Catching up with the altitude
Part one - The Colony House Motel
Before we even departed I knew this excursion was not going to be like the last. There were no tents, tarps, cordage or any other camping gear aside from a Weber grill. There were a few small coolers, two large ice chests, plenty of alcoholic beverages and other substances. For the next five days we would lodge and revel in comfortable accommodations.
While pulling into the motel parking lot I thought: 'Well sheltered from unpredictable weather conditions, but we are at the mercy of our own self indulgence.'
Whitey and I arrived first, but the others pulled in a half minute later. My good friend Bear and I would take care of registering two double occupancy rooms high around the motel's back side. Built on a sloping hillside, the Colony House Motel's upper back rooms would allow for a bit more privacy than around front. Paying for a night's lodging for now, we drove up the steep lane to our rooms. Before unloading gear and provisions we checked out our accommodations. Bear and Denny unlocked the door and ambled in. Whitey and I entered our room. Sharing a room with Whitey would be better than being kept awake all night listening to Bear's thunderous snoring. Lean built, slightly above medium height with shoulder length dirty blonde hair, Whitey was a few years younger than me and although somewhat of a borderline psychotic, he did not snore. Enduring six months of my roommate's overly loud snoring which went through our apartment's thin walls, I looked forward to a good night's sleep without having to insert hearing protection. Denny lost a coin flip and ended up with Bear. "Good thick walls." I said to myself while knocking upon one. However there was one small problem, a thin wooden inside door which led into Bear and Denny's room. Putting the key into that door, I opened it and saw yet another door which flew open. "Howdy there neighbor!" Bear roared. "Let's get our shit inside and commence to celebrating!" Taking a good look at Whitey, he said: "Looks like you've already started." Having crashed at our pad last night, Whitey had been swilling beer and smoking weed since our late morning departure from Williamsburg. After picking up supplies in Charlottesville, I had to drive his Chevy Cheyenne pickup truck here. Thank goodness Afton Mountain was fog free on this sunny early summer day and my staying sober in case the interstate was obscured by a low cloud.
Travel bags, suitcases, coolers, ice chests, boxes, paper bags contained all we would need to get us through at least a few days. First getting our meat and other perishables into the two motel mini fridges, we then took stock of other provisions. Never a liquor drinker, unless absolutely necessary, Whitey had brought in five cases of his favorite Budweiser beer and a half ounce of some mid grade weed. He stared at the stack of beer on our floor and muttered: "I should of got a few more cases." For the last half decade, I rarely saw him sober. A beer drinker since he was twelve, for the last several years since getting a job at Newport News Shipyard, Whitey had become a chronic alcoholic. Just two weeks ago he got his full driving privileges back after his second DUI. Pulling a beer off the stack, Whitey looked about the room, popped open the can, emptied it's warm contents down his gullet, belched and declared: "I like this kind of camping!"
"Damn right!" Bear growled while entering our room. "No pitching tents, no stringing up tarps, no sleeping on the ground, no snoopy ass campground neighbors or park rangers."
"No campfires, no nature sounds, no picnic table to feast, drink and gamble upon, you fragile old woman." I returned then inquired what party favors did he bring along.
"Three cases of Ballatine Cream Ale, two bottles of Crown Royal, a fifth of Smirnoff, and a half gallon of dark Bacardi Rum."
"What no dope?" I asked knowing Bear had scored a quarter ounce of cocaine yesterday. Not wanting the others to know about this just yet, he cut me a fierce glare. "You're the dope man." He told me, then inquired: "So what are we smoking?"
"Just that shit Whitey has." I lied having a little surprise of my own. Whitey however barked: "Shit is it? Fuck y'all, I'll smoke it all myself and share none with you!" At that Bear smiled and whispered: "Denny supposedly has in his possession a big hunk of hashish."
"Do say." Whitey returned with a grin. Then I ran down my inventory. "Two bottles of mescal, three fifths of Stolichnaya, a jug of homemade peach and berry brandy and if yer good I've got a surprise."
"A surprise, oh that will be fucking swell!" Whitey slurred.
"I've two cases of Becks and plenty of cognac!" Denny shouted from the other room over the cable television noise he had brought forth.
"Turn that damn thing off!" Bear growled then plugged in our boom box and fiddled with the FM dial until finding a decent rock-n-roll station. "I'm sick of fucking television, let's listen to some music."
Entering the room with a small Tupperware container, Denny chuckled: "Oh I've got a treat for you boys."
"A treat?" Whitey mocked.
Lifting the air tight lid Denny shoved the container into Whitey's face and said: "Take of whiff of this you sot."
"It's hash." Whitey returned without any hint of excitement.
"Black Moroccan." Denny added. "When's the last time you seen anything like that around here?"
"Not since around 1977." I replied while having a whiff myself. Going for my travel bag, I said: "Well kids since it's show and tell time,," Pulling an old honey jar out, I continued: "Have ye a look at and whiff of this, my friends." Crammed inside were large dark green and purplish dried reefer flower tops. Like Denny's Tupperware container, my jar went around as well.
