For as proud as I had been over my “big” hit, Dave took that moment to start exhaling smoke rings. He grinned at me after he was done. Fucking show-off. I would have tried the smoke rings myself on my next hit, but I already knew that I would begin to choke and launch into an awful coughing fit. I’ll leave the tricks to him for the time being.
As we passed the joint back and forth, I played YouTube DJ. Although we had watched this and this a million times to this point, they never seemed to get old. We knew Charlie bit my finger line by line, and exploded into insane pothead giggles every time the baby laughed at the end.
We finished the joint, and I was in a good spot. Man... I was in a good and comfortable spot. The two of us were cramped into Dave’s bedroom in his apartment, and his windows were open to let in the air of a unseasonably cool summer night in New Jersey. I liked his room; it was small and cozy, and quite honestly, as long as I had enough room on the floor to sleep off the coma that I would eventually put myself into, I didn’t really care much after that.
“T,” Dave called. “We should get food soon.”
I didn’t respond immediately, as I was still completely zeroed in on the video I was watching. Food was a good idea though as it was well past dinner time. I had driven up to Dave’s apartment immediately after work, and hadn’t the chance to eat since lunch. I guess I knew not to snack in between lunch and dinner today, because Dave and I always contracted notorious cases of the munchies when we smoked, and like two lazy college kids with some expendable cash, we always went the take-out route.
“Yeah,” I eventually answered. “We should get food. What do you want to order?”
“I wish we could get Hansel. I miss their food.”
Hansel N’ Griddle was one of our, as well as New Brunswick’s, favorite food spots, and without fail, whatever you’re in the mood for, they’ve got it on the menu. When Dave and I were still roommates in “the Brunz,” Hansel saw a lot of our mostly-hard-earned money whenever we wanted food. But since Dave moved a half hour north to Elizabeth, our local take-out choices have been mostly Papa John’s and Domino’s.
Dave continued. “I wonder how much we could pay them to deliver up here,” he laughed.
“How about this?” I started. “When you come down to my apartment again, we can get Hansel then.” I smiled, mostly because I was feeling my high really start to settle in, but I still wanted to get something to eat, and of course, smoke some more before I became completely marijuana-catatonic.
Right then, my brain decided to kick into overdrive as I recalled the different sites and stores I had seen when I was driving to Dave’s apartment for the first time. The store was a bright spot in the strip of businesses on the block, and from what I recalled, this store served Latin-type food. It would certainly be worth a try, I decided.
“There’s this place up nearby to here. I saw it when I was driving here once. We should try that place,” I said, turning away from the computer and catching Dave rolling a another joint and packing a pipe with more weed. My favorite pothead, always prepared.
“Should we drive?”
“No, dude, we’re too high for that. And it’s in walking distance, and Lord knows we could use the exercise.”
“Do you know where it is?”
“Yeah, it’s up on Elizabeth Avenue somewhere, it’s not far.”
“Let’s smoke first.” Dave offered me the packed pipe, but I refused.
“No, dude. It’s nighttime and we’re in Elizabeth. I don’t want to be completely ridiculous walking up the street.”
“But I have you to protect me!” He laughed.
Dave was a big goofy-looking white boy living in a rather seedy area of town, and so it was our running joke that since I was a black girl with dreadlocks, I blended into the town fiber a little better and would therefore keep both of us safe. Even still, I was of the personal belief that, no matter where you are, as long as you look like you know where you’re going and what you’re doing, nobody would bother you. That included looking aware too, and since I had no idea what I looked like when I was stoned out of my mind, I decided that I would save that experiment for a place that wasn’t dusk falling on the streets of Elizabeth, New Jersey.
“And besides that,” I continued, “there will be more for us to smoke when we get back. How’s that sound?”
And so we began our trek to the bright yellow store that allegedly served up Latin-style food. When we arrived at the shop, called Banana’s King*, we were more than pleasantly surprised. Even though our fifteen-minute walk from Dave’s apartment had brought us back down closer to Earth, we still found ourselves fighting to stay alert as we decided what to order. Eventually, I decided on a shake and an arepa with some sort of beef concoction in it. I think Dave opted to order the same.
Excited over our newest food venture, we headed back to Dave’s place. We settled in again by queuing up a few episodes of Family Guy, setting out our food, and taking hits of the pipe that he packed prior to our departure.
“Let’s eat,” Dave said, “before it gets soggy or something.”
He didn’t need to tell me twice. My stomach was already growling loudly at that point. I took my first bite into my sandwich, and it was like heaven exploded in my mouth.
“Oh my goodness,” I exclaimed. “This is fucking delicious. I think we just found our new spot, dude. This is fucking good, even without the weed,” I joked.
“Yeah, T, good looking out on that place. We’ll have to go there again when you come back up to visit. Hansel doesn’t have anything on Banana’s King,” Dave replied.
“Now, don’t go getting hasty in that assessment,” I smiled. “We’ll see when you come down again.”
With that, Dave clicked play, and the Family Guy theme song blared as we settled into munchie bliss.
A/N: Names have been changed. Also, I'm not sure if the Banana King corporate website is associated to the one that we went to in Elizabeth, but it was still delicious nonetheless.