Chapter 5: Fish Smell
I woke up in a panic that first morning away from home. I wasn't sure what prodded me out of slumber at four thirty in the morning but felt a weight on my chest and a sense of dread greater than the one I felt the day mom fell ill. I did the only thing I knew how to do to cope. I got up, carefully showered and dressed and tried to find a coffee maker. Coffee machines and adding machines were the only two mechanical devices that I knew how to operate in a panicked haze.
Finding the coffee maker was fairly simple. It was shoved in a lonely corner of the kitchen and looked like it hadn't been used in months. I wondered how Molly managed to live without coffee for so long. If I went more than twelve hours without a cup, I got rather cranky. I methodically analyzed the state of the machine. There was a fine layer of dust covering all the components and some pinhead had left old grounds in the filter basket. There was a few spots of mold starting to form in the grounds. “Bitch nipple,” I sighed.
By the time Molly wandered out of her room, I had taken the machine entirely apart. Each component was carefully placed on the dining room table and a cup of vinegar was sitting in the middle. I had to let some of the parts soak while I meticulously swabbed others with a q-tip. “Uh...good morning,” Molly yawned after sleepily staring at the parts. Apparently she was waiting for me to explain the situation.
“Your coffee machine was in disrepair. As soon as I'm done, it will be better than new.”
“I...uh...didn't expect you to be so...” she trailed off, trying to find the right word.
“You might be able to drink swill from this thing but I refuse. The mold in this thing could kill a person.” I said flatly.
Molly chuckled, “Some roommate left that thing here months ago. I don't think I've ever used it. I just get coffee from the stand up the street.”
I looked up and furrowed my brow, “The coffee what up the street?” Windhaven didn't have any coffee stands or even coffee shops for that matter. No one nearby would want to have coffee away from home. They didn't really know any better. If no one had considered a coffee stand, who would bother to open a coffee stand?
“It's a stand where you buy coffee. I don't know how else to describe it.”
I was instantly curious. “You mean, like ground coffee? Beans? Don't grocery stores carry coffee around here?”
“I guess they have that. Mostly people buy coffee that is already well, coffee. No machine required.” Her explanation confused me even more. “At any rate, even if you get this thing back together, I don't have any ground coffee or filters.”
“Well this so-called coffee stand has coffee. Let's go get some, I'll buy.” I stood up and marched towards the door.
“Wait wait wait it's like 6 AM. I need tobacco and some weed before I go ANYWHERE.” Molly started to shuffle towards her bedroom. I grunted in disgust. Smoking was a terrible habit reserved only for men in high stress jobs like Henry. I also wondered who in their right mind would want to weed before they got dressed?
Molly emerged from the bedroom with what looked like to be a hand-rolled cigarette. I could smell it from across the room. The odor reminded me of Henry's study and the fuzzy feeling I always got when I stuck around to watch him smoke. “Do you smoke?”
“Not on purpose,” I replied. “Mom would be furious if she found out but every so often I'd spend lunch break at Henry's house and watch him smoke. I was always afraid mom would freak out if she smelled it on me but she never said a word about it.”
Molly lit the cigarette and took a deep drag. “Well not much difference between watching and smoking,” she said as a purple plume of smoke escaped her lungs. She handed me the cigarette. I emulated Henry and took a long, slow drag. The smoke was pungent, inviting and immediately calming. I could feel why Henry preferred to smoke rather than taking opiates.
“Better than Oxycontin.” I said after a few drags.
“What the fuck you know about OC?” Molly seemed genuinely shocked.
I passed the cigarette. “Enough. Grandma took them, mom took them, I took them. It turned everything...down.”
“Huh.” Molly shook her head. “Well as long as you're staying here, you aren't fucking around with OC. Smoke the herb or go home.” She laughed and took another drag.
Even though Oxycontin helped dull my senses, I never really felt good taking it. It made me an extremely efficient and accurate worker but it didn't do much else. When I wasn't taking it, I felt twice as assaulted by life. The cigarette seemed to help me deal with my senses rather than depress them. I couldn't deny that it was a much more efficient drug for my brain. After I was discharged from the hospital, some doctor mentioned that it would be difficult for me to get a prescription for opiates given the reason I was in the hospital to begin with. I guess I wouldn't be fucking around with OC after all.
For some reason, this didn't bother me as much as I expected it to.
After another pleasing cigarette, we ventured downstairs and towards the mythical coffee stand. The air was crisp, cool and not at all unpleasant. Molly shivered under her puffy jacket.