"What a strangely wonderful aroma." Denny stated, then inquired: "Where in the hell did you come across this?" Not wanting to reveal my connection, I replied: "Some Kat I met in a bar." In all actuality, this smoke came from our downstairs neighbor back home, a young William and Mary student who was putting himself through school by selling drugs. He had also sold Bear the cocaine. We kept his identity a secret as not to screw up a good connection. "That Kat said it was Burmese brain bender. I've not tried any yet, but now seems a good time to start. Reaching into the travel bag again I grabbed my steatite pipe. Plucking a bud from the jar, I broke it apart and loaded my stone bowl. Raising it aloft, I pointed it's stem to the north, east, south and west then blessed the bowl with butane flame.
The pipe went around three times before it was spent and oddly enough I felt nothing at all. Evidently no one else did as well. "What kind of beat shit is that, man? Hope it didn't cost you alot, because if it did, you got spanked, fellow. And you called my weed mid-grade shit." Whitey hissed. Never having gotten spanked on weed by my neighbor, had me wondering what I spent a hundred and fifty bucks on. Then it sneaked up and grabbed me by my skull like a bobcat pouncing upon a cottontail. Before I could blather a word, Bear issued a low howl and said: "That's some serious crazy ass creep weed, man."
"Indeed." Denny concurred atop a chuckle. Turning my altered attention upon Whitey, I scoffed. "Spanked, eh? Spanked your fucking brain, boy."
"Let's mix some hash with it." Denny suggested while placing his chunk of Black Moroccan on the motel table. With a pocket knife he shaved off a few small pieces. "Well if this Burmese trip weed doesn't take us up there, that black bubblegum hash will." I laughed then proceeded to break up another bud. Bear then chimed in. "If that don't take us up, I've got something that surely will." Never much of a cocaine user, I would at least snort a small amount once Bear brought it out and before my comrades went into a coke snorting frenzy. Off course this didn't mean that Bear was a cocaine addict, but during such excursions, we would all overly indulge upon one or more substances. As long as we kept everything cool and didn't trouble other guests, the Colony House Motel appreciated our patronage. However we would have to keep a leash on Whitey, especially when the cocaine came out and I knew that evil white powder would soon make it's appearance.
The weed-hashish mixture should of been enough for now. We were well up there after our second bowl full, but for some, that wasn't quite enough.
Rising from the edge of a bed, Bear lumbered into his room then a minute later all hell broke loose. "It's not here!" We heard him roar followed by a thunderous flurry of cursing. Entering the other room we found Bear, tearing through his travel bag. "What the hell is going on?" I inquired. Wheeling about, his bloodshot stormy grey eyes blazing, Bear bellowed: "It's not here!"
"What's not here?"
"My fucking coke!"
"Did you remember to pack it?"
Bear tilted his shaggy head upwards, gazed at the ceiling fan and replied: "I can't remember."
"You addled dope head." I sneered, but Bear paid me no mind as he reflected upon his movements before leaving our apartment. "I'll bet I left it in my dresser drawer." He sadly mumbled, "Or did I leave it in my other pants pocket in the dirty clothes bin?"
"Oh don't fret, you oaf." I said, "We've got enough here to see us comfortably through. Crack open a bottle of mescal and have a few good slugs." Personally I for one was glad Bear had forgotten his cocaine. No telling what sort of problems it would of brought about.
Still a bit down regarding his forgetfulness, Bear with a bottle of mescal in one hand and bottle of grapefruit juice in the other grimly stated: "We need ice."
"Why yes we do." I agreed and added: "Cards or coin toss?" That's how we decided who would carry out tasks or make runs in those days. We all voted on drawing cards. Shuffling the deck and allowing Denny to cut, I was offered the first draw. A eight of diamonds, but luck was on my side as Whitey drew a two of hearts, Bear a two of spades and Denny a four of diamonds. "Diamonds win!" I laughed. Bear and Whitey muttered a few choice words and set about hauling our two large ice chests out to the ice machine. Once they had exited our lodgings Denny commented: "Maybe it's a good thing he forgot that coke. I'm screwed up enough as it is." I had to agree with him. "Top shelf booze, hashish and weed, what else could we possibly need?"
"Some ice and maybe something to eat a little later." Denny replied as I placed a little more weed in my pipe, lit it up and passed it to him. Exhaling a stream of smoke he said: "Several buxom mountain gals would add a nice,," His words were interrupted by Bear and Whitey's return. "Man this place is fucking dead!" the latter hissed as he dragged an ice chest into the door. "There's only two other rooms taken from what I've seen."
