Youthful Misadventures

“The Time I Lost My Brother At A MCS Show”

For the longest time my brother and I didn’t get along, probably because there’s over 7 years of age difference between us, but once I moved out of the house and he became a teenager we finally started to bond and create our own traditions together.

I decided to start introducing my brother to live concerts when he was 15, I figured if I loved going to shows when I was that age, he probably would too. I bought him a ticket to the Motion City Soundtrack show since he seemed to like their music too. One of my co-workers was already going to that show as well so we all decided to carpool (with me driving, we were, after all, going to First Ave and I had already learned not to let anyone else drive me there) there in a snowstorm. Co-worker was in the passenger seat and brother was in the back.

While I was paying attention to the road conditions and keeping us from sliding into other cars or snowbanks, co-worker was letting my brother have a “sip” of some vodka he had brought along. In the rearview mirror I saw my brother tilting the bottle up to take a swig. I told my brother that was all he was allowed to have, one sip, I didn’t want him getting drunk. I told co-worker to take the bottle back. I couldn’t see my brother filling his water bottle with vodka and so when my brother handed back the bottle I thought the matter had been taken care of.

We left our cell phones in the car when we arrived. I told my brother to stay close to me during the show. We walked into First Ave and I immediately went to my normal spot that I liked to watch concerts at to wait for MCS to take the stage. My brother asked if he could go in the mosh pit, I told him sure but to come back afterwards. He disappeared into the crowd. Co-worker and I chatted over the noise of the opening band neither of us knew or liked. I looked out in the crowd but couldn’t find my brother anymore. I wondered if he had gone to the bathroom. I had, after all, seen him down an entire bottle of water in the backseat of my car.

I asked co-worker to go check the bathrooms for him. He came back and said he didn’t see my brother in there. At this point MCS was about to take the stage. I was half worried and half pissed off that my brother was going to miss the show. I told myself he was probably in the crowd and I just couldn’t see him in the dimmed lighting. I didn’t enjoy the concert as much as I would’ve because I kept looking around the venue for my brother. As soon as the show was over I started roaming the entire club trying to find him. At this point I was extremely worried. I had no idea where he had gone. I was getting close to panicking because I couldn’t find him and had an awful feeling in my gut that something horrible had happened.

We went back out to my car to get my cell phone so I could start making some calls. I had several missed calls from my parents, normally I don’t listen to voicemails but this time I figured I better. As I listened to the voicemail my heart skipped a beat. Apparently my brother had wandered out of First Ave to cool down and they wouldn’t let him back inside because he was clearly intoxicated. He was not wearing a jacket, it was snowing outside. My brother wandered around downtown Minneapolis, randomly puking on the sidewalks until the police noticed him.

An ambulance was called, a trip to HCMC ensued, a stomach was pumped and my father was called, not to mention the hefty bill that occurred. Lets just say no one was pleased by the outcome of that night. I drove straight to my parents house even though it was the opposite direction of co-workers or my place to check on my brother and “explain” things to my parents. It was one of the least fun conversations I’ve ever had. Since I was clearly not drunk, nor was co-worker drunk, at least my parents believed me when I said I had not and would not knowingly allow brother to drink 16oz of vodka. I hoped that the experience would at least keep my brother from excessively drinking in the future, sadly I don’t think the lesson stuck with him, although he hasn’t, to this day, taken another drunken ride to the hospital in the back of an ambulance again.

I decided after that incident that no alcohol would ever be allowed in my vehicle if minors were going to be riding with us. No easy access for them, ever again!


Youthful Misadventures

“That Time I Was Forced To Go Along (Unknowingly) On A Drug Run to Jordan, MN”

One of the nightclubs in downtown Minneapolis used to host a 16+ dance party from 7-11pm and my girlfriends and I would often go down and dance to the techno beats they played. Sometimes if we came early enough we’d even get to catch the tail end of an awesome punk show.

One such night I was there with M, N & TBF. M had driven us, this was the first time I wasn’t the group chauffeur, and M and I were in a great mood because we had gotten there early enough to see the last 40 minutes of a Dillinger Four show. Also, my on again, off again punk rocker boyfriend was there, being especially charming and introduced M and I to several members of the band after their show. N took advantage of M’s jovial disposition and asked if she was willing to give N’s “new friend” a ride home. M agreed and at the end of the night we all piled into her tiny Geo Metro to drop off some random dude in Jordan, MN.

Now had I been the one driving everyone, things might have been different. None of us realized where Jordan, MN was in relation to downtown Minneapolis. It was also in the opposite direction of the northern suburbs we all resided in. After what seemed like forever we arrived at a run-down trailer park where dude resided. Apparently I hadn’t been looped in on the whole story because when we arrived N insisted on going inside and begged us to come with her. I had just gotten a page from my parents and agreed to go inside if I could use the phone to call them back. It’s a good thing I called them before I realized what was going on.

When I called my parents to tell them why I wasn’t home yet I “truthfully at the time” told my parents we were just dropping off one of N’s friends and I’d be home soon, since M drove I couldn’t really do anything about it. My parents grumbled and told me to be home in 30 minutes, which was not going to happen, and I told them I’d insist we leave that minute. I turned around and saw N bartering with a grungy looking dude in his 40’s. I had assumed when I walked in it was dude’s dad and maybe it was, who knows, but I soon realized N had an ulterior motive for making us all trek to Jordan.

