god – 16 years) had been drinking heavily, beer, and I was such an innocent that I thought the taste on his lips and tongue was apple wine. How is it that I, stupid where many other girls would have been cautious, managed to make it out of that experience unscathed? Liz and I took so many chances, and we were always okay. For crying out loud, on a lark one night, when Liz wouldn’t stop playing Van Halen or something, I got out of the car and walked off down a one-way side street she couldn’t drive down. I walked through the scariest fucking part of Lewiston, through the neighborhoods which were the wrong side of the wrong side of the tracks, with nary a qualm. At one o’clock in the morning. The worst fucking part of town, and there I was, wandering along. Liz was losing her mind because she couldn’t find me, and there I was smiling at every scary drug-dealer/ crack whore/ pimp I saw, asking sweetly what time it was. The one and only time we got the shit scared out of us, we were sitting at a red light, and some guys in a big, loud car pulled up next to us. They revved their engine impatiently, and I yelled at the top of my very loud lungs “Oh, I’m impressed!” When the light turned green, they followed us. “They’re following us,” I told Liz. “Go through The Area,” she directed, which is what we called our regular cruising route through the worst part of Lewiston. I did so, and they continued following us. When I turned left onto a small side street, they pulled around us, gunning their engine, pulled in front of us, and slammed on their brakes. Not impressed, I stopped my car and rolled my eyes. Three guys – big guys – jumped out of the car in front of us. Two of them were carrying bats. The third grabbed his crotch. While Liz sat frozen in terror in the passenger’s seat, I acted faster than I’d ever have believed possible. I slammed the gearshift into reverse, and floored it. We flew backwards at something like 40 miles per hour. The guys, satisfied to have scared us, took off in the other direction. I drove to the 7-11 parking lot, where Liz and I quietly freaked out. Did that stop us from cruising The Area? Nope; in fact, I’m pretty sure we did a few more circuits of The Area that night. Up Lisbon Street, right onto Pine, left onto Knox, right onto Ash, left onto Bates, to Main, where we went down Canal and then did it all over again. And over and over and over. Did it at least stop me from yelling obnoxiously at strangers? No. We were driving down Lisbon Street one night, and I saw a bunch of guys walking down the street towards the strip bars. “Woohoo!” I yelled. As a group, they turned and looked at me. “Hey, lady!” one of them yelled. Stumped for a reply, I came up with “Hey, man!” Liz laughed until she snorted about that one. I can’t deny that I look back on those days with a certain fondness. I also look on them with incredulity and a sort of horror. We were so stupid, so sure in our belief that nothing bad could really touch us, that we were infallible. Our naivete astounds me. How often, I wonder, did we come close to making a fatal mistake in our stupidity? We tempted Fate so damn often. The time we picked up two guys and went parking in the parking lot of a church. I exchanged a few kisses with the guy in the front seat with me, while Liz did something that entailed heavy breathing and occasional moaning. How hard would it have been for one of them to pull out a knife or a gun? To strangle one and then the other of us? There was no one around and no one knew where we were. Or the time we met two guys in the mall, and went back to their dorm room at the Lewiston Vocational College. We each sat on a bed and watched TV. When we got up to leave because of my curfew, they were pretty insistent that we stay. We finally just left. It was the summer session, and there weren’t many people around. How difficult would it have been for them to force us to stay? The list just goes on and on. There are so many people in this world who aren’t tempting Fate, who are jogging around a lake, or walking to a mall, or walking down their street, or sleeping in their own beds, and they are brutally raped or murdered or both. Why is that? Why is it that two dumbass kids like Liz and I can waltz around, doing something dumb here, something incredibly stupid there, and never have something like that happen to us? With all the chances we took, how is that? Is what I’ve always told myself I believed, life is a crapshoot, is that true?]]>