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  • I can map my year in scenes from the porch.

    Scene one: primarily confined to the house due to the cold that would creep beneath the doorjamb and freeze our boogers and tears, we would finally muster the bravery to venture outside, bundled in parkas, to smoke spliff after spliff. We would fumble with the joint in our mittens and catch falling ash in our scarves.

    scene two: when classes got tough and we were convinced that there was no way we could do all that needed to be done. These are the days that Carson inspects your disheveled hair and raw eyes, squints, and says "do you need a cigarette?" You pause, think and reply, "Yes. Today, I do."

    scene three: the hot, hungover morning when you can barely stand to exist in your layer of skin. Arthur and I strip down to our underwear and lay on the railing, hoping our heads will stop throbbing soon.

    scene four: a tough talk after a tough night. I've just woken up alone in his bed. I'm so angry I can hardly speak coherent sentences and end up sounding passive when in reality, I'm livid but terrified that the night before could have ruined our friendship. I tiptoe around my anger because of this fear.

    scene five: in a fit of guilt and neuroses, I clean everything. I can't stop. It's some shitty bout of moral cleansing and my attempt to think about nothing for once. Carson knows something is wrong and sits on top of me until I confess the very thing I'm trying to forget.

    scene six: the sun is shining, calling us outside between classes. We drink cranberry juice vodka out of old jam jars.

    scene seven: at 6AM, I'm the first one awake. I cut lilacs from the bush next door, place them in a ball jar, make sweet iced tea, and finish today's readings in a rare moment of silence.

    scene eight: the lightning begins at midnight and doesn't stop until 2AM. Mel and I sit on the porch, mostly in silence, marveling at how lovely it is to feel so small.
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