Beginner (Day 2)

(Day 2 of National Poetry Writing Month.  It’s not too late to start.)

He wished, suddenly, that he’d cleaned

the bathroom in the last two months

but it was too late now.  His friend 

was already opening the box and

removing the small baggie with

its four machine-rolled joints fresh

from Colorado, the new gold standard

for high-potency shit–available, like

all else, over the Internet.  There was 

Blue Dream, which was a body high 

his friend assured him as if that meant

something, or Girl Scout Cookie, which 

tasted vaguely minty and made music

come alive.  They settled on the latter,

then turned on the bathroom’s exhaust fan 

and closed the door.  He had to be shown the

proper method of dragging deep, of pulling

the smoke far enough into the lungs to

achieve lift-off, and he bungled his first 

puff, coughing most of it into the floral

shower curtain and then trying in vain to

clear his throat for what felt like ages.  His

stomach turned just like on hangover 

mornings when only a big, greasy meal 

fixed everything, so he wandered into 

the kitchen (leaving his friend to take a

second hit) and pulled cold Indian leftovers

from the fridge, bending low over the

plastic takeout dish to increase speed of

consumption, and he ate until every curry-

tinged morsel had been chewed and

swallowed.  Only then did he realize how

much he hated the fluorescent light above

him, so he retreated to his bedroom, shoved 

the cat off his pillow, and slid under the

sheets, which felt softer and smoother than

usual.  He could hear his friend playing

Super Mario 3; the tinny music and ca-ching

of coins attained irritated him, and he felt 

angry about the whole evening, about lost

innocence and broken laws and shitty so-

called highs that made him hungry and 

cranky and tired, so tired that all he

needed was one song–one fucking perfect

song to push him into the dark–and he

could wake up All Better, but when the 

music started he could feel Levon Helm’s

drum vibrating in his mid-section and 

the vocals massaging his scalp and he

understood how much he had been missing

in this music, which he’d heard a hundred

times but never fully known or experienced

until now, and the song must have lasted 20

minutes, and he didn’t want to move or open 

his eyes or leave the music behind, didn’t

want to go back to a world where sound 

was intangible, didn’t ever want to feel the

warm haze dissipate, so he stayed as still

as possible until he noticed some time 

later that the living room was silent, and light

peeked in through the blinds, and he felt



About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in best-laid plans, NaPoWriMo, people, poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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