Sunday, October 17, 2010
The next time I saw Rocky was at a party that summer. I was with my new boyfriend; he was a surfer with long blond hair. He took me to the beach where I would watch him surf. He took me horseback riding, the two of us racing across the desert bare-back on his beautiful horse. He took me careening through the hills on his dirt bike. He used to pick me up each day from my summer job where I worked in the kitchen and we’d spend the day together. I was deliriously happy with Steve. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.
One Saturday night we were at a party with lots of kids from school. Steve and I were surprised to see Rocky and his friends there because they didn’t usually socialize with the lower classes. These were the rich kids who lived by the country club. When the pot came out and everyone was toking up, I could see then why they had come. None of them had ever smoked pot before.
It was a very hot night in July and we were all sweltering in a big old house when someone said, “Let’s go swimming!” We all agreed that was a terrific idea, but where? We were too far from the ocean and no one owned a pool we could use. Then some genius said, “Let’s go to the high school. It’s got two pools.” Everyone piled in their cars and sped off for the school. Steve was driving my mom's (I can’t remember why) crammed with kids from the party.
We got to the school, everyone climbed the fence and jumped in the pools. Ahh, sweet relief from the heat. I felt fearless that night (I’m sure the pot had something to do with that), so I even jumped off the highest diving board. If I close my eyes I can see myself looking down into the water even now. There were about 25 of us and of course we were making lots of noise, so someone called the police.
Cop cars came screeching into the parking lot. We all scrambled out of the pools and ran like hell. Someone helped me over the fence, but when I jumped down I broke or sprained my ankle. I had no idea where Steve was and just then I saw a fat old policeman running towards me. I took off as fast as I could, I could hear him panting behind me and his shoes in the gravel getting closer and closer. Finally he lunged at me and we both fell down. He put handcuffs on me and took me to a police car and off to the station.
Now, while all this was happening to me, some of my friends had taken my poor mom’s car and were out being chased by other policemen! Because I had resisted arrest and it was my car they were chasing around town, I was the one in the most trouble. They took me into the main room with all the desks and detectives etc. and sat me down. The other people from the party were in the hallway. There was a glass partition between us, we could see each other but couldn’t hear anything. I could see Steve and Rocky leaning against the wall.
The police kept asking me where the car would be (How the hell would I know?!) And I think they asked about the party and if we had done drugs. I didn’t tell them anything. Finally, they caught the kids in my car and brought them all in. They said they were calling my father to come and get me and take me to the hospital for my ankle to be fixed. They were being quite kind to me.
“Can my boyfriend come with me?” I asked.
“Sure,” said the cop, “Which one is your boyfriend?” We walked over to the window and I pointed at Steve. They went out to get him and came back saying, “He says he isn’t your boyfriend.”
I looked through the glass pane at Steve. His head was down, he wasn’t looking at me. I felt shocked, sad and abandoned. The policeman held me up as I limped off towards the exit when I saw Rocky walk through the door with a different man. “He says he is your boyfriend. Is that right?” I looked at Rocky and practically melted onto the floor right there in front of everyone. “Yes,” I answered. “He is my boyfriend.”
Rocky took my arm and helped me into the police car and sat next to me. He took my hand in his and asked me if I was alright. He held my hand all the way to the hospital. He took me inside and sat with me until my father came. My father was impressed with Rocky as the police had told him what he had done for me. He shook Rocky’s hand and thanked him. I thanked him too and he bent over and kissed me on the cheek.
I doubt if Rocky ever thought much about me and the two times he helped me. But I have never forgotten his kindness. I would say he had one of the purest hearts I have ever seen in my life. I was a stranger to him, someone far below him in social status and reputation, yet he went out of his way to make me happy.
I heard later that Rocky had returned to Kansas to live with his grandparents because he didn’t like the lifestyle of California. His girlfriend must have been heartbroken. I think he made the right choice though. Whatever he did do with his life, I’m sure he was a success and a blessing to everyone who knew him.
Oh, Steve never called me again, and I was in a cast for the rest of the summer.