We were on our way home from the Mercat, only a 15-minute walk from our single-fronted terrace in Fitzroy. We disobeyed the signs in the Carlton Gardens to keep off the grass. I was explaining my latest theory to her, the one about the post boxes. I had made this theory up only moments before in a drug ramble – she had listened intently, the ecstasy taking a stronghold on her emotions, rendering her vulnerable to deep, delightful, bullshit conversations. Talking on drugs was like trying to walk down a powder dirt hill in the bush, slipping, falling, thinking you’re the one in control, until you come crashing down upon realisation that you were ill-equipped to be walking down that hill. You weren’t wearing the right footwear.
“Our heads are filled with tiny boxes.”
“What do you mean?” She had a certain way, when high and walking, of stopping, turning her head in my direction, and asking a question; then having to run a number of steps to catch up and hear my reply. It was like a little girl throwing a tantrum in the chocolate aisle of the supermarket. I imagined it was just a clash in the mind – thought taking over from motor skills. Both being impossible to execute all at once.
“I mean that everything we’ve ever done with someone is in a box with both our names on the front.”
“What’s in our box?”
“Plenty. Signing a lease together. Our first kiss in the salt baths. Melting icecream and sticky hands."
“Do you keep everything in there, or just good stuff?”
“We keep everything.” Her walk-stop-question-jog routine was starting to get to me, so I stopped by the curb. “I’ve closed and locked many boxes in the last few years. I’ve only opened one more.”
I was starting to get deep now. Not just with my words - the type you only speak behind closed doors - but with my eyes, my exaggerated facial expressions. The expressions where you managed to stretch skin in places you never had before. Expressions on drugs.
I alluded to the fact I never wanted this new post box to close, and if it did, I never wanted another one to open in its place. She said she understood, giving me a stretched smile and powdery eyes. Looking back on it now, she couldn’t have. I am not entirely sure I understood, either.
Just beyond the park she threw her cigarette into the drain. It was nearly light out and it had been raining, the butt glistened slightly, though it could have been the mushrooms.
“What about the poor dolphins?”, I asked, with unconvincing disgust.
“Where else are they going to get their cigarettes from? There are no 7-11s in the ocean.”
“I guess it does look like a tiny boat.”
I had a habit of saying whatever was in my head, regardless of how stupid, random or unfunny. She used to tell me this was one of the reasons she loved me. You have a beautiful mind, she used to say. I think, in part, this was validation for my mind-altering substance abuse. I continuously felt the need to push my thoughts further to the edge, for fear that if I was one day was boring, one day normal, I would lose her.
Our journey ended and we climbed into bed, physically exhausted, our bodies fuelled only by artificial energy. We fell into each other, her body a wave crashing on me for hours on end. Both unable to orgasm properly, giving up with a kiss before sharing a shower and bar of soap.