Jackie is on that shrinking list of people whose good news brought me joy rather than dread. We didn't hang out that much during the school year, but now that summer is here, he hits me up quite often.
His place is dirty but organized. Usually, I'd go to a place where everything is unorganized but the place feels sanitary. But the surfaces inside Jackie's house feels stained like sticky leather upholstery in summer sweat, and the air, invisible to the eye, feels thick entering my lungs. From a physical perspective, I hate being inside this apartment.
-- Thanks. Whiskey after?
-- Maybe. Do you not work today?
-- I do. Around 7.
After a couple beers and smoking a bowl together we walk to where all the bars are. Jackie says he'll see me later, and now I have nothing left to do. I think about what's in my fridge. Just two tallboys of Heineken, which should be enough. But I don't feel like heading home yet. I circle around the block a couple times, and each time I pass by the bar Jackie works in, I try to see if I can catch his silouhette through the sticker decals and neon-lights.
When I arrive home, I consider cleaning up my apartment. And then I don't. Instead I down a couple glasses of water, brush my teeth, and go to bed and try to fall asleep. My phone vibrates a couple hours later, before I can fall asleep. It's Jackie wondering if I want to hang out again.