[SleepingDragon]: 268.Metal Daze.Chapter 3 - Wasted
No use sayin’ sorry, It’s something that I enjoy
If you could see inside my head
You’d see that black and white is red
Flying high again...”
-‘Flying High Again’
It was the end of June and the day of the concert had arrived. Steve woke early and had breakfast with his Mom and Dad, careful not to mention anything about the show. He’d not said anything about it for over a month. Hopefully, they hadn’t kept track of when it would be. His mom listened to the country music station on the radio, so she would not have been exposed to the almost constant commercials about the concert, at least while she was home.
After breakfast, Steve went to his room and pulled back the paneling that hid the Ozzy ticket. At first, he found nothing but sawdust, but after groping around behind the two-by-four, his hand finally landed on a smallish piece of cardboard. Pulling it out, he frowned at the tooth marks on one corner of the ticket. Mice. Fortunately, none of the important ticket information was chewed away. Steve quickly put the ticket in his wallet and headed for the bathroom to comb his long hair.
“Going for a walk Mom.” He lied, coming out of the bathroom. “Might go to Dan’s a while.”
“Ok.” She said pleasantly. “Have fun. Dinner will be at six.”
Steve went around back and cut through the wheat field as usual, bearing toward the trail in the woods. He didn’t take the trail when he got to it, however. Instead, he continued through the trees, heading for M-75, which could be found ahead about a quarter of a mile. In twenty minutes, he found himself out on the main road and had his thumb in the air for a ride into town.
He hadn’t walked far when a car stopped for him, a newer model Chrysler. A man of about forty was driving. Steve didn’t recognize him. He looked like a tourist and was the only one in the car.
“Thanks.” Steve said, climbing into the front seat
“How far you going?” The man asked.
“Just into Boyne.” he answered. “That first intersection will work fine.”
“You don’t happen to have any smoke, do you?” The stranger asked. Evidently Steve looked the part and the man had picked him up hoping to score some reefer.
“Nah, sorry.” He said, truthfully. “Fresh out.”
“Damn.” The man laughed, snapping his fingers.
“I could probably find some around town.” Steve offered.
“No time.” The stranger said. “And I can’t be seen around the scene, if you know what I mean. I just hoped...”
“Gotcha.” Steve told him. “Sorry I couldn’t help.”
“Well...” The guy said, “I do have other options. Here.” Steve looked and the man was holding a very small brown bottle of white powder that he recognized as ‘rush’. It would give a very potent high for a very short amount of time. Steve indulged himself in a quick snort of it. He handed it back to the stranger who took a hit in turn.
“Wow, thanks man.” Steve said as the massive head rush hit him.
“Not a problem.”
Five minutes later, Steve stood on the sidewalk a block from Memorial Park, still reeling from the rush. He’d not even caught the strangers’ name, nor had he told him his. He lit a Marlboro and headed for the park. Chances were he would find Matt and Sherry there. If not, he could at least hope to score some weed, and Matt’s place was only ten minutes away on foot.
Turning the corner, he found out he was correct. They were there, sitting in Bob’s truck. Two dozen or more burnouts and the odd hippie populated the small park. Half a dozen or more vehicles lined the parking area near the street.
Steve approached the driver’s side of the truck where Matt and Sherry were. Sherry sat next to Matt, practically on his lap. They were smoking a joint.
“Slam!” Matt greeted him. “What’s happnin’?”
Steve leaned in the window and accepted the doobie from Sherry. He took a big toke and held it in, looking around for cops all the while.
“Know where I can find some?” He asked Matt.
“Charlie can get it, but you’ll have to get him alone.” Matt informed. “Better hurry, we’re headed for my place to drink a case before the show.”
“Folks not home?” He inquired.
“Something happnin’ at the Eagles today.” Matt said with a shrug.
“I’ll be there.” Steve told him. “Thanks.”
Steve walked over to the picnic table where the hippie named Charlie was hanging out with a couple girls that seemed way too young for him. He was struck again by the fact that the guy resembled most people’s vision of Jesus almost to a tee. The only thing missing were white robes and sandals.
“Charlie, what’s up?” He greeted him.
“Slam. How’s it goin’?”
“Not bad. Can I talk to you a minute?” Steve asked, twitching his head to the side to indicate ‘over there’ or some such.
Charlie winked at one of the girls; a young blond named Trish. “Be right back,” he said.
They walked a few yards to their left where a memorial cannon stood on a slab of cement.
