Barking at trucks
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After writing about my young delight in drugs I forgot to share this story.
John and I were hitchhiking from Atlanta to Savannah. Don't remember why, surely it would've been John's idea. Or maybe I was so broke I need to retreat. My lifestyle omitted employment as much as possible. Usually I somehow bought cigarettes and food. Probably the dimmest time came when I squatted in an abandoned apartment complex across from Atlanta's Piedmont Park.
An old drunk stopped to give us a ride. He was about to pass out and needed somebody to drive. Not something I've ever learned to do but John could drive well enough. While the drunk was asleep John dug through the man's bottles of pills. This wasn't John's first venture in taking pills from alcoholics. A couple of years he lifted some capsules from an old drunk living with Victor's mom. He, Victor and I spent a day barely able to move. No buzz, no sleep. Just resting supine waiting for for the drug's effects to fade.
The man in the car had more potent pills. I doubt John could hazard a guess of effects of what he decided we should take. The next morning we awoke in the Statesboro, GA jail without the tiniest notion how we got there.
Our jailers said we'd been barking at traffic. A pity I can't remember that.
Aside of the image of me making weird noises at passing rednecks motorists the incident had an aftermath.
My daddy initially refused to bail me out. Eventually guilt or something made him cough up the cash.
Back at home he sat me down to have one of those painful parental talks. Didn't I know I shouldn't be associating with the likes of John Belue? How the conversation wended to its conclusion I don't remember. Something like this:
Big Mack (aka my daddy): He acts like a fruit.
Big Mack: Well is he?
Big Mack: Are you?
Well, he asked. I came out to my momma not long after I figured out that boys are prettier than girls. Telling daddy didn't seem important. I didn't like the man. I was scared of him. Anybody who can pick up the back of a 1960s Ford Galaxy or bend thick bolts can pick me up and toss me across the room. (The toughness some have seen in me is just camouflage.)
You may have been there yourself: thunderbolts ensued. Telling me to starve or die daddy gave me what he called the last I'd see from him. Told me to get out of his house, never come back &etc.
Even more readily than bolts Big Mack could bend reality to his will and decided I'd only as I was queer for spite. Not that he was fool enough to ask again. He'd have only heard the same terrifying “yep.” I'm almost glad he didn't live to see me living with a woman.
The moral of this story is that even the most foolish use of drugs can do good. I'm glad I came out sitting within his grasp. Had he asked me on the telephone it wouldn't have been nearly as satisfying.
Still that was the last time I took a pill that I didn't know anything about.