood, though, because he could see that I was happy. The only condition was that I had to still drink with him at least once in awhile, which I did.

Christopher and I, on the other hand, had stopped hanging out altogether. I guess I wouldn’t go that far because we still managed to hang out once in awhile. It was mostly at parties we had at the house, but never outside of that. I was spending many of my nights with Sarah because she lived alone. Christopher, one night over many beers, complained that I never slept at home, and that the place felt empty without me. Over the years, Christopher said a lot of things that made him seem gay, but I chose to accept this one as a compliment. Nevertheless, it did not change my routine. Sarah and I continued to stay at her house, except for the occasional time we both got drunk at my house. Those were the few times that made Christopher happy.

It was in the first part of that summer in which I realized that my life was once again settling into a routine. Granted, the routine involved drinking, parties, sex, and sleeping in until 3 P.M., but it was a routine nonetheless. I had gone to college partially to break free of the mundane, wash, rinse, and repeat existence that I had previously lived. To mix things up a little, I decided to get my first job in nearly 3 years. I got a job at a video rental store. It wasn’t too difficult to obtain because Eric was already working there. The place was a mid-size chain, but it was never too busy. A few of Eric’s other friends worked there, so I had no problem fitting right in. Most of the people that worked there were all around the same age and our manager was the best. The place was slow enough that when I needed a weekend off with part of the group, it was no problem.

I made minimum wage at the job, but that was no problem. I still had money saved up from financial aid and prior summer job, so the money I earned would just be put towards an enjoyable summer. Being twenty one in the summer for the first time, I surprisingly did not spend the majority of it at the bar. For one, I had a girlfriend that was underage. Unlike my time spent with Heather, I actually did not feel the need to hide from Sarah. On the other hand, Sarah spent a fair amount of time with her friends so I didn’t need to worry about lying to her about where I was. Many nights during the summer were spent with our respective friends. Then, as the night wore down, Sarah and I would get together. It was the perfect existence.

Eric and I spent most our time with Eric’s high school friends. I had occasionally hung out with these guys, mostly when Travis had a party. Our college friends and Eric’s high school friends didn’t exactly have the most in common, so it wasn’t often that the entire lot of friends would hang out together. It was during this summer when some of the college friends passed by the way side and the old high school friends of Eric stepped to the forefront.

Being bored with the city, many of our nights were spent up at the lake that was located about thirty minutes outside of town. It all started harmlessly at first. Eric, myself, and two other friends would make the drive up to the mountains with a case of beer and an open mind. One of the friends, Michael, would often do the driving, as he usually just chose to stay sober. He said it was easier to revel in our buffoonery that way. Anyways, we had found the perfect spot just off the dirt roads that had benches, a fire pit, and a dock to boot. Sometimes we’d build a fire, but for the most part we’d simply sit under the summer night sky, drink our beer, and banter back and forth about sports, movies, history, or whatever topic came to mind. The group eventually grew to include other friends and girlfriends or sometimes even random people we’d met the week before. No matter the case, we were at peace with ourselves and with nature.

We had many adventures up in those mountains. Eric got a blowjob from a girl in the back seat of my car. We burned some the sandals of some girl we didn’t like and then she complained for the next hour that she’d lost them. We even came close to fighting a group of Star Wars loving nerds that Eric and Michael had hated in high school. They had come up with some girls we knew and didn’t like them to begin with, but it made us seem even tougher when Eric broke a beer bottle over a bench and held it up to the poor kids. Michael and I stood behind him with utter arrogance as our other friend chose to stay back at our own fire. Needless to say, those kids stayed silent for the rest of the night. Those were just a few of the fun times I found myself tangled up in, but our time at the lake soon came to a harrowing end.

The night started in complete innocence. We were bored at the house and having a few beers and enjoying some video games. It was Brian who had suggested that we head to the mountains for a night of fun and relaxation. Brian was the fourth friend that had usually joined us on these jaunts. He drank from time to time, but never has heavily as Eric and I did. The man never really needed the alcohol to get riled up like we did. He was colorful and off the wall, which generally made some people uncomfortable, but we thought he was hilarious. Brian was a great friend and had even offered to drive my car. Being a few beers deep, I certainly had no problem with this.

Soon enough, I lost to Eric at the NBA LIVE video game we were playing. I had enough of losing and Eric humming the Superman theme song every time Shaq hit a three, so I was more than ready to leave. We grabbed what had remained of the beer and hopped in my car. Brian drove and Eric rode shotgun. I couldn’t even get shotgun in my own car, that’s how bad the night was going. I sat next to Michael in the back with the windows rolled down, enjoying the summer breeze. In no time at all we were on the dirt road leading to the campsite. Our excitement grew as we belted out the latest Nelly song that was dominating the airwaves. We had almost reached our destination. Of course we had done this numerous times over the course of the still early summer, but each time we’d gone up here we’d come back with quite a story, outrageous or not. This time would turn out to be no different.

We pulled up and the first thing that we noticed was that a camper was parked in the parking area. This was one of those trucks with a camper shell that you see at the camping sites in horror movies that usually spell doom. It was a white shell and was torn and weathered to pieces. This was the first time that someone else other than a person we knew had occupied our spot. Sure it was a public spot, but we’d almost come to believe that we’d owned this area. We debated quietly in the car as whether or not we should even stay here. In the end, Eric eventually made the decision for us. “We drove all the way up here. Even if they’re not in their camper, we can always hang out on the dock. It’s cool.”

Thinking this was fine logic, we agreed to Eric’s decision. One by one we opened the doors of my car. Eric grabbed the beer and the four of us walked single file down the path that led to the campsite. Sure enough, as soon as we came into sight of the area, there was a small fire built. We knew we had the dock as a second option, but the only problem with that is we needed to walk by the fire to get there. Eric continued to walk in front and the three of us followed closely.

As we walked by, two men of Native American ancestry were sitting at the picnic tables, drinking tall cans of Steel Reserve. I immediately had second thoughts about staying. We, being four white kids, were probably ruining their private beer drinking affair. I had wanted to just turn around and leave. Eric had other ideas, though, and he kept walking. “Hi, how’s it going,” he asked politely as we walked by.

“You kids look too young to be drinking,” responded the younger man as he pointed to our beer. “Can I see some I.D.s?

Eric and I laughed nervously, but the younger man did not return the gesture. He simply stared at us without even batting an eyelash. He was about ten years older than us. He wore a flannel jacket with jeans. He had a scar under his eye and was about 220 pounds. These men were obviously not cops, but Michael hesitantly reached for his wallet in order to appease the man and not cause trouble. As he did so, the man spoke. “Nah, I’m just fucking with you. What are you guys drinking?”

Ever the polite young man, I replied. “Keystone Light. If you don’t mind, we’re gonna go drink down on the dock. Is that cool?”

I tried my best to sound like a man, but I probably came across as a young school boy who was about to be paddled. The man simply smiled and nodded. I turned to walk away and had noticed that Eric and Michael were already half way down to the dock. I went to grab Brain, but he had already been ensnared. He was intrigued and wanted to know more about these men. Being the friend that I am and not wanting to leave Brian alone, I decided to stay with him.