"It's Thursday and still early." I reminded Whitey, adding "When this place starts filling up tonight or tomorrow, we can't have you troubling the other guests like what happened in that hotel down in Nags Head last summer." It was around this time last year that Whitey got us kicked out of a nice beachfront hotel by picking a fight with a lounge bartender for cutting him off due to excessive drunkenness and over all bad behavior. Having never been in a loving relationship, Whitey's approach in regards to females was rather lewd. His affairs were short and lasciviously boisterous either with what we referred to as party chicks, or hookers, but even those women could stand him for no more than a weekend, if that. Bear and I on the other hand were dating a couple of Colonial Williamsburg employees, but it wasn't anything overly serious. Denny like his brother R.W. had hooked up with pretty young women from very wealthy families who took care of most of their needs. Denny worked seasonably as a roofer while R.W. tended in a hotel lounge which was also somewhat seasonal. My roommate Bear worked as maintenance man for our apartment complex which allowed us a discount in rent. I worked two jobs as a maintenance man for another apartment complex and as a line cook at Williamsburg's Holiday Inn 1776. In fact the hotel restaurant's manager was a bit miffed I had taken five days off at the beginning of summer. 'Too bad' I thought as she had okayed this time off back in March. She had somewhat of a crush on me, so I didn't expect all that much flack upon my return to work. A company women, she suggested we stay at the Afton Mountain Holiday Inn, but I informed her that the Colony House was considerably cheaper, but would gladly bivouac at a company hotel if either she pay for our room, or else give me a raise. I embraced my manager in a bear hug, planted a kiss on her lips, then said "Love you. See you in several days." and ambled out not realizing the outcome of such a casual display of affection.
Aside from Bear's occasional growling about not having his cocaine, all was blissfully euphoric. A giant of a man, Bear was good to have around as his size alone intimidated others not to trouble us with any unnecessary bullshit. Near 7' tall, powerfully built, with a mane of long shaggy brass colored hair and a beard of a golden reddish hue he looked like some ancient Germanic or Norse tribesman. All he lacked was a harness of scale mail and a spangenhelm. As usual he was clad in blue denim, both shirt and jeans. Even in the hottest of weather conditions he garbed himself in this manner. With his perfectly combed shoulder length dark brown hair and eyes of the same color, Denny was probably the most handsome of our party. Denny along with his brother R.W. had been married and divorced, both had fathered children and now paid child support. By moving to Williamsburg they more or less discarded their old lives, children included. When not working, or in the company of their rich girlfriends, they drank and pursued other young women which abounded in Williamsburg. Bear and I had wagered on which one of the brothers would get caught cheating first and come knocking upon our door for a place to crash. I was kind of glad that R.W. wasn't here because upon occasion the two brothers would fight with one another over some of the stupidest reasons. Making sure he wasn't coming up, I inquired:
"Think anyone else is coming up?"
Throwing down a shot of mescal then chasing it with grapefruit juice, Bear stated: "Well if they don't arrive by tomorrow afternoon they're going to be shit out of luck as all the other rooms will be taken by then." He then inquired if I invited our old friend Flip, who still lived in Hampton. Whitey living not all that far from Flip replied. "You know Flippy is now in a family way. He ain't going to be going anywhere like this with us for awhile."
"Poor bastard knocked up his current wife on their first date and now she has another one in the oven." I informed them, adding "And no, Flip will not be joining us." Whitey then imparted some dreadful news. "My cousin Joyce attends nursing school with Flip's wife and she overheard her tell another chick that after he puts her through school she's taking the kids and leaving him."
"It's like he has a sign on him saying use me or I'm a human step ladder. Maybe someone should hip Flip of his wife's plans." Bear grimly stated.
"Well it ain't going to be me." I said, "I tried hipping him that his last lady love was running around on him only to have that dolt accuse me of attempting to break them up so I could get into the sack with her. In fact she had already approached me with such an offer, but unlike you, Whitey, I didn't take her up on it." All of our glassy bloodshot eyes were upon Whitey, but he cackled in twisted mirth. "Hell, I was tapping Donna a week after she got up with Flip up until they broke up a little over a year ago." At that Denny howled with laughter and chuckled: "Damn Skid, you were tapping Donna for almost five years?"
"On occasion after he dropped her off at home following one of their dates. You know the deal, Denny after tapping her a few times yourself."
"You damn dirty dogs!" I growled, "Right after a date, you didn't even give her a chance to shower?" At that Whitey winked at Denny and then both of them cackled like hyenas.
"Shit!" Whitey hissed, "Donna wasn't giving up to Flip. That goof was hanging onto honeymoon promises. As soon as she got where she was going in life, Donna ditched Flip for a Langley fly boy. She told me to fuck off as well." Denny in jest rubbed his eyes while feigning crying. "Oh poor Flippy the bad luck hippy." Then with a sinister grin said: "Such is the lives of fools and dogs." Having broken up with a high school sweetheart who was seduced by Denny while I worked at my after school job, I returned with: " Remember Denny, when the dog is away, the cat will play." He knew exactly what I was referring to as I had returned that past breech of friendship by seducing his now ex wife while he was cheating with another woman. "Dogs, cats and fools." I chuckled and asked: "So Denny, what about R.W., is he coming up tomorrow like he said?"
"His girlfriend won't let him come unless she comes with him." Denny replied.
"Oh so she's getting a little hip herself, eh?" I laughed.
"I hope to hell, he don't come up with that snooty wench." Bear growled, causing him to throw down another shot of mescal just thinking about her.
