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Dear Paxton

Humboldt County 03_edited-1

Lisa grabbed the beer, placing it to her lips, swallowing the bitter liquid. She had to concentrate, not to think about the distaste she had for the beer. She sat down, letting out the loudest burp ever to escape her lips.

“There! I did it.” She was really proud of her accomplishment. Keith and Ricky seemed proud too, handing her another Miller Genuine Draft.

“Ricky, let me have a drag of your cigarette.” Lisa took a hit. He had that inquisitive look again.

“What?” She asked.

“I didn’t know you smoked.” He said taking a long drag.

“I don’t. But, I just feel like being one of the boys tonight.” She sat back to relax.

“Lisa, you are too cool.” Keith was stunned.

Ricky tried to teach Lisa how to blow rings with the cigarette smoke. She tried and tried, laughing out loud with the pure lucidity of the evening.

“Shhhh… Don’t laugh so loud.”

“Sorry, Keith.” Lisa looked over at Ricky raising her eyebrows.

He rolled his eye, twirling his finger around in a circle next to his head. Lisa couldn’t help but burst out laughing again. She was feeling a little drunk.

“Shhhh….” This only made her laugh harder until she could hardly breathe, breaking into an asthma attack.

“Shhh… Quiet! I don’t want the neighbors to call the cops.” Keith was definitely paranoid.

“Shut up Keith! I can’t help it if I have to cough….. I have asthma.” She started coughing uncontrollably again.

“Shhhh…”

“Keith, leave her alone. She can’t help it if she has to cough.” Ricky defended her.

“I don’t want the cops to be called. If you guys don’t be quiet, then leave.” Keith was bugging her.

“Don’t be so paranoid, Keith.” Lisa lay back against the couch feeling the room spin under her.

“I don’t feel too good.” She said standing up. “Where’s the bathroom?”

“Lisa, are you ok?” Ricky took hold of her arm walking her over to the small, unsanitary bathroom in the back of the disarray bedroom. Lisa didn’t care that the toilet smelled of urine, sitting down on the floor, resting her head on the cool toilet seat. The coolness felt good on her clammy forehead.

Written By: Ask Ms Mandi
Photograph By: Ask Ms Mandi
Copyright 2000

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