The story I am about to share with you is one of fantasy inspired by truths from the actual events of J. Walter McGuinty’s life, who is in fact a fake person I made up for the telling of this tale. All events described herein actually happened, though on most, if not all occasions, I have taken certain, very small yet sometimes astronomically large, liberties with chronology, names, places, and actual events completely falsifying them, because that is my right as an American. But mainly it is to protect and honor the man behind this inspired journey. This is in no way related to my previous posts but is in fact something different and meant to stand alone as an experience experienced.
“So tell me J...” the young blonde says smoothly, far more comfortably than she should while lighting her fourth joint in as many hours. She takes a long hit. Loosening her ponytail she gives it a gentle shake allowing it to lay free. Letting the gas settle and spread throughout the entirety of her body comforting her she exhales her lung full of marijuana.
There she sat with a man she had only just met hours before in a gutted eight passenger stolen ‘71 dodge van sitting atop a faded mattress from her home on her way to Daytona, FL to make an easy 500 dollars. The van was lined with cut out magazine pictures of the Star ship Enterprise to blotch out the rising eastern sun as best as they could. More pictures lined the framework like Led Zeppelin’s new album, Houses of the Holy. Two movie posters: Harold and Maude and Daughters of Darkness lye across the top of the van roof.
She made it subtly known with her body language her physical attraction to the older man who sat vapidly across from her in the small enclosed space lost in something. “How come I don’t know more about you?” she says playfully in hopes of not looking overly flirtatious. Her body stretched out. She was tall for her age. She was taking full advantage of the naturally bumpy ride they had been on. With every prior passing bounce she had been letting herself bounce just ever so slightly toward him. She was completely smitten. He on the other hand was not, lost in his own glass-eyed state of trauma frantically waiting for her to hand him his pain killer. His shakes are getting worse.
Her face was rounder than most, a fact she attempted to hide by letting down her hair in an on going struggle to look older than she was. Jeanine’s eyes increasingly plain were mottled brown and at any given opportunity, no matter what time of day, would wear her favorite ray-bans to cover them up. She was strikingly ordinary in her faded blue bellbottoms, daisy patterned halter top, and would have been all but forgettable if it hadn’t been for the smile that she flashed out at the end of her sentences. Had it been another part of her anatomy J. Walter would have been caught staring. The way her short upper lip would slide up effortlessly exposing her brilliant teeth was hauntingly unforgettably intoxicating. Now seemingly transfixed on her like a moth to a flame he leaned in from atop the suitcase he sat to join the conversation that was now worth being a part of. The long black hair that rested behind his shoulders now dangled near his face. Jeanine leans in, slowly brushed her hair to one side, hoping this is the moment she has been carefully drawing up these past few hours. She was completely unaware of the joint burning dangerously close to her fingers.
When a quick ill timed southern accent, “Oh come on Jeanine, lay off, he’s higher than a kite right now!” comes from the driver seat. The driver pushes in a led zeppelin cassette instantly playing the Rain Song already 43seconds in, "You are the sunlight in my growing," meanders out softly from Robert accompanied by lullaby-like enchanting strums from Jimmy. furiously Jeanine turns around, “Can it Marty” she hollers over the ballad, in clear opposition. “Had it not been for Marty ruining the moment” she thought to herself selfishly “we would have been kissing”
Returning her focus back to J. Walter she flashes her smile. She adorns her most adult, ladylike disposition and silently offers him the joint she had been selfishly hogging. With a four-fingered hand he takes the joint and takes a hit from it leaning back brushing the long black hair out of his face as he does. “Finally,” he thinks to himself. His body begins to already feel the neglected effect it had been feeling and starts to return to a state in which he can operate. He exhales reluctantly after a few moments and begins.
“I don’t really know where you would like me to being”, he says in a slight gruff amalgamation of accents nevertheless in his most capriciously posh voice.
“I suppose it would make sense for me to start at the beginning so you can follow along. To say I’ve had a tumultuous or restless life wouldn’t be doing my life any justice. Despite my attempts to hide it, its true to some degree. I have had a life full enough for two lives in comparison to some of you lot. I’ve seen more of this ruddy country than you have seen of this state in which you live.”
“Na fuck that”, she says getting up then quickly resting on her knees and shins besides J. Walter. Her eyes were full of possibility. She grabs his calloused four-fingered hand running the soft pads of her fingertips gently over the spot that lay vacant and says,
“tell me how this happened?” beaming at him with her enveloping smile.
J. Walter takes another hit and hands it back to Jeanine
“Oh this?” holding his hand out flexing it as if nothing was out of the ordinary. He was as cool as a cucumber. Turning on his charm he knew he had her undivided attention, so he pressed on blowing out the smoke, “well you see I had gone to see my bird Rebecca who had gone to California to see family. She told me she would be out there for a month or so and that I should come out to see her.”
“Rebecca?” she said bitterly “who is that? You never told”
-- J. Walter cut her off harshly, “Now do you want to here about the story or not, goddammnit?” She went silent. “So I stole me a ‘67 Chavelle -- damn was that a nice car,” he interrupted himself, just remembering the smooth white leather and the sheen of the turquoise metallic paint put him into a great high. he continued on “and I drove out to see her. Things were good. Real good. Ain’t nothin’ bad happens in that state. You know what they call California?” he said to her.
“Unh uh” she replied riveted as she ever was.
“The Golden State. And let me tell you it was. Those beaches, the sun...” he drifted now “Even the air was full of gold...” setting himself further into his own brand of comatose joy. Then it was as if a switch flipped on in his head. The smile on his face that had been so charming and infectious lifted from him. He tried to continue; “Things were good till I started drinking a bit too much.” his eyes went blank. “One day when we went down to one of the old piers...” He no longer was with the girl who so absently clung to his voice as he filled her with sultry words. Vacantly J. Walter sat again for a long time.
“J.” she said as she shook his leg, “What happened?”
Startled, he quickly covered his tracks. Clearing his throat, “I was just trying to figure out the best way to say it.” His hand shook looking for the joint Jeanine held and grabbed it from her and drew it to his mouth. Longer this drag was, longer than other other drag he had taken. He was running from something he couldn’t forget. He finished the joint off then took a worn flask that lay on the floor and washed it down with a few strong gulps of whisky. “Sheesh, Jeanine, you sure are impatient.” Marty’s drawl quickly kicked out with a smug laugh. He went back to drumming on the steering wheel, following along with the acoustic guitars that were building into a crescendo towards the abrupt infusion of electric guitars, drums, and bass that would be the culmination of 87 seconds of fierce Over the Hill and Far Away. Jeanine rolled her eyes at his remark.
J. Walter blew out the smoke and continued without a hitch, “I decided it was high time to give my cousin in Texas a visit.”
to be continued...
to be continued...