The times...they do change

We sat in the kitchen drinking wine. As the night was warm and the peepers were out in chorus it seemed a good time to smoke my pipe. Sitting on my porch I remembered how the busy road was once nothing more than a bumpy cart road made of oiled sand and frost heaves. The most eventful stop of 35 years ago was an old gas station called Gert and Al's. I grew up in a small town next to where I now live. It is hard to believe that in middle class white boy america of 1970 the town had to impose a curfew for those under 18 set for ten o'clock. It was a fun time as we eluded the police and ran throughout the night as our unsuspecting parents slept in their unlocked suburban homes.
One night, Perry took his grandmother's car from a nearby small city to see what the local yokels were doing. He turned down to see if we were at the local campground that had an even earlier curfew set at eight o'clock. He met the police cruiser on his way out and they followed in hot pursuit. Now, you have to envision this. Three years earlier, the force was made up of one full time officer driving a station wagon cruiser that doubled as the town ambulance. Because of the state of turmoil in the world, by 1971 we had two cruisers and a full time force of six gun-ho officers. The two officers that followed Perry out of town passing by where I now live chased him at speeds in excess of 90+ mph. The officer driving shotgun fired several shots at Perry and they lodged in the trunk and while some endeded up in the glove box of his grandmother's car. When they came to the intersection where a blinking yellow light stood impaled into the ground, ( a totally new invention) Perry made the corner. The cruiser hit the light and it took the shooter's head off at the shoulders. Perry was charged with murder (amoungst other things) but got off.
I think of Jean - who died a week after a bicycle accident- Mark, who was murdered after a poker game, of riding in my car with Carl, Scott and Peter. Carl died with some help from his girlfriend, Scott shot himself, Peter hung himself (although I heard it was auto- asphyxiation) and this is the short list. Fucked up times...that seventies show. I forgot to laugh............Bruce, voted the most likely to succeed looks like Rumplestilskin and knows alcohol as his best friend. The rest have done well but fall far short of what we had hoped for. I was never any better and thought myself too irresponsible and inadaquate to have children. I had four. I regret my life. I hope that this will change. Hoping to soar above the clouds I've dragged my ass inches from off the ground.
I am sorry.

Comments

justrose said…
you have known a lot of sadness, and though there is nothing to say about any of it that would be adequate, i just wanted to acknowledge having read and felt this.