The Old Pig Sty
In the middle of my decade of drunkenness, I took a break from booze to become a bona fide stoner, smoking about a bullet of hash every day. There was still booze, bottle after bottle of bargain scotch, beer can pyramids that towered in the middle of the single room in the dingy shack that had once been a pig sty; and there were other drugs, too. Pills, mostly. Ecstasy.
Sure, I was a mess. I was nineteen, had shaggy hair, no regular girlfriend, was interesting in little but writing poetry and smoking as much pot as I could get my hands on, had lesbian porn playing on repeat on the computer monitor, which teetered precariously on that old, beat up computer desk a friend and I found next to a dumpster, soaked from several nights’ rain, and did occasional magic shows at children’s birthday parties to bring in a little cash.
There were people over all the time. My pig sty was a haven, a ferry ride removed from the bustle of Hong Kong Island, where we’d smoke pot in joints and pipes and bongs, drink as much cheap booze as we could get our hands on, listen to music as loud as we wanted, and engage in that haughty pseudo-intellectualism common to stoners and college kids.
We ate pretty well, we thought. There were restaurants down in the village where we could get a fix of greasy food – stoner staples, like burgers, pizza, fish & chips – and there were little grocery stores with cheap ingredients. Fried feasts of pork chops and thin-cut steak and marinated chicken breast and sausages, pots of soup, Pringles cans, pots of rice (topped with soy sauce or ketchup if we were lazy, and we often were) – god dammit, but we ate.
Then the gas ran out.
Monkey and my little kid sister were over. (In deference to the kid, Futurama played on the monitor instead of the usual lesbian porn.) We’d been smoking pot, were giggling hysterically, barely moving from the couch. The stove sputtered with little blue flames and died. We giggled, staring at a pot full of udon noodles, wondering how the hell we were going to heat it up.
I glanced at the shower. A flash of inspiration. The solution to our problem.
I cooked the noodles in shower water. They weren’t very good.