Friday, February 27, 2009

Conversation With Mom

"How's Jameil?"

"She's good."

"You guys are hanging in there, huh?"

"Yeah, 7 months."

"Wow, that's good for you. I'm glad you finally have someone that's on your level."


"I'm glad she's not like all those other girls that used to follow after you."


"She seems like she's not the type to just give you your way all the time."

"Yeah, you could say that."

"Well, I'm happy for you. You guys are cute together. I saw that picture on Facebook."


"Tell her I said hello."

"Will do."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Operation: Outdo My Mom*

Yo, my moms is 60 years old. She got all kind of stuff I don't have. She got a blackberry. She got a Wii. She got GPS. She got kids. She got just about every modern thing that you can think of. But one thing I will NOT let her have is more Facebook friends than me.

Right now, it's close. I only got her by 5. Now, I could do the thing where I just ask anybody to be my friend, but I'm not gonna do that. Or I could look up old girlfriends and people that I went to school with, but I'm not gonna do that either. My anti social tendencies, however, are making me dangerously close to losing to my mom on the facebook joint. My nephew already has way more friends than me, but I can take that. He's from the internet generation. But my mom? For real? (Can I just tell you how much I was trippin when she sent me a friend invite? I was like, great, guess I have to watch what I say now. Good thing she don't know about my blog. LOL.) I admit, I only joined the book so I could look at people's pictures and make snarky comments about them, but now I kinda like it. But what's important right now, is that I have more Facebook friends than my mother....

So, if any of you bloggers are on the book and are looking to boost your numbers, look me up Or just search Rashan Jamal and I'll be the first choice to pop up. You'll see my picture. I promise *fingers crossed* not to make snarky comments about your pictures. Also, don't be alarmed if I don't respond right away. I may not recognize you and will have to make sure you ain't one of my old stalkers trying to rekindle a friendship that existed only in their minds. LOL

Come on, help me outdo my mother... Please?!?!?*

*this post is intended to be tongue in cheek, but in all actuality, I do wanna have more friends than my mother. LOL*

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'm stressed and I don't know how to deal with it. I'm usually the type that let's things roll of his back, but it's not working now. Everyday I go to work, I feel like it may be my last. I try to take it in stride, but whenever I wake up in the morning and see my company's name in the news, or see how the stock is tanking or see that a competitor is laying off 730 people right down the street from me, I just get a knot in my stomach. I get worried, and I'm not the one to worry about stuff. I just can't shake it.

I think maybe it's not so much the jacked up economy as it is real life situations that are getting to me. A few weeks ago, my grandmother was sick, which in itself is enough to make me lose it. Everybody has that one person in their family that means everything to them. Well, my grandma is that to me. She's fine now, turns out to just be vertigo, as opposed to the stroke that they originally thought it was, but for a while I was really worried about her. The thing that made it even worse, was that I didn't find out until a week later. Nobody bothered to tell me that my grandmother was rushed to the hospital. I was so mad at my family, but before I could even confront them...

I found out that my mom's husbands mother died. I didn't really know her, but it wasn't exactly the right time to start an argument. Then the following week, my mom's husband went in the hospital. This time they told me right away. It's really messed up. He has cancer and has stopped taking the radiation because it wasn't working. He has stuff on his lungs and his brain. This is like the 3rd time in the last 5 years that his cancer has come back and this time it looks like it's the end. They are throwing out words like hospice and making him comfortable, but I don't know what's gonna happen. I'm sad for my mother. I can hear her trying to be strong, but I can also hear the grief in her voice. I'm worried about what's gonna happen if he dies. I worry about the family drama that might ensue after he's gone. I worry about how she's gonna raise an 8 year old child by herself at age 60. Mostly, I'm just worried.

