that time

by mickharris

college, wandering after a party or maybe before you can’t remember in wide dusty arizona streets and we have to double back before i really get a good hit on the moon rising over the desert across the street.  okay it’s a vacant lot but it has what looks like a cactus in the low light and it’s dreamy and surreal and the kind of thing you came here to sink your fingers into but we have to go back, man, ashley dropped her hash somewhere and we gotta find it.

did you leave it at the dorm, no, i had it in my hand, well why the fuck didn’t you put it in your pocket.  hey mike don’t yell at her okay, we can go.  we can look.  you are the peacemaker, the mediator, not at ease among the pieced nipples and sullen pot-red eyes here, you are the one smoothing the way in express tank tops and shorts falling off your hips bought just a year ago, it seems like the freshman 15 also works backwards, you drop the weight like sloughing skin in the shower rubbed too raw after another frat party, trying to clean something off but wondering why you don’t feel worse about it.  down the drain.  it shouldn’t be this easy, maybe?

she finds the hash after we wander for two blocks and then we’re there, man, saggy porch and a ceiling inside that holds itself together almost until the far right corner where it sags and sighs into chocolate-edged water stains.  a boy with dirty blond hair and a ringer plays radiohead on guitar and we wrap the top of the pipe in foil and set the hash down all nice and tidy and pop beers and snuggle crunchily into beanbags and felt sofa cushions because we are having a moment, man, a real college moment, the one you write stories about until you smoke a little too much and fall asleep and wake up and the dumb motherfucker is still playing radiohead and all he wants to do is talk about radiohead even though you’re drunk enough now to think about maybe trying something on your end for once, maybe slip two fingers into the sleeve of his thrifted brown boxy jacket and whisper take me home or let’s get out of here or something that would make it even more of a moment.

or it’d be a moment if he said no thank you with sad moonlight in his eyes, radiant, and goes off to twirl one of ashley’s strawberry curls around his guitar calluses because yeah then you could be heartbroken and jealous wailing your way back to sleep along the highway you walk before you hit school again, orderly faux-adobe and cinderblock and fluorescent swirly carpet nightmares. scorpions got in on the first floor once, that’s about the only thing that ever happened there.  but the stupid fuck just goes on and on about radiohead and finally you say no i don’t like them i’m sorry, or maybe you just suck in your stomach still a little round with baby fat and try and look interested.

yeah probably that.