• Oscar Sullivan

The Dirty Bubble

The bubble woke up thirsty and pruny. It was soft and sunny outside but they wanted to smoke and play one game of MLB the Show before taking a walk. They had already agreed to see a movie with Ryan later and Ryan didn’t like to only see a movie when they hung out so the bubble had to get at least a game in now. They bent their mushy body as they tried to sit up and hovered towards the small plastic Rx canister containing the strain “mochi.” As they smelled the weed their body expanded by about an inch and they thought about how it smelled like flowers and what the weed from back home must smell like. They took a bong rip and then expanded another two inches, lying back in the couch while watching the gray smoke hang frozen in the air. It was nice enough outside that they didn’t need to turn the AC on.

The bubble tried leaning forward to pick up the Xbox controller but their back was stuck to the couch and they couldn’t reach. They strained their body trying to lean forward and eventually sat back because they didn’t want to burst.

“I’m so out of shape,” they thought.

The controller could not be gotten in their current state but maybe if they were bigger they could reach. It was about six inches away so the bubble took four more rips and expanded through the couch and to the wall. They were no longer stuck and so they pulled the controller out of them and turned on the Xbox. After a game they had expanded even further, sitting on the floor with the couch and ottoman inside of them, thinking about if they had time for one more. Maybe, but they were also hungry and it was a nice day out, so they turned off the Xbox and squeezed through the door.

Walking in LA never feels right. The sidewalks are the excess cement shavings of the smooth black roads and there’s no protection from the sun on the straight and empty streets. The bubble sagged their shoulders as they walked to get poke, dripping and shrinking from the heat. A palm tree bent down and examined the bubble, scrutinizing their dejected body language.

“Cheer up, it’s a beautiful day.”

The bubble was thinking about how in LA driving is the way that people walk, how they get around in this Busy City. They thought it was a cool idea and wanted to write it down because they would probably forget it. There were cacti to the bubble’s left that were posing in the sun. No one was taking their picture but they were twisting their hips and tilting their heads, holding each position for a couple of seconds before shifting to the next.

The bubble had a towel at the door to dry themselves when they returned with their poke. While eating they had their laptop open and were watching the highlights of the Knicks’ recent win over the Rockets. They were expanding and as the video went on their body sagged down each side of their chair, hanging just an inch or two off the ground by the time they finished eating. Ryan was supposed to arrive in five minutes where they would call an Uber to the theater, but he hadn’t said anything since earlier. The bubble wanted the silence to continue and started getting excited about the plans getting cancelled. The Knicks-Grizzlies game was about to start and they put it on the big screen while waiting for a text from Ryan. Two minutes into the game with the Knicks down 6-0 they got a text.

“Yooooo my bad homie

So me and Cynthia are having some issues right now and I can’t make it tn

Chill soon tho whenever u want sorry again”

The bubble exhaled with a sigh of relief, expanding by another inch. During the next timeout they reached for their grinder and packed a bowl. The game was close throughout, and by the fourth quarter they had expanded through the couch and ottoman and stood about six inches from the TV, watching anxiously as the Knicks closed out a massive road win. They wanted to celebrate, but there was barely any space to move after the game so the bubble bobbed its weight up and down thinking about how the road trip could not have started any better. They felt light and airy. They then took a deep breath, shrunk a bit, and turned on their Xbox to play a game of the Show while they waited for the NBA to drop the Knicks highlights on Youtube, typically posted 35 minutes after the game.

As they played they expanded to the walls, filling the corners and losing their circular shape. The excitement that they felt following the win had waned and now they weren’t sure what they wanted, but they put the highlights on anyway. They continued to expand, now heavy and tired, and by the time the video was over they were asleep with the TV inside of them. They assumed the shape of the room, a perfect rectangle comfortably still.