I don't even know what the point of this post was. I don't usually talk like this. I don't like this feeling and I hope it passes quickly. I know it's only human to go through this, but I'm not used to it. All I wanna do when I get home is sit around and drink. Don't worry, I'm not doing it, but it would just be easier than dealing with this stress. I hate this feeling of being helpless.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And Now...Another Episode of Rashan Overreacts To Something Small...

One of these days , I'm gonna come home from work and not find something on my door. Monday, it was Chinese food menu, Tuesday it was a flyer (flier?) for an after hours club, Wednesday it was the same Chinese food place, and today its an advertisement for a real estate company. Enough already. I'm not the most green person in the world, but this ridiculous waste of paper is getting on my nerves. And when the wind blows really hard, you can always see these stupid pieces of paper flying around the parking lot. And sometimes its not just on the doors. The after hours club likes to lift up windsheild wipers and put their glossy cards featuring a big booty woman and a bottle of liquor on cars. I don't want my kids seeing that first thing in the morning when they are on their way to school. I don't want theives knowing I haven't been home all weekend cuz there are 12 multi colored pieces of paper all over the door. At least these Mexicans that deliver them have a job.

I should gather up all these menus and fliers and bring them back to these companies.. No, that won't work. They'd only deliver them again. I got it... I should totally go to these places and pass out my own fliers. Like go to the after hours club and post a notice about from a local church on the doors. Or go to the mortgage company and give them a copy of the Obama foreclosure plan. Or go to the Chinese place and put up pictures of cats. See how they like it. Jerks!! Now where are my colored pencils and construction paper. Time to get to work...

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Newest Stalker

For real, I think I got a new stalker. She's hot, yo! I can't even front. Okay, lemme stop before I get myself in trouble. LOL. I'm being stalked by fire...

Last night, on my way home from Florida, just as I crossed over the border with Georgia, I noticed that traffic started slowing down. I was in the slow lane, about to get off the exit to get gas. *sidenote* Why is gas a quarter cheaper in Georgia than Florida? I paid $1.74 right over the border and it was $2.01 no more than 5 miles down the road. *sidenote over* There's usually no traffic on the way home especially when I leave at night. I looked over to my left and I saw a truck, fully engulfed in flames. It was crazy. Then I started to feel the heat from the fire even though I was 3 lanes over with the windows up. I thought it was gonna be like CHiPs when the cars blow up. I was so happy to get off the highway. People were stopping on the highway to take pictures of the fire. Maybe I woulda done that too if I ever got around to buying batteries for my camera, but since I didn't I just kept it moving and watched from the gas station off the exit. I got home around 2:45 to see fire trucks in my apartment complex. Luckily, it doesn't look like anything got burned too badly, but it wasn't exactly a warm (pun intended) welcome home. Then today on my way home from work, there was another vehicle fire, this time on 285.

I think fire is out to get me. One man shouldn't have this many run ins with fire. From burning down Kareem's house, to the fire across the street from my apartment, to another fire in my complex I don't think I wrote about, I'm getting sick of the flames. I need to put my smoke alarm back up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

7 Days In Savannah: Lady Lou's

7 Days in Savannah is a recollection of my time growing up and being a young man in Savannah, GA. All stories are true and relayed to the best of my memory.

I have a confession to make. I used to be a bad boyfriend. Well, not bad bad, but I did some stuff that could be considered not cool. Chalk it up to youth, but when I was in college, I used to frequent a booty club and my girlfriend didn't know. Knowing her, I know she would not have approved, so I just didn't tell her. Let's go ahead and make that confession sound even worse. I used to go after I left her house. I never rushed out of there so I could go see strippers, but instead of just going straight home, I would stop off at Lady Lou's for a dance or three. I could make all kinds of excuses, but the fact is this: I liked looking at naked women, so I did.

