I was walking through Barrhaven, on my way to meet Richard. My leather trench coat was warm in the summer sun, and sweat threatened to wash my makeup away, but I wasn’t concerned.

I passed a group of five ravers, and they all started laughing as I approached. “Oh, you’re not trying to look like anyone,” one of them shouted at me, “are you, Richard?”

I did my best to ignore them, and boarded a bus. After some time, the bus circled a mall, and passed one of the ravers. As the bus approached, he tore off his hoody, and his breakaway pants, revealing leather, and fishnets. I jumped off the bus, screaming at him, calling him a hypocrite, a liar, a fraud. I grabbed a pizza from a passing pedestrian, and threw it at him, before chasing him through the mall, hurling items and insults.

The rave was due to start any moment, and Corey had yet to find us any drugs. We didn’t care, we were looking for anything… pot, hash, acid, mushrooms, DXM, DMT, ecstasy, ketamine, blow, smack, whatever. Anything. Anything to fuck us up, to take us out of this work, to make us forget, make us dance, make us special.

The VIP’s were asked to come inside now, which meant we had to stop our search, and head into the rave. When I arrived in the VIP lounge, Paul K. had already found acid, as had Jessica, and one or two others of our group… I started searching frantically, and ended up stealing someone’s backpack, tearing it apart for any sign of drugs.

At the bottom, there were a few dozen tinfoil squares, and I tore them open, only to find them empty, time and time again. As the music began to swell, and the beat diffused through the room, I ripped open the last one, revealing a good, solid hit of acid.

I laughed in triumph, and the wind took it from my trembling fingers, where it was lost to the crowd.

It was a long time from now, and Jes and I were nearing middle age, having celebrated our hundredth anniversary. I brought one of our grandchildren to an arcade, and laughed, playing the games with him, showing him the ‘antiques’ of the video game world.

It occurred to me that I no longer spent any time playing, any time participating in this world, this childlike fun… I make a remark to that effect to Jessica, and she turned to me, a look of disgust on her face.

“You mean… you want to be a kid again? You want to go out and fucking play, and not give a damn? Oh, that’s responsible, Jairus, that’s real fucking adult of you.”