My mother is like an uber-preppie. She loves the little New England town we live in; our rickety little saltbox home and the fact that everything around here dates back to when Hezekiah Maplethorpe buried his only son. That would be the child that died of scurvy back in the terrible winter of seventeen-whothefuckcares. It says so right on the rock buried in the dirt over there. That kind of shit doesn’t do much for me. Not that I think about it, really.
Stuff like antiques and country knick-knacks give her a lot of happiness. She loves to drive around the back roads around here and see all the little cemeteries and marshes and woods and that kind of shit. She also likes to paint and is actually pretty good at it. She’ll paint pictures of farm animals and landscapes with flowers, trees and hills in them. Sometimes she’ll copy old masters’ country landscapes and hers will look really true to the originals.
We moved here to this small town from the city when my parents got divorced. I wasn’t aware of a lot of the stuff that went down between my parents but now that I’m older, I understand a lot more of it. For example, now I know it practically ripped my Mom’s heart out to sell the grandfather clock and the antique writing desk she inherited from her mother when my father and her were fighting over money. She had to pay her scumbag lawyer and keep us kids fed and clothed and stuff. I didn’t realize at the time what a big deal it was, but apparently she let them go for a song. We were really in a bad way financially and I didn’t even know. Now the house feels kind of empty without the clock. The silence that replaced the sound of the mechanical pendulum reminds me of how much she’s sacrificed; how one of the few sources of happiness that she had in life was taken away because she had to take care of my brother and me.
There’s always been an air of sadness around my mother. When I was younger, I didn’t notice it because I didn’t have anything or anyone to compare her to, but now I’m starting to realize how different she really is. I wish I could make things better for her but I don’t know, I’m kind of dealing with my own shit you know? Now that I’m in 7th grade, I’ve kind of got a lot on my own plate, just trying to get by in school and shit. Not the school, school part of it. That part is easy. The books they assign are for simpletons. It’s more just a matter of keeping my shit together kind of. I just can’t seem to keep settled. I guess I’m just trying to keep from going crazy myself.
My best friend Mark, who I’m sort of beginning to hate, has an older brother named Rick. Rick is Mr. popular in his 11th grade class. He plays football and baseball. His girlfriend is super hot. He has freaking huge muscles. He’s like the classic cool, upperclassman guy.
Anyway, I got lucky because Rick got Mark 2 tickets to see the band Blue Oyster Cult at the Worcester Centrum for his birthday and he picked me to go with him. Rick’s friend Kyle is gonna drive us in his cool-guy Camaro. It has this tiny backseat that Mark and I have to squeeze into. They are also bringing a bunch of beer. My Mom is letting me go, even though it’s a school night.
It’s like 60 miles to Worcester, so we leave at like 5 that night and we drink a few beers on the way there. Kyle is sort of a prick. He has even bigger muscles than Rick and he “pretend slaps” us when we say something he doesn’t like, which is a lot because he doesn’t seem to have a very good sense of humor. But even his “pretend slap” still kind of hurts. Mark wants to know how fast the Camaro can go and Kyle says he can’t show us without getting arrested. He does get it up to 110 miles per hour though, which seems pretty crazy to me. It’s definitely the fastest I’ve ever gone in a car. The car is shaking like crazy! I’m kind of scared because the cars that are just going the speed limit seem like they are standing still. Rick doesn’t seem to give a shit how many beers we drink so I get pretty messed up before the show. I’m able to down 3 of them by the time we park.
We get settled into our seats, which are just ok. They aren’t even on the floor or anything. Rick gets pissed off at me when I drink most of his beer when he turns his back during the warm up band’s set. Then when he and Kyle come back from getting more beer, he threatens to beat the crap out of me if I touch his beer again. Mark gets mad at me and tells me to stop being so uncool. I tell him he’s the one being a pussy! It’s his birthday, so they should be hooking him up with as much beer as he wants. Rick bitches that he could get in trouble for giving beer to a couple of 13 year olds. I say that’s bullshit because he’s using a fake ID anyway, so he’s already breaking the law. What’s the difference, right?
The point is, B.O.C. is on stage and I have to sit through the show without any more beer. I have a pretty good buzz-on already though and the people behind us let me have a drag off their joint, which I’ve done once before. It was at a party my Dad took my brother and I to. My Dad didn’t know about the pot smoking. I found some old guys sitting in a dark room and they let me chill with them. Anyway, Mark freaks out and says I’m an idiot because I don’t know if the joint is laced with PCP. I think it’s less of a case of me being an idiot than of him being a pussy. It ends up that I’m barely able to feel the effect of the weed anyway. I figure it must be fake.
