Robert Bard

A Chemical Reaction

In Mimesis on December 10, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Somewhere in upstate New York, Reginald was sitting in a tent with Elizabeth and her brother Benedict at a small music festival. Outside the tent there could be heard a thundering bass line that emanated from a gaily painted school bus equipped with monstrous subwoofers. The merry pranksters were alive and well, it seemed.

“The white pills are called ladies,” Benedict explained, “and the pink hearts are called, well, pink hearts.”

Reginald was concerned. He thought when we went on this trip that he was just going to be doing acid or mushrooms, or maybe even DMT if he was feeling adventurous, but his mental health professionals had strongly advised him against taking ecstasy. It would most likely cause a manic break, he’d been told, and on top of that it could have a negative interaction with his medications and cause an uncontrollable fever that would kill him. He looked at the pills with hesitancy.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve been told I might die if I take it.”

“You’ll be fine,” Benedict said. “Hell, you’ve shot it before. After that what harm do you think just taking it will do. Trust me.”

Benedict knew about Reginald shooting it before because Benedict had supplied it and shot it with Reginald. Last time Benedict had crushed up twenty E pills in some cocaine and they had spent the rest of the night shooting it up. Reginald had crashed really hard that night and had ended up sobbing uncontrollably in the backseat of the van he’d been driving, only to come back and shoot up more. Finally he had called Isis and told her what had happened. She had immediately broken up with him. It was curious now that his girlfriend Elizabeth was offering to do it with him. Hell, she’d actually had a more extensive drug history than Reginald himself actually had. In a way this turned Reginald on. Drugs had always been a taboo topic, but he couldn’t stay away from them. At least once or twice a year he would lapse back into using hard drugs and marijuana was a pretty constant thing. He wanted to do the ecstasy, and consequences be damned. If he died, so be it.

“How much are they?” Reginald asked.

“I’ll give them to you for ten a pill,” Benedict said, but then quickly added, “but you’ll want at least two.”

“How many are you taking, baby?” Reginald asked Elizabeth.

Elizabeth held up two fingers.

Reginald could feel a sinking feeling in his stomach. He felt this way every time he did hard drugs. He loved the way they made him feel, but the initial commitment was horrible. It was a very surreal feeling. He knew that he could die, but it didn’t seem to matter to him. He could hear every mental health professional he’d ever seen telling him not to, but he ignored it. He wanted this. He knew, as was the case with every time before, that he would feel better once he’d done it. He said to Benedict, “Fuck it, give me two.”

“Righto, buckaroo,” Benedict said. “I’ll get them to you in two shakes of a camel’s dick.”

Benedict turned around and searched through the duffel bag that was next to his air mattress. It was a considerable size tent, and the three of them very comfortably fit into it. After fumbling around for a moment or two he turned back to face them.

“Just pop two of these bad boys in and you’ll be rolling your panties for Christmas ornaments,” he said, with a wild mischievous grin on his face.

Reginald didn’t know why he would listen to Benedict. Here Benedict sat wearing three day old cargo pants, a shirt that said “Lick This!” with pictures of Girl Scouts on them, and a bandana wrapped around his head. He had gauges in his ears that were close to an inch, and looked like he hadn’t shaved in a week, bathed in about as long, and most likely hadn’t cut his hair for a year or more. From what Elizabeth had told him, Benedict had been diagnosed as a sociopath by two separate doctors, molested Elizabeth at an early age, and then laughed in her face when no one believed her. He also had a nasty habit of peeing in other people’s drinks. During one of his last relationships he had moved in with his now ex-girlfriend, and had taken to peeing in the fish tank, the food containers and about everything else in the house, as well as having anal sex with his ex-girlfriend’s fourteen year old sister and his ex-girlfriend in the same day. Elizabeth also had suspicions that he had slept with the mother, though she could not confirm this. Not only this, but Benedict was also the main ecstasy provider for the county that he lived in, and had in one year spent 80,000 dollars on drugs for personal consumption. Benedict had told Reginald himself that one of the drug dealers that he worked with would only take phone calls at a certain appointed time, and when he had walked into the dealer’s house on one occasion he had seen the walls covered with assault rifles and a couple kilos of heroin just sitting on the table. Benedict had spent some time running drugs for this man.

All these reasons aside Reginald decided to take Benedict’s advice over his mental health professionals’, and when Benedict gave him the pills and a cup of water (an open cup of water), Reginald swallowed the pills with the feeling that this might be his last night on Earth.

Better to go out with a bang, he thought.

They went outside the tent after taking the pills and waited for them to kick in. They got to talking about The Chappelle’s Show and how they all lamented the fact that it was no longer on the air.

“It was one of the best shows on television,” Elizabeth remarked.

They all agreed.

“Did you see the episode with Rick James?” Reginald asked.

“That was bullshit,” Benedict said. “I fucked a guy’s couch once, that nigga didn’t do shit.”

Reginald broke out into hysterical laughing for a moment, and it was hard to tell if it was the ecstasy coming on, or if he was just particularly tickled by the idea of Benedict fucking a guy’s couch. He laughed until tears came from his eyes, and just when it seemed that he had a hold on it he burst out laughing all over again. “I fucked a guy’s couch…” he said. “Jeez.”

