Driving through a construction zone

One of my friends was going to deliver a pizza, and the other thought she was stupid for doing so. I don’t think I cared either way.

I was hanging out with two of my friends, who we will call Candy and Selena. I chose the name ‘Candy’ because her real name is already a stripper name, so you can now safely fill in whatever blanks you need to about her personality and upbringing. I chose the fake name ‘Selena’ because it’s one of those exotic-sounding names that immediately invoke to the imagination a type of girl with the beauty and the draw of men’s attention that she did indeed have.

(I would end up dating Candy for a while several months after this, and Selena had a thing for me back in the day… see, this is the kind of stuff that has caused me to believe “the friend zone” doesn’t actually exist. You’re not in some zone — she just doesn’t want to fuck you.)

Selena gets a call from a friend of hers who wants her to bring them some pizza. It’s a group of guys she knows, who Candy and I know are kinda jerks. There is just no reason for her to go out of her way to order and deliver a pizza for these idiots, but she’s gonna do it anyway.

She always does this.

Selena is VERY hot, but somehow still profoundly insecure, especially about her looks. To say she had a fucked up childhood would be an understatement:

(√) Absentee father
(√) Overbearing mother
(√) Quite a few rotating father figures throughout her teenage years
(√) Immigrated from another country to the US when she was about eight years old
(√) In constant competition with her twin sister Penelope, who I dated a couple years after this… yeah I had a weird friends circle

It’s a wonder she didn’t get the stripper name.

But psychoanalysis isn’t my job, and at 18 years old, I didn’t really care to try and change people away from who they are.

When it came to the ins-and-outs of adult relationships, I was not only miles ahead of my peers, but even the adults themselves. You always assume adults have some secret sauce knowledge you’ll eventually attain, but then you get there and you realize everyone is winging it just like you are. Basically, I realized that most people are idiots, regardless of their age. (Not that I was some perfect boyfriend or anything; I could just clearly see other people’s problems and identify the specific issues causing long-term marriage rifts, and how to fix them.)

This proved to be incredibly frustrating for me, as my mother and step-father could not have had a more fucked-up relationship. I would see their marriage problems plain-as-day, and my efforts to explain what’s going wrong and/or how to fix it fell on deaf ears. Basically “What do you know about love, you’re just a teenager?” (And in the back of my mind, I think part of me assumed that I really was clueless, full of youthful hubris. But now when I look back? The two of them are divorced, and he threatened to kill our entire family. So yeah, I think I was right.)

Instead of continuing to try and repair my broken family, I left three weeks after I turned 18. I moved in with my grandmother for several months until I could get enough money and momentum to stand on, and then I got my own place, free from anyone else’s issues.

So you can imagine how desperate I was in life to jump around and attempt to fix other people’s stupid problems.

Selena “They want me to bring them pizza.”

Candy “No! They’re jerks!”

Selena “It’s okay! I don’t mind…”

Candy “If they want pizza, why don’t they just go and get it themselves?”

Selena “[Blah blah blah excuses blah blah my CDs are in his truck yada yada yada]”

Candy “They can just get delivery!”

Selena “They said that costs extra.”

Selena is a great friend, and she accompanied me on a lot of my random road trips with friends. So I wish I could say she’s better than this.

But she really isn’t. If you’ve read my story where I thought my friend had been murdered, THAT’S THE SAME SELENA. She ended up dating a guy who was such a shithole that I didn’t put it past him to kill her. They stayed in their abusive relationship for something like seven years, had a couple kids…

When it came to guys who mistreated her, made fun of her, and bossed her around, she would just take it. And keep coming back.

I didn’t care — at least not in the sense of ordinary friendship. Selena was my friend, so I told her, “Yeah, Candy is right, you shouldn’t let them make you get pizza for them,” but I wasn’t going to sweat over it when she inevitably wouldn’t listen to me. If I got all bent out of shape when someone I knew didn’t take my sagely wisdom, I’d have fucking scoliosis. I just couldn’t emotionally invest in anyone else’s problems, especially when they were refusing to fix them, or even recognize their existence.

