(excerpted from Weird Luck:
City of the Watcher, Book One)
…Aleck turned and saw Mikey, offering a lit joint.
“Hey!” Billy exclaimed, taking the joint.
“I pilfered it from Grace’s stash,” said Mikey.
“Aw, man.” Billy drew deeply. “You gotta stop doing that,” he croaked.
“She’ll never notice,” said Mikey. “Do you know how much pot she has in that old box? It’s like they smoke a joint and then just keep rolling joints the whole time they’re high. There must be fifty joints in there, plus a bag with enough grass in it for fifty more.”
“I mean you gotta stop sneaking into my house,” said Billy, still holding his breath. He passed the joint to Aleck, who hit it immediately.
“Your mom said something about dinner at seven,” said Mikey. “She told me to tell you to make sure you’re back in time from whatever it is we go do.”
Billy exhaled in a gust, making a cloud of smoke and mist. “My mom saw you?” he asked, alarmed.
“I saw her,” said Mikey, “so I said hi.”
“Did she see you go into Grace’s room?” asked Billy .
“No, of course not,” scoffed Mikey.
“You shouldn’t steal, though, man,” said Aleck, “except from The Man. It’s against our charter.”
“I didn’t steal it, man,” said Mikey, “I pilfered it. The Trespassers’ Club Charter specifically says moderate pilfering is a-okay. If there was just five of them it woulda been stealing, and I wouldn’t of done it. But one out of fifty is like nothing.”
“Nice logic,” exhaled Aleck. “You should work for Nixon.”
Mikey smirked, unfazed by this most grave of insults. “Thanks, Che fuckin’ Guevara.”
Aleck took a second hit before passing the joint back. He wanted to debate the distinction between theft and pilfering, in the context of the principles of their agreed-upon number one heroes, the revolutionary anti-racist White Panther Party: “rock ‘n roll, dope, sex in the streets, and the abolishing of capitalism,” as Aleck had read in Rolling Stone. But he suddenly felt very, very high. Did his double-hit count as pilfering, he wondered? The cramped space under the porch seemed frighteningly stifling. His thoughts spiraled from worry to worry: Grace catching them for stealing her grass; Damon catching them spying; Billy’s mom catching them smoking under the porch. Billy and Mikey’s conversation gradually threaded its way back into Aleck’s attention: something about girls.
“Diane’s foxy, said Mikey, “but nowhere near as foxy as Grace.”
“Yeah but Grace is my sister,” said Billy. “I’m not gonna make it with my own sister, man.”
“Like someday you’re gonna make it with Diane?” laughed Mikey.
“I can’t hear anything,” said Aleck. “Did it start yet?”
“No it didn’t start yet,” scoffed Billy, passing the inch-long joint to Aleck. Aleck, too high to remember he was too high, took a drag and passed it to Mikey, feeling dizzy and wishing he’d left well enough alone.
“I can’t believe they wouldn’t let us in,” said Mikey. “They’re the ones who turned us on to Black Sabbath in the first place. It ain’t right.” He hit the joint.
“Tell that to Damon,” said Billy.
“Okay,” croaked Mikey, holding his breath. “Hey Damon!” He reached to knock on the window. Billy slapped his hand away. The roach flew up into a spiderweb, hung there, burned itself free, and fell to the ground. Mikey broke into a fit of mixed coughing and laughing. Billy tried to cover Mikey’s mouth. Aleck retrieved the roach from the dirt and took a hit off of it, remembering only as he did so that he’d perhaps best not. He broke into a coughing fit as well. Billy tried to cover Aleck’s mouth while holding onto Mikey and poked Aleck in the eye. Aleck jumped and hit his head again.
“Shh!” said Billy, peering into the basement from the edge of the window. “Shh! Shh!” Aleck and Mikey stifled their coughing fits. Billy turned and gave them an ugly stare.
“Man, keep it down!” he hissed.
“We’re not gonna be able to hear jack squat out here,” coughed Aleck.
“I know,” coughed Mikey. “We should listen to it in Damon’s car.”
“You’re addle-brained,” whispered Billy. Aleck and Mikey stared at him, coughing and laughing. “My grandma says that. ‘You’re addle-brained.’“
“I reckon you hear that a lot from her,” choked Mikey. Painful laughter overtook Aleck. Mikey turned like a crab, still coughing, and began crawling back out of the Spider-Cave.
“Aw, man,” said Billy, “where you going?”
“He’s right,” coughed Aleck, following. At the edge of the porch, Aleck watched Mikey poke his head out behind the juniper bush, look right and left, and slide out. Aleck followed. The instant they emerged they broke into an easy, casual stroll towards the corner of the house as if they’d been strolling all along, sneakers, jeans, hands in pockets of heavy jackets. Billy scampered after them and then switched smoothly into a matching stride. They circled behind the house, arguing quietly.
“Look,” said Billy. “No way.”
“He’d let you,” said Mikey. “Come on, man, he even let you drive the thing. You can listen to the radio once in a while.”
“You want to ask his permission?” asked Billy, pointing at the basement door. “Go ask him.”
“Come on, we’re the Trespassers’ Club,” said Aleck.
“It’s not like we’re going to demolish his car,” said Mikey. “I double-decker-dog-pecker dare you.”
Billy winced at the magic phrase. “Okay….”
(continued in part three…)