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Entries for December 2015


A Ride on the Wild Side


The post-storm clouds were clearing over Club de Golf la Hacienda on a late Tuesday afternoon in the final week of August, 1974. The temperature was in the high seventies. The neighborhood streets were still puddled following a seasonal rainstorm. Fourteen-year-old Jack “Butcher” Bucher bebopped behind the wheel of his mother’s blue Ford Mustang II. “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” by Elton John blasted from the radio at ear-pounding levels. The idling Mustang bubbled next to the curb just down from the second bridge on the main neighborhood through street. Jack waited for Brad Stephens, who would be in his mother’s Super Bee. He was anxious for another go at their new and exciting game they’d called “Cops and Robbers.”

            Don’t do this, Jack, Zeph warned. Just go to the bakery, get your tortillas and bolillos, and go home. Chasing each other around the neighborhood at high speeds is hardly the act of a responsible driver.

            Yeah, but it’s a helluva lot of fun, Jack thought. And aren’t you the one always preachin’ that I should live life to its fullest?

            Damn it! This isn’t the same thing, and you know it, Zeph said hotly. This stupid game is highly dangerous. You could get killed, or worse still, you could kill someone else. Remember your dream, Jack. This is exactly the sort of thing that could lead to you killing a policeman.

            Oh, c’mon, Zeph, Jack thought wearily. You mean to tell me you didn’t do stupid things when you were my age, just for kicks?

            I’d be lying if I said I didn’t, Zeph said. But I was stupid, and I didn’t have someone there to warn me when I was acting like an idiot. Think of how much you’ve accomplished—how much you’ve grown this summer. I beg you. Don’t throw it all away over a dangerous joyride.

            You worry too much, Zeph. I’m always . . .

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