by Ben Frost
Rough draft. Character study focusing postmodern youth.
| Like a surprisingly large percentage of bad ideas, the particular bad idea Jules had was envisioned on cocaine. Since an even larger, perhaps disproportionately so, percentage of bad ideas involving drugs are cooked up on cocaine it should come as no shock that this one, too, involved more drugs. At three in the morning, after railing about a gram and a half of leftover cocaine over the course of the night, Jules sat and obsessed over how amazing the idea seemed to him. He would spout off a few hundred words about it whenever one of the four people he was talking with on varied instant messenger replied to him, although given the hour their replies were increasingly infrequent.
This was is first mistake. Jules, although still fairly new to cocaine and amphetamines and the delusions of grandeur caused by using the drugs, refused to be the type of person whom after raving about something he was going to do while high would wake up the next morning and discard the idea as a bad one. He did not want to be perceived as the type of person to renege on anything he said, no matter how ridiculous; even though in fifteen hours he would indeed wake up and have doubts about the idea, still fresh in his mind, his resolve to carry through with it was still solid. Jules, who was called “Julie” by those who knew him, was very conscious of the image he projected. Despite this he was overly cynical and even occasionally mean: he spelled the nickname “July” and interjected it for “Jules” whenever his legal name was not required, specifically so that whenever someone addressed him by the name of the month he could ignore them, or if they were inescapable, he could scoff and explain that the reason he spelled it that way was to differentiate between the feminine form of the name. He would frequently claim his last name was “Verne” and launch into a story about how we was named for his great-great-great-grandfather, usually to pretty girls he wanted to impress with his aptitude for enchanting conversation and intelligence; if they didn’t recognize the name he would scoff at them, too, and move on. However, his last name was not “Verne” but “Gibson” and he bore no relation whatsoever to the writer. When his friends overheard him starting to tell this story to a new victim, they would look to each other before shaking their head slightly or closing their eyes and tensing the muscles in their face, letting a small pained grin out, as if they did not know whether or not to laugh or wince with disgust. For all the careful preening of his outward presentation, Jules was not they type of person who cared whether or not anyone actually liked him; rather, it was admiration he sought and typically he got it.
He was also the type to have occasional difficulty controlling himself, and coupled with his incredible resourcefulness this became more of an issue than it should have been. The cocaine was an excellent example of this. The tail end of a quarter ounce he and three friends had purchased a few days ago for a long night of liquor and poker had ended up in his pocket by the morning; this happening is curious as an amount of cocaine purchased for one night is usually considered insufficient halfway through the night, and as the price and effects of cocaine typically mean that any leftovers are fiercely argued over before being divided equally (or proportionately to the share of the investment) with exacting measurements. Despite his Machiavellian lean, Jules hadn’t gotten the blow through any subversion but the genuine exhaustion of his gambling companions; although he would manipulate and misdirect, he would never take any action such as theft that he could conceivably be caught for, at least among people he interacted with any regularity and those people that interacted with them. He had promised himself that he would save the cocaine until the weekend when he could go out to the bars, but that only lasted four days. He had a single line and before long it was all gone. He believed the cocaine was quite good; he was inexperienced, though, and it was cut with a moderate amount of methamphetamine but otherwise still quite pure. At four in the morning he made a phone call, awakening another companion. Jules, after taking a frustrating twenty five minutes to explain the reason for the call (despite the fact that he was doing his best to be as quick as possible) he obtained permission to borrow a vital component for his plan, even managing to set up a date and time to pick it up. His companion, Gary, an independent filmmaker by hobby and passion, had received an expensive and high quality parabolic microphone, complete with a pistol grip, an array of differing audio jacks and a special made rechargeable lithium ion battery, as a gift from a family member so that he could complete a project he had been working on two years ago. He had agreed to the loan primarily to get Jules off of the phone, and this along with a promise that Jules would not call again at this hour outside of far more serious emergencies were the only explicit conditions given. Had Jules not been able to procure this equipment his plan would have been seriously delayed, as Jules would have needed to order his own parabolic microphone (the variety that has a curved disk behind the receiver, looking much like a satellite dish, so as to amplify sounds from a long distance away in a very narrow field) online.
Being twenty five, Jules had only seriously begun exploring mind-altering substances for about three years. He had smoked marijuana first when he was sixteen and drank first when he was seventeen, varyingly using either anywhere from rarely to frequently. He had never seriously searched for anything else and given his personality and social group, nobody that did use anything else bothered to give him any of the far more expensive drugs as a gesture of friendship. But one night at a hipster’s bar in the city another young man, in a decidedly good mood, was amused by the 22 year old’s veracity and intelligence. He offered Jules a tablet of MDMA and explained that he needed a companion for his roll that night. Jules, slightly drunk and already warming up to this man, took him up on it. The ecstasy blindsided Jules, and he was awestruck by its effects. Soon his new friend, Jason, called for a taxi as Jules became a public spectacle of inebriation and they retreated to his house. There, they talked for two hours and listened to jazz while smoking cigarettes and mixing martinis. Jules had more fun than he had ever had before, fueled by the brilliant new euphoria that arose out of the small yellow pill and his intense interest in his new friend.
