The sun peaks through my blinds and grazes my face. Its warmth is welcome feeling. I stretch like a cat and reach for my phone. I notice I missed a call late last night. I am no longer a night owl. I try to get to bed by 9:00PM most nights.
I am not familiar with the number and check the voice mail left by this mysterious caller. “WHOOOOO WHO! Answer the phone mother fucker! It’s Mon. We’re at The Crown hanging out. Where are you? Get your sorry ass down here and hang out.” Then there was all kinds of commotion, yelling, cussing, & general riff raff. Then they hung up.
I was pleased to miss the call. I did not want to go out last night. I am exhausted. I work at the damn bar anyway. I quit drinking a few months ago. I get out of bed and put on my shoes and go outside the dorms to a picnic bench. It is about 8:00AM on a Saturday and the campus is really quiet. Most of the residents are sleeping.
I pull out a cigarette and light it. The cool morning air surrounds me as the cigarette smokes collects around me, creating this highlighted cloud around me of toxic cancer causing exhaust. I love smoking. I smoked for seven years before I quit in 2001, right before 9/11. August 27, 2001 at 8:47AM I quit for the first time.
Then in March of 2005 I picked it up again. I never intended to start smoking again. It was almost a n accident. I was a missionary in Kenya and many of the men I traveled with smoked. They said it was mostly cause the smoke kept the mosquitos away and lessened their chance of getting malaria.
So, I began to carry a cigarette in my hand to keep the mosquitos away. Then a few trips to a smoke filled Nakuru and I was smoking again. I love smoking.
These early Saturday mornings offered a respite from the rigors of class as well as from the intense Austin heat. I enjoy them. I love the stillness that surrounds them. This silence was broken by joggers, a random UT student, and the occasional seminarian looking for their mail. I was its smoking watchdog.
Out of no where I heard, “What’s up mother fucker!?” It was Mon. What was she doing up this early. They had to have stayed out late. Her voice message was left around 12:30.
She pulls out an American Spirit and joins me on the bench. “Watcha doin’?”
I continue to make my toxic cloud and offer up, “Nothing. Just enjoying the morning.”
Mon proceeds to share about the antics of last night. That Jensen got the bar to sing “Dreamweaver” when it came on. He stood on the table tops and pluck starts out of the imaginary sky. Then “Bohemian Rhapsody” came on and the bar broke out in that tune lead by Forbes doing a strip tease to the rockier parts. All in all is sounded fun.
Mon then invited me to go play golf with them. I don’t play golf, Mon. The last time I touched a club I was rocking a Happy Gilmore at the driving range and broke 2 rental clubs. The place was some where along the 101 Freeway in Calabasas. The owner let us bring in a cooler full of beer and shot all night. I am not a fan of golf.
Mon begged me to go along. I would complete the foursome, Jensen, Forbes, Mon, and I to go golf? I agreed but demanded that I drive the cart and I was only carrying four clubs like a golfing ninja.
Mon told me to hurry that Jensen and Forbes would be there any minute. I ran inside showered and put on my best golf attire, cargo shorts and a t-shirt that read, “Show me your TETS!” that I got made after I passed Winter Hebrew Camp. I bolted out the door to the waiting crew.
There was Forbes in his hillbilly four-wheel drive, raised monster truck playing Rush or Journey with Jensen jumping around the bed of the truck performing his version of Ka Mate to the music and Mon still on the picnic bench smoking that god awful American Spirit. I walk over and climb in to the extended cab. Mon puts out her Spirit, Jensen climbs in to the cab and we are off like a rocket.