I’ve Got A Brand New Pair Of Roller Skates

wpid-IMG647.jpgWhen I was 16 years old I worked at a little store in the mall called, “Hot Topic”. I was very much into the gothic/industrial scene and obsessed with the band Nine Inch Nails. I had a black a-line bob, two inches of blond roots and anorexia. I wore fishnet, thigh high stockings every day and skeleton clips in my hair. I had a spiked collar, facial piercings and a purse shaped like a coffin.


I was cool.

I lived in Las Vegas and had just recently moved in with my mom after a two year stint of living on the streets (but that’s another story). My parents were a few years divorced at this point. My mother was very controlling. I had a specific curfew of 10pm.

One evening after a long, Madonna singing, car ride home with my friend spike, (we had just spent our evening in the city of “Prim” riding roller coasters) I arrived home to my mothers house. It was roughly 10:09 pm. We pulled down my street and Spike slowed his car down approaching my house, stopping next to the curb. He turned his car off.

That’s when we saw it.

Spikes eyes resembled those of a jack-o-lantern’s, his jaw hit the floor.

He said, in his sexy, “gay boy next door” voice,

“What, the fuck?”

The lawn was littered with destruction. There was broken glass, torn up posters and books, shattered CD’s, ripped clothes, you name it! Basically everything I owned was destroyed and scattered across the lawn.

The front gate swung open. My mom came barging out and straight to Spikes car. With her eyes fixated at me she opened his passenger door.

“Get the fuck out of the car!”
She ordered.

Not wanting to involve Spike anymore I listened. Spike turned over his engine and hauled ass out of there.

“You are past your curfew. Let me smell your breath!” she ordered, “Were you drinking?”

She smelled me. When she was satisfied I didn’t smell of liquor she continued,

“You smell like semen. You are a fucking whore. You were probably giving you little friend blow jobs all night. I bet you have AIDS.”

“Spike is GAY!” I yelled. “What the hell did you do to my things? You are a crazy bitch.”


She smacked me across the face with all her might. Then she handed me a plastic bag.

“Pack your shit and get the fuck out of my house. I gave you a chance and you blew it. I’m setting an alarm. You have five minutes then I’m calling the police to have you picked up.”

My mom meant business. She was serious. She would call the police, and I knew it. She had had me arrested before.

I took the bag, loaded what I could gather from the remains of my clothes into it and walked off, in my 20 eye Doc Martens, to the 711 down the road. I stood outside (as I did often) and asked strangers for change. I was given a quarter. I put it in the pay phone and called my dad.

Forty five minutes later he pulled up in his red and white work truck. He just recently acquired it, it had been a gift from my aunt. I got in. He was obviously drunk.

“What kind of cigarettes are you smoking these days?” He asked me.

“Marboloro’s.” I answered while handing him one.

He immediately lit it up. Then he said to me,

“You shouldn’t smoke this shit. You are a slave to cigarettes. You should smoke weed. That shit won’t kill ya.”

Then he thought for a second,

“Do you have any? Sweetie, give your daddy a bowl!”

Then he laughed.

“I told you I gave it up over a year ago, dad.” I said, starting to get annoyed.

Noticing, he changed the subject. To my mother.

“What the fuck did that stupid bitch do to you this time? I don’t know why she’s so mean to you. She’s always been jealous of you. Ask anybody that knows her.”

“She was mad that I broke curfew by NINE minutes!” I said, grateful to have an ally.

“That’s it? She destroyed your shit because of nine minutes? What a crazy cow! She used to do those kinds of things to me all the time!”
He said.

Then he continued his rant for the twenty five minute ride back to his apartment.

“That crazy bitch did _____ to me!”

“The fat cow did _____.”

“That whore cheated on me all the time! I never cheated on her I was true!”

On and on he rambled in his belligerent, pity party as we swerved down Boulder Highway.

When we finally pulled down the dirt road to my fathers Studio I was just sick of both of my parents. By now it was close to midnight and I had a morning shift at work. I needed sleep and I needed to route the bus schedule.

After my mother had ran off to have a love child with our neighbor, my father was left to take care of himself for the first time. He was for the most part incapable. He rented a small studio apartment from a friend in a little run down town between the borders of Las Vegas and Henderson called Pitman. It was fitting. It was the Pitts.

I got out of my dads truck and onto the cracked sidewalk stepping over the weeds and cigarette butts. He opened the door to reveal a small room. It had a faded couch to the left, a tiny, black and white TV directly ahead and a bed to the right. Next to the TV was a small door leading to the only bathroom. There was no kitchen. The only place to walk in the room was the foot width of tile between the bed and the couch. The place was filthy and smelled of mildew and stale cigarettes. I put my bag of clothes on the couch, plopped down and mentally welcomed myself to my new home.

Let’s back up.

This particular fight was not the first I had had with my mother in the three months I had been living with her again.