“Hi. I’m Brian.”

“I’m Lucas,” the younger man of the two responded, “and this is my father.”

The older man did not respond. Instead, his eyes followed the beer down to the dock. He continued to stare down towards the dock as Brian stayed with the conversation. I kept my eyes alternating between Lucas and his father. “Cool scar,” Brian calmly stated as a smile crossed his face.

“Thanks. I got it in prison,” responded Lucas smugly.

Brian chuckled, but Lucas did not. “Seriously man, I got out about two weeks back. Me and my dad are just doing some camping. Getting away for a few days.”

I did not need to hear any more. I had wanted to get the hell out of dodge. Brian, though, felt a need to continue with his line of questioning. He seemed to be not at all worried about Lucas. “What did you go to jail for?”

“You ask a lot of questions,” Lucas said as he sipped from his Steel Reserve. “I got in a knife fight at a bar. This guy spilled some beer on me so I stabbed him. Fucker wouldn’t apologize, you know. So I just stabbed him a few times in the stomach area. He was my brother, though, so I let him off easy. You know, you kids shouldn’t be up here at night. Not alone, anyhow. You never know why kind of people you’ll run into. Me and my dad carry a shotgun with us, mostly for hunting, but you never know what could happen up here.”

Lucas did not take a breath during the entire time he spoke to us. It’s like everything he had just said had erupted in one, long run on sentence. I kept waiting for Lucas’ dad to say something, especially when Lucas mentioned that he had stabbed his own brother, but the old man just kept quiet. He only stared down towards the dock with a scowl upon his face. He was completely still for a few moments until he abruptly stood up, threw his empty can of beer on the ground, and slowly started to walk up the hill that led to his camper.

“Pops gets surly at night sometimes. He doesn’t really like people. He’s been drinking since two and probably just wants to fire off some rounds. No big deal.”

I had reached my breaking point, and by the looks of it, so had Brian. “Lucas, buddy, it was nice meeting you. We’re going to join our friends on the dock. Have a good night.”

Lucas did not respond and we didn’t wait around for an answer, either. Brian gave me a slight shove, all while smiling at Lucas, and we stumbled down to the dock.

Eric was already on his second beer by the time we got down there. Eric and Michael asked what happened and Brian quickly regaled them with the story of Lucas, with me adding a few points here and there. The entire time that Brian was talking, Eric was laughing his ass off. Michael had stood up as he was clearly ready to leave. At this point, to calm my nerves, I had cracked open a beer and had seated myself next to Eric. Brian and Michael were both ready to jet out of there as quick as humanely possible. Just to check up on the situation, I glanced up to the picnic area. I could see Lucas as he kind of just walked circles around the fire. His dad was still no where to be seen and I was a little nervous about that.

“Here’s what we’re gonna do,” said Eric. “Timmy and I are going to finish the beer that we have already opened. Then we’ll leave. If we give it a few minutes, things will calm down. That way, we don’t look like a bunch of scared pussies.”

Somehow, even though we were scared out of our minds, this line of reasoning made sense. Eric and I tried to joke around with the group, but even the laughs we got were forced. I was worried that the dad of Lucas was fucking with my car. Maybe he was slashing the tires or breaking into it, I didn’t know. I kept these thoughts to myself because I didn’t see the need to escalate the fear that Michael was facing. I gulped my beer in large quantities in hopes of getting out of there sooner.

Eric, on the other hand, chose now to actually sit back and sip on his beer. He was never one to do this. Eventually, he finished and stood up. He grabbed the box of beer and no one moved. We were all waiting for the other one to go first. It was finally decided that Brian should lead the way since he had already built a report with Lucas. Brian sighed and marched off. Michael followed close behind him and Eric and I brought up the rear; each of us now smoking a cigarette.

The four of us approached the picnic area and saw Lucas sitting alone on one of the tables. He had now produced a knife and was carving some art into the table. Lucas’ dad had not yet returned and now our fear was that he was waiting in the bushes for us. Brian and Michael walked by. Brian muttered good night and nice to meet you, or something along those lines. Michael gestured a sheepish wave good-bye and stuck right by Brian’s side. As Eric and I walked by Lucas, he decided to stop us. “Where are you going with my beer?”

This was truly not right. Lucas had blocked Eric’s path and was not letting us pass. We had clearly bought the beer and Eric wasn’t about to let Lucas forget that. “No man, this is our beer. We brought it with us. You were drinking Steel Reserve.”

Lucas did not hesitate. “Nah, man, my dad bought that beer there, in the box, earlier. I saw you grab it from our table when you walked to the dock.”

Brian and Michael, already on their way up the hill, were motioning for us to just leave the beer with Lucas. Lucas continued to play with the knife in his hand as Eric spoke. “You can have a few, if you want, but the beer is ours.”

Lucas took a step closer to Eric, now only a foot or two away. “I remember I offered you one, and you took the entire box.”

My mind could not stop thinking of the story Lucas told about the knife fight. The man was fragile and spoke with much conviction about that story. I didn’t want to see the same fate happen to Eric that happened to Lucas’ brother. “You know, man, it’s your beer. We took it by mistake. Have a good night. Let’s go, Eric.”

Eric reluctantly gave up the beer. He carefully set it down on the bench of the picnic table. I kind of shoved him forward as Lucas continued to stare at us. He stepped slightly to the side, and I did my best to avoid making eye contact. As we started up the hill, I reminded Eric of the knife story. He suddenly picked up his pace and nearly ran up the hill. I did the same, not wanting to find out if Lucas was willing to leave well enough alone. Brian and Michael had taken off just as Eric had set down the beer so Brian already had the car running as we got to it. I did a quick scan of the tires before I jumped in the back seat. Brian threw the car in reverse as my eyes were constantly focused on the hill. Thrusting the vehicle into drive, we sped away; leaving a cloud of dust behind us. Eric and I focused on the camper as we nervously awaited the dad to emerge with a shotgun. He never did.

The car ride home was silent. Every thirty seconds or so, we would look behind us to make sure that we weren’t being followed. We repeatedly called 911 in fear of our lives, but our cell phones never got service again until we had reached the city. By that time, we were completely deflated and had given up. We would not travel again to the lake at night that summer or for years to come for that matter. Lucas was simply too much for one night. Fortunately for me, the summer fun was not quite over. I still had a drug loving girlfriend to attend to.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Eleven

-11-

“Let’s Get High”

I can sputter on about how great it was to have a girlfriend, but I won’t. The days dragged on into weeks and the weeks into months, yet it had captured this perfect relationship as a fractured green bottle. This thing that I thought I had, this companionship, was in fact a refracted shard of glass that to me was a complete bottle. I was a classic fool; too numb and too blind to truly enjoy what I had. That’s the problem associated with me across time. I search so much for deeper and meaningful experiences that I can hardly scratch the surface. I’m surrounded by rock and grass when I think that I’m knee deep in roots and history. It was the bane of my existence then and still haunts me to this day.