Let's talk about Lady Lou's. It was a dump. A hole in the wall spot on Montgomery Street, right across from the Salvation Army store. As far as I know, it's now a sports bar, but back in 95-97, it was the place to go to see strippers. They never advertised themselves at a strip club. In fact, I don't even know how I found out about it, but once I went, I was hooked. The best thing about the club, was the girls didn't look like your stereotypical strippers. They were just hot girls that you'd see in the hood. And there was no pole dancing, VIP rooms or routines, just booty shaking and lap dancing. If you were lucky, you got a seat in the corner where it was really dark, but if not, it didn't really matter. The girls were still gonna get freaky directly under the spotlight. Oh, and one other thing... it was highly illegal. Lady Lou's had neither an adult club license or a liquor license.

On this night, I was hanging out with Lisa at her sister's house like we did just about every Friday night. I wanna say that we had went to a movie and then came home so she could babysit her niece while her sister went out to the club. That's how it usually happened. I had talked to Kareem and Tori and they mentioned that they were gonna hit up Lady Lou's that night. So when the Lisa portion of the night was over, I decided to meet them up there. It was no more than 5 minutes away from Lisa's sister's crib. I pulled up, paid my two dollars (yes, $2) and looked around the club. I didn't see my friends there, but I sat down anyway. I ordered a Michelob ($2) and preceded to find a girl to give my $3 (yes, $3 for a lap dance) to. As I looked around, I saw another one of my homeboys, Mike, in the corner getting a dance. I tipped my beer to him and he raised his plastic cup at me. I continued my search for the perfect stripper as Aaliyah's One In A Million came on. I loved the beat on that song, so I got the closest attractive stripper to me, and ponied up my cash. As her body gyrated to the Timberland beat, and she got a lot closer than strippers do now a days, I felt a tap on my shoulder...


I looked up and saw a tall woman with long black bushy hair. I recognized that face anywhere. It was Kasey. Kasey was a good friend of mine back in high school. She was even a better friend to Kareem and another one of my homeboys, Chavon. She dated both of them. I hadn't seen her probably since graduation, but I heard rumors that she had turned gay. It surprised the heck out of me seeing her in the strip club.

"Kasey? What you doing here?"

"Working. What are you doing?"

Then I noticed what she was wearing. A red bikini set. Well she was wearing for about 30 seconds. Then it was on the floor. Oh snap! Kasey is a stripper. I wasn't prepared for that one. She wasn't exactly the type that you would think of when you think of strippers. Now that I'm older, it does make more sense given her childhood, but all I was thinking was I went to high school with this girl. We were good friends for awhile there. She dated two of my homeboys. I don't wanna see her naked.

I tried to concentrate on the dancer in front of me, but Kasey kept making small talk. Asking me about this person or that person, all the while dancing naked for some other dude. It felt weird. Obviously, most of the strippers went to high school, but none of them went with me. It was the first time that I had experience with someone I knew. All I wanted to do was just enjoy my dance, but my mind was racing. When Aaliyah went off, I paid my dancer and Kasey came and sat down next to me. Great! Now, instead of just seeing her naked, she was sitting next to me naked. And talking to me naked. It was just so weird. This may not make sense to you, but I had very few platonic friends that stayed completely platonic, but she was one of them. I didn't want to see her like that. Plus, it felt like a violation of friendship since Kareem dated her. I tried my best to expedite her leaving.

"Hey, don't you have to go make that money?"

"Nah, I'm good. I can talk for awhile."

"I don't want you to get in no trouble. Just call me and we'll catch up."

"You still got the same number?"

"Yeah, it's the same. Go get your money!"

"You want me to dance for you?"


Okay, that's what I thought. I was really said this..

"That's a little weird, isn't it. I've known you since middle school."

She moved on and as soon as it was possible to leave without looking too conspicuous, I trotted to the door. As I exited the club, I wondered if I should tell Kareem that I saw his high school girlfriend butt booty naked shaking for dollars. I decided against it for the time being. I squeezed past the police officer that was working security and got in my car. As I was pulling off, I was nearly hit by a police paddy wagon. Then I saw 3 more cop cars coming in the same direction. I figured that the weekly Friday night shooting was in the area. It wasn't until I talked to Mike the following Monday that I found out what really happened.

