Strange New Year (Conclusion)

Strange New Year (Part Two)


We had just been thrown out of the party and the snow was coming down heavier than before. We were in a residential neighborhood, on foot and it was ten to midnight. We would be bringing in the New Year outside, covered in snow.

It was too early for us to go home, so we needed a destination. Somebody suggested “Rudy’s,” an old man bar about a mile and a half away. The walk was downhill so we all agreed. We hadn’t gotten very far when we heard the shattering glass. G had dropped what was left of his half gallon of rum.

“Aw…bummer man.”

It was twelve thirty when we finally got out of the snow and into the warm dinge of Rudy’s. There were a few old guys staring at television and an older lady in a dress that greeted us with,

“Who needs a lei?”

Then she put lei’s around each of our necks. Yeah, none of us found it that amusing either.

When your nineteen, you have a tendency to just go with the flow and not think about how it will affect you later. Going to Rudy’s had taken some of us even farther from home. For me, it was about the same. It just wouldn’t be all downhill.

The guys from Island Heights on the other hand, we’re looking at around seven steep, uphill miles.

My friend Mike lived closest to the bar and he was getting annoyed by the fact the old lady in the dress wouldn’t leave him alone. Probably had something to do with me taking her aside and explaining he had just broken up with somebody and was very lonely. Neither of which were true, but I was bored.

He decided he would walk home, borrow his father’s car and drive everyone to their destination.

It was the worst possible place to go into a slide because there was no way to avoid the telephone pole. Both doors on the passenger side were damaged and the back window shattered and covered G with broken glass. He was passed out at the time and didn’t even realize we had been in an accident.

After some kicking and swearing, Mike got back in the car and continued to drive everyone home. That was until G came to and realized he was covered in glass.

“Mike, what happened, man? Did you wreck?”

No answer.

“Hey man, we both had a bad night. I dropped my rum.”

That was the trigger. Mike pulled the car over to the side of the road,

“Everybody Out!”

The guys from the heights were now within half mile of home. I had now taken myself farther away. I tried to explain this to Mike…and that he was going my way anyway.

“Everybody Out!”

The snow was coming down harder and I was now alone. There were hardly any cars on the road, which destroyed my dream of the Swedish bikini team pulling over and offering me a ride. I was about a mile and a half from home when I walked by a bar that was still lit up and I could hear noise coming from inside. It should have been closed for over an hour by now, but I tried the door anyway.

They were still going strong. I sat down and ordered a beer. The guy sitting next to me struck up a conversation and I immediately recognized him as a guy nicknamed “Hitchhike.” That’s the way he got around town and you knew you could pick him up without being assaulted or killed.

“Do you want to smoke a joint?”

I got up to walk outside and he asked,

“Where are you going?”

As he sparked up the tip of the joint.

Yeah, I’m drinking underage in a bar that legally should have been closed an hour and a half ago, why would I go out in the snow to smoke pot? He passed it to me, I took a hit and ordered us another round.

Around four- fifteen the bar was still kicking, but I’d had enough. I was now numb enough to make the final mile and a half. I was almost at the bottom of the hill and from there I could take the Norwood steps. If I didn’t kill myself going down those, I’d be about five blocks from my house. I thanked Hitchhike for the buzz and headed out into the snow.

A few days later I heard Hitchhike had either fallen asleep or passed out on the side of the road waiting for a ride to come by. We got a lot of snow that night and the car that decapitated him probably never knew what they hit.

Should old acquaintance be forgot…Happy New Year.

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