Sarah was the first girl I truly felt connected to. And the sex was great. In fact, the first two months of our relationship were spent screwing like rabbits. We weren’t even dating yet, but when the weekend rolled around, we spent them drinking and having sex. Throw in some weeknights as well and my life was complete. For a man that had always taken pride in finding the perfect girl and toiling in silence, what I had with Sarah was completely different. I was perfectly content with seeing her for short romps (and they were. It was unfixable problem that I’ve never cured) and spending the rest of my free time with my friends.

In fact, it was Sarah that first brought up the idea of us officially dating. The question caught me off guard. You see, Sarah and I weren’t exactly the most compatible of a couple, if judged on by an outsider. Sure, we had certain similarities and shared certain beliefs, but there were a lot of differences. Or maybe that’s just me looking back at it now. The first difference was the one of sexual experience. Or even sexual prowess, for that matter. Thought I was a man that was constantly and easily aroused, I was never fully able to translate that into charm. I mean I had no charm of any kind. At one point, I was a shy and respectable man that was afraid of rejection. I would not push the issue if I felt the end answer would be a no. Turns out though that I couldn’t, and still can’t, read women. As I’ve been told by more than a few women in the recent past, “Aggressiveness can be a good thing.”

Sarah felt exactly that way. Our sex life clicked so well at first because she wanted it all of the time. I was eager to give it to her. More than eager to a definite fault. Sarah was younger than me, but she had about five years of sexual experience on me. She showed me some things. Boy did she ever! I’ll spare you the details here, because, well, simply because I’m not spinning that kind of tale here. Bottom line, in those first few months, our sex life was amazing.

The other difference that was outright glaring was Sarah’s love of drugs. It was more specifically a love of marijuana that caused quite a rift between us at times. I had dabbled with the stuff, but it was nothing I certainly depended on. I had smoked with Christopher in the past, but nothing too intense. Mostly I did it now so that I could fit in with her friends. Like everything else in my life, I had no real beliefs of my own nor a backbone to say no. So I did it. More than anything else, I only wanted to fit in. Now, those could have been the same reasons that Sarah smoked, but I certainly didn’t see it that way. She smoked pretty much every day. It seriously was at a point where we couldn’t go to a movie or even just watch television without her toking up. It really irritated me at times because I didn’t see why she couldn’t have fun without the stuff. Mostly I got down on myself. In my mind, I was boring and she needed the green to tolerate me and make me believable as an enjoyable person. Ah, insecurities.

School kind of disappeared for me after Christmas. In a sense, I had forgotten that school was the reason I was in town. I still went, occasionally, but in true fashion my grades only dipped slightly. Truth be told, beer, friends, and sex were far more important to me then anything I could learn from John Locke (He’s an English Philosopher, not a character on Lost. Look him up). The fun I was having far outweighed the ideas of my Geology teacher. Weeknights were spent drinking and weekends were spent drinking even harder. College experts warned parents about binge drinking, but these experts really had no idea. My group of friends would have fit into another group of drinker’s altogether. I’d use the term functioning, but for many of us, that really wasn’t true. That label would be an unjust one to give out. For many of us, this was the semester that undid everything. Or at least the first signs of destruction were certainly present.

Of course, it had its roots with beer. This simply carried over into something that was much more than the partaking in the usual hops and barley. It was a night that had started innocently enough. Good drinks, good times, good buds; as the proverb goes. Okay, proverb maybe not, but a nice little saying nonetheless. Eric, who had recently turned 21, myself, and a few friends were at our favorite bar, a placed called “The Station”. It was a small little bar, one frequented by lonely old drunks, loose women, and artists who were just entering their pre-hipster phase. We did not fit into any of these categories, as we were just a group of dudes looking to have a good time at a quiet place with cheap liquor prices.

As the night wore on and the alcohol took its full effect, our loud, boisterous crowd filtered out. Eric and I had remained, along with our new friend Ken. Ken was a wild card, a man that was the spitting image of a young Jack Nicholson. The man never met a challenge he did not like and was never afraid to back down from a long night of drinking or partying. The man was cut from the same animal magnetism that spawned Marlon Brando and James Dean. To fit the cliché perfectly, Ken often arrived places on his motorcycle. The man had the cool guy act down to a ‘T’.

As it was, Ken put down his fair share of whiskey that night. I’m not talking whiskey mixed with coke, either. I’m talking down the gullet, straight and smooth, whiskey. The man could drink and in the tradition of Eric, did not want the fun to stop. The two had that basic connection and I was simply along for the ride. Despite being tired and only wanting to slip away to Sarah, I was easily convinced to join the after party. Closing time was near and Ken had suggested a night of fun at this apartment. Conveniently the apartment was located on the top floor of the building in which The Station was housed. How could I possibly say no when the fun was located so utterly close?

The three of us crammed ourselves into the small elevator and made the quick ride to the top floor. We stumbled to Ken’s apartment door. Ken fumbled with his keys for a minute and eventually let us in to his domain. The entire time Ken did not stop talking. He was a bundle of energy and spoke of everything from drugs to Nietzsche, from sports to fucking girls, and so on. He flipped on a light in the apartment and did not even bother with a tour. Ken sat us down on his leather couches. With his mind racing from point to point, Ken did not have time to take a seat. As Eric and I sat down, Ken disappeared into the kitchen.

Shy as ever, I said my first words in over a half hour. “I gotta go soon,” I said to Eric.

“Fuck that. You’re not leaving me alone with him,” snapped back Eric quickly.

Before I could even begin an argument back, Ken reappeared with three beers. He handed one each to Eric and I and then walked over to the window that overlooked the street.

“Check this out,” he said to no one in particular.

Both Eric and I hopped from our seats and went to the window. Down below, I could see the bars emptying into the street and the people in a drunken stupor searching for their cars. Ken, true to his style, threw open the window and a cool breeze hit our faces. And then it happened; Ken let loose a barrage of obscenities on the unsuspecting crowds below. He let out every curse word known to man. It put Tourette's to shame. To Ken, this was very freeing. He let out a deep sigh when he was done and smiled. “Go ahead. Give it a try.”

I politely declined, but Eric stepped right up to the plate. He passed on the straight curse words, but instead targeted a couple that was obviously not made for each other, at least physically. “Hey douchebag, she’ll never blow you,” screamed Eric at the top of his lungs. “Go find someone fatter.”

The man simply flipped Eric off. Eric continued to yell, this time his words directed at the girl. “Hey baby, how much cost!”

The girl did not respond, which egged Eric on even more. “That’s right, walk away dumb bitch. Good luck with his tiny penis!”

Eric and Ken laughed hysterically at this. I chimed in with a small chuckle as I was obviously not drunk enough to fully enjoy all of this. Ken shut the window and took a long drink from his beer. I’m pretty sure most of it dribbled down his shirt, but I wasn’t one to judge. Ken wiped his lips. “I’ve got something for you guys.”

At this point, I had sat back down on the couch. Ken plopped onto the leather right next to me. He sat his beer down on the glass table. Eric joined us on the couch just as Ken was reaching for the cigar box that was sitting on the table. Being the boyfriend of quintessential smoker, my guess was it was weed that was in the box. I was dead wrong.