“Aren't you cold?” she asked.
“Not really,” I said, wrinkling my nose slightly. “What smells like fish?”
Molly smiled, “Probably fish. The wharf isn't too far from here.”
I knew fish smell, even though I would never eat one. Mom was mostly a vegetarian and the rare occasions she ate meat was mostly at other people's insistence. She did like eggs in the morning, strangely enough. My first encounter with fish came from a pet store in Windhaven. It popped up when the office became part of a strip mall. The store mostly dealt in reptiles, which was fascinating when compared to the other stores in the mall. Lizards and frogs are way more interesting than shoes. On occasion, I would stop in on my lunch break and stare at the various tanks. The owner of the store never seemed to mind. One day I went to visit and was sad to see that the store was closed. When they opened up again several days later, they had added a large koi pond to the front lobby. The owner told me that it was his dream to keep a koi pond but it was always too cold in Windhaven in the winter for the fish to be comfortable. Once his pet shop was doing reasonably well, it was the perfect opportunity to build a pond indoors. He also figured, rightly so, that the pond would attract customers because the fish were beautiful and everyone wanted to interact with them. Koi are incredibly friendly, especially for fish.
“I hope you like seafood,” Molly said after the silence got to be too much.
“I don't eat fish.” I said, flatly.
“Well, what do you eat? I haven't seen you eat anything since you got here.”
I paused for a moment. Molly was right, I hadn't eaten anything since I arrived or since the night before I left. Henry bought me a hamburger from the Windhaven diner as a going away gift. I realized then that I was rather hungry.
“French fries,” I finally said simply because it was the first thing I could think of.
“Thankfully this is type of city that has fries ready at 8 in the morning,” Molly grabbed my sweatshirt sleeve. “I know a really good place near here.”
Chapter 6: Chad's Diner
Chad moved from New York sometime in the 70's because “New York sucks.” He started a diner in a quiet San Francisco neighborhood because he was tired of not being able to get a good old-fashioned meal at 3 in the morning. For years, he served everyone from the wealthy elite to the homeless and greeted everyone with the same genuine gap-toothed smile.
“Chad, my man!” Molly waved as we entered the establishment. Chad looked up from the grill and beamed, the grease highlighting his dimples.
“Molly! Aint it a bit early for lunch?”
Molly playfully ruffled my hair. I would have to tell her how infuriating that was. “I got a cousin here from upstate that has my schedule all kinds of fucked up. She's a riot so I can't complain, though.” How was I a “riot?”
Chad hopped over the counter with a swift motion and landed in front of us. He extended his greasy hand to me. “Well any family of Molly is family to me. Pleased to meet you uh...”
“Juliet.” I gripped his hand firmly.
“Juliet! Beautiful name.” He shook my hand vigorously. “Come, sit down! There's lots of room. You didn't tell me you had gorgeous family, Molly. You been holdin' out on me.”
“Just get us a couple of burgers and a big pile of fries, you oaf.” Molly started off to a corner booth, “And coffee. Just bring the whole damn pot!” A whole pot of coffee for just us? The very idea both confused and excited me. “We'll deal with that cluster fuck back at the house later.”
“Cluster what?” I asked. I had already forgotten about the coffee maker.
Chad called from the kitchen “Just put on a new pot. You're gonna have to wait a minute!”
We sat down and proceed to wait. Molly tapped her finger absentmindedly while poking her phone. She chuckled at something I couldn't see while I glanced around the diner. Apparently we had arrived in between the breakfast crowd and the lunch crowd. I was glad that the place wasn't full. Crowds made me very uncomfortable.
“So,” Molly said, still looking at her phone. “What's up?”
“We're at a diner waiting for a pot of coffee and food.” I thought the answer was rather obvious.
“No, silly! What's up with YOU?”
I pondered her question. What did she mean what's up with me? Weren't we in the same exact place waiting for the same thing? I said as much.
“You are such literalist, just like grandma. You remind me a lot of her, you know.”
“I do? I guess I did live with her for a long while.” How long had I lived with grandma? She passed away sometime in my 20s and as far as I knew, she had shared the same house with mom long before I was born. Some of her traits certainly had time to wear off on me.
“You don't get out much, do you?” Molly once again prodded me out of my thoughts.
“I don't get out at all, really. Well I didn't, until everything went tits up. I'm obviously out right now.”
