So here I was, with Clifford Bender in the front seat of my car. I put it in gear and took off for the long drive to his house. He was silent after telling me about taking LSD and showing me his soft side. I was feeling very uncomfortable with the quiet in my car. I hoped I didn't make a mistake giving him a ride home.
After 15 minutes, I pulled up at his place. It was a small, old wreck of a house. I was now nervous since he hadn't spoke a word to me on the drive home. There was so much tension in the air that I was afraid for myself.
"Well, here we are. I hope you feel better" I said to him. He slowly turned his head and looked directly at me. The old Clifford Bender was back - the SOB, the meanest man in Umatilla county. Quickly he scooted over right next to me and put his arm around my shoulders and his hand on my thigh. Oh God, I thought. What should I do? I slowly reached my left hand up close to my horn. I said "Clifford, I was at the river all day and I'm so tired. I have to get home. I have friends meeting me there who are spending the night. You have to get out of the car right now." I couldn't believe I said that to him. He stayed right where he was, enveloping me with his body.
After a minute, he asked, "You were at the Columbia River?" He said it with curiosity so I had an idea. "I was there all day and night. We had a keg and it was a great party. I'm going back tomorrow for another day at the beach. Everyone will be there again. You know most of the people that will be there." He started taking the bait. "I'd like to go with you" is all he said. "Great. I'll be by around noon tomorrow to pick you up. Wear something you can swim in. I have an extra air mattress you can use. It's going to be all day and night again" I explained to him.
Slowly he removed his arm from around my shoulders and then took his hand off my thigh. Next, he moved to his side of the car and said, "You promise you will come get me?" I replied "Of course I will. You'll have a great time. You better get to bed since it's so late and we're leaving pretty soon." He opened the car door and got out. He leaned against the door and said to me in his horrible way "You better pick me up or you won't like the consequences." I acted like everything was cool, while still having my hand near the horn. "Clifford, I said I'd pick you up at noon. I will. Go to bed and I'll see you tomorrow. Be ready at noon,"
He stood up and said "I'll be waiting. Don't pull anything." and shut the door. He walked towards his house and I burst into tears. My legs were shaking so badly. I couldn't control them. My hand was shaking over the horn. As he walked into the house, I put my car into gear and zoomed away as fast as I could go.