Who smokes fucking crack?
I’d never seen crack before, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he was smoking. I didn’t even want to ask, actually I didn’t even want to talk to him at all. I just kept driving …. Trafalgar Road …. Royal Windsor Drive …. Erin Mills Parkway …. Islington Avenue …. the exits were just a blur at this point. I drove, and Chris smoked his crack. I almost wished we would drive by a cop and he would see him doing it, then we could get pulled over and this would be over. No such luck though…
When we got further into Toronto, you know the part where you wouldn’t want to drive through by yourself, he told me to get off here. I found it odd that he continued with the charade of taking me to get weed, I mean, I was obviously beyond thinking that he was doing me some sort of favor…..what with the whole grabbing the wheel while I was driving thing and all. Yet he did continue, “Turn left up here, it’s just around the corner”, he said calmly. I did what he asked, I turned the corner and when he told me to pull over next to a run down high-rise, I did just that. I parked on the road, my mind moving a mile a minute trying to figure out how to get out of this situation.
As soon as he went inside I would leave, just drive away and never see him again. It would all be over and it seemed so simple to me now. I was scared, more scared than I can remember ever being, I mean, I’d never been in a situation like this before. Who am I kidding, I’ve never been in a situation even remotely on the same planet as this. And yet, it was going to be over any minute now and then I could drive home and forget any of this ever happened. “Of course I’m not gonna get me money back now…”, I mumbled to myself. Why in the world I cared about money at a time like this was beyond me, but I guess I just felt like losing that money was a sign of me…..failing in some way.
He was now sitting there staring at me from the passenger seat. What was going through his mind I wondered? Did he really think I was still “on board” with him at this point? He couldn’t, could he? His words snapped me out of the private conversation I was having with myself, “Give me another $50 so I can go grab this stuff for you”. “Really?”, I thought. “$50 for freedom…”, quickly popped into my head. How could I say no to that? Once again I pulled out my wallet and gave him the money, it was going to be the best $50 I’d ever spent….or so I thought. He took the money from me and opened the door. God, I’d never been so happy to hear that awful squeak as the door swung open, and then the shuffling sound as his feet hit the pavement. Music to my ears.
He didn’t even get the door shut before someone called out to him, “Yo G what’s up?”. Still standing in the open doorway he started chatting with his apparent buddy. “Just walk away…..go into the apartment Chris…go”, I was saying to myself, trying to subliminally convince him to leave. I tried to be confident that my plan was going to work but, deep down I could tell it was going to hell before it even got off the ground. I couldn’t hear what the other guys name was but, apparently we were going to get to know each other because I could now hear Chris clearly, “Jump in man, we’ll give you a lift”.
“Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!”
I looked over my shoulder only to see this guy, this big, burly 300 pound, mean looking mother-fucker climbing in my backseat. “Hey, what’s up man?”, he barked in my direction, not really looking for an answer. I just sat there quietly….trying to think what I was going to do now. This was going from bad to worse, one psycho was enough but now I had two of them in my car. Chris got back in and promptly gave me directions, as usual we were going “just around the corner”. Reluctantly, I put the car in drive and headed back into traffic. It’s a miracle I hadn’t been in an accident to this point because I don’t think I’ve ever paid less attention to my driving, I couldn’t stop thinking how I was gonna get out of this, how was I going to put an end to it…
You would think at this point, in a situation like this that you would reflect a little, on the people you love, the things that had happened in your life, what you would miss if it all ended. All I could think of, besides how I was gonna get out of this, was how stupid I was to get myself into this situation. How could I have been so naive, so gullible?
“What is this crap? ‘Tragically Hip’, ‘Gin Blossoms’?”, I heard from the backseat. I peered behind me to see my bag of CD’s opened and cases strewn about the seat. I could hear him laughing at my uncool music, and he was quickly joined by Chris in mocking me. The laughs continued while we drove, until Chris told me to turn at the next street, “time to get your weed” he laughed. I could feel the sweat dripping down my neck now, praying that they were both gonna get out the next time I stopped the car. Suddenly it was hot in here, stuffy and I couldn’t take it anymore. I rolled the window down all the way and lit a smoke. Aaaahhhhh that felt better.
I pulled over and put the car in park and then waited…
Chris and the big guy in the back chatted for a bit, and then the big guy got out and headed toward a nearby building, wobbling up the path. “One down…..one to go”, I thought.
Chris pulled out his can and his little baggy of drugs while I sat and waited. I listened to the sound of it cooking, the sizzle of it. Followed by the sound of him sucking up all the smoke out of the can. It felt like it took him hours to smoke it, although at this point the seconds felt like hours. Finally he was done though, and he put the can back in his jacket pocket, giving me a deep glare and telling me to “wait right here, I’ll be back in a minute”. I had never seen someone so….jittery, so shaky. It was scary to watch him smoke this shit and then the way he looked at me, his eyes glazed over, it gave me the shivers.
