An autumnal Friday evening, the beginning of the weekend. Roz opened the Ziploc bag of shrooms that I'd brought back from some friends on campus; she split them somewhat 50-50, and gave me the choice of which half to consume. We then consumed our repective halves, washing it all down with some Perrier from my old soda-fountain Coke glass.

She also had the last of Andy's Hash from Hell, given to her by me after I'd experienced some over-weirdness with it. Roz had no fear of weirdness, so she gladly took it off my hands; seeing that chunk again made me wonder if it wasn't, in fact, growing, a testament to its from-hell-ness. Tonight, I will have no fear of weird, I decided.

"Jesus died for somebody's sins,
but not mine..."

Roz had put Horses on the stereo.

"Mister Al", Donny's uncle, was there, having just fixed Donny's busted closet door, which had fallen victim to some horseplay a week before. Donny himself was with Marky, Roz's boyfriend; they'd left on a run to the Fast Fare, to pick up some smokes and a six-pack of beer -- neither of them had any interest in the shrooms; they would content themselves with brew, bong hits, and baseball on the idiot box.

Mister Al, despite his age, was UU-liberal cool about our shrooming, but his cool had been tested on some of his visits here, with some of my friends sporting odd-cut or odd-colored hair, odd hygiene habits, or suspicious marks and scars on their arms. I took the safety pin out of my earlobe, and handed it to Roz.

"You're going to wipe that off, aren't you?", Al asked.

"...people say 'beware!'
but I don't care
the words are just
rules and regulations to me..."

Roz dutifully cleaned all potential traces of unsanitary earlobe goo from the pin by wiping it against her jeans, the same jeans she'd been wearing all week. She twisted the pin into a perpendicular V, stuck a piece of the hash on its point, then lit the hash and placed the pin on the coffee table; I placed the now-emptied Coke glass, upside-down, on top of it, and the smoke collected inside. We sat on the carpet, across the table from each other, and took turns inelegantly sucking the collected smoke out of the glass.

" she comes
waltzin' through the hall
in a pretty red dress
and oh, she looks so good,
oh, she looks so fine
and I got this crazy feeling
that I'm gonna ah-ah make her mine..."

"Marky and Donny have been gone awhile, no?", I asked.

"Yes, they have, haven't they?"

"What if they don't come back?" Just joking.

"If Marky's not coming back, then I could take a look under your hood, so to speak, and see if that was a rocket in your pocket."

"If Marky wasn't coming back, maybe I could explore the possibility that you weren't kidding when you said your knickers had the anarchy sign all over them, and I could explore your lovely legs-and-ass combo to see if you had any cute little birthmarks."

"I could wrap those legs around you and hold you in place while I tore off your t-shirt and spread peanut butter on your torso in preparation for licking it off you."

"Peanut butter?"

"I like peanut butter."

"I could ask you the name of that weird lipstick you're wearing, and, if the name was something edible, taste to see if it was anything like its namesake."

"I'd tell you it was tangerine, but I'd be lying."

"Tell me your name!", I sang. And Roz joined in, upping the stereo's volume to rent-party level.

"...she told me her name
she whispered to me,
she told me her name
and her name is,
and her name is,
and her name is,
and her name is G-L-O-R-I-A
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria..."

And we sang to the end of the song at the top of our lungs, with occasional grins at Al amidst our histrionics, for he looked a little perplexed at all our goings-on. As the song faded out, Donny and Marky returned to the apartment with their supplies for the evening.

The shrooms kicked in after a while, and I was beginning to giddily lose track of balls, strikes, and outs, much to the amusement of Donny and Marky. Roz, bored with the baseball game, went over to the living-room window and stood looking outside for the longest time; I would glance over at her on occasion, hearing G-L-O-R-I-A in my head. She beckoned me over, and I saw what it was that had her attention: the fall colors -- fine purples, reds, and golds, lit by the streetlights along Highway 54. We stood there, marveling at the show of hues, standing next to each other, close, but not so close as to take Marky's mind off of baseball.