Turn Off The Fucking Meter Please
by Michele Christopher

I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I couldn’t have been older than 18. Which means that it was too long ago for the coppers to bust me for it, so it’s all good.

I left the house with Mom’s car at about 6:00. Lit a joint two intersections from the house. I was pretty high by the time I got to Kirk’s house, halfway across my little town. He jumped in and we went for another joint or two, way the hell up this dirt road in the middle of nowhere. One of those places for smoking dope and dumping the body. Kirk pulled out a little pill bottle, filled with these little white tablets. Codeine phosphate. You know that shit in prescription cough medicine that dopes you up and knocks you out, the wimpy brother of morphine and heroin? Yeah, well he’s still pretty tough. We crushed one up and threw it in the pipe. carcrash1.jpg

At that point we figured it was a good idea to go pick up another friend, Tyrone. Kirk and I downed two more codeine each and off we went, back into town. Kirk fell on Tyrone’s front steps and cut his forehead open, so he had to go in the house and clean up while mumbling semi coherent bullshit to Tyrone’s hyper-inquisitive Mom.

“Kirk, have you been drinking?”

“No, I just lost my balance is all, that’s all.”

“Kirk, you can hardly stand up, now you’ve either been drinking or you need to go to the hospital.”

“I’m….. I’m just….”

“Kirk, what’s wrong? What’s wrong with you, what’s wrong?”


“Kirk, you’ve never spoken to me like that befor…”

“Jesus, I’m sorry, but I’m tired as hell and I just banged my head open and there’s nothing wrong and you’re just asking me too many questions while I’m cleaning blood off my face, I’m sorry, I’m real sorry.”

“Oh Kirk, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I just wanted to make sure you’re okay, I just wan…”

“It’s alright, you’re a great lady, can your son come out and play please?”

Back up the dirt road for more of the same. I kind of kept away from the codeine because I was still really messed up, but the hash was a bit of alright. Tyrone….. Tyrone started talking about acid. carcrash4.jpg Now, why would you stroll down one road, only to turn around and sprint the other way? I didn’t know either, but why the hell not.

The rain that had been coming down for the last hour or so was starting to turn to sleet, and the roads were getting kind of icy. Fuck that noise, I thought in my infinite wisdom, I’ll just slow down. We gotta get some acid, who cares if it takes while to get there.

Driving along LeMarchant Road, right by the hospital (you know the place), and the light in front of me goes yellow. The cab in front of me starts to slide a little but hits a dry spot and maintains easily enough. Comes to a nice stop right on the white line. Me? I was about five car lengths behind the guy, doing less than the limit, and slowly slid right the fuck into his back bumper. Smack. His two passengers, a young couple in love and on their way to nicer places than we, jerked forward and turned around in shock. Hell, I was in shock too. I turn around to the guys.
“Holy fuck you guys alright, that was fucked right up, holy sh…”


The car behind us slid on the same patch of ice and hit us exactly like we hit the cab. We jerked forward and turned around in shock.

Tyrone’s fucking ex-girlfriend. Small town. Or maybe she had been trailing him. I mean, he did leave her because she was a little crazy.
carcrash2.jpg I couldn’t tell if the look on her face was because she’d just ran into us or because she’d just been caught behind us. It was all too much for my fucked up and feeble mind.

“Tyrone, what the fuck is Shelly doing back there?”
“Dude I don’t know, seriously. What the fuck.”

Then the lights. The blue and red lights. Fucking cops. God damn.

Kirk stuffs a felony down his pants and we all get out of our cars to explain and argue and accuse and take breathalyzers. Breathalyzer? No problem, officer. NO problem. Shelly starts crying about the accident and tells Tyrone that she still loves him, and he tells her to fuck off and they go fight loudly about twenty feet away. The cabbie is telling me that I need to pay him for the accident in cash, and that it was my fault and that I can’t go to the insurance companies because it’s my fault and it’s his choice to get paid in cash. His passengers are standing politely off to the side, until after about 25 minutes the guy comes over. Politely at first, all hums and excuse me’s, then louder and louder until finally, “I said, could you turn off the fucking meter please???”

Cabbie had left the meter running and it was up to about forty five bucks. Asshole. He left me and started arguing with the other guy, saying that the accident wasn’t his fault and that the passenger was responsible for the fare. The cop told him that was bullshit and he shut the hell up. Finally.

After it’s all over, damage inspected and insurance information exchanged, the three of us get back in the car. No way am I interested in acid now. All I want to do is park the car, go to someone’s house and maybe relax a while with a little help from the bottle in Kirk’s pants. It’s unanimous. Doped up in a dark room for the next few hours. I’ll tell my Mom about this shit tomorrow morning. I say that out loud.

Kirk says, “Shit dude, your Mom. Didn’t you say you had to pick her up from work tonight?”

“Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me, that’s not until later though.”

“When does she get off work tonight, midnight?”

“No, ten.”

“Dude, it’s quarter after eleven.”


Dude. Did we go to high school, together? I think I hung out with the same, "If you can eat it, you can smoke it, too" crowd.


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