INT. DAVE’S LIVING ROOM, MORNING
The best days came after Dave got his house.
Two stories and a porch, pretty clean, usually. A glass-top table in the living room that held up like a mule. TV and speakers in the corner, a 64-bit system tucked back behind it. The window, westward facing, glows with incidental light.
The best days were at Dave’s house.
He built a pong table one summer, two refrigerated taps beneath, and it took up the entire room in the center of the house. A tropical fish tank sits nearby – fish all alive. There’s a deep fryer in the kitchen, used frequently.
The best Daves were day Dave at Dave’s house.
Upstairs was a small porch and several bedrooms, empty since graduation. Dave lived downstairs, while he lived. A closet in the corner was transformed into a “Green Room,” with bright green lights and velvet posters.
Dave’s ratty sneakers poke out from the kitchen door.
ENTER OUR HEROES, MAGGIE AND CAL
| CALVERT “CAL” SAUNDERS
MAGGIE AND CAL ARE GETTING FUCKED UP.
Luckily, getting loaded isn’t difficult at Dave’s house. There are drugs everywhere. Mourning is the only sort of problem they are currently capable of tackling. Cal, in boxers and an old sheet, smokes his bong like a cigar. Maggie, in Dave’s old shirt, kills the half-empty beers from the night before, occasionally knocking back cinnamon whiskey.
Much easier than the problem in the kitchen.
On the ceiling, scrapes of mold seep off the corners of the room. Plumes of joint smoke roll above, milky wisps eke off the bubbler, twin streams of incense coalesce around the couch. The vaulted ceiling develops weather patterns.
On and on they drank and dank. For all they know the music is stuck on repeat. For all they know they only listen to one song.
Getting loaded, no matter the drug, is really about time. That’s half, if not all, of the fun. Maggie lights someone’s forgotten cigarette and Cal doesn’t even get mad.
They stare at their cumulonimbus on the ceiling and debate cleaning the house out or burning it to the ground. Cal loads another bowl, Maggie grabs the last half of Fireball. Their thoughts filter and flicker so slowly they don’t have time to think about them.
The mold on the ceiling continues its business above the smoke cloud cover. They wonder if it is colonizing: spreading and evolving, dividing and conquering. Whether certain strands break off to form their own colonies, or if the main mold overran new molds in its quest for precious moisture and ceiling tiles. Or whatever the hell mold wants.
Drug time needs to be retrofitted to be remembered. Converted to a sober equivalent.
The cloud grows, rumbles, and rolls across the ceiling, each wordless exhalation rising to join it. Cal and Maggie’s cloud is the biggest cloud in Clairsville for the past several months, other than the low and rainless clouds that make summer humid and unbearable. The ceiling is obscured, they never look down.
In the kitchen, a trickle of Ramen drips down Dave’s leg.
So they wordlessly concur that the best thing to do is to keep getting loaded. Recreate the scene of the crime.
CAL: Not that we committed any crime.
Though both of them feel very much like they have.
And soon enough, they will.
So load a bowl or pour out a tall one. Pop a tab if you have to. If Maggie and Cal want to remember what happened to Dave, they’re gonna have to get out of their comfort zones. Even more so if they want to save him. Or themselves.
DAVE IS DEAD