Note the time. A week and a day after Easter Sunday.  I was twenty-two years old, young and dumb behind the wheel of my mother’s Chrysler LeBaron convertible, doing 93 somewhere west of Kit Carson, California.  In my best Wyatt Earp impression I wore the Calvert badge in mock tribute. 

 Helen sat shotgun with Marty and Monty in back.  Tito the Mannequin sat bitch. 

‘C’MON, Jackson.  Can’t we go any faster?’  The top was down and Monty had to shout over the wind.

‘I’m FLOORIN’ IT.  NOT MUCH ELSE I CAN DO.’  I was wired.  I had abducted 20 megs of Ritalin from Helen’s 12-year-old cousin in Tahoe. 

‘We’re not going to make it,’ Helen said. ‘CAN WE JUST FORGET THE GAME AND DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT?’

‘We’ll make it.’

‘We won’t.’

‘We’ll make it.’

I knew we wouldn’t make it in time.  Give me a rebuilt engine and lose the California Highway Patroller who paced us five miles before and we would have stood a chance.  Otherwise, 25 miles in 12 minutes was impossible.

We were headed westbound, balls-out through the El Dorado Alpine Wilderness.  We’d spent the weekend with Helen’s family at Tahoe, where we acquired a trove of leftover Easter candy.  I’d consumed forty bite-sized chocolate eggs in the past hour.  The road from Tahoe was a series of hairpin turns and we’d just begun to reach the foothills and straight-aways.


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