That's right, my buddy Vroom is back here in the hole with me. Just came in last night for "possession of homemade intoxicants." In other words, for hooch. Wine. Toilet whiskey.
"Damn, bro, they got me," he said, explaining what had happened. "My batches [of wine] were going to be done the next day! That cop Eastep went cell-to-cell doing searches for people's Christmas wine and he found mine under the bed."
I offer my condolences and, after catching up on everything that's happened with the two of us in the seven months since we saw each other last, I return to my bunk to reflect on the glory that is my buddy "The Vroomster."
Everybody is unique in their own way, but very few are as unique as Jason Vroom.
I vividly remember the first time we met. He had just stepped off the bus from his county jail. One of the friendliest guys in the world, he introduced himself to me immediately and his face absolutely lit up when he found out that we are both from Ohio.
"My name's Vroom, homie," were his first words and, obviously accustomed to people checking to make sure they heard him right, he added "You know, vroom vroom, like a motorcycle," imitating the throttling of a bike.
"Oh, I see."
This introduction would turn out to be the first of many encounters with the chronic halitosis which is one of the Vroomster's countless trademarks.
Vroom: The man, the myth, the legend is undeniably an odd sight to behold. A lean 5'10" with brown hair and eyes, he is a remarkably well-preserved 38-year old despite a significant history of crack smoking. He is a workout machine. Not a big fan of sports and certainly not of reading, much of his free time is spent exercising, and it is visually obvious that he does. Often 3 one-hour sessions a day. Yet his highly-toned physique is by no means his most distinguishing feature. Not even close.
Due to a childhood ailment with a name I've forgotten, Vroom is unable to see out of his left eye or hear with his left ear. His face is unfortunately not unlike that of a stroke victim. But this unfortunate condition is heavily obscured by the bulky government issue plastic glasses with their ridiculously thick lenses.
However, even this is small potatoes in the entire "Vroom" package. Anyone who knows him will tell you that Vroom's choice in tattoos could break the ice at an Israeli-Palestinian tupperware party. His most recent addition is a portrait of Clint Eastwood, which I admit is only really funny if you actually know Jason.
But how many people do you know with a giant vagina permanently etched into their bodies? Yes, I'm completely serious.
As a tattoo with an artistic value no doubt rivaling Courbet's L’Origine du monde **, Vroom's vagina is strategically placed around his belly button, with the word "Wicked" emblazoned above the masterpiece.
Then, above "Wicked," a graffiti version of the words "Under Surveillance" are draped across his chest.
But it is not the Eastwood or the vagina or Under Surveillance which define Vroom the most. The piece de resistance is the depiction of Geico's gecko character holding a crack pipe about 8" high down his left side. You know, the cute little green reptile with a British accent. Clutching a still-smoldering glass stem.
Jason has got to be one of the most dedicated crack proponents in existence. His mouth waters just at the thought of what his first hit after being released is going to be like. For Vroom, crack is more than a drug. It is a lifestyle. A philosophy. A religion.
I recall a time when Vroom and I were talking to a reformed crackhead friend of ours named John. The conversation eventually turned to drugs and, as soon as the word crack was mentioned, Jason went off into his own little world, no doubt fantasizing about the fist-sized boulders of rocked cocaine he would be smoking one day.
While John went on and on about the evils of this particular drug, Vroom was paying absolutely no attention to the conversation. This became obvious somewhere around the time when, as John detailed the drug's reputation for rotting the teeth from a person's skull, Vroom whispered to me, or perhaps just to himself, "Man, I love that stuff."
Some might think that I've given my friend a hard time in the preceding paragraphs. But if there's anyone who enjoys poking fun at Vroom, it's Vroom himself. And it is also worth pointing out that his good qualities far outweigh his strange ones. A person really couldn't ask for a better friend. 100% genuine (which seems to be an exceedingly rare quality these days), generous to a fault and unwaveringly loyal. I am honored to be able to call the Vroomster my friend.
The hole is filled to capacity right now, so there's no room to keep petty vintners locked up for more than a day or two. Vroom will probably go back to general population today or tomorrow. I'll miss him. He's excited about leaving because he's just getting ready to start his next tattoo... a dolphin smoking a bong.
** Thanks, Pimp!