Rides on waves
..."My best friend Rick" by:David W. Smith
What is a “friend” anyway?
Are my work mates my friends? I guess! The time that we spend with each other, is a lot. Eight to ten hours a day, we are all entangled in the same struggles. All working towards the same goal, to get that next job out.
Superficial friends at best! We are all busy doing our jobs, not much time for personalizing with one another.
......and after work? The stresses of life keep us occupied for the most part. Have to go to the store, and take the kids to practice, stop by the library to pick up a book for school; and I have to cut the grass today. Maybe tomorrow then? Probably not, I'm pretty busy! Yeah, me too! see ya tomorrow friend. yeah see you tomorrow, Idiot (under her breath)
The days are filled with business, and the nights are filled with our own individual amusement or worries!
I have a story that I'd like to tell you! About a friend, He was my best friend. My best friend Rick!
I was in High School, freshman year. I had to walk from my house to school everyday. unless Brian or Mike were driving, which they did often, but I couldn't always count on them for a ride, I walked for the most part.
Well, on the way to school, I met Rick.
Rick Desgrange was a deviant kid. His parents were divorced, and he lived with his older brother, and his dad. His dad was pretty much never home, and Rick had free reign, when his brother wasn't being an ass.
That's why I liked him. he was a lot like me. Divorced parents and all! I would walk past his house everyday. We started walking together sometimes, and we began to become sort of friends. Never really heart felt close, but carousingly close. (only without the Alcohol!)
I mean that we began to do pretty much everything together, but it was always to no good end for sure.
We manipulated each other, to do stupid things, like a few times that we walked into Waldeck's (five and dime store) with our snowmobile suits on. We wanted to have a contest to see who could walk out with the most stuff. I cant remember who won, but we each came out with a snowmobile suit full of stuff.
We rode our bikes together, through the neighborhoods, and broke mirrors out of peoples cars. that was fun! we walked back and fourth to the pool in the summer time, carousing the whole way to and from.
I remember one particular day we were both board to death, of swimming in the pool, so we bolted towards the railroad tracks, while walking down cherry street, we noticed that the street sign was leaning over, so we figured that we’d try to pull it out of the ground. We took turns bending it back and forth, till it finally pulled out.
We carried that sign clear to the other side of town. As we were walking along the railroad tracks, we dropped the pole on the tracks for a second so we could rest, and we noticed that the train lights at the next railroad crossing were dinging! and the gates were coming down,
Well, we looked around, and there was no train.
I noticed that if we moved the steel pole along the tracks, (the pole had to contact both rails for it to work) it made the crossing lights come on, and peoples cars were having to stop. We had fun with that for about 30 minutes then we walked on. We didn't know where the hell we were taking that thing, it was about 10 feet long and weighed a ton.
We finally ended up laying it on the front porch of one of our school mates house. Rod Kenny! He had a wooden porch in front of his house, so we placed it up there nice and neat, and rang the door bell, We ran across the street and hid in the bushes.
It was so funny to see them all come outside and look at the street sign in their yard. the whole family came out. Cherry street was on the other side of town!
Me and Rick did pretty much everything together, when He got his mope head, we rode all over the place, we hung out at Tiny's pizza, and at Charlies “the Toledo blade”!, but for the most part, we just broke into things and stole petty things, and did stupid things, wasting time!
Though We never seemed to get into much trouble. I don't think that we ever got caught for any of the misdeeds that we did. He always seemed to know when to run, and where to hide! he was my best friend!
we camped out in the summer, in our back yards, went out carousing late into the night. One night late, we were moving through an alleyway when we noticed a trailer, with a popcorn maker and a cotton candy machine on it, It had a large green tarp covering the rest of it.
Well. we weren't born yesterday. They were hiding something. and if our intuitions were correct, it was probably something good to eat! It looked very curious. so
We snuck around under the trees and shimmied in the dark towards the bushes. We crawled under a long row of shrubs, getting down and crawling on our bellies, trying to be as stealth as possible! of course we both wore black. We quietly unlatched the tarp and lifted it up slowly so as not to disturb anyone, the trailer was right next to the guys house. The lights were on and you could hear the TV going inside. To get a good look inside of the trailer was difficult cause there wasn't much light, so we pretty much had to feel our way around, Bingo! there it was! Cases of soda pop! many of them! It was a Jackpot!
