I drove a borrowed truck into one of those steel poles they use to keep you from driving on the sidewalk or into buildings. Sometimes they fill them with cement. Sometimes not. For years, that was a sore spot between me and the guy who owned the truck. Eventually I drove my own truck into things.
One night, riding through the merriment, in the backseat of a car that would not last much longer, the license-less driver rammed it into the rear end of a parked truck. Everything crumpled into a mass of busted up Chevrolets. Like meeting like.
I remember the wet blades of grass as the three of us degenerates skipped through the night dew, checking each new set of headlights to see if they belonged to the cops. It was a year of murder highs. No one was looking for us. Everything collapsed together around my shoulders in the kind of luck only I could appreciate. All of my troubles slowly getting worse. No one was looking for me. No one wanted to find out.
Around the same time, I didn’t have enough dough on me to buy a Sunday paper, a defining comment on life as I lived it. So I unscrewed the front of a paper box when a cop flipped a badge out of his wallet and made me screw the thing back together. All I could think about was that I’d only screw it half way back together because the cop already drifted back into the sidewalk crowd. Some Sunday scam that was. A poor excuse for imagination.
That time was a collection of halfway done jobs and mismanaged rebellion.The only elegance I achieved came through sleep and even then my mouth hung open and my body pumped the fouler chemicals out of my pores. But when I needed to get even I found a way. That was the best thing that I could hope.
by Hank Cherry