Ken’s fingertips glided over a couple of keys, still working on that same text message from an hour earlier. He had made very little progress, lamenting his inability to focus more than actually typing. He would get a few letters down on the screen but then become distracted by something. Then he would remember his phone and exclaim to Brandon about how yet again he forgot. His memory was quite affected.
His memory was twisted in such a way that it had extreme tunnel vision. Unfortunately, it was not the tunnel vision that Adderall had afforded him when he had to read a dry textbook in one night—no it was a tunnel vision so strong he did not realize he had it. Each room was its own world that night. Spending most of his time in the living room, nothing else existed outside of that room. Perhaps that is why Ken could not focus on texting. Only the living room mattered. When something was left in another room, like an extra blanket, the four were in trouble. Neo was forced to run through the small hallway to his bedroom, grabbing his blanket and sprinting back into the living room. He described it as “terrifying.” Why? Ken did not know. Looking back on it, they probably looked like lunatics. This became especially clear when their other roommate came home.
The Taco Bell hit Ken’s gut like a load of bricks.
“Hey, guys, I’ll be right back,” he said. Ken was going to brave the bathroom alone. He had no other choice.
“You can’t, not tonight,” Brandon said.
“Uh, what? Why not?” Ken wondered.
“You can’t do one of your disappearing acts. You’ll get lost.”
Ken laughed. “Oh no, I’m not going to meet a girl,” he told Brandon. “Just going to the bathroom.” Ken apparently had been known to disappear to meet girls at random times. He kept his life neatly compartmentalized, rarely letting girls overlap with apartment life.
“We’ll come with you,” the three others said.
“Oh, no.” Ken had a shy bladder-bowel combo.
Nonetheless, his friends insisted and somehow they ended in the tub while Ken went to the bathroom. While Ken focused on timing his courtesy flushes for the benefit of his friends’ noses, the other three were off on an adventure through time and space. The three were looking into the shower curtain, which they claimed took them off into space and soaring through the stars. They likely forgot about Ken across the tub barrier.
Until Iggy, the fourth roommate got home. Iggy was the only of the four roommates to pass on the activity. He had been playing basketball and arrived home. He appeared in the entrance to the bathroom and was surprised at what he saw—Ken on the toilet and Brandon, Neo, and Flora soaring their shower curtain universe. What a sight to come home to.
Once the group left the bathroom, they returned to the living room. Ken took a moment to adjust to the new world. Finally, he became comfortable again. Iggy had brought a friend home. The friend sat in a corner eating a sub. Once finished, the friend stood but Ken insisted that the friend stay seated. It was comforting.
The night was winding down to an end, and Brandon and Flora brought out some painting supplies. At some point, Brandon and Flora retreated to their room for relations but accuracy upon the timeline for the night was not to be. Regardless, they ended up painting and Ken watched them as their fingers glided through the paint on the canvas. Bon Iver was playing in the background as Ken had finally been able to choose the music when the couple snuck off for alone time.
Before Neo went to sleep, he had one last thing to say to Ken.
“It’s a good thing we didn’t have a bad trip, huh?”
Immediately Ken’s mind went into a spiral. He now knew why they called it a bad trip. It all made sense. This spiral in his mind was like a whirlpool, his consciousness unable to escape. Finally, he pulled himself out of it and changed the subject. Neo had almost induced a negative experience. Then, Neo went to sleep, his parents were due in the morning (he had only taken a half tab so he likely slept like a baby).
Eventually, the other three returned to their rooms as well. Ken was awake as awake could be, though. Even more so than when he knew Santa was coming. The next day Brandon and Flora revealed they laid in bed, awake as well. Unfortunately, Ken didn’t have anyone to keep him company.
The daylight started to shine through the blinds. Ken sat at his computer, combing through the internet. He decided to go for a walk around campus. It took him about an hour to the sounds of Bon Iver, yet again. It was a beautiful experience watching the sun rise as his vision and thoughts returned to normal. Only minor oddities remained of the tab from the night before. Ken would have rather been asleep, though.
He returned to the apartment and only fell asleep once his body’s exhaustion overtook his quite alert mind. However, once his body reached about ten percent of being rested, the mind woke him up yet again.
Ken did not sleep much that night/morning. It would have been the worst experience of the tab if not for the week to follow. Once Brandon and Flora woke up, they put on Samurai Jack. Ken watched it with them, but his mind was not at ease. He did not feel normal. He felt sapped of all purpose. He legitimately thought he messed up his brain.
Thankfully, purpose did eventually return to Ken.
That summer, Brandon and Flora engaged in the activity again. Brandon was honked at by a goose. He claimed it was absolutely terrifying. Ken asked why Brandon would ever go outside in such a state. Brandon had no good answer. The goose made sure that none of them would likely seek out a repeat experience.