"Oh she wants to come up here, but my brother is dead against it."
"Why is that?" I inquired while accepting a shot that Bear poured for me.
"Because he thinks we're either going to drunkenly slip up and mention his running around, or else we're going to hit on Mia." Grapefruit juice dripping off his beard, Bear snarled and rumbled: "That little wench doesn't have to worry about me talking to her, much less hitting on her. I hope the fuck they both keep their prissy little asses in Williamsburg."
Mia, R.W.'s girlfriend was the half Asian daughter of a high ranking army officer. Having just turned eighteen, still living with her parents, she was going to attend William and Mary. Petite, with long raven black hair and jade green eyes, Mia was exotically beautiful, but spoiled rotten. Mia was also extremely rude to R.W.'s friends from the old neighborhood, especially Bear whom she referred to as a Neanderthal ogre. On a large allowance and also having cashed in on a deceased grandmother's trust fund, she was paying R.W.'s rent, other bills and keeping him well dressed. In return Mia had her own personal little party pad and love nest complete with a kept man, or so she thought.
"For crying out loud, she has my brother looking like some foppish MTV video star dandy." Denny said with great disgust. "Floofy hair, eye liner, makeup, and prissy ass duds."
At that I issued a short bark of laughter. "Oh he's just keeping up with the times in order to score with the young chicks. It is after all 1983. But why are you belly aching over that fop? Both of you brothers have it pretty good for now."
"For now." Bear chuckled and rolled his bloodshot eyes at me at which I continued: "Both hooked up with young comely, naive in regards to meaningful loving relationships, but otherwise impressionable women of high means. Oh adventurous men of leisure. Both you and your brother are imparting a hard learned but otherwise valuable lesson to these young gals concerning what not to look for in a husband or soul mate. In time, unless they're addled, both will wise up and move on to places far from our places in this world. Hopefully they won't depart from your caddish lives as eternally scornful, man hating shrews." At that both Bear and Whitey howled with laughter. Denny's handsome face twisted into a snarl as he cut his dark eyes at us three. "You misanthropes are just envious, because the only women who will consort with your ilk are party chicks, call girls, lounge hookers and older wayward housewives!"
"Dogs, cats and fools." I repeated while Whitey was either bearing his teeth like a wild animal or smiling. It was difficult to tell the difference. "Let this bird of paradise come!" he hissed, "I for one would like to meet this Mia and get to know her better."
"Stop evoking that snobbish wench's name!" Bear growled, "I for one don't want her ass up here molesting my vacation!"
Then the phone in Bear's room began ringing.
No one got up to answer it, but Bear slightly slurred: "Wonder who could be calling?" No sooner than he uttered those words the phone started ringing again. This time Bear rose to his feet and lumbered into the other room.
"Who is it?" We heard Bear growl and following a half minute of silence, "Tough luck man, there's no vacancy. We're all crammed into one room. Maybe you and Mia should head south down to Nags Head." followed by another half minute of silence then, "He's at the pool. Hey got to go now so later." Bear lumbered back into our room with a smirk upon his wide face. "Your brother R.W., but I took care of things."
"What do you mean, took care of things?" Denny asked.
"Look man, I don't want any drama, snobby little teen queens , or you and your brother getting into stupid little spats. After leaving my coke at home, I don't need any other screw ups, dig?" It was then I caught a weird glimmer in Bear's stormy grey eyes. "Wait a minute." He mumbled, then turned about and re-entered his room. This time he shut the inner door.
"Wonder what that was about?" Whitey chuckled while getting himself a half chilled beer from one of our ice chests. In the short time since we touched down here, He had already swilled down more than a six pack. Then a grim possibility bounced around in my skull. Pouring, then throwing down a shot of mescal, I replied: "If that oaf is doing what I think he's doing, I'm going to wrap a chair around his head." Right then the door opened and Bear lumbered in with a smile upon his face. "You fucking idiot!" I growled, "You told R.W. where the spare key was hidden outside so he can get your dope and bring it up here!"
"What are you psychic or something?" He laughed.
"Fool, hell, jingle bells!" he chuckled. "Let him bring me my coke, then I'll banish his and Mia from our happy little camp."
"Oh you got it all planned out, eh?"
"Of course. Any objections?"
"Oh no, Great Bear, but remember, you reap what you sow, old boy."
"So when can we expect them?" Whitey inquired.
"Probably later tonight sometime." Bear returned, adding: "They're bringing up one of Mia's girlfriends, somebody named Brandy."
"Ahhh, Brandy." Denny happily sighed.
"You know her?" Bear demanded while pouring himself a shot.
"She's a William and Mary junior, a year or so older than Mia. A tall leggy creature she is, built like a model, but I've only seen her once and that was a fleeting glimpse." While getting up to get another beer, Whitey issued a "Hmmmmmmm." adding, "A model you say?"
