I burned another incense stick but the smell of weed was overpowering. There were a couple of windows open, but I was sure that they only spread the problem down the backs of neighbouring houses. For some childish reason the whole thing felt naughty. Here we were, two middle-aged guys wrecked on booze, pills, and weed on a mild July night. Listening to music. Laughing. Talking about the old days. Passing the joints back and forth like we’d done a long, long time ago. I wasn’t mentally ill, and he wasn’t struggling with his past alcoholism. Neither of us had been through tough times. Not last night, anyhow.
The lights drew moths in through the windows, the music moved on, we sank more beers, smoked up a good fug, and I twirled on the old office chair at my desk talking rubbish over and over again about that one person whom I’d have preferred to his company right then. He was oblivious, rambling and starting to lose any coherent train of thought. I decided not to offer him any of my codeine and pregabalin. I’d taken some but, then, I am a professional. I watched him – eyes reddened, slurring his words, veering wildly from reminiscence to periods of semi-rage as we navigated our shared experiences. He took longer to roll the joints, got less involved in listening, and more in talking. His eyes seemed to have become smaller, like tiny red marbles, withdrawing into his face to escape the sensory overload that the cannabis and ethyl alcohol were laying down on his brain.
He over-ordered from the pizza menu and I rang the order in, mostly because I was the nearest we had to a public face. When the delivery guy turned up he was greeted with a cloud of blue smoke and a beaming smile faking innocence and trying desperately to get the money into his hand and explain, yes, I’d over tipped by a long way but to just take the fucking money and let me shut this front door for the love of God. Too much attention was already being garnered at the back of the house, what with the music and the stench, to have to fight a battle against the general public on two fronts.
He ate greedily, in the clichéd stoner way. I chomped through my shitty pizza only because I hadn’t eaten for almost 36 hours. It tasted of warm dough, fat, and battery acid. When he’d eaten two pizzas and some chips we sparked another joint up and sat back with full stomachs smoking into the night. Bottles and cans everywhere, music booming into the early hours down this quiet hillside. Two old friends. Wasted again.