Ken opened the box. Straight faced, he threw up the lid with reckless abandon. “Gentleman, I give you cocaine.”

My heart froze. I did not expect this nor did I want to partake. At the same time, being the follower I perceived myself to be, I felt that I needed to do it. Nobody wants to be a pussy amongst their friends. These were the thoughts that raced through my head as Ken dumped a bit of the powder on the table. He begin to cut the powder right there. Ken was going to do this with or without us. It was all happening so quickly and fear was getting the best of me. I quietly chugged my beer as fast as I could and could see Eric doing the same. Perhaps we were on the same page on this one.

Wiping the leftover beer off of my lips, I announced, “I’m gonna head. I have a lady waiting for me.”

As I waited for Eric to follow suit, Ken continued to ready the drug. He did not even acknowledge my statement. Then Eric shocked me. “I’m in.”

Eric had been in the same boat I was with the drug situation. He had smoked pot occasionally, but nothing else. Though I thought he would leave with me, the answer from him about staying only mildly surprised me. “Are you sure,” I asked.

“Yeah, man. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

There would be no argument from me. I said good-bye to the both of them and thanked Ken for the beer. I walked out the door as the two embarked on the night of fun. I choose to walk down the stairs rather then ride the elevator alone. As I made the lonely walk down the staircase, I wondered to myself if I’d ever have the balls to truly enjoy life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TEN

-10-

Back to this again. Where does it all end? Are we on an endless road that leads to nowhere? The Proverbial God is watching us, they say. Watching us do what, exactly? The God watches us continue to lead corruptive, lying, cheating, and bloodthirsty lives. Everything that goes on in today’s world is a matter of who can collect the most toys the fastest. Everyone is guilty of it. Patience is a virtue that has long been lost on the youth of today. Maybe even has started to spread beyond the youth, if you ask me. People cannot wait for things or do not have the drive and compassion to achieve said things. They want it now. If they don’t get it, they move on to the next person or thing. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process, just as long as the end result is to their desire.

Do the ends really justify the means? In thine own eyes, ‘tis true, as the saying goes. That is the sole belief of the people achieving the greater end. The end is happiness. Complete and utter happiness. Happiness comes hand in hand with the belief of the Proverbial God. The ends and the means are both seen through the eyes of the beholder. One person’s happiness can often be another person’s melancholy. Death can be a closed door to one person and open another door in the belief of some. One person’s God can be another person’s Devil. The answers are all around us and we don’t take enough time to seek them out. Instead, we seek out the greed and lust and settle for what is already laid out before us. People might seek these answers if it were as easy as opening a box of Lucky Charms. Life would be that much easier because that’s what everyone is looking for. Instead of looking for life on other planets, maybe we as individuals should spend more time looking for life on the lovely planet Earth. I use the term lovely in a total sarcastic sense and of my own free will I state this. No bullshit aura of ego from this guy.

Two thousand plus years have passed and I’m still seeking the answers in life. Nine years have gone by since the arrival of the new millennium and the earth hasn’t exploded into a million particles, so I suppose that the answers are still around. The paranoia that surrounded that New Year’s Eve never came to fruition, as we all know, and we all moved on from that technological scare. Sure, we have our everyday fears that loom over us to this day, but the Y2K epidemic never materialized. Not that I ever bought into it or anything. I’d read Nostradamus and discovered a few of his predictions did come true. If you make thousands of predictions, a few are bound to come true from time to time. I enjoyed his writings, but never felt they were relevant to the millennium. Relevant to the end of times, but nothing I was too worried about. It wouldn’t have been that bad to live without computers. It might have been helpful, in fact, to get people back to connecting with one another instead of through technology. If you ask me, Twitter is the true signal to the end of times.

It would seem I had all of my answers at one point. Not less than a year ago, I had a wife, a child, and a good paying job. I had finally steadied my life. Except I had turned into the very sheep that I had fought desperately against. I had forgotten how to question and how to look for answers. My desire and quest for knowledge had taken a back seat to living the single tract life. I guess at one point it happens to the best of us. The part of my brain that I had blocked out all of those years ago seeped in and I settled. To me, I had found that meaning to things I had so desperately sought. The Holy Grail had been discovered and my life should have been complete. The horrible part is that I couldn’t let my mind rest. That Holy Grail might have well been a plastic version that you can buy from a vendor on the streets of Mexico. That is not the meaning of life, though.

The meaning of life lies not in the answer of a girl, but instead is found in that of friendship. Without friendship, all that is left is a good screw, which is good, yeah, but then who is there to discuss the important things like football, music and movies. Okay, maybe the girl has those qualities, but it’s not the same. Do you really want your girlfriend to be one of the guys? To an extent, maybe, but your girlfriend doesn’t need to know more about E.R.A. than your best friends do. It’s just not right.

Friends are on the top. Or at least they were at a point in my life. I was palling around with a tight group of friends at the time. I still believe that the meaning of life lies with friendship. It’s not found in religion, family, girls, money, or power. Everything boils down to who you know and your relationship to them. Keep your friends close to your heart. Don’t trample on them for the love of a girl. Without a tight circle of friends, who is there to watch you’re back? No one. Being alone and deserted in life is not a good way to live. I’ve been there and am back again. I’ve been full circle and have nothing to show for it. Friendship is wherein the meaning lies. I cannot stress that enough.

So here I am. Or there I was, for that matter. Life was slowly starting to come together after twenty-one years. School was enjoyable. I had a good girl, and after waiting for over twenty years, the friends I had so desperately sought were by my side. Who would have thought that it would have been so simple? Well, no one should ever think like that. Life is never that easy and simple. Not then and especially not now. There are always questions out there and the 21st century would prove to be no different. Friendships are built to last and one fact always remains: Girls ruin it all.

nine

-9-
“Do you miss me, Ms. Misery?”

Sex breeds confidence. I’ll put that out there right now. And I had plenty of both things after the first month with Heather. I enjoyed it for two, maybe three months and loved being in a relationship. Yet part of me wanted to break free and live life as a single man who’d had sex. I suddenly had this confidence that the ladies picked up on. It’s funny how that works. Women never pay attention to the quiet guy, or very rarely they do, but as soon as that guy opens up and makes himself known, the girls are all over him. The only reason that guy is confident is because he now has a girlfriend. He’s the same person. Its common sense, I guess, but at that time it surely wasn’t. I found myself in quite the conundrum. It’s no wonder we are a cheating species. In many situations, the women are just as responsible as the men. I’m not saying it is right, but it happens.

I never cheated on Heather. I’m certainly not saying that I did. This being my first real relationship, I wouldn’t even know how to begin to get away with cheating. I wouldn’t have done it anyways, but believe me, the thoughts were there. After the first month, my mind started to drift elsewhere. More specifically, it focused on girls that weren’t Heather. She was a good girl, don’t get me wrong, and we certainly had fun together. Something was not clicking with us and it started to show in my desire to be with her.

