He snorts derisively and produces a bent joint, seemingly out of thin air, and then rummages around in his pockets for a lighter.
“Could you please not do that in front of me?” I say.
“Because I’m your stepfather, and it’s irresponsible.”
“I wonder,” he says. “Do you retain the title even though you didn’t defend it? I mean, Mom’s dead, and we’re in a kind of gray area here, legally speaking. Now, if you were my legal guardian-”
“Fine,” I say. “Fire it up. Just spare me the lecture.”
He lights up, sucking so hard that I can hear the crinkling whisper of the immolating paper, and we sit there quietly in our little Hallmark moment, my stoner stepson and me.
“You know,” he says thoughtfully after a few minutes, “if you think about it, he’s only my father because he happens to have slept with my mother.”
“Right. You know, that’s actually something I try really hard never to think about.”
“All I’m saying is that by those standards, you’re equally qualified. More so, actually, since he demonstrated poor moral character.”