Sydney told me she wanted to do eight hits of acid at once, maybe ten.
I didn't know what to say about that. I held her face in my hand, and it didn't feel like chaos.
We were in college, or we were occasionally dropping out, but we were always learning something. We weren't in love. We were intrigued.
We spent the night inhaling nitrous oxide and laughing until tears rolled down our faces.
Her roommate knocked on the bedroom door. She said angry words from the hallway. This only made us laugh harder. The best part about being young and selfish was getting the messages wrong.
Sydney had transferred schools, moved across a small state, and it was the only time I had gone to see her. Her room, her hair, her work, her everything —they were all different.
I repeated the words: different, different, different.
Until it sounded: similar, similar, similar.
Until it was: meaningless, meaningless, meaningless.
In the early morning, while I watched Sydney sleep, her roommate slammed things about the kitchen.
Using the sunrise, I looked through Syd's art portfolio. There was a beautiful black and white photograph. I wish I could describe its every detail, but memories can be like people, you don't get to choose which ones stay close.
She woke up, rubbed her eyes, saw me enjoying the work, and said it was no big deal—just an assignment.
She had said three hits at once became boring.
She had plans in her eyes.
I didn't know it, but this was the last time I'd see them. I turned to another picture.
“I'm so tired of trees,” she sighed.
“Is that why it's out of focus?”
“It's not, silly. That's Bokeh.” She said this like I would know what that was but then she saw my blank face. “You take something out of focus so you can see something new.”
I studied the picture. I said I didn't think she should take ten hits of acid at once, let alone eight, and then I felt bad about asking her to change one of the things that drew me to her.
I stared at her trees. Where the branches blended with the sky, as a person might see with their last few breaths, I saw floating spheres of light. I wanted them to be angels.