1. Drive with your knees on the back roads through horse country
From October 2013.
In my basement bedroom I bundled myself in the oversized Catholic high school hoodie from the days when boys called me ugly, taking care with the bud in my palm. Abi was finally asleep, but the drama of the evening still buzzed in my head like static. If I smoked the bowl inside, someone would smell it, so I stepped into the backyard and settled into the wooden lounge chair beneath the deck. Shrouded in nightshade, kept warm from the sharp winter air by the sweatshirt and my dysfunctional thyroid, I lit and inhaled, relishing the familiar sensation of the world slowing down.
I exhaled. Moonlight through the deck floor caught the thick cloud of smoke and showcased it before my eyes in bright stripes. The swirls were beautiful, reminding me of my favorite part of Mass, when the altar boys blow out the candles at the end. Our one-eyed cat appeared in my lap, happy for a visitor at such an unexpected hour. He promptly gnawed on my index finger, his purrs louder than normal. The stars burned, and I couldn’t stop looking, the idea of God melting away unnoticed.