This is how it went…
I was looking for some late night hype and came out of the 7-11 with a king sized Snickers and a Big Gulp Dr. Pepper. Joe went with the nachos with chili and cheese and Bobby was craving bean burrito with a dip of Skoal for desert. We stuffed ourselves into his Ford Ranger and dug in. The Merrimac Trail “Sleven” was a little out of the way, but it was usually cleaner than the other five hundred or so convenience stores in Williamsburg.
While we were cramming the food into our faces three dudes pulled up on motorcycles and started talking crap about us.
“Look, three homos sitting in a girly truck…”
“Hey ladies, come here often?”
In a Costanzian moment of stupidity, I yelled, “Big motorcycles and no women must mean little packages.” Bobby and Joe looked at me like I was crazy.
“What did you say?”
“You heard him,” said Joe, “don’t be stupid and have a little package, too.” Bobby and I looked at Joe like he was crazy.
“Get out of the truck!”
To get of the truck was to risk a beat down. Despite our two attempts to equate their masculinity to a smallish size, my guess was that they were really big members of the man’s phallic club. The tattoos, beards, and chains that were attached to their wallets gave them an authority that our high school image consciousness could not pull off. I sat in the passenger seat rocking a red polo shirt, jeans and untied high tops. Joe was in the middle with cut off sweats, a sleeveless T-shirt, and Nikes with no strings. Bobby at least looked the part of a truck owner with a flannel shirt, super faded Levis, and Timberlands back when they were exclusively for hunters.
“I said, GET OUT OF THE TRUCK!”
“No you come over here and get some of this,” said Bobby. Joe and I looked at him like he was crazy.
The three of them looked at each other and chuckled. With a nod the one doing all of the yelling started walking our way. The other two followed along. I contemplated the potential that my last meal might be a Snickers which was a little funny. After a last drink of soda, I opened the door, stepped out and tried to remember everything my father taught me about self-defense.
It was the school of make believe that I went to that would be my way out of this situation because nothing my father taught me ever suggested that I pretend I had a gun. I stood by the front of the truck with one hand in my pants like I was holding a gun. Bobby must have gone to the same school because he acted like he was getting something from under the seat.
Then he said, “Move your legs so I can get it out.”
Joe played it cool and kept eating his nachos, “Shoot ‘em if they come closer.”
The motorcycle dudes stopped short. They were right in front of the doors and after giving us all the finger decided it was better to go in for whatever than to find out if we really had the muscle we really didn’t have. I got back in the truck and Bobby did a slow drive out as those guys watched us drive away. When he got to Penniman Road, Bobby took a hard right and floored it all the way to Chris’s house where we laughed about our acting skills for hours.
Somewhere around one in the morning we were hungry again. It was either another 7-11 or Frank’s Truck Stop. An omelette was sounding good so we decided that Frank’s was it. We walked in full of the hubris that teens have when they are out past curfew. A quick scan of the room showed that only one table was being used. The three motorcycle dudes were hungry too.
We looked at each other and for an instant thought about getting out of there early, but youth can be stupid. I walked over to the table and sat down. The bikers looked confused.
“Sorry about making fun of you earlier,” I said.
“You’ve got some balls sitting here.”
“I’m not too bright, I’m hungry, this is the only place open, and I’m betting you guys probably are too tired to whoop my butt.”
“Pull up a table…”
So we did. Bobby, Joe, me, and the bikers eating breakfast at 1am. Several hours earlier we had been ready to kill each other and now we were offering to pick up the tabs. So it is in the world of guys…
At least that’s how I remember it.