Laying on the coffee table was a huge bag filled with white powder. I got instantly annoyed. What the hell had N gotten us into. I walked over to where M was and asked if she knew what N was up to before we left the club, she told me she had but had thought N was just trying to get some weed. I became even more annoyed. They knew how I felt about hard-core drugs. I told M we had to leave and that I was going to go wait outside. N called my name and as I turned towards her and opened my mouth to speak I suddenly found her finger rammed in my mouth rubbing something on my gum. I felt them start to go numb.

I got pissed off. N asked me if it was “quality shit” and I retorted that I wouldn’t know but my gums were pretty numb. I grabbed M and dragged her outside stating I wanted no part of this. We waited outside for almost 10 more minutes until N and TBF came outside, both giggling like school girls. In my best imitation of my mother I screamed at them to get the fuck in the car. If I recall correctly I lectured them the entire ride home about their poor life choices. I even had some choice words for M about enabling such things. I didn’t realize that N had purchased an entire bag of cocaine and had it stashed in her purse. Probably good I didn’t find out till afterwards, who knows what I would’ve done.

After that I stopped hanging out with N and TBF. I didn’t want to be associated with coke users. Not sure what happened to them, they’ve dropped off the map as far as I’m concerned though last time I checked their lives were both in tailspins. I never let anyone else be my chauffeur again. I was determined to never be put in that situation and was willing to be the one spending all her money on gas to ensure that I had control over the vehicle. I also vowed to never go to Jordan, MN again…no good comes of it.

Youthful Misadventures

I worry I’ll forget all my hilarious stories one day. I got up to my fair share of shenanigans in my youth, though don’t we all? I think I’m going to start writing some of them down.

“The Great Charm Bracelet Debacle”

When I was around 13 I used to tag along to a friend (J’s) camper on weekends. It would usually just be her dad and us girls, sometimes we’d see EO up there, other times we’d just amuse ourselves all weekend fishing and wandering about the camp.

As the weekends progressed J started getting bored just hanging around the lake. She insisted we go into the tiny little town and get some supplies from the Ben Franklin Craft store. At first I was fine with that, we’d grab some markers and paper and draw to our heart’s content.

One day J decided she wanted a charm so she could start a charm bracelet. We’d already spent all our money on more art supplies so she told me to go steal it. J had no issues with stealing and did so all the time. I however, didn’t approve of stealing. I looked at her like she was crazy. She threatened to never bring me up to the lake again, knowing how much I loved coming up there. I was pissed off. Even then I had no tolerance for being threatened, especially by a peer.

I figured I’d teach her a lesson. I said I’d do it and walked back into the store. I quickly pocketed the tiny charm inconspicuously and put it in my secret pocket, then I very obviously wandered over to the marker section and grabbed a large marker and placed it visibly in my front pocket. I sauntered over by the exit, making sure J could see me, waiting for the manager to pounce on me.

It didn’t take long. I was still a good 15 feet from the door when the little middle-aged lady grabbed me violently by the arm. She started berating me as I quickly handed her the marker. She dragged me (in full view of J) towards the back screaming about thieves and calling the cops. I started to get a bit nervous. I figured I’d just get kicked out of the store, having not actually left the building with any merchandise, not have the police called on me.

She made me sit alone in the back office, waiting for the police who showed up 5 minutes later, toting J with them. I got a talking to, but there were no charges filed against me, as I had not actually left with any merchandise. No one checked my pockets, the charm was still sitting there on my persons. They called J’s dad to come get us, and called my dad as well to let him know I’d been “scared straight” about stealing.

When the police officer left the back office to talk to the store manager I pulled the charm out of my pocket and threw it at J. I told her to never ask me to break the law for her again. She threw the charm in the trash, probably afraid they’d search her before letting us go.

She ended up getting in way more trouble than I ever did over that situation. She was grounded, I was banned from any more weekends with them and she was told she wasn’t allowed to go to the big rock fest we’d been looking forward to for weeks. I told my parents the whole story, they said they hoped J had learned her lesson, but that I shouldn’t go to those extremes in the future. My parents ended up feeling so bad that I was banned from lake weekends that my dad actually brought me to the rock concert himself, a concert I had previously been told I wasn’t allowed to go to.

I did end up losing my friendship with J over this, slowly at first but by the start of high school we were like strangers. She must have learned a valuable lesson from it though, I heard she never tried to strong-arm anyone like that again, nor did she ever steal anything again. Perhaps that made it worthwhile.

No Regrets

I found out over the weekend that one of my high school friends had died. Although I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years I had been keeping tabs on him via Facebook and through mutual friends. He’d struggled with his addiction to heroin for many years but had finally seemed like he was getting his life back together. I had been rooting for him, silently in my own world, never told him how glad I was to see that he hadn’t let heroin win. Didn’t think it would matter to him if I felt that way.

They will only say he died at home, which we are all assuming meant he most likely died from the medications he was taking to stay off of heroin. Opiates being used to treat an addiction to opiates…not sure how well that works, but it had allowed him to get his degree, set up a counseling business and buy a house.

He had briefly dated my best friend back when we were young and he was the kind of person who never stopped caring about people. He had the ability to love others unselfishly and was always willing to come hang out, listen to your problems or lend a hand. There aren’t enough people in the world like him. He will be missed greatly by many people.

The lesson I plan on taking away from this is that you shouldn’t wait to tell people what you think of them. Don’t assume they don’t want to hear from you or wouldn’t care what you had to say. It would be better to make the outreach with lackluster responses than to have to live with the regret of never trying.