The duct tape crackles as I wrap it around the pillows that rest against my stomach.
“I can’t believe I can do this without help,” I mumble, “I rock.”
Cleaver tips his head at me, a skeptical shadow concealed behind his smoky eyes. But I can barely see him beneath the football helmet.
“I know you might not understand this,” I try to explain, “but on ssome level… everyone wonders why it’s so dangerous to drive drunk.” I continue nodding as I speak, “it’s not suicidal. It’s not even bad judgment! I’m going to drive at limited speeds, on level ground, in a safe car! I’m sure police cars have great crash test ratings. This is just an experiment. An illogical one, perhapss. But iss it more or less safe than if I were to operate a roller coaster on my own?” Cleaver’s not convinced. I point back and forth between us, “That’ssnot for you or me to decide. Besides, it’s not like I’m going to hurt anyone.”
This last I finish with a chuckle. I reach for the digital breathalyzer on the sidewalk but the pillows are so tightly wrapped around my body that I can’t reach it and end up twisting until I’m lying on my back on the ground. I rest there for a moment, looking up at the crystal blue sky.
“I felt no pain,” I mutter triumphantly. “Successssful test!”
I begin rocking back and forth on the pavement, and the roller blade knee pads begin rhythmically knocking together.
“I bet I could survive an attack from those…dogs right now,” I mumble, refraining from the curse. Besides, I can’t be certain that the Rottweiler or any of its friends are female.
“But she PMS’s like one!”
I burst into laughter at my own bad joke, fairly characteristic of my typical drunken behavior. Once on my feet again I steady myself. My stomach is still rolling from the movement.
“Oh,” I say, holding my hands straight out from my body to keep the street from spinning. Forgetting about the breathalyzer I stagger into the front seat of the police car, and just for the Hell of it I push the siren.
“Get out of the way!” I shout at no one, setting out at a blistering speed of 25 MPH. I realize this might be a dangerous experiment. After correcting four or five times in about half a block I slow to 20 MPH. After several extremely concentrated and uneventful minutes I realize that I’ve left Cleaver back on the other side of town.
Assessing the risk of trying reverse in this condition I instead decide to U-turn across four lanes. Though I accomplish this successfully, I see the dark coat of the Rottweiler dart behind an espresso stand. Revving the engine I scream away from the street and up a hill where Cleaver is undoubtedly waiting. Cresting over said hill, I see that he is in fact waiting, right in my path. Unthinking, obviously, I wrench the steering wheel away from him, the tires cry and I hop a curb. For a brief moment I’m airborne. Instead of my life flashing before my eyes I see the smile of the resident fast food icon as I crash through a plastic Enter sign and come to a screeching halt inside the parking lot. When my ears stop ringing I can hear Cleaver barking behind the car and the passing air of my own heaving wheezes.
Before I can even jump out to see if he’s all right, Cleaver jumps up to the passenger window and when I let him in he starts leaving sticky slobber all over my salty cheeks.
“I’m so glad you’re alive…” I wince.
I step out and pull off the pillows and duct tape. Hairs along my arms choose not to stay with me and I wipe sweat and slobber off my face. The sun is setting, and I now know not to stay out after dark. The strength of my sight is returning and the buzz is being replaced with the stab of a headache. I take several deep breaths and survey the minimal damage. Some scrapes and broken glass, mostly broken plastic; I’ve decimated the sign. The police car can take it.
As we begin back across town towards the mansion, the front bumper dragging lamely along the ground, I see a facility in front of us that is shrouded from sight in the afternoon’s glare. When I realize what I’ve stumbled upon I slam on the brakes, causing a ripple of white pain to stream up my right ankle. The screech of the tires precedes the smoke and smell of burning rubber. I stare in awe, mouth agape, at the facility in front of me.
CITY OF DANTON
Industrial, Hazardous, and Data
MILITARY WEAPONS STORAGE