Well I’m going to wrap up these here Chronicles, as I think I’ve told most of the good stories that happened in the Dredge House. So to recap, you know it was a party house. Someone was always drunk, having sex (even surprise sex), getting drunk, getting ready to have sex, getting into a fight, or playing nintendo. A lot of our Fry Street Friends would come by after long nights of drinking and having sex on Fry Street and hang out for a while to drink and possibly have sex at my house. Old Guy was somehow always cool with it. He never complained. And our dirt driveway always had plenty of room for more cars.
So one time I brought a girl home with me. She was a lovely little thing, cute and petite. She looked a little young, but that didn’t really catch my attention too much, because I had seen her buy cigarettes. She was at least eighteen. She came over and we turned off all the lights in the living room. I sent Wil to my room because some other couple was sleeping in there, and I was stuck on the couch. TJ’s room was occupied as well. Well this young lady I brought home wanted to hear the Lost Boys soundtrack while we discussed magic and drank popsicle juice. So I put it on. It got through Cry Little Sister and she told me to play it again. So I set the CD player on repeat track, and away we went. Well I won’t bore you with the details of our expedient congregation. But it lasted a while. Seriously. When we got done with all the uh – whatever I called it up above – the index on the CD player said 23. It had played Cry Little Sister, an almost seven-minute song, 23 times. I was pretty sick of it. But I hadn’t wanted to stop long enough to turn off the repeat mode.
When I raised up off the couch, I clicked on the lamp. And there, sitting on the Other Couch, was Wil. Uh, hi Wil. “Jason kicked me out of your room dude. Sorry.” Yeah, that was a little awkward.
TJ’s brother, Steve, used to hang out with us all the time. He was younger than us by a couple of years. One time, backing out of the driveway, he said to stop so he could run into the house to get something. I let him out, then proceeded to back out to wait for him in the street. Well he had left his door open. And there was a tree on that side of the truck. And with the door open, I could not see the mirror on the passenger side, and therefore could not see the tree. My door hit the tree and folded completely backwards. Crunch. Exploding Truck Door. I tried to blame Stephen, but when it came down to it, I was the driver, and I was the idiot. Stephen drove off a cliff a few years later on his way home from work. I miss him well.
Stuart had a friend who thought it would be funny to lay some cocaine on my coffee table and let my dog see what it smelled like. Tyson, my Chihuahua. My seven-pound rat of a dog, who shakes and pisses all the time. He’s hyper like a tornado, never slowing. Yeah, that’s just what he needs is a little coke to settle him down. I’ve never done cocaine, so I don’t know what it smells, feels or tastes like. But I’m guessing it’s got a sweet flavor or something, because my dog sniffed up the line and licked his nose. This is all third-hand, you see. I wasn’t there at the time. It didn’t kill my dog, but it almost killed my roommate’s friend. I banged his head against the hardwood floor more times than Cry Little Sister had played that night I brought home the freshman. People finally pulled me off of him long after I had lost count. That event precipitated the fall of the Dredge House. I kicked Stuart out and told his friend that if he ever returned, he’d better bring flowers. You know, that I could put on his grave? I don’t think he got it. But he never showed up again. All is swell that ends swell.
The Dredge House also had the magical ability to transform people into – well, I don’t know what, I mean, I guess still people, but different. You know what I mean. Amy was a bowhead when I met her. I remember having a t-shirt that had a skull on it wearing a bow and it read ‘Better Dead Than Bowhead’. And I would always wear it around her, and she never reacted to it. She was an athlete in high school and a straight-A student. Goodie two-shoes, bubble-gumming bowhead.
Fast forward to two years after we started dating. The last year of our relationship was spent in and out of the Dredge House. When we broke up she was wearing black combat boots, fishnet stockings and a black dress with no underwear on. This had become regular for her. She had become like me. Well, save the underwear part. I always wore that. The reason we broke up was because she had cheated on me (not that I care about that so much, because like I said, I don’t think I ever didn’t cheat on her, but there were some details that made it a deal-breaker). The thing is, when I walked in and caught her in bed with this other person, I stripped down and got into bed with them. I said, “Hey, if this is what’s gonna happen, it’s gonna include me.” Well that worked for about three weeks. We actually made a habit of meeting at the Dredge House three or four days a week and spending several hours just uh… What was it? Something about popsicles? Yeah.
So the problem came in that she finally wanted to leave me for this other person. Well, that won’t work. “She can never love you like I will, Amy.” That’s what I said to her. Meh. After three weeks or so, I just said F it, you two bitches can have each other. And they did. And I have a shoebox full of black-and-white pictures of our little escapades. Joi worked in the yearbook staff back in high school, still had access, and developed pictures for me on a regular basis. Plus she gave me a camera and encouraged me to snap pictures of our popsicle events. Good times.
So Amy and I split up and went about our own ways. Not too long after that, TJ and I decided we shouldn’t really have to pay the bills, so we just let shit slide. He moved out and left me with all the bills. Everything. Plus rent. I had gotten fired from my job, so I had trouble paying anything. So I broke lease and said, “F this. I’m going military.” And I joined the Air Force. Land of the free housing and free food. I went into boot camp weighing 125 and came out weighing 145. I came out of the service four years later, weighing 165. Now I weigh 195. I’m beginning to see a trend here that might not be so desirable.
So those are the chronicles of the Dredge House. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed recalling and writing them. That was an enjoyable year of my life, and one I’ll not soon forget. Especially with all these black and white pictures, and a Big Red bottle full of popsicle wrappers. Growing up takes being a part of the world. And the best way to be a part of it is to stick yourself right in the middle of it, and damn near let it drown you. I jumped in with both feet and drank it up every chance I got. And I’m a damn good swimmer.