Man, where to begin.. Looking back on my 29 years on this earth I have been privileged to life quite an exciting life. So many insane memories, and trust me there are both good and bad. This is the beginning of the trip down memory lane. This is not in chronological order, but it is a series of events that have happened in my life that has really shaped who I have become today.
I decided to start with a story that takes place during the summer of 2006 in the city of Tehachapi, California. That summer I decided to leave my job at the Vans Skatepark, a place that I loved but looking back was really talked into leaving by my girlfriend at the time. My time at Vans was so special to me because I worked their from the age of 18 to 22 and that is an important time in a persons life. It is the point where you start to grow up, and shift into the personality you will carry with you for a long time. Leaving Vans was a decision I regret to this day, and I am sure my life path would be completely different if I stayed.
So I didn’t leave Vans without a short term plan, and that at the time was working as a skateboard instructor at a action sports summer camp. This place was amazing, and as someone who spent my time skateboarding it was one big playground. The pay was horrible, one hundred dollars a week, but the camp did cover 3 meals on site and a place to sleep. Mind you the meal on site was camp food so my stomach could only take so much of it. But the key was the sleeping situation, and week to week we held our collective breathes.
There were two options when it came to this: you either got to stay in a hotel a half mile away where you could find a gathering that involved smoking pot and drinking all night, or you were forced to supervise the campers in a cabin and had to be in bed by 10:30. The latter was not the worst thing that could happen, but at the time I was not thrilled with having to make sure a bunch of 12-16 year olds stayed in line. You see the camp also had a gymnastics camp so hotel time involved their coaches who were female. I only spent 7 weeks working there during the summer and would go for no more than 2 weeks at a time. In the end I only spent two weeks in the hotel.
It was a three and a half hour drive each way, so thankfully a friend *Ryan* decided to join me in working at the camp. Every drive from Orange County to Tehachapi would be an adventure, as at the beginning of summer I was too lazy to pay to renew my license so it was recently expired. Throw in the fact that Ryan would bring a couple ounces of weed to sell to the other instructors and the drive became exciting. Those drives were a lot of fun looking back. We would smoke a few joints mixed in with the cigarettes, enjoy the random scenery of the Mojave Desert, and listen to music and stand up.
The first 4 weeks I was in the cabins, and Ryan was the lucky bastard that got to stay at the hotel. When playing counselor my days were pretty set. First I would get the kids up and ready to head to breakfast by 7:30 so we could be first in line for food, which trust me they were not thrilled about waking up at 6:45. Then I would scarf down the food so me and Ryan had time to smoke a bowl before we had to start stretches. The mornings were where we did our group lessons, and each day we would hit 3-5 different parks on site. Each morning you had two options, you could either be in the air conditioned indoor facilities which included foam pits or stuck outside in the 100 degree heat. Since the parks were wood or concrete with no shade, being outside was brutal most of the time.
We were only required to sleep in the cabins from Sunday-Thursday, so we went pretty hard on the weekends. Some of the volunteers lived in town, so we would go parties at random peoples houses when we stayed in town for the weekend.
With all that being laid out, we should just move along in our story….
It was mid August and the summer was winding down, and of course my girlfriend had managed to find a companion in the few weeks I was gone. She will always be an attention whore, and if someone isn’t paying attention to her she will find someone to keep her occupied. This girl ruined my life from 22-25, but we will get there eventually.
Well it all started with our second to last weekend at the camp, and an invite to a party with a bunch of local girls on a Friday. Normally this would be game on, but I was a cabin counselor this week which meant I needed to stay on site Friday night. Saturdays mornings were fun, but only because these rich parents would tip you for hanging out with their kids for the week. I honestly enjoyed hanging with the kids, so it was just a bonus for me.
Well earlier this particular week we decided the few of us that were in cabins would sneak out to go to a big house party that Friday, and that was probably the beginning of the end. I loved my boys I worked with at the camp, and we had some special memories. Pretty sure no matter how old I am, I will always remember the night we picked up some tall boys and ended up doing donuts while my friend Bon drove in a dirt field singing “Freebird” at the top of our lungs.
But anyways back to that night. I don’t remember much of that night before the incident, but I do remember pre gaming at our friend Matt’s house who happened to be a local. Between 5 of us we finished a jug of Captain Morgan and also a 30 block of Coors light, so needless to say we got drunk.
I do remember the house party, and what I do remember pretty much can be summed up in two sentences:
• Straight vomited on a strangers carpet which no one noticed.
• Passed out outside and woke up with a girls bare ass shaking in my face.
