For eight hours Murph sat in Jack’s bathtub. He’d taken LSD and was tripping his brains out. “Look at the green,” he said over and over again. “Look at the green.” Jack’s bathroom was painted loud, tropical green. Jack was from Miami, so tropical colors were his norm. Each room in his house was done in a different color: wine and gold and paradise blue to name a few.
Jack was a dancer in UDC. Everyone thought he was one of the rare, straight male dancers, but that was because he hadn’t come out yet. Rell lived with him. Rell had tripped for two years straight and his brain was totally fried. He saw things in terms of his trips and only spoke that way. “Oh,” he would say, “that was trip number fifty-seven, mushrooms.” He was medium height and wiry with a full afro though he wasn’t black. After Jack came out, well, maybe Rell was his lover, maybe not.
Hiding that he was gay, Jack ended up aggravating a lot of people on both sides of the field. Some of the gays were piqued because he’d snubbed them, even rebuffed them. The straight male friends were irked because they’d changed clothes side by side, even skinny dipped together. Some of the straights wondered what kind of game Jack was running. Really, though, in the end, it was just his inadequacies.
Jack had two humongous cats, both grey tiger stripes. Everyone had taken mescaline and smoked a whole lot of dope. Murph had popped some reds too and he was drinking white wine from the bottle. Led Zeppelin was playing on the stereo. They were in the kitchen hanging out and it took awhile before anyone noticed that the cats had caught a mouse and were playing with it by sitting on opposite sides of the kitchen and batting it across the room. Murph had snuck up on Annabelle and wrapped her in his arms. He was kissing and nibbling on her back. Jack was baking hash brownies and Rell wore a flowered apron over his jeans and t shirt. He was barefoot and so was Annabelle. She and Rell were planning to do their toes red. “Red toes,” Rell said, “that was trip one hundred. MDA.”
Tim came in from outside, and stepping into the kitchen, he was the one who noticed the cats. “Don’t you see what the cats are doing?” He was freaked. Jack just handed him the joint being passed around and Rell said, “Trip number twenty-three, mice and cats. That was purple dot acid.”
“My first trip was purple dot acid,” Murph said. “I took it going through the midtown tunnel in New York. We were on our way to the Fillmore East.”
“The mouse is still alive,” Tim said.
“Have a brownie,” Jack said, taking they tray out of the oven. They all watched, mesmerized, as the cats battered the life from the defenseless mouse.
Meet Murph in depth: I See My Light, a contemporary novel coming soon on Amazon.