Continuing to make the paper my personal diary
By Peter Lacerenza
As with many of the things that happened my freshman year, my birthday weekend will forever be surrounded with a particular mysticism that one can only associate with turning nineteen years old, and not knowing what the fuck you’re even doing in life. Like most things that require any sort of planning at such a tender age, what quickly began with the best intentions turned into one of the most painful forty-eight hours of my young life.
My roommate Chris and I thought we had the weekend figured out. It was April, and the air smelled of possibility. Our first Spring Weekend loomed in the near-distance, but we thought it a good time to test the waters. Despite our psychedelic ambitions, my friends and I found ourselves at Tri-Bar on Friday night, partially defeated. Our pursuit continued into early Saturday, and by the afternoon we were desperate for something exciting to do.
Luckily, my roommate was armed with a number of friends at Boston College, who were willing to put us—in addition to our future roommate Dan, and a girl that lived on the floor above us—up for Saturday night. As an advocate for the great American road trip, I will never turn down the opportunity to take on the open road.
Unfortunately, the road to Boston was paved with complications, which began with a stop in a bleak New Jersey suburb, where the four of us would pick up the girl’s mom’s minivan. For the sake of not having her institutionalized, and to give you a greater idea of this individual’s debaucherous nature, I will refer to her as Molly.
Molly was one of the more erratic, yet seemingly interesting people that I met during my first year at Fordham. A professed tomboy with a penchant for drinking too much and then banging on our door the next morning so that we could help her locate all of the belongings she had lost track of in the depths of an off-campus banger, Molly was a blessing and a curse. Her recklessness was both a source of fascination, and of mild fear.
Given all this, Molly wasn’t the safest option when choosing someone to drive us through New York City, and along the calamitous I-95 corridor for the five hour trip. Molly’s driving skills were indicative of someone who has spent too many hours on the New Jersey Turnpike. We rocketed along the narrow, overloaded roads that brought us from the Garden State, and into New York by way of the George Washington Bridge. Despite the heady vibes that were ruminating in the vehicle that Molly so fondly named “The Mothership,” my other friends and I quickly developed sour tastes in our mouths.
One of the largest areas of contention was the road trip’s soundtrack. I’m usually not the biggest fan of ignorant rap, but admittedly there are times when it is necessary. Even with the potential for exceptions, listening to an OFWGKTA mixtape on repeat is never excusable. Also inexcusable was Molly’s dropping of the n-bomb with Tyler, the Creator. Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you’re a white girl from North Jersey, and that you can’t let yourself get too lost in the music.
When we crossed into Massachusetts, it was already late, and we still needed to make a pit stop in the South Shore so that we could pick up my roommate’s friend Amanda. The drive to Newton was an additional forty minutes, and it was almost midnight by the time we got to Boston College.
Upon our arrival, our host Donald threw back a celebratory multi-shot of 99 Berries, and the poor decisions just kept on coming. When we moseyed on over to the main campus, we were already on a tight schedule. The school’s intercampus bus service shuts down at 2 AM, and the hour we had allotted ourselves didn’t seem too fruitful. To add salt to the ripening wound of a weekend, Donald became belligerent, and Molly was continuing her n-word dropping tirade in order to offend just about everyone we encountered. I was too sober to cope with the situation, so I just became the jaded misanthrope that was tagging along with the group out of their need for a right-minded caretaker. If I remember correctly, Donald was also punched in the face by some random guy, or just managed to be considerably hurt in an equally unexpected manner.
Molly continued to amaze me with her sheer idiocy. Somewhere in our travels, she came across a boot that some drunk biddie had left on the quad, and quickly latched onto it. When I questioned her about her recently acquired find. She belligerently replied: “Some bitch was dumb enough to leave it here, so now it’s mine.” Other conversations were rich with exclamations of “YOLO” and “It’s Gucci.”
Because my roommate attended the college’s preparatory school, he had countless friends who were in an equally disheveled state, namely the one whose rather nasty girlfriend called a security van to ship our sorry asses back to the Newton campus. During the ride, one of our accomplices quietly vomited as some uptight girls in our group were on the verge of tears.
That night, we slept on the floor. I turned in relatively early, as I no longer had the patience or will to keep up with the drunken revelry. The others continued to drink, and I believe they also stole some bikes for a late night joy ride through the parking lot. As I lay there on the sad, industrial carpet, I tried to unpack the pretzel logic that had put me in this rather graceless predicament. Why did it ever seem like a good idea to take a road trip that required a train ride to Grand Central, a walk to Port Authority, and then a bus ride to Bergen County so that we could take a considerable drive in the opposite direction? And why had we put the chief crazy of Martyr’s Court in the driver’s seat?
