Uncle Popeye Fucks Up Hunting So Bad Legislation Happens
(Gun use, alcohol mention, amazingly- no animal death)
So you may remember Uncle Popeye from A Holiday Story, when he and grandpa tried to shoot a pheasant and fucked it up real bad. I called the Ohio Relatives. They have no idea how the family knew Popeye either, but that his given name was Richard, but got tired of being called “Dick” and after losing an eye in WW2, went by Popeye.
Look man, Ohio DOES things to people.
Popeye fancied himself the Great Outdoors-man, despite a long list of evidence to the contrary- besides the shooting incident, there was the time he got lost in the woods behind his house for a week despite being less than a mile from his house and six major roads, the time he almost poisoned the whole family after mushrooming in the hills only to be stopped by GG, and the time he got in a fight with a Woodcock and Lost.
The worst though, was Snowflake.
Near where my Ohio relatives lived, and continue to live, there is a Military Armory. (You know that joke about “If all your relatives all live in the same postcode, you might be a redneck?” Yeah, check that. Mom was the first to leave the state, and keeps urging the others that they are free to leave, they can’t keep you there. But I digress). The armory is actually kind of a large campus, several hundred acres in size, where they take lots of old munitions and aircraft and whatnot, and figure out how to take apart and dispose of them without blowing everything up to fuck. The whole area is fenced off to keep the locals from helping themselves to the munitions (A serious issue in redneck country), which trapped the deer in the forest inside.
The deer, no longer having to worry about hunters, but cut off from the outside population, basically went full Deliverance, and the resulting mutants are… rather pretty.
The mutation is Luecistism, not albinism, but it makes for pretty, pretty very stupid deer. Like, even dumber than white-tail already are, and whitetail are DUMB. But the deer on the armory could afford to be easy to spot and have no natural fear of anything, because there were no predators or hunters, and the soldiers stationed there had better things to do
The prettiest of them all was Snowflake, the large white buck named Snowflake, because soldiers are great at naming things. He was, by all accounts, a truly splendid creature- snow-white and shapely, with a well-developed rack. Not unlike a porn star, apparently. And many a man Lusted after snowflake, desperate for his head.
Or other things. Ohio’s a pretty fucked up place.
But unlike other men, who would only stare wistfully from afar, Popeye was absolutely determined to have Snowflake. The issue was, the military, having a few moments of sense, had decreed that having people wandering around a munitions decommissioning plant with firearms was likely to result in fire and death, declared that there was to be no hunting on their grounds. The only way Popeye could feasibly shoot Snowflake would be if he were somehow able to get him on the other side of the fence. But he couldn’t just cut a hole in the fence- it was fairly regularly checked, and he’d be caught. Nope. Somehow, Popeye had to get Snowflake on the other side of the fence without damaging it or the Military noticing.
It was during an afternoon of boozing and watching western documentaries, Popeye hit upon a solution. He was watching a tourism promotion for all the great outdoor activities in Colorado, when he saw the solution to his problem.
He could FISH for deer.
Specifically, he fly-fish. In his mind, he could clearly see how it would play out. he’d simply find a heavy-duty line, cast it over the fence, tangling it in Snowflake’s antlers, and then reel him over the fence, where it would be perfectly legal to shoot him and then he’d be the envy of all the men down at the elks lodge. Hah! Genius!
So that spring, Popeye began tossing corn over the fence to lure deer to that particular secluded corner, and was immensely pleased when Snowflake started turning up regularly. He’d get his trophy AND some fat venison! All summer and into fall, he continued this, with the deer getting entirely too casual about his presence. he also got his hands on some deep-sea fishing line and practiced ensnaring the antlers of his dummy deer in the backyard. Just to make sure he had the leverage to haul Snowflake in, he got the harness that attaches the pole to your hip. All was going according to plan.
So the first day of hunting season, Popeye goes to his corner where he’s been feeding the deer, and Snowflake is there, waiting for breakfast. Great. Popeye backs his pickup truck up to the fence, and stands on the bed so he can cast over the fence. The deer, being imbeciles, fail to notice anything amiss. He casts, and miracle of miracles, he gets the loop over Snowflake’s antlers on the first try! Popeye whips the line around some more, making sure Snowflake is good and tangled, before reeling him in.
Apparently snowflake just stood there for this part, presumably looking confused. Then the line began to pull on him.
