I'd spent the better part of the last two hours this morning being chewed out by Trevor's mom, who kept asking where he was and demanding I put him on the phone as I catapulted myself as fast as possible through the lost journey down I-76 in the bowels of Pennsylvania and, now, Ohio. I had the set of clothes he'd abandoned in his basement, along with his iPhone and wallet. Idiot.
Of all the fuck-ups Trevor had been involved in, this was easily the biggest one and it tasted a little too much like one of those Hangover movies, which are very funny in a frat-boy way but that leave much to be desired when you're the friend who has to rescue the main character. If this woman Darla had a Capuchin monkey in that little potting shed where Trevor was snoring behind her, then that was it. I was done.
Darla came out of the shed, closed the door and smiled at me like a crazy, wild woman. What the hell had Trevor gotten into? This place looked like something out of My Name Is Earl. This wasn't funny anymore. Eleven hours of driving had been bad enough. Doing it alone, listening to all of the recorded lectures for my health care law class, which I had to get an A in, in order to secure my spot at BC Law, had been bad enough. But showing up here and being ocularly devoured by this curvy, bouncy chick who had just bagged Trevor was over the top.
Ruining one of my brand new shoes on her porch made me resent the trip even more. Most of all, though, I knew that Mrs. Connor was going to rip me a new asshole if I didn't get Trevor home immediately. Of all the parents among my friends, the Connors were the most controlling. Trevor didn't care, but that's because most of us wanted what our parents wanted for us. He didn't.
It was seamless and easy to just say, “Sure, OK, what do you want me to do?” But Trevor was different. Trevor was a wild, wild beast. The kind of guy I admired and wished I could be, but who scared me, too, because I couldn't grasp how my best friend since kindergarten had turned into a complete stranger when it came to everything music. Once we started our band it was like a demon rose up from him and made everything irrelevant – unless it was music. Our music. Playing bass was an afterthought for me, something I squeezed in so I'd have an excuse to hang out with Trev. At first it was just us – he played guitar and sang, while I fumbled around and taught myself how to do some basic chords. We added Trev's next-door neighbor, Liam, and a drummer from the debate team at the neighboring high school, Sam.
A band was born. Trevor drove everything, though, from the rehearsals to gigs to just being a fucking maniac about it. He was like Tucker Max on the prowl for pussy – except Trevor wanted sound. Harmony. Awesomeness through the chords and the lyrics and all of it, like a man possessed. Getting high after practice was the only way to get him to come down.
That he stole all my stolen peyote and ended up naked wearing only a guitar held some sort of symbolism, but right now I couldn't dissect it. Literary essays weren't high on my priority list.
She wouldn't stop staring at me, this Darla chick, standing in the sun with her mouth open a bit, lips glistening. I got that a lot. Women kept calling me all sorts of names like a young Patrick Dempsey, only cute, or 'that Italian dude from Vogue'. My parents had pushed me into modeling but I didn't like it. Too much attention – not my style. This whole mess with Trevor was too much attention, Darla now openly watching me, making me think she was a little unhinged.
I could see what Trevor saw in her, though, There was something kind of magnetic about her. She wasn't particularly our type – as if we had a type. We didn't really have much choice in the women that we interacted with – it was more whatever was there, like eating at a buffet and thinking that those were your only choices, ever. There were no women who looked like her at school and when she said, “How about we go get a cup of coffee?” I had a feeling she didn't mean Starbucks.
Trevor snorted awake just as she said the words and then sat up, his rock hard dick poking out from under the thin blanket. He looked just like he'd looked the night of his party, completely naked, a smattering of hair down his chest thickening where it thickened on all of us. The fucker had that perfect athlete's body completely effortlessly, never needing to work out like I did. He just could jump on a bike and go for a hundred mile ride or take a kayak out for a ten mile journey without conditioning his body in between. It filled me with instant rage to think how effortlessly everything came to Trevor – even wild women.
“Hey, Trev, fancy meeting you here,” I said. Darla snickered.
“Oh, God, Joe, you're here.” If that was supposed to be a tone of gratitude it wasn't even close.
“Yeah, about that,” I said, pulling out my phone. “Your mom is psycho right now.”
“Fuuuuuuuck,” he groaned, holding his head in his hands.
Darla walked back into her...whatever you call this shack, and motioned for me to come in. I walked in. Cool little place she built, actually. Did she live here? Is this how it worked in trailer land? A chicken half-flew past, some kind of guinea hen that looked starved. A kitten followed it. It was missing one leg and had a pink bow around its fluffy white neck, like a quality control reject from the Hello Kitty factory.
Darla stood with her back to us, off to my right, while Trevor leaned back and plunked his head on the pillow, grinning madly at me. I rolled my eyes and looked for a place to sit down. There wasn't any so I just grabbed a spot on the floor, on a carpet square that reminded me of kindergarten. She had a bunch of them strewn in neat little patterns around the floor. I guessed this shed was about what? 8'X8'? Something like that – no bigger than the one we used to store our tractor mower in at home. If this was her home then Trevor and I were worlds away from Sudborough.
She opened a can, the snick of a seal being broken, and then I watched her do something with a manual can opener. They still make those? I heard the sound of water pouring and then the slow gurgle, a sound I knew from my Grandma's house. It was a coffee maker, the kind that used a basket filter and had a pot. Not like the one at home – we used the Keurigs now or Mom pulled out the espresso machine.
Trevor looked at me and said, “What the hell happened to me?”
“I don't know, man,” I said. What the hell did happen to you? I thought. “Like I told you, you took all that peyote.”
“You're the one who got it,” Trevor protested.
“I got it out of the evidence room. I didn't think you'd sit down and eat all of it.”
“All of it? I really ate all of it? I thought I must be remembering that wrong.”
Darla turned around, her eyes wide with surprise. “You ate all of it?” she asked Trevor. He just shrugged. Whipping around to me, she asked, “How much was there?”
“I don't know.” I held my hands up to try to indicate the size of the bag and Darla started choking with laughter.
“Holy shit, Trevor! No wonder you were high as a fucking kite when I found you and that was...how long? Twelve hours? More than that? After you went missing. You're crazy.”
The look he shot her was more intimate than anything I'd ever seen him give anyone, including me, his best friend. “It got me here, didn't it?” he said.
She softened and smiled back, matching his affection. “I hope,” she said, “it won't take another giant bag of peyote to get you to come back.”
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