I only took one.

They said take half. Cut it with a paring knife, a sharp one, so that you don’t lose bits, put half under your tongue, put half in a baggie. I didn’t have a paring knife, who has a fucking paring knife? Your mom has a paring knife. I took it whole.

I didn’t want to deal with everybody else’s freakouts and bullshit revelations and unfortunate nudity. I took a walk. There was a path that goes along the fence and then down through the seawall to the beach. The evening sand was kind to my bare feet and the waves were politely hushed as they loitered near the shoreline.

I thought, I’ll watch the sunset. It’ll be pretty. That’ll be a good trip. But then the gulls were all over the beach, and then in my hair, and then in my head.

Just do half, motherfuckers.

In Cloudkey Town I Met A Girl

“I am a Princess.” She stared at him in shocked incredulity, as if his failure to recognize her station and act accordingly was entirely without precedent. “My father is your King.”

“I have no King. Down below…” He turned, gestured to the ascent balloon tethered at the edge of the floating city. “Down there we choose our rulers from amongst ourselves by a vote.”

“Barbaric.” She shook her head as if to dislodge an unwelcome thought from her mind; then she paused, regarding him, and continued with a more welcoming if haughty tone. “But you may approach.”

He grinned. “Gladly.”