The Guilty

Ladies and Gentlemen
the names have been changed to protect
'The Guilty'

Yeah I'll bet between the 3 of us??? We share the travel sense the good Lord gave a cantaloupe.

I mean for starters? Who else would set sail much past the horizon in a $300 mechanics special – let alone start crossing county lines.

The girl's sole intention must be to get stranded somewhere and make things awkward between me and my folks. I'm telling you GRETCHEN has an unbelievable relationship with situational awareness and realism.

We would have a problem pooling together a grand just the 3 of us - yet she's Hell bent on peeling back boundaries and pushing the limits of life against 6 brittle cylinders.

The truth is that this formal marvel really has no business off the peninsula - but “we have places to go.”

Of course our 4th passenger, DARWIN chooses his job and responsibilities over throwing it all away to tag along with the likes of us.

He's much too classy; a little too cool for the room if you catch my drift?

THANK GOD TOO!!! Had he pitched in like he was supposed to??? GRETCHEN has us skirting down the entire west coast to Tijuana.

We're all supposed to go down there and... I don't know spit in old Montezuma's eye for spring break???” Allegedly you're supposed to be able to drink tequila legally before the age of 21? But quite frankly - I'm just following the pussy.

You can't tell me if we went down there like she mainly wants??? The Mexicans down there would be that eager to contribute to the delinquency of a bunch of high school HOOLIGANS.

Except she's not exactly in high school???

About all I know of about old Mexico is the shithole they depict watching the “Young Guns”(es) and “Tombstone”.

They could ROB us perhaps? Moot point because it never happens.

I'm not given the choice to opt out either.

While my parents tell me that... “Under no circumstances are you EVEN ALLOWED to entertain this idea!!!” The girl that controls my penis is still making plans.

See??? She has ideas that are in stark contrast to the ideas that belong to those who birthed, sheltered, fed, clothed and protected me... Often against myself!!!

It's a battle of wills and I'm the stupid trophy.

You know how they say the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach?

Well we all know that's bullshit; command that same boy's seed for any length of time and watch how quickly you can control him like a puppet.

If I do everything she says I'll continue to get laid.

My parents don't want me to go on this trip because they're grounded in reality and it has "needless disaster" written all over it.

I NEED to go on this conquest, because my testicles aren't willing to stray more than a day and a half from their mistress - who's going REGARDLESS.

Besides my running mate OH is going.

OH and I go everywhere together.

With him in the mix things are bound to stay interesting.

Now we've already suggested why I'm following HER like Gollum's attachment to the ring;  I don't know what she had over him that he'd wanna go except that it's with me. And, nothing ever goes right when we venture off together like this.

For instance - once we went to Wild Waves and he got his backpack stolen. Once we went camping on a mountain in the rain, in a car with a flat tire and no jack. The last time we seriously went trick or treating, he got jumped twice and lost his bag to snatchers.

I love OH to death, but the boy is never exactly a rabbit's foot.

The very fact that he's so eager and able to make this pilgrimage with me should raise flags.

But if you let that skate??? This next detail might turn your head.

There is a certain Scottish play written by William Shakespeare.

Oh how I toil with trouble whether to invoke the name - even for the sake of this story? It's rumored to carry an active curse.

OH and I are saddled with presenting it to our 3rd year drama class together after vacation. Between our luck, the witchcraft and this shady car???


In the end I found it easier to lie to my mom on a church going Sunday than ruffle my girlfriends feathers.

"An opportunity has opened up, all of us are going to the forestry service to volunteer somewhere for that very same week that this other completely unrelated deal that I'm not participating in is going on. Blah blah blah remember OH is an Eagle Scout."

With reluctant permission granted, GRETCHEN, OH and I do the most logical thing we could think of... We shovel ourselves and (for reasons unbeknownst to me) half of our crap into the very first car I own.

My 1976 Pontiac Sunbird.

Sorry you're right HALF own.

LADY MACBETH over there insisted on being part owner as well and as we've already discussed??? I'm a hormone driven teenager.

I'll look back on her as an adult – I'm sure and realize the games she played? The girl knows what she's doing.

This trip will probably  be the beginning of the end of our relationship, but it won't be the last or strangest road trip we'll ever share together.

Between GRETCHEN, OH and I, guess who has the only valid driver's license?

The same chump relegated most miles to the backseat where one has to sit sideways throwing feet over the mountain of clutter we're apparently bringing to Mohamed.

It is a mound deemed worthy of taking the actual rear left passenger seat cushion out from behind the driver.

It's not enough that we strand ourselves??? We evidently need to lose belongings as well.

What doesn't sit between my heel and the floorboards or the trunk, resides in an Escargot luggage carrier strapped to the roof.

The car topper isn't really compatible either. Since I don't have a roof rack??? It's kinda like trying to put a backpack on a dog.

What. How bad is the paint job on this particular mutt?

You got me.

It's horrible.

