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Entry date: 12-30-2023 – Happy Saturday – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

It’s nice to feel a bit lazy. That is all coming to a close, though, as we have things to go and places to be today. The morning was nice today and I played a lot of Freecell. It’s the little things, right?

 

I love telling my students, when they ask what video games I play, that I play solitaire. The look on their faces is a mix of confusion and disgust. I go on to say that I play a few other games, but it is never the one or two they really want me to play. I’ve heard other teachers say that they try out the games their students talk about, but I don’t think it is important.

 

Growing up with video games as part of my life, I get their interest. I even get the obsession that can come from a good game. When Ryan first got a PlayStation, for example, I played a lot of Madden Football. I would play until the wee hours of the morning sometimes. It represented escape, of course. That was not the happiest time of my life.

 

During those days, I also was obsessed with RollerCoaster Tycoon. It was so fun. More nights, though, of staying up way too late. Even a few work nights where I regretted the game’s power the next day.

 

Last night I had a dream that I had gone out to lunch with a friend on a work day. I think it was Bill, but I can’t be sure. Either way, we got to having fun and I soon realized that I had just not shown back up to teach my classes for the afternoon and in the dream, I was struggling to come up with what I was going to say to my boss. It was so weird.

 

I’m guessing it was ‘stress’ dreams. I ate poorly yesterday, and my stomach reminded me of it all night.  I knew what I was doing, too, as I ate that piece of sweet potato (really yam) pie around 7:30PM. Pretty darn crazy Friday night. Ha!

 

*****

 

Friday sat there for a second on the couch at Dirk’s as his words washed over her.

 

“What do you mean, ‘The bet’?” Friday asked.

 

Dirk shook his head slowly and then lowered it into his hands. Melanie looked at Friday and shook her head as well before speaking up.

 

“You don’t want to know, Fri,” she said.

 

Friday Vermillion had zero doubts, though, about whether she wanted to know. She had noticed Vince Trantella using the word “bet” a lot. It was almost like a beat he put into each line of a poem when he talked. Usually, it came off as a way for him to get people to come around to his way of thinking like telling the gaffer, Ronnie, the other day, “I bet you can figure out how to get that light out of the shot, you fucking moron.”

 

Ronnie had figured it out and the shot was saved, but it had taken some work. Things always seemed to work out for Trantella in this way and if he hurt someone in the process, it didn’t seem to matter. Friday thought there had to be a better way to run a movie set.

 

Friday wasn’t sure she could trust Melanie and Dirk right now. They were hiding something, and Dirk was clearly freaking the fuck out. She remembered seeing him this way once after they had eaten too much acid and went to Disneyland.

 

Friday, Dirk, Melanie, and their buddy, Charlie, had decided to drop a few tabs and hit the Magic Kingdom during their senior year in high school on ditch day. The park was full of their fellow seniors and, from the looks of it, quite a few of them were also enjoying a little LSD. Charlie’s uncle had worked with Owsley Stanley in designing the Grateful Dead’s famous Wall of Sound system they used throughout the 1970s and had gotten the tabs directly from Stanley himself.

 

Dirk had gotten a little weirded out while the group rode the Submarine Voyage, so Friday had suggested they take a ride on the PeopleMover and smoke a joint. The idea had seemed to work just fine until the four got off the ride and the attendant smelled marijuana.

 

“Do not smoke pot in Disneyland!” the attendant had said sternly right into Dirk’s frightened face. This shattered Dirk and the attendant took a quick step back, but not before barking, “Do not ride the PeopleMover again today!”

 

Dirk had not calmed down until they all agreed to go on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. They held hands the entire way.

 

Seeing Dirk like this again made Friday’s heart hurt for her friend.

 

“We don’t have to talk about this right now, Dirk,” Friday said calmly before adding, “But promise me we can talk when you are ready.”

 

“I promise, Friday. You might want to ask your dad about it, though,” Dirk said through his fingers.

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



Another stolen picture. PeopleMover in action. Perfect place to smoke weed in Disneyland.

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