I was MIA for two years and now I’m back in town to see Miles my best friend and riding partner. We di everything together, even went together to Port Jeff Harley Davidson to get our bikes. I got the Sportster shovelhead in black, miles went for a customized candy apple red with flames. Miles was a bit showy but that’s one of the things I loved so much about him. In high school we were both considered a little odd, flaunting our uniqueness’s, but Miles took his to the extreme. Long before any of us knew what glam rock was he had a long shag haircut and wore iridescent tight jeans, sparkled socks’ with platform shoes while I stayed loyal to concert tee’s, bell bottoms, and my red, white, and blue “moratorium” sneakers. They called us the big freak and the bigger freak but we always had the best weed so they seldom called us that to our faces. The power of supply and demand was in our favor.
We were both also first on line to experiment with any new drug and to stretch the boundaries of sensible abuse of the drugs. So it wasn’t much of a surprise that when I came back to town it was in part to detox. Nor would anyone be shocked that it was Miles I turned to. I had left town 2 years ago and moved into the big city where I fell into the clutches of addiction. Not much of a surprise there either but bottom line is I wanted to detox and Miles was the only one I could turn to. What was a surprise was when he answered the door. Full red beard and long red locks obscuring a hardened face and wearing a Pagan Motorcycle cut off jean jacket. Mild Miles. Crazyman Miles. I can’t see for Miles and Miles cuz I’m so stoned Miles. The hippie peace loving non confrontational Miles I left behind was now in a violent motorcycle group.
The second we saw each other we embraced like long separated lovers. Two peas getting back in the pod, Frick mending ways with Frac, peanut butter reuniting with jelly. Best pals from kindergarten till after high school together again.It was a magic moment shared by two outcasts that had each gone out in search of themselves. I became a city bohemian starving artist writer, a potential Salvatore Dali with a typewriter and a thesaurus holding down cooking job to make ends meet. That and to feed an addiction. And now Miles a what? A kickass biker dude? “Holy shit Bro, long time man, you look great. Full beard, long hair and a..A Pagan MC jacket. Wow, I mean like jeez bro you look…well you look kinda mean. You hooked up with the Pagans?” Miles grinned his infectious grin. A grin that grabbed your smile muscles and forced them upward. His grin was so intoxicating women would get woozy and he would get lucky with jut a smile. As always I fell prey to it as well. “Yea bro, me, a fucking biker right?? Who’da thunk Miles Martin would be a badass biker with the Pagans. I bet most of our friends figured me for a burnt out junkie loser or some shit, hahaha.”… Ouch, that stung. I forced my smile muscles not to participate in his enchanting grin game and looked down at the ground slightly embarrassed. When I sniffled he figured it out instantly, “Oh hey JT, sorry man, I…I” He stepped back and rolled up my sleeve. “Oh shit Bro not you? What about our pact? What happened?”
I began to sheepishly explain how I just got caught up in it, using a partially true excuse of researching the sub cultures of the city to write my stories an catching a habit researching street survivors in The lower East Side. That was how it began but it was me that fucked up and chose to keep going back for more not for research, but for relief. “That’s part of why I’m here man, I’m sick and I need help. I want to kick Bro, I want out but I ain’t got no one to turn to. My family disowned me, don’t even wanna hear my name, my girlfriend moved back to Kansas just to get away from me, and everyone else I know is either too strung out or too stoned to give a shit.” Miles got it, he knew instantly what to do. I knew he wouldn’t judge me or turn his back on me or tell me to get lost, he was a true brother. “Come on in man, have a brew. Let me make a few calls. First we’ll get you right and then we’ll get you clean.” he sat me down, tossed me a PBR, and disappeared. I guzzled the beer listening to ZZ Top, sniffling all the while as the physical aspect of my sickness from addiction became more noticeable. Five minutes later Miles returned, “Come on JT my brother, I’m gonna get you a dose of methadone for tonight and then we’ll go to a Pagan safe house to clean up. We‘ll take my cage.”
Miles cage, what bikers call their cars, was a cheap sedan of some type, I never really noticed. He drove about fifteen minutes to a bar in Amityville called “Blue T”. I could tell Blue T was a biker bar the second we pulled up because I saw rows of incredible scoots lined up in front. Mostly tricked out Hogs, a few Indians, a pair of Triumphs, and one Norton all shining and gleaming. It was a beautiful sight and I started to understand why Miles hooked up. He told me to wait as he went into The Blue T, returning after two minutes with a dude that scared the shit out of me with just a glance. He was about six four an maybe 275 pounds dressed in all black. His big oval face was obscured by a huge stringy jet black beard that went below his tee shirt neckline. His hair was just as coal black but long and greasy and sorely in need of a brush. Or at least some shampoo. In the middle of that hirsute framed face were two mean and angry giant beady eyes set way back in his head. They appeared to be stuck in pissed off mode and I feared his grimace was surgically implanted. As he got closer it became apparent that personal hygiene was not a priority. A reddened worn face with acne that betrayed he was much younger than he appeared. I wondered if he had ever had a moment in his life when he wasn’t angry. He looked directly at me with incredible distain, “This the asshole Red?” Miles stepped up, “yea JuJu, this is my buddy man, he’s cool. Give him a break Bro, he’s sick right now. Just do me this favor dude an I’ll owe you.” I shivered and let out another sniffle as an exclamation point. “Fuck this asshole Redbeard. Look, I’ll give him half my take home but stop with this punk ass I’m sick bullshit. You think you’re the first dipshit to use the spike?” He was looking at me now an I tried to sound halfway normal, “No man, no, I dig it, you’re right man, I just want this shit to stop man.” He shot me a look that may actually be able to kill and passed me a vial, “Drink half, but just fucking half asshole, this is my take home.” I obliged, thanking him enthusiastically for his generosity. The methadone clinics are only open Monday to Friday so on Fridays reformed junkies in the program get take home doses to get them through. Giving up half your take home was no small favor, he really did me a huge favor, or rather for Redbeard. I passed the remainder back putting out my hand to shake, but he just glared, turned, and walked back into the bar. I looked at Mile and thanked him then asked “Reddbeard” His grin returned triumphantly and he merely ssaid, “long story.”
