Mid-Fall Opium Den

Hey whats up are you still coming to my party? I was just thinking about that summer when we smoked weed up in the crawl space with your roommate John… or Chris- I don’t know… the writer. Later, as I tried to sleep on the couch I heard him talking on the phone in the kitchen. I heard him tell his mom that he was ready to submit. I recognized the “being ready” talk.

He told me that he knew people with mob connections, but you doubted that. He had a simple name, right? like Chris…or John. He was cool now that I’m thinking about him…We were up in your crawl space; he called it a crawl space but it was just that miniature, wood-finished attic area. He kept talking about how nice it was, how the window was perfect. I guess we were all talking about how nice it was. But he talked about how it would be so nice in the fall- so nice that he could set up an opium den. A “Mid-Fall Opium Den.” I told you later about how I felt like I’d missed out. That opium den night was just another night for you. I wondered how many I missed because I was Mormon and later obsessed with writing. I was 27. Ya’ll were a little younger. Anyway, Matt or Chris or whatshisname had all his shit in your car. I think he adored you but didn’t show it. He intentionally took his eyes off you when you hummed. I figured it must have been tougher for him than me because he was your roommate, and that’s why he turned away. But I mean you got that new car & suddenly all his shit was in it. Clothes and books and food wrappers. Anyway what am I saying? Oh yeah, about when I met you, I didn’t hide it- I don’t think. It hit me suddenly- the night you showed me and…I don’t know who we were closing with, but you showed me and and the other closer your collarbone injury from the crash. You let me touch it. You pulled your shirt collar aside, and you had a little bump on your collarbone. Oh Yeah! You were out because of the crash. I started working at that store after your accident. You were The Girl Who Was In A Crash And I Dunno If She’s Ever Coming Back.

But you came back and I was like “The crash girl is the shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!” Dave Eggers. Tall. Kick ass on bar. Your hair was always awesome. You always came in with your hood on. Everything about you was so freaking awesome. We were at work when we found out Michael Jackson died.

One day, you and Sarah were talking about things you do to try to get to sleep at night. I wasn’t really paying attention. You said you listened to music to help you fall asleep, but that sometimes it’s counterproductive. Sarah told me that I missed your face as you described what can happen with the headphones on. Sometimes it helps, but other times you get into it. You bounced your head back and forth and smiled as you hummed with your eyes closed. Hair everywhere. I saw it out of the corner of my eye.

“Aaron, you missed it, it was the cutest thing.”

“I know, I can’t even look at her sometimes.”

Anyway, you were gone when I found out about you and Bobby. Sarah and I didn’t know much about him, but I said “He saw a doodle she drew on the newspaper and told her to tattoo it on him. It was two bees. Both bees were saying ‘fuck you’ but thinking ‘I love you.’ Bobby saw the doodle and told her ‘I love that, I want you to tattoo it on me.’ And she tattooed it on him.” I told Sarah that that’s love if it ever existed and that Bobby’s awesome and you just can’t beat that. And I moved on.

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