My cold, lonesome apartment can hardly be likened to an inspirational environment. The kitchen area is a wreck; dishes in the grimy sink spill over onto the garbage covered countertops. The couch where I spend my nights has more stains than cathedral windows. There's no television, no air conditioning and no hot water. On top of the fact that I feel uncomfortable living in this place, my girlfriend well now ex-girlfriend, just took off with some asshole I caught her cheating on me with.
She could have at least had the decency to screw me over at his place, instead of defiling the spot where I lay my head while I'm out at work busting my ass. Waking up in this shit-hole every day is a constant reminder that I need to start making some real progress in my life.
Ever since I graduated from college, life has seemed to move pretty slowly around me. I was unable to adapt to the change of pace that commencement has brought forth. My university days were filled with house parties, easy women and playing shows every weekend at the local bars. At 23, I don't feel any motivation to do anything with myself. Personal hygiene has been ripped out of my thought process, along with normal sleep patterns and most forms of pleasure. Nowadays I look like a smaller relative of a Sasquatch, with knotty brown dreadlocks down to my ass crack and facial hair to rival the likes of Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill.
My current appearance is probably of half the reason why I'm now single. Amanda and I never really connected I guess, she always told me that I wasn't good enough for her and that I should be thankful that we were even dating. I wouldn't really call the last five months we had "dating", but it seemed close enough for her. She would only come over when she needed me to do something, rewarding me afterwards with passionless sex and her unbearable company for the next few hours. God I hated that belligerent wench. I'd rather listen to Ray Romano do a two hour long podcast about sexual harassment in the workplace than have to suffer through ten minutes of complaining from her. Really, my apartment smells like rancid pot smoke? We never do anything fun anymore? You are incapable doing of anything fun. You are incapable of pretty much everything.
I really just wish that college hadn't blown by so fast. Graduation was probably the worst day of my life thus far.
As I watched all of my classmates and friends walk up on stage to receive their ticket to reality, I reflected on the last four years of my life.
Had I accomplished my long term goals? Barely finishing up with a GPA of 2.3 and an extra two semesters under my belt gave me more relief than joy. I could finally start working another crappy job on top of being a cashier at 7/11. That fantastic excuse for an occupation was slowly driving me insane. The guys I worked with were these two Indian guys named Abed and Samar. The first one was really chill, we'd smoke joints on our lunch breaks and exchange music and philosophical ideas.
Samar on the other hand, was kind of a dick. He had a general dislike for white people after having lived in America for the last seven years, and constantly being harassed by them at both in and out of work. After dealing with the trash that inhabits this southern-Ohio town for only a year, I didn't really blame him.
People around Crownsville are literally glued to their current existence. Driving down Main Street, you'll often see people getting into fights and drinking Budweiser from lawn chairs propped up in the back of pickup trucks.
Nobody relevant has come out of this town in the last thirty years other than some jerk-off named Jimmy Oswald who went to college on a baseball scholarship.
Abed and I were both working six hours shifts tonight. Arriving a half hour late, I waltzed behind the counter and put on my red work shirt. My work partner commented that I had gin on my breath, and that maybe I should take the night off if I wasn't feeling up to the night's agenda.
I replied with a stupid grin, and pulled a freshly rolled joint from behind my ear.
Without a word, Abed walked to the entrance of the store and flipped the yellow sign from "open" to "sorry, we're closed". Out behind the convenience store, I passed Abed the joint and lit up a cigarette.
Smoking isn't really something that I do for enjoyment anymore. It's basically just become a part of my everyday routine since my sophomore year in college when I took up the filthy habit. And now that I could steal packs from my job every day, I didn't really have any reason to quit. Abed passed the joint and I offered him my cigarette. He shook his head, as he always did. I guess after hanging out with smokers for the last eight or so years it's just become a habit to offer someone a pull.