Two months in, I carefully found ways to avoid her. It helped that I had turned 21 and was able to use the bar as a reason to get away from her. Other nights it would be because I was studying. By studying, I usually meant playing the Play station with Eric. Other nights I wouldn’t even lie. I would simply tell Heather that I was going to a party with Eric. I wouldn’t invite her, which led to some tension, but that would end as soon as I called her in two in the morning after I couldn’t find a new girl. This would repeat for most weekends. During the week, we’d hang out after classes, go to dinner once in awhile, and return to our separate residences. Sure, we’d fit in sex from time to time, but for the most part I spent my days thinking of the easiest ways to break up with her. Between the incessant amount of phone calls, including but not limited to right after all of my classes, and the general lack of breathing air, I felt I had no other options.

The dreaded day finally occurred about two weeks before Christmas. It wasn’t the most perfect of timing yet I felt it needed to be done. I couldn’t stand lying to myself anymore or lying to Heather, for that matter. The event happened one windy Tuesday after my class had just gotten out. Heather called me seconds after and this time I answered. I told her I would meet her at her dorm room and we’d hang out for a bit. She was relieved, seeing as how it had been close to a week since we had last hung out. My heart nearly broke right there, knowing full well that this could be the last time we’d be hanging out.

I got to her room and tossed my jacket on a chair. The room was nearly identical to the one I had last year, except the room was decorated with teenage girl stuff, and the smell of an intoxicating perfume filled the air. Her roommate was gone so we turned on the television and curled up on the bed. Heather instantly flipped it to TRL and I nearly gagged. Watching Carson Daly actually made me feel stupider with each passing minute that he spoke. Luckily, Heather turned down the sound a bit so that was a minor relief. That moment was short lived as she began to kiss me. Not exactly the easiest way to lead into a break up so I went along. I would kiss back for a few seconds and then turn my attention back to Carson Daly. We would watch TV. for a few minutes before she’d start into her routine again and I would follow suit with mine.

“What’s wrong,” she asked.

“Nothing,” I would respond. The answer always made me sound like a lazy robot.

It was a good two hours of this before I finally found the courage to proceed with my original intention. I flipped off the television and grabbed Heather by the hand. It started off slow at first. I asked her how she felt about the relationship and as expected, she said she enjoyed it. She loved spending time with me, you know, all that bull crap, and I said the same to her. In proceeding with my master plan, I told Heather that I couldn’t continue to lead her on, though. I felt that I was too busy to fully concentrate on her and that she deserved better. She of course agreed, saying that we could make it work. I persisted by telling her that she deserved to be out there having fun, not waiting around for me on weekends. She did agree with that, which stung a little, but she promised me to be better about giving me my space. I did not relent on any of this, even though it would have put me in a nearly perfect relationship on my behalf. In the end, the break up still occurred. The flood gates opened from her eyes. I held her in my arms and waited for the tears to top streaming before I left. When I did, I kissed her on the forehead and promised I’d call her soon. I smiled at her and left her behind, presumably forever.

After the break up, I dove full on into my December funk. I was not as happy and carefree as I had planned. The cold rains from November had now turned to snow and the days seemed longer than ever before. I took to finishing off a bottle of Southern Comfort every night and washed it down with six or seven Tylenol P.M. Losing Heather had been tougher than I thought it would be and part of me had wanted her back. After all of my complaining about not having someone, I went and ended it with this great girl. I guess it was mostly loneliness I felt and had just wanted someone to lay next to on the cold December nights. I spent the first week after the break up drinking and also failing finals. Okay, not failing, but bombing the tests just enough to lower my grades to B’s. The next week, Christmas vacation started. I attended a few parties, flirted with a girl named Sarah, and then retreated to my room alone. I’d stare at the wall and let the Catholic guilt wash over me. I could only imagine the pain I would have felt had Heather been the one to break up with me.

I went home to my parents on Christmas Eve and returned to my roommates on the morning of New Years Eve. Christopher was off doing things with Laura when I got in, while Eric was already drinking while playing video games on the couch. I sat my stuff down and the usual banter was exchanged. “How was your trip?”

“Eh. Drunk again?”

“All week,” Eric responded.

As I grabbed a beer from the case and sat down, I asked, “What’s the plan for tonight?”

“Travis is having a party. We are going to celebrate the millennium in style,” replied Eric as he gulped down his beer. “And yes, Sarah will be there, so tonight is your night.”

“Eh,” I said as I opened my beer and took a drink. It had been a week since I had a drink and the barley was a sweet relief.

“No man, she told her best friend who told Travis’ girlfriend that she liked you. You’re so money and you don’t even know it.”

Swingers reference aside, that bit of news made me happy. At least on the surface it did. I’ve never been good at talking to girls and if I found out they like me, I usually overcompensated and made a fool of myself. The girl would end up annoyed with me and then easily move on to making out with the first guy that she saw.

Putting on the cloak of remaining confidence I had left over from Heather, I went to the party. It wasn’t a huge gathering, about fifteen to twenty people, but it was all people I’d met once or twice, save for Eric and Sarah. There was booze aplenty, which made the night that much more enticing. Pool was going on in one room and music blasted loudly in another. I spent a good part of my night getting to know Sarah. In fact, I blame her for me picking up my first cigarette and leading to my eventual addiction. She was an avid chain smoker and by my fifth rum and coke, I was joining her in the smoke breaks. All and all, I didn’t make an ass out of myself. I even found myself bumping and grinding with her on the makeshift dance floor as we approached the New Year. Even as I made an ass out of myself on the dance floor, Sarah seemed to enjoy me, so I stuck to my game.

Nearing midnight, the group moved outside. Eric had told us all to meet him there, so we eagerly listened to his instructions. He had spent the last hour making out with a friend of Sarah’s so part of me expected him to put on a sex show of sorts. You can imagine my relief when I saw her standing alone on the patio, looking to the roof. My bottle of champagne in hand and Sarah in tow, I looked to the roof as well.

Eric was up there; he too with his bottle of champagne. The crowd had gathered as planned and Eric motioned for the people to move closer. “Travis, how time we got buddy?”

Travis, a confident man and the same age as us, looked at his watch and yelled up to Eric. “A little over a minute, my friend.”

“Give me a countdown from ten,” Eric replied with a boyish grin.

The next minute seemed like an eternity. I stood there with Sarah in front of me. My arms were wrapped around her and I even snuck in a few kisses during the wait. Our last kiss was interrupted with the booming voice of Travis. “Ten, nine, eight…”

So it went. The crowd joined in and let out an upbeat “Happy New Year” at midnight. Before the couples kissed, all eyes turned to Eric at the same time. He popped open his champagne and screamed to the heavens, “Happy New Year mother fuckers!”

The Baron loved the attention and we all echoed his sentiment in a unified chorus. The man liked the spotlight and we enjoyed him even more because of it. As he took a step forward to join his friends, Eric slipped on the frozen roof and nearly came sliding off. Luckily, he grabbed the top of the slanted roof just in time and was able to hang on. After a minute of screaming that he was okay, Eric was finally able to pull himself back to his feet.