“Tits up? Where on earth did you pick that up?” Molly giggled a bit more than the joke was realistically worth.
I didn't remember where I heard the phrase. Maybe Henry had said it while referring to a difficult client.
Chad came shambling up to the booth and plopped down a steaming pot of coffee. It smelled absolutely caustic, just the way I liked it. After pouring myself a cup, I closed my eyes and took a big sip. The warmth and bitterness against my tongue was the most soothing thing I had felt in weeks. After basking in delight momentarily, I opened my eyes to both Chad and Molly staring at me with their mouths agape. “What?” I said after another sip.
“That just came off the burner. What are you, an alien or something?” Chad stammered.
“Yeah, really. You didn't even let that shit cool, much less put anything in it. Gross!” Molly poured herself a cup. She then opened four creamer packets and six sugar packets and added the contents to her glass. She stirred the mixture slowly.
“You know, you might as well just drink whipping cream and sugar for all the good it does ya.” Chad teased Molly. “This pot is on the house, though. Anyone who can drink this stuff black is a super hero in my book! I'll be right back with the burgers.” Chad shuffled off.
“People don't drink black coffee in San Francisco?” Yet another thing about the city that confused the hell out of me.
“I'm sure people do,” Molly added another creamer packet “They usually don't drink it...boiling.”
“It's the best time to drink coffee. Grandma always said if you can't stand the heat, don't grab a cup.” Grandmas advice made my face light up with a childish grin.
“You know, I think that's the first time I've seen you smile.”
“It's more of a reflex than anything else. I can't control it.” My brow furrowed.
“Oh, well, it suits you. Maybe I can help you smile more often.”
Chad shuffled up to the booth again with the biggest pile of fries I had ever seen and two large hamburgers with all the trimmings. Burgers and fries in the morning; it was a food phenomenon that I never thought I would see. I grabbed a handful of fries and shoved them into my mouth. They were the most sinfully delicious french fries I had ever tasted.
“I think she likes it.” Chad said, grinning.
“I couldn't tell,” Molly took a single fry and nibbled on it daintily, “I don't think she's eaten in days.”
“Don't they feed people in wherever it is you're from?”
“Not like this, usually,” I mumbled through a mouth full, “Windhaven is full of dainty birds who pick and nibble at food as if they had time to nibble and pick all damned day.” I never really thought people's eating habits bothered me too terribly much. Apparently, they did.
Molly laughed out loud, “I always told dad that everyone in Windhaven was too damned prim about everything, especially food.”
“You've been to Windhaven?” Why didn't I remember her visiting?
“Only once when I was about 10 or so. We stayed for about an hour, managed to offend both your mother and grandma and was asked to leave.” Molly stuck out her tongue. “Dad never wanted to go back.”
Oh yes. The visit that everyone talked about before it happened and then ceased talking about it after the fact. I was stuck at work pouring over a difficult case with Henry. That was the one and only time I remember mom and grandma both missing partial day of work. I remember mom saying something about someone visiting but never answering me when I asked who. One of the many things that I have come to find out was kept from me. I tried not to let my annoyance show.
“Did I say something wrong?” My annoyance must have been somewhat obvious even to Molly.
“No, no.” I said softly, “I'm just kind of sad that I didn't get to meet you that day. It would have been nice getting to know you. Maybe we could have been pen pals or something. Mom was...unkind to her broth...your dad. Unnecessarily unkind I'm beginning to find out.”
“How so?” Molly dunked a fry in ketchup.
“Well...” I wasn't sure where to begin, “she did nothing but bitch that your dad had no interest in accountancy. Also, she blamed him for you having no interest whatsoever in the family business. I admit that I agreed with her until I got away from it. These last couple of days have made me question why I stuck with it for so long. My entire life was spent crunching numbers and now that mom's dead, I'm starting to think that maybe your dad wasn't so crazy after all.”
“You ever stop to think that maybe your mom was a bit crazy?” I'm sure she meant it as a joke.
“Certifiable by all standards of measure,” I replied stonily, eating another fry.
Chapter 7: Chickens and Mini Skirts
Molly and I quickly settled into a routine that first week or two. It turns out she was an actress for advertisements and a spokeswoman for a few local products. It might have been for chocolate or sausage or something. I had managed to put the coffee machine back together and so we enjoyed a fresh cup each while smoking the morning cigarette. She often asked if I felt put out because I was the one making the coffee every morning. I always replied that making coffee was part of my job and that as long as the cigarettes kept flowing, the coffee would too.
