The Signs, Pt. 2

The west of the weekend passed by quietly. Monday came and I pulled myself out of bed and shuffled along to work. The day was slow, interminable, and I wanted desperately to be anywhere else doing anything else. I thought back to Rob and his Yellows. Should have grabbed some, I thought. I could have taken one at lunch to make the day go faster. Instead, I just kept going along, sleepwalking through my day, tapping away at a computer and wishing I were somewhere else.

I left work feeling like I had at the party, full of nervous energy with no outlet. I needed to run around. I needed to scream. I needed to do something before I popped. So I called up my friend, Danny Boy, and told him to come over to my place with a twelve-pack and whatever he was holding. “We’ll make a real night of it. Get weird with it.”

“Dude, don’t you have work tomorrow?”

I snorted. “Alright, so we won’t get that weird with it. But still. I need to blow off some fucking steam, man.”

Danny Boy grunted in response. I could just imagine him shrugging his shoulders, even though there was no one there to see it. “Alright, whatever. I’ll be over in forty.”

Traffic was slower than usual, and by the time I got home, Danny Boy was sitting on my porch, a case of beer and a backpack next to him, a can of beer in his hand and two more on the ground nearby. As he saw me approach, he upended the can he was drinking from, finished the last of it, and gently tossed it at me. I easily side-stepped it. “You’re late, man.” He picked up the backpack, tapped it with his hand and grinned. “Come on, step it up. The pipes, the pipes are calling.”

I smirked. For the first time in a few days, I felt like laughing. I felt a little bit like the person I used to be, smiling and finding things funny and generally pretty content with the world.

Just a little bit, but it was something.

We went inside. I drank one can, then another. Danny Boy packed the pipe. We were just sitting there, going and back forth talking about nothing, when Danny Boy said something to snap me out of my blissful little haze.

“What was that?”

“I was asking if you remembered that guy we went to school with. Robert Something-or-other.”

I took a deep breath, let it out slowly. It didn’t help. “Yeah, I remember him. What about him?”

“I was talking with my boy Googe the other night. He said he was at this party this past weekend, and Rob was there pimping some kind of homemade hallucinogen. Called it ‘Yellers,’ or something.”

“Yellows. I was there, too.”

“Oh yeah? You try them?”

I shook my head. “I’m not trying a goddamn thing that guy makes after that bullshit he pulled with the blow. He’s lucky he didn’t kill someone, putting fucking worm medication in his shit. Fucking psychopath.”

“Worm medication?”

I nodded. “Does bad things to your blood. Too much, and your skin starts rotting off your bones.”

Danny Boy’s eyes went wide at that. “Jesus, I had no idea. He said he’d put something in to give it an extra kick, something to help people step outside of their comfort zones and experience a different way of looking at the world.”

“Yeah, Rob says a lot of shit, in case you haven’t noticed.”

Danny Boy frowned, looked down at the ground. He hadn’t known about the coke and he didn’t like hearing about it. “Well, Googe said the Yellows were good. Trippy as fuck, he said. Comes on quick, doesn’t last long. Like being in a different world.”

“Sounds like salvia.”

Danny Boy shook his head. “He said it was different. Like, he didn’t believe anything crazy or impossible, like that time he thought was a walking Lego man. He said he was just sitting there, and all of a sudden he could see another world.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before.”

“The detail, though. He said it was like the house was still the same but the world had changed. He looked out the window and the sky was pink and purple, grey snakes swimming the air. Houses growing out of the ground. Little grey men walking around, climbing around on the houses on all fours. That kind of stuff.”

“That doesn’t really sound that weird.”

“He said that he didn’t even really feel all that high. He was just surprised. Like if you were sitting in front of the TV, you blinked, and then you were on a sunny beach somewhere.”

“Still.”

“Well, how about this, then? He said he met some other people at the party who tried the Yellows too, and they saw the same things he did.”

I shrugged. This conversation was far cry from the kinds of things Danny Boy and I usually talked about when he came over, and it was rapidly chipping away at my good mood. “Rob’s exactly the kind of asshole to try and take a crowd of people on a guided meditation, though. Give them some drugs and then paint a distorted, poorly conceived portrait for them.”

“Yeah, but Googe didn’t get the Yellows from Rob. He got them from Lori, he said.”

Just like that, what was left of my pleasant little buzz was gone. My eyes narrowed to slits. “What?”

Danny Boy looked at me, opened his mouth to speak, shut it. He shrugged. “Hey, man. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. I’m just saying what Googe told me, okay?”

I ignored him. My mind was racing a mile a minute, even through the haze of the alcohol and the weed. Had Lori gotten the Yellows from Rob or from someone else? Did she try them? What did that bastard make her do to get them? Did he give them to her just to piss me off?

I sat there in silence, staring at the ground while Danny Boy went on and on and about something. “I’m sorry, what was that?” I said to him once I realized he was beginning to look at me with concern on his face.

“I said, ‘Isn’t that really something, though? To get visions of someplace else? To be transported somewhere else, even if only for a little while?”

I just stared at Danny Boy for a second, but I nodded my head in agreement. “Yeah. To be somewhere else. That’d really be something.”

And it was true. It would be.

* * *

Danny Boy left, but I don’t remember when. I don’t remember picking up the phone and calling her. I only remember her voice. I existed in a state of her voice, and then in a state of not her voice, and then it was morning and my head was pounding and I was late for work and I had to fight to peel myself off the floor.

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