I chipped my left front tooth on a metal water fountain at the Santee Drive-in when I was 16.
We were drinking tall cans of Steele Reserve. I can still taste the rusted piss. I would buy a gram of weed and a pack of cigarettes every week with the 20 dollars my mom would give me to buy lunch. They didn’t card at Eastridge Liquor. Instead the Middle Eastern…no, Indian? No…Persian clerk? Would give us whatever we wanted provided he could stuff said bottles of Popov down our shirts and underneath our bras. With his foreign hand he would gently pull the padding of our bras forward to make room for the vodka, and push down on the top of the bottle, wedging it slowly between both breasts.
I would walk out of the liquor store with a couple 5ths of rum and vodka protruding out of my oversized bra, looking like a deformed doll. It was cool though. If you told him you had a boyfriend or walked in with a guy he would leave you alone.
He got arrested eventually.
Before heading to the drive-in, we had to fish for our alcohol since we were fresh out of neighborhood pedophiles for the time being. No one wanted to do it, but someone had to buck up and ask one of the schizoid bums to liberate us.
Whenever we succeeded I felt invincible. Nothing could touch me. I can’t remember the name of the one bum who was always happy to buy liquor for us as long as we bought some for him. He was Rastafarian with matted dreads and clothes to match; he would ride around town on a razor scooter.
I hopped in the trunk with a friend two blocks before the Drive-in, I never had any money left over to pay for a ticket.
I liked sneaking in.
I liked seeing the red tail light shine through the cracks of the trunk, like laser beams out to get me. It was like I won something for once.
Authority didn’t matter. I decided to drink authority, all of it. To smoke it down to the roach. To consume it and make it mine. That’s was the only way I had learned to defeat it, by taking it upon myself. Instead of saying fuck you, I said fuck me and chipped my tooth by falling face first onto a water fountain trying to get to the bathroom.
I didn’t even notice till the next morning. I felt a rough patch on my tooth with my tongue. Sliding my tongue over it again and again until I finally looked at myself in the mirror, and forced a smiled.
My mom said I ruined my perfect teeth.