As Popeye would later recount from the hospital: “That’s when I realized. Deer ain’t Mackinaw.”
Popeye had, in all his planning, not taken into consideration that a 200-pound buck at the height of his testosterone-riddled rut might be somewhat disinclined to be pulled over a fence. Furthermore, Popeye had failed to account that at 5′5″, he was of similar size to the deer, and in nowhere near as good of shape.
He recalled ALMOST flying over the fence as Snowlfake turned and ran for the safety of the base. He did not quite make it, and cracked both knees as they slammed into the fence, jeans and harness shredding on the barbed wire. it was not enough to separate him from the harness, only enough to slide it down his legs and tangle around his ankles, so that once he hit the ground, Popeye was dragged for half a goddamn mile by his feet as Snowflake frantically tried to get away.
Once at the base, and all manner of bruised, cut up and abused, Popeye was relieved when they finally came to a halt. he regretted it half a second later when he realized that Snowflake had only turned around, and was now bearing down on his sorry ass full-tilt. Several puncture and kick wounds later, Popeye managed to kick off the harness, freeing himself from Snowflake, and had to run back to where he thought he’d left the truck. In the middle of the night, in the woods, with cracked patellas and without pants.
It took him all night to find the fence and truck, but managed to get back over the fence and to the hospital without being spotted. In a fit of paranoia that almost pased for good sense, he drove to three counties away to be treated, so the police wouldn’t find him, bleeding all the way. He neglected beforehand, to tell any of his friends or family where he was going, except that he was deer-hunting.
He was very disappointed when he turned up a week later and found out nobody had gone looking for him.
Snowflake was found tangled up in a tree, and was cut loose by the soldiers, apparently upset but unharmed. Concerned that the poachers were getting too creative for their own good, the base petitioned the state legislature to maybe make a law that you aren’t allowed to fish for deer, Christ, we only found the poor man’s pants.
The state legislature, in a fit of rabid libertarianism, declared that such a law would be too restrictive upon the freedom of Ohioans, so the Army tried the country. The county, which had to actually deal with this kind of bullshit on a semi-regular basis, agreed, and it is now illegal to Hunt any bird, fish or quadruped with devices and equipment not intended for such purpose.
Popeye never went deer-hunting after that, and Snowflake went on to sire many many more pretty inbred deer.
The color palette you choose, the kind of sketches you draw, the concepts and ideas that come to your mind while drawing can be described by astrology with Venus and Neptune. The moon has a big impact too.
Venus in Aires is all about messy sketches, action poses, rough lines and reddish, contrasted palettes. Their art is most likely to be colorful and groundbreaking.
Venus in Taurus is all about human anatomy, sensual poses and greenish palettes. Their art is most likely to have quality and being pleasent to look.
Venus in Gemini is all about communication and characters, matched with a yellowish palettes. They could be great fanartist because they are able to imagine how a character would react in different situations. Their art style could be simple or tricky. They could use a huge variation of of materials and colors.
Venus in Cancer is all about eyes, people, melancholy and pale palettes. Their art is most likely to have a a huge emotional weight.
Venus in Leo is all about exageration and symbolism! Colors, people, animals, landscape matched with gold, bright palettes. Their art is most likely to be full of life. They can feel inspired by everything!
Venus in Virgo is all about neat lines, well proporcioned figures and dull palettes. Their art could show their daily life, with a hidden message.
Venus in Libra is all about beauty, soft lines and pinkish-pastel palettes. Their art is most likely to be aesthetic oriented, but not shallow at all.
Venus in Scorpio is all about distorted anatomy and poses, rough lines and dark or reddish palettes. Their art is most likely to be disturbing and with a deep meaning.
Venus in Sagittarius is all about exaggerated anatomy, dynamic poses and purple palettes, colorful and vibrant colors. Their art is most likely to express an ideal or belief.
Venus in Capricorn is all about elegance and brownish palettes. Their art is most likely to find success and frame the current society.
Venus in Aquarius is all about weird anatomy and electric palettes, could not use lineart at all. Their ideas or art style are most likely to be groundbreaking as Aries’ art, but with a purpose.
Venus in Pisces is all about their dreams, blurred lines and sea-green palettes. Their draws are most likely to have a dream-like atmosphere. People could feel reflected in their art, and their draws could being interpreted in different ways.