As I watched Eric struggle to regain his footing, Sarah leaned up on her tip toes and kissed me. I closed my eyes and let the new wave of emotions flow over me. As I heard fireworks go off in the distance, I was relieved. Relieved that world hadn’t ended, relieved that The Baron hadn’t fallen to his death, and relieved that Sarah was kissing me like there was no tomorrow. The cycle of love had begun yet again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

EIGHT

-8-
“Touched for the Very First Time”

My life as a monk was about to end and I couldn’t have been more excited. Contrary to the belief of what I told some of my friends, I did not have sex with Heather that first night. After spending a good four hours down at the jail, I returned to a sleeping girl and a warm bed. We shared some kisses and talked for awhile, but at this point I was worn down from the long night. I didn’t quite have the energy to pursue much more that the kissing. I did happen to find out that she was a virgin as well, so maybe that was part of the reason I was suddenly tired. Before she left the next morning I did use my early morning, half asleep charm to get her phone number and by the end of the week, we would have our first date.

That Monday after the beach blowout, school started. For the first time in a long time, I was actually excited about school. After toiling through my first year, I was finally able to take some classes that I was interested in. I was still in the Criminal Justice/Pre-Law program. For some reason, part of me had wanted to be lawyer. I was more interested in the research aspect than being in the courtroom, and that was always part of my hesitation. To help with that fear, and hopefully combat it, I enrolled in an Acting Class. I figured that by performing in front of people, I could explore more of who I was. My confidence was at an all time high, but I still had a lot to gain.

Other than acting, I took a History class. It was one that was beyond the usual 101, basic stuff. I had always been interested in history. I went above and beyond to find books outside the realm of normal education. I figured that if I ever switched majors, it would be to history and this way I would have a head start. I also had a Science class, I think, and maybe Intro to Art. Those were two classes I really had no interest in, but they were required by the school to complete my degree. That’s one thing I never understood. Colleges obviously want you to be a well rounded person, but why I need Art to be a lawyer, I’ll never know. Just like math to a Theatre Major or Science to a Phys. Ed. Major, a desire to learn is only judged by one’s own interest in the subject. And in Art, I had none.

School aside, the first week was topped off by the date with Heather. My sense of adventure had no yet developed with the ladies. That lack of experience showed with the proverbial and classic dinner and a movie date. I figured it was simple enough to work. I would get to know her during dinner and that way I didn’t have to blow it by being boring during the movie. The beauty of a movie is that if dinner doesn’t go so well, you still have to sit next to your date for two more hours. This would give a person plenty of time to plan an awkward out strategy for after the movie. This is exactly how my youthful mind worked.

Except for, as it turned out, dinner went exceptionally well, at least in my eyes. We went to some tiny, Italian restaurant, very romantic and very cozy. It was tucked away on the west end of town and I was hoping to impress her. I threw on my nicest blue collared, button up shirt and matched with my favorite pair of blue jeans. It was noting over the top, perhaps a little underdressed, but I thought I looked good. Better than average, at best, but I hoped it would do the trick.

Heather, well, she was a knockout that night. She wasn’t formerly dressed, either, but to me she was a ten. She wore these black dress pants that formed perfectly on her tiny ass. Heater wore this pink silk top that was the ideal compliment to her pants. Her green eyes sparkled and she smelled like heaven. Heather, at this moment in my history, was the most gorgeous woman I’d even laid eyes on. I’m not talking celebrities or people you see in magazines or ads. I’m talking about a real girl that I had an opportunity to share air with. This is all that I could think during the entire dinner.

Dinner flew by. I stuck with my usual spaghetti with meat sauce while she tackled the Chicken Penne. I would have ordered some wine, but I’d left my fake I.D. at home. It didn’t even matter, as I hung on every word she said. I’m sure some of what she told me had already been said on the night of the party. My memory is usually solid as a rock except that night was still fuzzy at the time. Heather even seemed to laugh at the lameness of some of my jokes. This indicated to me she like me. It would take a fool to miss these signs. In the game of love, though, I was a fool.

The movie I cannot remember. It was probably something romantic, along the lines of Runaway Bride or some other Julia Roberts movie. I really had no interest and was simply seeing it for Heather’s sake. The only thing I remember about the actual movie is that Julia Roberts was riding a horse in a wedding dress. That’s because about half way through the movie, my moment of relaxation finally occurred. I was sitting there, and my eyes constantly were moving between Heather and the movie screen. My feet continually stuck to the soda stained floor as I fidgeted. It was then the moment occurred. My palms had been sweating for the past half hour as I contemplated holding her hand. I had done more than this on our first night together, but I kept telling myself that it was only because the booze had done the rationalizing. After a few half-hearted attempts to place my rough hand in hers, Heather finally quelled my fears. She firmly grasped my hand. With eloquent ease, she placed both her hand and mine on the inner part of her lap. For the first time all night, my mind finally stopped to race.

The movie ended and I drove her back to the dorms. I parked the car and walked her back to the front doors of the building. The plan was to walk her there and pray to God that I could steal a kiss. She had the softest lips and I had wanted to find them again. Everything went as planned. I leaned in, to kiss her, and she kissed back. This lasted only a few seconds before she stopped me. “Wanna come up,” she cheerfully queried.

Being the prude that I was, I asked, “What about your roommate?”

“She’s gone for the weekend. So you should come up.”

I did not even hesitate. I nodded yes and she smiled. At this point, my mind stopped doing any thinking. I was alone with this girl who clearly liked me and my heart began to beat faster. I followed her up the stairs and playfully slapped her ass a few times. She giggled and coyly told me to stop it. I could not wait to get to her room.

We get to the room and immediately fall onto the bed. The kissing began and the groping immediately followed. I fumble wit the hooks on her bra as I try to undo it under her shirt. She politely smiles and removes her bra as I take off her shirt. She then practically rips off my shirt and throws it across the room. As I lean on my elbow and attempt to calm my nerves, Heather brushes my slightly long bangs from my face. “Let’s have sex.”

It sounds like something a girl would say to Freddie Prinze, Jr. in a movie and I stifle a laugh. “Are you sure?”

A silly question and her only answer is to kiss me deeper and longer than before. I had my answer.

I’ll spare you the silly details, but let’s just say I found the gold and enjoyed it. In fact, I found gold three times that night and it was worth every second. She didn’t complete me, as Jerry Maguire stated ever so bluntly, but she made me enjoy life so much more. Nothing can describe that feeling of being connected with one person and letting that feeling explode into an emotion of pure delight.

Yet as the sun rose that morning and Heather’s naked soul fell asleep in my arms, I’d never felt so alone. I had this pit in my stomach. Maybe it had been the early stages of love. I’ll never know. I couldn’t push the feeling aside and I realize now that I simply put a hex on myself. Heather and I were good for a solid month, but after that, things started to slide downhill. Now that I’d had sex, I wanted to explore other girls and what they knew. Heather was great, but by New Year’s Eve of that year, I’d moved on. I had parlayed my experience and confidence into meeting the girl I’d end up dating for two years. That girl is the girl I still call the love of my life to this day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

SEVEN

-7-

Have you ever read Howard Zimm’s A People’s History of the United States? He’s this great author that anyone’s rarely heard of. He, for example, takes the entire Christopher Columbus bullshit and turns it on its head. We’ve all hard the little song, “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Well, he did sail the ocean blue and he brought with him disease and pestilence. That man wasn’t a big hero, as we learned in elementary school. Sure, we learn in history books in Junior High and High School that it was a big mistake. Columbus was looking for India and simply stumbled onto this great land now known as America, but nothing goes as in depth into Columbus as Zimm does. Columbus, as it turns out, was a great asshole that nearly led to the annihilation of the Native American. I guess in a way Columbus did discover America, but to me, it’s hard to discover something that’s already there.

