Bliss is a story about children growing up in the school parking lot. A prequel to the double novel Bleach|Blackout, Bliss follows Chip, Stoner, and Jeremy through their senior year of high school. This fast paced novella begins with a drug deal gone bad and ends with a drug deal gone right. In between these exchanges, the narrator tells of his struggles in school, with the law, his psychiatrist, girls named Mary, and what it’s like to attend blizzard parties (same as a normal party, just with lots of cocaine). For those searching for a feel-good story of adolescence, look further—it’s not here. That being said, this tale does end with a nice cozy fire that is sure to bring a good laugh... or a gasp.
EXCERPT FROM BLISS
I got my ass beat by a guy with a wooden leg. Correction. With a wooden leg from a guy who stood there standing on one leg. Wait, it gets worse. His name was Dale. This was the first day of my senior year.
My morning starts off in Chip’s car, where we’re smoking and taking sips off a bottle of whiskey that tastes like Tennessee. As smoke escapes the cracked windows, a Nirvana bootleg plays. It was starting to become clear that the nineties weren’t going to be what one would call an impact decade.
Already twenty minutes late, we’re ready to leave when the school parking lot narc approaches and tells us we’ll be spending our afternoon in detention. The narc may be the oldest guard in the greater Milwaukee area. Chip tells me to put my ear up to him. “You can actually hear sixties music playing,” he says.
With fifteen minutes left in my first class, I show up. History. My teacher, Mr. Adams, looks unhappier than the students do. As I approach him and hand him a note (a note I had just forged five minutes ago), I sense that he also smells like Tennessee. Before Chemistry class, Chip and Stoner stop me in the hallway to ask me for money so we can score some herb off a guy named Brown, who isn’t black.
Chemistry is a bore, but at least Mary, a girl I am trying to get up the courage to talk to, is there, and then I have “commons,” which is really a study hall with no supervision. I play craps with a couple Latinos, buy a Coke and a Little Debbie brownie, and go out to the parking lot, smoking while I wait for Chip and Stoner to come out for lunch. Stoner is the first to show and he begins drinking gin rapidly, becoming drunk before the end of our 45-minute lunch break. Deciding he’s a little too drunk for Geometry, Stoner decides to lie in the back of Chip’s car and continue to drink gin.
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David S. Grant is the author of "BLOOD: The New Red". Follow David on Twitter: .david_s_grant