The basis of my life had dwindled down to nothing. What this world is, doesn’t equate to my abilities. I had a great job making overtime, anytime I wanted. For years bragging about my seniority. Maybe others would laugh at my bragging, mocking me that it was just a “postal job”. Nothing to brag about. Yet, I knew my worth then. I had a nice flat where me and my friends hung out. Rent was paid on time with a sweet parking space located near the front of the building.

All I do now is remember. Remember what it was like and the freedom. I’m in my room huddled in a corner holding my knees together against my chest. My mother made her rounds every day knocking at my door asking what I’m going to do with my life. I was done hearing it and I couldn’t stand seeing her face and the disappointment she had. It was the hopeless, “look at that loser that I’m supporting” look.

Then we got laid off. Well, I didn’t. I had my seniority. I should have been grateful, but instead they reminded the leftovers that we should appreciate that we were still employed; and that we should work our ass to the bone to keep our jobs. The only thing that was missing from my supervisor was a switch to whip us with. She was a true overseer, making unmeasurable demands as if we were machines.

The union couldn’t do much when I hurt my back and pulled a muscle. The doctor said that I should take it easy for a little while; so they put me on light duty to finish me off. It was either that or get written up for frivolous things to build a case against me and to fire me. It was a true jail system, outside of the fenced yard. I had no choice but to break free.

What can I do, but take a puff of this sweet, sweet hash? It was the best herb ever. Why I didn’t discover it years ago, beats me. Now that I’ve been introduced to my baby, I’ll never let it go. It was the only thing that comforted me from my mental misery. Trapped in a child’s room of my parent’s home, looking for job wasn’t working for me. I needed a way out.

I could hear her footsteps towards my door. That’s when I opened the window and stuck my roll on the outside of the crevice, trying to air out my room. It was no use. The place stunk. I pulled the sheet over my head and pretended to sleep. I had no money to give my mother. I had no job for her satisfaction. I was a loser who had lost all hope of surviving. So many of times, I’ve contemplated death. Yet, I didn’t have the energy or the will to do it. I was a loser in killing myself too.

The door swung open with such force that it slammed against the wall. I stayed still pretending to sleep and not hear what was to come.

“What are you doing? You can’t sleep all day. Did you look for a job? Do you really think we are supposed to support you for the rest of your life?”

I’ve heard it all before. Like I’m not trying. Did she forget that I had a job? That I helped her out in time of need? That I was doing well. Everything I did for her was thrown out the door, as if I’ve always been like this. She was no mother of mine. How can she just turn against me like that?

She pulled the covers off and threw it on the floor. I was in a fetal position. My feet were cold, but the rest of my body was hot. I couldn’t look at her. My eyes stayed shut tight, trying to focus on other things.

“Xero! Do you hear me? You need to look for a job. Get up and do something with yourself. Every day you are like this. It’s your routine. We didn’t raise you this way.”

We had this argument already, which brought my mother to tears. I wasn’t about to do it again, so I remained quiet. Silence sometimes is the best medicine. It made people think about what they are saying and what they are about to say. I didn’t want to regret my words and I knew one day she will regret hers. The accusations of me being a loser as if I’m not trying. I am trying. Truly I am. She would never see it my way. She only cares about money. The money that I was sending her every time she said she needed it. Now, there was no more money coming her way. So what does she do? Hurt me. Hurt me with words and threats that are immeasurable. I’ve never thought that I would say that I hate her, but I do. I hate my mother.

It’s funny how hate creeps up like that, but it wasn’t creeping. I didn’t know her. I didn’t see who she was. I didn’t realize that all she cared about was money. There was no love for me and no support. It was always about money. What she expected of me? That I owe her for my life and that I should pay her for the rest of my life and be grateful in doing so. What an evil bitch.

“Get up! Get up now and get dressed. You’re going to look for a job. There are plenty of stores hiring. What are you doing? Your father doesn’t want you in here anymore. I’m the one that is telling him to give you more time. Did you hear me! You’re going to be out on the streets if you don’t find a job soon.”

