Incense stings my nose as I enter the house. The air conditioner is on, but it’s barely reaching the bulk of the room, leaving a swampy fog of humidity. There’s a note on the fridge that says mother is out, grocery shopping. From where I’m standing I can see the dog lying down by the television. As I walk up the stairs to my room I pass faint chatter that leaks from the running television. Nothing has changed. Not the desk. Not the tangled sheets on my bed. Just a note sitting on a stack of dusty comic books that reads, “Do you still want these?” The blinds are open just the way I’d left them. I like the way the shadows give my walls a zebra stripe when the sun comes in. I look up at the fan that whirls and wobbles. I plop on my unkempt bed, take off my shoes, stretch my aching toes and watch the blade’s shadows strobe the ceiling.
I think about being in a classroom with an old film projector that rattles and flickers a PSA about drugs or something. The teacher mumbling about what they do to your brain and how burnt out you become, “a zombie,” he blurts out along with a sting of spittle. I don’t think he knows anything about drugs. “Marijuana, that stoner stuff,” he babbles on. I don’t think he knows about inhaling a rope of weed and blowing out a chaotic plume of smoke. Eating a whole box of Cocoa Puffs. Or, listening to Outkast with the lights dimmed low. I don’t think he knew a thing about being a zombie and how good it felt to escape a bit.