The police raided Lady Lou's and took all the dancers and customers in. Luckily, only the owners got real charges, but I was so glad I left before it went down. Can you imagine me trying to explain that I was at an illegal strip club when I was supposed to have been home? That wouldn't have went over well with Lisa. They shut Lady Lou's down. It did reopen, but it didn't stay open very long before they got raided again. Luckily, I was nowhere near there that night. I'm glad Kasey was there that night to run me out of the club.

Monday, February 9, 2009

7 Days In Savannah: My Dance With Death

7 Days in Savannah is a recollection of my time growing up and being a young man in Savannah, GA. All stories are true and relayed to the best of my memory.

You ever have one of those days when you thought you were going to die? I have, and this is my story.

I was in 12th grade at Windsor Forest High School. The highlight of my day was 5th period chorus class. I had long since checked out of any other academic endeavors, since graduation was around the corner. I basically showed up to school, sat in class and wrote rhymes while the teachers droned on and on about stuff that I already knew, or didn't care about. Chorus class was different though. I was by no means a strong singer, but I could provide some tight harmony, and I could sight read music, so it was fun. Plus, we had numerous field trips that got me out of classes, so that was a plus.

The drawback to chorus is that we had to add choreography to our songs. Lets just be clear: Rashan does NOT dance. It's not so much that I don't like dancing as that I don't like looking silly. I have my own sense of rhythm, and the dances we were doing were borderline homosexual, so I didn't really feel that. Okay, lets just be even more honest. I can't dance. I am the living proof that the stereotype of all black people being able to dance is false.

On the day in question, we were learning a new lame dance to some new lame song we were singing. The dance called for couples. As a senior, a lot of the freshman girls in the chorus wanted to be my partner. It was like Flavor of Love in that piece, except I didn't get to pick. The chorus teacher chose based on height. I was paired with a similarly height challenged girl named LaShawn. She was a pretty dark skinned girl who was just the type of girl I would try to get at back in the day. Well, I would if I wasn't painfully shy. Even being 3 years older, I still didn't have the confidence to start a conversation with her. Anyway, the guys in the chorus cleared space by stacking all the chairs in the chorus room in the back, and Mrs. Reagan took her place at the front of the class to teach us the steps. I remember me and my partner were on the right side of the classroom.

Everything started off pretty cool. I got the first couple of steps with no problem, and the methodical way of teaching was working for me. Learn two steps, try them, learn two more steps, try them, then put them together. After about 15 minutes, we were ready to do a walk through of the entire song. Mrs. Reagan sat at the piano and played the intro of the song, I grabbed LaShawn's hand and got in postion. The dance started off with me standing behind her, wrapping my arms around her and holding her hands at her waist. Then something went horribly wrong...

It started off with a steady stream of sweat. It was warm, but the class was air conditioned, so there really should not have been that much perspiration. I backed off a little and grabbed a t shirt out of my bookbag to wipe off the sweat. In doing this, I missed most of the dance. We tried it again...

More sweat, only this time I was feeling dizzy. I tried my best to maintain my balance, and not sweat on LaShawn, but I failed. I had to sit down. Only my pride wouldn't let me tell anyone that I wasn't feeling well. When LaShawn asked me if I was okay, I told I was and I just needed a minute. I walked to the back of the class and tried to clear my head. Next thing I know I was having trouble breathing. It wasn't like I couldn't breathe at all, but shallow breaths weren't getting it. I looked like I just ran a 5k, the way I was inhaling so deeply. Funny, nobody really noticed anything, other than my sweating and they thought I just didn't want to do the dance. This wasn't the first time I had become frustrated learning steps.

