This is a story I’ve been trying to put down on paper (so to speak) for quite some time now. It’s a rash on the back of my mind that i scratch from time to time – mindlessly, never quite admitting what it is that makes me itch so. It’s a story that starts in a parked Chevy Corsica and ends in the dark, on shards of broken glass.
The car was silent save for the wet sound of skin on skin; mouths locked on one another. I dropped her off at her parent’s two story on the master planned side of town where everybody’s parents had degree of some sort, the a large house of some sort, and drove a brand new car of some sort.
She was the obvious choice, a close friend turned lover though at the time things had not yet become deviant and destructive. There was something about her that hit me in the veins like a drug. She was the pusher and I was the junkie.
I couldn’t get enough of that delicious rush, and I would have given up everything just to be with her a little while longer. Little did I know at the time, like any addiction, I would give up much and more for her in the end.
My car wasn’t new, but having it was. I worked three summers to earn it though i still couldn’t have earned enough to pay for all of it. My family wasn’t exactly poor; we never really went without anything, but we were nowhere near living the way she did – the only child of two successful banking professionals.
We sat in the lamp light glow of the orange sodium-vapor street lights in my new but not new car. My hands ran across her bare back under her shirt striking over vertebrae and smooth pale skin in the dark, the smell of her skin on the air. I nibbled on her ear lobe, which was always the trick to get her to make that sound, the one that started the flow of that drug that she was to me, in my veins.
“We don’t have time for this right now,” she said in that tone that’s not quite a moan,” if I get caught, you’re never-”
“Are you sure?” I whispered to her as I pulled her slight frame over top of me hoping against hope that she would not stop my attempt at getting a fix.
“Nice try asshole,” she said as she worked her way across me to the driver side door. She kissed me on the forehead, sliding her lips down my face to bite my neck one time as she slid out the door .
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said as she slammed the car door softly and made her way to her door with the sodium-vapors playing off her skin and curly brown hair like the lights off a dancer at a cabaret. The street was her stage and, she was the star.
I sat there in the Chevy Corsica, reeling in the stunned silence trying to contain my composure. She always had this effect on me, and that’s why I kept coming back for more. The pusher in tight blue jeans with the sweet knowing smile and flare for making me bleed with her nails down my back.
I started the car, flicked the lights back on, and drove down the small suburban street lined with street lights painting the world in that soft city glow.
The road home in the dark of the cold moon was as inky black as the night sky. The constellation of reflective street lines was like the marks of a surgeon’s pen before the scalpel cuts the flesh; my starstruck eyes following that map of lines and stars and surgeon’s cuts the short distance to the other side of town – home.
When I was younger, the other kids on my street said my house was haunted, and in the light of the cold moon I could see why. The fifty foot centinel pines guarded the old chain link gates like soldiers on duty. The moonlight brushed the tarnished white painted brick of the house giving it a glow – ghostly in the quite night air.
I got through the old chain link gate navigated past myriad vehicles in partial disrepair opening the old wood door to my house. The door was of unpolished oak, at least sixty years old. The deadbolt could be locked by key from the inside as well as out. It was an old house lathe and plaster, old even when I was born, hell old when my dad was born. It was his face that greeted me in the kitchen as I went to grab a drink.
We stood there for a long moment in each other’s path – his face a mirror of what mine will be in the years to come. His Hair a salt and pepper grey, his eyes slate blue and full of malice.
“Hey stud,” he said without any humor , “home late aren’t cha?”
“I guess,” I said returning the icy stare, “its friday, we had practice and we just went out for a movie after…that’s all.”
It wasn’t a lie, I had been in the school band my whole life. I dedicated all of the free time I had to it and the people in it. They were my tribe – my family. He continued to look at me with that icy blue stare and grinned a cold grin – one that never met his eyes. He took a step forward, close enough that I could feel his breath on my face, my heart quickening with anticipation to what would follow.
With one hand much larger than mine even though we were of a height he pushed my chest – not hard, and not quick, but strong and deliberate and I felt my back pressed against the cold refrigerator door.
“Don’t give me any of that fuckin’ practice bullshit, I don’t wanna hear it. You keep up this little fuckin’ game bud, she’s gonna end up knocked up, and you’ll be flipping burgers for the rest of your miserable fuckin’ life. Gimme the keys.”
“Dad, I didn’t do anything, can I jus-”
“Just gimme your fuckin’ keys,” his voice began to boil with anger as he pushed harder against me.
That was always the move. Whenever I did something that didn’t make him happy, or tried to exercise some sort of freedom he would take away the only thing that he could hold over my head, my car. He stopped hitting me years before, as I was now as big as he, so he didn’t really want to push the issue even though by nature I was always pretty passive.
“What now,” I said, “you going to fucking hit me? Go ahead I dare you.” I could feel the pinpricks sweat building on my forehead as we stared at each other down contrasted by the actual coldness of that autumn world.
“Oh yeah tough guy, you just wait you’re not going to be a kid forever. One a these days I’m really going to kick your ass.”
I said nothing, I only listened to my heart beat in my ears trying my best to contain my breathing and shaking hands as a trickle of sweat roll over my temple and landed on his arm where he held me against the fridge.
“You better get some sleep,” he told me as he finally eased up the vice grip that he had against me, “I got big plans for you tomorrow.”
I made my way to my bed even though I knew he would not. It was payday, and that meant a fresh batch of meth from whoever or wherever that shit came from. I sat on the edge of the bed in that small room watching the white walls yellowed with age, wondering if I could make it one more year, if I could make it to adulthood without doing something stupid.
If I could only make it to February I would be free. Free of that fear, that anxiety of failure, fear of that anger, that hate that he seemed to have for me. Free to be with her my sweet little pusher. For now, I would get some sleep but in the morning I would go see Cortez, the cholo up the street who always bought me booze.
For now sleep would have to do, but little did I know, it would be coming sooner than I thought. In a few short weeks my life would change forever – the spiral toward the ground, forever changing everything.