All through my adolescent and teen years Wednesdays were the worst day of the week. Not because of it’s calender location but because the worst shit always, and I mean always happened on a Wednesday. The first one started like this…
I had just come home from an afternoon fight after school with a kid named Bill Allen. We completely destroyed Mrs. Goldburgs flower garden while in our headlock wrestling match. After Bill said “I give” the fight was over and I got the girl.
As I finished my walk home I was feeling pretty good about kicking Billys ass and everything was right with the world.
Walking into the house on Degarmo Street my mother asked me if I would do her a favor .”Sure
mom what is it?” “Would you take this money and ride to the dry cleaners and pick up some clothes I have there?” “OK” I said “no problem.” So I got on my trusty metallic gold Sting Ray and rode the mile or so to the dry cleaners. Now the cleaners were located near a five point intersection at a strip mall in a very busy part of town. I negotiated the traffic and slid my golden steed to a stop in front of the dry cleaners. Walking in I gave my mothers claim ticket to the Asian man working behind the counter. He came back with a silk and rayon dress and my mothers favorite pink cashmere sweater. The garments were covered with a thin clear plastic bag, the kind that people said “don’t put this over your head.”
I got some change back from the Asian man which my mother said I could keep for doing her the favor, and got back on my bike for the ride home. Now like I said this was a very tricky part of town traffic wise and I now had cargo on board. As I reached one of the stop lights which had just turned red, I decided to go up the street about a half block and cut over at the stop sign instead of waiting. It was a long light. As I got to the stop sign and went across the street I heard a voice coming out of what sounded like a loud speaker behind me. I turned my head and there I saw a motorcycle cop with the disco lights on and a microphone to his mouth, “stop the bike kid and stay where you are!” Well I was no criminal, yet, so I stopped my riding, put the kickstand down and gently draped the clothes over my banana seat. “Whats your name kid”, “Keith” ” well Keith do you know why I stopped you?” “No” “you were riding on the wrong side of the street.” “huh?” “Your not supposed to ride on the left hand side of the road.” “OK” I said. “So I’m going to give you a ticket” “What!!” “wait officer please don’t give me a ticket, I didn’t know.” “Well now you do.” “But since now I know, I’ll never ever do it again I promise!” “I know you won’t.” As he began to write the citation in his black ticket book. I started sobbing. I asked him while he was writing the citation, “what do I do with it?” “there’s a date on it where you’ll have to go to court and talk to the judge.” I was really scared now and sobbing even more. He gave me the black book to sign my name, he tore off the yellow copy and gave it to me. “Be careful kid” he zoomed off.
I was so fucking scared it wasn’t even funny. My mother was going to beat the shit outa me and I might be going to jail. I was barely able to get on my bike and start peddling back home. My legs were weak, my eyes were blurry, I was a wreck. I was about halfway home when something else went wrong. I was so upset that I wasn’t paying very much attention to anything when suddenly I was thrown from my bike like I had hit something. But there was nothing around to hit. What happened was the long flowing plastic bags that were covering the garments got caught in the front spokes of my bike and pulled all the plastic and clothes through my dirty, greasy spokes, forks and tires. They were ruined. Oil stained on pink cashmere.
I was beyond scared now I was a fucking zombie. I might as well be dead. Because that’s what was going to happen to me when I got home. I got up and began pulling the debris out of my front wheel. It was all fucked up. I walked the rest of the way home with the ruined garments on my banana seat crying really hard. As I approached the driveway I stopped and thought really hard about just running away. But that’s all I did, thought about it. I walked up the driveway and my mother stepped out of the backdoor and said “Where have you been honey, I’ve been worried about you?” I couldn’t speak. I held out my hand full of change and mustered the words “here’s the change I don’t deserve it” She saw the clothes in the tattered bags with the grease stains on them and my skinned and bleeding elbows, which I didn’t even notice. “Did you get in an accident?” “No, I got a ticket” I said. “What?” “you got a ticket?” “for what?” I gave her the yellow paper. “That chicken shit fuckin asshole!!” she said “you got a ticket for riding on the wrong side of the street?” “That fuckin prick!” “Please! don’t be mad at me mom!” “Don’t worry sweetheart you’ve been through enough today.” Let’s go wash those arms off and get some bandages on em.”
After I got doctored up I went into my room and fell asleep. My mother came in a couple hours later and asked me if I wanted dinner, “I made your favorite, spaghetti.” I was out of the clear and everything was right with the world.