Mick sat crosslegged by the hearth and began to lick the cigarette papers together. "Is this all you have left?" Brian nodded., "It's lucky I'm scoring now." Mick pinched tobacco into the double length papers.

Tom asked, "When are you coming back?"

"Next Tuesday. Nine at night. "I'll come direct like from the airport." Mick tore two strips of cardboard from the papers packet and rolled them into filters for his cigarettes. He held the chunk of hashish in his palm. "Has this been toasted?"

"No, man." The eaters ate rapidly, greedily, as they reached the bottom of the bowl. The boy was not quick enough.

With his thumbnail Mick gouged out a pea-sized bit of hashish. He took a box of matches from his pocket, and held the bit between two matches while he lit them with a third. They flared. He blew out the flame, and began with his fingernail to scrape specks of the scorched hashish into the tobacco.


Tom dropped his chopsticks in the bowl and sat back on the couch. Brian ate the last bean. The boy sat dumb in the middle of the floor, still facing Frishta. Frishta peered at Mick's hands. "You still can't make a joint like Sitvar, Mick. Your paper burns to fast."

"Christ, he practiced like a fiend. With plain tobacco, too." Mick smiled with fondness for past times. He gave his smile to Frishta. "Remember when you two lived here and Phil was on the couch?"

Frishta blinked and looked at her hands in her lap. She was not sure what she was supposed to remember.

Mick wetted the final tightening papers on his handiwork. He put one of the long cigarettes in his won mouth, and glancing at Brian, gave the other to the boy, who smiled. He held a match out for the boy. Brian leaned forward on the couch. Mick relinguished his cigarette. They smoked in silence and motion, intent on inhaling deeply and on passing the cigarettes back and forth. The cigarettes burned unevenly, so it took care to keep the burning tips from falling off.

Brian blew out his lungs with, "I'm going to Glastonbury." Mick looked at him, then shook his head at the floor.

Tom said, "Saucers, what?" A burning ember dropped onto his lap. He brushed it off, saying, "Shit." He gave the cigarette to Frishta.

Mick said, "The other one is burning better."

Brain said, "Yes for the saucers."

Frishta said, "And teacups."

Tom said to Frishta, "Fuck you."