White plastic garden chairs were strewn like detritus in an almost-circle. Riddled with cig burns, their legs caked in mud, all stolen from nice yards around our school. The sesh spot was Narnia II and it was all over our high-tops. Narnia I got raided by twelfth graders. They stole our darts, took a shit in the communal bong and ripped holes in the couches we had down there. I don’t think they ever feared retaliation, they know just as well as anyone that potheads are weary of revenge.
It was the first Saturday after exams ended. Summer school didn’t start until July, so we planned on getting ripped in the sun all month in hopes that we’d find some liquor or psychs to break our days up. Jordan was the only dude there when I rolled through, but believe me bud, Narnia II could get dummy lit if all the boys reached.
The sun died by-way-of the blue tarpaulin hung in the branches overhead. I stepped over rabbit mesh and onto shiny metal flooring of compressed chip bags and coke cans. Jordan had a pinner between his lips. He squinted what’s up and then continued to scroll through his phone. With his head tilted I had a good look at his greasy hair creeping out of the strap gap in his snapback. Jordan didn’t really blaze much until recently. Last year he rolled deep with a crew of hockey-bros, but when he didn’t make double-A last season he traded his CCM equipment for a dime bag and Huff socks. We’ve been boys since kindergarten and he knows me better than anyone else. He even knows how fucked up things have been at mine lately. Jordan thinks it’s hella weird that my mom doesn’t cook anymore. It’s a bit shit, I usually end up throwing a frozen lasagna or chicken nuggs in the microwave when I get home from school. He says I’m always invited to eat at his place, but I know mom gets lonely by herself. She spends all her time in bed, under an electric blanket, watching Divorce Court reruns.
Jordan smoked the last paper. We patted our pockets and shook our heads. I pulled a near-empty family-sized Sprite bottle out of my bag, but we didn’t have a bucket, or water, and it was an absolute mish to get to Mac’s Milk because Narnia II’s nestled deep in the forest. Jordan somehow got the idea to saw the bottom off, and elastic-band a Subway sandwich bag to the end of the bottle. I was fully against toking it dry, but Jordan, who had taken bio last semester, said the bag works like the capillaries of a human lung. More importantly, he said he was down to rip it first. He gouged a pipe bowl into the screw cap, lit the kush up and let the smoke fill the foot-long bag until it ballooned bigger than his head. He unscrewed the cap and breathed in all that good shit.
Not only did this makeshift smoking contraption have me salivating, but damn, it made me nostalgic as hell. My bro, like my legit bro Connor used to take me canoeing in Algonquin and we would rip gravity bongs out of the lake while the non-bong-ripper would use the oars to hold the boat steady. We would be out far as fuck in the open waters, yelling the lyrics of rap songs, N-words and all, and no-one in the world could hear us. He would take me to A&W on the way home and we would eat Papa Burgers, fries, and have root beer in glasses colder than mom’s mien. Mom found out that he quit his Walmart job after three weeks to make the big bucks flipping his Vyvanse prescription. It was grim. She yelled her head off and cast a bottle of merlot at him on his way out. He ended up taking a greyhound to an oil sands job in Alberta, so I haven’t seen him in a while. When he first started they put him in charge of driving a Jeep around the big dark pits that go on for kilometres. He spent his days honking the horn to scare wildlife out of the oil pools. If a bird fell in he would try to scrub the gunk off with Dawn dish soap like they do in those commercials. If he couldn’t clean them he would have to bash their head in with a hammer. He said those little duck bodies were darker than nighttime, and he’d have to feel around for a skull to strike. He ended up getting majorly depressed. I used to think that only pussies and stay-at-home-moms got depressed, but my bro is the toughest guy I have ever met. I keep asking if I can come visit, but he says Calgary’s a dump. He says the only redeeming thing about the whole city is that you can toss pocket change at the strippers and they will just keep on dancing.
I saw Tevin bob in and out of the trees as he hacked through the thicket. We lifted our thin chins his way. I was pissed. If I knew he was coming I would have e-transferred him for a McChicken or something. He took a seat, pulled a nug out of his mason jar and started to grind his shit up. We asked him why he was wearing a trench coat in the middle of summer. He said it came with a discount and pulled out a mickey of Jäger he teefed from The LCBO. We said “duh” and cracked it open for him.
I slid The Lung between my knees. I had my Bic at the ready and was only taking a few deep breaths before dipping into oblivion. Jordan asked “if I was finna smoke my bowl, or if I was just gonna stare at it instead.” They argued for a bit about some sort of finna-gonna distinction, then got pretty heated about whether or not white guys can say either at all. I tried to blow an O but didn’t account for wind.