Neptune in the Earth signs are most likely to draw their enviroment and what they can see and touch.
Neptune in the Fire signs are most likely to draw their unique creations and ideals.
Neptune in the Air signs are most likely to draw abstract concepts and try to express and communicate through their art.
Neptune in the Water signs are most likely to do art closely attached to their sentiments, art could be a therapy for them.
It can be interpreted with houses too. For example, if Neptune is in the 5th house it will have a similar influence like if it were in Leo.
In the north, Germany has shares of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. In the middle of the German Bight, the rocky island of Heligoland is Germany’s most remote outpost. It is not part of the European Customs Area and a generally customs-free zone. Therefore, it is a popular stopover for boat owners to fuel up. Cars and bicycles are illegal on Heligoland, except for the police, firefighters, customs, and emergency services. Footbikes are allowed, goods are carried by handcarts. Britain attempted to blast the island after world war II. as it was regarded an unwanted outpost of the German state and a possible danger for the British islands in future conflicts, but the attempt failed, leaving only a big scar in the surface. Years later, the residents were allowed to come back.
The North Sea coast is lined with islands. Their dunes and sandy beaches make them top domestic tourist destinations.
Between the islands and the mainland, there is the wadden sea, an area of vast mudflats that are flooded and fall dry with the rhythm of the tides. They are interrupted by the estuars of the rivers Ems, Jade, Weser, and Elbe.
The Baltic Sea coast is characterized by a change between flat beaches and steep cliffs.
A number of islands and peninsulas, among them the island of Rügen, Germany’s biggest island, are separated from the mainland by the Boddens, brackish lagoons that form a unique ecosystem.
Many of the coastal towns became spas for the wealthy by the end of the 19th century. After the German reunion, their former splendor has been restored.
Even on sunny summer days, harsh winds may blow over the beaches while the light is still bright enough to give you a good sunburn. This challenged German ingenuity to invent a special piece of furniture: The Strandkorb, beach basket.
You can sit down, enjoying the view of the sea while being shielded from three sides against the wind and from the top against the sund and occasional showers. They have a fold-out sunvisor, reclining backrest, pull-out footrests (which also serve as storage boxes for your beach items), and fold-away trays to hold a drink or a snack. If you have rented a Strandkorb for multiple days, you can leave your items there as they can be secured with a wooden grating and a padlock.
A major attraction is the Kiel Week, one of the largest sailing events worldwide, with its Windjammer Parade.
Headcanon: Everyone expected Moana’s chosen tattoo to be some sort of sea creature. Perhaps a sea turtle or a manta ray like her Grandmother’s. So it comes as a surprise to all when she instead chooses a mighty Hawk not unlike a certain demigod. It’s wings spread over her shoulders as if they’d sprout from her very back. In her next life, she says, she wants to be able to soar anywhere she wants–over land and sea, endlessly chasing that line where the sky meets the sea. It both touches Maui and reminds him grimly of her mortality.
So, the trailer music for Alien: Covenant was a rendition of Nat King Cole’s amazing song “Nature Boy”, and given the themes of the movie it’s 200% clear that the song is being used in this context to refer to David. A lot of people are latching on to the “A very strange enchanted boy/They say he wandered very far, very far/Over land and sea” lines, which is totally understandable because, well, David was weird and he went walkabouts between worlds.
For me, though, the more important lines are later in the song:
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn Is just to love And be loved in return
David grew up in a clinical, hostile and, dare I say it, pretentious as fuck environment. (Seriously can you imagine Peter Weyland just chillin’ out with a beer and watching Space Brooklyn Nine Nine Year 3000? Nope, me either). Weyland called him ‘son’ but treated him like a slave. His ‘sister’, Vickers, clearly despised every single atom of his being (understandably so, seeing as she was usurped as Weyland’s true heir by something she clearly views as just being a machine). Whilst the unnamed scientists/pilots/crew of the Prometheus expedition are pretty ambivalent towards him, and we can assume this is the same attitude he encountered wherever he and Weyland went considering how he melts into the background during the Vickers/Holloway/Shaw scene.
The only two people who have a strong emotional connection to David in the film are Holloway, who either despises David specifically or synthetics in general, and Shaw, who is willing to treat him like a sentient being despite his being a robot. (And, I stress here, she doesn’t even do that much. She just thanks him for saving her and holds several conversations with him. That’s it).