Now faced with the reality that sometime tonight we were going to have both right much cocaine and more company, I would prepare myself. Taking a ceramic mug from my travel bag, I poured myself a cream ale and a mescal chaser. Quite a toper, especially while on these party excursions, I could keep up this pace all night, thus shielding my soul from what weirdness which would surely come. Quaffing down the ale, I had two shots of mescal and said: "Alright, we'll have ourselves a little gathering, but I swear by the spirits of these foggy mountains, I'll take my dogwood stick to anyone who starts fucking up too bad."
"Damn man, chill out." Denny advised me, then he suggested: "Let's take a dip down at the pool. Relax. Take a big drink down there with you. Get a little fresh air, Skid."
"Ahhh good Denny, the off beat and obscure voice of reason! Sounds like an excellent idea. Let's mix up another bowl to smoke first and make a pitcher of good drinks to take down there."
"But we don't have a pitcher." Denny stated.
"No, but we do have an ice bucket."
"A pitcher." Denny chuckled as he filled it with ice, the rest of our first opened mescal bottle and a splash of grapefruit juice. Passing the weed and hashish blend to Whitey I asked: "What about you and Bear, care to join us for a cool dip?"
"I'm in." Whitey replied on an exhaled cloud of smoke. "What about you Bear?"
Never seen in anything but his denim duds, Bear declined, but offered to grill some steaks outside while we were down at the pool.
Although small, the Colony House's pool was filled with cold mountain water. It was known as the Rose Pond because of the red rose painted on the pool's concrete bottom. Pulling up an extra folding lounger to a umbrella shaded table upon which we sat our improvised pitcher, plastic motel courtesy cups and the fresh six pack of beer that Whitey brought down. Only Denny brought along a beach towel and swimming trunks. Whitey and I sported cutoff jeans and white motel towels. Our sunglasses hid three pairs of bloodshot eyes. From our comfortable perches we gazed down at Route 250 and out beyond that, the Blue Ridge Mountains. After pouring Denny and myself a drink, we three raised our beverages to cheer these ancient mountains. For the last month I had been pulling fourteen hour working weekdays along with eight or more on Saturdays and Sundays. This little five day getaway was like paradise.
"Tomorrow we should take a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, that is if someone else drives my truck." Whitey drunkenly mused aloud. Since landing at this motor lodge, Whitey was pretty much comitted to polluting his sense of being probably into a series of blackouts. That's when things could become unpredictable. Hopefully he would pass out before any such weirdness occurred on his part.
"Who's going first into the ice water?" Denny asked as he stood up and proceeded to dip a foot into the frigid water. Issuing an "Ooooooooooh" he said: "Well?" At that, Whitey guzzled down another beer, removed his sunglasses, saluted the late afternoon sun then dove in like an otter. Swiftly surfacing, he gasped, issued a howling scream and loudly sputtered: "Holy shit! I'm turning blue!"
"Better not piss in the pool, cause I'm coming in next." Removing my sunglasses, I got up, took a few steps back to allow for a running start which climaxed with a cannonball into the freezing waters. That was the extent of my swim. The water proved to be a tad too sobering cold as it wasn't all that warm up here to begin with. Sitting down, I wrapped the little towel around my shoulders in a attempt to fight off a chill. Whitey, obviously too intoxicated to be overly affected by the freezing water, casually climbed out, shook himself like a dog and asked Denny if he was going in.
"Hell no. That's like a glass of ice water. It would probably give me a,," Before he could finish, Whitey grabbed the back of Denny's lounge chair, then swiftly dragged both it and him into the pool. Quite shocked and angered Denny emerged from the cold waters. "Why the fuck did you do that for?" Whitey however climbed out of the Rose Pond, shook his dripping head, cut Denny a leering glance and after a full minute replied: "Why the fuck did you bring your swimming trunks and beach towel?" Turning then diving back into the pool, Whitey retrieved lounge chair along with Denny's towel and sunglasses in an act of no hard feelings.
Returning to the motel's upper back side, we were met by the sight of Bear hovering over his grill and the aroma of sizzling steaks..
Dinner consisted of rib eye steaks and canned baked beans washed down with cold brew followed by another good smoke. After cleaning up we moved chairs out onto the walkway outside our rooms. We were well shaded by both building behind us and ascending mountain forest just across the parking area. We had the whole upper back side to ourselves for now. Although it was early June, I could feel a twinge of cool air in the occasional downdrafts. The frigid pool water and a shower had sobered me up quite a bit, so I was back at it again, but at a slower pace.
Late afternoon gave way to early evening which deepened into the somber grayness of dusk. Off in the gloomy distance, a great horned owl was welcoming the coming night. During this time we said very little while taking in both evening air and sounds. Nocturnal insects began hovering and gathering around the dim outside lights. Most spectacular was a huge Luna moth that landed on the outside wall between a light and Bear's shaggy head. A walking stick insect crawled across the walk and up a rail then we heard the trilling of a few gray tree frogs.
"My kind of camping." Bear said, adding: "I do miss the fire, but won't miss waking up with a kink in my spine from laying atop roots or rocks underneath a tent floor."