I watched him get out of the car, it was eerie, kind of like a silent movie. I couldn’t hear anything, I could only see him close the door and start walking up the street, looking over his shoulder at me every 20 feet or so. He may have been high, but I think even he knew what I was about to do. I waited until he got a few hundred feet up the street, the car was still running so I didn’t have to worry about him hearing me start it. I put it in drive and sat there for a moment, waiting for him to look over his shoulder one last time. “Come on, look at me…”, I said to myself. A few feet later he did and my eyes widened while I waited the half second for him to turn back around. “Here we go….”, I said aloud.
I lifted my foot off the brake and pushed down on the gas pedal. I didn’t get 20 feet before he sensed something and stopped in his tracks, turning around slowly. I was panicking now, I couldn’t go straight anymore……..he saw me. Panicking now I tried to figure out where to go, there was really only one choice, the street coming up on the left. I made a hard left and as I went around the corner I could see him running down the street towards me…..but it was okay, he wouldn’t be able to catch me now. I was free…it was over.
Or so I thought.
I didn’t get more than a few hundred feet down the road before my heart stopped in my chest. A dead-end! “No, no, no, no, no. Don’t do this to me! There’s gotta be another way out!”, I screamed. I drove down to the end of the street and turned around.
I could see him now, standing at the far end of the street watching me. I couldn’t see it but I got the feeling he was laughing at me now, laughing at how stupid I was to pick the only dead-end street in the neighborhood to make my getaway. That did it for me, I was beyond angry now, beyond desperate. This was going to end one way or another right now. I floored it, my foot slamming into the gas pedal!
Driving right at him, me going as fast as my piece of shit car would go and him standing in the middle of the road….waiting for me. As I got closer, I kept waiting for him to jump out-of-the-way, I mean….he was obviously gonna move….right? I couldn’t hear what he was saying at this point, probably too much adrenaline rushing through me but, I could tell he was screaming something at me. As my car got closer he braced himself, probably too high to realize he should move, more likely he didn’t think I actually had the balls to run him down.
At the very last second he stepped to his left and glanced off the hood of the car, flipping over and landing hard on the pavement. Once again I didn’t hear anything, I could just see everything happening slowly, kind of like watching a move in slow motion, no sound just picture. I got to the end of the street and as I turned left I saw him in my mirror, picking himself up off the ground and starting to chase after me. I made the left and quickly came up to a busy street and made a right…….only to have my hopes crushed once again.
There in front of me was a big, fat, bright, mocking…..red light.
I wasn’t thinking clearly at this point, nothing was going right for me and I was resigned to waiting for the light now. There were cars all around, the street was packed, but it still didn’t feel safe. I waited….I looked in my mirror…..I waited some more. Then I saw Chris come running around the corner. My heart sunk; this had to be the longest red light I’d ever seen. Still red and now he was running up to my car. I somehow had the sense to make sure the doors were locked at this point. It felt like the only smart thing I’d done so far…….took me long enough.
I could see the light turning yellow for traffic in the other direction now, just as he ran in front of my car threw himself onto my hood. “Open the door!!”, he screamed over and over. There were people all around at this point, people walking, people in their cars, people everywhere, but I might as well have been the only person there because nobody even looked at us. Nobody dared to say anything, or even glance in our direction. Chris continued screaming at me, “Open the door! Unlock it!”.
The light turned green and cars started moving again, slowly making their way through the light, their eyes avoiding my car like it was the plague. Pounding on my hood and screaming at me, Chris started asking me, “What are you gonna do? Run me over?”. As soon as he said it the second time I lost it and pressed the gas, slowly driving with this guy hanging onto my hood, his legs dangling under my car as I drove.
Now the people on the sidewalk had given up pretending nothing was happening and they stood around watching attentively, waiting to see what was going to happen next. Just like that I had an epiphany! I slowed to a stop and yelled out to him, “Fine! I’m unlocking the door, just get out from in front of my car Chris!”. To Chris’s amazement I reached over to the passenger side and unlocked the door! “Come on, get off the hood!”, I yelled at him. It took him a minute but after some thought I could just see that light come on and he pushed himself up off my hood and slowly slid his way over to the passenger side of my car, making sure not to lose contact with the car.
As soon as he was clear from the front of the car and reaching for the door handle I floored it. He managed to get a hold of my door handle and open it as I sped down the road. He was now hanging from my half open door, his feet bouncing off the fast-moving pavement, screaming at me “Stop the car! Stop the fucking car already!”. He managed to hold on for about a minute and then, just like that, his hand slipped from the door handle and I could see him in my mirror, lying on the side of the road as I sped away. His silhouette getting smaller in smaller in my rear-view mirror.
“Finally”, I said, it came out as more of a whisper than anything else but, even still I don’t think I’d ever been so relieved.