We slowly and systematically removed four cases and stealthfully dragged them through the bushes to safety.
We were Definitely doing the James Bond thing tonight! We were so pumped up with adrenaline, We just ran as fast as we could, I could imagine how funny it must have looked, If someone were watching us. We laughed the whole way, stopping only shortly to catch our breath.
A couple kids running through the streets at 12 a.m. with 4 cases of soda. god we were dumb! but we got away with it! Any way, after reaching the house, we secured the booty and we told my brothers (who were up playing cards) all about our great escapade, they all agreed that we all needed to go back and get more. This time I wasn't so sure. to many people could cause serious problems, so only four of us went. : - )
When we had arrived at the house with the trailer, the lights were out in the house, it was nearly 2 a.m. This time our approach was a little less stealthy, and more clumsy. We walked right up to it basically. Opened it quietly and proceeded to confiscate more booty. 2 cases each. just as Me, Rick and Scott got ours, Jeff was pulling some out too when the lights on the porch turned on and out bolted a fifty or sixty year old guy yelling at the top of his lungs and shaking his hands in the air. We all bolted in different directions through the bushes, pop was flying everywhere. Jeff fell down and was caught, the case that he managed to grab had been dropped. the case split open and pop cans flew everywhere! Scott raced around towards the back of the trees and threw his pop to the ground out of fear of getting caught!. I wasn't about to be caught. and I wasn't going to lose any of my hard earned booty either!
Rick, Scott and I all weaved through the houses, back yards and back allies till we had finally arrived at home.
Jeff showed up about a half hour later. He had gotten away, but he lost all of his pop, and Scott was empty handed as well.
Rick was my “friend” We did everything together.
There was always something about Rick though that kept my heart at an arms distance from him, he was a calculating person, I mean that He always wanted to be in control, and he manipulated a lot. I still hung with him, because he pursued me, He would come over and bother me after school, forget the homework. lets go up town! I agree!
I hated to play him in cards. When we’d play for money, he would always win. simply because he’d always get pissed off if I had won. and He’d just demand his money back. I saw a real anger in the guy, but He was my friend.
If we ever fought, or if he ever got mad, Id have to leave, Just go home! because he would throw rocks at me or curse me out, or just do stupid things to make me mad. The next day though, we’d be back to the carousing again! best friends like always, no questions asked!
We skipped school together and hung out pretty much through our freshman and sophomore years of High school. It all came to a head though.
It was the end of the semester, just before Christmas break, My Sophomore year. I remember it like it were yesterday.........
There was a guy in school, the kind of "bully guy", you know the type. there is one in every school, in every class. The guy that always instigates the fights. The one who thinks he is the shit! Who always has to be the center of the class attention.
Rob Brock! was his name. I was in Cross Country with him my freshman and sophomore years of high school. Rob. was the kind of guy that you hated, but you wanted to hang around him and be nice to him just to keep him from focusing his frustrations on you with his instigating, manipulative ways.
He was always getting people to fight each other, and manipulating the other guys on the bus, in the classroom, the lunchroom or where ever he was.
He and I ran Cross Country together. during a meet, We were running against two other towns. Rob was one of the best runners on our team. He usually got first or second place for our team, I usually came in second or third, or fourth! or fifth! :-)
During this particular meet, I was feeling very good. I just felt like running! Everyone took off at the start, Robbie quickly took the lead and I was right behind him. About half way through the race, I caught up to Robbie and was about to pass him. He was in first place, and I was in second.
I had overtaken him and had gained about ten to twenty paces in front of him when he called my name.
He asked me to set a pace for him so that he could stay in second place for the final half of the run, He saw that I was running steady and fast, he said that he was starting to get a cramp and he wanted to pace himself behind me so that he would not lose his place. please! “for the team” ! so that we could take first and second place.