I passed the binger to Tevin who grabbed it as best as he could with two casted hands. He was practically begging for us to light him up while we laughed our asses off. Thinking back, I feel pretty bad for laughing. It’s more sad than funny. I don’t know the whole story because anyone who tried to tell me couldn’t help but sob through the whole thing. I think Tevin was doing Edward Fortyhands at Nicole’s party, which was the first big jam of grade nine. She had a sauna-cum-hotbox in her basement and some girls were walking around without pants on. I was puking my guts out in the only available bathroom, so all the boys were pissing in the park across the street. Demitri Vasilopoulos had to help Tevin with his fly because it’s virtually impossible to get your dick out of your jeans with two bottles of Old English taped to your fists. A squad car showed up and Tevin was drunk as fuck trying to waddle away with his pants at his ankles. He got tackled from behind and the malt liquor bottles exploded in his palms when he hit the sidewalk. The orange glass shattered and wrapped from his wrist to his elbows. The dickhead cop still tried to slap cuffs on him through the carnage. I’m almost positive I heard his scream reverberate through the porcelain. Tevin came back to school the next month talking a whole bunch of shit about me. I don’t know if it’s because my bathroom hogging lead to his demise, or because I joked about Dimitri giving him a handy before the cops rolled up. He wrote on my Facebook wall that he wanted to scrap in the baseball diamond after school. I heard a rumour that he had adamantium claws put in after a transradial amputation and didn’t want to fuck with that. I told everyone I wouldn’t fight him while he was in physio, and that I didn’t want to hinder his recovery. To this day some kids still say “no homo” whenever Tevin walks into a room. I guess it’s sorted now, at least between us. We parachuted molly last summer — hugged it out.
Once he cleared his bowl Tevin complained about how his ex-gf Kelsey stopped putting out once she found out that he had a bit of scorpio in his chart, but we all know that it’s because he posted a nude of her onto r/ratemygirlfriend. She got mad upvotes which had to be flattering but she dumped his ass that night. Tevin started talking about how he wants to get back inside all of Kelsey’s orifices.
Jordan was like, “Buddy doesn’t even know what an orifice is.”
We all burst out laughing. I have this theory that me and Jordan and are the funniest guys in the grade because we were allowed to watch South Park at a young age. It just got our brains working in all the wrong ways and wired us for tom-foolery and fucking up.
We were grilling Tevin for getting all sentimental and horned-up. We tried to tell him that Narnia II was strictly a good-time-only-zone and that if he wanted to be so cringe he should go on Tumblr or listen to Bon Iver or some shit. He came at us saying that we were a bunch of virgin-pussy-repellent-dope-fiends. He knew he went too far. He isn’t even in our friend group so it was super out of bounds for him to talk about our lack-of-love-lives. I was packing my bag, getting ready to dip-set to prove a point, when Tevin broke a long, heated silence,
“What we need to do right now is glass cast.”
He told us to think real hard about a girl that we wanted while taking a bong rip. If our thirst was strong enough we could telepathically communicate our desires into their cannabinoid receptors. As long as we used sativa the signal could even cross provincial boundaries. Weed lore states that kindred potheads can turn pyromancer if one lights a bowl with love in their heart and green in their piece. I don’t normally believe in anything kooky besides maybe Myers Briggs but Tevin was persuasive after he had a few shots.
The trees were swaying in a way that implied magical things were happening. Tevin went first and passed it counter clockwise to Jordan. Each inhale was charged with intention and some chick’s name in our heads.
“Dwell hard and exhale a hex across the skyline.”
After each toke the smoke spelled the girl’s names in cursive,
I blew my smoke into a closed fist. Her name dissolved into the lines of my palm.
I woke up with my face in the dirt and an untouched slice of pepperoni at my side. I wiped tears with threadbare hoodie sleeves and heard Jordan playing a Swedish House Mafia song off of his phone speaker. I asked if there was any sign of the glass cast working yet and he said he didn’t feel anything. I was fucking faded. I asked if anything was going on tonight. He said all the boys were at home so probably not. I had been out cold for a few hours. Jordan said he could never leave a bro in the sorry state I was in. Apparently, I puked into my Crooks and Castles tank top. He put me on my side so I wouldn’t choke on puke like Bon Scott or John Bonham.
Jordan pulled me up and sat me back down in a garden chair.
I wasn’t saying much, trying to get my bearings. After a while Jordan looked up from the joint he was rolling and said,
“I bet you were thinking of Casey when you hit that toke man.”
I pretty much broke down to him, and the dirt, and the trees, and told him like, “Thing is man that deep down I just need someone over the age of fifteen to say hi to me sometimes. Some days I don’t leave this spot in the forest, some days my phone doesn’t vibrate. Sometimes I feel like everyone else is reaching into a pack of Belmonts and I have to smoke a Pall Mall without a filter.”
I grabbed the joint from Jordan but I was so riled up that I think forgot to hit it. I said, “I’m sure sex rocks, if blowjobs are anything like boning a hot dishcloth I’m down, but what does any of that do for me if I haven’t sat in a dining room in two semesters.”
Then he asked, “So what did you wish upon that bowl then man?”
and I tried my best to ignore such a dumb fucking question. I picked up my phone to check the time. I saw a dozen texts from mom asking if I was okay, and if I wanted to go to Boston Pizza with her for dinner. I had a double-take kind of moment, and had to make sure that the boys didn’t change the names of my contacts or anything. I didn’t even know she had my number, but it turned out to be legit. I had a feeling then that I was The Bong Lord, a capnomantic soothsayer. I wiped muck and woodchips off my sweater, dripped in a few drops of Visine, said peace to Jordan, and hit the trail.