Summer of '07

It only took half a bottle of Popov for Callahan to start making dares.

Six shots later, there was a stolen traffic cone on my coffee table and I was bleeding from a self-inflicted stapler wound. Nick was supposed to drink a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, but got out of it when he told us he had cancer. It was kind of a mood killer.

Call it bravery or call it denial, but he didn’t let the prognosis bug him. He’d go to bars and tell girls with too much eyeliner, “I was built to self-destruct. The only variable is the timer.” It was cheesy as hell.

He never went home alone.

In August, we went to a concert in the desert. Careful to avoid the phrase, “Last hurrah.” We forgot sunscreen, but Nick said we wouldn’t notice the burning if we were high. He went off to find some weed. Disappeared for an hour. Came back with a dimebag, a phone number, and a white handprint on his neck surrounded by raw pink sunburn.

We swapped joints and stories, laughing too hard to feel our skin roasting. We were invincible.

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