I told LaShawn to excuse me for a minute and headed to the door to leave and get some water from the water fountain. That was the plan, but I quickly calculated that there was no way I was gonna make it down the hall on B-wing. I staggered over to Mrs. Reagan's desk and sat down, wondering just what in the world was wrong with me. I put my head down and thought about science class. What causes sweating, shortness of breath and dizzyness? Even back then I was a (unsuccessful) self diagnoser. Then my left arm started to go numb. I figured it out: I was having a myocardial infarction, or to those that don't remember health class: a heart attack.

How in the world could I have a heart attack at 17? I didn't smoke, I didn't have a family history of heart disease and I was relatively active as a kid. I mean, we were always playing football or basketball. I was a little overweight, but I was an active fat kid. Hell, I even used to ride the stationary bike all the time at home and do my sister's exercise tapes. There was no way that my heart could give out on me this young.

The voices around me all became distorted while the piano keys played an odd soundtrack to my death. I did manage to make out a couple coherent phrases...

"Rashan, are you okay? Do you need to go to the nurse?"

Somehow, I managed to answer.

"No, I'll be fine. I just need to sit down for a minute."

Then the distorted voices and piano keys came back. My life didn't flash before my eyes like they say it will, but my unfulfilled future did. I would never get to go to college, get married, have kids, overthrow the government, etc... I thought about how my mom and grandma would feel if I died right there in that chorus room, which made me feel even worse. All these thoughts went through my head as I sat there dripping puddles of sweat on the desk. Next thing I know, there were only 5 minutes left in the class. I stood up, bracing myself on the chair to make sure I didn't fall. And then a funny thing happened... I was fine. From the brink of death to no longer sweating, no more breathing hard, no more being dizzy. The numbness in my arm was probably a self fulfilling prophecy as a result of my overactive imagination. I told Mrs. Reagan that I was okay, and went right back to the dance like nothing ever happened.

A few days later, I told my mom what happened and she took me to the doctor. My heart was fine, although with the limited number of tests he performed, I don't know how he knew that. He said it was most likely an anxiety attack. I used to leave that part out when I would talk about this story. Black people don't get anxiety attacks! It made me feel week as a kid that I could actually get that white people disease. I might as well have mononucleousis. LOL. But yeah, that's what it was. The stress of dancing in front of people with a pretty girl and I punked out. Did I mention that I was a lame in high school? LOL

Thursday, February 5, 2009

7 Days In Savannah: Bolo

It was a hot summer day in Savannah. The type where all you wanna do is take 3 or 4 showers and drink a slushy. The kind of day when tensions rise along with the mercury, and you never know who will be the next victim. The kind of day that puts the temper in temperature. I could have very well become the next statistic on the crime sheets that day. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.

My homeboy Tori was working at the Golden Corral at the Oglethorpe Mall, and, I decided to go get the hook up and hang out with him. I generally avoid buffets at all costs, but being that I was cheap and a poor college student, I bit the bullet and chowed down. I have to admit, it was pretty good, especially for the price (free). Anyway, by the time I finished eating, Tori was getting off work, and I was gonna drop him off at home to change and then hit up Frozen Paradise later that night. As we were leaving, this guy he knew came up to us...

"Hey, can you drop me in Cloverdale?"

Cloverdale was nowhere near where we were going. We were Southside boys, and Cloverdale was completely in the other direction. But before I could say no, Tori interjected.

"Yeah, we got you!"

I was mildly annoyed, but honestly I didn't really care. Even back then I was always down to drive around aimlessly. Plus gas was like .89 cents, so it was really no big deal. I just didn't like being around people I didn't know. Only, I did kinda know this guy.

"Rashan, you remember Bolo, right?"

I did remember him. From summer school in the 10th grade. I somehow managed to fail Advanced English (probably because I never did any homework) and had to go to Beach High School for six weeks that summer. He was in my English class. That joint was mad remedial, but that was my punishment for slacking off all semester. I had to suffer dummies who couldn't put together a sentence to save their lives. I passed the time by writing rhymes and by the end of summer school, I had enough material to put out two or three albums. One of the few bright spots was meeting up with kids from other schools and utterly destroying them in a freestyle rap battle. I was the reigning freestyle champ of summer school. One day, me and Bolo met up. I still remember the wack rhyme he tried to get me with...

