dys·func·tion /dɪsˈfʌŋkʃən/ [dis-fuhngk-shuhn]–noun
1. Medicine/Medical . malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body. 2. any malfunctioning part or element: the dysfunctions of the country's economy. 3. Sociology . a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Tent

She sat cross legged, staring at her hands. There was a cigarette in one hand, a Zippo lighter in the other. A tent inside a garage...what a stupid idea. As if it wasn't enough that the homeowners were okay with all of them drinking underage and smoking pot in the garage, the boys had to set up a tent that they could hotbox. Get high faster. Faster....huh, she was a lightweight already, this seemed like overkill.
Puff puff pass. The joint had long expired. Her mp3 player was going. It was in her ears, but she didn't hear it, she wasn't listening.

A cigarette in one hand, a Zippo lighter in the other.

The ground was cold under her. They may be in a tent, but it was just a thin sheet of nylon between her and the cold concrete ground. There was snow outside, but that didn't matter. They weren't outside. They weren't....

A cigarette in one hand, a Zippo lighter in the other.

They had been drinking inside before this. Rum and iced tea. Maybe. Maybe it was just straight rum...or coca cola...she couldn't remember. Oh well, memories are not something one formed willingly then. There were talks of more drinking, perhaps beer in the tent. Then they could smoke more.

A cigarette in one hand, a Zippo lighter in the other.

Someone had passed her the papers and the weed. She was the newest member of their 'circle' but she had an uncanny skill for rolling joints. Neat and tidy, her OCD was evident in this odd task. Pack it perfectly...not too loose- that's a waste of paper, not too tight- or it won't burn nicely, she was often commended on her rolling abilities, but once she'd started smoking it she no longer had the focus. Or the stability. Her hands would shake.

A cigarette in one hand, a Zippo lighter in the other.

That damn Zippo. It all started with a present for him, but she had to get herself one too. Almost a way of proving that she fit in with the group. She was the same as them. Loved drinking and smoking too. She had it engraved, always the sentimental one, with the words "Life...it goes on" almost prophetic, but more telling of how she knew she was in a bad spot right now. Was she really into smoking pot? Cigarettes? Drinking like a fish? Who knew? She didn't even know herself most days. It was easy though, as soon as the questions made their way back into her brain she would kill them. She'd drown them in shots, or smoke them out. All the difficult questions she wasn't ready to face.
Where was she going? Vodka.
Did this make her happy? Rum.
Was he supposed to treat her like this? Whiskey.
Who had she become? Pot.

A cigarette in one hand, a Zippo lighter in the other.

Cigarettes. She had started smoking to fit in too. She smoked with the boys on coffee break and lunch. It had started with some cigarellas, mini cigars if you will, all of the tobacco, none of the nicotine. When she ran out that day she couldn't just go back inside. If she wasn't there, they might forget she existed. 'Cigarette please,' she had asked, and then never gone back.
Did anyone know she existed?

A cigarette in one hand, a Zippo lighter in the other.

"Are you gonna smoke that?"
And suddenly she was back in the tent in the garage, sitting cross legged on the ground in a circle of them. They were all looking at her now expectantly.

She raised the cigarette to her lips and flicked the Zippo lighter on.


Anonymous said...

As much as those days were dramadramadrama, I miss seeing you as much as I did back then. :(

- jG - said...

I love this! What a powerful ending. I especially like how you repeatedly return to the image of a cigarette in one hand and a Zippo lighter in the other.