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Leaving Albuquerque

My best friend and I stopped using the same night. We had been on a roller coaster the last summer before leaving Albuquerque. I was starting my grad program back east in September, and this was our summer.

The ride started right after graduation, that night, actually. She dropped it on my tongue. She was already high, and looked so beautiful I couldn't resist the temptation. That night under the influence of Ecstasy, we made love for what seemed like 100 times over 1000 years. Intertwined together, we stopped only for wine and pasta.

We never took X together again, because we knew our friendship would crumbled under the pressure of the chemistry between us. We loved each other, but never made love again until the last night.

Drinking cheap wine and trying new trips became our theme together. New music, new art, new dance and new drugs expanded our experiences in ways we never expected. The world became more clear and more fuzzy at the same time. Experiencing it while holding each other was our foundation, our connection to reality.

Heroin marked the month of August. It was the last frontier. We cooked it carefully, and used it cautiously. We could feel the danger of the experience, but we also knew the regret of not conquering this final frontier. We agree that August would be the beginning and the end of it.

The last night she held the needle against my arm and rubbed my face as the first wave hit. Tomorrow I was leaving. Tomorrow I would return to sobriety. Tomorrow I would be on an airplane alone. Tonight was our night, our final night together.

She peeled away my clothes and made love to me. I was powerless to stop her between the waves coursing through my blood, and the waves of her hands on my skin.

"Are you sure you have to go tomorrow?" She asked. I just smiled, and she knew.

"What will you do?" I had to ask. Because in spite of myself I knew she loved me in a way I couldn't return. Ecstasy made me powerless against her femininity, but out from under the influence, it was beautiful strong men that captivated my interest and my desire.

"I'm going somewhere awesome. Don't you worry your precious heart." She said with certainty. "Just close your eyes and hold me this last night."

My muscles were useless. I laid there watching her cook the witches' brew. Tomorrow I would be clean and she would be pure, but tonight was our last high.

She pushed the Magic into her vein for what seemed like hours. I watched the needle draw the tiny red cloud. Again, I saw the cloud. The drug made my mind rewind several times. Red cloud, then the plunger slid forward. The red cloud, then plunger. Red cloud, seemed different this time. Where was she going?

Her naked body curled to mine. They seem to fit together. Our hearts beat together. Our breath was in rhythm. Everything slows.

Suddenly, I knew where she was going. I knew the awesome place she expected to find. I knew the destination of her precious heart, yet I was unable to reach out.

Our breathing slowed, then stopped for a moment. I gasped. My eyes opened. I felt her going to her awesome place. I felt her slipping, yet I could do nothing but hold her while she left.

Early in the morning I slid out of bed and left her lay. I dressed, kissed her on the forehead, dialed 911 from her phone, and quietly stepped out the door.

Six blocks down I boarded the bus bound for ABQ as Metro police rolled by with lights on, but no siren.

We both left Albuquerque quietly.


  1. This character snapshot was inspired by a postcard that has been haunting me.


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