Sunday, October 10, 2010

from "37 Weeks of Wonder" by Erin Gleeson

That afternoon, that afternoon he earned his nickname, Jason just wanted to move in slow motion. Maybe for a moment it could help quiet things down a bit. To him, the world was always rushing around him, and he just wanted it to slow down for a little while. They had an hour and a half before she returned from work. Was that enough time? They had been tossing the idea around for the past two weeks, and the more he and his little brother talked about it the more it seemed like exactly what they needed. They crept into their mother's room, single file, and searched around until they found her weed all snuggled up in a tiny earring box.

They sat in the azalea bush behind their house and smoked some, not wanting to be seen but not wanting the smell to stick to the furniture. But he didn't feel it. It did nothing. His brother feigned a fit of giggles, but Jason only felt the crushing weight of guilt.

The next day, he told his friend Mike about it. Mike was drifting off into drinking and another group of friends, and Jason thought the anecdote might engage him a little. Instead, it ricocheted from one person to another, until the rumor was that Jason was a pothead who got high with his mom.

You do one thing once and suddenly you've got a nickname about it. He was a momhead.

Erin Gleeson will be performing her work at WORMS on October 13.

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