When this prompt from the generally genially congenial folks at WordPress showed up in my inbox, I got so flustered I didn’t know whether to shit or go blind. Here I am, writing a whole freakin’ novel (just a tad autobiographical) about this very topic, and they want it in a single post? OK, my friends. Here it is, in a nutshell. Trigger warnings slapped all over the box, just so you know.
Excerpted from my Novel-In-Progress: A Runaway Life
I met him in the burger joint where I worked. It was my first job. I was a 16 year old virgin. He admired my legs; I was flattered. He had a motorcycle and bad skin.
That day he picked me up in his battered Ford. He drove on country roads that got progressively narrower till we reached a wooded park. I thought we were going to take a walk. But there was his motorcycle, parked near the edge of the woods. I climbed on behind him and he kicked the motor to life.
I never would have believed someone could drive a motorcycle so fast on a dirt forest path. I had to keep my eyes closed so I wouldn’t get sick from the trees whizzing by.
Suddenly the bike braked and I opened my eyes. He had stopped near a big tree. He got off and grinned at me with his bad teeth.
“Wait here,” he said. “I have a surprise for you.”
He reached into a hollow in the tree and pulled out a small plastic bag. “Panama Red,” he announced, as he rolled a thin joint and lit up.
We passed the joint back and forth until it was all used up. He put the bag back in the tree and we got back on the bike and roared off.
Soon, after a few more terrifying twists and turns of the trail, we came to another big tree and stopped again. “Acapulco Gold.” And we smoked that joint up too.
Yet another stop, and I was completely wasted. Somehow, he navigated back to the car; I was in no condition to ask where we were going. He drove to his parents’ house. He lived in the basement, he had told me, when we had talked at the burger joint.
He must have carried me in. The basement floor was very hard. The musty shag rug did nothing to soften the cold concrete underneath. I still remember that.
He panted and grunted on top of me. As my brain swam into consciousness his voice hissed in my ear, “Don’t make any noise and you won’t get hurt.”