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

Sarah Kay

By the time the sun starts to sink below the horizon, turning the sky blood orange the team of friends decides to endeavor towards Strawberry Fields, and pay homage to man Lennon. Follow me the way, they protect against alongside the lake and also sit down on a bench near Bow Bridge. Directly throughout the lake, the above Dakota Hotel looms and reflects in the glassy water. A swan glides throughout the lake, sending ripples out in every direction. Clara leans her head ~ above Silas's shoulder, “It feels prefer it’s happening in slow-moving motion,” she states barely over a whisper and she feeling Oliver nod his head in agreement. She wipes a tear from she cheek, emotion that if they remained there, the moment would just proceed in perpetuity.

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“It’s perfect,” Oliver agrees.

“It’s favor we're city hall a moving painting,” Silas says and also then pauses, “Did I simply say that the end loud?”

Just choose that, the serenity is disturbed by the group's uproarious laughter and also the swan flies quickly away.

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

The sudden readjust in light proves challenging to readjust to, and Clara’s body is sporadically fluctuating between temperatures, leaving her v feverish cold sweats. Looking down at she hands, she i do not care suddenly mindful of the blueish highway of she veins. She feels favor she can sense she blue blood relocating through the slim superficial veins and pumping into her arteries — she deserve to feel the slow-moving steady drumming of she heart. “It’s just the acid,” she tells herself, unsure whether or no she actually said it aloud. One of two people way, no one seems to notice.

When they come at the one memorial, littered through dying flowers, they notification two males in ragged tie-dye shirt screaming at one another. “We’re no in Neverland anymore,” Clara says, this time understanding that she’s spoken out loud because she is surprised in ~ the volume of her very own throaty voice. She notices exactly how hopeless these men look — like they space stuck in some purgatorial place between an anti-war protest and also a Beatles concert, not fairly able to join the twenty-first century.

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

Clara notices just how manic his eye look all of the sudden. Silas is spring on the scene like a crazed animal. She the town hall him irradiate a cigarette and he takes a hefty drag as his hand trembles slightly.

“You look prefer you just saw a ghost,” she nudges him and also tries to feign some feeling of playfulness since she to know all as well well the these males remind Silas of something he i will not ~ dare identify — something unsettling in that is familiarity and also fragility. The fact that life or a moment can ever it is in so delicate seemed to break the balance in Silas.

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

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

“What?” he responds with his eyes still glazed over, staring at the old men.

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

The group begins sprinting earlier towards the lake, laughing like unmedicated runaways from the asylum. ~ all, this is just how they dealt with anything and also everything that even made them slightly uncomfortable or fear — lock ran as fast and also as much as they could in opposing direction. It never mattered what remained in the other direction so lengthy as castle felt the rush of waiting on their faces and also the people under your feet top top the means there.



Despite the fact that central Park closes under at dark, that takes them around two hrs to actually leave. As they go hesitantly towards to southwest exit, castle all feel unsure which method they need to go and whether or not they have actually the ability to navigate the looming city around them. The buildings at Columbus Circle and also the rushing noise of web traffic feel stark and also unwelcoming contrasted with the park which has held lock womb-like because that hours. Silas stops anyone in your tracks.

“We need help,” he claims suddenly trying to pretend prefer he no still insanity high. “I’m walking to call Neil,” he pulls out his phone and stares in ~ it, plainly unable to read anything on the shining screen.

Fortunately because that them, their friend Neil worked at a hotel near the park and also had just gained off work. A few minutes later, the meets them in ~ the south east exit and also smiles together he viewpoints the group, “I am here to overview you, mine children. We’re going to a party in Carrol Gardens,” he extends his arms in one of two people direction favor some an excellent prophet involved save them.

Clara looks down at her phone because that the very first time in hours and also realizes the 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 each other some type of deranged woodland creature, having rolled roughly in the grass and run barefoot with the park every afternoon. The acid haze begins to subside and — when the boys couldn’t care less — she realizes she is in desperate require of a shower head before any type of other society engagement.

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

“Of course, my wife. Let’s go,” Silas says and the three boys and Clara head towards the subway.


As lock peel into the uptown subway terminal the petrichor of coming rain lingers in the air and Clara to know without a doubt the it will certainly be putting rain by the moment they arrive downtown. The subway gets held up in the tunnel external Union Square. If hell is a place — that is being high on acid and stuck ~ above a brand-new York City subway auto on a Friday night in the summertime. The air within the vehicle feels wet and also smells like gyros, irish Spring soap, and burnt bodega coffee. Clara is sitting alongside Silas and listening to him do jokes about some man that is top top the various other side that the train car. Clara is acutely aware that this guy is in ~ earshot. She make the efforts prodding Silas to encourage that to stop talking, yet he barrels on. Clara looks in ~ Oliver, that is sitting throughout from her. Castle barely keeping their composure, unsure even if it is or no they space most most likely to explode right into laughter or screams.

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

The minute seems to stretch top top forever in every direction. Despite her plenty of attempts, Silas proceeds to talk lot louder 보다 she feeling is appropriate, and also Oliver has committed to his handsome stoicism. Clara notices a guy writing in his newspaper unbothered by the chaos roughly him, and a small child tracing the subway lines on the grimy map, and the old lady that’s reading a spin-broken copy of War and also Peace and also wiping sweat from she brow. Clara notices how committed everyone appears to it is in to ignore the world around them, while also being an important part of it. Brand-new York City teaches everyone exactly how to commit to everything but people. That strikes Clara the this city is both satin and razorblade — willing to soothe and also scar is one dropped swoop.

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

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

Once they’ve made their way inside Silas’s apartment, Clara pulls the end her bag the cocaine and pulls off she filthy trousers in one scan motion. The guys look at her and she laughs suddenly mindful of she stark pale legs and her lacy underwear ~ above display. The minute only big a second, every one of them still coming down from the mountain that is for sure stunting any type of sense of sexual energy. Clara sits down on the couch and begins she cocaine ritual and Silas starts rolling a spliff.

She progressively cuts up 6 lines. Rolling her bill and also inhaling deeply, she slides the bill throughout the mirror. She luxurious in the hissing noise her sleep makes once snorting a line. Instantaneously, she feel the stimulant sirloin overcoming the psychedelic high. She feels unexpectedly alert and aware of she body again. Mountain had always been a difficult journey for Clara — blissful and daunting — she was constantly relieved when it ended. Cocaine offered as the perfect reset. She leans over and also hurriedly snorts one more line, now desperate come erase every feelings that psychedelics from her system. She leans earlier and closes her eyes. She feeling the coke clearing she mind, leaving her feeling sharper. She tastes the gasoline drip coming down from she sinuses. Clara tosses Silas the bill and also jumps approximately go shower.

She leaves the boys to their spliff smoking and also mindless banter. Stepping right into the little bathroom, Clara opens up the home window and feeling the currently cool, wet waiting pour 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 have the right to see every single raindrop landing and also fracturing the inky asphalt. She deserve to hear castle splashing right into dirty puddles and then her attention refocuses on the sound of the bathroom — the silence is deafening.

Clara’s ear ring and also the silence begins to sound like its own kind of music. The murmur and also laughter from the other room seep in indigenous the cracked beneath the door. Yet somehow the boys feeling a million mile away. She find solace there, understanding she is alone and additionally only actions away indigenous them; learning they space near enough to with out and grab ahold of if the aloneness ever before becomes too overwhelming. She sheds the remainder of she clothes and steps into the shower. Stand under the currently of piping warm water feeling every solitary drop fallout’s onto she bare skin. She watches together the dirt drops from she body and creates a sample in the pooled water near the drain. This is her baptism.

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

Standing in front of the mirror, soaking wet, Clara stares at she body. She skin looks somehow brand-new — choose the psychedelics, blow, and also being clean have turned her into some type of reptile the has melted a great of skin. People have constantly told her no to look at herself in the mirror as soon as she’s high on LSD, however she’s constantly found that to be spectacular. “I to be this body,” she says and also she continues rubbing the soft border of her hips and also breasts.

“My wife, get the fuck the end here,” Silas yells together Clara finishes drying herself off.



Clara knows specifically what time is it. Your friendship is tied in addition to a net of rituals and also practices, every prescribed come a certain time and place. They love each various other through moments of music sung great to each other; share poems they’ve written; shots the cheap tequila adhered to by thick lines. These may seem prefer artificial and toxic platitudes come some, however Silas and also Clara ritualize whatever in their friendship in bespeak to build a human being together.

Wrapping herself up in a kimono, Clara walks back into the life room. Together she stands on one side of the apartment, Silas presses pat on the iPod, and the first guitar riffs of “Give Me One Reason” through Tracy Chapman rumble out of the speakers. This is their song. This is a routine they’ve pertained to call Tracy Time. Oliver and also Neil sit down on the couch, providing them the floor. Clara looks at Silas and also he expand his hand, bowing to her. Clara’s eyes fine up. She always cries once they dance to this song — partially from inevitable intoxication but mostly due to the fact that it all feels also visceral for her to bear in this moments. She get out and also places her hand softly into his, “Husband and also wife shit,” she says and also then he sweeps her into a wild frenzy that faux-ballroom dancing while lock belt the end the lyrics to the song. Give me one factor to stay here, and I’ll revolve right earlier around.

Spinning in circles about his apartment, they song every line and also the remainder of the world slides away, ceasing come exist. Lock will carry out this same ritual a hundred times over the course of their friendship — most people assuming that they are simply overemotional and also drunk, which would certainly be true yet not the point. Choose so many things, the lyrics and also rhythms that this song pass through Silas and also Clara in the same way — this is how they feel the people together.

The night blurs into a montage the overpriced Ubers, skyline views from the BQE, and a kitchen table spanned in cocaine at some girl’s brownstone in Brooklyn. They invest the night lighting cigarettes v the finish of the ones they’re currently smoking.

On the walk down Silas’s block, that is almost sunrise and Clara notices exactly how hauntingly beautiful the humid roadways are in ~ this hour. The blood-red fluorescent lamp on the corner bodega reflect in the murky street water. Rats, — fatted native trashcan-Chinese food — scurry v side highways to stop the flash of the morning sunlight that is because of creep over the horizon any minute now. Clara and Silas protect against the coming of the sunlight the exact same way, except through drugs, 40-oz Olde English, tequila, and Marlboros — always avoiding drowning at dawn.

Arriving earlier in the safety of Silas’s apartment, castle tear the sheets native the bed and also gather all the food-stained throw pillows. They develop a fortress native the bedsheets and also crawl inside. They put down and also stare up in ~ the white cloth hanging loosely over them. Transforming their heads in the direction of each other, your noses virtually touch. Their mouths come together for one instant. Clara notes exactly how their tongues — numb from another night the cocaine — feel favor limp day-old deli meat in her mouth. Castle pull back quickly.

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

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