Reginald wiped the tears from his eyes. He could feel the ecstasy coming on strong now. He was filled with euphoria. This was almost better than heroin, though he could be thinking that because he hadn’t done heroin in eight years and didn’t really remember it that well.  He got up, and they all decided to go see what music was playing.

On the trip down to the field, Benedict gave Reginald another E pill.

Reginald was filled with love. He loved Benedict, and he loved everyone that he passed, but he loved Elizabeth most of all. They held hands as they walked. Elizabeth had done herself up real pretty. She was wearing a green and yellow tie die shirt, and had green mascara on. Reginald thought she was the most beautiful woman in the entire world, and he was elated that she was here with him. More than anything he wanted to have sex with her, but he knew that would come. They now had a very active sexual relationship, and it was something they both thoroughly enjoyed.

The road down to the concert was unpaved, and there were many other fellow travelers along it. People were dressed in all sorts of unusual attire, and carried colorful lights and other marvelous things that caught Reginald’s attention. It was like he was a child all over again, and was wide eyed in the candy store, looking at an oversize lollipop. It was getting hard to walk, and Reginald was relieved when they finally got to the field. He could feel waves of unadulterated pleasure sweeping over him like a constant orgasm. So this is ecstasy, he thought, what the hell have I been doing with my life until now? He quickly made up his mind that this was his favorite drug of all time, and he’d tried pretty much every kind. Heroin was fun, but it made him doped out, and he had puked last time while at dinner with his grandma coming down from it. Coke was a blast, and it made him feel like god, but to be honest it was essentially simulated mania, and he felt pretty much the same when he was having an episode. The biggest difference was that mania was free, and lasted longer. Ecstasy just made him love more. That was the feeling he felt. He couldn’t understand why the government had made this illegal. He wasn’t dangerous while under the influence of this drug, but he might fuck everyone he sees. Man, woman, whatever, he didn’t care. Not only did everyone look better, but he was getting aroused just feeling Elizabeth running circles on his palm.

When they came to the field the music was blaring. Reginald could barely stand. They all lay down in the grass, and tried to relax as much as possible. Elizabeth started tracing her fingers up Reginald’s arm, and then back down again. He had never felt sensations like this before; it was like his entire body was the head of a gigantic penis. Every nerve was tingling, and his head lolled back and forth.

The stage was moving down below them, and there was a teeming mass of people that looked like a roiling pot of water on the stove, fluctuating, vicissitudinal, one collection of flesh, and sweat, and pleasure. Reginald wanted to get down there and dance, but was unable to move. The most effort that he was able to expend was to half sit up, resting on his elbows next to Elizabeth, and look from the stage to the woods, to the stars.

Benedict gave Elizabeth and Reginald their leave and went down to be closer to the stage. Reginald looked up at Elizabeth. She was so beautiful. More beautiful than anyone he had ever seen, and his relationship with her was so special. He loved her more than he had ever loved anyone before in his life. “I want to marry you,” he said. “Hell, if they had a priest here I’d marry you right now.”

She gazed over at him. “I want to marry you too.”

United in this moment of extreme bliss and euphoria the two lovers lay next to each other, letting the waves of pleasure roll over them. There could be no love greater than theirs. They had loved each other since they were children. Their idea of love was defined by the other person. They were the physical embodiment of love to each other. Romeo and Juliet didn’t have shit on them. Romeo and Juliet was teenage infatuation. What Reginald and Elizabeth had was a mature, steadfast love that had lasted for three-quarters of their life already, and showed no signs of stopping. Reginald was overcome by it.

“Let’s head back to the tent,” he said. “I want to be alone with you.”

Elizabeth agreed emphatically, and they slowly got up, though it was difficult. Reginald was stumbling the whole way back, and stopped to use one of the portable toilets. He was in there for some time, and when he came out Elizabeth said, “There were two toilets in there, and I don’t think you hit either one. I could hear you pissing on everything else though.”

Reginald laughed. “Nothing on me is there?”

Elizabeth shook her head.

“I didn’t think so,” Reginald said.

They made their way up to the tent and, after getting some gum for their grinding teeth and drinking plenty of water they got inside.

“I have never wanted to have sex so badly,” Reginald said.

“I know what you mean,” Elizabeth replied.

They had a separate, smaller tent than the one Benedict had, and it only had room for a queen size air mattress. Reginald started to get undressed, but was having some difficulty doing so. Elizabeth helped him, and then got undressed herself. The sensation of the cool night air on their exposed skin was delightful, and they were already quite aroused. Reginald kissed Elizabeth, deeply and passionately, and the sensation was incredible. It was electric as she caressed his skin, and he could never remember a time that he had been more in love. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He always had. Ecstasy was only intensifying every feeling that he had ever felt for her, and he was overcome with emotion. They made love, discovering one another’s body in ways they never had before. He was elated just to be alive, and to be with her, here in the middle of nowhere, the music driving their passion as they embraced.

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