Point being, what you’re getting from me is the version of my history as told by Howard Zimm. You’re not getting the cookie cutter, playground version. This is the real thing, good and bad. Why sugar coat it? Life is not all roses and fluffy bunny rabbits, now is it? I wish it was, but it’s not, okay?

Sure, I talk about not having sex a lot, that’s my history so far, but with it eventually comes the having of sex a lot. Me and my wife sure did. I guess I should say ex-wife, but that’s for later. Right now, I would like to talk about sex, baby. I want to talk about all the good things sex can be. Sorry about that. I sometimes get distracted by lyrics from 90’s pop songs.

We have made sex too taboo in this day age, and despite all of the reality shows that seemingly center on booze and sex. The idea of it being taboo is funny because more and more people are doing it and at doing it at a younger age. Considering the amount of porn websites that are out there, it’s a wonder people even get anything done at all. Don’t even get me started on these sixteen and seventeen year old girls that are portrayed as role models and parade around doing ridiculously grown up things (I’m looking at you Miley Cyrus.) Their images filter down to the twelve and thirteen year old girls that mimic their idols every move. I know when I was thirteen, girls did not dress like that. If they did, I would have had even more trouble controlling my newly discovered hormones. Parents should not let their kids of the house dressed and looking like Britney Spears. It’s just not right.

I’m sure the argument has been had throughout the history of time. Maybe it’s just more prevalent now with the influx of multimedia and the oversaturation of pop culture. I got my sexual fantasies from Victoria’s secrets catalogs and the Sunday newspaper ads for JC Penney. Sure, when I turned eighteen I got a Playboy magazine, but who didn’t? Nowadays, the Victoria’s Secrets Ads come on during football and the girls from Playboy have their own show. Hell, most kids probably live out their fantasies from pictures on any given social networking site. Sex is everywhere and it’s time for people to admit that.

I sure have. I look at porn. Maybe it’s a problem, who knows, but it’s a joy in life. I was raised to wait for sex until marriage, its part of being Catholic, and maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much now. And it’s why I pursued it so much in my early college years. Most people that I knew at that point in life had participated in the act, and part of me just wanted to join the crowd. Or, simply put, I was just a man who wanted sex. It’s debatable, yes. In the end, it’s still a person’s right and they shouldn’t be looked down upon if they choose to have sex, look at porn, or wait until the sacred institution of marriage to indulge in fantasies that all people have. Some are just afraid to admit it and instead channel their frustration to admonish society.

I’m lonely now. I don’t find the same thrill in one night stands and drunken hook-ups. Yes, I still engage in such activities, but it’s hard to take a girl back to my parents’ house. It’s a turn off, I suppose, but I just can’t do it. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t get a girl in high school. I didn’t want to do anything in my parents’ house. And maybe that’s why my parents did a good job of raising me and I subsequently wanted to rise against that. Was it a sheltered life? Yes, but as good parents do, they only wanted to protect me and help me not to make stupid choices. They knew that having a kid while in high school is not the best route to take. I certainly didn’t want any little Timmy’s running around.

Did you know that some high schools have Virgin Clubs now? Kids sign these contracts and other documents stating that they won’t have sex until they are married. Or until Prom, I’m not really sure. Can you imagine if they a sex club? The kids could wear tee shirts that say “I’m a slut and proud of it” or “Last night I did it in my girlfriend’s car”. The students are allowed to proclaim their virginity through messages on their shirts, so why can’t the kids who have had sex proclaim their status as well? It seems only fair.

I’m no expert on the situation. I just feel that everyone needs to relax. We obviously don’t want society suddenly to be hit with a population explosion. We should allow sex education continue to grow and expand. Inform the kids instead of keeping them away from information. Tell them about putting on a condom, tell them about birth control, and of course, warn them of STD’s. Put the choice in their hands. I say this now, but I could change my mind if I ever have kids. Everything changes once you become a parent, or so I’ve heard.

I’m still lost in the world of sex. I’m lonely and can’t be cured. I’ve developed an insatiable appetite and seem to be never satisfied. I’m even gone as far as to read Kama Sutra books to help reach ultimate satisfaction. I’ve tried all sorts of Buddhist techniques on meditation to find my Chi and deliver balance. Nothing works. I’m a man constantly searching and not even my self destruction with sex helps. I am destined to travel these hollow roads with a chip on my shoulder and a need for pleasure.

That’s why I talk about sex. People are afraid to talk and I’m afraid of not having it. That’s why it is part of my history, part of my need to talk to you. I need to put it all on the line and give you the full honest truth. Why else do we live? It is to enjoy the small, minute things in life that people are otherwise afraid to talk about. Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. The things that make celebrities stand out, and the same very things that show me as a deviant. And if our whore mongering ex-president won’t talk about it, then I certainly will: S-E-X.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SIX

-6-
“The Living’s Easy”

Winter turned to spring and spring into summer. I had spent the semester pretty much drinking every night. This had not been depression drinking, for the most part, but more of a never ending party. That’s the way it seemed, anyhow. That house thee three of us lived in held a party every weekend. Whether it was a theme party (hello Toga’s!) or just a few of us passing around a bottle of rum and telling stories, we always had fun. It certainly helped that Christopher was 21, so we had a seemingly endless supply of beer. Sure, some nights it was a tallboy of Ice House, but no one seemed to care. To me, this is what college life was all about.

My grades for the spring semester did suffer, albeit only slightly. I was still going to class on a semi-regular basis and could bullshit my way through most of the tests. In classes that didn’t rely on essays for the tests, I would simply do all of my homework so I didn’t have to study as hard for the tests. There was too much fun to be had and I didn’t want to miss any of it. Eric and Christopher felt the same way; though Eric’s grades suffered the most. It didn’t bother him, though. Outwardly, nothing seemed to ever bother him.

As for Laura, she and Christopher (I use his full name because he hated the shortened version of Chris) got back together shortly after Eric and I had moved in. There relationship was volatile and they would have drag down, bare knuckle type arguments at least once a month. He would bitch about her for a week or so, get really stoned, and then end up getting back with her. She was very controlling of him. She was only seventeen (I was close on my original guess) and was, in general, a conniving bitch. I had no real idea of why they stayed together, but I guess love is funny in that way.