The flat black isn't spread evenly? Beads of paint roll down and dried in places? She colored over DIRT?

Picture a dripping bumble bee. See??? It was weather faded yellow before and 'we' decided to 'improve.'

This chic is ALWAYS looking for ways to 'improve.'

The pizza box duct tape to the sunroof???

That was also her innovation.

Except that she blames ME for breaking the original piece even though it left HER hands.

She waited until I hit a pretty good clip going down Mullenix Road before she popped the glass off its hinges through that rectangular hole in the ceiling.


The very next time we saw the thing???

It was on the side of the road and shattered into a million pieces.

Puzzle master's WET DREAM.


It caught the wind because 'I' inadvertently jerked the wheel slightly acknowledging her and it took off like an airplane wing.

This is my first car.

My odometer might work, but my speedometer sure doesn't.

You learn to quickly gauge how fast you're going by factoring the gear, the tach and the flow of traffic.

This is especially exciting when crossing paths with a Smokey with a radar gun alone.

The cassette deck presents itself in low resolution warble, but Nirvana's Heart Shaped Box and Pearl Jam 10 runs loops regardless.

ME?! No, I've always been a little partial to Collective Soul and Soul Asylum???

We listen to a lot of HER music.

There's this peculiar fragrance emanating from the carpet – mold won't claim this interior until WAY in the future.

10 months or so.

Still I can never figure the source.

Of course I have a highly controversial solution of how to get rid of this odor.

Unfortunately I'll turn to it shortly after this episode – but again, that's off in the future.

Say what you will about stale cigarette smoke???

It might not smell the rosiest??? But it would trample a scent like this in its infancy.

I imagine a pair of racing slicks would have more tread depth than what we're spinning, but I probably show more radial wires.

We're boogieing through mountains and braving terrain most would opt to chain up for.

And this is only the first day.

The 9th day will catch both OH and I walking along the shoulder of an Oregon stretch of US 101 disgusted.

Toes curled in and asses clinched. There will be possibly a good 10 minutes during this time where I believe I'm about to hike the entire almost 400 miles home.

I'd like to paint the picture a little more dramatic like we're leaving a smoking crater or something?

 GRETCHEN and the car are long gone.

OH and I had to leave them 600 miles ago.

We WERE on a Greyhound and heading north up until about two hours ago.

The coach stopped in Coos Bay Oregon right in front of the Tioga Hotel and the driver suggested lunch.

Well I could sit here and tell you what time the driver said to re-bored and assure you that we made it back in plenty of time???

But, obviously we didn't.

See OH scored this functioning toy watch either from a Cracker Jack box or a happy meal???

Believe it or not it does keep accurate time? We were just stood up.

Few things in this world compare to stories come up with and the experience earned when you pack your bestie and your breastie in the same car and take that inaugural road trip?

I remember being caught by OH's stepmom one night pegging his window with pennies; trying to finalize plans? You know it can't wait until morning.

We skipped school last Friday for no particular reason, but to possibly rub in our voyage to our classmates.


GRETCHEN must have had us following 395 because we went through Echo, Oregon that first night.

She never would let ME look at the map; meanwhile the clutch slowly burns out.

I could smell it from the bitch seat.

We discovered a settlement along a dirt road somewhere and end up offering an RV park James Monroe to pitch a 4-man in their front yard.

Well the tent is technically a 4-man, but between GRETCHEN butch- woman-of-the-woods and yours truly???

We easily take up all 4 men.

OH had his own tent, but not that night.

$5 for lodging only gets you so far.

Well the good news was that none of us froze that night.

It dipped from slightly below BURR°  to GURR sometime during the morning.

Good thing the fire marshal turned a blind eye (of you catch my drift)? The tent was a little over maximum occupancy. Which is code having to score in the restroom.

Upon our drive deeper into Oregon the next day, OH discovered the steering wheel tilt.

He's a rookie straight out of the box; he starts to get more curious about the telescopics and so forth and paying less attention to the road.

After discovering our path was straight for a green road sign - he basically "S" curved it over correcting???

All of the sudden the dog shook that backpack loose.

So precious 3 or 4 seconds - all we could hear in the car was the straps slap before a deafening silence.

I could see the car topper sled across the pavement like a hockey puck across the ice and to come to rest perhaps 50 yards behind us.

He continues to torture my clutch and kills it in the middle of a 3 lane highway. With his glasses askew and his Goldie locks distraught, he decides to abandon ship and sprint toward the cast away; arms flailing to drive the point across.

I'm pretty sure that that's how people get killed out there.

This was about the time I've had about enough of this and re-claimed my drivers seat.

We even manage to tie the runner to the finish line. And this time when we strap this bad boy back on???

We also use about a half a roll of duct tape.

That night we spent in a dive somewhere in the vicinity of Circus Circus.

I was able to wrangle a room for as little as 30 bucks; mentioned nothing about OH so he became invisible.