In the morning, I wanted to get as far away from BC as we possibly could. Molly was dragging us all down into the depths of psychosis, and matters were only made worse by her squabbling over money. I had a throbbing headache behind my eyes, and the rest of the group was in dire need of sustenance and caffeine for the road. Before we dropped Amanda off, we stopped by a diner that was next to measly skate park and a concrete fish ladder.
After breakfast, we hung at the picnic tables and watched the fish and skate boarders, and Molly sat on the roof of her car with a box of Cheez-Its smoking a Marlboro Red. It was getting late, and we needed to leave in order to avoid getting stuck in traffic. We dropped off Amanda, and then stopped at a coffee shop down the road. As Chris and Molly were about to get out of the car, Molly had a rather unsettling realization.
“Where’s my purse?” she asked us. She scanned the van with her wild blue eyes. On a brief side note, I would like to mention that most serial killers and sociopaths share her eye color. She looked at us, and then back out the windshield. “I think I left it on the roof of the car when I was eating those Cheez-Its. My wallet and everything else was in there.” A wave of dread came over us.
“What?!” we asked in shock.
“Yeah, we need to look for it.” With that, she and Chris headed into the coffee shop. Left in the wake of Molly’s gruesome announcement, Dan and I were extremely frustrated.
“I think we need to incite a mutiny,” I said. “I think we just need to hijack the car and leave her in Massachusetts.” Dan nodded. Molly wanted us to join her on the ride back to New Jersey, and there was no way in hell that we were going to haul ass back there to spend an additional two hours with her. The schlep back to New York was long enough, and—for the sake of our own sanity—Chris, Dan and I needed to be dropped off in the Bronx.
As predicted, the search was futile. Some guy said that he had seen a black bag in the middle of the road, but unfortunately it was long gone by the time we came back. We looped around for what had to have been thirty minutes before we gave up and started heading to New York.
Unfortunately, our subtle suggestions were not enough to get us out of the trip to New Jersey.
“Molly, you should probably spend the night home. You need to pick up a new bank card, and get a new license,” we said. “It’s probably the best choice, you can just drop us off at school.” Molly remained adamant, she needed us to come to New Jersey with her, as she wasn’t sure she could suffice on her own without gas money. However, we were no longer interested in her problems. Chris, Dan, and I were formulating back up plans via text, but nothing seemed to work.
As our self-loathing grew with every mile, so did Molly’s urge to go to the bathroom. Thankfully, her gross consumption of coffee allotted us a stopover at some nondescript Hilton off the interstate in Branford, Connecticut. Chris went inside with her, and Dan and I had one objective: reroute the GPS to take us back to school. Molly would have no idea, but plans were almost scrapped when Molly and Chris reemerged from the hotel. “Fuck,” we said. Molly got in the van with a handful of hand towels and soaps she had swiped from the place. We were going to be stuck with good ol’ Molly for the long haul. Why us?
Fortunately, Chris was able to work some magic and reprogram the route without any of us even noticing. “Where is this taking us, Molly asked?”
“Don’t worry, it’s fine,” Chris replied perhaps a little too quickly. Fortunately, Molly had no sense of social cues, so our cover remained in tact. However it was only a matter of time before Molly caught on.
“What’s up with this?” she asked. “Why is this taking us to the Bronx?”
“Because we don’t want to come to New Jersey with you. You need to drop us off at school, and you really need to go home, ” Dan and Chris reasoned with her.
“But what about gas money? I just lost my whole fucking wallet, and you guys are leaving me? Peter?”
In most situations, I like to remain as neutral as I can be for as long as possible. Fed up and unable to cope with Molly’s antics, or the bass of Odd Future hammering into my ears, I spoke up.
After I spoke my mind, the ride wound down. We were going back to the Bronx, and Molly would simply have to suck it up and drive home. When we were dropped off on 191st, it was almost a surreal experience. We stretched our legs and paid off Molly so that she could get gas from 7-11 and be gone at once. It seemed like a dream as she drove her Ford Windstar into the distance, the sun was setting on our road trip, and our first year at Fordham. Though Molly has since flunked out, and is now enrolled in community college, I can’t say that I will ever forget the trip to Boston. I’ve seen her both times that she has returned to Fordham since then, and I can’t even be mad. Molly and the road trip from hell have become part of the myth that was freshman year.