Who needs an alarm clock when you have roommates who, upon first wake, bust out the grinder for us to bake?

Wisps of gasoline and just-lit cigarettes left tire skids on the lining of my inner nostrils. The stagecoach’s radio hummed, an unintelligible static of Brazilian soccer and the newest Radiohead album. A reptilian gasoline tenant approached from his post and asked me if I wanted rocket fuel. I said, “Fill ‘er up,” then rolled over in my bed sheets, stony-eyes growing wide in the Isla Vista haze.

Back here again, huh. Never fails. I need a spliff.

Clink, clink.


Clink, clink, clink.

Glorious. I tried to grin as I yawned. For some reason I failed.

I told the snarling raptor to fuck himself with the gas hose before springing from my midday slumber to swoop a spot in the living room rotation. I’d have to throw five to the roomies for this one – thanks for sure. Raptors can open doors, but my crew was wise enough to know they also slowed them. So, for now I’d be safe, tripping behind the locked ones tagged “Perception” while the raptors sniffed around inside the kitchen across the hall.

I’ve woken up more dazed than confused these past few years, thanks to the glorious signal call commonly recognized as the metallic clack from a weed grinder. Whether I’m hung over after a night of strikeouts or from downtown debauchery, I can pass out easily knowing the clack from my roomies will rescue me from my imposing death at the paws of rabid womp rats or from a base jump off a 3,000-foot bong dubbed El Capitan the next foggy Isla Vista morning.

I’m just saying that, if you want to start your day off right, an alarm clock is the wrong way to snatch your mind from the dream world. Find something that excites you out of bed. Not quite pulling-at-your-boobs-and-flinging-you-out-of-bed exciting, but enough to get you chillin’ for the rest of the day. Like a little Bob Marley number on vinyl or a brewing coffee pot, if that’s your drug. Just don’t subject yourself to the obnoxious thunder of a morning alarm: I bet you’ll just hit the snooze and bypass that 8 a.m. section every time. Your TAs will thank me. Try it out for yourself, your day will be all smiles – then you’ll really start confusing people.

But if Jane’s your girl, then you know what I’m talking about. Fuck Starbucks, avoid the corporations and the caffeine. Nothing flings you around in the morning like a fat bong rip. Cheers, mates. Pass it around.

Stoners are lucky. We’ve been known to smoke in herds. We do smoke in herds, single file at times to hide our numbers, but not paranoid enough to give a shit about a tiny break from the rotation. But this means if one of us wakes up, six vultures may be pecking at the early bird’s joint by the time it’s burned down to the crutch. You could run for the weed shed, but honey, if you don’t go now, some clever girl will likely pounce on that joint before you even get close to your hidden stash.

Even a wooden grinder ain’t saving you from this situation, so deal with it. Smoking is a social stimulus, a communal activity that spreads the individual perspectives of those involved to everyone else in the room. It’s dreamlike in itself – maybe without the womp rats, though. But I’ve never had a dream involving weed – one that I can remember, at least. Ironic maybe, but it just might mean something.

I smoke when I’m awake.

I drool when I’m asleep.

I hope I’m not the first writer to drown in his own drool.

That’s why I sleep on my stomach.

That’s why I’m not a rock star.