“What was that?!?”
Scott scurried from his chair and knocking over a lukewarm bottle of King Cobra en route to The Window. Fortified like a prison cell, The Window was Scott’s nerve center. Glass behind dusty curtains behind what looked like a postmodern African shrine; barbed wire, broken electronics, glass bottles and scraps of newspaper turned into some hideous collage written in a language that only a mind steeped in toxic amounts of cocaine could understand, all surrounded his chair. Piss yellow, a product of the 70’s that reminded me of the chair from Frasier… of course, Scott didn’t watch Frasier he watched the window.
“You’re just being paranoid, Nate said after ashing what little remained of blunt we’d all shared.
Caleb shook his head and looked away. I sat next to Caleb, across from Nate packing a bowl of salvia splitting my attention between my task at hand and The Big Lewbowski.
“Hey! Hey… Fuck off. Can’t you hear that shit?” Scott said, alternating between shouting and whispering.
“What, the heater?”
“No, no, no. Not the fucking heater… you don’t even know man. This is some deep level Illuminati shit.”
“Oh for Christ’s sake,” Caleb said while rummaging through his coat pocket.
“Here, take this,” a mint-green piece of serenity jettisoned from Caleb’s hand into the side of crackhead Scott’s face.
“What the fuck man? You said you were all out of K-pins,” Nate said bitterly.
“I am now,” Caleb said, after lighting a cigarette.
Scott leapt from his chair like a feral animal and wasted no time digging around on floor for his promise of pharmaceutical bliss.
“Shit man. How long has all of this been going on?” I asked
“Couple of days… He definitely needs to stay away from, well whatever the hell that is. You said it was called Salvia?”
“Yeah, 40x. It’s uh… it’s different. You’re right man. Scott should definitely take it easy,”
Scott was our middle-man (and Nate’s roommate) and an interesting character to say the least. His recent flirtations with paranoid schizophrenia had been coming to a head in the last week or so but when you’re bored a board post-millennial, looking for a quick way to get fucked up it’s easy to overlook a lot of things and despite all of his… let’s say issues, he usually delivered. I’d recently come across $100 and a good amount of hydrocodone and decided that it was time to trade some of my new earthly gains for a spiritual journey.
“Alright, we’re good to go,”
“Hey can I get one of those Norco?” Nate asked.
“Oh, yeah sure. You might need it after coming back to reality.”
“Coming back to reality?”
“You’ll see what I man in a bit.”
Nate was usually the type to try anything once (more than once on most cases), but even he seemed a little leery.
“Its intense man,” Caleb said popping another couple of Klonopin while Nate checked his phone.
I’d had a couple experiences with weaker extracts under my belt but I could already tell this was going to be something else entirely. Caleb and I had a little hustle going which greatly aided our pursuit of reckless abandon. He’d trade his Klonopin, for a little bit of whatever Amy and I had laying around (usually some of Ricky’s Snow Leopard) and sell it to Scott for an inflated price. Seeing as how Scott was more often than not, short on moneys, this usually meant getting a decent share of whatever was in his stash. This time it was hydrocodone. The salvia had come from the local head-shop after getting rid of a dew of those and presto change-O, chemical companionship.
Nate sparked his lighter, brought it up to the edge of the glass and inhaled his hand, ever so slightly wavering as he passed the bowl to Caleb.
“You feeling it yet?” he asked.
Nate, staring glassy eyed at the wall, said nothing for a moment and then…
“I… I can’t feel my organs. I can’t feel my fuckin organs maaaaaaaan,” he screamed bursting into a fit of full on writhing insanity that made Scott look like a clinical model of perfect mental health.
“Holy shit… Here I think I’m good for now man,” Caleb said handing me the bowl.
“Yeah, I’m not trying to get committed,”
“Alright man, your loss,”
I winked at Caleb, sparked up exhaled and then…
“Hello?” I called out. Everything was as white as snow. The two people that I’d been with in that one room at so-and-so’s house, had vanished.
I was sitting down, I knew that much. A water droplet (damn leaky roof), touched my forearm causing me to look up... here we go.
My teeth clenched, my heart stopped a cold sweat possessed every skin cell on whatever my body had become. An entire planet composed of strange (yet familiar, there’ll be more on that later) beings stared back at me. In graphic, hi-res detail, I watched them live, die haggle in market places, raise families and go to war. I let out a scream followed by another one and for a moment the ongoing dialogue of the alien world I was connected to stopped mod sentence. My eyes were flooded with smiling vintages of my earliest memories; the seemingly endless bus ride from my parent’s farm house to my first day of kindergarten, my first kiss on the playground, visions of myself exploring the creek behind my old elementary school with old friends so many scenes formed my endless, (albeit naïve) youth. All of these memories took form embedding themselves into the DNA of this planet sitting on top of Scott’s ceiling fan. Before I could laugh or cry or say anything, I was back and then…
“Whuuaahhh?” I groaned incoherently looking around at the however many weeks old laundry and torn up furniture surrounding me.
“Nobody fucking moves until one of you narc mother fuckers cops to wearing a wire!” Scott screamed. His gun pointed in the air.
Caleb tensed up and reached for his pocket. Nate shook his head with mouthing a frantic series of curse words and I froze, still very much under the influence of psychoactive ethno-botanicals, sweating, shaking and moments away from shitting myself.
“I know one of you is wearing a wire!” Scott shouted
“C’mon man you know that we’re not… just, just put the gun down man. Pu-put it down please,” Nate’s voiced wavered and cracked as Scott’s crazed eyes focused on. His finger clenched the trigger as Nate’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.
This is it. This is where we all die. I thought, quietly accepting this fate and then thongs (as they tend to do) took a turn for the well… something or other.
Caleb leapt up planting a fierce right hook into Scott’s jaw. His head (now bouncing off of the floor was rocketed upward. A couple more strikes and he was down.
“Run, run right now!” Caleb screamed cramming the gun in his belt loop and bolting out the door. The next few minutes were a blur. I sped away to the next county as Nate called the police and Caleb downed a fistful of Valium (how he seemed to magically produce pills from thin air is still a mystery). We parked near the river and waited anxiously our ears glued to the crackly sound of the police scanner until we heard the dispatch. After the dust settled, we all decided to get drunk Caleb kept the gun and Nate moved to a couple states away. Scott went to the psych ward, and then went to jail. Last I heard, he’d found Jesus when he was locked up and now does the Lord’s work as a telemarketer, as for me, I haven’t touched salvia since then nor do I want to… Some things just aren’t worth repeating