And when you wake up up in a city the you don’t recognize, and the website traffic lights blink angry, that is not due to the fact that the city has actually grown cold. That is not since your hand no much longer fit his.It is due to the fact that it is someone else’s rotate to lean the end her home window in come the cold, cold morning and also say,“Baby, watch at every those website traffic lights, blinking their way into dawn.”

Sarah Kay

By the time the sun begins to sink below the horizon, transforming the sky blood orange the group of girlfriend decides to venture towards Strawberry Fields, and pay homage to man Lennon. Along the way, they protect against alongside the lake and sit down on a bench near Bow Bridge. Directly across the lake, the above Dakota Hotel looms and also reflects in the glassy water. A swan glides throughout the lake, sending ripples out in every direction. Clara leans her head on Silas's shoulder, “It feels favor it’s continue in slow motion,” she says barely over a whisper and she feel Oliver nod his head in agreement. She wipes a tear from her cheek, emotion that if they stayed there, the minute would just proceed in perpetuity.

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“It’s perfect,” Oliver agrees.

“It’s choose we're city hall a relocating painting,” Silas says and then pauses, “Did I just say that out loud?”

Just like that, the serenity is disturbed through the group's uproarious laughter and also the swan flies conveniently away.

Daylight fading faster by the minute, the park is practically shrouded in darkness by the moment they arrive at john Lennon’s memorial. Together they approach, Clara feels she chest tightening and also hears yelling coming from up ahead. She grasps Silas’s hand and also draws close to him. The looks back at her and also winks, “Just new York, come on,” the tugs she forward.

The sudden adjust in bright proves difficult to change to, and also Clara’s body is sporadically fluctuating between temperatures, leave her v feverish cold sweats. Looking down at her hands, she becomes suddenly conscious of the blueish highway of her veins. She feels like she deserve to sense her blue blood relocating through the thin superficial veins and pumping into her arteries — she have the right to feel the slow-moving steady drumming of she heart. “It’s simply the acid,” she speak herself, unsure even if it is or no she actually said it aloud. Either way, no one seems to notice.

When they arrive at the circular memorial, littered v dying flowers, they an alert two males in ragged tie-dye shirt screaming at one another. “We’re not in Neverland anymore,” Clara says, this time understanding that she’s spoken out loud since she is surprised at the volume that her very own throaty voice. She notices how hopeless these men look — favor they space stuck in some purgatorial place between an anti-war protest and also a Beatles concert, not rather able to join the twenty-first century.

“Imagine,” Silas says, “Imagine being prefer that,” and he shakes his head wearily.

Clara notices exactly how manic his eyes look every one of the sudden. Silas is looking on the scene choose a crazed animal. She watches him light a cigarette and he takes a heavy drag together his hand trembles slightly.

“You look like you simply saw a ghost,” she nudges him and tries to feign some feeling of playfulness due to the fact that she knows all too well that these males remind Silas of something he i will not ~ dare recognize — something unsettling in that is familiarity and fragility. The truth that life or a moment might ever it is in so delicate seemed to break the balance in Silas.

Suddenly emotion a surge of energy and also the instinct to protect herself and her friends from every little thing was around to happen, Clara shakes Silas and also pulls that close come her. She grins at Oliver and also the others.

“Let’s run,” she whispers into Silas’s ear.

“What?” that responds with his eye still glazed over, staring in ~ the old men.

“Let’s RUN!” Clara yells and also grabs their hands.

The group begins sprinting ago towards the lake, laughing favor unmedicated runaways native the asylum. After ~ all, this is just how they dealt with anything and everything that also made them slightly uncomfortable or fear — they ran as fast and as much as they can in the opposite direction. It never mattered what was in the other direction so long as lock felt the sirloin of wait on their faces and the civilization under your feet top top the way there.


*

*

Despite the fact that main Park closes down at dark, the takes them about two hrs to actually leave. Together they walk hesitantly in the direction of to southwest exit, castle all feeling unsure which means they must go and whether or no they have actually the capability to navigate the looming city approximately them. The structures at Columbus Circle and the rushing noise of website traffic feel stark and unwelcoming contrasted with the park which has held castle womb-like because that hours. Silas stops anyone in their tracks.

“We require help,” he claims suddenly trying to pretend choose he no still madness high. “I’m going to speak to Neil,” he pulls out his phone and stares in ~ it, clearly unable to check out anything on the glowing screen.

