While I wouldn’t come to be known as Roach until years later, the reason why the name sat so well started in the basement in Queens. Up until this point, cannabis wasn’t always readily available. The little that I would smoke would get me through whatever situation I was attending. But smoking a blunt was completely different. L after L, we filled the low ceilings with a cloud 10 shades of grey. No matter how plentiful, I found myself growing into the habit of saving every roach. Jars and containers, filled with the remains of every yesterday, smelled like perfume as I popped the lid. The process of breaking them apart, and neatly packing a pipe or bong, was art in motion. The bittersweetness of losing the potency to habit was welcomed by the creative inspiration each experience brought forth. Music sounded new. Voices became clear. And with a million ideas in my head, I found solace in spending time with myself, toking every few minutes while I go through my internal process of creation. Moments shared with others became a cherry on top, and nighttime was something we all looked forward to. We stopped by the deli near the train every day after work, gathering supplies for the night, and creating memories that would serve as inspiration later down my road to superstardom.

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