Author’s Note: All of the rappers who appear in this novella are real people who make real music. Google them. They’re fun.
Chapter 1 – The Odd Couple
Myf’s alarm clock clicked on and he was awakened to an ear-shattering blast of Brutal Truth, one of his favorite grindcore bands. He was your typical black college student: wild, impetuous, fun loving. He was actually from Sri Lanka, but he looked black, so it was easier to just self-identify as black. Things like that seemed to matter more in the U.S. Very few people were close enough for him to reveal his actual heritage.
He reached over, eyes closed, and grabbed his preloaded three foot bong. His hand groped for a lighter from the nightstand, which held several upon its surface. He managed to find one, knocking others to the carpet, and took a hit of Willy Wonka, the current favorite weed in Cleveland. The light from the burning butane pierced his eyelids like a supernova. Now somewhat awake, he staggered to the dresser. In his stupor, he applied brown shoe polish to his armpits instead of deodorant. It was April twentieth, two thousand and thirteen.
He walked into the extremely dark bedroom of his roommate, High-C. High was your typical straight-laced white guy: conservative, uptight, judgmental, and a secret crack-smoker. Myf brought the reloaded bong with him. He flicked on the light switch, jarring High awake and dissipating his dreams of eating the pussy of some young girl or another.
“Duuuude!” Myf yelled. “It’s four-twenty!”
He pushed the business end of the bong into High’s mouth and flicked his Bic. Reflexively, he cleared the entire bowl in a single hit. His lungpower was legendary. High-C opened one eye and looked at the red LCD display of his cheap Wal-Mart alarm clock. It read “3:22 AM”.
“Fucker,” he said.
“Yeah, I’m early. But I knew you’d want to sleep in. If I’d have awakened you at four-twenty, you’d have missed it. I’ll be back,” Myf said. “I’m working on a surprise.”
High turned over to sleep, but the stash of rocks under his bed was calling to him. His drug consumption was also legendary. In fact, one of the few things he wasn’t a legend at was rapping, which was unfortunate, because he, Myf, and all of their friends were aspiring nerdcore rappers. Still, the others tolerated his efforts, and humored him. They were sort of irked by him at the same time, because although he was a great lyricist, he put almost no effort at all into recording tracks. Myf, by contrast, could crank out a pro-sounding track in a single take.
He pulled out his basepipe and wrapped himself in a large American flag he’d liberated from a McDonald’s. As his black metal friend Goat had once remarked, “You can’t get more American than that.” He blazed stones until four, when he put the mapp gas torch down and crafted a blendo starship. It was his greatest joint creation yet, a huge cone spliff with three joints sticking out of the end of it. It stood on his nightstand like a rocket or one of the Apollo lunar landing modules, assuming they were constructed of marijuana and paper.
At four-fifteen, he sauntered out of his room buck naked, as was his habit. Myf was one of the few people who tolerated his antics and took him in stride.
“Put on a robe, cocksucker,” Myf said. “Show some respect, man.”
“I never understood why you stoners celebrated Hitler’s birthday in the first place.”
High went to his room and returned in a fuzzy pink bathrobe.
“What?” he said to Myf, who hadn’t said anything in the first place. “Much like the practice that originated among New York pimps of calling each other ‘baby’ and the like, a man secure in his sexuality can, say, wear a fuzzy pink bathrobe.”
“I didn’t say anything in the first place,” Myf said. “But I’ll thank you not to lecture me on black American culture, sir.”
“Oh, shit. I’m as black as you are. Sri Lankan motherfucker.”
“I disagree, white boy. Years of identifying with black people and being treated like one has effectively made me black. Something you’ll never be.”
“I’m as black as Tracey Morrow,” High countered.
“Nope,” Myf said.
“Mmm, maybe. Then again, he cheated on his wife. You don’t even have a girlfriend.”
“That’s because I labor under the misconception imposed by Julie Brown in the 1989 non-classic classic Earth Girls Are Easy.”
“It stands to reason, sir, that after twenty or more years of the same folly, you’d readjust your tactics.”
High-C was determined to disprove one man’s working definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. He threw great fistfuls of ham and bacon into a cast iron skillet.
“No time for cop eating, bruh. Spark that ell. It’s four twentaaay!” Myf said.
High pulled out his Starship Titanic or whatever he called his latest art piece.
“We have two minutes. What’s your new project?” He nodded toward a large object covered with a sheet that sat along one wall of the living room.
“Your timing sucks. Light that motherfucker. Then we’ll smoke a joint and talk about it.”
“Whitney Houston, we’re go for liftoff in ten…nine…”
“One,” Myf said, snatching it from his hand. “It’ll take a whole minute to get this monstrosity lit.”
He put fire to the three legs and began puffing. To his surprise, all three lit and started burning. He passed it to High-C.
“What’s in this motherfucker?” Myf asked.
“The legs are Skunk #1, Willie Wonka, and Chocolate Thai. The body itself is pure B.C. Bud from Vancouver, Canada.”
“Nursehella weed, eh?”
“Better yet, smuggled here in her own sweet pussy.”
“Ultraklystron?” Myf asked, and they both giggled.
At four-twenty, Myf’s alarm clock went off again, and they let the metal blast away as they smoked. By the time they had burned the legs down, Myf begged off. High continued to hit Nursie’s pussyweed, blowing smoke rings. He fancied himself a dragon.
Myf pulled the sheet off with a flourish.
“Endtroducing the Mythril Nazgulator Nine Thousand,” he said.
It was a two-seated wooden bench with a high back that extended up into a box with two holes in the bottom. There were speaker wires running into the left and right sides of the top part.
“What is it?” High asked. “An electric chair built for two? A very impractical park bench? The city of Cleveland would love it.”
“It’s the ultimate smoking accessory. You get in the speakers, man! There’s lights and-“
There was a loud knock at the door. The downstairs neighbor, an actual black American, had called the police over the music. Myf peered through the peephole as High continued to puff away at the cone.
“Shit, it’s a cop!”
Cleveland cops were notorious assholes, especially when it came to weed. High-C just kept toking.
“You didn’t use the agreed upon code phrase for a cop at the door,” he said.
“Fuck!” Myf said. “Put it out. Cereal!”
“Nope,” High said defiantly.
“Okay, okay,” Myf said. “Damn! Five-oh, Ice!”
High spat into his hand and extinguished the remainder of the spliff, putting it behind his ear.
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