Laura stayed over five nights a week or so. It never really bothered me as much as it did for Eric. Those two would butt heads constantly and I think that caused some of the tension between her and Christopher. Both Eric and Laura both felt compelled to always say what was on their mind, so that certainly didn’t help. I never really had a problem with her. She was a smart girl and she didn’t buy into the usual teenage bullshit. We had some good talks in those earlier times and I probably would have asked her out, had she not been my roommate’s girlfriend. Either way, years later I would find out she had a thing for me. I was told by Christopher that she would have fucked me had it not been for Chris. Oh well, just another girl lost, right?

Our parties started during the semester and spilled over into the summer. I would meet five to ten new people every weekend, many of whom became regulars at our house throughout the years. That asshole Brad even managed to make an appearance from time to time. Of course, Christa was in tow, losing more and more of her sweetness every day. The man used people and wasn’t afraid to brag about it. I had over heard him talking one time about how he couldn’t afford rent, so he was having Christa pay it for him. She, too, had moved out of the dorms (at the end of the spring semester, though) and she had moved in with him. She had even taken a job as a waitress to help pay for his stuff. This man was twenty-five and was playing her for everything she was worth.

I had spoken to her in passing, but never anything about him. It was the usual “How’s your family?” and “How’s school?” rhetoric that people rarely even care about. I’m no different, in those regards, at least with her. Part of me still cared for her, yes, and I wanted to see her happy, just not happy with him. Just thinking about Brad now makes me angry and how I would change things. This time, I would hit him square in the job.

I didn’t have time for Christa anyhow. I was having too much fun. Our house was on the corner of the street, nestled amongst a group of Oak trees. The trees towered high into the night sky and provided us with all the privacy we ever needed. We’d even go as far as to hold campfires in our backyard. One Saturday afternoon in late April, Eric, Christopher, and I dug a deep hole in the yard and surrounded it with giant rocks. The first time we used, we bought at least ten bags of charcoal and dumped them into the pit. Eric doused the thing with lighter fluid and lit the son of a bitch on fire. Thus, our bonfire was born and we thought we were the coolest people on the planet.

Except for me, that is. I never felt that in respect to the ladies. Despite being a gracious host and purveyor of good times, it hadn’t yet translated into a journey to Eden. I had spoken and flirted with many girls during these parties. A few of them I’d even kissed and taken back to my room. There, dry humping would commence, maybe even a blowjob, but something always stopped me from doing more. Sometimes it would be an ill-times phone call, or an unexpected visitor. Sometimes, it would be early in the party and someone would inevitably crash through my lockless door. Or maybe sometimes your friends would stand outside your bedroom window and watch while they laughed uncontrollably. Either way, the girl would leave or just want to cuddle at that point, leaving me unfilled.

Eric would go onto explain to me that I needed a closer. In baseball terms, that’s the man that finishes a close game. He said that’s what I needed for my bedroom antics. “You have good enough stuff to start off, but you need someone to finish it up.”

“How so,” I asked as I played along with his game.

“Well, you get them all going with your boyish charm and when you feel that you’re about to lose them, just point to your right arm, and I’ll come in to get the save.”

“So, I’ll put in all of the work and then you get all of the rewards?”

“Exactly.”

“I’ll look into that.”

We both had a small chuckle, but I really did need to learn how to close. I was beginning to think I’d die a virgin.

The summer culminated in a giant beach party blowout. Our original plan was to load in a dump truck full of sand and have it spread out all over the yard, but that plan was hatched over a 30 pack of Keystone light and it never came to fruition. Instead, we got some Tiki torches and some leis and we were all set. We even lit the fire long before dusk and had even bought a keg. This was going to be the party to end all parties.

Eric tapped the keg around eight and we waited. Laura had joined us, so it was the four of us sitting around the fire in beach chairs. We waited. And we waited some more. Sitting there getting drunk, it felt like hours had already passed. The night was humid and I suppose the fire didn’t help in getting rid of my sweat drenched shirt. I unbuttoned a few buttons on my floral shirt and took another swig of beer. The four of us rarely had moments of silence, but tonight was different. I suppose we were all just antsy and wanted to get the party started.

Soon enough, at close to ten, the people started to filter in. And then roam in. And eventually, people were coming in as if all of them had piled into a clown car to get to this party. There were big people, small people, girls in skirts, and guys without shirts. I’d say over a hundred drunk college and high school kids made their way though the house that night. At a rough estimate, I believe I didn’t even know half of them. Of that half, I hardly had a chance to meet most of them.

One person that I did get to meet was a nice looking eighteen year old girl named Heather. She was short, but very cute with tiny dimples that formed perfectly when she smiled. She was going to be a freshman that upcoming year. We chatted for awhile; the beer was clearly working on me and the wine coolers on her. I was talking with Heather in the kitchen, leaning against the counter, when I saw Christa. I looked at Christa in her Hula skirt and swimsuit bra. She was all smiles and joy. I don’t know if it was my own jealousy, the need to make her jealous, or the alcohol, but I stopped Heather from talking for a second. I looked her in the eyes and kissed her. To my surprise, Heather kissed me back; even throwing in her tongue for good measure. The kiss lasted for a good ten seconds before I pulled away. I looked her in the eyes and slipped my hand into hers. I didn’t even bother to look for Christa’s response.

Heather did not leave my side for the entire night, even at about two in the morning when the cops arrived. We finally found out that we had neighbors. Of course, we were so loud that people from three blocks away could have heard us. As the underage kids rounded themselves up in the backyard and Christopher lured the ADULTS inside, Eric was struck by lightning. Seeing it as a moment of distraction or an idea (I’m still not sure), Eric pointed to the gate on the side of the house. “You want to run,” I whispered to him.

Eric shook his head. “Just watch.”

Like that, he was off. He swung the gate open and dove behind some bushes. I pulled myself up to the top of the gate and peeked my eyes over the pointed edges. There was a cop on the front step, but he had not seen me. Or Eric for that matter, who despite being out of shape, crawled quite nimbly towards the cop’s car. I still had no idea if Eric was going to run or not, but I soon had my answer. Eric stood up. I heard the unzipping of pants and shortly thereafter, a stream of piss on the car. “Woo Hoo,” Eric exclaimed loudly.

The cop turned around and did not even ask Eric to stop. The man sprinted to the car and slammed Eric against the car. The impact splashed urine all over the both of them. The pissed on cop slapped handcuffs on Eric and happily read him his rights.

“What’s going on,” asked the meek voice behind me. “I’m tired.”

It was Heather. I’d nearly forgotten about her. I lowered myself from the gate and looked her in the eyes. “Sweetie, once the cops are gone, we are going to my room. We’ll lie down together, but I’ve got to do something first. Okay?”

Drunk enough off of her four wine coolers, Heather clumsily nodded her head yes. We waited for the cops to leave and I immediately ran to my room. I grabbed the five hundred in cash I’d hidden in my room, put Heather to sleep, and left the house. On the same night, I had to bail out my best friend from jail and when I returned home, I would fall asleep next to Heather, my first college girlfriend and my first exploration of paradise.

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About Me

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Boise, Idaho, United States
I am a playwright, screenwriter, novelist. My first novel, "The Dragon Princess" is now available exclusively to Amazon Kindle users. Sometimes I get on Twitter to post my thoughts in as few characters as possible. You can find me there under the profile: jasonrh_78