“I hear you can get some herb.” Steve said without preamble.
“Scooter has some but will only sell to ‘friends’. Twenty-five a half for commercial. The same for an eighth of sensi.”
“Whew! Twenty-five an eighth?” Steve couldn’t believe it.
“It’s worth every penny.” Charlie boasted.
“Okay.” Steve said. “I believe you. Get me the sensi.” He handed Charlie thirty dollars. “Keep it.” He told him.
Steve kept himself busy for the next several minutes playing frisbee with some of the guys in the park while Charlie ran the errand. Within an hour he had scored and left the park on foot for Matt’s place.
Coming through the alley, he saw Bob’s truck parked in the yard and Matt’s dog ‘Jimmy’ (named after Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin) tied to the doghouse. He could already hear the music coming from the upstairs window. The sounds of the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil permeated the air.
Steve knocked and Tom Howard let him in, smiling.
“Slam!” he said with a broad grin, flipping back a lock of kinky blonde hair. The place already smelled like pot. Steve looked around for whomever else was there. He saw nobody.
“They’re upstairs.” Tom said. “But I wouldn’t go up there. Beer’s in the fridge.”
Steve grabbed a brew and an empty plate from one of the cupboards. He sat on the abused, second-hand sofa and began breaking up the reefer he’d just purchased. He had most of it rolled into joints before Matt and Sherry appeared at the bottom of the stairway, both blushing.
Matt put some Def Leppard on the stereo and Steve fired up one of the joints. They spent the rest of the early afternoon listening to music, drinking beer and toking at regular intervals. When five o’clock rolled around, they were all plenty wasted. The gates at Castle Farms opened at six. It was time to pile in the truck and head out.
Steve and Tom jumped in the back and Matt and Sherry rode in the cab.
Tom had brought another case of beer that he saved for the ride and the parking lot scene. The pair broke into it as they traveled the fifteen-odd miles to The Castle. Periodically, a rap on the cab window indicated a request for a new beer up front and they obliged as necessary.
Steve could barely stand up by the time they arrived at the concert. He staggered his way up to the cab when Matt requested they smoke another ‘doob’ of sensmellia. When they had finished smoking it, he felt blasted out of his gourd. Twinges of nausea were already attacking his stomach. He was wasted beyond reason.
“Man,” he said. “I am so stoned.”
His friends just laughed at him.
“I’m going in to buy myself a tee-shirt.” Tom said, hopping out of the cab with a smile. “Have fun guys!”
Matt and Sherry were involved in some serious necking and Steve just stared blankly out the window, watching his world spin around in vertigo. His stomach began to lurch at regular intervals. Very soon, he knew that he was going to be sick at the very least. He feared though that he might be close to overdosing or even dying. He’d never been this fucked up. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer.
“God help me! Get me out of this and I won’t go into the concert, I swear! I’ll never go to another concert again!”
Steve opened his eyes and the spinning had resumed tenfold. He couldn’t focus on anything. Suddenly, his stomach was trying to climb out his throat!
The door of the old Ford pick-up flew open and slammed into a brand new sports car parked next to it. Steve’s head hung out the door as he retched his guts out on the lawn.
“Asshole!” the owner of the car yelled as he slammed the door of the truck shut again. Fortunately, Steve had sat up just in time. He shook his head, trying to get a grip on his reality.
“Man...” Matt said. “You’re too wasted! You need to sit here and chill a while.” With that, he and Sherry climbed out of the truck and headed toward the entrance.
Steve sat there alone for several moments, breathing deeply and trying to get his eyes to focus again. He was just considering lying down on the seat when he heard the sound of a very loud organ. He recognized the song playing immediately. It was the beginning of Mr. Crowley, one of his favorite Ozzy tunes. His head snapped up, alert. Was he missing the concert? No, they were just testing the organ, but if he kept fucking around he would miss it for sure.
Steve shook his head and climbed out of the truck cab, careful not to step in his own pile of vomit. He smiled and looked around. He was there, he was wasted and Ozzy would be onstage in just a little while.
Boldly, he took a step toward the entrance, then another. Carefully, he moved forward, trying not to stagger too much. He didn’t know if the security people would keep someone out for being too stoned, but he didn’t want to risk it.
Reaching the entrance, he handed his ticket to the guard at the turnstile. The man looked at him oddly and then at his ticket.
