Mickle slipped the tablet into his mouth, held it on his tongue. The girl with the blue hair and the cleavage and the nursing degree handed him a glass of water, watched him drink, watched him swallow. He opened his mouth so that she could see the tablet was gone. She nodded, took the glass from his hand, stood, and walked out of the room.
"So, no sex then?"
"Not that kind of trip," she called back over her shoulder.
People moved past, in the hall, whispering. Someone laughed, a jarring, guttural sound. He wanted to get up and pull the door closed, but something made him dismiss the idea as too much trouble. He settled back into the pillows, got comfortable.
For some reason he started thinking about his ex, the break-up, how she had left him suddenly, how she'd been so angry, how she wouldn't explain. It occurred to him that it hadn't been all that sudden, if he was going to be honest with himself. He'd been dismissive, and emotionally absent, and though he hadn't cheated, it isn't as though he hadn't considered it. In fact he'd gone right up to the line and poked it with his toes. Of course Jinn had left. He'd been a fool.
His mind wandered. He thought about the last big argument, about that movie she'd liked that hadn't made any sense to him. But he couldn't remember why, it seemed so straightforward now. The whole thing was a metaphor for—
It was the trip. The drug was buffing his cognitives.
He started thinking about all the mysteries in his life, setting them up, knocking them down like paper targets. It just got easier and easier; to hold a problem in his mind was to grasp its solution. He fished his phone out of his pocket, started reading the stock market pages, leaving himself notes. He cancelled his lottery subscription.
Mickle was already on the way down when he started thinking about cancer.