Before sunrise the next morning, I found myself speeding away from Camp 9. Roy was riding shotgun and every substance I’d ingested the night before still coursed through my veins with fervent vengeance.
What the fuck did we just do?
The sun began to warm up the night sky with a purplish hue of enlightenment. A few hours ago, in a cross faded stupor, I’d coaxed CA Man into helping me steal Roy from 1.0, which was easier than I expected.
I had no idea where CA Man kept pulling those beers out from and, until the fourth beer, I hadn’t thought to ask him.
Seriously, where the fuck did these beers come from? I asked. We were huddled behind the camper shell, in front of a well guarded campfire on the lakeshore, celebrating our passive participation in the successful potbelly pig rescue.
CA Man snickered.
Fine, don’t tell me, I sipped.
Had a cooler full in my backpack. We emptied it earlier, but 1.0 left his ice chest unguarded… CA Man trailed off and I stared at 1.0’s stolen beer, half drunk in my left hand.
Huh, I replied. My mood lifted and I wasn’t sure once again if it was the shrooms or my relief that made me burst into a hysterical fit.
It’s not that funny, CA Man said.
He was right, it wasn’t. Except, I’d just realized Roy was nearby, also unguarded and ripe for the taking. Somehow, we’d ended up one campsite away from 1.0 and his spotted companion, who was curled up next to a smoldering campfire. 1.0 hadn’t returned from his camper in a while so we assumed he was passed out in there.
It wasn’t even a question of yes or no. After a short debate over strategy, we seized the moment to capture ourselves a new pet pig.
A bit of beer in a saucer was all it took to lure Roy into the truck. I buckled his seatbelt and off we went. Roy didn’t seem to mind the transition. He happily panted in the passenger seat like a dog, watching the scenery pass through the Tacoma’s window.
After a while, the gravity of having stolen a pig sunk in on me. Was it the same as dog napping? Isn’t that another felony? I had no idea. A sharp jab of pain stabbed me in the chest and I pulled into a turnout on the side of whatever highway I was hurdling north on, hyperventilating, staring at my potential doom. I had to get rid of this pig.
CA Man’s voice crackled over the radio asking me what we were doing. I told him to go back to sleep and it sounded like he did. Careful to keep the camper shell steady, I flipped around and headed the other direction. Roy was going back.
This is the opposite direction, CA Man growled through the walkie talkie.
We’re taking the pig back, I said, pressing harder on the gas pedal, much to the Tacoma’s dismay.
The camper shell started swaying, tipping the truck with it, as we sped along on the highway. I let off the gas pedal and pulled over once again. CA Man burst through the camper shell doors just as we rounded the corner to face him.
You could have killed us all! I yelled at him before I remembered he could and would probably murder me in my sleep if I pissed him off too much.
His massive frame completely overshadowed me in the faint, early morning sunlight. Looking up and down the oddly straight two-lane highway, I could see nothing but farms for miles. Why was everything in California in the middle of bum fuck nowhere?
A semi truck with two wire carts attached like train cars sped by and a few white, leafy bits floated off the top of their cargo piles, landing on the ground between us. The aroma of fresh, sun baked garlic suffocated the air. It was worse than CA Man’s body odor.
Pig’s goin’ in the camper, he grunted.
Everyone raced to the passenger door together but CA Man had legs to make a giant jealous. He got there first and we struggled to gain control over the pig, trying to barrel through his long, outstretched arm. We were no match for him. CA Man got Roy out of the cab and was well on his way to getting him into the camper when another garlic filled semi raced by and spooked him.
That poor potbelly took off down the highway with all his kidnappers in tow just as the first bit of sun peeked over the eastern mountains. CA Man and I were neck and neck when Roy darted across both lanes for the safety of the other side. We halted to avoid another semi truck hauling ass in our direction, screaming at Roy to move, but he was frozen in the middle of the road. When it came to flight or fight, it turned out, Roy and I were the same.
Unfortunately for poor Roy, the truck didn’t stop. In the morning twilight, it was impossible for the poor trucker to avoid him. He blended with the patched pavement in the pale sunlight. After a short squealing halt, the trucker emerged from his truck, baseball cap in hand, lips quivering.
The bottom of the sun reached the tops of the mountains, fully illuminating the side of the semi. I laughed, which attracted a strange look from the sixty year old white guy, who was clearly appalled he’d just accidentally murdered a pig.
His truck said, SMITH, In God We Trust.
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