Hope you all had a grand weekend, and if you are off work for Martin Luther King Day, or attending any festivities or honors, then I hope it is meaningful, and/or enjoyable, for you.
While working on some book things, I thought I’d just post random memories or thoughts over the next few posts. I have a weird brain that doesn’t recall things very well at all, only in snatches of color, smell, sound, flashing image, or movement, but this one is pretty solid in my head. ——–
In the 1970’s, when people hitchhiked more and all that jazz, I once sneaked out of the house by myself in the dark of night because I thought it was exciting and cool—my older brother bragged about it all the time and I wanted to see what the big deal was. I walked a long way and was tired and sleepy, and it was boring! I trudged along, farther away from home that I realized. Stupid young girl.
Here comes a car! Yay! I stupidly thought. Mike hitches all the time and he says it’s cool! So, yeah…cool. The car stopped.
Then I, naive and stupid, jumped into the car. Once inside, I realized they were all male, and they were really quite shady, rumpled, and scary looking. To boot, they talked like TV Mafia, while their low-slung car slid into the night, with me in it, too late to bolt. I sat in the backseat between two of them, just running my mouth ninety miles to nowhere. I don’t even remember what I was saying, but I had a bad feeling that they had thoughts to do me harm, kill me, then dump me somewhere and I really just needed to keep talking about whatever was coming out of my mouth.
After a while, I said, “Oh, look! That’s where I need to be let off . . . Well, I sure appreciate the ride!” Of course, it wasn’t my house, but another neighborhood where I could run between houses and high-tail it home.
And, the driver looked at me in the rearview and the car became still and quiet for just a moment and I sat there with a grin as if I was just so happy with the whole danged world and them in it.
Finally, they all turned to me, or rear-viewed at me, smiled and the driver said, “You are an okay girl! But don’t be taking no more rides by yourself, girlee. You don’t know what kind of men are out there – what they might have in mind for girls just like you. Right, Bocho?” . . . “Yup, that’s right, Jacko. Me and Rocko was just saying that girls can’t be too careful. All kind of bad guys out there looking for trouble. It ain’t safe.” There was one who never said a word, but he nodded, just a little. Then the driver stopped the rickety old car and they let me out, and with jaunty waves, they drove away; their car rumbling off into the mists.
I ran all the way home, jumped in my sweet bed, and kissed my pillow. Sometimes teenagers do the stupidest things with tragic circumstances; and sometimes despite their stupidity, they are given another chance.
Or, perhaps they are taught a lesson by men who may have had teenaged sisters and daughters and thought this girl out in the night alone needed a good old scare. To this day, I have no idea if my instincts were telling me the truth, or if I was just scared because I knew I’d done something really stupid; but after that, I never accepted a ride from strangers again. I certainly never hitchhiked again.
Thanks Rocko, Jacko, and Bocho, and The One Who Never Said A Word! You may have saved me from something; certainly you saved me from my own stupidity.
What about you? Do you have a story about something you did that was incredibly stupid and may have cost you something dear? . . .
And yes, I use the word “stupid” a lot – it’s the best word for what I did *laugh*…lawd
Also, Owl Who Laughs wrote such a cool post about Rose & Thorn that, well, I felt quite proud. Check it out!)