The Borrowed Car

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I ran out of sellable quantities of weed one night. Sure I had enough to smoke myself, but other people kept calling me, looking for sacks, so I felt frustrated that I couldn’t hook them up.

I decided to go through a different person to buy my usual quarter-pound, so I talked to my friend Aleks, who claimed to know some people… or he knew someone who knew someone.

So Aleks made some calls and confirmed that he could get me the weed, with a couple of minor hoops. The seller, however, was unwilling to deliver to my house, nor to deal directly with me. I wasn’t used to dealing with a middle-man, but in this case I needed to get some weed quickly.

But I had no car, Aleks had no car, and the middle-man had no car, so at first I thought there was no way to make this work.

But Aleks knew someone who had a car. A woman named Karen lived directly above me in our apartment complex. He took me up there and she invited us in, and immediately, before even introducing ourselves, she invited us into the back room to smoke some weed and look at her new marijuana plants, which she was quite proud of. But to me they looked rather sickly.

Aleks told her about our situation and asked if she could drive us to make the buy. She quickly refused, but instead, offered to just let me take her car. Aleks did not have a drivers license, so I would be the one driving. She tossed me the keys and I joked about the fact that she was giving me her car before she knew my name. She simply shrugged. “Whatever,” she said. “I trust ya. Just smoke me a bowl when you get back and I’m all good.”

So after smoking a quick bowl, Aleks and I got up to leave, but Karen stopped us and said, “There’s a few details about the car… there’s no back seat, but there is sort of a back… plywood platform he can squeeze into… and the left turn signal doesn’t work, or the heater, or the passenger side door… so the passenger has to crawl over the drivers seat to get in… oh and I think the seatbelts are broken.”

I sighed, not wanting to carry a quarter-pound of marijuana in a car with no turn signals, but went on with the plan anyway.

Aleks climbed over the seat and we settled in. We drove across town at Aleks’ direction and pulled in front of some old house. Immediately a guy came up, as our connection had apparently been waiting out on the street for us. I got out to let him in and he looked at me and cocked his head. “Hey dude, I know you,” he said. “It’s Ryan… We work together… don’t you recognize me Dude?”

It took a moment, but finally I recognized him as one of the line-cooks at the restaurant where I worked. So I immediately felt a little better about this shady deal, knowing that our middle-man wasn’t an undercover.

Ryan took a minute to squeeze into the back of the two-seater car, propping himself up on the plywood, hunching his back and putting his head between his knees just to keep himself from spilling out into the front seat.

We drove almost all the way back to my house again to find the actual dealer’s home. Ryan got out because Aleks and I were not allowed to come in. I gave Ryan some money and gave him a price outline.

Ryan came out again five minutes later to tell me that the dealer had refused my price. He was willing to sell me ounces of some weed I had already sampled for $250 a piece, which for the quality, was a very reasonable price. However, I wanted a quarter pound (four ounces), and was used to getting better deals on larger quantity.

Ryan went back in, relaying my negotiations, then came back out again to say the dealer had firmly refused, demanding a thousand dollars for four ounces, which was just a bit too high for me. Finally I refused and Ryan went back in to apologize and say goodbye. Later I realized I should have simply bought a single ounce to cover my buyers for that night.

So Ryan crawled back into the back seat and we started to pull away from the curb, but just as we did, I saw a cop racing toward us from the side of the car. I stopped quickly, scared that I’d almost hit him, and hung halfway out of the parking space.

It took me a second to roll the window down. Fortunately the window actually worked.

At this point I was thanking God that I had not bought any weed that night, but still figured I was in for some problems, not even knowing the last name of the car’s owner, and doubting very much that she had insurance.

The officer took a quick look at Ryan hunched up in the back seat. I assumed he would point out that his positioning was not legal, but the officer didn’t seem to give it a second thought.

“Hey, have you guys seen a guy named Alex Robinson?” he asked.

I looked at Aleks in the seat next to me, and tried to remember his last name. He had told me a few days earlier but I had completely forgotten. Robinson sounded very familiar.

“No,” Aleks said. “Never heard of him.”

“No,” Ryan repeated.

And the cop looked at me, “Um, no,” I said, nearly certain that I was telling a lie. “Whose Aleks Robinson?”

“Oh, he’s just this little punk whose been running around this neighborhood causing trouble. You haven’t seen anyone suspicious around here?”

“No,” I replied. “Haven’t seen anyone.”

“Okay, then, have a good night,” said the officer, waving me on with his flashlight.

Slowly I pulled out and drove away, thanking the heavens that he didn’t even ask for the cars registration and proof of insurance. After a few blocks I asked Aleks, “What the hell did you do? Is your last name Robinson, you crazy bastard… did I just lie for your ass?”

“What?” he asked. “No Dude, that’s not me.”

“You fuckin lyin to me?” I shouted.

“You wanna see my ID?” he shouted back, pulling it out and shoving it in front of my face.

I pushed it away frantically without reading it, trying to keep my eye on the road, but was sufficiently satisfied that he was not the person they were looking for.

We returned Ryan to his house, said sorry for wasting his time and went home.

About two-weeks later I came home to find my apartment complex swarming with cops with dogs. A day later I heard the story from some other residents.

Karen, the woman in the apartment just above me, had been confronted by the police, but had managed to get away by jumping out her second-story window and running into the woods. The cops had brought out the dogs and had finally tracked her down and arrested her.

What was she arrested for, you might wonder…

She was arrested for stealing cars.

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