"I rap better than one, I rap better than all/I even rap better than aluminum foil..."

For real? That's what you thought was a hot line? I murdered him with the rhymes. It's funny that I can't remember what I said, but I will never forget his line. When it was over, he sulked and glanced menacingly towards me the rest of the summer.

"Yeah, I remember him.. What's up my man?"

"Chillin'. Thanks for the ride."

During the car ride home, Bolo was talking incessantly. He still had dreams of being a rapper, which I had long since abandoned in favor of a college education. He told us about his record deal with a local Savannah record label. That was funny to me, since he supposedly got a phat advance, but was working at Golden Corral and bumming rides from my broke tail. Then the talk turned to the streets. Thug this, gangster that, hoe this, b*tch that... I was done. I decided to call him on his crap...

"Son, you ain't no gangsta! Chill wit all that"

"Oh I'm not? Then what you think this is for?"

I looked back and he was holding a .38. My face immediately dropped. It didn't occur to me that he might shoot me with it. I was just thinking, what if the police see him?

"I'm a thug, my nigga! I shoot lames for fun."

Tori busted out laughing, while I wasn't quite in on the joke. Bolo continued...

"I'll shoot the next nigga that pulls up to the side of us. I don't give a f*ck. I'm crazy!!!"

"I believe you man. I was just messing with you. Go on and put that gat up."

"I'm saying.. you can't be calling me out. You wanna see what I'll do?"

"Nah, man I'm good. Now how bout you just put that up before five-0 sees you."

"Man, F*CK THE POLICE!! I'll blast them too. You Southside clowns don't know nothing about a thug."

"You right, man! My bad for doubting you..."

"You could be next. That's all I'm saying..."

I turned the music up louder and said just about nothing else for the rest of the ride. Tori was still laughing and Bolo was rapping along to whatever I was playing on the CD player. I glanced in the rear view occasionally to make sure I wasn't about to get shot, and finally arrived in Cloverdale. As he got out the car, Bolo says...

"Thanks for the ride man! Lemme give you a couple dollars for gas."

Huh? Did this dude that just threatened to shoot me just offer me gas money?

"Nah, Don't worry about it. Peace."

"Peace, my nigga!"

Tori and I rolled out back to the Southside.

"Yo, what is up with your boy?" I asked.

"I forgot to tell you, he's a little loco."

"A little? Did you see how he just flipped out on me? Is he bi polar or something?"

"I don't know. He's just a little unstable."

"For real, I'm not f*ckin' with no more of your people...ever!"

If only that was true. I wound up hanging out with all kinds of weirdos, psychos and derelicts in the coming years. And because you guys always ask me what happened to the people I write about. Last I heard, (which is over 10 years ago) Bolo caught an armed robbery case and got 8-10 years. I never did hear anything from his alleged record deal.

Monday, February 2, 2009

7 Days In Savannah: The Day I Discovered My Blackness

As a youth, I pretty much hung out with anyone: Black, white, Filipino, Jewish, Indian etc.. Race and/or religion didn't matter to me at all. My homies in New York were the personification of Martin Luther King's dream. Little black boys, little white girls. We were Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition... I think I have a picture to prove it... That's me in the burgundy Member's Only Jacket...

When I moved to Savannah, I pretty much did the same thing. I was in 6th grade and most of my friends were white. The same thing went for the first part of following year. Then something, or should I say, someone happened... we will call him P.

Me and P were really cool in 7th grade. We traded Garbage Pail Kids stickers together. We formed a pencil fighting league (I was the manager, he was the talent) and we talked about music all the time. I remember one day, I was listening to my Ready For The World tape, and he was listening to his Metallica tape. We compared music and both could get with Prince's "Sign o the Times" double album.