So yea, I passed out… But hell I was hammered! Well I remember going back to sleep after the slut shook her bare ass in my face, but after that the details are hazy. According to friends Ryan started shit with some people, and decided he was going to take me and our friend Bon home because it wasn’t safe at the house.
I still laugh at that to this day. I do remember him waking me up and saying we needed to leave, but I was so drunk at the time I couldn’t care less. Well we all get in the car and to this day I am so thankful I wore a seatbelt, because if I didn’t I am sure I wouldn’t be alive to tell this story.
This is the part I will never forget. I fell asleep as he left, and I was woken up because of a sudden jolt. I opened my eyes to my car being mid air as we were about to come to a crash landing. The car hit, and the driver starts crying as my friend laid unconscious in the back seat.
What the hell happened!?! Where were we. Mind you we were in Tehachapi where there are only a few street lights and thankfully even less cops. I had never sobered up faster in my life, but yet the driver turned into a little girl. All he could do was cry out “I’m sorry man, I’m sorry” and eventually he just passed out.
So here we were in the middle of no where with a damaged car and little hope. Thankfully we had our local friend, but the only problem is with no street signs I had no idea where we were. It took him 2 long hours to find us, but thankfully he did before the cops found us.
As we drove back to camp, I was in a state a shock, my car was totaled and I knew I had to deal with the repercussions. I drank way too much and left my safety in the hands of someone who never got his life together. We did manage to sneak back into camp and our cabins, but word quickly spread the next morning of what happened.
I remember being way to hungover to even acknowledge the parents the next morning, and couple that with the fact I knew my car was fucked zero fucks were given. Well later that day after the campers left myself and two of my 3 friends, minus Ryan, were summoned to the main office. We all knew this wasn’t good, and it was time to face the music.
Well needless to say they found out the details, and they weren’t happy. We fucked up of course, and I will never deny that. The one thing I will never understand is that they knew Ryan was the one that decided to drive and crash, but he was not fired. We obviously were all fired and escorted off the camp site.
So there I stood, no car no money and nothing to do. Thankfully my friend Matt, the local guy who found us that night, was gracious enough to let us stay with him for a week. His parents were getting ready to sell the house, so they were not living there so we had the run of the place. Matt saved my ass that week, and I will be forever grateful to him for that.
The next day we had to go find the car and get it towed, and wow was just an interesting experience on its own. I had told my dad that my friend had crashed the car so he knew that happened, but he did not know the extent of the damage. To be honest he didn’t know the extent because I didn’t know how bad it really was either. I knew we hit a transformer and were on a dirt road, but that was really it.
So me and my friend Matt went to get the car, and holy crap seeing the car was a surreal experience. We pull up and the first thing we notice is the “dirt road” where the car was located was actually someone’s long driveway. How they didn’t notify the authorities I will never understand, but hell it worked for me. The front in was completely smashed in from the impact of the landing, and one of the rims in from literally broke into 3 pieces. This was steel, so yea. Well the tow truck guy met us, and he was a character straight out of Redneck USA.
First off he was drinking jack and coke in a cup in his car and listening to Nascar. By my estimations he had not showered I’m 4-5 years, so having to ride in the tow truck was torture. But he didn’t ask any questions and towed the car to Matt’s house without incident, so I was grateful for that.
I couldn’t bare to tell my parents that I got fired along with crashing the car, so I decided to go HAM for that week and just crash with Matt. I had a few firsts that week, but the big one was I tried cocaine for the first time. Now I wish the story was good, but I was drunk the first time I did it. So we were drinking tequila, I did a line and fell asleep like 20 minutes later. Fucking exciting right?!?!
Well the next morning we did some more, and that was more of a rush. I was sober this time, and I swear I skateboarded for about 5 hours at the local park. That week was fun, but in the back of my head was constant fear because I knew my dad was going to come pick me up at the end of the week. I knew I had to get my enjoyment in, because there would not be much enjoyment for a while after. Well dad came with a flatbed for the car, and yea he was not too thrilled. That was the most awkward 3 hour car ride of my life. Nothing makes you feel smaller than being frozen out in a closed space for that long.
So my summer ended with crashing my car, losing my job while burning a bridge with the guy that got it for me, and dealing with the fact my whore girlfriend had started dating someone else without even thinking about me. So that was my summer of 2006. I learned a valuable lesson that summer: some people just aren’t worth keeping in your life, and sometimes the worst thing to happen can be the best thing for you.
*Changed Ryan’s real name.. FYI