Remember the time I was at McDonald’s and I said hey to the girl who glared at me hard and vanished into her flock?—all the girls looked pretty much the same and I forgot which one I had said that to. They were all giggling and sneering and looking over their shoulders at me and giggling and sneering and I was like: What’s with all this grief? Andrew and Samantha sat out in Andrew’s truck. I don’t know why I was in McDonald’s and they were out there, but I don’t really care, it doesn’t matter that much in the long run, anyway. I was drunk and slouched in a booth and Andrew and Samantha had a pretty good view of me through the window from the parking lot. I might have been in a bad mood, but I don’t know. Was I just drunk, or was I angry too? Had Samantha and I gotten into one of those drunken fights again? Who knows? The girls broke rank and they headed for the door, and I spotted the girl I had greeted drunkenly and she sneered at me and her friends averted their eyes. So I was like: Hey, what the fuck! I know it was immature, but still, I was like: You bitch! She snarled at me and some boy burst around the corner and started shouting. I was slouched in the booth. He shouted and waved an angry finger at me. I sat up and was like: What the fuck! He said: Don’t talk to my girl like that? I said: What the fuck! I said nothing to her. She had an attitude. He spat: You asshole! Then came the cavalry. His friends. More boys. I sat there drunk and disturbed and I was sitting up now and I was like: The fuck! He went to swing an arm at me and I was like: Yo. I didn’t move but still his fist didn’t connect with my face. Someone I recognized—he was my sister’s boyfriend or ex-boyfriend or just a friend or something—he caught his friend’s arm and I sat there and was like: Hey! This guy was shouting at me, all charged up and ready for battle, and I just sat there shitfaced and ready to pass out. You know how it is. Then in through the door came Andrew, with his usual drunken, devil-may-care grin. The boy I was facing was being held back by five or six of his comrades; he seemed to really wanna fight me but his crew was holding him back. He was pushing and they were pulling. I sat there and stared at him, shrugging, chuckling, sneering, snarling, and finally glancing over to see Andrew storm in. Andrew was big—I mean muscularly built. He was shorter than me, but his frame was wide and his arms bulged out from beneath his shirt. He was like: Jeremy! And I was like: Hey! He said: What the fuck are you doing? Everyone looked at him, including the Pit Bull who was being held back by all his friends. This guy, I said, is being a dick. Andrew was like: Dude let’s get out of here. The Pit Bull snarled at Andrew and Andrew’s smile deflected his grin. The boy jerked his head back with a start. Andrew burst through the mob like pushing open a swinging double-door, grabbed me by my shoulder, heaved me to my feet, and I slapped the boys away from me like fending off a fly. We marched through the mob and Andrew climbed into the driver’s seat of his truck and I sat shotgun and Samantha sat bitch, and we saw the Pit Bull and his girlfriend climb into a car, with my sister’s boyfriend or ex-boyfriend or just a friend or something seated behind the wheel and some other boy sitting shotgun. Samantha was like: That was so pathetic! It was clear he didn’t want to fight you. He just wanted to look tough in front of his girlfriend. Make it seem like he wanted to fight, while his friends held him back. I said: Yeah, I know. Even though I didn’t know anything. I was much too drunk to have noticed something like that. I would have gone to clock the kid in the face, but my fist would have soared right past him and I would have fallen on my head. But, Samantha said, I sent Andrew in just in case. The car full of boys and one girl pulled out and I shouted: Follow them! Andrew knocked the truck into reverse, then drive, and we rumbled out of the lot. We followed the car all around Newton, and I banged my hand on the roof of the truck. I waved a steel baseball bat out the window. We didn’t want to fight, we were just solely fucking with them, and we followed them all over Newton: they turned, we followed suit. We didn’t know where we were at times; Newton is a fairly big city.
Then, before we knew it, the houses to my left and right looked rather familiar, and the car cut right into a driveway …
and I was home\\\