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One of my main worries in life is that I’ll run out of things to talk about. Worse yet, I'm afraid that I already ran out of things to talk about and now I’m just filling up empty space. That evening, before arriving at my friend’s house, this thought was lurking in the background, as it often does before I have to face one on one situations. What were we gonna talk about? It was so much easier to be friends when we were in school together- homework, soccer, girls and boom! you got yourself a friendship. I tried to rationalize my way out of it, “you’ve known this guy for ages you idiot”. Sometimes I have to remind myself that unremarkable conversations are OK too.   

I got there and we sat on his porch, the number one hang-out spot of our friend group. The porch was elevated from the street level, as was my friend's house, allowing the salty breeze from the near-by ocean to flow through, and setting some distance from a large public trash container, the number one hang-out spot of the area's homeless. 

My friend brought his pot smoking kit and a couple of beers as was our custom. It was also his custom even if alone, I just happened to be there too. I didn't necessarily want a beer but I accepted it anyways because I felt that it was important for our relationship that I drank

I switched the analytical brain off (at least as much as it allows itself to be) and turned the beer-drinking-pot-smoking one on. 

He rolled a joint. Beautiful craftmanship, beautiful joint. “Beautiful” I exclaimed, “almost a shame to smoke”. 

“And yet…” he replied as he lit it. “And yet” I repeated. 


He took a couple of puffs and offered it to me. I accepted it, because I felt that it was important for our relationship that I smoked. I almost never smoke pot. I’ll give it a few puffs if it’s there, but I don’t pursue it intentionally. He looked so happy when I smoked. Potheads tend to get so happy when they get their non pothead friends to smoke. Maybe it’s only this specific pothead... Anyways, I was glad I could have that effect on him at such low cost, what’s a couple of dead neurons compared to a friend’s smile? It’s not like I was planning on solving string theory or curing cancer.  


A gust of wind threw an empty plastic bottle from the table to the floor, causing it to land right next to my friend’s foot. He kicked it towards me. I kicked it back. “Well, I guess we’re playing,” I thought. It felt silly because kicking a bottle is a stereotypical stoner thing to do, but I hadn’t felt the effect of the weed yet. I almost never do. I enjoyed playing anyways; some things are best left unexamined.  We played for a surprisingly long time. Men don’t need much to bond over; beer, joint, plastic bottle and boom! You’ve got yourself a friendship. 


The conversation was unremarkable, but I had prepared myself psychologically for it, so I didn’t mind. It wasn’t boring, just unremarkable. "Snacks"? My friend suggested. I sneered. "What, from the gas station"? I said. I hesitated to tell my friend the truth. I always hesitate to tell the truth; the world doesn’t seem to welcome it as much as one would think. “Imma tell you the truth,” I started. My friend, already accustomed to my honesty bombs, gave me a tiny eye roll. I continued; “The gas station only has shitty food, while the store near mine has decent food, so I'd rather go there. You are more than welcome to come, I want you to come! But I know you won’t and you’ll tell me I’m an idiot too. So, I’m faced with a hard decision, which is unfair because why should this be a hard decision? I’m not killing anyone. I just don’t want to eat shitty food, is that so terrible?”

“You’re an idiot,” he replied. 


I walked him to his store. We fist bumped. We parted ways. I felt kind of guilty on my way back home. Was I a bad friend? "I already drank beer and smoked a joint for him and both actions went by completely unappreciated, and now I’m supposed to feel guilty? How unfair is that?" But, fair or not, I did. “Next time I’ll just go to the shitty store” I thought.

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