May 02, 2009


By Paul McGuire © 2009

Eddie and I power smoked as we sped through southern New Jersey. He blasted Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti and Kaya (Eddie's sister and my girlfriend) took two hits before she passed out. Eddie smoked at least two-thirds of a blunt and I rolled down the windows to air out the car.

I tensed up as we drove over the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Normally, bridges and heights did not bother me, but the pot lulled me into a heightened sense of paranoia. Once I navigated the bridge, I unleashed a sigh of relief and started to bang my hands on the steering wheel in a poor attempt to mimic John Bonham.

Eddie was in the middle of rolling a second blunt when I saw a toll booth.

"Dude, hide the bud!"

"We just paid a toll. Why the fuck is there another one?"

"Who cares! Hide the stash, Eddie... now!"

"Slow the fuck down, so I can!"

Eddie frantically shoved everything into the glove compartment as flakes of marijuana peppered his lap and the floorboard. The entire vehicle reeked and I quickly lit a cigarette to mask the odor.

Once we paid the toll, Eddie returned to his blunt rolling project. That's when he saw the sign.

"We're stopping!"

He pointed to a Popeye's logo on a blue food highway sign.

"One and a half miles to Popeye's," I said.

"One and a half miles!" screamed Eddie. "Pop-fuckin-eyes!"

If we held out for food and drove one more exit, we would have seen a sign for Waffle House and instead feasting on hasbrowns and Bert's chili and drinking buckets of sweet tea. However, the munchies got the best of me and I let Eddie persuade me to pull off I-95.

We stopped at a shady gas station in the middle of Delaware. They shared a space with a Popeye's franchise, otherwise known as a poor man's Kentucky Fried Chicken. I actually liked their greasy biscuits and the munchies got the best of me. If Kaya were awake, she would have made a solid argument to eat at Waffle House instead of enduring the sickly food at Popeye's.

"What? The? Fuck?" she screamed as I nudged her. "Where are we?"

"Popeye's," said Eddie.

"I can see that, but where? What state?"

"Delaware," Eddie and I said in unison.

Kaya sighed and took a drag on the blunt as a pick up truck with a cracked windshield screeched into the space next to us. The beat up truck with Maryland plates included three large green trashbags that were strapped down in the back. A skinny woman in the passenger seat took a swig off of a bottle and handed it to a guy in a baseball hat. He took one long pull and then spit it out of the open window. Some of it hit the side of my car. He opened the door and stumbled out.

"Is that Bicardi?" asked Eddie.

"I believe it's Bacardi Limon," said Kaya.

"Who drinks citrus rum at two in the afternoon?" I said.

"They do apparently. Oh, shit, that tweaker just spit it out on your car," said Eddie.

The Redneck turned his head and made a sniffing noise.

"You boys smoking the rope?" he said

Eddie nodded and he walked up to the window.

"Can I have a toke?" he asked as he offered Eddie the bottle of rum.

Eddie declined the rum and handed the blunt to the Redneck. The Redneck took a puff and instantly coughed. Before he could clear his lungs, he foolishly took another hit and dropped the blunt during a coughing fit. The woman jumped out of the pick up and rushed over.

"You gonna smoke that all by yourself?" she said as she bent over and picked the burning blunt off the asphalt.

He continued to cough while she took a couple of hits, chased down by a swig of Bacardi. Kaya held up her cell phone and recorded the entire event.

"You boys know where I can get some of that?"

Eddie made up some long-winded answer that only a stoner could deliver. I would have simply said, "Nope."

The Redneck offered to trade a coupel of lines of meth for a bag of weed. When Eddie refused, the Redneck counter-offered a sexual act.

"Let me get this straight, mister... you'd let me fuck your wife for the rest of my pot?"

"Well, she's my ex-wife," said the Redneck.

"I'd be honored but I'm gonna pass," said Eddie as he shivered at the thought of putting his penis inside the sketchy drunk tweaker with rashes all over her face.

"You sure? She'll let you fuck her without a condom. And in the ass if you want."

She took another swig of the bottle before it slipped out of her hands and fell to the ground. Miraculously, it did not break. I motioned to Eddie that it was time to leave the car. He let the Redneck keep the rest of the blunt and we went inside Popeye's.

The line moved slowly. While we waited, the Redneck and his ex-wife made out as they stood behind us. We were next to order when I heard a splashing sound. I whirled around and watched a stream of yellowish vomit spew from the mouth of the female tweaker. She puked all over the Redneck's dirty jeans. I glared at Eddie and he nodded. We both grabbed one of Kaya's arms and quickly escorted her outside.

I stared at the near empty bottle of rum on the roof of the pickup as we pulled away. We sat in silence for a minute as I sped down I-95, until a sign for Waffle House appeared.

"Why didn't we go to Waffle House in the first place?" asked Kaya.

Paul McGuire is the author of Lost Vegas. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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