Probably what I miss most is getting high with my friends. I haven’t seen green in like half a year. Me and my boys used to smoke in the park and then get street food in Harvard Square and just fuck around. I miss that too—fucking around.
A couple weeks before it happened, my friends and I blazed behind this dry-cleaner because some typical Harvard Square artsy bullshit was taking over our usual spot. So we’ve smoked like six bowls and we’re packing number seven when this Korean dude comes out of the back of the store and tells us to get the hell out of his parking lot. We give him some shit and then decide to leave. As we’re leaving the parking lot one of my boys sees his shirt hanging on a rack in the store. High off his balls, dude freaks out, runs in, and grabs the fucking shirt. The Korean dude’s wife is dealing with some customer at the front of the story and starts throwing shit at him as he’s sprinting back to us. We got the fuck out of there, ate burritos, and laughed about it for hours. When the weed started to wear off we realized that someone had dropped my bowl in the confusion. I was devastated. I loved that piece—it was like my child was taken from me. It’s funny thinking back on stuff like that and comparing the shit that stressed me out before to what’s on my mind now.
They caught me on the 19th—one mother-fucking day before 4/20. I was rolling a spliff, just hoping to hold out for a few more hours and enjoy a moment or two of marijuana bliss, getting splashed with grimy water from the Boston harbor, when the mother-fuckers finally showed up. I bet my boys laughed their asses off about that shit—me getting caught on 4/20. Typical.
I don’t know what happened to the spliff. They talk about the note but I’ve never heard anything about the bud. It was good weed too—from Cali.
I miss what Cambridge is like around five pm in July. There’s music and food and people and sometimes I’d get high with my boys and we’d fuck around. Other times I’d just play ball in the park with my brother for hours.
Usually I’d start a fight with him, about some scrappy play or something. One time he elbowed me in the face trying to rebound a missed layup and blood immediately starting gushing from my mouth, painting the worn concrete court. It was nine at night so I couldn’t see shit. I got pissed at him and punched him in the gut then tackled him to the ground and choked him out for ten seconds. He threw me off him into a fence said fuck you and left. I got up and started walking home but realized he’d be there so I went to Harvard Square and smoked some cigs.
An hour later he showed up with a handle of Absolut. He told me I looked like a burn victim. Then he hugged me and told me I was being a dumb-ass. Then he said he was sorry and that he loved me more than anyone in the world. Then we got shit-faced.
I even miss the fucking homeless people. There’s something unique about the homeless people in Cambridge. It’s like they’re all Buddhist monks who’ve come to understand some truth the rest of us ignore but feel no need to share it. Maybe from being that close to the finest intellectual institution in the world. Or maybe they just smoke crack and live in boxes. Same shit different toilet.
And then there’s my girl. Jesus I miss her. Spring is like Viagra in Boston and April—when it’s warming up and it’s light until 7 and it’s almost graduation so all the Harvard kids are happy and sentimental and shit—makes it worse. Me and my girl’d walk around for hours, with no real destination just taking it in and taking in each other and being in love. We had this one bench that we’d sit on. Some nights we’d talk about anything—life or pointless shit—but most nights we’d just sit there and hold each other silently.
The closest thing I get to head in this place are black dudes staring at me as I walk out of solitary. I don’t have a great memory but desperate times call for desperate measures and now I have a pretty clear image of what she looked like naked. Keeps me busy.
I was getting interrogated by this racist piece of shit in a holding cell a couple days after it happened, not really paying any attention until this guard brings a TV in and turns on CNN. And the last mother-fucker in the world I expect to be telling me to turn myself in is talking right to me next to Anderson Cooper. Peter mother-fucking Payack. I nearly burst out laughing. The last time I talked to that dude was the sports banquet senior year when he broke down giving me an award. I couldn’t believe it. Yeah I was his captain and shit but to publicly announce a personal relationship to a known terrorist on CNN? Dude has some balls.
The same sixty year old Irish Catholic dude from Southy who taught me how to get a guy flat on his back and slow his heart rate down to 30 beats a minute is telling me to confess.
He called me “Jahah” like he used to and said that there’d been enough destruction and shit.
And that was the start of the feeling that hasn’t let me sleep more than two hours a night in the last six months. The feeling that makes me think about Tamerlin Ailina and Bella and my girl and my mom’s cooking when all I want to do is wrap a fucking belt around my neck.
The death and destruction? Nah. That was the point.
They say home is where the heart is. I don’t know what to call home now but it sure as shit ain’t in my chest.
Fuck America. Boston strong? Fuck Boston.