Memoir? Fiction? Fictional memoir? Real events, tweaked and compressed? Easier said than done, especially since it’s all fogged by time, booze, and selective remembering. Also, I have only the loosest grasp of English grammar. There was the escape to the West, meeting the duplicitous hippy chick Lucille and six-fingered Matias. The Rocky Mountain Mafia, of course. Which led to The Incident. Then, the hideout in the mountains and a final showdown at 11,000 feet. And, the aftermath (epilogue?). But, I suppose this IS the aftermath and that’s enough to explain why I need to write it all down. Damn that Shaboo! Damn him and bless him. I’ve been treading water for too long. Can this project bring me back to life?
Here goes nothing.
I guess it really started with delivering pizza in the mid-1990s New England on the campus of my state university. If you have a car at college, then delivering pizza is a great way to make money quick. Cash money! Great for a certain lifestyle. You can’t buy pot with a credit card (actually, you can now, but that’s a different story). So I had a one-hitter in the ashtray and a vodka bottle in the door holder and it worked pretty good, the drinking and delivering. Until it didn’t work and I got pulled over in front of a crowd of people waiting to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the campus stadium. The cops’ favorite: tail light out. With a crowd chanting “DUI! DUI! DUI!”, I was asked to step out of the car. When the pint vodka bottle, blue label 100 proof Smirnoff, fell from the door compartment and went skittering into the street, the crowd cheered and the roadside sobriety test was kind of moot. The chants of “DUI! DUI!” were renewed with a fervor of spectacle and satisfaction and I raised my arms in triumph, basking in my defeat. I had never received so much attention before. The cop said, “Put your arms down, asshole.”
I’d like to say what I did next was ballsy or righteous or filled with the spirit of freedom. But, there was no thought whatsoever. I just made a run for it. I ran away from the crowd, across the street, and into the maze of buildings in the center of campus. The crowd roared and, once away from the cop car and street lights and stadium lights and people, it was very dark and quiet and it felt good and I was running very fast. The cops had my car and my weed but I was running and it felt really fucking good and right.
I ran all the way to the Rockies.