Selena wanted to bring them pizza, so that’s what happened.

Later that evening, maybe around 10 or 11 PM, Selena needed me and Candy to pick her up from the house she delivered the pizza to. I don’t remember why, or what the exact logistical circumstances were — the notes I wrote down for this story in 2007 aren’t exactly a Dan Brown novel of clues. But we needed to go pick her up.

Candy and I drove over toward the neighborhood Selena was at. But we couldn’t fucking find it.

We had to call them at least twice in the span of 20 minutes. There was some kind of detour we were supposed to take. It was late at night, so I wanted to just drive through where the detour told me not to go.

Candy “No, Adam… don’t drive through the construction zone… please…”

FINE.

We take the detour, against my natural instincts, but it doesn’t lead anywhere. Go this way! Now go this way! Just kidding, this road goes nowhere!

I was beyond aggravated.

Time to take a detour around the detour.

Me “Alright Candy, we’re doing this my way now. Don’t panic.”

Candy “No!”

She pleaded for me to see reason. I’m NOT being unreasonable; it’s society that doesn’t see reason!

I pull up to the entrance to the construction area, and I see that the roadblocks in place leave just enough space to fit my car through. They shouldn’t be so nice to me.

And the road wasn’t even that dangerous.

Okay, it was a little dangerous. Various traffic cones I had to avoid, some holes and loose dirt, soccer-ball-sized gravel chunks scattered throughout the road… nothing I couldn’t handle.

We got about 3/4 of the way to the other side, when I noticed in my rearview merror that another car just turned onto the same illegal road I was taking. How in the hell did I forget to cop-check before doing this??

I don’t know the legal fine for going through construction sites, but those “Minimum Fee $80” speeding signs I see posted by highway construction worker zones didn’t give me much hope.

(If it was really police, would they have turned on their lights? Yes. Did I think of that at the time? No.)

No turning back now.

I floored it.

I think Candy was screaming in terror about something, but it wasn’t especially relevant. I’m pretty sure all of my friends knew to buckle up when getting in a car I’m driving.

Reached the edge of the construction site, where the road was going to turn back into legal streets meant to be driven on. There wasn’t a space between the blockers this time, so I had to drive halfway into the ditch in order to get around it.

Turned a corner VERY sharply once I got on paved street. I don’t remember the direction of Selena’s pizzafriends neighborhood, but I don’t think I was going that direction anymore.

Once I got around the corner, I really floored it. I know I got up to about 90 miles per hour. The actual speed limit was 35 at most.

Hit the brakes and turned another corner like an action movie stunt driver.

Found myself in some kind of culdesac.

Pulled into some random driveway, killed the lights and radio, and shut the engine off completely.

My adrenaline was pumping. I’m sitting in front of some house, which could have people inside who may come out to investigate the random car in their driveway and give away my position, I’d just driven way too fast for any road in the state… but it wasn’t even all that. It was the prospect of that $100 fine or whatever. THAT’S what had my blood pumping. I just really hate tickets.

I had about zero seconds to come up with a plan, so I did the best I could.

Candy “They’re going to know it’s us!”

Me “There’s no way the cop got a good look at my car. It’s dark.”

And it was like 200+ yards behind me.

Me “If the cop sees us sitting in this driveway, there’s no way they’ll know we were the ones driving through that construction zone.”

Candy “[Hysterics]”

Me “Just pretend we were making out. That’ll explain why we’ve been sitting in this driveway for so long.”

The police vehicle eventually turns around the corner that we did, and goes straight into an already open garage door. Then shuts off. Then the garage door closes. What the fuck?

I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. We needed to get out of there. Waited about a minute or so and didn’t see any activity. I pull out of “my” driveway and calmly drive away. Still nothing.

We never even went to the house Selena was at. I just wanted to get out of the area as soon as possible, and I was kinda done with figuring out where to go and failing.

The worst part: I was still so lost as far as where we were… you’ll never guess where I had to drive back through to get back home.