John and Stacey were roaming east Detroit Michigan. John’s birthplace. His father was strict. His occupation was a manufacturer for the Automotive industry. He’s next in line to be manager at his company. His work meant everything to him. Because unemployment was increasing in the early 70’s in Michigan.
As soon as John turned 18 he got thrown out of the house by his father.”We represent an ideology that will change the world for the better.” John told his father in an argument. “John I want you to listen to me carefully. You’re a brain washed homosexual, drug addict, disguised as an activist. Me and the lord had a discussion last night. I want you, your flower power and all your drugs out of my house by the end of this week. Consider this another form of love. Called tough love.”
“Dad you misunderstand. I’m not a homosexual. I love women! I’m a creature of pure unconditional love. Just like Jesus! I don’t force people to jump through hoops. For my love is an infinite abundance and always in stock. These…” John uses his fingers to make quotation marks. “…drugs that you speak of, are running rampant through section 8 complexes all the way up to Hollywood hills. Crack cocaine, heroine, these are drugs. Dig? Magic mushrooms have allowed me to see the aura of all living things. To feel unfiltered happiness. LSD has allowed me to witness our world through the eyes of God. To understand and be one with universal complexities. Marijuana has allowed me receive each moment and cherish it, as well as…”
“Did you just compare yourself to the son of God?! You are a drug addict and an imbecile. I want you out of my house tonight!” John did as he was told within two hours he walked out of his fathers house. As he walked out the door his father handed him a Bible telling him he will pray for him. John put his hand up in rejection. “If you notice the image of your savior. Long hair and a beard with loose clothes, might want to read that again yourself. Your savior would most likely be on our side.” Then John walked out the door. His father held his head down in disappointment clutching his Bible to his chest. “Please watch over him.”
John’s father hadn’t known he was distributing these, “Natural third eye cleansing remedies,” to college kids. He was sitting on $800.00 for a couple months now. Not believing in materialism the only thing John spent his money on was food and more drugs. Ironically he’s fairly competent at hoarding the root of all evil. His girlfriend lived 14 miles away so he hopped in the back of an old black man’s pick up truck. He didn’t do it for the money but the old driver was hoping for a little something for his troubles. John was willing to pay the old timer by blessing him with positive energy. Positive vibrations weren’t going to pay for that bottle of whiskey he’s been craving. The pick up driver declined his offer, tipped his ball cap and was on his way.
Stacey was sitting on a bench outside her apartment. waiting for John. Before he left John phoned her and asked if it was cool to stay with her a couple nights. At least until he figured out what he was going to do. Unlike him, Stacey wasn’t given the option to finish school before she was thrown out of the house for using psychedelics. She got a waitress job to pay for a small apartment in the black neighborhoods on the east side. Fortunately this meant she was able to smoke pot at her leisure. Their was a lot of racial tension in the 70’s for Detroit as well.
“Hey!” John yelled out. Stacey set her ice water down and stood up to greet him. John hopped over the wall. Giving her one of his signature hugs. He wrapped his arms around her tightly. The hug ceases when the person he passionately clenches makes a small wheezing noise.
“On your own huh?” Stacey asks in a gentle tone of voice. “I feel like he’ll come around someday.”
“I think it will be good for you to get out of that morbid house. After your mom died your dad became obsessed with death.” John hung his head low. “All he did was work. He wasn’t much of a family man as much as he was a business man. When mom died he became even more of a business man. I guess he was trying to set an example of what a hard worker I should become. All I really wanted was mom to quit coughing up blood and for him to…” He stopped before becoming too emotional. “…I don’t know.”
“I understand.” Stacey says reassuring him. They always had an understanding of each others emotions with no explanation needed. She wraps her arm around his neck tilting Johns head forward kissing him. He pulls a joint out of his shirt pocket. Sticking it in the edge of his mouth. “Have a present for ya.” John says. pulling out a Zippo. Lighting the joint. He takes a quick puff then passes it to Stacey. She takes the joint, then gives John another more drawn out kiss. She holds Johns gaze smiling at his surprise. Turning her head away to exhale his smoke. “Well take my breath away!” He gasps. They both laugh.
The design of the Zippo says Vietnam on the lid with a helmet on the bottom. John’s dad bought it at a charity event despite never being a smoker. The funds went to Veterans families. With a steak knife John scratched a line through Vietnam and carved the word love. Underneath the helmet he put a three fourths of a peace symbol. As if the helmet was wearing it. Then went around and around above the helmet in an oval shape for a halo. Symbolizing soldiers were the killers of peace.
John lifts Stacey up swooping underneath her stealing the chair. John places her on his knee. “What are you gonna do?” She asks. “I don’t know. Man, I really want to travel, but I don’t have a Vehicle.” Stacey hops off his lap and sticks her thumb out. “Well then, why don’t we travel. I paid rent a couple days ago and have a little money saved.” He takes big drag off the joint. John leans back holding the smoke in for a few brief seconds lost in thought. A few brief seconds is as far as that moment went. John started a coughing fit.
Stacey has been smoking pot since she was fourteen. John has always been a light weight in comparison to her. She hands the glass of water to him. The summer heat has reduced the ice cubes to practically nothing. John took a swig of water. Ice clinging against the glass is a sound he’s enjoyed since boyhood. The setting sun pierces through the glass creating a shimmering ray of shapes that dance as the ice twirls after being set down. He stares at it until Stacey snaps him out of it. “What were we talking about.” John says jarred by her snapping so close to his face. “Hitchhiking to nowhere.”
“Hell yeah man… ahhh, wait, I don’t have a vehicle though.” She rolls her eyes and sticks out her thumb. “far out man. Let’s do this!” She grabs a book bag filled with the basic essentials.
Stacey lied to John. She hadn’t paid her rent. She lost her job as a waitress a week ago. She just got an eviction notice on her door around noon yesterday as well. It’s fair to say things weren’t on the rise for either of them. But with the loss of their old structured life came absolute freedom!
Strolling around near the Detroit river. John asks where Stacey wants to go. She pauses. “Let’s just leave. I want out of this dreary place. The segregation, the lack of culture from laborer mentality. I don’t care where we go!”
“Before we take off, shall we tear up the town before Detroit collapses from erosion?” John asks rhetorically suspecting her answer. Stacey pulls out two white tablets with with an x on them. “Is that what I think it is?” John asks. She nods grinning ear to ear before even taking the ecstasy.
To be Continued…
I hope you enjoyed part one of this story. Please like, follow, comment below. Trying something new. As I said before I have less free time right now. Second job, trying to find a new place to live. Publish 3500 word stories each week is… exhausting. I thought I’d try releasing the stories in short bursts. That way I don’t miss my deadline and I don’t have to make up fillers. 🙂