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Page 41

Finally fate kicked me loose from dealing drugs, more effectively than I ever could have. Though the daily operations of Snardies were run by Ricky, the manager, the bar was owned by an overweight and singularly unattractive sixth grade school teacher named Mavis. Iíd like to say that her personality compensated for lack of beauty, but it, if anything, aggravated her unpleasant face ten fold. Mavis lived to wield power over others. She didnít like me because I was too much of an individual. She didnít like Shannon, the only bartender at Snardies that actually worked, because she was too pretty. She didnít like everyone else that worked there because they were merely inferior underlings. She didnít like the customers because they were a bunch of drunks. Basically, she was a unhappy cow who hated the world, and because she was miserable she wanted to make everyone else miserable, too. If I had been in her sixth grade class I would of thrown myself under the wheels of a school bus- only because I probably wouldnít have been strong enough to push so prodigious a weight as Mavis under the wheels.

One day Mavis went on a firing spree and axed a few people whom she had the strongest grudges against. As it so happened, I had made myself a prime target by daring to talk to Mavis as though she were my equal, and consequently did the equivalent of stretching my neck out beneath the executionerís axe. Once I found out that I had been fired, I quickly mounted a counterstrike and began campaigning with several of the other waitresses. Mavis treated everyone as though they were dog feces, so I had only to use an inkling of my persuasive skills. Within several days, two more waitresses had voluntarily quit, leaving the bar running on less than a skeleton crew.

I laughed about it, but soon realized that I was out of a job. I had spent my drug money nearly as fast as I earned it, and didnít have a whole lot to live on. I was caught up on my motorcycle payments, but would need to get work soon so that I wouldnít fall behind again. Though I was current financially up to date on the Honda, Scottís parents were still harassing me about turning the bike over to them. They didnít seem to comprehend that it would cost them money to work things that way or maybe they just saw that there had been a falling out between Scott and I, and now they were doing everything they could to get back at me.

Figuring it would be difficult to track me down if I moved out of the area, I called my Mom who had relocated to Yakima, which was a mountain range away from Scott and his parents, Heather, and everyone else. I was ready for a change of scenery and without more than a day or two between the time I made the decision and the time that I left town, I was on my CBR, making my way over Stevenís Pass.



After I had barely avoided being shot in the head by Sebastian and his cronies, I was extremely nervous about hanging around town. I was concerned that I might run into Sebastian and his violently inclined friends again, and I worried that on our next encounter I might not be so lucky.

From that point on, Yakima was used up for me. I spent the next three weeks planning my escape. I was broke, though, and didnít know how I was going to skip town. I had burned my bridges on the other side of the mountain and had no where to go. Now, I realized that I was going to have to use the September Peterson ingenuity and come up with a plan.

About the time that I overcame my fear of being killed by drug dealers and came out of hiding, Max Jenkins rolled into town in a beat up VW bug. Max was a walking, talking dichotomy. He was the son of a Mormon bishop, yet he had hair that grew to half way down his back. People often mistook him as a drug dealer and tried to buy from him, but the fact was he hadnít touched drugs, or even alcohol, his entire life. He sang in a rock and roll band that played in smoky bars, yet he never touched a cigarette and followed a strict weight lifting regimen.

Despite our differences in lifestyle, he was one of the core friends that I would remain close with my entire life; One of the dozen or so people that would be there for me when I was on my death bed. I felt comfortable talking with him about the spiritual and focused person that I wanted to be in one breath, and guns and swords in the next.

He had found Paul home just as he was leaving for a shift at work. Though Paul had never seen him before, and didnít know him from Adam, he let him into the apartment, gave him access to the VCR and stereo and went off to work. I showed up a few hours later with Kevin, a military guy who smuggled drugs across the pass when he was on leave.

"I never looked in the trunk," said Kevin. "But they give me a car and pay me a thousand bucks to drive it over Snoqualmie pass."

Kevin continued to regale us with stories about drug gangs in Yakima and then went on to tell us about the time he caught a concert of the supposedly Christian band, Stryper, in Japan.

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