So I the nice guy that I am, or the complete berk, however you want to look at it, stayed about 10 paces in front of him purposefully.
the whole way, I wanted to just keep going, but when I got a little to far ahead, he would yell for me to slow up just a little to “keep the pace!” for him! I did.
I was in first, and he was in second, we came to the last fifty yards or so and he suddenly bolted past me like a jack rabbit on speed. I wasn't even looking, He just kicked it into high gear and ran past me. Needless to say, He took first place at the wire that day! I was so upset. but it figured! it was just Robbie! that's the way he was, and if I would have out run him, in the end, He probably would have made my life miserable at school anyway, so it really didn't matter much to me after I thought about it.
.............me and Rick were always together after school.
It was the second or third to the last day of school, and Robbie was restless, He wanted to fight someone, he began to pick on a couple of guys in the room like he always did, I'm not sure what I did that day, but he suddenly turned his attention towards me,
He wanted to fight me? I was not a fighter, and I never would have agreed to it, but after a few shoves, in the room, He got me upset. and I shoved him back. Rick was right there with me, my best friend, he edged me onward, “Kick his ass Smith” everyone knows that he is a jackass anyway. you can kick his ass! Big mistake, because by the end of the day, everyone was talking about the fight that was going to be taking place in the park across the street from school. that is everyone but me!
I wasn't going to fight! I never said that I was going to fight! I didn't want to fight! but somehow, everyone believed that it was going to happen. Rick kept pushing me and inciting the frenzy. Peer pressure was intense that day. most of them wanted to see me kick his ass, because they secretly didn't like him much either! all of the guys rooting for me, were the partier guys. mostly because of my brothers Mike and Scott, and the ones on Rob’s side were the Jocks. Well after school, Rick and I were out right away, He was edging me on and a group gathered around me to help escort their prize fighter to the ring sorta say, (they wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to escape) and Rick was leading the way.
I was like a lamb being led to the slaughter, I wasn't going to fight, damn it! I didn't want to. but I ended up fighting, kinda.
We started out facing each other, surrounded by 15 or 20 people, all screaming. I told him that I didn't want to fight, in front of everyone, and I didn't! He pushed me a few times, and I didn't fight back, He punched me in the face, right in the nose, I turned and I began to walk away. I don't know what the hell I was doing there, I should have never came there in the first place! I was going home.
As I walked away, everyone began calling me names. Rob ran up behind me and jacked me hard in the back of the head, I fell down and he jumped on top of me swinging. I didn't swing, I wasn't going to fight! I just curled up into a ball and let him kick me and hit me. He repeatedly punched me in the back of the head. After about 5 minutes of some pretty severe hits and kicks, He retreated in victory. and called me a pussy or something brilliant like that, and turned away.
I didn't care, the year was over and I didn't have to see those jack asses faces till next year anyway!
The crowd began to disperse, everyone began to leave, all of the guys who were rooting for me to “kick his ass” suddenly were no longer there, I had embarrassed them I guess. I just laid there on the ground for a few minutes.
My so called friends, had bolted and I was left lying alone. Robbie, after calling me a few more choice names, disappeared with the rest of them. I had a bloodied nose and the top of my head was bruised from his repeated pounding, I wondered what the Hell I was doing there in the first place. I stood up and slowly headed through the field adjacent to the park, when I realized that Rick was not there!
Where was Rick Desgrange? My best friend! who for the past two years was my inseparable partner in everything! Where did he go?
I turned around to look for him, and in the not so far distance, I could see him walking together and joking with Rob Brock! My best friend had betrayed me, he purposefully coaxed me to the fight. the whole time he was manipulating me as always, just for a laugh! or for what ever reason, I never asked!
I remember walking home alone. wondering about that word “friend” What was a friend? what did that word really mean? did I really have any? really?
I got home and laid in the bathtub for a couple of hours licking my wounds. My head was throbbing and it hurt to lay it down on any surface, but my heart hurt far worse then my head that day.
From that day forward, I wondered about that.
even to this day I wonder.............what a “real friend” is?
Is there such a thing? I may be wrong, but in todays fast paced world, I'm not so sure that there is such a thing anymore!
Everyone is so superficial. Everyone is so fake.
I never spoke to him again! My best friend Rick!