July 20, 2007

One Night in Frankfort

The air is punctuated by the deep rumble of engines and glass pack mufflers. The shouts and whistles of the kids mix with an occasional car horn and racing engine. Some of the cars are parked, most are cruising at idle speed around Mac's Hamburger Stand. The cars are of many varieties, many are muscle cars jacked up in the back to accommodate the wide tires. Some are family vehicles or the old junkers the kids could afford. Being a rural town, there are a lot of pickup trucks. The music plays a cacophonous soundtrack, radios and eight tracks turned at various volumes -- loud and really loud. Nearly all are playing rock and roll. One of the stoners has a unique turntable mounted in an old marine compass in his van.

We cruise down the highway and turn into Mac's parking lot. Jeff's Camaro growls under the hood with power. We are not looking for a race, but we are trying to score some booze. As we slowing drive around the restaurant I scan the cars and crowd for someone who can score. Maybe they are old enough, maybe they have a contact. We briefly consider driving to Illinois, it is early enough to make the two hour drive each way, but we know we do not have the money to buy gas and beer. Besides, when we get back it will be too late to party it up before we have to go home. Jeff is not crazy enough to leave cases of beer in his trunk. I do not see anyone as we turn back onto the strip.

We join the line of cars traveling slowly down the highway. We make the turns through town and around the square. We head back east towards Mac's. Our vehicle is part of the summer conga line of automobiles cruising the strip through town. A girl in a halter top leans against the bridge. I whistle and call to her. She flips me off. The sequence is repeated by various cars and teen aged boys in our wake. She is there to be seen. We try and think of a source for beer. I wonder if my brother has any? We have not seen him cruising yet this evening. It is still early. I suggest we buy some cigars. As we pull into the grocery I spot Bill's Torino. As usual he has washed and waxed it to a brilliant shine. Jeff goes into the store to get some smokes, I head over to Bill's car. It is actually vibrating with the power of the speakers blasting the Rolling Stones. He turns it down as I ask if has any beer. After some teasing and giving me a hard time he says he will get us a case of Little Kings or Strohs. I give him a ten spot. He just made a couple bucks profit since those are the cheapest beers around. He says it will cost us six of the beers. I whine, but he knows I will give in. He is going to drink all night for free when he buys beer for the rest of us. It is only fair, he has the five o'clock shadow and fake ID. We agree to meet in an hour or so. He is on the way to pick up my brother.

We rejoin the line of cars and after some time park up on the square next to a cobalt blue Cougar. The driver asks if we want to get high. We consider it, but neither of us has much money left after paying for the beer. It is still a week until payday for us both. I was not much for grass anyway. We drive to the park looking for girls. We find a couple of other buddies, they ask if we have some beer and we tell them we have some on the way. They are going to pick up some as well. We park Jeff's car and get in with them. We get our beer and Brian drives to a seedy part of town. He goes into a house. We discuss the rumor that a guy walked through an upstairs window of the place while high on angel dust. Troy tells us he is going to the hospital for surgery in the morning. Ah, we are celebrating! Bill bought us Little Kings Ale, Brian drops a case of the same in the backseat of his big Buick.

Flying down country roads we throw the empties at mailboxes. Cigar smoke rolls out the windows and music washes over us. The smell of corn and farm mingles with our laughter. We head out to Michigantown hoping for a fight or at least a disagreement. The tiny burg is dead. We head back toward town and Mac's. We sit on the car and drink our beer from paper cups. We trade some of our beer for a pint of rum. We head inside to buy some cokes for mix.

Stars whirl through the night sky and the cars rumble through the parking lot. The music blares as the evening heats up. We discuss going to Lafayette, but we know we will sit and cruise and drink right here at home. Some girls stop and flirt, they are not interested in us as much as the rumor we have some booze. We continue to ply Troy with liquor, joking about our goal to see that he will not need anesthesia for his operation -- he will be feeling no pain!

After a bit we pile back in the car and cruise some more. As usual, Brian is low on gas. We all throw in a couple of bucks. We drink, we laugh and the the night rumbles on. The cars honk and music blares through the shouts and waves as cars pass heading the opposite direction on the strip. Four young boys, just on the edge of manhood, get gloriously drunk on beer, on rum, on summer, on the joy of being alive.

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