Fortunately because that them, their friend Neil operated at a hotel near the park and had just acquired off work. A few minutes later, he meets them at the southeast exit and also smiles as he ideologies the group, “I am right here to guide you, mine children. We’re going to a party in Carrol Gardens,” that extends his arms in one of two people direction favor some great prophet involved save them.

Clara looks under at her phone because that the very first time in hours and realizes that is not also 9 o’clock.

“I feel prefer we’ve been here for millennia,” she claims giggling and also realizing she’s misplaced she shoes. She resembles some type of deranged forest creature, having actually rolled about in the grass and also run barefoot with the park all afternoon. The acid haze starts to subside and also — while the guys couldn’t treatment less — she realizes she is in desperate require of a shower before any type of other social engagement.

“Can us please go earlier to your’s first?” she pleads with Silas.

“Of course, mine wife. Stop go,” Silas says and the three boys and also Clara head towards the subway.


*

As lock peel right into the uptown subway terminal the petrichor of coming rain lingers in the air and also Clara knows without a doubt the it will be pouring rain by the moment they come downtown. The subway gets hosted up in the tunnel external Union Square. If hell is a place — that is gift high top top acid and stuck ~ above a brand-new York City subway vehicle on a Friday night in the summertime. The air inside the automobile feels wet and also smells choose gyros, irish Spring soap, and burnt bodega coffee. Clara is sitting next to Silas and also listening to him make jokes around some male that is ~ above the other side that the train car. Clara is acutely conscious that this male is in ~ earshot. She tries prodding Silas come encourage him to protect against talking, yet he barrels on. Clara looks at Oliver, that is sitting across from her. They barely preserving their composure, unsure whether or no they room most likely to explode right into laughter or screams.

“I feel choose everyone knows we’re top top acid,” she whispers in Silas’s ear. “Please shut up.”

The minute seems come stretch ~ above forever in every direction. Despite her numerous attempts, Silas continues to talk much louder than she feels is appropriate, and Oliver has actually committed come his handsome stoicism. Clara notices a man writing in his journal unbothered by the chaos approximately him, and also a little child tracing the subway present on the grimy map, and the old lady that’s analysis a spin-broken copy of War and Peace and also wiping sweat from her brow. Clara notices exactly how committed everyone appears to it is in to overlook the world roughly them, while additionally being vital part that it. New York City teaches everyone just how to commit come everything but people. The strikes Clara the this city is both satin and razorblade — willing to soothe and scar is one fell swoop.

Pulling it s her from she daydream, Clara looks end at Oliver that is quiet staring blankly ahead. The subway begins careening forward and as that pulls right into the station, Oliver looks she dead in the eye and also says, “Let’s acquire the crap outta here.” they both take Silas and also split out of the doors best as they slide open.

They race through the 14th street subway station, gripping every other’s hands. The method Clara’s hand slips therefore smoothly right into Oliver’s hand sends a rush of endorphins with her body setting her nerves ~ above end.

Once they’ve do their method inside Silas’s apartment, Clara pulls out her bag the cocaine and also pulls off she filthy trousers in one sweeping motion. The boys look at her and she laughs suddenly mindful of she stark pale legs and also her lacy underwear ~ above display. The moment only lasts a second, all of them still coming down from the mountain that is for sure stunting any sense of sexual energy. Clara sits under on the couch and begins she cocaine ritual and Silas starts rolling a spliff.

She slowly cuts up six lines. Rolling she bill and also inhaling deeply, she slides the bill throughout the mirror. She luxuriates in the hissing noise her nose makes once snorting a line. Instantaneously, she feels the stimulant rush overcoming the psychedelic high. She feels all of sudden alert and also aware of she body again. Acid had always been a challenging journey for Clara — blissful and daunting — she was always relieved when it ended. Cocaine offered as the perfect reset. She leans over and also hurriedly snorts an additional line, currently desperate to erase every feelings the psychedelics from she system. She leans earlier and closes her eyes. She feel the coke clearing her mind, leaving her feeling sharper. She tastes the petrol drip coming under from she sinuses. Clara tosses Silas the bill and jumps as much as go shower.

She pipeline the boys to their spliff smoking and mindless banter. Stepping right into the tiny bathroom, Clara opens the window and feel the now cool, wet waiting pour right into the room. She perches it s her on the ledge and lights a cigarette. Looking under at the street sixteen stories below, she feels like she deserve to see every single raindrop landing and fracturing the inky asphalt. She can hear them splashing right into dirty puddles and also then her fist refocuses ~ above the sound that the toilet — the silence is deafening.

