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The International Writers Magazine: USA Today

College in America
Alan Stokes

I found Flyn in our dorm, smoking a joint. There was a kid with him. I asked what his name was and he said his name was Zack. It seemed incredible but I let it go.

I walked across the room and and sat down. Flyn handed me the joint and I took a big pull on it, then another. Then I handed it to Zack. Laughing, Zack sucked on it quickly then passed it to Flyn. Then Zack lay back on the bed and started howling like a dog.

I looked at Flyn and shook my head. Then I turned and gazed out the window. A group of athletes were running past the building in group formation. The man leading them was bellowing out words I didn't understand and the others were repeating them. I laughed.

There was a knock on the door and Flyn got up and opened it and these kids walked in. Three of them. I had no idea who they were. They sat down on the bed.
Flyn handed me the joint, then started rolling another. I inhaled on the joint and asked the kids who they were. They answered more or less together.
- Tom.
- Ade.
- Eric.
I handed Tom the joint and he grinned and took a hit, quickly, then handed it to Ade.
- Keep it, I told Ade.
Ade stared at me. The three of them stared at me.
- Keep it, I told him again and pointed to Flyn. There's another on the way.
Eric took the joint from Ade and pulled on it. Tom laughed.

I looked at Zack. He was out of it - asleep maybe. I kicked his leg and he opened his eyes and looked at me and sat up.
Flyn and I had been in America for about a week and already we were taking over. We'd found a source and all the kids were coming to us with their money. So far we'd made a couple of hundred but most of it had gone on beer and food.

We had vague plans of increasing the supply and maybe cutting back on our expenses and saving some money and heading down to Mexico. And we weren't just talking about when we finished the semester either. We were talking about going soon - almost immediately.

But the way things were looking, I doubted this. It seemed to me that this was just a dream, like everything else here.
I got up, made my way over to the door and opened it.
- I'm going into town. Take care of business, I told Flyn and laughed.
- No problem, he said.
I told the kids to go easy on the grass and closed the door.
Half-way down the corridor I heard someone calling me. I turned but saw no one. I continued walking.
- Frank.
I turned again and the Spanish girl was standing in front of me.
- Hey, Eva, I said.

We grinned at each other. Then she asked me to come into her room. Naturally I thought this meant sex and braced myself. But, no, it wasn't that at all. Eva just wanted to show me the wall. Her room-mate had covered a wall with photographs of her family and they were all very fat and ugly and we just stood there and laughed.

Then I left her, went back down the corridor and into the lift. I hit the button and went down a floor and the door opened and it was Zack. He was soaking.
- I just took a shower, he informed me, laughing. In my clothes.
I patted his shoulder and told him to continue the good work. Then the door closed and I was out the building and again I thought about Mexico and laughed.
  Alan Stokes My 2008

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