"You big whiner." I called him and reminded Denny: "You're going to wake up with a kink in both ear drums. Glad there's a thick wall between that terrible noise and me."
"You snore too!" Bear growled.
"Not like the blasts you emit. Loud enough to wake the dead and send them running away."
"Fellows, fellows !" Denny laughed, "Live in the now." Oddly enough he began talking about the past. "Any of you remember that crazy party we had at Hornes Coliseum Inn down in Hampton when I got out of the army back in 1975?"
"Sure do." I replied, "Glad I booked that room with a fake ID."
"Yeah that place got torn to fuck." Bear added, "But hell, we were just kids then."
"You guys were, but I had already did a hitch in the army and was still wild as hell."
Whitey, the youngest of us chuckled and called Denny an "Old Fart."
"I guess in a sense we all are." He returned, taking no offense.
"Hell, none of us are even thirty yet." Whitey argued then guzzled down another beer. At that Denny quaffed a bit of cream ale, lit up a cigarette and said: "Old in a sense we're all basically looking and carrying on the same as we did last decade. We mostly listen to old rock-n-roll, watch re-runs on television and still partying like it's 1973 instead of 1983. We are still young enough to adapt and change with the times, like R.W., but we do our best to resist. Perhaps it's a survival instinct ingrained deep into our sense of being."
"The 1980s!" Bear snarled, "Ha! No more evident than in Williamsburg, a town that pimps itself out as being two hundred years in the past. Sometimes I just want to go fucking berserk, but the money's good so I refrain from breaking heads."
"He growls and gives them the peace sign, and that usually scares them off." I added.
"Them? Who are they?" Whitey asked, as he was not all that familiar with Williamsburg culture. However he would soon be encountering representatives of that strange scene.
"Who you ask?" Bear chuckled, "Fruit loops, flakes, new wave peacocks, preppy college kids, rude tourists and Colonial Williamsburg employees who seem to be stuck in the 18th century twenty four hours a day. The bars suck. No pool tables, bartenders who slight you on the pour. Damn how I want to knock some of those freaks five hundred years into the future, but this chick I see sometimes tells me to deeply take in and exhale ten breaths of air through my nose and that usually works for awhile."
"What if you have a stuffy nose?" Whitey laughed.
"Bear stays close to home during the cold and flu season." I took the liberty to reply.
Then we heard a vehicle coming up the steep driveway and saw headlights shining from around the bend. "R.W.?" Bear grunted.
"No that's not Mia's car." Denny returned as the vehicle parked next to Bear's Ford truck. It was a small hatchback and in the gloom we could see 'JUST MARRIED' written on the back glass with whipped or shaving cream, or some other creamy substance. All our eyes were upon that small car as the driver's door opened and out popped a smallish rat face fellow with black plastic frame glasses, a Polo shirt, Bermuda shorts and a white cap upon his head. Opening the back he began hauling luggage in and after finishing that task, opened the passenger side door. Fully emerged from the small car she was a head taller than and carried twice the bulk of her new husband. As they came further into the dim glow of the outside lights we could see her a bit clearer. Her dark eyes that were magnified by extremely thick glass, glared at us as she was escorted to the door next to Bear's. Then unexpectedly Whitey shouted: "Hey man, aren't you going to carry her over the threshold?"
"The little fellow's jaw dropped, while she continued glaring at us. "Come on Norman!" She ordered then the both of them shuffled in and slammed the door.
"Oh isn't that touching." Whitey dryly stated and suggested, "Maybe it's time to go inside."
"Let's spark up another bowl." Bear added.
"Let's roll one up instead." I said.
Sticking six rolling papers together, I filled them with a mixture of Whitey's and my weed along with some thin shavings of Denny's hashish. Upon completion it was the size of a cigar. Handing it to Bear, I gave him the honors. "I appreciate this." He thanked us and continued: "When my prescription arrives we'll all get blasted."
"Well we have to keep it cool with the newlyweds right next door." I reminded them. "That chick looked like the type who would call the front desk or even the police if our little get together gets out of hand."
"Yeah she didn't look like a happy camper." Denny added.
"Looking at them had me thinking about how Flip's honeymoon played out, right up there at the Afton Inn." Whitey grimly stated and added: "I'm never getting hitched up with a women."
"No decent woman would have you." Bear chuckled then lit up the jumbo sized joint. Toking hard, he filled his huge lungs and passed it back to me. That number went around about six times then got snuffed out halfway. There was a minute or so of silence while we sat around the small motel table like grinning apes in that smoky room. "Who turned off the radio?" Bear mumbled. Then the phone in his room began ringing again.
"Who the fuck could that be?" He growled as he wobbled to his feet and lumbered through the inner door. Within a half minute he returned. "That was R.W. down at the desk checking in. He wasn't sure where we are located." With that bit of news Denny ambled over to the full length mirror and began combing his hair.
"Primping are we?" Whitey laughed.