GRETCHEN and I took a walk and took a long hard look at a wedding chapel.

We pussied out; I got cold feet.

Reno to Carson City the next day - where we would visit one of GRETCHEN'S terminally ill relatives.

The lady will never make it through the week either.

Monday's travel was wasted by weather.

Even though we racked a couple hundred on the odometer - the Donner party kept us at bay.

We ended back in Carson City with Zelda from Pet Sematary.

Tuesday, April 2, 1996 was a turning point.

We were able to make San Mateo state park and pitch BOTH tents and enjoy a little beach action.

Wednesday hits like a hurricane.

Between losing a rear on Bonny Dune and losing the clutch in Santa Cruz - what can go right?

We broke down visiting someone else from GRETCHEN's camp??? This is how we know was all MY idea?

A nice gay gentleman who's fighting AIDS in a time when that's a death sentence.

His entourage was something else.

I strongly believe they must all be infected.

He has a roommate with severe brain trauma.

He'd been declared dead over taking 30 hits of acid???

Ever since? It takes him sometimes over an hour to translate the simplest idea.
Don't ask him how it's going while he's cooking bacon. He's liable to burn the place down standing there and scratching his noggin.

Then there's this little character???

This flamboyant elf that wears Grandma B's glasses as a matter of fact as if he were wearing aviators.

He's a friendly fellow who believes the world is coming to an end in the year 2000?

He'll be lucky to see '99.

He shared his interest in brain surgery and let us in on a secret.

He is going to “perform his first procedure before the end of the millennium.” Then as polite as could be, this fella hopped right into the engine under the hood and started poking around like he knew something about cars.

It turns out he knew about as much auto mechanics as he does his brain surgery.

Yeah, he'd just love to pander to his audience and talk through both sides of his mouth - think Gary Ridgeway, but shorter and a pinch more creep factor.

Wednesday OH and I borrowed our host's Mercedes and proceeded to haul ass the 120 mile round trip to San Mateo and back. We almost reached triple digits on that working speedometer along that drive.

The song December from Collective Soul forever etched that moment because it came over the radio. OH's riding shotgun and we're Starsky & Hutching it down a dip – damn near going air born, stomachs lift. Him and I go everywhere together.

We're running mates for life at this point.

On Friday - day 8... OH and I boarded a Greyhound bound for Seattle. We didn't have enough money to send 'everybody' home and OH and I need to complete senior year.

So we board the bus and make our way still toting around that evil play script.

I'm trying to come up with a cover story. If I'm not careful here the wicked web I have woven is about to collapse on my ass.

'There is still hope.'

OH looks at me with that gleam in his specs. I can't tell if he's disgusted with me or if he's squeezing one off under his blanket.
This was a long bus ride and all I can think of to say is - she left me.

Armed ninjas jacking my car and leaving me for dead might draw undo attention. My cover story is that she's a bitch and left us. It's all I can come up with.

The ride was sporadic all night and then we reached Coos Bay.

We really should've stayed in that bus while everyone helped them selves.

No; I wanted to stretch a leg and OH was game so??? We wound up stranded.

Looking down at an empty plot with nothing but an oil slick to mark its path???

"Well I'm sure if you caught a taxi we could have them wait for you in Reedsport."

"Well signed me up for that because I'm about to get grounded. I fucked up so horribly, I may never be able to return home again," Eyes as paranoid as OH's with the car topper incident.

"Why certainly," the clerk lady hails the cab and even pays the difference to cover the 37 miles.

By the time we reach the Safeway in Reedsport, "Man, that bus never even slowed down. Sorry about your luck, Chuck."

Upon further investigation had we stayed put in Coos Bay our layover would've been lessened by about 12 hours.

I figured “THE HELL WITH THAT, I am making it home tonight if I have to evolve a pair of fucking angel wings out of my spine to do it!” We proceed to walk north - stop for a second and reconsider after a big rig damn near made us shit ourselves, then venture south thumb out to traffic.

We get picked up by an off-duty tow truck driver in a car with a tiny back seat relatively quickly.

We miraculously show up back in Coos Bay with about 12 hours to kill.

Me?! I am pacing back-and-forth with all these fears running through my head.

I tried to call 3 different times, but the cat knocked the phone off the hook back at the house.

Et tu, Dusty?!!

I'll have confessed to it all, but don't let them hear I'm full of bullshit from someone else.

GRETCHEN of course already spilled the beans.

OH's old man was cool about things. Hell he was probably surprised the car made it as far as it did.

We walked from one end of Coos Bay to the other.

Didn't I say “with OH in the mix things tend to stay interesting?”
Written by herry_the_poet (Christopher Herald)
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
likes 0 reading list entries 0
comments 0 reads 87
Commenting Preference: 
The author is looking for friendly feedback.

Latest Forum Discussions
Today 5:05pm by PoetWarrior
Today 4:07pm by Abracadabra
Today 2:24pm by Grace
Today 2:08pm by Grace