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Promise Keeper | back to school

The ride to the city college was dark and windy. I left the house at six, before Crystal got home.

I had attended the college briefly, thirty years earlier, so I knew my way around. There was plenty of time to kill, and I pedaled slowly, menacingly, hoping to provoke some dipshit security guard into a little excitement. I got some looks, but that’s all.


Fifty years old, short hair, obviously not indigent, I just don’t get the action I used to.

I checked out the admissions office and student store. Lots of little hotties strolling around. There was a subversive-type fellow, wandering in the wind, and he cast a glance my way.

“Heroin?” he asked.
“Naw, buddy. I’m going to the planetarium.” I played dumb.
“Ecstasy?” he smiled.
“How much?” I smiled too.
“Five bucks a hit.”
“Gimme two.”

I don’t know that I’ve ever tried Ecstasy. I know I’m curious. I gobble down a piece of paper that I suppose is a “hit”. I stash my bike in dense bushes behind the admissions office and walk over to the planetarium.

The eggheadedness is unbelievable. I want to punch everybody I see, until I spot Gloria. I had forgotten how refreshing she was and there it was. You could smell and taste the freshness. I bounded up to her like an egghead.

“Ecstasy?” I offered the little piece of paper.

She tossed it into her mouth and swallowed with her entire body.

“Now I’m free!” She swung around in circles, arms spread wide. It would have been goofy if anyone else had done it, but she was real. She stopped spinning and looked at me with big, wasted eyes.

“Ecstasy?” She produced a tablet.
“Jesus. Yeah, gimme that.” I was getting a crash course in the new stuff. I popped the pill and looked at her. She was staring at me.

“You’re old,” she said.
“You’re already buzzed. Gimme twenty minutes to catch up.”
How old are you?” she asked.
“Fifty,” I said. “Old enough to be your daddy.”

“You’re older than daddy.” She was starting to worry me.
You’re starting to worry me.”
You’ll get over it. Let’s go inside.”
“Yeah. Let’s do that.”

It was a dark auditorium-like place. There was no front and no back. It was round, like an amphitheater. The seats were nice, comfy.

The lights went out instantly and it was like sitting in a field on a moonless night. There was an incredible sense of vastness. I was overcome by the speed at which things were happening. 2001 space odyssey music began to blast. I sunk into the chair and was swallowed by space.

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