August 3, 2020:

I'm high on rum and LSD. I've forgotten it's school picture day or I would not be here. My neighborhood friend Lorrie and I have come to campus to buy more acid but we're swept into the photo queue and now we're trapped. Fuck.

I do not wish to leave my image with this school. I wish to donate nothing of myself to this place, for it to be forgotten and nullified and me with it, leaving no connection, spiritual or intellectual or physical or financial. Not even memories. Certainly not photographs.

If we'd remembered the date we'd have stayed home, drunk more rum, read The Lord of the Rings to each other, or slept all day. We fucked up. We exchange a knowing glance admitting as much. Now we're in this fucking queue worried someone powerful will smell the rum, deeply disappointed we'll now be unable to avoid leaving ghosts behind when high school has finally and definitively fucked fucked fucked fucked on off.

There's a woman I don't know pointing a comb at my head. Why do they do this? Don't they want us to remember each other the way we actually look? Isn't that what the parents want? Why do they want to change us? Who is this for?

I don't want a comb in my hair. I'm angry my wishes are disrespected. I push her hand away and glower, but this crazy old biddy is determined and now she's angered over having her will thwarted. I can't win this. I'm high and drunk and if there's an inquest into an incident both Lorrie and I will take a hard fall. I surrender and she rips some large chunks of incipient wannabe dreads from my scalp.

In the chair the instructions are clear. "Smile, then exit to the right. Do not go to the left." I see why not. There's a fill light taped to the floor; if I go left I'll smash it. Good, that's the plan then.

I do not smile, the flash flashes, I'm unwillingly immortalized, and as I rise from the chair I deliberately move left, kick the fill light to shatters, say "Ooops," circle back behind the chair looking for but failing to find something else expensive I might clumsily smash, then exit, glancing maliciously back over one shoulder at the glowering, grimacing photographer on his knees replacing the lamp.

Lorrie and I leave campus together, dissatisfied but laughing.

Let's call this round a draw.