Then came a knock upon the door. "Open up Skid, it's me!" we heard a familiar voice shouting in from outside. For a large fellow with a head full of smoke, Bear got up rather quickly and opened the door. What entered looked completely foreign to my friends and I. Clad in a blue silk tank top, khaki shorts and shod in expensive white sneakers, he bopped right in. Although Bear, Denny and I were use to R.W.'s appearance, Whitey who had not seen him for a few years, stared in twisted amazement. Leaping to his feet, Whitey focused upon R.W.'s hair. Somewhat close on the sides, his curly light brown hair was fluffed up high on the top with long curls in the back. "What the fuck do we have here, Duran Duran?" Whitey was brutally forward. "Shit, R.W., you look like a fucking poodle."
"Whitey." R.W. sneered, "How in the hell did you end up with these gentlemen?"
"Never mind that!" Bear growled, "Did you find my coke?"
"What?" Bear roared with anguish upon his face.
"I looked all though your dresser, and through your dirty clothes bin and found nothing aside from clean and dirty clothes."
"Shit man! Where in the hell did I put it?"
"Probably in a place you least suspect." I replied then asked, "So where are your fellow travelers?"
"Down around front getting organized in their rooms."
"Rooms you say?" Whitey mockingly asked.
"That's right. We both took single bed rooms. A little privacy, if you know what I mean." Casting a glance at the low dresser with an assortment of liquor bottles, R.W. inquired about getting a drink while Bear glared at the wall.
Denny fixed his brother up with a vodka and tonic. "So is Mia and her friend Brandy coming up here to join our little celebration?"
"As soon as they get settled in, freshened up and take a ride into Waynesboro for a few things." Then he he asked: "Got anything for the head, Skid?" Denny pointed to the half of that huge joint resting in an ashtray. Snatching it up, R.W. said: "Alright! I've been jonesing for a buzz since waking up this morning and all the way up Interstate 64. I flicked my lighter for him and then he drew hard upon the number. After a few good tokes, "Oh yeah!" He tossed down his vodka tonic and gave swift condolences to Bear regarding his lost cocaine. I watched as a mistrustful Bear stooped down and attempted looking up into R.W.'s nostrils.
"Ah come on man!" R.W. laughed, "I wouldn't do a fellow Skid that way."
"You don't look like a Skid to me, Poodle." Whitey taunted. Ignoring him, R.W. said "Like I mentioned, the girls are going to be riding into Waynesboro for some supplies and personal items, so I'll hang with you guys until they get back."
Whitey's eyes crossed and he chuckled: "Personal items, you say?"
"That's right Whitey. Items so personal, even I don't know what they are." R.W. returned with his eyes crossed as well then blurted out: "Oh shit! I forgot to tell Mia to get me a razor and some shaving cream." At that Bear mentioned: "Don't worry about it. I've got razors and shaving cream in my kit."
Taking a good gander at Bear's bearded face, I had to ask: "Why the fuck do you carry a shaving kit with you. You ain't shaved in a decade."
"Just a weird habit. Mostly I store other things in my kit like,,," He paused and a wide smile split his broad face. Lumbering back into his room, he returned shortly clutching a small glass jar. "Dotard!" I scoffed, "You had it all along!" Bear paid me no mind as he held that little jar full of Bolivian baby powder close to his bloodshot grey eyes like it was the most important thing in the universe. "Haaahaaahaaaheeeeeeeehaa!" He howled and with a bit of concern said: "I've nothing to work with." Then his eyes darted to that big mirror hanging over the low motel dresser. Snatching it off the wall, Bear saw our table's surface was too small, so he placed it upon my bed. Unscrewing the lid, he poured a small pile onto mirror glass. Unsheathing his razor sharp hunting knife, he went to work chopping the powder into a finer consistency. Finished with that task, he divided it up into ten good sized lines, pulled out his wallet, then a new dollar bill and rolled it up into a snorting device. Like a human vacuum cleaner, he sucked two lines up into his nostrils and handed the rolled up bill to me. "It's,, fucking great,,,,man." He stated while attempting to snort the dose further into his sinus cavities. "Tell you what Bear, I'll do one line and you or someone else can have another one."
"Who said you get a second one?" He hissed as the coke drained down into his throat. Leaning over the mirror, I snorted up a line. This was quite enough of the white stuff for me. Denny, Whitey, R.W and once again Bear had goes at it.
"Now hang that big ass mirror up before someone it gets broken." I so ordered.
All of us were on our feet jittering about, smoking cigarettes and blathering nonsense. "Say nothing about this to Mia, boys. She's down on the hard stuff." R.W. asked of us to which Bear returned: "I'm not scheduling my recreational substance abuse around the dislikes of your girlfriend, but don't fret, I'll say nothing to her about what you sneak around and do."
"He should be thankful for that." I added while feeling my face go numb.
"So what's the deal with this Brandy chick?" Whitey inquired, "Is she seeing anyone?"
"She's totally out of your league, old boy."
"I'll be the judge of that, Poodle." He came back at R.W. in an overly southern accent. "Never know about them high society gals once they're beyond the fringes of what they know. "
"You be a gentleman now, Whitey." Bear commanded with a slimy gob of white nose snarf hanging out his right nostril.