Clara’s ears ring and the silence starts to sound like its own kind of music. The murmur and also laughter from the various other room seep in indigenous the cracked beneath the door. However somehow the boys feel a million mile away. She find solace there, knowing she is alone and likewise only procedures away from them; discovering they are near enough to with out and grab ahold that if the aloneness ever becomes too overwhelming. She sheds the rest of she clothes and also steps into the shower. Stand under the stream of piping hot water feeling every single drop fallout’s onto her bare skin. She watches together the dirt falls from her body and also creates a pattern in the pooled water near the drain. This is she baptism.

She lathers peppermint-scented soap over she skin and feels the way it electrifies her pores. “I am alive. Ns am here,” she whispers aloud to remind herself. She rubs her hands over she body and also notices the way skin emotional skin feels. She glides her hand onto she silk-skinned within thigh and also then places her hand on her vagina. She applies gentle pressure and also it sends a shiver up her spine and then down to she toes. She take away her tobacco from the ashtray ~ above the home window sill and also takes a sluggish drag. The file dampens, pressed between her prune-like finger. Methodically she transforms off the water and also steps out of the claw-footed tub.

Standing in prior of the mirror, soaking wet, Clara stares at her body. Her skin look at somehow new — prefer the psychedelics, blow, and being clean have actually turned her right into some sort of reptile that has burned a great of skin. Civilization have constantly told her not to watch at it s her in the mirror when she’s high ~ above LSD, yet she’s always found that to be spectacular. “I am this body,” she says and she continues rubbing the soft contours of her hips and also breasts.

“My wife, obtain the fuck out here,” Silas yells together Clara finishes dry herself off.


*

*

Clara knows precisely what time is it. Your friendship is tied together with a web of rituals and practices, each prescribed to a certain time and place. Lock love each various other through moment of music sung great to every other; sharing poems they’ve written; shots that cheap tequila followed by thick lines. These might seem choose artificial and toxic platitudes come some, however Silas and Clara ritualize everything in their friendship in stimulate to construct a world together.

Wrapping it s her up in a kimono, Clara walks ago into the living room. As she stand on one side of the apartment, Silas presses play on the iPod, and also the very first guitar riffs of “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman rumble the end of the speakers. This is your song. This is a ritual they’ve concerned call Tracy Time. Oliver and also Neil sit under on the couch, giving them the floor. Clara looks in ~ Silas and also he extends his hand, bowing to her. Clara’s eyes well up. She constantly cries once they dance to this song — partially from unavoidable intoxication but mostly due to the fact that it every feels too visceral for she to be affected by each other in these moments. She will out and also places her hand softly right into his, “Husband and wife shit,” she says and then that sweeps her right into a wild frenzy that faux-ballroom dancing while castle belt the end the text to the song. Give me one factor to stay here, and I’ll revolve right back around.

Spinning in circles roughly his apartment, they sing every line and the remainder of the human being slides away, ceasing come exist. Castle will carry out this same ritual a hundred times over the course of their friendship — most human being assuming the they are simply overemotional and also drunk, which would be true however not the point. Prefer so numerous things, the lyrics and rhythms that this song permeate Silas and also Clara in the same means — this is just how they feeling the people together.

The night blurs right into a montage that overpriced Ubers, skyline views from the BQE, and a kitchen table covered in cocaine at some girl’s brownstone in Brooklyn. They spend the night light cigarettes v the end of the persons they’re already smoking.

On the walk down Silas’s block, it is virtually sunrise and Clara notices how hauntingly beautiful the humid highways are at this hour. The blood-red fluorescent lights on the corner bodega reflect in the murky street water. Rats, — fatted from trashcan-Chinese food — scurry with side streets to avoid the speed of the morning sunlight that is because of creep over the horizon any minute now. Clara and also Silas prevent the resulting the sunlight the same way, other than through drugs, 40-oz Olde English, tequila, and also Marlboros — constantly avoiding drowning at dawn.

Arriving back in the safety of Silas’s apartment, they tear the sheets indigenous the bed and gather all the food-stained litter pillows. They construct a fortress from the bedsheets and crawl inside. They put down and stare up at the white towel hanging loosely above them. Transforming their heads towards each other, your noses virtually touch. Your mouths come with each other for one instant. Clara notes how their tongues — numb from an additional night the cocaine — feel choose limp day-old deli meat in she mouth. They pull back quickly.

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“It’s the acid,” she mumbles, “We’re still coming down. The was stupid.”

“Yeah,” Silas says nonchalantly as he lamp a cigarette and also laughs it off — cataloging it away v all the various other things they didn’t talk about.