After our morning ritual, Molly would go out to various jobs and I spent my time walking around the neighborhood. There was an old man who ran a newspaper stand up the street that I would often visit. He reminded me of Henry and we would converse about current events and the state of affairs in the city. I didn't understand a lot of what he said but his voice was pleasant and agreeable. Molly said that the old man had been selling newspapers at the same spot long before she moved into her apartment and that her dad would make special trips to that part of the city just to kibitz with the guy. I can't say I blame him.
“What do you think about raves?” Molly asked out of the blue during the Friday morning smoke.
“What? Like ranting and raving or something?” Rave wasn't a word I heard often.
“Oh, silly! Raves! With loud techno and house music and a lot of blinking lights.” Loud music and blinking lights. It sounded like hell.
“Sounds...interesting” I said noncommittally.
“Oh great! I got us on the guest list for a pretty hot party in a warehouse outside of town. It should be fan-fucking-tabulous.” Molly seemed genuinely thrilled. Her enthusiasm for the subject was infectious.
“I believe you,” I said after a thoughtful pause, “But what the hell is house music?”
The rest of the morning and most of the afternoon was spent in preparation for the event. Molly constantly poked her phone in an effort to get “party favors” while simultaneously fussing with her outfit, makeup and hair. She told me that a lot of people like to dress up for these so-called raves but not everyone did and no one would be disappointed or even notice if I didn't.
That was a load off my mind.
After a while, we ventured to a nearby parking garage to pick up Molly's car. “I didn't think you had a car with all the walking you do,” I said as we approached the entrance.
“I try not to drive if I don't have to but it's nice to have around. Can't walk to these warehouses most of the time.” She hesitated, “Don't laugh. This thing used to belong to my dad and it's...well...not the most awesome thing on wheels if you know what I mean.” I didn't, until I saw the thing.
It was some sort of nondescript puke green colored hatchback. There were rust spots in various places and the exhaust pipe hung a little lower than it probably should have. When Molly opened the driver door, the slight tinges of mold smell filled the air. “You'll have to get in through the driver side. The passenger door hasn't worked right since I was 17.”
“Is this thing safe?” I asked as I crawled awkwardly through the car.
“Oh yeah,” Molly plopped down next to me, shaking the entire car. “Starts and runs every time I stick the key in.” The car rumbled to life. It sounded strong and healthy but at the same time it sounded as if the whole thing could fall apart at any moment. It was an ugly son of a bitch but it had soul.
“You'll have to let me drive it.”
“You know how to drive?”
Henry had taught me in secret. Mom would have never allowed it because she feared I would die on the road. Where this fear came from, I would never know. Henry figured that despite mom's paranoia, having another person in the company who could drive might prove to be useful one day. “You never know,” he would always say. “Mom would have flipped nuts if she had ever found out. I don't know what I was supposed to do, though. Wait until she passed away?” My own words depressed me.
For the first time since I arrived, Molly seemed to have nothing to say. She stared ahead as she maneuvered out of the garage. Several miles of city passed us by before she spoke again. “So...what music do you normally listen to?”
“I don't,” I said, somewhat surprised at my answer, “Mom and grandma believed music was sent from the devil and said as much. I don't think the house had a radio or a record player or anything.”
“Do you believe that?” Molly softly asked.
“I don't think anything on this earth is sent from any type of super-natural being. Stuff just...is. As to liking music? I wouldn't know until I actually heard it I suppose. Henry liked to listen to jazz radio while he smoked and I always found it pleasing.”
Molly smiled, “I think you'll like house.” She never really did explain what she meant by that.
About forty-five minutes later, we rumbled into a large parking lot. It was just about sunset. Shadows danced over several people hanging out with their cars. Some people were passing cigarettes in a circle, some were passing pipes. The whole place seemed to have an overtly neon glow. Molly pulled out a mint tin from her purse. “Let's hang here and smoke before we go in.”
We stood outside and watched people shuffle from the parking lot into a large warehouse. The air vibrated slightly with a rhythmic thud. “Are we hearing the music all the way out here?” I asked.
“Oh yeah,” Molly replied, “fifty thousand watts of pure bass.” What in the hell took that much energy to power? I would hate to see the electric bill at the end of the evening. More people began to gather in the parking lot. Several groups of women wearing nothing but bras and too-short mini skirts chattered by. I imagined them as clucking hens. The image made me chuckle.
