True Story Continued


“All right, check this out,” says Ricky, eyes glowing and saying “this” as if it were in caps. He licks the remains off of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

He tells us that a cop car pulled up in front of them, and Christy and Julie are in the back seat, looking anything but sane. Two cops get out, and they let out Christy and Julie, who point at Mikey B's car, explaining that this is “the car.”

“Some help,” groans James.
Rubbing his nose and wiping a tear from his eye, Scott asks, “What did the cops say?”

Vigorously rubbing his head, Ricky explains that he was ‘blowing up' too hard to remember exactly, but he seems to think the cop said something about a donut, so he said something along the lines of “Can't get the tire off, it's stuck, please help.”

“This is the best part,” says Antonio's voice from behind me.
“The cop walks over to the tire, and taps it, and I'm saying the lightest of taps- with his nightstick, and it just falls off,” says Ricky, still amazed. “It hits the ground, and my jaw would have hit the ground with it, but my teeth were clenched tight-you know how that is-so I just stood there and stared.”

Everyone in the car laughs, because almost getting arrested by the police in Miami while under the influence of mind-altering drugs is damn funny. From the ‘right nut,' Scott asks “What happened after that?”

“Believe it or not man, they just drove off, and I put that donut on as fast as I could, considering my mental state, and we got the hell out of there,” says Ricky, checking the front pocket of his baggy jeans for something, perhaps a Tic-Tac box. “There were drugged-up people everywhere in that parking lot. I guess we weren't fucked up enough for the cops to worry about.”

“Anyway, where's that blunt?” 45 minutes later, I pull over to the side of the road, a block away from Space. It's almost 2 in the morning, and although it's dark, Ricky's face is illuminated in the yellow light of a street lamp. His eyes appear somewhat glassy, and he smiles as he wipes a slick of sweat from his brow.

“This Mitsubishi has a hell of a smooth ride,” he says, an intense look on his face. “I'm starting to get that tingle.”

Scott, Antonio, and James all voice their agreement. Scott bends down to put a cellophane–wrapped package in his sock, and Antonio chews on the stem of a blow-pop.
Ricky says, “We'll meet you back here at 8, all right man?”

I agree, and they get out. I drive to my friend's dorm at the University of Miami , and pass out on an ancient sleeping bag, setting my watch alarm for 7:30 a.m. I'm back at the lamp-post by 8 a.m. , and Ricky and Scott are the only ones waiting. Their faces have seen more than just six hours.

Ricky has his shirt off, and a low-pressure system of blackish bags has formed under his eyes. A sweat-stained cigarette juts out from his left ear, and a burning cigarette dangles from his fingers. Scott crouches close to the curb with his mouth clamped shut. He appears to be locked into a serious mental battle with his eyes, which keep trying to roll into the back of his head. He clutches a half-full bottle of water.

They get into the car, and a powerful wave of smoke and sweat smell emanates from their pores, trying to get out. They don't seem to be in the mood for talking, so I put on some Bob Marley and head north, toward I-95. Ricky doesn't speak until we're halfway home.

“James and Antonio left with a bunch of girls, I'm not sure when,” says Ricky, and he sticks a Vicks inhaler up his left nostril, inhaling deeply. He pulls down the visor to hide his dilated eyes from the sun.
He looks at his face in the tiny mirror, and it seems to repel him.

“At least I shaved last night,” he murmurs, rubbing his face with his right hand. “You look so old the morning after rolling, especially if you haven't shaved.” Ricky then puts his seat back, and fumbles around in his front pocket, which now appears to be empty. Scott says suddenly, “Did you say something Ricky?”

Ricky turns around to look at Scott, whose eyes have fully retreated into the back of his head. “What are you talking about?”

“I don't know,” says Scott, and he mumbles, “It's all gone.”

Ricky turns back in his seat and rolls down the window. He looks out at the cars racing along I-95.

“The drive back is the worst part about going to Space,” he says, and shortly after, the cigarette behind his ear is snatched up by the wind and whisked out into the morning sunlight.

Written by Matt Lehtola

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