P was a pretty talented artist. Well, he wasn't Jackson Pollack or nothing, but what I mean is that he could draw. He was always doodling something or other. He would sketch cartoon characters or people and they always came out well. One day, we collaborated on a cartoon series. It was called the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The DRS was supposed to be a collection of comical criminals that got into misadventures. I know, it's corny, but I was a kid. We came up with the idea together, but when he showed me the first sketches, I knew something was amiss...

There was T-Bone, a black criminal that wore a thick gold chain, that he used as a weapon. Then there was June- Bug, a black criminal whose secret weapon was throwing roaches on people. Then there was Ice Pick, a black criminal who would pick his (buck) teeth with an ice pick and then stab people with it. Then there was... You get the point. As if it wasn't bad enough that all the criminals were black, they all had jive captions, like "yo, I be killin people" or "I be a murderer." I was like, hold up P, why all the criminals gotta be black?

P just didn't get what the big deal was. I was never the type to cry racism, but at that very moment, it hit me. Me and this white kid aren't the same. He views my people as only criminals, buffoon criminals at that that can't talk. Never mind that my grades were consistently higher than his, he still felt he was better than me. He was the worst kind of racist: the racist that didn't know he was racist. The kind that could point at me and say "some of my best friends are black."

From there, it all snowballed. I didn't mess with P no more. I couldn't in good conscience let that slide. I had discovered my blackness and there was no looking back. Add to that, watching "Eyes on the Prize" on PBS and reading "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and it was a wrap. I was black, and I knew and embraced it from that point on. It's funny how one day can change one's entire outlook on life. It was a relatively minor thing, but P's cartoon set me well on the way to be being the person I am today.

7 Days In Savannah: The Beach

7 Days in Savannah is a recollection of my time growing up and being a young man in Savannah, GA. All stories are true and relayed to the best of my memory.

So, I went to high school with this kid named Chuck. Chuck was, to say the least, a character. He was a tall, yet dumpy, white kid who was already losing his hair by senior year. He was a bit of an outcast. He liked black people, but they didn't like him back. He didn't have too many white friends, other than the other freaks and geeks. Chuck was that dude that had a trunkful of porn magazines, (mostly black women) and brought a prostitute (yes, an actual prostitute to the Senior prom.) His reasoning: At least he knew that he would be getting laid after the prom, even if he had to pay for it. Weirdness aside, Chuck was pretty harmless. Although he looked like the type to pull a Columbine, and definitely had an affinity for guns, he wasn't the type that would actually do it. I wouldn't say that Chuck and I were friends, but we had several classes together and were cordial.

One night before graduation, I ran into Chuck at the Tara Cinemas. It was the movie hangout for our high school, and is no longer there. I was with my homeboy, Ashley if I'm not mistaken. Chuck was with 3 black girls that went to a rival high school. I was intrigued. How did this clown hook up with 3 attractive sisters? (well, 2 of them were attractive, the other looked like a reject from Jurassic Park. LOL) In the course of our conversation, he invited me to hang out with them. For some strange reason, I said yes.

When the movie was over, I left with Chuck and the three girls whose names I can't remember to save my life. We'll call them girl one, girl two and girl three. He picked up another one of his associates, and we drove around for awhile. Small talk was made, but I couldn't seem to connect with any of the girls. We wound up at the Subway on the corner of DeRenne and White Bluff. They ate (I say they, because I didn't have any loot) and we talked about what we were going to get into. Really, there isn't much a motley crew of high schoolers could do. We usually went to football games, but it wasn't in season. Or we went to a movie, which we just came from. It's not like we could go to a club. Girl One (or was it two or three) came up with a fabulous suggestion.

"Let's go to the beach!"

Let me backtrack for a minute. I didn't have a car back then, and the beach seemed like it might as well been in Africa. I know now, that I can get there in less than the time it takes me to go to work, but back then??? That joint was far. Plus it was already 11:00 PM. I wasn't one for staying out all night. I didn't have an official curfew, but I knew not to come home at ridiculous times of the night.

