Apr/May 2001  •   Fiction

Everybody Must Get Stoned

by Eric Bosse

The football game was canceled due to lightning and here you are, in your car, in front of your house, watching hail pelt your girlfriend Linda's car in the driveway. Thump thump thump. On your hood. On your roof. In your chest. Each stone makes its sound, slides down the windshield, and piles over the wipers. Until it's rain. Only rain.

You cut the engine. You run across the lawn. The door is open a crack. You step inside. Your keys don't jingle in the fist stuffed in your pocket. You wipe your feet on the rug. You shake your head dry like a dog.

The house smells of pot and rain and Tollhouse cookies baking in the kitchen. You know your mother is still at work. You hear Linda's voice in the living room. You hear your father's low chuckle. Bob Dylan is on the hi-fi.

You come around the corner. There's Linda, on the sofa, with your father.

Her shoes are on the carpet. Her feet are on the cushions. She's taking a hit from a joint.

His shoes are off, resting on the phonebook, dripping onto the coffee table. The oak coffee table. Your mother bought it last year. For his birthday.

Their clothes are on.

The knot of his blue and gold paisley tie hangs loose, down around the second button from his neck, looser than you've ever seen it with company in the house.

They see you and laugh.

He says, between chuckles, "Hey, bud, how was the game?"

She says, giggling, offering you the roach, "I came over a little early."

Bob Dylan says they'll stone you when you're riding in your car.

The floor lamp flickers.

The record player stutters.

Your hand lets go of the keys and, against your will, reaches sluggishly through the air, fingers open, grasping.