Photo via Flickr user astroot
In high school, all I could think about was escaping my suburban prison, so every weekend of my senior year I hopped on the train and headed to New York to hang out with my brother. His apartment was in the heart of Curry Hill, a neighborhood in Manhattan known for its cab stops, where Pakistani men serve up pungent food that fills the entire block with the smell of cumin. I’d usually arrive there on Friday around 7 PM, right when my brother and his friends began their furious end-of-week smoke out. The moment I entered, I’d inhale deeply and bask in the glory of smoking freely indoors. At home, I smoked weed in some secluded spot in the woods or late at night in my bathroom, but here I could lounge on the couch and take a fat bong hit with impunity.
My brother’s homies were as enthusiastic about smoking as I was, but one of his housemates felt differently. Everyone called him Millhouse because looked and sounded like a grown up Millhouse from The Simpsons. Millhouse loved to get totally drunk, but he didn’t care for weed, and he despised cigarettes. He once returned home drunk to find someone smoking a cigarette by the window and declared, “If you’re gonna treat this like a crack house, then I’m gonna spittle all over this floor!” He spat everywhere for a few minutes before passing out on the floor in his room. It didn’t help that Millhouse’s room was attached to the living room. He would inevitably walk past the weedheads committing transgressions on his couch multiple times in an evening.
We partied with Millhouse a lot, and through those experiences we learned that he was not great with the ladies. In fact, he barely ever ran any game at all. He would just get wasted and have a good time, completely unconcerned with picking up girls. In a sense, this is the best way to party. I’ve never believed that the search for sex should outweigh the desire to wildly alter your state of mind, but that mindset rendered Millhouse essentially neutered. That’s why we were especially curious when Millhouse returned home one night with a girl.
It was about 3 AM and my brother, a couple of homies, and I sat on the couch passing around a bong. RJD2’s Deadringer blasted on the stereo. Millhouse burst through the front door in perfect timing with the blaring horns on "Ghostwriter.” He was clearly drunk, which became more apparent when he slur-screamed a long greeting riddled with profanities. We all gave him an obligatory, “Ohhhh!” With his bombastic entrance, we barely noticed the skinny white girl shuffling in behind him. Millhouse saw the weed on the table and swung around to his date, asking, “Do you wanna smoke weed? These guys just sit here and smoke weed all the time.” She gave a timid negative response and Millhouse invited her to sit down in the living room anyway.
For the next few minutes, we tried to engage the girl in conversation, mainly because Millhouse was completely not paying attention to her. He was more concerned with yelling about how much he had to drink that night and chastising us for smoking too much weed. It was his usual shtick and we enjoyed it, but if we didn’t make up for his neglect, it would surely ruin his chances with this girl. Millhouse was our friend, and we wanted this to work out for him. If he managed to convince her to come back to his place, there had to be some shred of hope that Millhouse was getting laid that night. As far as any of us knew, it was the first time too.
I can’t remember if the girl smoked or not, but she definitely became agitated very suddenly. She started pulling at Millhouse’s sleeve and trying to whisper things in his ear. He just kept responding with a loud, “WHAT?” Finally she dragged him over to the door and quietly broke it down for him using gratuitous hand gestures. The couch crew and I couldn’t hear her, but it was plain to see that she was trying to get Millhouse to take her to his room, partly so that she could get the hell away from us. We all noticed when she gestured toward us with a hostile jerk of her arm. Enthralled, we continued passing around the bong and waited to see what would happen.
Finally, Millhouse broke his huddle with the girl and spun around to face us. “I am going to bed now,” he said robotically. With that, he confidently sashayed into his room, and the girl scuttled in after him and shut the door. We all stifled our chuckles and hoped everything went well for Millhouse from there. No such luck.
We heard a commotion coming from within Millhouse’s room. Not the sexy, reckless commotion of two drunk people succumbing to temptation, but rather the ruckus of moving furniture. We all paused and looked at one another. The noise stopped. The girl gently opened Millhouse’s door and tiptoed out. We eyeballed her for an explanation. “Your friend is sick, I think,” she said. “He… well, he threw up on the mattress then he tried to flip it over so the fresh side is facing up, and while he was doing that he fell asleep on the mattress.” We all looked at her wide-eyed. “Which side is he passed out on?” I asked. “The puke side,” she said with a sigh. We all recoiled in disgust. “I should go,” she said.
We apologized on behalf of our friend and said goodbye. As she was heading for the door, she stopped and asked, “Has anyone seen my purse?” We all looked around the living room and couldn’t find it. “Well, I’m not going anywhere without that,” she said. Unable to do anything about it, we shrugged and packed another bong. She became agitated. “How could my purse just disappear? Did one of you move it?” she said accusingly. She continued rooting around the living room and asking us questions, making us all feel like criminals in our own home (or my brother’s home, in my case). She went on, “You guys are all stoned so you probably put it somewhere and forgot.” At one point, she even hinted that she thought one of us stole it, but quickly dropped it when she saw it offended us. After giving up on the search and insulting us for a few, she sat down in a chair and put her head in her hands. We all breathed a sigh of relief as she fell asleep in the chair.
The next morning, I awoke to find that my brother, Millhouse, and all the rest of the dudes were not at home. I had planned to kick it at their apartment all day and work on some music on my brother’s gear. I had not planned on sharing that day with a grumpy, hung-over girl who lost her purse. When I walked into the living room, she was on the couch with her arms crossed, wearing an exceedingly pissed off expression. I sat down across from her, smiled, and packed up a bong. She rolled her eyes. After I finished smoking, I told her she could watch TV to pass the time. “And what am I waiting for, exactly?” she asked. I thought about it for a second and realized that her sitting in the apartment all day wasn’t getting her any closer to her purse. I responded, “Actually, I’m wondering the same thing. Why are you still here?” She started going off about how she didn’t have her phone and didn’t know if her roommate was home, and a few unrelated personal problems that I’m pretty sure she just threw in to be dramatic. “My license, my metrocard, my work ID, and I don’t even like my fucking job…” she complained. As she talked, I got up and backed out of the living room. I returned to my brother’s room and continued working on my beat.
When I returned to the bong about half an hour later, the girl was mad as ever. “You don’t care that I’m stuck here!” she yelled. I replied, “I’m not the one who got you stuck here! You did! I’m trying to be nice by offering you a bong hit. That’s all I can do for you right now.” Just as she was launching into another admonishment of weedheads, Millhouse entered the front door. “Hey you!” the girl screamed. “You threw up and then you left me here all day with this idiot and I don’t have my phone or my purse and I’m so upset!” Millhouse looked completely unfazed. He glanced over at the coatrack by the front door and pulled off a brown leather purse. “Is this yours?” he asked the girl. All the color drained from her face. She leapt up, snatched the purse from Millhouse, and bolted out of the apartment. Millhouse stared after her as she flew down the flight of stairs. “She seems a little on edge,” he said. Then he asked me, “Is she a friend of yours?”
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