First day of school. August, 2003. I was getting a ride with Cash becuz the fucking DMV won't give me a goddamn permit and my motorcycle was broken down as usual and if I had ridden that the police probably would have busted my ass 'cuz apparently you have to have a permit for that, too. Cash has a cool car, anyway. A BMW. Blue, convertible. I'm not one of those guys who knows a lot about cars, so to me if a car looks good then it is good. Looks good usu'lly means convertibles.

We had the top down and we were listening to this rap station really loud, only it had the swearing bleeped out. So every time there was a pause Cash and I yelled "MOTHERFUCKER!" at the top of our lungs. The fact that there was this really old guy in the car beside us with the windows down only served to make this more fun, of course. Cash isn't that great of a guy, actu'lly he's a cocky son of a bitch, so the big reasons I hang out with him is stuff like that. Inside jokes and shit. We've known each other since the sixth grade. He's one of about two friends that are actually taller than me. (He's six four.) He's also the only person I know with golden hair and golden eyes, like Mark in That Was Then, This is Now. Even though he's so tall I wouldn't say that he looks older than he is. He's seventeen and he looks seventeen, I guess becuz he's sort of butterscotchy and baby-faced. I mean, he looks innocent. (He's not.) He also looks like he'd be funny. (He is.) He's always smiling, but it's the kind of smile that's just saying, "I'm so cool, aren't I?" It seems like a lot of my friends have that expression. Slider has it the worst.

We were about to scream "MOTHERFUCKER!" for the millionth time when Cash's girlfriend's dad pulled up beside us. We glanced at each other in silent agreement and immediately shut up and turned the music down and tried to look like mature, trustworthy people. Which is pretty hard if you're us. I mean, come on — Cash had on a shirt that said, "68, you give me one," and I had on a shirt that said, "If I gave a shit, you'd be the first person I'd give it to." Cash was chewing gum and Mister Williams was the kind of person you'd expect to hate chewing gum. Almost like a teacher, or a principal or something.

He passed us, and the music came back on.