Part III – Chemical Death
My Chemical Romance – we were born to lose.
“It was that last time with Henry,” Grif was explaining what had happened after they left.
“I don't get it Grif,” Joel replied.
“No, me neither,” Jack added.
“How could you start losing your memory after a session with Henry?”
“Yeah, you don't ever do anything with him. He just watches.”
“What are you two? A bloody double act!”
They were back downstairs in the lounge. Grif had had the brief guided tour of the house and an even briefer account of Professor Madison, Operation Weatherman et al. It was when Joel started talking about having lived here with his little brother, that was when they got onto the memory loss thing.
“What actually happened?” Joel was eager to know.
“We took something. I don't know what. I mean it felt fucking amazing. It was one hell of a high... and the sex... wow!”
“We? You said we... and the sex. Sex with who? Who were the we?”
Jack also looked like he wanted to know and he was wondering exactly the same thing.
“Two kids. Twins. Mark and Steve. You could hardly tell them apart.”
“I don't remember any twins at the club,” Joel thought about it, but he didn't even think there were any boys called Steve or Mark. “Where did they come from?”
“Henry brought them.”
“And that's when you started losing bits of your memory?” Joel couldn't help thinking this was somehow connected with him. With the gaps he had in his own recollections.
“It wasn't exactly like that, we had this really amazing session. Like I forgot Henry was even there watching. I don't mean that it was the drugs. No man! I was just so into it. Like lost in the sex. I didn't know who was who, where one body ended and another started. It was like some kind of surreal orgy, that just went on and on. I lost any sense of time. I was fucking and screwing around, and hard like I was gonna orgasm, but I never came. I was there on the brink. God It’s difficult to describe.”
“Okay,” Joel really needed something a bit more clear than Grif’s description of a wild sex orgy. “So the mixed up memory thing. That happened after?”
“Yeah. Kado was talking to me. Telling me what was going on, where I had to go. Which was to find you. Thing is, I would only get parts of the conversation. It was like drifting off. Like I just kinda fell unconscious for a minute, or a few seconds. I don't know for how long. Then my head was all sort of blurry. But I felt better when I woke up. I'm just not sure I'm like one hundred percent. You know what I mean? Like maybe something’s missing, not quite right.”
“It's not like that for me,” Joel told him. “I used to get little flashes of past memory. I would half remember things. Names. I just didn't know who they were. Couldn't put the pieces together. But It’s coming back. More and more.”
“You think it’s getting worse for you?” Jack asked.
“Since when did you stop being the annoying little git and start being concerned about people?” Grif had had enough of discussing himself. He would like answers, but comparing symptoms was not likely to provide them.
“Probably since the club when you...” Jack suddenly felt embarrassed to say what he was going to in front of Joel.
“Oh yeah,” Grif replied. “When I fucked you.”
Joel couldn't help a smile forming on his lips. He remembered how annoying Jack had been and how Grif had lost patience with him. He easily recalled all that and he was amused at the boy's coyness.
They got no further in either discovering anything about what caused anyone’s memory problems or in deciding what to do next. All they did manage was something to eat and that was only because Joel had lit up another joint and another after that, when quite suddenly they got the munchies. A craving for something sweet, which finished with a search of the kitchen freezer, where they found nothing at all. Followed by opening cupboards, until Jack came across a vacuum packed sultana cake.
“That'll be okay,” Joel began sharing it out.
It was probably a cake for eight, but the three of them polished it off in record time.
Jack actually made everyone nearly die laughing, when he told them in such a sincerely innocent voice, “That must be the best ever sultana cake I’ve ever had... IN MY LIFE!”
Well that's what getting stoned can do to you. You get a craving for something sweet and you roll around laughing at the most stupid comments. It did serve one good purpose though, it relieved the stress.
“You remember that guy Grif don't you?” Mark was next to Steve, talking in a whisper. It looked like Kado was asleep on the seat opposite. He certainly didn't want to wake him, and he certainly didn't want him listening in on their conversation.
“Of course. That's kind of a stupid question.” Steve was not about to forget their encounter with Grif, it was epic.
“If we're following him, that means we get to meet up again.”
“That's obvious Mark. Are you in love with the guy, or what?”
Mark looked away. Steve had embarrassed his brother, perhaps he was... in love with Grif. Mark was the emotional, romantic, he easily fell in love with anyone. On the other hand, Steve was reserved, tended to question motives, and would have sex, but not commit his feelings.
“I like him... quite a lot.”
If he had been talking to anyone else other than his brother, Mark would never have shared that confidence. But the two of them, even if they were exact opposites in nearly everything, were very close.
“You get too easily attached to people.”
“But I think he likes me... us.”
“Why? We had sex once. Why do you think he would have any more feelings than just getting his rocks off?”
“I just do. It's what I felt.”
“Nah. Sorry Mark, but I don't think so. It's just you projecting your feelings onto him.”
Mark considered that argument, but he still thought there was something more than sex to their encounter. He kept silent, just running the whole thing through his mind. It actually made him start to get hard as he thought about what they had done together.
The car sped onwards, the soft purr of the engine the only sound that indicated they were moving. Moving forward, but where to?
“The thing about getting stoned,” Grif was taking a lung full of the joint Jack had passed him.
The conversation hung for several seconds before he exhaled a cloud of smoke, scrunched up his eyes, and stretched out an arm towards Joel to pass it on.
“The thing is,” he repeated sputtering, almost coughing.
Jack looked at him, hooked on whatever it was Grif was about to say. As if it would be some immense insight that had popped into his head, and that he was about to share with the world.
Joel took the joint, regarded it. Examining it like it was a glass of vintage wine that needed to be studied and appreciated, before partaking.
“What?” He asked looking up from the joint, which still had not found it’s way to his lips.
He licked a finger and applied the moist saliva to one side of the cigarette paper. Apparently it was burning unevenly.
“What do you mean what?” Grif retorted.
All three of them were by this point very stoned and having some difficulty putting words together in any kind of normal fashion.
“You were saying – The thing about getting stoned is?” Joel was curious to discover the pearl of wisdom Grif was about to tell them.
“Oh yeah,” Grif looked like he had suddenly been shunted back on track. “Well it either, makes me sleepy, gives me the munchies, or makes me horny.”
Grif's hand was now griping a fairly obvious bulge in his jeans.
“Or all three,” Jack smiled, really amused at where this conversation might be leading.
“Or yes, all three. But right now it’s more horny. So what are the sleeping arrangements here?”
This made Jack laugh. “I thought you were horny? Maybe you need to sleep though?”
Jack was playing. He enjoyed being a tease.
Grif looked across at him. “You know what happened last time you played the tease and annoyed me?”
“Yeah. How could I forget, you horn dog.”
Now Joel was laughing. It was like watching a scene from a play and totally amusing. He wondered who would end up in bed with whom. Maybe he thought, when he considered this, they might all sleep together.
“Come on, let's go to bed,” he suggested.
And they did... go to bed... together.