"You're sure you're not going anywhere after the game?" my father asked, as he dropped my friends and me off in front of the high school? Him and my mom were going out to dinner after they dropped us off, and afterwards likely enjoying the peace and quiet of having their 13 year old son spending the night at a friend's house. I wasn't a big "spend the night at friend's house" kid. I went out a lot for someone as young as I was, but I usually ended the evening at home in my own bed. Also, I had a sister so my parents got very little time to themselves at home, but she was out too.
I was much freer than most kids my age. My parents were pretty lenient about curfew and trusting about things like that. It would not be unheard of for me to stay out until one or two in the morning as long as I had a ride and my parents knew who I was with. My father almost never asked me too many questions about my plans. Usually it was just the basics and I was actually surprised to hear him ask that question as I was waiting anxiously to watch him drive off. It was almost as if he knew this was the night he couldn't trust me. As if he had read my mind when I asked him to let me spend the night at Bill's house with the rest of my friends.
The other four were already singing the chorus to the song "No sir, straight to Bill's house!", but I was hesitant to actually let the words fly out of my mouth because I was still young enough to hate lying to my parents and old enough to know that as an ex-Marine, my father could easily kick my ass for pissing him off. He had never hit me as a child, but as I got closer to adulthood I'd let myself believe he'd be willing to show me he could at any moment pummel me if he so chose. I've never actually had to find that out for sure, but as HE gets older I find myself thinking I could put up a good fight.
I had already lied earlier in the day after planning this evening with my skateboard buddies (I may have actually cringed and yelled "shut up" if someone had referred to my friends and me as "buddies" at the time, but I'm ok with using that term now, so I'll apply it here). I had almost told the whole truth about all of us spending the night at Bill's house, though I may have neglected to tell him the part about Bill's parents being out of town. If the entire truth of this Friday evening, and my plans to get drunk for the first time in my life, had later been revealed to my father, the next faslehood out of my mouth would not be the one I received the most punishment for. "No Dad, we're just going to Bill's house after the game."
The players: Eric, who also lied to his parents, and managed to get his older brother to buy us a bottle of Bacardi for the evening. Bill, his parents away, his mohawk donned, and Stouffer's Frozen French Bread Pizza's ready to go in the freezer for when we needed something to sop up the Bacardi in our stomachs later in the evening. Padrick, ditto on the parents lie, and ready with the one liners to keep us amused for the evening, he was the Chandler of our little group of punk rock Friends. Mike, his single mother also out of town, similar lie told but different in that he was supposed to be staying at my house because his Mom didn't know Bill and would have said no to the Flannel Shirt and Ripped Jeans Slumber Party, he felt like he had the most to risk because his mom was frequently heard saying "You little fuck, you're on restriction for six months!", a punishment unheard of from the rest of our parents. Then there was me, skateboard as my main vehicle for transportation, age 13 and never been drunk but willing to let my friends use the power of peer pressure to talk me into a new experience, though not much pressure needed to be applied.
The equipment: 5 skateboards, 5 packs of cloves, 1 back pack with bottle of Bacardi in it, and 3 boxes of NoDoze (nothing like 20 cups worth of caffeine to enhance your Bacardi buzz).
The mission: for 5 thirteen year old boys to skip the high school football game, consume 1 bottle of Bacardi and 3 packs of NoDoz, make it through the night without A) getting in trouble with our parents, B) getting sick, or C) getting arrested.
Plan in action when we return on Monday.