Anyway, it was late August, and I had just graduated from high school the previous May. Most of my friends were already off at college somewhere. My family didn't have the money to send me to college, and my grades hadn't been good enough for scholarships. I knew enough people who owed a hundred thousand dollars in student loans, and had crappy jobs, that I wasn't thrilled with going the government loan route. As such, I was stuck delivering pizzas for Luigi's. Not that I was complaining, exactly. Tips were good enough that I had been able to get my own place. It was kind of a rat hole, but it was my rat hole, and I was enjoying my freedom, even if I wasn't doing much with it. It was while I was delivering a pizza, in fact, that I won the tickets to the concert.
Randy, the guy I was going out with for most of my last semester of high school, was one of the people who had gone off to college, and I hadn't found anybody new to date. The truth was that Jackie Witherspoon was the only one of my girlfriends who hadn't gone to college too, so I offered to share the tickets with her. Jackie did have a boyfriend, and of course she wanted to bring him, so that accounted for three of the four tickets. I still had the extra ticket two days before the concert when my dad had his annual Labor Day cookout. I went, of course. I was standing there eating a chilidog when somebody slapped my right ass cheek. I knew who it was before I even turned around.
"What's up, sweet cheeks?" asked my Uncle Bob. "You holding up okay?"
Uncle Bob was, perhaps, my favorite adult, other than my parents. He had always treated me as grown up as I was willing to act. When I was around him I was willing to act very grown up, because he didn't enforce stupid little kid rules on me like everybody else did. Like if I cursed, for example, and it was something that needed cursing about, he never said a word. He gave me my first (and last) sip of beer, and helped me learn how to say "Beer tastes crappy," in a way that my peers just nodded at, instead of giving me a hard time for not drinking. He also gave me my first hard liquor, and taught me how addictive that tipsy feeling can be. Of course if I was acting like a little girl, he treated me that way too. But I needed that as well.