A bird on fire streaks through desolate clouds that hang like sagging tits from a black-purple sky. Roll the joint between your fingers, man. Feel it? That’s some good shit now. Push the shaggy edges of limp brown hair behind my ears and take a hit. Puff, puff, pass.
Shelly crawls over to sit in my lap. Her tiny breasts—just nipples at best—push violently against my chest as she works her mouth over mine. She takes a tablet and puts it on her tongue then kisses me, the tablet slipping from her tongue to mine then back to hers again. I feel her grinding hotly against me. Color bursts behind my eyelids.
The flaming bird screams now—shrieks into the midnight moon.
Shelly crawls over me to sit in Jim’s lap. She kisses him, slips him some acid like she did me. Grinding—ride the waves of pleasure. It’s freedom, youth on a shoestring swinging in the breeze, flowing like steam from desert roads that snaps soundly against a crisp New Mexico sunset. Even as I sit amongst friends, even as I contemplate the kaleidoscope of fireworks spreading out like sex starved virgins before me, I sense the fragility of the moment. I sense the delicate skin of a bloated balloon seconds from popping—the final death throe of childhood as the adult emerges.
Shelly grabs Jen by her hands, pulls Jen to her feet. They dance—modern witches around a pagan bonfire. Water splashes in Jim’s glass and he hurls it at them. Wet breasts strain through wet tank tops. Angels at their peak—they’ll never be this beautiful and uninhibited again. Their hands roam over each other, Sirens calling, they kiss. Tongues entwine until they break apart to lure Jim and me. Serpentine arms beckon with the promise of a warm embrace.
I rise to greet the Sirens’ call. The bird explodes into a million ashes in the shadow sky.
When I sit in the clinic I only remember glassy eyes and wet tongues sliding over taut skin. When the doctor wipes his tired eyes with gnarled fingers I hear Jen’s soft sighs, feel the tremble of her thighs. The doc clears his throat. He looks at the floor. I see Shelly’s big blue eyes staring provocatively from across the fire. I see Jim bend her body like a whip. The doctor is frustrated. Angry lines turn his brow into mangled tree roots.
I see the flaming bird incinerate. I wait for it to be born again. I wait for it to rise from the ashes. I watch Jen pull my face to hers. Fuck me hard. I wait amongst strangers or were they friends? I slide into the slick-salty-sweet honey pot of ecstasy and ride the waves. Surfer of lust—I watch and stroke deep. Watch and stroke. Watch and stroke. I wait for the bird to flame into life. I ride this youth like there’s no yesterday, no tomorrow, only this minute, this second, this breath.
Did you hear what I said, Son? You’re HIV Positive.