At 3:00 A.M. in the morning (the witching hour) having reached the summit of the mountains, I pulled the car to the side of the road, and had a very serious talk with my three traveling companions. I had not slept but an hour since Rena came back to bed and told me her ex-boy friend was flashing her the sign of Satan as they talked in the Harkin’s Family living room. That was twenty four hours ago. What was he eluding to here? Was Rena the Daughter of Satan? Already I was hallucinating.
“I have got to get some sleep. If I do not get enough sleep, I tend to FLIP-OUT!”
I tried to ignore how wide their eyes got when I said FLIP-OUT.
“If I continue driving, I might fall asleep at the wheel, go off the road, and we all get KILLED!”
A voice deep inside me said I shouldn’t have used that word KILLED, because we are dealing with innocent children, made even more innocent because none of them bothered to learn how to drive. Having been bundled up and secured in the seat by their Mommies, then taken safely to their destination like precious cargo, words like FLIP-OUT and KILLED was very alarming to the trio who had no reference point as to what I was saying, because they never drove a car before. They didn’t know what tired behind the wheel meant. I watched them draw closer together, clutch one another – and bond for life!
“Why don’t you smoke some weed – and chill out?”
“Have you tried meditation?”
“Why don’t you stop scaring us – you bad man?”
“Leave us alone. We don’t need your bummer.”
“Stop tying to bring us down.”
“We don’t want to be on your wave length.”
“We don’t have to grow up Captain Hook! Never! Never!”
O.K. Robert, listen up. It’s all down hill for the next three hours. We won’t be blowing so much oil as we did coming up the grade. You can almost coast the whole way. Take it easy. You just got to steer and give the car a little gas.”
“Which is the gas pedal?” Robert asked.
“I’m glad you asked. You did good to ask me this question.” I looked at Rena who refused to acknowledge my existence after our slugfest, I mean, slap-fest. Any allegiance she had with me was now transferred over to Doctor Strange and his sidekick ‘The No-Doz Man’.
Sensing our Road Trip was going to end in disaster – sooner then later – instead of getting some shut eye in the back seat, Robert twice ran into the gas station and got himself a box of No-Doz because he wanted to own a buzz and chat up my chic, show her what a groovy drug-wizard he was, a real rap artist. If he played his cards right, who knows, Rena might come away with him.
I got in the back seat, lay down on the mattress, and looked at the three talking heads up front. There she was, the most beautiful girl in the world, sitting between Doctor Strange and Mr. No-Doz Man. Rena was getting a good dose of their wisdom in stereo. They didn’t need me anymore ‘The Ex-Owner of Beauty’. They were done with me. This far, and no further.
Rena took off her dog collar – and threw it out the window! For some reason, I being the only one who had a driver’s license put me outside their circle magic. I was ‘The Man’ who had lost his innocence a long time ago, and was jaded! These were magic children on a magic carpet ride. The more they rejected my grown-up ways – the more magical they felt!
I began to drift off to sleep, but, then realized I had not given Robert enough instructions on how use the break. If he tried to slow down on a curve, he might stomp on the gas pedal. There were thousand foot drop-offs. If we go over the edge into dark abyss, I might never see Rena’s beautiful face again.
I DOZZZZZZZZZZZZZZED off with one eye open. I had terrible drams
“ROBERT’S GOING TO KILL US!”
BOB IS THE KILLER – NOT YOU?