I’m 100% of the belief David specifically chose Holloway to experiment on because of how much of a dickhead he was towards him (think about it, David had a lot of clearly expandable security personnel lounging around but instead he picks one of the two people who actually discovered LV-223 and has the archeological knowledge to decode the place), which means that even before going a little nuts David is fully capable of making decisions based purely on raw emotion.
So far, so gravy.
But then we have Shaw. I’m as much of a Shipper on Deck for Shaw and David as the next Shipper on Deck for Shaw and David, buuuuut I sat down and rewatched the film yesterday and…yikes. David is not super nice to Shaw. Like, at all. The only time he shows a little tenderness towards her that isn’t downright creepy is after his head has already been ripped off and he warns her of the Engineer’s imminent arrival. During the rest of the film, he:
• Looks incredibly pissed off when she asks him politely not to touch anything and glares at her like a child throwing a tantrum (“sorrrrreeeee”, lip curl) • Strips her of her crucifix in order to make her more vulnerable mere moments after she watched her boyfriend get burned to death • Doesn’t attempt to comfort her when she finds out she’s been impregnated by the pathogen • Taunts her over the abortion she then has to go through in order to remove the squid thingy (“I didn’t think you had it in you” listen u fkn lil shit) • Then teases her about her faith and her dead father, even though by watching her dreams he knew how much both mean to her
Which brings me back around to the Nature Boy lyrics: David never learned how to love. This isn’t a programming limitation, considering Walter’s familiar with the concept, but rather a plain ol’ simple how could he? His only frames of reference are a father who treats him like a servant, a sister who hates him and would kill him in a heartbeat if she could, and somebody else’s misinterpreted childhood memories. He doesn’t know how to be kind. He doesn’t know how to be compassionate. He doesn’t know how to truly care for someone.
All of which manifests in his behaviour and attitude in Alien: Covenant. The more I think about it, the more I think David has tricked himself into believing he was in love with Shaw and, being well-versed in all things pretentious as fuck (see above) knows how to talk about her as though he were in love with her, all without feeling the actual emotion behind his words or actions. He may have convinced himself that he turned her into the first Alien Queen to help her overcome her inability to create life; he may have convinced himself he acted selflessly (whilst, absurdly, also acting selfishly); he may have convinced himself that he’s a tragic figure straight out of Shakespeare who can quote epic lines whilst looking properly moody…but, in reality, he’s actually more artificial than the brother he claims to be superior to.
Walter may not have learned how to love, but he sees it, understands it, and cherishes it in others. I mean of course he does: since activation he’s been surrounded by a crew composed entirely of couples who are striking out together on an epic voyage to found a romantic far-flung colony amongst the stars. People who treat him as one of them, trust him with their jokes and their secrets and their fears and their dreams.
David wasn’t. David was surrounded by coldness and harshness and bitterness and strife. David never learned how to love. And he sure as hell didn’t learn how to be loved in return, seeing as not a single soul he ever encountered actually loved him at all.
Map published by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1981, about the military influence of the Soviet Union in the third world countries. The map shows nuclear submarine operating areas, sea lines of communication, overseas naval facilities, major Soviet arms clients, Soviet reconnaissance aircraft facilities and several other Soviet power structures.
Captain D’s is a seafood restaurant that’s more popular in southern states, but we had one in Muncie and the unemployment rate was a whopping 13% at the time that I graduated college and I have been known to just shrug and say ‘well, I’m desperate enough.’
What’s the worst that could happen?
My manager was not much older than I was and this was not her only job. She was also a managed a trendy clothes store at the mall.
So you can imagine that she might be a little high strung. The idea of such was planted firmly in my mind at exactly the moment that she told me ‘no drama.’
I have like… opinions about people who say things like ‘no drama.’ Why does it seem like the drama follows you around, Carol? I can guess, Carol.
So it was summer and this is a college town, which means that when school is not in session the entire town is a lifeless husk, eagerly awaiting the coming fall. I’m doing alright my first week at Captain D’s except for the fact that they’re a big fan of the ‘if you can lean, you can clean’ rule and the place was empty. Customers would get mad at me for being ‘too helpful’ because they would be the only customers in the restaurant and I would need something to do. It was THAT BORING.