The door slammed behind her as she left the room. I jumped up to finish my hash. She was right about one thing. I needed to get out of this house. Get some fresh air. Plus, I was running low and I’m almost tapped out of my savings. Money was getting too low. I don’t know what my mother is thinking. Get a job at a local store? For everyone to see me? I had seniority at my job and people would just look at me like I’m some bum. No way was I working at a local store. That would suck. I can just imagine the girls that I’ve been through strolling in and seeing me sweeping the floors and shelving stuff. What a nightmare.

I snuck out the back door and headed to find my supplier. Marijuana is legal in some states, like mine. It was okay for medical use not really for buying in the streets. Peter was hanging in front of his brownstone talking his usual nonsense. He saw me coming and walked over.

“You look like shit.”

“Yeah, well that’s what having no job does.”

“Man, I told you about that. You can make side money real easy selling this stuff. You can be under me.”

“No f’ing way. I’m not a drug dealer. That shit is not me.”

“Yeah, sure.”

Peter walked away after I handed him some money for his supply. It was the same stuff all the time. “You can make lots of money”. Yeah right and jail time too. I figured if I was going to die, I’ll die with less shame than I would have, if my parents found out I was selling drugs illegally. They already hate me.

Anyway, I was thinking that things may turn around soon. I had put in an application at a shipping company. Lucky me, bumped into an old friend who worked for the company and told me he was going to put in a good word. He made it sound like I was definitely in, but I hadn’t heard from anyone yet. It never dawned on me that my phone bill was late and they had cut off service. I should have given them the house number, but by habit I wrote down my cell number. Yesterday, I paid the bill and today I checked my messages and sure enough they wanted to schedule an interview.

There was an inkling of hope. Yet, I had an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t going to get the job. I’ve applied to so many and nothing. Why would this one be any different? The only time that anyone got job offers was when they were already working. The second you are not working, you’re just not worthy of employment. They shifted your category to an unemployed bum looking for handouts.

I took a puff as I turned the corner making sure no one was looking. I needed to finish the old one so I can roll up a new one. Out of nowhere, a car swung against me hitting my legs. My body slammed down to the ground as I remarkably prevented my head from colliding with the concrete. It knocked my hash out of my hands, which flew near a street drain. Luckily, I still had the one I just paid for in my pocket. All wasn’t lost.

It wasn’t a bad bruise. I got up and started to walk away, when someone asked me if I was alright. I shook my head up and down indicating I’m fine, but as I was doing so I lost balance. I wonder…

I woke up in the hospital, my mother at my side. That bitch. What was she doing here? She doesn’t care about me. All she cares about is money. My clothes? Did they find my hash? Shit. It’s f’ing illegal and now I was going to go to jail. Shit.

“Xero, honey. We are going to sue. You know that guy who hit you was driving a company car. Did you know that?”

The bitch. She wanted to get money out of me by suing someone on my behalf.

“Xero, can you hear me?”

“Yes.” I muttered lifelessly. “Where’s my clothes?”

“Don’t worry. I have your things. And that stuff you had in your pocket, I threw it out. Your father doesn’t approve.”

Shit. The bitch threw out my money and my baby. And now she wanted to profit from me wasting away in the hospital. My head. It was pounding like an African playing the drums. Someone was beating the hell out of it. My eyes were too watery to see clearly, but I heard the doctor say I would be alright and I was lucky. He wanted to put me on pain medication, that’s when I thought about it. Marijuana! Medical Marijuana! Prescribed marijuana! Maybe I was going to get off good today.

“Um, what about marijuana? That’s legal right?” I muttered as if I was already involved in the conversation. If I didn’t ask when the doctors were with my mother, she would make sure that it didn’t happen.

“That’s an alternative. We can prescribe that as well, but you need to start with the other medicines first.”

I was smiling. Maybe. Although I couldn’t see myself, I was sure I was smiling. My mother was dumbfounded. She didn’t know what to say. I was a grown man and the doctor just prescribed me some hash. I can legally smoke that shit in her house, until I get better and while she f’ing sues the hell out of… I don’t remember. Did she tell me the company? Well, who cares. I can lay low and look for a job quietly. Maybe the company who hit me can hire me.

Skies the limit now. I had hash, my baby.