I took the smoke into my lungs and hold my breath, thinking that the longer I hold it in, the longer the escape from my miserable existence will last. I was becoming fed up with my every day routine of waking up at 2pm, smoking myself stupid and then going into work from six to midnight. The smell of the trash behind the building was a sweeter aroma than that of my actual workplace.
The job wasn't the lousy part; it was all of the asshole customers. People can really make your profession a living hell if they feel like it. You just have to know how to deal with it. Considering the fact that I didn't give a f--k about anything anymore, I'm actually surprised at how much of a negative affect I let them have on me.
"This job really sucks man," Abed said. He had been working there twice as long as I had.
I had to agree, working at a convenience store was hardly my ideal dream for employment.
"You know it," I replied. "Somehow I'm still able to come to work in this dump every night. I don't know how you can keep it up, especially with the twenty minute drive."
Abed pulled his hood over his head and zipped up his jacket. "It's not that bad, really only about fifteen minutes. But, the owner really likes me. He told me I could be promoted to manager within a month from now." He was barely able to finish the last sentence before he burst into a coughing fit from the smoke. "I don't know if it would be worth it to stick around for that long"
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is probably my favorite psychoactive substance I've experienced in my short lifetime. Something about it just gives me the perfect mindset. Unlike alcohol, I am able to coherently produce sentences that are often enhanced by words fished from the darkest depths of my subconscious.
Why are my eyes red?
Because I have f--king laser vision, man.
A milky cloud was exhaled, and for a moment it floated in front of our faces like a mythical orb of some sort. Abed gave me a weak smile as I quickly inhaled the thick smoke and produced a smirk of my own. After putting out the roach under my shoe I took a few more drags off my cigarette.
"Thanks for the herb," he said. I nodded and we headed back inside to continue working. He handed me a five dollar bill as the back door closed.
The rest of our shift was rather mundane. I got an intense brain freeze from drinking 6 straight slurpees, and Abed had managed to eat an entire shelf of chocolate.
We were both pretty stoned, as usual. As we closed the store I remembered to restock the shelves where the chocolate had been. I locked the front door and we parted ways, traveling in opposite directions. I was from the farm country out west of town and he lived closer to the city of Cleveland, about fifteen minutes away.
"Peace out brochacho," I said.
Somehow I'm always able to come up with dumb shit to say instead of goodbye.
Abed looked at me with a slight look of concern on his face. "Alright dude, make sure to get some sleep tonight got to get back on the grind tomorrow." he said.
He had told me briefly about his childhood in Meerut, India. He lived in a house with three other families on the outskirts of the city. Life there was rough. His father could barely make enough money to keep his five children alive, so they moved to America. His family moved to New York when he was five, and then to Ohio when he was twelve. I didn't know how old he was now, but he looked to be in his mid twenties.
Walking home from work was always a daunting task, especially because by the time I usually reached my apartment I was extremely hung over from drinking all day long. It might not be the best way for a person to live, but I had been in a depressive state for the last three or four years since I had been kicked out of my old band.
Being in a rock band in college seriously changed my life. Three of my friends and I started as a Sublime cover-band in our freshman year and accelerated quickly from there. By our second year, everyone knew our name; Blitzed. That was our title, and boy did we live up to the hype. At that point we were playing two bars each weekend and spending all of our earnings on drugs and alcohol.
Everything was awesome for the first two years. Blitzed went out every weekend and partied until sunrise. The band had an extremely devoted student following. Everyone knew our names and I was pulling in more women than I knew what to do with.
Junior year was where things got complicated. People on campus were getting tired of our overplayed first album. We decided as a group that our sound needed to evolve, as well as our overall attitude.
All four of us went camping in the woods behind campus one weekend. We walked in a mile deep, and set up camp next to a huge oak tree next to some fruit bushes.
That weekend would change all of us forever.
This was the first time that any of us had experimented with psychedelic drugs.
It was the first time we did LSD. 2010, Patrick Eagens