Fridays… are an ‘all you can eat’ buffet. Fried fish, crab legs, shrimp- the whole menu. I’ve worked catering before so I figured it would be steam trays against the wall and they can just get up and get their food whenever.
When I asked what I would be doing during this time, my manager just shook her head and said ‘oh honey.’
Which, by the way? Terrible way to inform your only waitress of anything.
Here is the game plan:
When I come in, there is a tray larger than the length of my shoulders to be loaded up with fish, fries, shrimp, crab legs, and hush puppies. I am to circle the dining room and fill up each person’s plates at their request. When my tray is running low, I run back to the kitchen and I fill it up. Repeat.
Well I mean, it can’t be that hard. It’s summer and no one cares about this little hole in the wall.
Oh, did I underestimate just how devoted to crab legs the denizens of Muncie are. The place was packed as soon as we opened and every seat was full because why would anyone ever pass up grease-battered sea kittens? The line was out the door.
I was running back to the kitchen every five minutes because as soon as I appeared with the tray, the chanting of ‘more more more more’ would leave my tray devoid of all but only the most charred of hush puppies.
“Now, you gotta be nice to Joe,” my manager told me before leaving for her shift at the mall.
“Who is Joe?”
“Who is Joe,” she laughed, point in the direction of His Booth before leaving.
I can only imagine that her management at the mall includes significantly less instruction.
Joe is a mean ole sunnofagun with aviator glasses and a receding hairline. He has nothing to do with this company other than the fact that he is at this place every Friday and eats everything.
“Fried fish, baked fish, breaded-”
He clears the entire tray in one sitting and is calling for MORE before I can even get another tray.
“MORE MORE MORE.”
I sometimes daydream that I have the ability to split myself into multiples as a means to get as much done as possible. This is where I started doing that.
He’s calling for more, the crowd does not end, more people are being seated, more people are hungry, more people are getting mad. More more more.
He has cleared his second tray and I am getting him more, hoping that he leaves soon.
“Fried fi-” An entire paper basket of baked tilapia slides forward as the weight of my platter starts to feel like it is made of lead. I reach out as it leaps from the tray and flies through the air, catching it in mid-air before it can land in Joe’s lap. I have congratulated myself on catching that well only one fifth of a second before one of the fillets is catapulted back into the air and straight onto my face.
Now, as anyone who has ever had a fillet of fish spontaneously slap them on the nose will confess, it is easy to lose your entire bearings from that sort of event. I feel the platter slide forward again and I wobble back and forth trying to steady it.
Much to my surprise, the entire thing did NOT go crashing forward like a greasy wave of mercury poisoning. And whether that is a matter of luck or skill, I don’t know. But I was victorious! I managed to not only not piss of Joe, but also interrupt the world’s worst Rube-Goldberg sequence.
I returned home after my shift to my third-story apartment, with the roach problem and the hole in the roof- sweating grease and with an ache in my back that I could not work out. It wasn’t until I showered that I realized that I had spent the last half of my shift with a copious amount of tartar sauce pasted to the back of my head.
And thus ended my first, and only, week at Captain D’s Seafood Restaurant.
Its the summer before the reader goes off to college, and she doesn’t want to leave without letting the raven-haired boy how she really feels.
Word count: 2, 166
A/N: I’m sorry I haven’t posted in forever, just know that I’m still here. Let me know what you think? I’m just trying to get back into the swing of writing things cause my motivation is at an all time low rn. It’s also my finals week so after that’s over fingers crossed I’ll have more time, although I’m working two jobs and have a summer class to do and have to get in shape this summer so who the fuck knows, but thanks for sticking with me, I’ll try to make my writing worth it. <3
I honk the horn in front of the trailer that Jughead has been living in for the past year and a half. I wait a few moments, and nothing happens so I honk the horn again.
This time the door bursts open and he walks out, adjusting his Southside Serpent jacket over the rest of his ensemble.
“Were you this late when you went to Riverdale High?” I ask as he opens the door and slides into the passenger seat.
“I’ve been at Southside for the past two years, when are you going to stop pulling that ‘Riverdale High’ crap?” he smirks, putting his feet up on the dashboard.
“I’m not going to stop until you come out the first time I honk.” I smirk back at him, shifting the car into park for the moment instead of keeping my foot on the brake. The conversation flows easily, as always.
