I asked him for cigarettes, taking a chance he’d want to be a cool dad. I stood on his deck later, focused on making a cigarette burn on the cuff of my jacket.
I was stoned the summer after high school. We went to Taco Bell every day. I’d been in the system since junior high.
Later, the girls stand in front of the open refrigerator, slightly feral: slices of cheese torn from plastic, pickles from the jar, a swig of Hershey’s syrup, jelly scooped out with a finger.
At that point, we expected locked doors, staff with keys, and intricate systems of levels and points that determined our value, our movements, our freedoms.