The first week was I was there, with the help of my former probation officer, my mother hired a family counselor. We had been to family counseling before, but unlike before, this one worked (or so I thought). You see, typically my mother would pick a counselor at random from her insurance booklet and make an appointment. After one or two sessions my mother would be convinced that I was manipulating the counselor and that the counselor was now against her and out to get her. We would leave therapy (it would be all my fault) and begin the next week with someone knew. This pattern was not just with me, it stemmed from her childhood, when her parents tried getting her help (but that’s a different story) and failed.

After a few months of counseling my mother and I were getting along great! I was back in school working towards my diploma, I had gotten my first job. I even sent money from every paycheck to my grandparents who were putting it in a savings account until I had enough to buy their car. One day I did! Knowing my family was to spend Easter at my grandparents house, I went to the DMV, acquired a driving permit and scheduled a driving test for the near future.

My mother was too fearful to let me drive her car. I wasn’t getting much practice. Actually, I wasn’t getting any practice at all.

Easter Sunday was quickly approaching and I was getting very excited because that was the weekend I was bringing home MY FIRST CAR!

When The holiday weekend finally arrived, I piled into the back seat of Squirrel’s (who would later become my step dad) green, Chrystler Sebring with my two younger brothers. My mom and her boyfriend, Squirrel, got into the front. We sailed off into the California sunset to spend the weekend with my grandparents and:

Drum roll please!


This was the BEST day of my entire 16 year old life.

Six hours and two stops later we arrived to our destination. My grandparents came out to greet us. We said hello, hugged and unloaded.

That’s when it happened:

Da, Ta, Da, Da!!!!

My grandpa opened the garage door revealing my new, white four door, three cylinder roller skate from disco heaven! My face lit up brighter then a fart on a lit match. I was never going to be fondled by a drunk, homeless man on the inner city bus again!

“Wanna go for a ride?” my grandfather asked me.

“(FUCK) YES!” I screeched!

We got in. I only had a learner’s permit so I could only legally drive with a licensed adult in the car with me. This was my first time behind the wheel. Grandpa let me drive him all around the neighborhood and said I did great.

The next morning grandma did the same thing. I asked my mom to accompany me for my next trip. She said no. I asked Squirrel. He said no.

Then my uncle showed up! He not only went for several rides with me that day, he let me do some freeway action! For the record, my uncle is AWESOME!

I was an incredible driver(for a woman) and couldn’t wait until the next morning when I would actually get to drive my little, enclosed golf cart home. I fell asleep with a grin wider than Cheshire cats on my face.

The next morning I got up, singing. Got myself dressed, packed up my bag and loaded it in the hatch back of my new ride. I had MY OWN HATCHBACK! I was so excited I forgot to eat.

After we said our goodbyes and headed out of the house, I was skipping! I asked my mom who all was going to ride my car with me. Would it just be her? Would one of my brothers join us? Would it be Squirrel?

That’s when it happened.

my mom looked over at me and said,

“No one is riding with you today because you are NOT taking the car home. I decided I’m not letting you have it. You don’t deserve it. Plus you don’t have insurance. I didn’t think you could afford it so I didn’t add you on my plan. You will have to get your own.”

And with that she got into the Sebring. Everyone got into the Sebring. I stood there next to my grandparents, the three of us in shock. A part of me had just died. You see nothing had happened that weekend to warrant this decision. I had been more than well behaved. Actually, every since counseling had ended my mother and I were like best friends. We had never gotten along better.

Grandpa not knowing what to do advised me to also get in the Sebring. I don’t remember how I reacted but I’m sure there was screaming, cursing and a lot of tears.

That was the longest drive through the desert ever and I’ve driven that drive thousands of times in my life.

I hate Holidays. Especially Easter.

3 silver Kia’s, 1 white Kia and one white Scion.


  1. For a teen needing to set a stake a 3 cylinder Saab would have done just that, but no one threatens dreams more than a parent lost in their own unfulfilled shallow life. I always thought the grass was greener elsewhere so long before the Internet I subscribed to newspapers from different cities I passed on the API, UPI stories only reading the local news, political scene and obituaries which pulled the curtain back on the city. Where did people move from to die there; what was their educational background, how did they earn a living and more. In 1991 I subscribed to the Las Vegas Herald Journal Review and for a lark took the bar exam. There’s plenty to like about Vegas, but realized it was far too fast to raise a young girl so took a pass on moving but smartly wrote off the vakay. The long ride thru the desert to home had to be terrible for you.


  2. From your mom’s perspective, the attention you gave to the car was meant for her. Wounded, she did the only thing a narc knows how to do – ruin the thing you love more than them.


      1. I have SO many similar stories, where silly things that a parent should have NO problem letting their kids have were taken away from me, capriciously and without sound reason. They even aided and abetted my younger brother in the destruction and sabotage of some of my most cherished possessions. Now that I’m thinking about it, perhaps my next post will be the story of “The Smoking Monkey.” Stay tuned!


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