CHIKIN

They sat in the living room of his childhood home.  One little boy sat on French made, albin colored couch with macaw colored ivy waving through the couches fabric.  The couch was stuffed with goose feathers.  It was soft and absorbed the body. He had “passed out” on the couch many times. Every now and again while the boy was sleeping, a quill would poke through the couches fabric sharply jabbing the boy’s body.

In front of the boy was a white and grey topped coffee table.  The table had a mahogany base.  The legs were shaped like a pair of base clefs.  The legs of the table gave the appearance of elegance. A long time friend of the boy’s sat to his right in a Hepplewhite arm chair with a parakeet green seat cushion exploding with varying colors like a tornado cutting through the sky.

Each boy sat with his adidas covered feet resting on the marble topped coffee table.  Each wore jeans and a college sports tee. The second boys tee was crimson and black and read, “The Hawk will never die!” The first boys shirt, grey with white lettering, read “Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do.” They passed a joint back and forth each inhaling a hit and watching the smoke slowly meander to the living room ceiling.

Then as if the timing were prearranged, they both arose from their seats and exited the living room.  The second boy strode into the kitchen and grabbed two six packs of Budweiser from the refrigerator.  He was broad shouldered, bearded, had a crew cut and walked like a thug.  His head was covered by a grey, Irish cap. The cap tipped to the the right and was seated back on his head. The cap’s placement was carefully arranged to create an air of the casual, but was not really casual. If the cap could speak it would have been saying, “Don’t Fuck With Me! ” Perhaps a little too loud.

He certainly presented himself as tough in appearance and demeanor , but it always seemed to be a bit overplayed.  The first boy didn’t care much though.   They were friends and had been for many year, but he had to acknowledge the “overplay” was likely true.   It was his masquerade as a mutual friend might say.

They hopped into the old, battered, family, Country Squire with its brown and yellow faux wood paneled sides and its yellow painted steel body.  The first boy was driving.  He backed out of the driveway and headed south on the South Richmond Road hill.  On the left of South Richmond was a horse farm followed by the needled floor of the pine grove.  The pine grove preceded a fire house which preceded an old stone house. The old stone house, it was rumored, was a stop on the underground railroad.  Across the street from the old stone house was a location where George Washington and his officers had stopped to feed and water their horses, so it is rumored.   On the right side, of South Richmond there had been a factory.

Prior to all of this action, it is believed the Delaware Indians had lived there in lush forests.  The first boy wondered whether the area had had cavemen, dinosaurs and if it were covered with ice in the ice age? In the first boy’s mind this area represented the continuum of time in action. He wondered whether his other friend would call these changes some of life’s masquerades.

The first boy brought the  Country Squire with its faux panels and yellow paint to a stop at the bottom of the South Richmond hill.  He turned left. The second boy passed him a lighted joint.  He put the joint between his lips and inhaled.  He passed the joint back to his friend who inhaled. Upon passing the joint to his friend, he received a cold can of Budweiser. He took a swig of the beer and made a gentle curved right hand turn onto River Road.

Neither rider was exactly or even had any idea where the were headed.   They left the house with some idea, but while actively wasting away, destination had become lost.  The journey’s goal had become wherever the joints, beer, and haze led them.

River Road was a Scary Road.  It was barely a two laned road, one small lane running in each direction. The road was relatively short, about two and a half miles of potholes, bumpy and worn black paving.  It had been cut through a steep hill side.  To the right of the wasted boys was the steep hillside that was a small cliff which led to railroad tracks and the river.  There were no guard rails.  A mistake to the right side equaled a wreck, roll down the hill side, trees, train track and perhaps a roll into the river.

The other side of the road was  the cliff side of the road.  The cliff side of the road was largely solid rock.  The consequences of a mistake on the cliff side were much simpler to explain and understand.  The vehicle simply smashed into the rock side of the cliff.

Another car, driver unknown, was cruising the cliff side of the road directly to towards the wasteoids.  The other driver may also have been a wasteoid or maybe not. He was heading at a fast rate of speed, which appeared very fast to the wasteoids.  Suddenly the unknown driver jumped lanes, high beams on headed at the boys.  Boy number one pushed his left foot on the high beams pedal.  High beams engaged- WARNING.  He then moved the Country Squire with its faux wood panels and its yellow paint directly at the unknown driver.  The unknown driver picked up speed. ” That driver wants to play chicken. Let’s do it. That do da day better get out of our fuckin way or he’s dead mother fucker.” He pressed the accelerator and flew directly at the unknown driver’s lights.  He took his eyes off the road to see that his tough guy friend was mortified. He continued to increase speed, pushing the Country Squire.

CLOSER, CLOSER, CLOSER THE TWO CARS SPED. PUSHING THEIR CARS. EACH HEADING TO THE OTHER’S LIGHTS, NO CHANGE OF SPEED, NO VEERING, TRANSFIXED BY THE LIGHTS; HEADING TO THE LIGHTS. TOO LATE TO VEER, TOO LATE TO STOP.

Bump, swerve, spin, stop at the top, river below.  Rearview mirror, the unknown driver, his headlights looking at the wall. Each car sat in place. No one moved. No one bothered to meet the other.  Both vehicles turned, high beams off. Each drove away.

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