Don’t Fear the Reaper by Deb Jennifer

It’s 1985.  My grandmother buys me a white Camaro with red interior.   The car is hot.  It has a red front vanity plate with my name in curly white script.  I smoke Carlton cigarettes and each pack comes with a plastic rose attached to a loop of elastic.  These hang from my review mirror.  I’m going way too fast through suburban streets, rocking out to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Blue Oyster Cult.  I’ve got a Whole Lotta Love, I’m Comfortably Numb and I Don’t Fear the Reaper.  What I fear is the cops.  I get my first speeding ticket.  But I’ve got a badass leather jacket, ripped jeans, black eye-liner and way too much mousse in my hair – I could care less about a speeding ticket.   I do not take the officer’s advice.  I do not slow down.

I am a bad girl.  A high school drop out, stoner girl who is secretly writing a novel about all her adventures and wants to be the young, lesbian Brett Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero is my favorite book and rides around in the Camaro with me.)  Billy is my sort-of boyfriend.  He’s 21 which means he can buy beer, and he’s a car thief, which means there’s never a dull moment.  He teaches me how to siphon gas from the country club parking lot and how to put a hole in the bottom of a can of beer so you can guzzle it faster.  I say he’s my sort-of boyfriend because I’m not really into guys, and when I’m not guzzling beer in cemeteries with Billy and his buddies, I’m making out with good girls in locked bathrooms at high school parties.  The kind of girls who have boyfriends, get good grades and swear, as they gulp down their wine coolers, that they’ve never done this kind of thing before…

And they love my car.  God, how they love my cool, speedier than lightening car with the huge stolen speakers Billy installed.  I take the girls out into the hills at the edge of town, out where the apple orchards are, and we turn out the headlights and race down the back roads in the moonlight, and the girls tell me that it’s just like flying, and you know what?  It really kind of is. 

5 thoughts on “Don’t Fear the Reaper by Deb Jennifer

  1. Yowza, this is a great piece here, Jennifer!

    Bad high-school drop-out, stoner, lesbian! No more speeding! 😀

    I think this is worth expanding into a full-blown…something!

  2. Speeding with the lights off? That’s so Garp, thankfully with a better outcome. Lol, I’m glad you survived yourself. And Billy.

  3. Jennifer, who knew you had the whole bad girl thing down pat? Very admirable. Of course, if you got busted, then it would be one of those things we never talk about (“Shhh … we don’t talk about *that* …”), but seeing how you’ve survived it all and lived to tell … it’s very cool, you’re like a legend. It’ll be one of those great “Did you know?…” bio pieces when they award you the Booker Prize …

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