I forgot that earlier that morning, I had gone to the Davidson College Presbyterian Church to see my birth-friend, Carlton, receive his Eagle Scout recognition. I went while my three Mooresville boys had slept in at my house. Then I came back to wait for our rides in the driveway.
I call Eagle Scout Carlton my birth friend because we had known each other since we were infants. His mom and my mom were two completely different women who were best friends. As a result, his mom also paid my Mom to take care of him while she worked in Charlotte as an architect for Harvey Gantt. (Harvey Gantt was the black dude that lost to Jesse Helms in a 1990 Senate run. She loved Harvey. My mom loved Jesse. Still, they were best friends.) As a result of my mom's job as Carlton's nanny, he was sort of like a brother since he was always around and wasn't immune from the same spankings as me. While he was a brother, when I was younger, he was still a brother I hated. I hated him until we were 12 or 13, then I realized that weirdo was actually the most awesome guy. He played guitar and loved dinosaurs. That guy was born not giving a fuck what people thought about him. I admired him, because; while we were both two guys who didn't care what people thought of us, Carlton was better at it than me because he never even consciously thought about the fact that he didn't give a fuck - he just didn't. Whereas, I had to make sure everyone knew I didn't care about their opinion of me. While I truly didn't give a fuck, I was still less of a rogue than Carlton, because I obviously cared enough to make sure people knew how I felt. Carlton didn't even give a fuck about that. I guess you could say, he didn't even give a fuck about giving a fuck. He wins.
I remember this trip to see him get his Eagle Scout honors, for two reasons. One: It was the last time I went to church besides holidays, funerals, and weddings. And two: Carlton never once told me he was still a boy scout all those years! And we hung out all the time! I told you he didn't care.
You may be asking yourself, "Why did Roth Wriscey quit going to church after that day?"
The answer is boring.
It has nothing to do with a lack of faith. Or some sort of anger towards God. If you want to know, I have a really strong belief in God. I just don't like church, or large groups of behaved people. Once I broke my back, I couldn't go to church for a few months, and I kind of just kept it that way after that. I think God has different plans for me other than being a church goer, but what do I know?
Anyway, back to the driveway. I was waiting for my ride to play volleyball, while my three Mooresville boys waited on their ride to take them to a renaissance festival.
I still don't know who got picked up first and it doesn't matter.
I do know that when my ride arrived, my friend Holton was in the passenger seat, and the driver was Ginger Stell. (Ginger Stell is her real name. Oh, it's her real name.)
Ginger was the only person with a license. Holton was 16, but his dad wouldn't let him have one, yet. And I was still 23 days away from my sweet day of automobile freedom. (BTW, note to parents like Holton's: Yeah, that's real smart. Don't let your boy get a license, but let him ride as the passenger with a spoiled 16 year old professor's daughters who has no regard for others.
Let's give some back story on these two. Holton was my pal from the 7th grade up through that day and a little while beyond.
He was my first friend who shared my vision that Earth is a stupid, stupid place full of stupid, stupid people and that the only thing you can do is have the best time you can ridiculing the hell out of it. This guy got it! We were clowns. Awful, awful clowns.
I also found him at the perfect time in life for a boy: the bastard years. The bastard years happen when a boy turns 13 and they don't end until he is 17. Sure, boys also act bad before and after and eternally, but those four years are special. Let me tell you this: if you have a son in that age range, he may be a geniunely nice kid with a good heart, still I guarantee you he has a part-time gig as a son of a bitch! Holton was my partner during these years. We weren't thieves, but we stole. We weren't vandals, but we destroyed. We weren't anarchists, but we could not be governed. The only thing that pulls a boy outof his bastard years is when he starts getting laid. One day you say, "Hey, dude. Why are we stealing baseball cars and setting fields on fire, when we could be out doing something productive like searching for blowjobs.
Holton was a little harsher than me, still a little more laid back. How could he be these two incompatible things? Easy. Here's your example:
Holton once said this to me when we were 15. "Wriscey, let me tell you something. A bitch of mine is a bitch of yours! I won't share my pussy with just any guy. But you man, whatever ass is mine, is also yours." Yes, my buddy was a 9th grade virgin swinger with commitment issues. Was he a little sexist? Sure. But you would be too, if your mom abandoned her only son at 13 and left him with just his dad, so she could go live the party life in a sweet condo in Charlotte with some slut roommate. (And note to moms: don't let your son find your vibrator. It will mess him up big time. Just ask Holton.)
Still, this was the only guy I knew who invited me to a make out party, where I went in one room and he went in the other, each with a girl, he would ring the "switch bell" and the two girls would then crawl across the carpet towards the other bedroom, while each of us waited as they made the switch on us. This guy was good. This guy was bad. This guy was hilarious.
Ginger was another story. I had known her since preschool. She was a spoiled brat and an apple polisher. For example, she once became a vegetarian in the 6th grade to impress our teacher and his unpaid mistress... who were also vegetarians. (I'll tell the story about how I had a teacher try to indoctrinate us with communism another time. It's definitely a five parter.)
Ginger was entitled. Ginger was the only person in the world. Ginger got everything she wanted (except looks.) Ginger was a bitch. Why in the fuck were we hanging out with Ginger?
This girl tried to attack me in gym class with another girl in the seventh grade. They were both taller than me at the time. When she clawed my wrist (I still have the scar) and made me bleed, I punched her in the face. She was so embarrassed, she wouldn't let them send me to the office. Actually, she wasn't embarrassed. She knew I could argue my way out of punishment and get her charged with the rightful offenses.
So I got in the backseat and the three of us were on our way to pick up Kira. (Kira is not her real name.) Kira lived in Huntersville. And Kira had the volleyball. And Kira was the whole reason I was going on this stupid volleyball trip. What? You thought I liked volleyball? Ha! I like girls. That's about it.
More on Kira in Part 3.