Anything to take the mind off this headache.
He lit up a smoke and slowly laid down, hands behind his head. He took a deep inhale and closed his eyes, ignoring the throbbing in his forehead and focusing on the feeling of the smoke in his lungs. He always enjoyed the feeling. Anytime someone tried to tell him it was going to give him cancer someday, he always rolled his eyes. The upsides always outweighed the downsides in his eyes. Whatever happens, happens; if he’s going to die, at least he’ll die happy.
He didn’t smoke cigarettes. That was the distinction he always made. Cigs had little redeeming qualities. He just smoked weed. It wasn’t as big of a deal. And it was legal here now, anyway, so who’s going to stop him? His mom? She lives across the country.
The weed always helped with the headaches. Even when it doesn’t make them go away entirely, it at least gives him a few hours of serenity. That’s all he can ever ask for. He isn’t one to complain about his life, he’s doing alright for himself, got a good group of friends and a job that pays well enough for his living habits.
If he has any complaints, though, it’s the loneliness that looms over him at night. It always happens around 11 PM. His friends one by one say goodbye for the night and he’s left there by 2 o’clock with a half-smoked spliff and an empty chest. When his friends ask him if he’s doing alright, he says he’s fine. He means it most of the time, too. Them reaching out to him is enough to make his heart a little warmer.
He can’t deny though, that when the last of the group leaves to go to bed, he feels a piece of his heart break more. For a while, he thought he’d be happy being single. He wouldn’t mind if he spends the rest of his days with his friends doing whatever they want every night after work. But after a few friends got married and drifted, he felt that the group was growing smaller and someday it would be just him.
The problem was, he’d been in relationships before and they always ended the same way. He had a track record for being cheated on and ghosted. After the fourth one came and went, he swore off dating for a while. He said it was only for a short period, until he regained his trust in romance. But weeks turned to months turned to years and now he ends every night with a bong rip and a sigh.
His headache started to drift away, and as did he. It was the middle of the day on a Saturday and he had plans at 7.
He awoke from his weed-induced nap with a rumbling stomach. The sun had already set. Before he had time to regain his bearings on the world, he heard a knock on the door. It was Mark. He brought a six-pack of their favorite beer and a new board game. The rest of the gang would be over shortly.