I. Captivity The stench of bong water that follows like a stagnant cloud. Roll on Old Spice, pock-marked face, tie dye baseball tee. You’re a self medicated stoner with a blowtorch to battle abjection. No D.A.R.E program could keep you from imparting your smoke to me. A secondhand high. Dab. Joint. Bowl. Chocolate. It was the chocolate. The flavor was chai and sweet as Starbucks. You didn’t tell me to only take a bite of the square down my gullet. You probably laughed. I don’t remember. My head whorled to Earth’s rotation until I fell on the bed with fuzzy hand- cuffs and tin foil. Cotton mouth, hazed eyes, warned you and me. Fucking scumbag. Piece of shit. Why are you so cruel? An onslaught of messages leaves no escape from you as I’m trapped in the bonds of sadomasochism. Passive aggressive fights with your father over a dead beat stepmom and trailer trash hearsay. And I wonder, should I really be surprised? II. Liberation Elliott 23 Just graduated. Now working in the auto industry. Hiking. Running. Movies. Tennis. Baseball. Cars. Food. You are better than me at Wii bowling. I guarantee it. Months after we matched, we eat at The Blind Rabbit. The speakeasy entrance is a “hole in the wall,” except it’s literally a hole in the wall, and we munch on blueberry crumble with pretentious craft beer and moscato. We drink pretentious craft beer and moscato and you read the menu and try to roll the R’s, but you can’t roll the R’s, and you slither your tongue like a slippery snake to the beat of Frank Sinatra. Frank Sinatra is the only records you own and you claim you’re not a hipster, but you really are a hipster, and you only wear thrift shop coats and flannel button ups. You only wear flannel button ups and your dad owns a kilt for Scottish Fest, but doesn’t wear it only for Scottish Fest, and you tell me how you stabbed yourself with a switchblade. . . . . . and I wonder, should I really be surprised that swiping right brought me an enigma that I’d perpetually want to decipher?