Kyle was friends with the raver dipshit. Actually, he was a pretty nice guy, but he hung out with some real annoying K-hole A-holes. He sold K and acid and he'd give us the thin strips off the acid sheets he cut. Can't sell em, but they still work. We'd get him into shows and put him on our guest lists and shit. We were probably a nice break from the sacks of stupidity he was forced to deal with. We like to talk about books and music and...well, we like to talk.
So, we're at dude's house and all the rave-kids are looking at us funny. We pretty much associate with them because they have the best drugs. Sad, but true. In my rock and roll angst, they stand for pretty much everything I am against. I want to play my guitar loud and talk about important shit. They want to wear plush animal backpacks and use pacifiers. But they get good drugs.
So, Kyle, Jim, Mario and I are chewing strips like there is no tomorrow because, quite frankly, that is a very real possibility on any given day and the shit is FREE. Kyle disappears and we're trying to calculate how many strips equals one hit and we're overly conservative in our estimations which makes the calculations really fucking hard because we're tripping face. We figure Mario and Kyle and I are at about 7 or 8. Jim was hesitant then. Before coke and heroin and speed blew any hesitation he had out of the water.
We're talking about some shit and feeling out of place. We're in the backyard smoking, but the ravers are all inside watching The Shining now. Like that's what I want to see on acid. Weird kids. The ketamine kids are the weirdest. I want to be aware I am fucked up. They want to fall backwards into a velvet nothingness where the world can be safely viewed through a tiny hole of distortion. Whatever.
Finally, Kyle shows back up and we're fucked and we just want to leave. Kyle looks weird, and he is always pulling shady shit, so I take him aside. He just did some GHB. That's all. Smiles at me. Goofy. Fuck. GHB has been killing kids all over the county. See, it works by blocking your body's drug defenses so your 'natural' drugs can fuck you up. But if you take it with speed or a downer...well, you can't fight back and the heart doesn't like that. None of us have ever done it before. We've pretty much crossed everything else off the list, though.
But man. We're fucked up. Everything is bright and cartoony and I can't keep a thought in my head for more than three seconds. I keep lighting cigarettes.
"Alright, fuck, Kyle...we need to get some food in you. When's the last time you ate?"
We were a scrawny lot that lived on chemicals and alcohol, so it had probably been a few days.
Jim, of course, is freaking out. True colors.
"Man, fuck you guys. I'm leaving. Fuck this."
His pupils are like fucking planets and I momentarily consider breaking his face...he's pulled this shit before. Too often. Selfish fucker.
"Bullshit dude...you have the car...you are taking us to get food so Kyle doesn't fucking die, asshole!"
Kyle stops smiling.
"I'm not gonna die..."
"No, you're not gonna die, but you need to eat."
The car ride is a fucking nightmare.
I would have done just about anything rather than walk into that 7-11, but it had to be done. God, it was menacing. Everyone knew. I could feel all the eyes on us. And inside, I knew it would be a dayglo nightmare. But, fuck it. We pound in through the double doors.
We head over to the pre-made shit we can afford. I've known one person who can even look at food on acid. It's not Kyle. I grab this big slab of week old turkey sandwich.
"I'm not eating that, dude."
"Fuck, Kyle, just eat some of it. Why did you take the GHB anyway?"
Dumb question. Kyle takes whatever is handed to him. Mario is quietly concerned. Jim is stalking around pissed off that he's inconvenienced. No one's surprised. So, it's me and Kyle. He's this charismatic dark-skinned kid and strong looking. He's never scared. That's part of his thing. But I can tell he's a little close to the edge.
"Dude, I'm not going to die."
"No. No way. Think about it, man. GHB kills you if it amplifies the effects of something else on your heart. Acid doesn't do shit to your heart. You might trip extra hard, but you're not dying."
"Cool, then put the fucking sandwich back."
I realize I'm holding the sandwich like it's a dead raccoon covered in shit.
"Kyle, please man. I know you don't want to do it and I don't think you're gonna die, but you haven't eaten in a while. It can't hurt, right?"
I really, really want Kyle to eat the sandwich.
"I'm not gonna die."
He's convincing himself. Trying to.
"I 100% agree with you. You will not die, dude. People don't die from acid and GHB. They just don't."
We look at each other and try to pretend we both believe what we're saying while the snack cakes throb and the walls breathe and the lights are so fucking bright. It's at this point that I pzaaaaaaaap snap back out of our world and back into the real one. Just for a second. Just long enough to realize that there are seven other people in the store, we're talking really loud and really fast, and Jim is stalking around with a cigarette like a crazed tweaker hornet. And it's a small store. Kyle sees me looking and then he sees it, too. You can tell he's calculating how many illegal things he has on him just like I am.
So, it's your standard 7-11 crowd, they're all the same. Paramedics and construction workers and I'm hoping to god no cops and that the guy behind the counter doesn't aspire to hero-dom. They are all literally backed against the walls, staring at us in complete horror. I look in the circular mirror thing and I see us. Punk rock and dirty. Two scrawny white kids, a quiet, soft eyed mexican kid, and this scared looking Samoan kid who looks like he could fucking do anything at any moment. And he could. For some reason I'm always the fucking PR guy. And what I say next makes perfect sense to me in the moment, while the cigarette packs are turning into doves.
"Alright folks. Sorry about that. We're gonna leave. Everything is cool. We were just fucking around. My friend's not gonna die. Sorry. Have a good day."
And we do leave. With a quickness.
I drop the sandwich on the counter and we leave. Jim bails. Mario and I stick with Kyle and give him cigarettes, and we spend the next six hours talking about how he's not going to die. He doesn't die. So we eat some of the strips he pocketed and run into Jim later. He's pissed we didn't share. The stars are tiny daggers of flame.