In choir he used to sing all of the songs in the voice of Bob Dylan. Only I didn’t know who Bob Dylan was, then, so I just thought he was doing a funny voice. Before choir we used to get really high, Steph and Buckshot and this guy I dated for about ten seconds and me. So, then, when he was singing all the songs like Bob Dylan, it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard.
I never understood the nickname Buckshot, but there was a thing we all called “Buckshot’s Disease”, which was a hacking kind of cough you’d get from smoking too much weed.
One night we all said we’d give him $50 to drink 6 month old bong water. He drank it, said it tasted like really strong coffee, and we gave him $6 and told him it was fifty.
He drove a Chevy impala and we were always digging up change for gas, driving that thing out in the country, parking and having sex next to old barns or these tiny little houses all over the ice. I asked him about those houses. It was crazy that people would live out in a tiny house on the ice. I couldn’t see how they’d even lay down at night. Buckshot kissed me and told me those were ice shanties. Those weren’t for living, they were for fishing. That was even more confusing to me, sitting there in red panties and a leather jacket in the back seat of the impala, wondering why people needed a house to go fishing.
He had a job at the local pizza place, Paul Revere’s pizza. I would just sit at the pizza place and wait for his shift to end so we could drive out to his buddy’s house and buy some weed.
I wasn’t allowed to go in his buddy’s house after the first time, because the first time I’d taken off all my clothes. He was really patient with me about how often I was taking off all my clothes. He’d tell me, “Sit here, in the car. And don’t take off your clothes.” But, then I’d sit there and drink or smoke and it just made more sense to take my clothes off. He never yelled at me about it, though. He’d find me wandering around, naked, and he’d throw me over his shoulder and put me back in the car.
Buckshot and I used to talk about our future like it was a sure thing. We were going to live in the car. I didn’t like the idea at first, but he made it sound pretty, and he promised he was going to build me a closet in his trunk, and fill it up with all sorts of clothes. We were going to have one kid, and we were going to smoke weed with our kid when he was 14.
Buckshot said he’d take our son out on the boat, and he’d pull out a bowl and he’d pack it and smoke it with our son. And that way, if our son ever had any weed, he’d share it with us, too. I loved the idea so much that for the rest of my teen-hood I told everyone I met that I was going to do that.
He came over to my house right after my mother married my step-dad. There was a reception in a church basement, then I got stoned with some cousins and went back to my house and called him. I thought my mother and step-dad were going to be away for a while, so we got high and naked in my bedroom. When I heard them pull up in the driveway, I threw some clothes on and ran to the kitchen to wash dishes.
You know in cartoons when you see someone trying to act not-guilty and they’re whistling and going out of their way to pull a nothing-to-see-here? Well, that was me. They stopped long enough to look at me, then Bill went back to my room. I heard him say “I think you should be going.”
Later, Buckshot told me that he’d gotten dressed but forgot to put his boxers on, then hid in my closet. When Bill opened the closet door, Buckshot was standing there holding his boxers and wondering if he was about to get his ass kicked.
A few days later I told Bill that I was going to marry Buckshot. I told him we had it all planned out and I just wanted to have his blessing. I said this with a certainly only a teenager could have. He looked at me and said “Well, best of luck to you.”, and I thought he was as serious as I was.
The night I ran away from home, I hitchhiked into town wearing shorts and a t-shirt in a snow storm. I called Buckshot, who called Wigger Bill, and they picked me up and drove me out to some house half-way to Madison, WI. The snow storm got pretty bad, and it took us three hours to get there, and I kept telling Buckshot that I’d never see him again.
When he dropped me off, he gave this guy a bag of weed, and he said “That’s my girl in there. Don’t do anything stupid, and don’t let her smoke any of this.” But, of course, we smoked it. And of course, we did plenty of stupid things.
Four years later, when I came back to that small town with my baby, I looked him up. I was engaged to Mitch, I told him over the phone, and we were going to live in Whitewater, I told him over the phone, and what ever happened to you?, I asked him over the phone, talking the way I’d seen grown ups in movies talk to people they reconnected with.
He and his sister were living in a trailer in Janesville. He was working, I think at a factory, and no, he didn’t still have the Impala. But, what about my closet? What about us living there? He put on a big act about being heart broken, saying I was supposed to have married him.
According to Facebook, he’s married now. Looks like he has a kid, too. He looks the same as he did when we were in high school, and I wonder if anyone still calls him Buckshot. I don’t know why I need to hear from him, or why it matters to me that he remember anything we used to do.
I guess it’s that I was mostly unhappy, both in a typical angsty teenager way, and in a more specific rough-past way. I guess when I think about any of the friendships or boyfreindships I had growing up, they were all wrought with melodrama, fights, me overdosing, them having to chase me down and stop me from doing crazy shit. So, he stands out, because he was the one person I never had any of that with.
He rolled with it in an easy way, and we never fought, and he never made a big deal out of the shit I did that was stupid. So, I suppose, to date, Buckshot has been the only guy who really had what it took to handle me, because he never made me feel like I needed to be handled.