The joint is dry. Mary Jane took her time to break it evenly so it wouldn’t burn crooked. The cat comes back in as she holds it between her fingers blowing on it. You watch as the cat coils gathering potential energy before jumping up on the kitchen counter and with the same maneuver the top of the fridge. He curls and closes his eyes. All white he almost looks camouflaged. You can’t hear him purr but you hear Carter’s beer can crinkle as he crushes it in his hand. He belches stands up and walks over to the fridge. As he opens the door the cat’s eyes open and look down on him.

     MARY JANE:

I’m gonna light it up… Play “Dirty Old Town” on your phone by the Pogues. You can be like after he got his teeth fixed and they offered him water at an interview that laugh–kee…

The lights dim. You see the flame of the lighter. And the curtains close.

For a moment you hear crickets. You really hear them they must be in the rafters chirping and what does this refer to what does this silence mean when you can hear crickets what does the audience imagine going on behind the curtain then you hear the sound of a microphone turning on the distortion the muffled movements how wind and air sound when amplified then you hear the MC whisper, Is this thing on? A pause a clearing of the throat and:

MC:

Folks ain’t so shallow as they let on. What’s shallow is not noticing thinking no one else notices but it’s there it’s right on the tip of your tongue tempting you to say it to think it and breathe it and sometimes you dare and it pays off other times it doesn’t sometimes you’re just sleeping for a very long time you just don’t care you just can’t you can’t care too much or that’s taken advantage of when you feel deeply and you want to share what you feel but nobody seems to want address it acknowledge it say that it’s real and if you go on this way for a long time you can lose your mind so it’s best to feel deeply to see what’s going on but just not say anything about it or if you do say it with care and discernment and even then it’s usually because someone is desperate to have it admitted to them to have someone else say that it’s there if only in their muted stare what’s missing from their eyes…

The curtains open again but this time not on Carter’s kitchen it’s an outdoor affair and with much detail you see the store front of a Casey’s gas station like you’ve already paid at the pump and you’re walking to the door that’s what you see at first people coming and going through a door that leads to the backstage. Then you see Carter and Mary Jane standing there and they’re not smoking. Behind them is a huge banner. Advertising taco pizzas for $13.99…

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