My entire drive home I was trying to place whether it was seventeen or eighteen. In my gut it seems that eighteen would be more in the right. At this point all of my friends had finally graduated from high school. They had that sort of shimmy to them, I probably had it too, but mine was all burnt up and buried in the side of the hill. Nineteen seems a little too gone and seventeen seems a bit too young. So for the sake of the story, or at least the way my mind remembers it, we will say I was eighteen years old.
(after some more careful consideration, it was definitely age eighteen as it was the summer of two thousand and two)
Somebody I knew had mushrooms. Around the time, I was a car transporter. One of the particular trips we had to make involved approximately seven miles of highway between the towns of Sidney and Piqua, Ohio. I remember on this particular afternoon of bringing the cars back to Piqua, a deer attempting to cross the highway as we were driving on the other side into Sidney.
(maybe it’s different nowadays)
After getting back and waiting to get paid, which usually took no more than a few minutes, I’d popped over to a friends house and set about the evening. I had taken traditional acid before that. Or what I consider to be traditional. It was probably just a watered-down version by 1960s traditions. This more or less promised that I knew what I was in for.
Again, I can’t recall anything specifically, and it’s probably for the best considering. There was a semi truck that had gotten in its way. It more or less exploded. The semi was a Volvo and it was red. That, and driving back a Ford Tempo, which would eventually belong to my sister and then me, but that is an entirely different story.
God help me if I could ever begin to consider who that person actually was. I can barely tell you who I was at that time. But someone had the mushrooms. We had turned to drugs a lot at that point. All varieties at that point. Not like being fourteen or fifteen and simply into smoking weed.
The highway ran in the middle of basically nowhere. Those two things and the way it sort of exploded were basically all I can remember from that trip. I’d never factored the afternoon into the experience though.
This is probably good advice, ask your brother.
They knew regardless of what they deemed acceptable and unacceptable, teenagers would still be teenagers. My parents were very good at being the nonjudgemental type of hosts.
Eventually though, at some point, my mind came back to the highway, to the red Volvo semi, and to the deer. It made the electricity pour out of my body. It was like a spiritual sentencing. Something beyond the county jails and hallways I had known before.
Usually they were never nice cars. All you were ever bound to see was corn or deer or both. Occasionally a coyote I’d say. If I’m not blurring this with one other one, my dad had actually eaten some too. A bit of proactive parenting I suppose.
The buzz wore on. Did all the typical mushroom stuff. The walls, wallpaper, chain smoking and enlightened social commentary. Yahtzee. Typically they were older and heavily abused.
Rode hard, as they say.
It was an easy enough job. I would move cars between dealerships that other dealerships had bought off of each other. It had no real set hours and paid a flat rate. All of which are things that suit the life of a teenager very well.
This had made me turn to my mother. She had told me a few stories about death that she herself was familiar with. About relatives and animals and both taken right in front of her, and even on down the street as well.
It was late at that point. She was in bed. If I can remember nothing else about my teenage years aside from that, that will again and forever be enough.