Sweet and Sour Mountains

Crane was on the couch. Sprawled out, as usual. Missing class, watching baseball, and smoking blunt after blunt after blunt. He was in a deep glaze, stoned out of his mind. He was camping out in the living room and had been doing so for the past few weeks. Things had gotten out of control.


Not that Crane had done this intentionally, though, it had just sort of happened; it was daily, it was a build-up, and a process, yes, and, Crain probably could have prevented it but, I guess that, well, no one can ever be perfect. Right? I mean, as I said, it’s not like Crane had one day just marched down the stairs and took over the living room; it was, as I said, that it just sort of happened that way. And yeah, things did get out of control.

All around him, Crane was surrounded by little white containers. These little containers were stacking up and had gotten to be almost like a fence. Crane was isolated–locked-in–trapped within the confines of his nesting area–his man-fort, which was the couch. Crane really did love that couch. Crane had spent a lot of his time on that couch. Crane owned that couch. I mean, not actually–it wasn’t his couch, but he did make that couch his bitch–if that might make any sense.


So, Just as on any other day during his reign of the living room, by noon on that day, Crane had already dominated the couch for several hours. Crane was a very early riser–considering his daily supplements. Everyday, Crane would wake up at six AM sharp–the first out of the four others living in that apartment to rise each day–Crane beat everyone to the Sun each morning–sometimes winning (winning, as in, winning in that regard) by margins of several hours at least. And so, everyday he’d get up bright and early and, he’d put in the extra long hours of doing absolutely nothing. Straight to the couch he’d go. It was better than his bed Crane must have thought.

He was in the midst of rolling his third blunt of the day when, it had occurred to him that, he had left his lighter far away from his beloved couch: it was near the front door on the kitchen counter in front of the fridge–a solid thirty feet away from him. Crane let out a whooping sigh. He was definitely not looking forward to standing up and, when he did, he felt a crack along the spine of his back, prompting him to whimper. See, Crane had suffered with a really bad back. He was long overdue for surgery, actually, but kept putting it off despite his chronic back pain. And not that it needs being said but, all the time that he’d spent on that couch probably didn’t help his back’s cause–my opinion.


So, Crane stands, right, and he’s in bad pain, right. So, then enter Gary Pike: Crane’s roommate–one of his three. Bursting in, through the front front door, Gary Pike froze in his tracks–at the sight of Crane. Pike was stunned, and largely so with a mix of three overbearing feelings of emotion: shock, irritance, and defeat. Shocked, to see that Crane was standing–that, Pike had thought was incredible; Pike felt Irritated, to see the peaking state of Crane’s fortress and, felt defeated, in what he considered as his own inability to siege that fortress. So yeah, Gary was stunned. But Crane, likewise was frozen if not stunned–Crane hadn’t moved even one inch from the couch–in fact, if had Crane been standing just one inch farther away, he’d have fallen right back into the couch. Crane was perplexed to see Pike home so early–Pike was supposed to be in class. Oh and, by the way, Pike and Crane had some issues with each other as things were already.

“Hey PikeMan, what’s going on, dude, you want to smoke a blunt, I was just about to spark one up” said Crane, offering this somewhat begrudgedly.

Pike was pleased–to smoke a blunt he was–but he was definitely not pleased with Crane–nor was he ever. “Uhhh, yeah, man, sure, but can I roll it, though?” Pike asked, his eyes fixated on paper brick walls–the construction medium of the infamous Mount Crane-more. Crane was stumped (which is so weird but not), because he was so high; he was trudging hard in the perma-hi of his already thick glazing–Crane hadn’t a need in the world to smoke another blunt. So finally, Crane spoke, he said, “Aww, dude, I would but, I already rolled it” He tells him. He smiles, too. The way that Crane said this, it was like he had just solved a riddle. Yeah, that’s just exactly the kind of state that Crane had fallen into. He was in a perma-hi, meaning, permanent high. Even when Crane wasn’t stoned, it was almost like he was stoned. He just always showed the typical side effects of smoking too much weed.