“So you do laugh,” Molly lit another cigarette.
“Those women remind me of chickens.”
Molly giggled and snorted. “Me too,” she said after another round of laughter.
Out of nowhere, a overly tall youngish man came bounding out of the shadows. He tackled Molly in a bear hug, a huge grin on his face. “Molly you total bitch! You didn't tell me you were coming tonight!” His voice had a more than slight feminine quality to it.
“Bradley you mother fucker!” Molly returned the hug gleefully. “I got on the guest list because DJ douche bag still wants to bone. I'll come to his party, but I'm not playing that game.” Molly looked over at me and noticed my surprised stare. “Bradley, you absolutely have to meet my cousin Juliet. Juliet, this is my awesome muffin, Bradley.”
Bradley embraced me. “Juliet, like Romeo and Juliet!”
“Bradly, like...uh...Milton Bradley”
Bradley laughed, “This girl's a riot!” I noticed his slight Australian accent. “Well, ladies, let's get this party started, shall we?” He grabbed us both gently by the arm.
“Who is DJ douche bag?” I asked as we got to the back of the line.
Chapter 8: Planets, Space Ships
The line moved slowly as each person handed a wad of bills to an angry looking beast of a man guarding the door. The chicken women tried flirting their way past but they never made it without handing over at least a little bit of cash. Puffs of pleasant smelling smoke wafted by lazily.
“I can't believe that asshole still thinks you two are a thing.” Bradley mused.
“He can think what he wants but it doesn't make it reality.” Molly picked at her fingernails.
“Who is this douche bag?” I asked again.
“Ryan” both of them replied in unison.
Molly sighed, “Ryan is my ex. He lived at the place for a while but all he wanted to do was party and play X-box. I think he paid all of ten dollars in bills in half a damned year.”
“What a prick.” At least I was paying half the bills although I don't think Molly knew.
We finally reached the realm of the door man-beast. He seemed to recognize Molly immediately. “Miss Maywether, it is a pleasure as always, and your guest.”
“Thank you, Curtis.”
“Oh no, not you.” The guard put his huge hand on Bradley's chest. “You gotta pay.”
“Oh for fucks sake, really? Molly, help me out here.”
I was tired of playing around. Standing in line had dampened my mood more than slightly. I fished in the pocket of my jeans and pulled out a hundred dollar bill. “Here, is this enough?” I shoved the bill into the door man's hand.
“More than.” The courtesy flipped on like a light switch. “Please come in, sir.”
“Well that was easy.” I muttered.
Molly stared at me in disbelief. “Where did you get that kind of money?”
“Windhaven didn't have any parties or door people to bribe. I have twenty years of wages to burn.”
“Well slap my ass and call me Sally!” Bradley exclaimed. “This girl is a riot!”
The bass thump that was somewhat audible outside turned into a roar once we walked through the door. I admired how such a thin-walled warehouse managed to muffle the sound. When I was younger, loud noises would send me into an absolute panic. As I got older, I learned to deal with sudden noises such as sirens and the occasional thud of a trash can falling out of a truck. When it came to loud music, my fortitude had never been tested. Henry loved jazz and on the occasions mom was out of the office on business, he would bring in his old stereo and tune in to the local AM station. That old thing never did get loud. “Don't tell your mother I'm corrupting you,” he'd always say. We always managed to get more work done when the music was playing. I wondered why mom was so determined to keep music out of our lives.
The warehouse was packed with people. Many were crowded around the stage, moving their bodies to the rhythm of the 4/4 bass line. Some were sitting against the walls, staring at the lights on stage. Some were in the back, creating mosaics of light with glow sticks on strings. The whole scene felt surreal. Everyone, no matter what they looked like, seemed to be having a good time. The feeling of love and acceptance seemed to float through the air. I had never been to a place with so many people and still felt comfortable enough to speak. “This is unreal!” I managed to yell over the music.
“Oh, it's going to get a LOT better!” Molly grabbed my arm. “Bradley! We're going to stop in at the little girls room. Be a dear and wait for us right here? We don't want to lose you.”
“Don't get lost!” Bradley called out as we stealthily slid into the ladies lavatory.
The sink area was crowded with a group of chickens. They fussed over their hair while twittering mindlessly. Some poked their phones and muttered. I suddenly felt very self conscious.
“This way.” Molly shoved me into a stall and shut the door. “Now shhhhh, we don't want those sloots to come knocking wanting free shit.”
