We were still an hour out from the cabin when the driveshaft on Al's truck finally snapped. It happened to be one of the hottest days of the summer at 101 degrees and about eighty percent humidity - not the sort of weather you want to break down in.
"How did I know this hunk of shit was going to break down," I said. "I told you we should've taken my truck."
"Yeah, well bust my balls later! If we waste time and start arguing out here we'll stroke out."
"Right. Do you at least have the key to the toolbox?" I pulled off my shirt and grabbed the smokes off the dash. We were both drenched in sweat since the truck had no A/C.
"Up my ass. Have a plan, Einstein?"
"Yeah - I'm gonna smoke this cigarette and then I'm going to get us the hell outta here."
Luckily, the four wheel drive on Alex's pickup worked. With the driveshaft busted, there was no power going to the rear wheels, so by locking the front hubs in, the truck technically becomes front-wheel drive, which would get us to the cabin as long as we took it slow. Before we could do that though, we needed to take off the busted shaft so we didn't have to listen to it clanking and causing more damage the whole way there.
Alex and I knew each other since junior high, when I switched schools. He was held back a year so he was just as new to the class as I was. Alex made his way to the back where I was hiding hoping no one would notice. He hilariously introduced himself when he wiped out trying to jump into the seat of the desk, acting cool - and we were friends right from the start.
Alex's dad had a sort of mid-life crisis about five years ago, and decided to buy this cabin. He said it was for everyone's enjoyment, as well as his own so he could hunt and get away from the stress of the woman that is Alex's mom. Turns out, not even after owning the place for a month, his dad ended up getting a new job. He's a master mechanic and a private contractor for a trucking company outside of Columbus. So being that his dad rarely ever uses the place, Alex and I get to go up there whenever we want as long as we maintain it.
"We're going to take the next exit, 113 - then merge onto Lilley. That should take us through town and up to Bohn." (The map was extremely difficult for me to read with all the old worn creases, as well as all the food stains.)
Hazards on, we slowly made our way through the quiet little town of Kenton. It only consisted of one gas station, a diner, a post office, a bakery and a small Baptist church. There were only about a dozen houses in sight, two of which we learned later on were abandoned. Surrounding all of this was a couple of farms and lots of thick, wooded land.
After about twenty minutes, we hung a left on Bohn and rode another eight miles until we saw the Harley-Davidson mailbox. His driveway was long and curvy, and it was completely shaded by huge maple and oak trees.
"Finally! I feel like my ass is going to fall off!" Alex got out and stretched.
"Help me take all the shit inside before I pass out. Then we'll figure out what to do about dinner."
We had originally planned to stay up here for about two weeks, but Al was pushing for a month. I wasn't going to argue - I needed to unwind and this summer was all the time I had before I moved to Northern Cali. I had saved up about $2500 from rebuilding my neighbor's '68 Shovelhead a few months back specifically for this trip.
The cabin was decent-sized and well furnished, although it didn't have air conditioning. If for some reason the bipolar Northern Michigan weather decided to drop to freezing, we had a fireplace, but for now we just had all the windows open. The only source of power was a generator in the garage, which we had yet to start.
At this point, most people would label us as crazy for calling this a vacation, and with good reason. However, the thing that made the whole thing worthwhile was having complete freedom: freedom to ride the trails all night and day; freedom to drink the boat loads of beer my brother bought for us; freedom to have a great time without being judged.
Once we got our shit put away, we thought about what we were going to do for dinner. On one hand, we could just skip it and eat some of the snacks we brought with us, and on the other: we could head to the diner for burgers and shakes. We opted for the latter.
Since the town is small, and no one really gives a fuck, we rode the quads to the diner. The waitress, Betty (who is also the owner), knew us and didn't even have to ask what we wanted. While we waited for the food she sat down and talked with us.
"It's good to see you two again! How long are you in town for?"
Al spoke up and said, "All of this month. Lots of riding to do!"
"Oh good! My grandsons are in town for the summer. Maybe you should swing by. I'll introduce you."
We knew as well as anyone in this town that her grandsons Kyle and Matty were good guys. Anyone related to Betty was close to perfect and was either a saint or pretty damn close to it. From what I can remember, they are only a year or two younger than us.
She went to the kitchen and brought back our order. Two half-pounders, fries and chocolate shakes to wash 'em down. Mm-mmm. Food like this was sure to stick to the bones of you ate enough, but oh-so-good.
Once we finished, we moseyed on over to the quads and raced home. We were both in slight pain from overeating, so every bump made us uncomfortable. Once we got to the cabin we met in the living room and lounged. Alex brought us a couple six-packs.
"Hey, Brad - do you know what you're going to do when you get to California? I mean, other than work at the bike shop?"
"To be honest, I haven't thought about it much. Probably ride around and get a feel for the area. I know I'll be working on the truck a lot and I'll be super busy with work. Who knows."
"What if you don't like it out there?"
"Then I guess I move somewhere else."
"Well, you know if something happens," he said reassuringly, "You're always welcome under our roof."
When Alex starts to get drunk - which I've learned doesn't take much - he starts turning into a bit of a sap. I don't mind it, but I'm always afraid he'll say something he doesn't really want me to know. Last time, he told me he was the one who busted my Xbox, and not my little cousin. This giant (at 6'2" and probably 200lbs) started crying because he felt so bad about it. I wasn't mad at him, cuz it wasn't a huge deal to me and my console was fixed anyhow - I just hate seeing him get embarrassed about it afterward.
So we're drinking away on the couch and he starts to pass out. Being the good bro I am, I helped him to his feet and got him to his bed. I went to the kitchen to get him a glass of water for the morning, and when I came back, he was butt naked.
This is when I start to get slightly uncomfortable. "Okay... go to bed Al. Sleep it off, man."
He plops into bed, and just as I'm walking out, I hear his drunken, child-like voice mumble: "I love youuu..." I wasn't exactly sure how to take it. I mean, normally it's just the beer talking but ever since I told him I was moving, he'd been almost... clingy. He'd been more... emotional around me.
I went back to the living room and thought on it the rest of the night. Could he be gay?
To be honest... I fucking hoped so.
Source: http://(I am the original author)