The following is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of my memoir, Saturation.
I stayed with an older friend who had her own apartment until one day, another friend of mine decided to bail with me to California. We packed my little yellow Toyota Corolla and took off to sunny California. The oil pan was severely cracked, but that didn’t stop us. At one point, during our second day into the trip, a mechanic agreed to swap me 15 quarts for my new record player. By the time we reached Santa Barbara, I had added about 40 quarts of oil and the car finally sputtered her last breath in the parking lot of a Winchell’s Donuts.
Not knowing where to go or what to do we agreed that discussing our predicament over a snack seemed a good idea. I think we had $17.00 between us. We wound up staying with the cashier from the donut shop. He was of Middle Eastern ethnicity and he lived with two others, all three were in their mid-30s. I remember that later that night we all got drunk and played strip poker. I ended the game when I got down to my bra and panties.
My mother lived about an hour out of town, but she wouldn’t come to get us because she was “busy”.
“I’m sorry Jenny, I just have too much going on right now.” She said over the phone. Wow. I couldn’t believe she felt comfortable with me being out on the road with $17.00 and a broken down car. I was a junior in high school.
Three days into our adventure, my friend’s dad sent her back to Colorado. My dad wouldn’t send for me.
“You got yourself out there. If you want to come back, make it happen. Find a job and get your car fixed.” He said. I couldn’t understand where he thought I was supposed to stay. I didn’t know anyone in Santa Barbara. I slowly came to the conclusion that neither one of my parents really cared what might happen to me.
I wasn’t too keen on staying with the Middle Eastern guys, so I called my mother’s parents and they came to my rescue – again. The following day I flew back to Tulsa. Soon after I arrived, I got a job and worked full time for about nine months until I was old enough to get my own apartment. I moved into it the day after my 18th birthday.