When we last left off, Connecticut Chris and I were being followed by a car with tinted windows and no headlights on, after it had slowly tailed us on the sidewalk of a dimly lit backstreet in Hollywood.
Just another day in paradise.
A tad bit terrified, I finally decided to ask myself what it was that the person(s) in this car was planning to do. Unable to answer the question, I decided to ask it out loud, so that Chris might take a shot at it.
“They can’t do shit” Chris said, following it up by suggesting “just drive normal, if they follow us all the way back to North Hollywood, we’ll figure it out.”
The car finally had to turn its headlights on when we got to one of the main streets, and I felt myself take a breath for the first time since Chris had calmly but cautiously whispered, “we’re being tailed”. Taking a quick peek at my gas gauge, I was further comforted by the fact that I had just filled up. My phone was fully charged, so it’d be no problem to not only call the cops, but actually just pull up to a cop station if necessary. If this sucker thought he was going to just follow Chris and me home without us knowing, he had a another thing coming.
Pshh – what a sucker. Nice tinted windows, sucka!
Within two and a half minutes, still a bit unnerving despite my newfound arrogance, the car finally stopped following us. Victory! We didn’t even make it out of Hollywood before the punk gave up. A bit too busy patting myself on the back, I managed to miss a turn onto Hollywood Blvd. No big deal, I think to myself. I’ll just turn left here, then turn left again. Come on – I maneuvered us out of a potentially life threatening situation with the tinted-window car, I don’t think getting back to Hollywood Blvd is going to be all that hard.
My newfound conceit quickly gave way to the state of trembling terror that I had only snapped out of just moments before. We were no longer being followed, but the narrow backstreet that became a dead end was hands down the worst place we could be should the car with tinted windows manage to find us again. The lights on the few houses on this dead end street could barely even be seen through the thick shrubbery. Frantically making a U-Turn, I tried to explain to Chris that I had accidentally missed the turn onto Hollywood Blvd and figured I could just take the next street up.
“Dude. This is not the time to be taking new routes” Chris informed me rather matter-of-factly, the tiniest of trembles in his voice indicating that this wasn’t a let’s-make-fun-of-Jesse’s-absent-mindedness comment, but rather a please-don’t-put-my-life-in-any-more-jeopardy-than-it-already-has-been-in comment.
Sorry about that, Connecticut Chris.
We made it out of the narrow dead end street and back onto Hollywood Blvd unscathed. Rather than return to our arrogant banter about how the tinted window car couldn’t do nothin’, we just kind of sat saying nothing. Perhaps we were taking a moment to let what happened sink in; perhaps we were just enjoying our existence, it having been threatened. Having successfully merged onto the 101, a daily feat that is arguably as terrifying as our incident with the tinted-window car was, Chris finally broke the silence.
“You ever been jumped?” he asked with a certain meekness.
All this time enjoying the company of Connecticut Chris, I had failed to ask myself the critical questions that I usually try to get to the bottom of upon getting to know people. The moniker “Connecticut Chris” is delightfully misleading. He has a northeast quality, there’s no doubt. But Connecticut is a state that has, for lack of a better description, a foofy quality about it. You think of the country clubs. You think of the sweaters draped over the shoulders and tied in front. You think of, well, foofy people.
This was not Connecticut Chris. I think that’s why I like calling him that so much. His arms hung down from his shoulders in a way that made you think he was ready to burst into the boxing ring at any moment. He sported a goatee, made all the more effective by the kind of stone face you used to see in Soviet Russia. But what I think stuck out more than anything was his constant use of the hoodie, something I’m also in the habit of. If there’s a reason why we were followed by a tinted-window car, it’s probably because they thought we were someone else, which would not be too difficult of a mistake given the fact that we were both wearing hoods. I never put any thought into why Chris was always wearing his hood, or even remembered why it is that I reflexively put mine up.
It was when he asked me if I’d ever been jumped that I made the connection. I fortunately had never been jumped. Mugged, however?
The rest of the ride home was an exchange of war stories, Connecticut Chris being the winner…
Tune in Next Week for what is possibly the craziest story I’ve ever heard courtesy of Connecticut Chris!
In the meantime, check out incredible music from the actress playing Debbie, my new roomie Jes Hudak: