Murph did it again. He got up and went outside and brought Annabelle back in.
“At least go out in the back,” he said.
“So we don’t have to worry about the cops.”
“They’d like seeing me naked.”
“Yeah, but they’d still arrest you.”
“You’re no fun.”
“You want fun?”
“Gonna shoot at my target?”
They spent the next hour in the tub painting each other with washable finger paints. When they were tired, they sat naked in the tub and stared at their work. Murph could not speak for Annabelle, but for him, the colors danced on her body and formed into patterns which then became animated and moved over her. Several times he found himself touching her, but when he did, he wasn’t touching her. He was petting a dog or stroking a cat.
Annabelle did not move for a long time. She did not react as Murph touched her except to bark when he said good dog. She did reach for him once when she thought it was a hot dog.
Finally Murph stood. He saw that outside was getting dark and he knew soon they would be on the down side of the trip. He turned on the shower and slid the shower curtain closed. Annabelle did not stand up. She let the water hit her as it did and watched both on her and on Murph as the paints thinned and dripped to the tub’ s floor and then swirled on down the drain. When they were both mostly clean of colors, Murph helped Annabelle up. He kissed her long and hard and then he turned her so the water could wash away the paints from where she’d been sitting.
“When I close my eyes, I see abstract rainbows across the blue sky but the rainbows are bleeding their colors,” Annabelle said.
“I see a big hot air balloon,” Murph said.
“Jack and Rell are lovers,” Annabelle said, “and I’m going to pee.” She let the pee flow from her not caring that it sprayed over Murph’s legs and feet. She thought it was hilarious actually and she was quite pleased with herself.
“Jack is gay?”
“In the closet. I’m not supposed to tell anyone.”
“You’re telling me.”
“You’re not anyone.”
“Anyhow, fried-brain Rell lives with him. They’re not roommates.”
“Why does he hide it?”
“Why does anyone do anything?”
“Damn,” Murph said. “All the times we’ve been naked together, you know, changing and skinny dipping and all that.”
“Yeah. He was looking at you and you were looking at me.”
“What’s Rell’s real story?”
“He fried his brain on trip number six. Bad acid. Bad trip. Major damage. Now he’s Jack’s boy-toy and Jack keeps him in drugs. Rell’s the poster child for why drugs should never be used.”
“Speaking of which,” Murph said, “when we get out of here I’m taking more ludes, smoking a joint and listening to music.”
“And then you and me are holding each other tight and fading into the night.”
“I have a bald coochie,” Annabelle said.
Annabelle made canned tomato soup for them to eat. They had the leftover tuna too. The last hours of the trip were gentle compared to some trips, but that was because they pumped themselves full of downers. They finished the Quaaludes and drank the last bottle of wine. They watched the TV with the sound muted and listened to music. A long while they didn’t stir. Annabelle leaned her head on Murph’s shoulder and closed her eyes . Murph watched the TV people and saw many images that were not there. Round about eleven, they smoked another joint, took the last of the downers and went off to bed. Murph made sure the black beauties were there for the morning. He knew they’d need the speed.
Note: The State of Massachusetts is soon voting on whether or not to legalize Marijuana. Marijuana is a gateway drug and should not be legalized. Decriminalized yes. Used medicinally, yes. Annabelle and Murph are depictions of real people with real experiences. They illustrate clearly why the drug should not be legalized. In AA they say: man takes a drink, drink takes a drink, drink takes the man. Need anymore be said?