There were still plenty of holiday leftovers in the fridge, including more sweets than either of us would ever consume. Looking for something to snack on while making dinner, I saw two cookies that had been on one of the shelves for awhile. I popped one in my mouth. It was chewy, and its time in the fridge seemed to have robbed it of any real flavor it may have once had. I moved on to the homemade caramel corn, which was much more satisfying.
I went about preparing the meal, pausing to light a cigarette. As I inhaled, I couldn’t feel anything entering my lungs. I looked to see if there was a tear in the paper somewhere, but there wasn’t. I took another deep drag. Nothing. Stubbing out the defective American Spirit, I lit another. Same result, but I kept on smoking it.
“Where did you buy these cigarettes?” I asked.
“The place on the corner,” she replied.
“Something wrong?” she asked.
I didn’t reply, but kept on about my business. She was in the living room watching Bell, Book and Candle. It annoys me that I remind her of Jimmy Stewart. I took another hit off the cigarette and felt a strange sludge winding its way outward from my ribcage to my limbs, eventually encasing me in something which felt toxic. I figured it was just the combined latent effects of the previous night’s dinner, not enough sleep and the torn muscles I was experiencing after working out hard for the first time in years.
Having set up what I needed to in the kitchen, I joined her in the living room bearing three cheeses and a medley of crackers arranged on a piece of black slate, which my sister had given me for Christmas. Setting the slate on the coffee table, we started talking about something. I can’t remember what it was, probably something about how awful it is to be compared to Jimmy Stewart when you’d rather be thought of as a Bob Mitchum type. I started eating the cheese- I was particularly enjoying the Stilton.
Between mouthfuls I said something which didn’t quite sound right, meaning I didn’t like what I was hearing, not what I was saying. Then I realized I didn’t even care for what I actually said. And then it hit me.
“There were two cookies by themselves in the fridge.”
“Yes,” she replied, turning to me.
“Are they pot cookies?” I asked.
“Yes, don’t you remember? A_____ gave them to me.”
I suddenly had a vague recollection of a conversation we’d had more than a week earlier.
“Oh no!” she said, “Did you eat one?”
“What do you mean? They’re small- I ate the whole thing.”
“Oh shit. Really?”
“What’s your tolerance like?”
“I don’t know, can't really say- it’s been a long time, but I never had a high tolerance for the stuff.”
“Oh shit. Shit. She said a half of one would last for hours. She recommended a quarter for me. You ate it all?”
“It was a small cookie.”
“This is going to be a very interesting night... what are you like when you’re stoned?”
“Like this, I guess,” feeling very much like Jimmy Stewart and nothing like Bob Mitchum, as I stuffed another piece of cheese into my mouth.
She began to laugh. I did, too.
“Do you want the other cookie?” I asked.