Published on June 25th, 2009 | by TLV News0
“What the Faulkner Presents: Adventures with Pinecone” by Charles Hale (From TLV #83)
A couple of weeks back, before it got too hot to step outside in the daylight, I was sitting around at my friend Chris’ house drinking water and playing Bejeweled Blitz on the computer. Not only was I battling a bit of a hangover I was also dwelling on the humiliation from the night before. I don’t remember all of what happened but Chris had already told me enough that I was seriously considering never showing my face in a particular bar on the corner ever again. Thalia was a girl I had a little thing for but was worried that any advances I made would ruin our valuable friendship, but after four shots of Rumplemintz and a couple of High Lifes I turned to her while she was talking and started making out with her. I didn’t know until then that it was possible for two people to make out when only one person was interested. Then she hit me in the face. I know this morning that I should have left at that moment, but I didn’t and I blame Rumple for that. Instead of leaving I swung around on my barstool and tried to make out with the guy sitting on the other side of me.
Needless to say I didn’t want to go anywhere near a bar anytime soon so when Chris suggested we go out to the new ball fields and throw the Frisbee with his dog I was down. His dog is a 65lb. brown lab that I didn’t think would run for nothing but she chased the Frisbee each time Chris and I threw it. Back and forth she would run and we never let her get anywhere near the Frisbee but that didn’t stop her from running for nearly an hour.
Chris and I were wrapping up our Frisbee game when I heard someone calling out my name. Some kids were playing soccer on a field over near us but I didn’t see anyone I knew until a kid started running toward us. It was Pinecone, the kid I had helped with his bike a few weeks before, and he was running straight for me. “Dude,” he said after catching his breath. “Why don’t you come watch my soccer game?” He had on some bright yellow shin guards and a t-shirt with the number three on the front. He grabbed my arm and started pulling before I could say anything.
“Slow down you little shit,” I said as he was pulling me toward a crowd of people, but Pinecone didn’t do anything but pull me into the ground. “Thanks for doing that Pinecone,” I said from the grass. The grass was cut real short but it looked like it had stained my shorts. Pinecone had yet to let go of my arm and the sweat from his hand was mixing with the sweat from my wrist and it was beginning to gross me out.
“You should not have tripped over your own feet. Are you drunk?” Pinecone asked as I slipped my arm away from his.
“What do you know about being drunk?” I asked and then stood up.
“That’s when grown-ups do stupid stuff and get nasty with each other.” I thought for a moment that Pinecone had been in the bar the night before and witnessed my personal debauchery but then he kept talking. “This one time my sister had a party. My parents were out of town and there was a bunch of people drinking and dancing all up on each other. Later I was hiding in my parent’s bedroom when two people came in and took all their clothes off. They got in the bed and started making noises. The guy kept saying ‘I’m so drunk I love you’ over and over again.”
I had forgotten about Pinecone having a sister until he said something and since I remembered that she had been away at college I figured there was a decent chance she wasn’t in the bar last night. I was suddenly more willing to follow Pinecone over to the soccer field. I got nervous when Pinecone’s mother came over and shook my hand.
“It’s nice to meet you,” she said but I was looking at the girl on the bleachers next to where she was sitting. I wondered if that was Pinecone’s sister and since she was looking away from me, I became really curious if she was hot. “Pinecone’s told me a lot about you. Said you helped him with his bike.”
“You call him Pinecone?” I asked still trying to catch a glimpse of the sister. Thalia and the previous night’s disaster were so far from my mind.
“Of course, everyone does,” his mother said before Pinecone interrupted her. “Mom he said he’d take me to lunch tomorrow. Can I go? Can I go? Charles said he’d be like my big brother.” I would have run right then. Run all the way to where Chris was playing with his dog and then run straight to the car, but Pinecone’s sister had turned around while he was talking and smiled at me. I’m not even sure if it was a smile at me but it seemed like it, it seemed like she held her gaze at me for several moments. So I agreed to take Pinecone to lunch the next day and hoped that his sister would answer the door when I knocked.
This is part 2. To read part 1, click here.
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #83 (published June 25).