Jackie waited outside my apartment with his car running as I put groceries into my fridge. I could hear every word that Drake was yelling through Jackie's shitty speakers. Then it was to his house where he began cooking a hefty meal.
Grilled, red bell peppers, stuffed with rice and ground beef, topped off at the last minute with pepper jack cheese. Spiced sausage grilled alongside onion and mushroom. A salad of romaine lettuce, walnut, red onions, and shreds of chicken breast leftovers, drizzled with a sweet poppy seed dressing he'd gotten from the cafe he worked at.
Until this, I never saw myself as someone who waited 2 hours to eat. I was used to quick meals, an employee of the caf or Chipotle assembling me food right on the spot. But Jackie managed to compose the three separate dishes like it was second nature. The entire time we sipped on Busch Light, took hits off his bong, and even smoked a cigarette, although neither of us smoked. It was a good time. By the time the stuffed bell peppers were ready, the two of us were ravenous.
I helped set the picnic table outside and Jackie came out with two bottles of craft beer. The combination of hops and grilled sausage caused me to lose myself. I wasn't thinking about who I was or what my role in society was. I was just a biological creature, chewing and sipping beer. Rubbing it against my tongue and swallowing it down my throat. And then I'd do it again, taking turns, switching between beer and sausage to beer and this cheesy stuffed pepper with the perfect combination of chewy rice, savory beef, and spicy cheese.
Wait who was I?
"Another cigarette?" Jackie asked.
"I thought you didn't smoke."
"I don't. This is the last one I got. I found this pack today at work."
"Someone left it?"
"Yeah people leave things there all the time."
"I thought it was usually old people that came in?" I said while handing Jackie the cig after taking a drag. "Old people smoke Camels?"
"No a coworker left it. A girl that works with me." Jackie took a drag and kept the smoke in his lungs for a long time. Habits of a weed smoker.
"Ah that makes sense."
After we smoked the cigarette, Jackie asked what I was up to that night.
"Nothing I guess. I haven't even thought that far. I haven't even though until this moment. I hadn't even planned on being here now so how can I know what I'm supposed to do next?"
"Well how about we go out to the bars?"
Jackie shrugged as he offered me the cigarette back but I waved it away.
"Beats sitting here right?"
We took care of the immediate kitchen duties. Rinsing dishes, putting away leftovers. And then Jackie brushed his teeth, changed his clothes and put some cologne on.
He offered me some change in clothes to which I laughed. He was about 50 pounds heavier than me. Fuscular.
"No, I can get you clothes from my roommate. He's almost your size."
Almost was a stretch. The clothes happened to fit a bit tight, but it was better than what I was wearing before. Then without asking my permission Jackie sprayed cologne on me and handed me a can of Busch Light.