…the only chance I have to feel good even though I feel bad.

My first car was stolen. I think I was 16. It was a mid-1990s, black, bad ass Ford F-150. I stole it from behind a little row of stores in the town where I went to high school. To be fair, and if my memory serves me correctly, I dropped it off where I had found it. And I only kept it for about a week or ten days. And I should also tell you that the doors were unlocked and the keys were in the glove box when I took it.

I loved that truck. Sure, I had no right to be driving it, but it just felt so right. I remember going to pick up my friends and I’d just say, “Oh, my uncle is letting me borrow this.” Because some people may not have wanted to drive around in a stolen truck with me.

And, looking back, I was a dumb ass. I mean, I drove it around for quite a while, all over the same town I have taken it from. One of the nights I had it, I took it off-roading in this new housing development they were building: basically a whole fucking neighborhood of half-built houses, and a bunch of not-yet-paved dirt roads. And this was in the winter, by the way, a cold-ass snowy New York winter. So I was driving this fucker around these makeshift roads, and tearing through front yards and back yards. Keep in mind, this particular truck was not made for off-roading. It was a two-wheel drive vehicle. Naturally, I plowed into what I thought would be a ramp-type thing that I could get some air off of. But it was made of dirt and so I just… well, I basically slammed into this snowy muddy pile of dirt and got stuck. I walked around the construction sites until I found a shovel and a couple planks of wood. Spent a couple hours trying to back this truck out, to no avail. So, what did I do? Next morning, I got a friend to drive me out there and tie a rope from his truck to mine, and pulled that bitch right out of there. At like 8 in the morning on a Thursday, when there were hundreds of people around, building shit.

My point is that I was carefree and fearless. It never occurred to me that I might go to jail or something. I had such a good time though! I really liked driving around and smoking cigarettes with my left elbow hanging on the window-sill-thing (what do they call that part of cars anyway?), cruising and smoking weed with friends, trying/failing to “pick up chicks,” listening to cassette tapes. I think that tape deck played a lot of Sublime’s 40 Oz. To Freedom during my brief false-ownership. Such good times.

My friends and I had stolen other cars before, and kept a few of them for extended periods of time, but this was different somehow. This was better. It just really felt like my own truck. I was by myself when I stole it, just walking around late one night, trying to find some food and/or food money and/or something I could pawn for food money and/or weed money. I was 85% homeless at the time, I think I may have been sorta crashing at a friend’s house most nights. But yeah, I had taken this truck because it was open and there was nothing good to take from it except the keys and the truck itself.

Needless to say, or maybe this isn’t already obvious, but I was in a bad place at the time. This was the winter before I ended up starting (and eventually finishing) a 16-month stint in a residential drug rehab. But oddly enough, I don’t even remember doing too many drugs at the time. I think I was taking a break from the LSD and stuff, mostly just smoking pot and drinking. But I promise: I never drove drunk in this particular vehicle. And actually, I don’t even think I had planned on returning it… I just refrained from the drunk driving because I really liked the truck and wanted to keep it forever.

Anyway, this story was prompted by a picture of an old friend on Facebook. A kid I haven’t seen in years and years. And when I stole this truck, he was the first person I went and picked up. His name was Nick and I loved him. Coolest, funniest dude ever in the history of cool funny dudes. Last I heard, he was doing pretty badly with heroin and stuff. And nobody I talk to seems to know what he’s doing these days. But yeah, I saw an old picture of him, and listening to Sublime with Nick in that Ford truck was the first thing I thought of. I’m tempted to post the picture I’m talking about, but for anonimity’s sake and… you know… respect, I will not. But I will post a picture of the truck. Not THE truck, but same year/model/color. So you can understand or imagine how (un)cool I looked and felt in this thing.

Yes. Great post, right? Haha, no. Asshole.

Oh yeah! And for the record, Mister Policia, I have not stolen anything with wheels in at least nine or ten years. So. No prosecutions will be neccessary.


About R. Spacely

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9 Responses to …the only chance I have to feel good even though I feel bad.

  1. krystal says:

    robert! i thought…in a carefree summer way, this sounds fun. but then i remembered my bike was stolen and i was really torn up about it – and if the world warped to a different time and you lived here you could have stolen my bike!!!!!!!!!!

  2. krystal says:

    ok, i guess i’ll save it until my car goes missing one day :)

    • Rob says:

      Oh, come on! I’ve reformed, man, I really have. I don’t really even shoplift anymore. And I don’t shoot drugs and I don’t set fires either. I’m a nice boy, really. Time made me old.

  3. Great post. It’s all about gettin that GTA

  4. When I read the first line, I though you had YOUR car stolen. When I got to the point where I realized you stole it, I also realized what a bad-ass you are.

    Bad-ass. That, according to me, is the highest form of praise. LOL.

    • Rob says:

      I’m not condoning car theft, by the way. I mean, I don’t think its a great idea to steal shit, it’s just memories. Old memories. I’m pretty mild-mannered now. I mean, I can’t take the stress of being a criminal anymore. I watched a lot of friends disappear in prisons and turn into different people. I was one of the lucky ones.

      I am trying to say thank you for the praise, but I prefer to be thought of as a well-rounded young man that has led a fairly strange life… or something?? And if I was ever worthy of being considered a bad-ass, I’m certainly not anymore.

  5. Mom says:

    I haven’t said this to many people in my life, and now to you. You are very talented, you are creative, smart and are probably very charming. You should use your talents for good, it will make your life much easier and more exciting in the long run. And with all you have to share, it could be a very long run.
    I warned you I’d be watching!

    • Rob says:

      Yeah, thank you, I appreciate the advice. I mean, I’m always trying to focus my energy on productive, creative things. Nowadays, at least. I’m hopeful that my life is on a perpetual upswing, now that I’ve “cleaned up my act” for the most part…

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