I bike to campus. Kayla's still in class, so I walk over to Z's apartment - he's asthmatic and allergic to smoke, so there's no danger of some stray cigarette butt calling my name from an ashtray. A nice smoke-free atmosphere to hang out in.

Actually, some serious business is taking place - it's time for All My Children. I'd lost track of the show, since it's hard to keep up with it from city to city, a motel one night, then sleeping on some stranger's floor the next. I gave up, early on, trying to follow it when I woke up in a motel room in Memphis, I think, saw that it was 1 PM, and turned on the TV expecting it, only to find myself staring blankly at the closing credits, with the memory of a phrase I'd heard all my life - "One o'clock Eastern, noon Central Time..." - ringing in the space between my ears.

I'm at Z's to catch up on what I've missed, though my intermittent soap opera habit shows no sign of returning (nor does Tasia Valenza to the AMC cast). But I get caught up on events in the fictional Pine Valley. Talk then turns to JR, my old roommate, who had dropped in during the morning; on a lark, JR tried one of Z's Primatene tablets, in his never-ending search for a new buzz - he apparently liked it.

And then. And then the words come out, but surely they're not mine. I ask if I can try the Primatene. Z says "knock yerself out", and I grab a couple of tablets, the size of baby's fingernail, out of the little plastic bottle. I put them in the stash pouch of my backpack. What the fuck am I thinking?