Foreword Steve
ou find to identify friends before they’re
Now there are phone apps for it and
breathalyzers, but you used to have to do it by ob-
servation. It wasn’t difficult, because even when
you’re a kid the important things stick out like
I met Chris in art class. He had a stupid grin
and spent most of his time making bongs and
cock- and- balls out of clay. He had a stupid nick-
name for every person and item in his life, and
sometimes used “carny” talk so teachers and
parents wouldn’t understand him. I went to his
house one time and he pulled a giant green bong
out from under his bed and torched it up. He
had a rubber hose rigged up so he could blow the
smoke out the window even in the winter and his
folks wouldn’t smell it.
Jon used to hang out with a girl I knew who
threw frequent keggers. I met him at the spot one
day, and he said he was going to hike up the moun-
tain to the reservoir and hang out. We got to talk-
ing about how the city’s water supply was readily
accessible up there, under a big rubber membrane
you could jump on like a trampoline. I had occa-
sionally fantasized about putting a couple of hits
of acid in there, just to see what happened. Out
of nowhere Jon said, “You could put some acid in
there . . .” That’s how I knew Jon was okay.
I saw this kid at the guitar shop in a homemade
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