What would anyone want that could come from two women in a bathroom stall? I was starting to think that I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Molly set her purse down on the back of the toilet and started to fish around. “Now where did I put it? I have way too much shit!”
“Don't have too much fun in there, ladies!” A chicken called out as she was exiting.
“What the hell is she talking about?” I peered over the stall and glared at her backside. I had to admit it wasn't too bad looking.
“She probably thinks we're in here making out.” Molly was still elbows deep in her purse.
I laughed, probably a bit louder than necessary. “Making out? Is that something that routinely happens between two women in a bathroom at one of these things?”
“Oh my god, yes. Raves are the capital of lesbian experimentation. What goes on in the bathroom usually stays in the bathroom unless the boyfriend is OK with it and wants to watch later.”
“I can think of a lot more romantic places to experiment. This place smells like ass. The last place I'd want to be making out with someone is somewhere that smells like ass.”
“Ha! You're a woman after my own heart, cousin. Ahh, here it is!” Molly pulled out what seemed to be a makeup case. The metal brocade was rather distinctive. It looked like something I saw grandma using long long ago. Molly noticed my odd stare. “I'm fairly sure dad stole this from grandma on our trip. She threw it at him in a fit of rage and he just decided to keep it and give it to me.” She opened the case. There was a perfectly polished mirror on one side and a large pile of powder and a razor blade on the other. She carefully placed two lines of powder on the mirror. I suddenly realized yet another interesting fact about my grandmother that I had been blissfully ignorant of as a youth.
“Did you ever wonder if our entire family was on some sort of drugs?” I asked as Molly rolled up a dollar bill and quickly but carefully snorted a line.
“I don't have to wonder, I know.” Molly laughed and handed me the bill. Mom spent quite a bit of time telling me how drugs were bad and that how no one of any importance was a user. This was in spite of her years of rampant Oxycontin abuse and her recurring bouts of alcoholism. She thought that I didn't notice the smell of ethanol on her breath or her sneaking about the house late at night. She thought I didn't notice a lot of things.
I quickly snorted the other line. I wasn't sure how I knew what I was doing but the whole process felt instinctual. The rush of euphoria hit me like a tidal wave and I would have fallen flat on my ass if it weren't for the stall door getting in the way.
“Careful, turbo.” Molly seemed impressed. “Where did you learn how to bang a line like that?”
I shrugged. “Genetic memory I guess. That is grandma's case after all. This is some chill shit.”
“Coke and ecstasy. Nothing but the best, at least it should be. This shit cost me a whole day's pay.”
“Huh. Well time will tell if it's the bomb or just a dud.” My legs felt a little bit rubbery and I certainly wasn't unhappy. No wonder grandma snorted drugs. Even the dullest of the dull was interesting on this shit.
“Well,” Molly's words were already a bit slurred, “Let's join the party!”
We found Bradley standing in the same spot. I didn't think it was possible but his goofy grin seemed even bigger. “Howdy, ladies!”
“You look positively radiant.” Molly noticed his elevated mood. “Who dosed you this time?”
“This pretty little thing came by with a vial.”
“You're just getting all kinds of women to pay your way tonight, you dog!” Molly playfully punched Bradley's arm. He certainly was good looking enough. I figured, however that most women would be disappointed once they tried to entice him into the bedroom. He didn't strike me as the type of person who would be attracted to females. I thought it was cute.
I was beginning to feel a lot more in-tune with my surroundings. My legs wobbled slightly and I fought the urge to plop down on the floor. My brain wanted to dance and I wasn't going to let my body tell me otherwise. I shuffled awkwardly towards the stage. I didn't exactly know how to dance but the beat was infectious. Molly and Bradley followed my lead.
We ended up next to a stack of speakers. I could feel the bass in my chest and highs caress my ears gently even though I couldn't hear myself think. An ever-so-subtle cone of rainbow flowed from the speakers and danced around the room. Maybe it was the room full of happy people. Maybe it was the drugs. Maybe it was the music. Maybe it was a combination of everything. An overwhelming sense of calm consumed every part of my being and I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders.
Mom was dead, my business was being slowly run into the ground (not that I knew it at the time but I sort of subconsciously suspected,) and I didn't give the tiniest iota of a crap. I wished the feeling could last forever even though I knew the fleeting nature of drug bliss. I resolved to enjoy it while it lasted. It was the most logical thing to do.