It’s never been much trouble with mister Jones, especially after he fully committed to staying at Southside and becoming a part of the Serpents. From then on out, we took care of him like family, as being the daughter of a Serpent has always been a part of my identity. Although, I didn’t know that you were supposed to think about your family the way I think about Jones.
For a long time I felt guilty about it, but then he told me that he broke up with Betty just a few months after I met him. He said it was because things were getting too difficult and they weren’t seeing eye to eye anymore. I helped him through it, and I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t appropriate, but I couldn’t help myself, from then on out my feelings were a non-stop waterfall that seemed to be overflowing, only with nowhere to go.
“You just hate that I get a place to myself.” He folds his arms across his chest, the leather making noises I can’t describe without becoming tongue-twisted.
“By pure circumstance, Jones, pure circumstance.” I remind him, letting out a small laugh.
“I guess only the lucky ones get foster parents that let them move out.” he retorts back, then putting his hands behind his head, always the fidgeter.
“Oh please, you left cause you couldn’t stand being away from your own bed.” I shove him lightly on the shoulder with my hand, earning a laugh from him. I’m pretty sure if the only sound I heard for the rest of my life was his laugh, I would be living in heaven and not on earth.
“In your dreams, (Y/N).” he says, nudging me back.
I take the opportunity to shift the car back into drive and pull away from the trailer park. I don’t know where we’re going or what’s going to happen, but I turn up the radio and blast some music to drown out my thoughts.
“If only you knew.” I whisper, pulling onto the road that leads to Southside.
Jughead shifts in his seat, sliding out of his jacket to reveal a gown underneath. He somehow got to forfeit the cap for his beanie, which is probably the most Jughead Jones thing that he could ever do. He tosses the jacket in the back where he’ll be able to pick it up after the ceremony.
It’s graduation day, and I have to try to keep myself together as I know that this is the last summer I get to spend with my best friend. The last summer before we have bigger responsibilities and things going on in our lives. The last summer I have to finally admit the feelings that came over me from the moment he walked into school.
Paint me in trust,
I’ll be your best friend
Call me the one,
this night just can’t end.
As the graduation ceremony comes to a close, I try to find him in the sea of gowns while everyone else tries to find their caps that had been thrown in the air.
My eyes scan over heads, finally landing on the grey and black combination on the head that is Jughead Jones.
I break into a run, yelling his name. There’s a grin on my face from ear to ear. Graduating from high school is probably the biggest accomplishment of my life so far, and compared to everyone else in Riverdale I think that’s saying something.
Jughead turns around just in time to get tackled by me in a hug, his arms going around my waist as my arms go around his neck.
“(Y/N) (Y/L/N), done with high school.” he says, holding me close.
“Jughead Jones, a graduate.” I say, going to let go, but he holds on a moment longer. I begin to feel his hands on my lower back and my heart goes from calm to racing in a split second. I’ve never known anything except joking with him to cover up feelings, and so this slight deviation from that has my stomach in knots.
He pulls back from me with a smirk on his face, “A graduate who has no idea where he’s going.” he retorts back, and I immediately think that everything I just experienced was all in my head.
I laugh and shove him with my shoulders.
“Just come to university with me.” I tease, letting hope rise in my voice, forever the hopeful that he might actually take me up on the offer this time.
“Hmmm… a dorm room with a roommate or a trailer to myself… I wonder which is the better option.” he says, letting a fake sort of wonder slip into his voice.
The crowd begins to disperse, leaving the football field nearly empty. I look around and realize that this is finally over. All the days of waking up early and trying to look nice. All of the days of seeing all my friends, seeing him, are over. All of the days of dealing with all of the drama finally done.
We walk back to my car, disposing of our gowns in the trunk. I get in the driver’s side and take out my keys. I wait for him to get his jacket and sit up front next to me again, his shoulders relaxing as the leather slips over his arms.
“Where to now, mister Jones?” I say, starting the car. The engine hums underneath my feet as Jughead reaches over and turns up the radio. There’s some summer pop song that starts blasting, and I think that he’s gonna change it, but he doesn’t. Instead, his hand drops from the dial and he closes his eyes.
“Let’s get as far away as we can from this small town.” he says, rolling down the window. I match him and roll mine down as well, blasting the music even louder for the people still loitering around the school to hear.
