The husband says, Let’s rub SPF one fucking million on each other’s heads.
And take a long ride in the country, says the wife. With the top down. Maybe roads we’ve never taken. With no map, or fucking GPS.
They admire each other and make crosses with their fingers. All fingers shake.
She’s packing the pipe.
Where’d you get that? he asks. Did it come with it?
Hell no. Insurance is tight. Got it at the head shop.
They still have those?
Do they have classes for patients who don’t know how to do this? Like a nurse teaching them at their house?
That’s fucking hilarious. A bong with a big warning sticker on the side: FOR USE ONLY WITH A DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION.
Who’s driving? Me, she says. You fire that puppy up. Puppy up, puppy up.
She backs slowly from the driveway, then peels out in the street. This BMW is a week old. Fuck the break in period.
They wave at neighbors who are out faithfully on a Saturday morning doing what they’re supposed to do, watering and mowing, things the couple can’t, or won’t.
Instead they get up at seven and watch cartoons. Instead they snap towels at each other’s fading asses. They compare and count pills and gag on all of them.
You have to slow down a little. This will blow out of here. You packed it tight? Tight, Honey. Give it here.
Take a good one. Work those ravaged lungs. One toke over the line. Sweet Jesus. Pray I don’t cough.
It’s mild. Think they do something special to it? I hope we still get fucked up.
We’ll get a stronger prescription.
I’ve got a little buzz.
Me too. Nice. Did the sun just change color a bit?
Remember the last time we did this in a car?
I’ll get back to you. My brain cells are drowning in their chemical soup.
We smoked on the way to your parents, to announce we were getting married.
Try to remember. They said we were flushed with happiness. Glowing.
We took a walk in their woods and thought we were gone for hours. You worried we’d miss dinner, or they’d think we were fucking, but when we got back it was like twenty minutes.
We didn’t fuck? I thought we did. I swore a little rabbit watched us.
It’s working. I don’t feel sick. It’s a miracle. I’m pulling into that Starbucks. I’ll take a Latte. A super fucking huge. A Venti? I refuse to say that. Is that still burning?
Oh, it’s on fire, baby.
Did someone just say something?
It came from that box. It said, ‘Welcome to Starlight. Can I get started?’
Starlight, yes. Two fucking huge Lattes.
I’m sorry. We’re having some trouble with the machine. Give me your name and park and I’ll bring out your drinks. There will be no charge.
I’m Mary Jane. And you are…Starlight?
I can’t stop giggling, the wife says.
That’s Mary Jane for you.
Stop. Kiss me.
Here comes Starlight.
Staring at our pipe, trying to be cool.
It’s cool, Star. It’s medical. We have a sticker on our plate.
Don’t get cancer, but if you do, it’s one thing to look forward to.
This is like a BMW commercial, she says. The open road. Squealing tires. Michelin commercial.
Do not attempt. Professional driver on closed course.
At this speed, shouldn’t that stop sign be here by now?
It’s taking forever.
If we keep medicating like this, things will take a long time to get to us.
Like death. It will seem like forever.
We’ll be tired of waiting. NOT!
Where does this road go anyway?
I don’t recognize it.
We’ve been driving forever.
Let’s go to the top of that mountain.
I don’t recognize it.
It’s been here all along.
Well, I didn’t think it just sprang up.
Is this what they mean by hairpins?
Yet this is a Beemer.
I’m stopping for more medicine. I’m getting seasick.
See how this comes? A can like Pringles, with my name on there.
Fire it up, Pringle Man.
Did your ears pop?
This is high up.
How come we were never here before?
How long have you been driving?
Forever, seems like.
Park over there. There’s a lookout.
Mary Jane and Pringle Man, sitting in a Beemer.
Is that our little blue house way down there?
You can’t tell me the sun’s not a different color now.
Of course it is. It’s setting.
Don’t let the sun go down on me.
I always thought Elton was saying, Please let your son go down on me.
Hahaha. I really love you. Give me those dry lips.
The sun is spreading that liquid fire on the windshield just for us.
Maybe if we put our hands to it, we’ll be cured.
Look what He did to our heads.
Two fiery globes.
Ad fucking infinitum.
Let’s have some more of that.
I’m not paranoid, although I thought I saw a rabbit out there.
Hit the locks. Put the top up. Someone not sick might be wanting to steal our stuff.
Like who? Kids. Maybe that Starlight, hopped up on caffeine.
Speaking of starlight, here it comes. Wow. Look at that.
You know a lot of those stars no longer exist. They burned up, but it’s taken millions of years for their light to get to us, so we still see them.
That’ll be us.
Now your head is like a moon.
Kiss it all over, please.
Something’s out there.
Just hold me.
Gary Moshimer has stories in Word Riot, Night Train, Decomp, Smokelong Quarterly and other places.