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Entry date: 7-29-2022 - Desperate Desperados (True story concluded) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? If you haven’t read the last two posts, here is your opportunity to go back and read them before moving on because I am going to dive right in.

The rest of that Saturday morning, and yes, this was the weekend, is kind of a blur. We might have crashed out for a bit at Paul’s, I think, before we had to skedaddle because his mom was coming home. Poor Paul was an odd dude. I still feel bad about puking up peppermint schnaps in the back of his car after a night at Tommy’s.

We probably headed to Jerry’s house for a bit. His mom was awesome and used to us looking like the cat dragged us in. At some point during the day, we hooked up with Bill and went to the music store. I had money in my pocket, and we were talking about buying some gear, but luckily, we didn’t. I think I got Bill some guitar strings or something.

The Breathmint said we could stay at her house that night as it was okay with her mom for me to stay over occasionally but then something happened at the last minute and Ben couldn’t stay there. Jerry said that Ben could stay with him and when our evening of roaming around was over, he snuck Ben into his room.

I felt bad about that. It had sunk in that I had dragged Ben into this nonsense and after a couple of days of partying and being outlaw runaways, we were getting warn out. Ben had to hide, if I remember correctly, in Jerry’s room for much of the morning and eventually we were able to sneak him out.

Being that it was Sunday now, we had to figure out where we were going that night. We ended up calling and asking if we could stay at Mark’s house. Jerry gave us a ride over and we hung out with Mark and skated. When it got to be about dinner time, Mark’s mom, who is a saint in her own way, Sue, figured out what was going on. I can’t remember if we told her, as I was apt to spill my guts with her for some reason, or if Mark told her that we were going through a tough time at home.

Sue said we were welcome to stay there but she insisted we call home and let our moms know we were safe. I really didn’t want to do that, but because I respected her, I did. Within about 30 minutes of the call, a guy my mom was dating named Richard, came and picked us up. He was trying to be a tough, stern guy and we thought he was ridiculous.

I remember him asking if we had any weapons. I had this small pocket knife my grandpa Reardon had given me. I showed it to Richard, and he took it. What a joker he was. Maybe he thought I was going to stab him and take his Fiero.

Yep, that’s right. Ben and I had to cram into his little car and listen to his bullshit on the ride home. We scared our moms. We broke the law. We could have died. Do you know what happens to guys like you when people find out you’re a runaway? I’m sure he meant well. He was a defense attorney, so he did see the worst things people could do.

We were both so burnt out from our weekend that I don’t remember the aftermath being bad at all. I think we got grounded, but our sentence was reduced, and I was even allowed to go to San Diego with the Breathmint and her family the next weekend one condition. I had to get a haircut.

I had been growing my bangs out for a while as was the fashion in those days and Beth’s dad was not a fan. If I was going to San Diego with them, I needed to be clean cut and presentable. I even remember an exchange we had about a month prior when my hair was about a dozen different colors due to me not understanding that you couldn’t dye your hair jet black and then successfully bleach it in the same week. Especially when I didn’t even know what toner was in those days.

He told me, “I don’t like it and I don’t appreciate it. It’s your hair, but you’re in my house.” Those were the only words he said to me on that visit. Wayne, you were an interesting cat. RIP.

The rest of that summer went okay. I got my haircut and got to go to San Diego. It was a fun trip if I remember correctly. Wayne would tell the hostess in restaurant’s he was a doctor and his son, the Breathmint’s little brother, had a condition where he needed to eat every so often. It got him tables quickly and he was the type of guy I’m sure hosts saw coming a mile away. Better to get them a table and get them the fuck out of Dodge as quickly as possible.

It's funny that I remember that way more than anything else. He used it at Saska’s in Mission Beach which was a restaurant I recommended. My mom and I ate there are few times on different trips to San Diego in my youth and they had swordfish on the menu, which I love.

When I got back, I got a job at Arby’s and worked there for one day. I have discussed this before, I know, and I’m sorry. If you didn’t read that one, I didn’t go to my second day of work because Bill was playing with Response, and they opened for TSOL at the Metro. I had to go see Bill play, so fuck Arby’s.

PIL came that summer, and so did The Smiths. I was at both shows which makes me a lot cooler than most people.

Not really, but those shows were the highlight of the rest of the summer for me. Don’t runaway from home, desperados! Talk to your parents.

See you tomorrow.

Something like this was going to protect Ben and I on the mean streets of Phoenix in 1986.

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