Ulric loads his DaVinci Ascent. It’s a vaporizer that we sell at the store. He has taken to vaping recently rather than using pipes because of his tendency to catch pneumonia.

He passes the Ascent to me while it is still warming up.

How will I know when it’s ready, I ask.

There will be a coffee mug on the display.

I hold the device in my hand, waiting for the mug to show up. It is getting hot around the oven. Wisps of vapor are escaping. The coffee mug shows up, and I put the glass straw between my lips, taking a hit, doing my best to regulate my inhalation, as per Musette’s request.

I am at my boss’ right. I was always taught to pass to the left. So I hand the device back to him, which messes up the whole rotation. People end up taking a hit and just holding the device out front of them, offering it to anybody who wants it.

The gate in front of the store is closed now. It feels so much cozier in here. I wish it was always like this. There are more people at the party at this point, but some have also left. The couple is gone, as is the friend of Linda’s who got upset at Ulric’s comment about Linda hosting or coasting.

Elektra is here now. She is sitting at my left. Ulric and Linda’s roommate is talking with her, possibly flirting with her. He is older and has gray hair. He seems to gravitate towards women, such as Linda, who is wearing a black shirt that is tied above her waist, revealing her belly button, which I refrain from looking at.

One of Ulric’s friends from college is also here. He has long brown hair. I am talking to him about a vision of the store that I am having wherein it has become a weed bar wherein everybody buys strains at the counter and smokes them at their leisure.

The glasswork would all be secondary, I say. We could sell merchandise with our logo on it. The primary profit would come from the pot.

He seems to think that I’m onto something. Ulric is listening in.

This advice is truly for you, I tell him with my mind. Listen. Accept what I can offer you. I know that our souls don’t always connect when confronted with each other, but I see the good in you, and I want to help you. I believe that you can do great things with marijuana. I am a gift. Accept me.

All of my moonshine is gone. Ulric tells Linda to refill it. I don’t feel drunk… I have taken a few hits and am losing connection with the conversations. The Ascent has run out and Ulric has loaded his Pax 2, which is a limited gold edition.

He tells us that he bought it wholesale.

He hands it to me. It hits much harder than the DaVinci Ascent did.

I turned the heat way up, he says. The Ascent was on low.

I don’t take much, limiting myself, trying to stay in control of my high, trying to stay loyal to Musette and my duties as a father to be, playing Manson, not letting Ulric get the upper hand.

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