Updated: Aug 12
I knew as I was driving west on Interstate 20, in a vehicle WAY too old to being doing so, I would someday have to explain all this. That my unruly companions, if they didn't try to use me as a key witness for their defence, because, for sure, we were going to land on the opposite side of the law at some point, I would definitely consider a case as the plaintiff AND I would explain point by point, in detail, my grievances, that were by the day, increasing in number.
Oh why had I listened to my wife, when she suggested I call him? The man in question sitting shotgun next to me, James, one of my best friends for the last 25 years. Now chomping away on sunflower seeds, and whose breath smells as such. We won't talk about the other smells ruminating around the steal cage of which there is no feasible escape driving whatever ol' bessy (the car, whom I reserve the right to change the name of for any reason whatsoever, and it may not be all G rated either) can handle, which isn't much.
He busily extracting the shells from his mouth either in conjunction with a strange sucking noise, or when he tires of trying to finagle the pesky shells with his tongue, he gropes into his mouth with his first finger and thumb, producing often a trail of saliva along with it, just to proudly toss them out the window, which is cracked open, causing a whistling tune just flat of nauseating. At least he is trying to throw them out the window. How had I looked over these antics when we became fast friends in college? Still, he is the very best friend anyone could have, with a heart the size of these huge cattle lining the side of the road. Without him, none of us would be here.
How one went about explaining the shell of a man sitting in the backseat, whom I've known for equally as long, from the same place, college, is a task wikipedia would give up the ghost trying to tackle. But Kent needs us, though he would be the last to admit that right now. He is the reason we all find ourselves tumbling down the freeway, the way ancient sedans do, one breath away from a blown head gasket, and two hairs away from insanity.
So, destination: Pacific Coast, I guess. Thanks to James' big mouth (and oversized heart).
"Ross" came a warbling growl from the backseat, "do you have a bottle?"
James and I held our breath and looked at each other for a bewildered moment, one sunflower seed shell sliding down his chin. Before I get to the "bottle" request, let me back up two weeks.