"For goodness sake Bear, go clean the coke buggers out of your snout." I told the big man. In a few long strides he was over at the sink. Turning the spigot, he dipped fingers into running water. Sticking two wet fingers up each nostril, he drew in those unsightly white globs. "Waste not, want not." He chuckled.
"So you guys want to take a night dip down at the pool."
"Already been in the water." I replied, "But do go down there and jump into that ice cold water with a head full of coke and have your fucking heart explode if you want."
"Oh yeah, I forgot just how cold that little pool gets sometimes."
"Remember weather is a month behind what we left down in Williamsburg." Bear reminded.
As the intense cocaine buzz began to wear off we were again seated around the little motel table drinking and attempting to plan future activities. "Usually Mia has our trips all planned out, but she's at a complete loss up here. Brandy on the other hand hails from Charlottesville and knows this area fairly well. She wants to go up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and snap some photos." At that Whitey rolled his shit brown eyes, smirked and commented. "Oh I know some very scenic places not far from here at all." My concern for Whitey's behavior faded with each shot of mescal. If he became too much of a liability, Bear would knock him out and put him into bed for the night, that went for the Dibble brothers as well. If Bear got out of line we would usually stand clear and let him go. All in all, we were for the most part well behaved enough for this motor lodge. The Colony House Motel was rather accommodating to fellows like us as we ventured to the outer limits of our substance addled minds. I can recall two different occasions when we stayed here and dropped acid. Bear locked himself up in the bathroom and carried on meaningful conversations with something he called Mr. Yap. In these mystical mountains I didn't know if it was some local spirit or purely a LSD induced hallucination. Perhaps Mr.Yap could of been both, that is if he wasn't talking to his pecker. Taking a good look at my friends I thought about what Denny said regarding us not progressing with the times. Even R.W. with his new wave doo indulged like us, but I knew he would get some flack from Mia when she got back. I also recalled Denny's mentioning of her wanting to find out things about R.W. and suspected it more knowing how she loathed getting around the old neighborhood Skids. Like Bear, I did not want my small vacation molested by unnecessary drama, but after another shot of mescal and a glance at Whitey, thought: 'This could unfold into something rather amusing, if not highly entertaining.Hell, they're already here so let the chips fall and the fur fly.'
"Music!" Bear demanded and with that Whitey went into his bag and pulled out some cassette tapes. Walking over to our boom box he stuck one in. Black Sabbath, Master of Reality. R.W. re-lit the huge number and it went around again. "That's bothering me." Whitey mumbled.
"What's that?" Denny wanted to know. Saying nothing, Whitey rose to his feet, leaped up, landed upon the bed then proceeded to hang a framed still life painting of a wine bottle and bowl of fruit upside down. "Much better." he said after hopping down and taking a good look at his presentation. I must admit it added a nice touch to our lodgings. He also wanted to drop the television out of our only window, but it was bolted down. What I liked about that window, it allowed a good view of the front entrance and parking lot. If anyone at this time had been looking out of that window, he would of saw Mia and Brandy getting out of a white Firebird. We however were smoking, drinking and blathering away about past times. Just as Bear was beginning to tell his night in the Hampton City jail drunk tank story again, came a knock on our door. We all looked at each other as our smoky room smelled like an Afghan hash den. I stood up, walked over to the door and peered out through it's peep hole. All I could see was a blue eye, distorted by the peep hole's lens peering in. "Who's there?" I shouted.
"That doesn't look like Mia's eye!" I returned. "Now who is it? Speak up!"
"Mia and Brandy! Reggie are you in there? Reginald, open up!"
"Reginald!" Whitey laughed.
"For god's sake, open the door!" R.W. demanded.
Swinging it open I saw the owner of that blue eye as well as another just like it. True to Denny's description she was built like a fashion model and rather comely. Tall, with good slightly shapely features and a mane of tawny hair streaked with gold coloring. Her sky blue eyes were rimmed with a fair amount of liner and silver shadowing. She wore a little black dress and was shod in black flats. With a sweeping bow I introduced myself, offered a polite greeting and welcomed both young ladies inside. Mia who was clad in a brand name T-shirt, shorts and little white sneakers whipped her long raven hair back and stated: "Brandy, this is Reggie's brother and home boys. As Denny rose to introduce himself, Mia looked at Whitey and said: "I haven't seen this one before."
"Chris Whitehouse, at your service, darling." He greeted. She looked him up and down then said: "Would be rather appealing, that is with a trim and some nice clothes."
"Well then baby, take me to the barber and out shopping.Then we can go out dancing." He came back at her. Whitey wasn't known to hold his tongue when it came to snooty acting women. In fact that's what turned Flip's old girlfriend Donna on about him. "You must be Brandy." He smiled at the tall young lady, "I've heard good things about you."
"What are you guys smoking in here and do you have anymore?" was all she returned in greeting.
Hearing that, Bear, Denny, Whitey and I looked at each other and nodded our heads. At least we didn't have some anti-drug harpy in our midst...