The concert lasts a really long time but I’m into it, I guess. They play the song “Godzilla” towards the end of the show and this crazy huge Godzilla head comes out of the ceiling with all these pyrotechnics and falling electric wires and everything. It’s pretty cool. Then they have two encore songs where they say goodnight and the lights stay out and people just stand there and clap and howl for them to come back on stage. The second time they come back and play their big hit “Burning for You” for a second time. I like the song and all but I don’t understand why you’d want to hear it twice in one night. The crowd goes nuts, even the second time. Lame.
When we get back to the car, Mark is pumped up with a lot of energy but within about three minutes he’s asleep. Pussy. I lean forward talking to Rick and Kyle about Rock bands on the way back. Rick has just one beer on the ride home and Kyle doesn’t have any. For big guys they are sort of wussy. If I had a fake ID I’d drink beer all the time. I don’t know what their problem is.
I manage to down 3 more beers without the two of them noticing. I drink them as fast as I can. Rick hears me pull the tab on the 3rd one and he turns around and sees the empties I’ve been shoving into the beer bag. He cracks up and tells Kyle, “Yo, Jason is getting fucking shit-canned on his own back there!” and asks how many I’ve had. I lie and say I’ve only had two, but he’s laughing anyway and starts slapping me asking if I’m wasted or not. It’s kind of annoying because I have to curl up and my stomach is kind of churning. I’m definitely feeling the last beer because my head is spinning.
We get to my house (I’m the first to be dropped off). I’m hoping my Mom didn’t wait up for me. I have no idea what time it is but all the lights in the house are on. I have to crawl out of the car because Rick won’t even get out of his seat. He just pulls his seat forward a little and tells me to go ahead and get out. I have to climb over Mark and I catch my foot and fall. It’s only then that I realize how loud the music in the car is. You can totally hear Van Halen wailing from the car stereo from outside. I end up on my knees in the grass beside the driveway and Rick and Kyle are laughing at me. I get up and stumble up to the kitchen door. It’s then that those assholes completely fuck me. As they are pulling out, Kyle honks his horn a bunch of times. I see my Mom’s bedroom light go on (it was the one light in the house that wasn’t on) and I know I have to get inside and up to bed before she realizes how fucked up I am.
I get my key out and try to get it into the lock, knowing that it’s only gonna take her a few seconds to get down the stairs. I’m totally swaying though and can’t get the key into the lock. I keep missing! I see my Mom through the glass and the angry look on her face as she comes into the kitchen to open the door for me. Just as she gets to the door, I slip with the key and my arm goes through one of the little panes of glass built into the door. It’s like I’m viewing an instant replay in slow motion as I watch her face turn from anger to surprise as I pull my arm from out of the glass. I go to step inside when she unlocks and pulls the door open. I put my other hand on the doorframe but my leg kind of crumples up underneath me. I end up falling onto the kitchen floor. I roll over onto my back but it’s not until I try to get up again that I realize I’ve fallen on top of some of the broken glass and that my arm is bleeding. Both of us can see the bright red blood on the white tile of the kitchen floor. I can tell the cut isn’t that bad, but that’s not what you’d think if you had to judge from my Mom’s voice. She’s pissed off and freaked out because I’m so drunk at the same time that I’m bleeding.
I tell her to calm down and she helps me over to the sink where we rinse my arm under warm water. She’s asking me where I got the beer but I just laugh and ask her what she thinks people do at rock concerts. She doesn’t think it’s funny but still helps me clean out the scrapes on my arm. The last thing I remember is her going to get some band-aids from the upstairs bathroom.
She wakes me up in the morning before school to check on me and tells me I don’t have to go to school if I don’t want to. I’m totally psyched because of course I don’t want to! She tells me she still has to go to work though. I feel bad for her and then I remember everything that happened the night before. I look down at the band-aids and stuff. My cuts don’t look too bad, but I feel sorry for making her so upset in the middle of the night and all. I feel sad that she has to spend all day at the office. I hope she won’t have to spend any more time worrying about me. I’m gonna try and act better so she doesn’t have to worry so much. She kisses me and leaves me in bed. I hear her car start and then pull out of the driveway as she starts her 45 minute drive to go to her secretary job in Boston.