I pitched him the Bic. I prefer not to get too close to things that walk down the street in the middle of the night. One time I got robbed at gunpoint, remember? But mostly this thing made puberty look contagious.
Unfortunately, messed up always wants to make friends. So he strolled down our walkway toward me. Under the lights I could see that he was a young that doesn't know its young. Maybe 14. That weird age where a face still looks doughy and malformed. Fetal. Like that chin could turn out to be a nose by the time he's a senior.
"Thanks," he said supersuavely. "I just have to light my joint."
He said "light my joint" awkwardly. And little smugly. The testing of a new sentence, like that first time you bumble out a "we" at the beginning of a relationship.
He handed my lighter back. I did nothing to change the resting position of my face, and continued typing on my laptop.
"Are you doing homework?" he slurred lazily.
I filed this away in a place in my brain, not necessarily a special place, just a place. In case no one every compliments me on anything ever again.
"No," I said. "I'm just ... writing."
He wouldn't leave. This kid just stood there next to the porch. Smoking a joint, shuffling his feet, and watching me ignore him. Finally I realized that I could probably just tell him to leave.
"Hey. You can't smoke that here," I said to him.
He zapped out of his little mini coma and walked away.