Roadtrip: From the Diary of an Arab Millennial
I was just hanging out in my usual spot, a coffeeshop appropriately named “Madness” - for all the crazy shenanigans that often happen to me there, when I got a text from Wail, my DJ friend who thinks I’m only friends with him because he gets me into all the parties. It read “picking you up in 30, great party tonight”. I thought what the hell let’s do it, I have no plan and texted him my location. It was only forty five minutes into the drive that I realized the party was in a city three hours away.
Again, I thought what the hell, no plans anyway, let’s do it. That’s when the girl driving -who by the way, has braids that are falling apart but still look cute, got the cocaine out of the glove box. By then, I’m on my third “what the hell” and annoyingly sober so I say screw it and jam some into my nostrils. Wail then gets a whisky bottle out of his backpack and it goes around the whole car. In the car, apart from Wail, the fallen braids girl and me, there’s a guy with purple hair and a another guy who looks like he has no idea what’s happening.
Braids girl accidentally spills some booze on her seat. Purple guy makes her stop because he needs to throw up. Wail is too absorbed in his playlist to even interact with any of us. I lay my head out the car window, the fast wind blows my hair and I feel as if I’m flying, my arm defying the speed and my eyes too intoxicated to remain open. I feel heavy yet liberated, like the weight of all the alcohol and coke is dragging me down but yet a certain temporary euphoria hails me up. Purple hair takes a dozen of selfies with me on his Instagram and tells me I’m pretty. I tell him I have a boyfriend. He gets annoyed at me because I apparently “gave him a vibe and lead him on”. I honestly can’t recall even exchanging more than a few words with him. I realize then he’s just an entitled fuckboy who thinks every girl owes him a blowjob. I return unbothered to my window.
That’s when we all spot it, a checkpoint, with at least eight cops. I have an irrational fear of cops. I trust a convict more than a policeman. Well, not so irrational, I got arrested a few times, one of them was during a political protest and the pig who cuffed me felt up my tits like they were public property. We all freak out, we look as guilty as we in fact from miles away. The car stinks of booze smell and our pupils are wider than the highway we’re on. We’re not exactly discreet, one guy has purple fucking hair and braid girl has a face tattoo.
We all panic silently, and the drive to the checkpoint feels like it last too long or maybe she was driving too slow. We stop in front of what seems to be an army of blue uniforms. Braids is literally sweating out of every pore. I’m shaking uncontrollably. Wail turns to me and whispers “sorry” which freaks me out even more. What the hell though, if we go down, we go down together. Me, the purple perv, the messy driver, the lost boy and Wail.
The sense of community comforted me for a few seconds before the cop aimed his flashlight at us. He knew. He could see it. We are the furthest thing from sober citizens. He walks towards us and knocks on the driver’s window. If I had drank a little more I would have been pissing myself right then.He asks for papers. She hands them to him with three effective bills. He counts the money and gives her back her papers. We drive away.