Stolen Cars and Blood On The Moon
It was the end of Summer, almost Autumn. About five years ago. The nights were beginning to get colder, and one could not be outside after 9PM without a jacket. My best friend Ciara and I were dreadfully bored, sitting on the curb of a bar that was already closed for the night. Bummer. To drown our woes from not being able to legitimately drown our woes, we went and bought an apple pizza and returned to the dirty curb to eat it. Just two girls trying not to look like all the other riffraff hanging out on the street at 1:30 in the morning. That's what the apple pizza was for, so we could appear to be high class riffraff.
My sister was working an overnight job at the time, and I had the idea to pay her a visit. We were taking a chance on even seeing her: if she wasn't outside on a break, we wouldn't have been able to get a hold of her. This was before cell phones, mind you, and we had spent our last quarter on that high class apple pizza. But lo and behold! There she was, hanging around outside, looking bored. We snuck up on her and she was surprised to see us. After asking us what we were up to so late at night, we told her we were just really bored and had nothing to do. So she offered us her car. Oh, Krista. What were you thinking? We were two crazy girls full of apple pizza and fire! She told us to be careful and stay in town, and only drive around for a little bit because she didn't have much gas left. These motherly admonishments fell on deaf ears. When it comes to Katherine and Ciara, 'be careful' does not compute.
We decided right away that we wanted to drive somewhere far. Ciara was a newbie licence holder, and I didn't have mine (I still don't!). We decided to drive about 80km away to a beach. In the middle of the night. A night that was really cold.
We began the drive a bit nervously. The roads that would take us there were winding, with many blind corners and mack truck drivers who used the cover of darkness to drive their heavy loads from one place to the next. The going was slow at first, but then Ciara began to get more confident. We rolled down the windows and turned up the radio as loud as it would go. We felt free. Just the two of us, driving a little too fast without another soul in sight.
And then I asked if I could drive.
I think I saw a twinge of something in Ciara's eye as she pulled over to the side of the road. Was it a gleam of excitement? Fear? Whatever it was she must have been feeling lucky as she gave up the coveted drivers seat willingly enough. We discussed briefly what we would say if we were pulled over by the cops, but it was unlikely: it really did seem like we were the only people around for miles. There were forests on one side of us, and fields on the other, where would a cop be hiding out in the middle of nowhere?
I began to drive slowly. The cold wind and the good music was making me feel invincible, and I too, soon gained some confidence. We were not being stupid, we were driving the speed limit (well, maybe a few km over), and we were making sure to help each other out. It was my fist time driving and it felt good. I have always been too scared to get my licence because of a car accident when I was twelve, but in the middle of that night, alone on a winding road, it felt fabulous.
"OMFG A MACK TRUCK IS COMING RIGHT FOR US!". I was losing my shit. We were on a two lane road, winding higher and higher in altitude and at this point there is a very steep drop off on our side of the road. Oh god. WhatdoIdowhatdoIdo?!! Ciara very calmly (good for you love bucket) advised me to remain calm, hold the wheel steady, and look straight ahead. And you know what? It worked! We were not squished on the road nor did we blow up careening down the side of that cliff. I was elated. We WERE invincible!
We continued the drive, taking turns, no longer bored. At one point, coming around a particularly wind-y curve, high up so that our view was uninhibited by trees and rock, we came upon a gigantic blood red moon. Uh oh. That's a goocher. Blood on the moon symbolizes danger. All of a sudden I wasn't so confident. Ciara noticed it as well, and the mood shifted to one of contemplation. How horrible would it be for an innocent, sort of stolen car adventure to end tragically? It's funny how your 25-year-old mind works. If we had been 18, we would have been reckless. Nary a thought about death and danger would have passed through our minds. We would have thought we were immortal. But now we were aware of our mortality, and there was no way in hell we were dying on some back road in the middle of the night. No way. So, we slowed it down a bit. Turned the music down. But we continued on.
We made it to the beach at around 2:45 that morning. It was pitch black and the waves were crashing on the shore. The water was as black as the night sky, and it was hard to determine where the water began and the sand ended. We had no flashlights, just our hands to guide each other. It was surreal: it was as if sight and sound had become something else completely. The dark was so dark it was pitch, and the only sound you could hear were the waves. We quickly became numb from the cold. But there we stood, holding hands, thinking about how small we really were on this wonderful planet. We did not stay long. We saw what we came for, and felt more than we thought we would. It was time to go home.
The drive back was uneventful: we were tired. Hot cups of tea and warm beds called to us. Autumn was in the air, and the smell of burnt leaves calmed our souls. We were home by 4AM, just in time for my sister to drive us all home.
Safe in our beds, we giggled about our little adventure. Just as we were about to fall into a deep sleep, my eyes shot open in horrified amusement...
Oh crap. We forgot to fill the gas tank.