Mine is in California - part 2 (By Stephán Amery McKenzie)


I do not think he likes what I just said, but he knows that is what he needs to hear. Truth be told, I would like nothing more to have my partner-in-crime by my side in Hollyweird. But that will only stifle both of us. He would only be there because of me and I would not do what I left home to do because I would be trying not to leave him behind. “Damn it you two lovebirds. Will you two just fuck already? And let’s finish this last game,” our friend Beaver Puncher screams at the top of his lungs. He is not mad or anything he just likes to scream at the top of his lungs. We think it stems from him having to walk on egg shells in his house as a child. The score is tied. We are going to play one more game to decide who will be the ultimate champions. In all honestly, if there was no tie, we would play another game to try to finish the keg and make up some lame excuse why.

Me and my t-shirt twin are on opposite teams. Both of us are the last leg of our teams and it looks like it is going to come down to us to win it for our respective teams. He leans over. I know he is about to make a bet. “If you win, I’ll marry her. If I win, I’m coming out to stay with you for a while.” This is fucked up, but it is not like all the other stuff we bet on was not. But come on! “Look—,” before I can finish railing his ass we both are getting pushed down the hill. GAME ON!

We are neck and neck. Off the hill. Pounding the beer. Our teammates raising the roof in the background. Until we get to the horseshoe toss. There is no way I am going to beat him. I will not decide his fate for him. We toss. We toss again. We toss some more. After nine tosses, each and four beers each (when it normally only takes each of us one beer and a maximum of three tosses to get a ringer), it finally dawns on me he is not planning on deciding his fate either.

We fill up at the keg yet again. He leans over, “This is getting ridiculous.” “You think?” I blurt out. “Let’s do one more toss, our best toss. Let’s do it with our eyes closed. Give it everything we got,” he negotiates. “Fine. It is your life,” I concede. It is in this moment something in me shifts. It dawns on me that, as much as I do not know where I am going and I am not necessarily happy with where I started, from this point on I will never leave my life up to chance. It is time to claim my life, it is mine after all. I make a call on my cell. Then we both walk up to the line for our final toss. We look at each other. “You know I love you,” came out of my mouth. “You’re the only friend I’ve ever loved,” he says as he salutes me. We close our eyes. I throw that horseshoe. I walk to the curb. I am not waiting to see where either of our tosses land. The cab I called a few minutes ago, pulls up. I hop in. “Straight to the airport,” I relay.

​No luggage. No goodbyes. My life is calling.