Miles slapped my shoulder, “c’mon, lets go puff a joint then we’ll have a few brews. My sponsors gonna pick us up in an hour to bring us to a safe house.” We went out back to puff a joint. By the time we finished the methadone was just beginning to kick in and for the first time all day I felt good. We went inside sat on stools at the bar of Blue T to have some beer an catch up. It was a frightening experience just looking around. I was afraid to look at the chicks for pissing off one of these dudes. They were all big burly badasses virtually all dressed in black, “I’m sorry man, I gotta know. How the fuck did you end up with the Pagans?” Miles guzzled his beer straight own, wiped his thick red beard splattering a mix of spit and beer off his mustache into my lap and began his story.
“After you left I had no one to run with. Patrick went off to college and Sam got married and sold his bike. Rest of the assholes from town gave me nuthin but shit so I said fuck it and started hanging alone. I was chilling at Gunderstocks in Northport. and this dude come up tells me about a party out in Amityville. Dude looked cool and I was alone so of course I say fuck yea, and turns out it’s a Pagan club party. Booze and chicks everywhere man, I thought I was in biker heaven bro. So I talk to my new friend and he tells me if I want to get in with the Pagans I gotta do my time. If they like ya they let ya become a hanger on. Then if your lucky a member will sponsor you an you go through all kinds of bullshit I can‘t talk about here. Dude says he’s been a hanger on for two months now. That night I got so fucked up, had so much fun, and on top of it got laid by two biker chicks at once. I’m telling ya JT, the fucking best ever”
“So I became a hanger on, went to all their parties, carried the kegs, picked up grain alcohol and weed for them, cleaned up after, shit like that. Whatever they wanted they just yell ’Yo citzen, get me a joint, or bring me a beer, whatever. Three months go by, I’m hanging around all the time, getting laid like every day trying to impress a member to sponsor me. One morning its like seven AM, everybody’s tanked and tired and this member says to me, ‘Yo Citizen, make us some breakfast’ So here’s my big chance ya know, cooking like you an me always done working at Moonriders. So I whipped them up a great breakfast, made them hash brown potatoes, sausage and bacon, eggs with parmesan, and everyone’s like holy shit fucking citizen can cook. Next thing I’m cooking all the time and they start calling me Chef Boy Ar Dee. That’s cool because it beats the shit out of lugging and cleaning and gets me noticed. Two more months of that when the dude what originally asked me to make breakfasts asks if I want him to be my sponsor. Well hell fucking yea I want a sponsor, that’s why I’m there, so he sponsors me.”
Just then another biker came up and whispered something to Miles. Miles looks up at him says “Cool, thanks,” and the dude leaves. “Okay JT, finish your brew buddy, we leave in ten. When we get to the safe house. I’ll finish my tale then an you’re gonna tell me how the fuck you ended up with that shit in your veins.” I picked up my beer and began guzzling when I hear a commotion to my left. A dude was sitting on a stool next to me minding his business sipping a beer when a biker wearing his Pagan colors pushes his head into the bar, “I asked you what you said about my bike mother fucker!” The dude was confused. He rubbed the area on his head that had just been introduced to the bar counter answering, “What? Hey man, I didn’t say nothing about nothing man, I’m just drinking a beer.” The Pagan grabbed him by the shoulder, “You calling me a fucking liar asshole?” and lowered a hard right hook to the dudes forehead. It was right in front of my face, I saw the skin cave inward on hiss forehead then reverberate back in place all red. After another punch to his chin he lost his balance and fell to the floor. I was in shock but it was like no one else noticed as the dude jumped up fists flying. They bumped my stool spilling half my beer all over me as they engaged in hand to hand combat, splattering blood around from someone’s nose. They brawled valiantly the sound of thuds and cracks as they pummeled each others faces and heads until the barstool dude had nothing left and just collapsed. Shaken up I looked at Miles and said, “Dude, I’m sorry. I know this is your gig but I can’t handle this, I gotta split man.” Miles stood up, “No worries buddy, were leaving now anyway. We’re gonna get you straight.” He through a twenty on the bar and led me out. I stayed very close so they knew I was with him.
Next episode, Kicking It In The Safe House