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he is twenty one and he wraps it up like an old pro. i am turned on by this act, by his efficiency. i am nervous and i don’t care. he blows fresh smoke into my mouth and i inhale; a crude, yet pretty, ghost kiss. i don’t feel anything.

we are no longer at the rock quarries on the picnic table. we are sitting on a couch that is too soft and he is showing me how to use a bong. i don’t like the word or the look of it but the fumes sneak inside my brain and suddenly everything is muted, like cotton has been stuffed inside my head. i feel like a doll.

he rolls three more, one right after the other. we smoke them and now i have learned to inhale the inhale, all the way to my lungs. sometimes it hurts and burns up my throat. i cough but the coughing feels good. i am starving.

the pizza comes when i am laying with cameron on the couch, limbs tangled with each other. they lay the box on my belly and he opens it up and takes out a few slices and i am giggling like mad because it’s like my stomach is the pizza box and they are eating pizza right from the inside of me.

i take a bite. oh my god. oh my god. the taste. my eyes roll back in my head. oh my god. it’s so so so good. it’s so good. it’s so good. it’s so fucking good.

i am grinning now. like an idiot, grinning so hard that my face hurts but it’s okay and i don’t know why i’m smiling. i take another slice and my belly protests but i don’t care, the taste is so so good.

my mind is fluttering now. as quickly as one thought flits to my smoke-addled brain it’s gone and as soon as the realization hits i gasp, reality jolts and just like that it’s gone again, all ghosts and dreams and i can’t remember where i am. i am gone. i am gone.

i am panicking now. where are we? we are in this person’s house. we are here. we are on this side of town. this is dylan. this is cameron. this is josh. that dog is named buddy. we are in this town. we are in this house. we are in this town.

there is music playing but it comes in loud and reverberates in my skull and i don’t like it. i can’t. i can’t. i float to the bathroom. my belly is sore. so sore. i feel like it is going to explode it hurts so much. my back hurts. my belly hurts.

i need out. i put on my shoes and tell cameron, let’s go for a walk. i need fresh air.

this is better. this is better. oh my god, my stomach hurts so much. i feel like my belly is going to explode and i’ll die.

we walk and find a dry patch of sidewalk and i lay down. my thoughts are a thousand and none at all. each word in my inner monologue dissolves like mist in the muddy lake of my mind and i look at cameron who is lying beside me, but i can’t stare at anything for too long and oh, what was that noise? i squint through the streetlights and cameron is kissing me and my mouth is so dry and i don’t want to be high anymore.

cameron says, let’s go to the store.

we walk and i lie on the sidewalk outside of the store while he buys candy for himself and water for me. he sits and i lay and i see a girl i know from school and we say hello and i try to sound normal and not like i am being pulled everywhere at once and nowhere at all. i watch two boys in the parking lot talk to each other and i am smiling again, smiling so big and i don’t know why.

we walk back to the smokey house and i get my things and cameron carries my big pink beach towel and for some reason i am so grateful for that. it’s raining outside and as we reach the train bridge he ducks underneath and tells me we should wait there until it stops pouring. he holds the towel over our heads and kisses me. i kneel down.

i take him in my mouth.

the fog off my brain lifts a little and we are at my house, sliding down inside my bedroom. i make him come again, again, again, again.

he goes.

i sleep hard and fast.

i dream.