Pike nodded. But His eyes narrowed sternly. He already knew that Crane had rolled the blunt. He could see that, as he could see the blunt–the blunt was laying right in front of him on the coffee table. The coffee table: the notorious battlefield of Crane-a-nopolis. Pike then spoke, he said, “Yeah, but dude, I love to roll blunts, you know that, it’s like my thing” he says. Pike really did not–under any circumstances–want to smoke Crane’s Blunt. Ever.

“Oh yeah, I know man, and I feel that, but why waste this fresh dutch? I just cracked it no less than hour ago ” said Crane.

Pike grunted, and forced out a loud, grating cough. It was a ritual of Pike’s to do this. A ritual which, was performed most especially when in the presence of Crane. Crane had come to notice this for that. He looked at Pike right in the eyes, and then smiled, and nodded. Pike grunted again, and once more, he belted out two grating coughs. Crane, however, anticipated the happening of this beforehand; he was expecting it to happen, and mentally prepared himself to hold his smile and not let it break. He wanted to show Pike that it had no effect on him–and to that extent, Crane succeeded.

Pike lifted the blunt from off the coffee table, and carried it into the kitchen to inspect it under the fluorescent light. Pike was a fairly skilled blunt roller–something which he took pride in.

Crane eased himself back into his fortress. He waited patiently for Pike to return. While Pike was occupied with himself in the kitchen, Crane lifted three containers from the coffee table and slipped them underneath, hidden from view.


Pike lit the blunt, and took the first two puffs for himself–a mildly mal gesture, one that which, by some, would be thought of as rude, as that the weed was not Pike’s. Crane, however, had hardly minded. But when Pike dropped the lighter back onto the counter and walked away, that had proved to be a different story, because it forced Crane to remember the reason why he had stood up in the first place. Crane let out a weak sigh. It was under his breath.

Pike walked back into the main room. “How’s your back?” he asked. Crane whooped out another sigh, this time much louder–though now it was artificial–it was almost expressional. “Aw, dude, PikeMan,” he said, “I’m like an old man, I’ll tell ya” he added, skipping into a chuckle. Pike exhaled a small cloud of smoke as he nodded. He then handed the blunt to Crane. Crane was sitting upright on the couch. Pike was sitting across from him, from across the coffee table–aka the battlefield. He was seated in a papasan chair.

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“You gotta clean this shit up man” said Pike.

Crane’s face dropped but then perked, as if in one motion. He then nodded repeatedly, and without pausing he then spoke, he said, “Yeah, man, I actually planned to do that. I was gonna have all the shit clean before you got back from class.”

“Yeah, I skipped class today” said Pike.


Crane eased himself deeper into the couch. He was now half laying down.

“Dude, this table. Honestly, it’s unacceptable” said Pike, “Got the Great Wall of China between us right now” he added. “Great wall of China, that’s pretty funny” said Crane. Crane was a bit embarrassed–he was aiming to make light of it. Pike, however, was not, “It’s fucking gross” said Pike, “I mean, dude, I’m smoking duck sauce on this blunt, how can you roll on that table” he added.

Crane backed himself farther into his fortress. He was now laying completely down–a meager gesture of defiance–it was Crane distancing himself from Pike–Crane felt insulted by Pike, and he was fed up with Pike for what he surmised as typical anal retentive qualities.

“Yeah, well, you’re chiefing on my all-you-can-eat ganja buffet, so” said Crane. His eyes were hidden under the brim of his cap.


“Yeah, well, you’re pressing me with free samples like a food court, so…And anyway, you’re enjoying my 50 inch Plasma, free-of-charge, on the daily. Plus, you’re renting two rooms now for the price of one. So, if you want to talk about money” Pike retorted.

Crane said nothing, but not because he had nothing to say. Crane always had something to say–Crane was sharp like that, but he didn’t want to escalate the topic with such haste. Likewise, Pike, was now cooling off somewhat quickly despite the three-course bomb he dropped on Crane-a-nopoulos in the moments prior. There was no smoke for Pike to blow from his barrel–so to speak. The exchange was underwhelming for them both.

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