“The hell you keep this ticket at kid? A hamster cage?” The guard asked with a sarcastic grin. He ripped it in half and to Steve’s relief, handed him back the stub. “Enjoy!”
A moment later he found himself inside the general admission area of The Castle, amongst several thousand other stoners dressed in leather, lace, and ripped T-shirts. A canopy of thick pot smoke enshrouded the scene, The Castle’s medieval towers a perfect backdrop for an Ozzy show. AC/DC’s Highway to Hell was cranked over the PA system, setting the mood for the evening. Steve had not only not missed the show, he had gotten there in time for the opening act.
He looked around for his friends but didn’t see them anywhere. He decided to visit the porta-johns first, so he wouldn’t have to later. From there, he walked past the row of T-shirt vendors. He couldn’t afford a shirt because he’d spent all his money on the reefer earlier. He decided to make his way down front so he could get a good standing spot before it became too crowded.
“Hey!” an unfamiliar voice said in his ear, as he was some ten feet from the stage. He turned and looked. It was the girl from the party. She was dressed in fishnet and a leather skirt and was virtually pressed up against him because of the thick crowd.
“You were at the party!” he exclaimed, pointing at her.
“Yea,” she said, “You were awesome!”
“They call me ‘Roxy’.” She told him.
“Slam.” Steve said smiling. “Hey, wanna hang out? I’ve got some smoke.”
She smiled and put an arm around him, pressing her firm breasts to his chest.
“You know it, babe,” she said simply.
Steve had time to dig out a joint and fire it up before Magnum hit the stage with Soldier of the Line. He had never heard of the band before, but in moments, it was obvious that they were the perfect opening act for Ozzy, an English metal band that sang of medieval wars and spiritual conflicts. Roxy and Steve passed the joint back and forth, sometimes giving each other shotguns with it. When it was done, they embraced one another arm in arm, raising their other fists in the air, pumping them along with the music.
When the openers had finished their set, the pair took advantage of people who left their standing places and moved forward a few feet.
“I tried to talk to you at the party.” Steve told Roxy. “But I kind of lost track of you.”
“Oh, I had to leave early.” She said. “I was staying with my cousin in East Jordan. She’s a friend of Tim’s.”
“Really?” he said surprised. “Where you from?”
“Manistee.” She answered. “You?”
“Walloon Lake.” he responded.
“Cool.” She said, then kissed him. She obviously wasn’t in the mood to talk a lot. Steve didn’t argue the matter and soon they were necking among the thickening crowd that threatened to swallow them up. Aerosmith came on the PA as stagehands moved equipment and tested guitars and microphones. The air began to darken around the towers of the castle and soon the mood was set for Rock-N-Roll’s macabre deity to take the stage.
From I Don’t Know to the final encore of Paranoid, Roxy and Slam rocked out in a mad frenzy, kissing and groping each other when they were not singing along with the music or screaming wildly as Ozzy threw buckets of water on his beloved fans. Under the dancing floodlights of the arena, she pressed her body against his and made him hard. When the lights went down, his hands visited her secret places. He put her on his shoulders for Crazy Train and she saluted Ozzy with pinkie and index finger of each hand and lifted up her shirt.
They were children of the night, the two of them, lost in the undulating sea of metal heads. Steve didn’t know if he’d ever see her again, but he hoped so. If not, it didn’t matter. It was the perfect night. He couldn’t have been higher and she couldn’t have looked better. She was totally into him and for once in his life, he had left his self-conscious
When it was over and the crowd began filing out, Roxy handed Steve a pen and exposed one breast.
“Give me your number!” she yelled over the noise of all the milling people.
He steadied himself on her shoulder with one hand and scribbled his number on her bare breast, smiling.
“Can I have yours?” He asked.
“No.” She said. “But I will call you. I promise!”
“Okay then.” He said. “Don’t forget!”
“I have to go, Slam.” She said, and then gave him a long french kiss before disappearing into the crowd.
He headed back to the truck, his mind on Roxy. He could think of nothing else. It was getting chill by then and all four of the friends piled into the cab for the ride back to Boyne. Steve didn’t talk much, his thoughts on the girl that had seemed to come out of nowhere. Would she indeed call? Would they see each other again? He didn’t know.
Steve crashed at Matt’s house on the floor of his bedroom, passed out while Matt and Sherry made love a few feet away. He got a ride home the next morning.
“I hope you enjoyed the concert.” His mom greeted him coming in the door. “Because you’re grounded for the rest of the summer.”