she was the first person i ever blew doja with. fourteen years old. perched at the height of a barren, chilly sliding board in an abandoned playground, she taught me the proper inhale/exhale protocol. she was a natural. soon i would be, too. felt groomed since childhood and watching my father tediously roll his "special cigarettes", my calm. cigarettes that smelled entirely different from the tobacco 'old man archie' rolled at the corner store. cigarettes that made him laugh loudly, scat to bebop and create delicious dishes for me to try. it wasn't until she began to "roll-up" did i even make the connection. my 'aha' moment. a smokey, green light bulb hanging above my head. and i suddenly felt like scatting, too.
i stopped by her house on my way back from the market. a semi - "pop-up" visit (i called from the driveway, as i'm also semi-respectful like that). and there she was. barefoot, and pretty toed, clad in black tights and tank top. stretched across her bed, a cigar box filled with doja by her side, she was more open than usual (never has she done this when my camera was near) and i relished the exposed energy. chided her about her use of 'wraps' (my father thought it disrespectful to the herb), she laughed. and when she clowned me about my overly cliché use of nag champa incense, i laughed. and somewhere within giggles and jokes and watching her roll her nightly therapy, i calmly captured the spaces in between.