"I don't know. I have to get home soon."

Girls 1-3 clowned me about this. Apparently, they didn't have curfews. Apparently, they could stay out all night. Apparently, I was a lame for respecting the rules. Apparently, I succumbed to peer pressure, because next thing I know, the six of us were heading to Tybee Island.

Here's where the story takes an even worse turn. Chuck decided that we needed something to drink, so he took his receding hairline to the liquor store and bought a couple of bottles of MD 20-20. In high school, I had not even sniffed any liquor, so I knew I wasn't going to partake, but Chuck, the driver did. Chuck was taking the bottle to the head as we drove down the dark highway. I was appalled. I tried to not say something, so the girls wouldn't clown me again, but I couldn't. Chuck was weaving in and out of his lane and speeding.

"Yo, Chuck! Slow down on that drink. I'm trying to get to the beach in one piece."

"I got this. I drink and drive all the time."

Girl One (or was it 2 0r 3) chimed in with her support of the drunken behavior too.

"Shut up, you big baby!"

I slumped back in the cramped seat, hoping that the two girls surrounding me would serve as seat belts, since Chuck's car lacked them in the back seat. I was sure that this would be the night that I would die. I even imagined it, like on an episode of Scrubs...

"On tonight's news, 6 teenagers were killed when there car drove off a bridge and into the marsh. They were then eaten by alligators. We now go to Trisha Takinowa who is on the scene."

I chuckled to myself for having a sense of humor about my impending death, and almost forgot that I was being chauffered by an alcoholic. That is until Chuck decided to up the stakes. Apparently, drinking and driving was not enough of an adrenaline rush for him, so he decided to turn off the headlights and turn up the Geto Boys!!! I was scared out of my mind. Passing cars flashed their highbeams, while Scarface, Willie D. and Bushwick Bill cursed us out though the speakers. I just about lost my mind. I can't say that I was much of a praying man, but I did that night. I prayed that the Lord would protect me from this fool and his foolery. And he did. We made it to the beach safely, although looking at how Chuck parked his car was a dead giveaway that he was drunk. We got out the car and headed to the beach for an evening of fun.

Except it was no fun for me. I was paranoid the whole time I was there. It was dark and I was with 4 strangers and a classmate who turned out to be psychotic. I didn't know if he would just up and leave me, or try to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at night. Turns out, he chose the latter. Dark as it was, Chuck decides that he would ignore the warning signs, and test out the waters. He took Girl One (or was it 2 or 3) with him. Me, his homeboy and the other two girls stood at the edge of the water as they went deeper and deeper into the current. Eventually, we couldn't even see them anymore.

At that point, I just threw up my hands and resigned myself to my fate. What's the worst that could happen. I have to call my mom and tell her that I got kidnapped. I've always been a good kid. She wouldn't punish me too much, would she? I felt peace for the first time since Chuck cracked that bottle of MD 20-20. Ten minutes later, Chuck and Girl One (or was it two or three) come sauntering up to the pavillion where we are sitting. They are soaking wet, and the girl is holding her bra and underwear in her hand. I guess Chuck had a good night, even if I didn't.

Luckily, by the time we drove home, Chuck had sobered up. The ride home was much less eventful than the drive there. I looked at the clock as we pulled up to my house and it was 2:45. I wasn't expecting to be out so late, so I didn't unlock the side door to the garage, which was my way of sneaking in and out of the house. I had to take the hit. I quietly unlocked the front door, and to my surprise, nobody was awake. They never even knew I didn't come home at a decent hour. Or if they knew, they never said anything. I went to the laundry room and changed my clothes, and laid down on the couch, and fell asleep. This was one heck of a night, and I didn't want to do it again anytime soon.

That Monday, I saw Chuck at school and he told me they were going out again on Friday. He said, I was more than welcome to tag along. My answer? Not no, but HELL NO!!!