I pull out of my parking space and leave the lot of Southside High for the last time, and I only have to make a few turns before I’m on the highway and we’re headed north.
I don’t know where we’re going, but I don’t care as long as I’m with my best friend.
Time tics on, fast and slow all at the same time. The songs change, shifting our moods from chill to screaming along with the lyrics in a matter of minutes. The tollway provides fast enough speeds to where the wind on our faces makes it seem like we’re the only two people in the world.
I drive until the sun starts to set. I then notice that there are signs for the nearest city, and so I figure we might as well give it a go.
I turn off the tollway and head towards the buildings on the horizon that go higher than anything I’ve seen before.
The lights illuminate the drive as we wind through the windy city.
I want to give you your grin
So tell me you can’t bear a room that I’m not in.
“Where are we?” Jughead asks, the first time he’s spoken something instead of sang it the whole drive. I can tell his voice is tired from screaming, and it makes me laugh.
“Welcome to Chicago, Jones.” I give him a cheeky smile and this look comes over his face that I can’t describe.
“What are we doing here?” he asks, looking from me to the streets around him.
“I have an idea.” I say, keeping him in suspense.
I drive around for a bit more, observing all of the people walking to and from their work, everyone going out or coming in for the evening.
The setting sun provides a red and pink hue to come over all of the tops of the buildings, reflecting into the streets below. There’s something in the air in this city, a feeling of life coming over me as I myself figure out the perfect spot to park and spend the rest of the night.
I pull into a spot on the first floor of the garage nearest our destination.
“A parking garage? Wow, beautiful.” he jokes, unbuckling his seatbelt.
“Just come on.” I tell him, turning off the car and unbuckling my seatbelt, opening the door.
Once we’re both out, I take his hand and pull him along, out to the street. I look around to orient myself and smile at the thought of what the night holds.
“Close your eyes.” I tell him. He gives me a look that says that I’m absolutely crazy, but then I give him a look that tells him to trust me. He nods and closes his eyes, putting the hand that’s not in mine over his face.
I lead him down the sidewalk, over grass and gravel before the sand starts to seep into my shoes.
I look around and see boats in the distance, illuminated by the city lights and the sun that’s just below the sea line.
“Open.” I tell him, and his hand falls from his eyes. He looks around for a moment, and then looks at me, but I can barely see it from my peripheral vision, because I’m too focused on the nature that surrounds us and the nearly empty beach.
“Beautiful.” he says, and my heart starts pounding, but then I remind myself he must be talking about the sunset.
“It’s Lake Michigan. I’ve always wanted to see the sunset from here, over the water.” I tell him, taking a few steps more onto the beach, letting go of his hand. I immediately notice the disconnect and wish that I hadn’t done it.
“What are all those lights sticking out onto the water?” he asks, motioning towards the distance.
“Navy Pier, Jones. That’s Navy Pier.” I let out a laugh, realizing that he’s never seen anything like this.
I’d only ever seen it once when my mother took me here for a birthday when I was really young, before the serpents, before the drama, before Riverdale and the Southside took over our lives. It’s something from a time that was better, a time that was pure, and it’s something that I’ve never forgotten. I’ve wanted to come back ever since, so maybe my subconscious led me here once more with my best friend after all these years.
“This is amazing.” he says, and I have to turn around to make sure he’s being genuine and not making a joke, but as soon as I do I can tell by the look on his face that he really means that.
I feel the sand between my toes and close my eyes, feeling the breeze come up behind me from the water. I really try to feel the moment, and how I’m here with him.
When I open my eyes again he’s right in front of me, our faces almost touching.
“Also..” he says, moving in what seems like slow motion. His hand reaches up to cup my face and he brings his lips to connect with mine. I bring my body close to his, my hands going to the back of his neck. My eyes close again and take everything in, take him in.
He releases a moment later, our foreheads still pressed together.
“Jones…” I say, breathless, not sure what to do.
“Please, please just say my name.” his voice sounds desperate yet kind, in need of something.
“Jughead.” I tell him, my fingers tangling in the strands of his hair.
His body relaxes and it’s as if me saying his name just gave him everything he’s ever wanted, everything he’s ever needed.
“If only you knew how long I’ve wanted to do that.” he says, a smile coming over his face.
“I think I have an idea.” I tell him.
I have a feeling this summer is going to be one I’m never going to forget.