This interest was partly due to the social effects of the MDMA, causing him to drop his interpersonal barriers and reach out for emotional and physical intimacy, partly because the two were in fact remarkably compatible, and partly because, although he would never admit it even to himself, Jason was the first person that he had met that was completely unfazed by the persona Jules projected. Neither offended by his brash demeanor, nor impressed by his displays of intelligence and worth, nor responsive in any way to the subtle manipulation that seemed to work on everyone else, Jason was one of only two people Jules would meet in his entire life that possessed the patience and temperance to maintain a mutually close relationship with him. The other, a woman named Veronica, would meet Jules when they were both 32, marry him in a years time, divorce him in twelve, after she developed serious alcoholism and he had an affair, and remain close to him, despite their divorce, for the remaining four years she was alive. Jason easily surpassed Jules’ intelligence and had a far more natural, easygoing social aptitude brought about by keen observation and reflection of those he interacted with. He saw past the important, dominant man that most people perceived and the pretentious, arrogant ass that the rest did to the genuinely bright child inside. He knew immediately Jules was funny and even sweet, although this was buried by a deep seated insecurity—a fear of disapproval that Jason would always wager had its roots in elementary school. A little over a year Jules’ younger, Jason was calm, understanding, collected, generous and friendly, and throughout their friendship the vast majority of Jason’s friends would not understand why he bothered to spend any time with a man so different.
Between long sips of briskly stirred Chopin vodka with dry vermouth, Jules opened up to another human being for the first time in his life. Also for the first time, another human being opened up to him. Eventually, he stretched his neck and leaned in, kissing Jason. The instant their lips released Jules had nearly flown across the couch, his knees at his chin and his arms wrapped tightly around them, the platonic safety he found in Jason’s arms replaced by a frightening and overbearing intellectual conflict of self definition.
“Are you okay?” Even through Jules’ blinding retreat, they maintained steady, unblinking eye contact.
“Yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine”
“You sure? Anything I can do? Call a taxi, mix another martini? Do you want another--”
“No I’m fine I just need a second to reevaluate--” Jules said as he pulled a fresh Parliament Light from the box in Jason’s outstretched arms.
“Stuff? I get it. Look, this isn’t about—“
“I know… I’m just not…” He took a drag and exhaled. He reached to the table and flicked the end of the cigarette so hard the cherry almost came out, missing the ashtray by a good inch as he had the entire night.
“I’m not really either”, Jason used the softer eee sound to pronounce the word, instead of the sharp eye “just when—“
“It feels right? I understand, I just… I don’t want to leave or anything, but I don’t…” he found his head in Jason’s lap, unaware of how it got there but slowly dropping his guard again.
“Then we won’t! It isn’t a”
Their lips locked again. Jules’ inhibitions were shot from the ecstasy and the remaining reservations he had were soon thrown out the window. The more he tried to stop thinking about it, the more he couldn’t get it out of his head. The more he tried to regain his heterosexual identity, the more he wanted Jason, and now that the nature of the night had a sexual bend Jules could not escape it. He called a cab and went home after Jason fell asleep. Jules wouldn’t ever be caught off-guard by a drug in that way again, and even though the sex would turn out to be some of the best in his life, he would never sleep with him or any other man again excepting the brutal beating and rape he found when he encountered a street gang in Haiti, cauterizing the wounds created by Veronica’s death he fled to the Caribbean to escape. After a week spent franticly repairing his heterosexuality, Jules dialed the new number in his cell phone and began to threaten Jason with rape charges if he didn’t keep quiet about that night. Jason quickly disarmed him, and firmly re-framed the context of their relationship back into platonic friendship with a few skillful sentences. He refused to sell Jules any more MDMA (being far more moderate and responsible, Jason would frequently serve as the stop-gap to Jules’ insatiable appetite for self-destructive pleasure, drugs or not, and they both detested each other for this), but said that he might take some LSD within the next month sometime and that Jules was invited along. Jules launched himself into the extensive world of psychoactive substances, first dabbling with the psychedelics and assorted pharmaceutical pills, eventually moving on to prescription amphetamines and cocaine and the occasional shot of heroine when he was convinced Jason wouldn’t find out. By the night he had that gram and a half of blow by himself, he was thoroughly tired of acid and ecstasy and mushrooms. Most people do, eventually, stop taking psychedelics after a point, and Jules was no different. His bad idea was a grandiose and bizarre plan for a last trip, a goodbye of sorts to the drugs that at first had seemed so incredible and had given him so much enjoyment but now bored him.
It took some effort and several hours of calling around to track down the three hits of ecstasy and five of lsd (he didn’t have much of a tolerance anymore, but with good he didn’t trust either of his connects claims of potency and he wagered he’d rather go over than under), but he managed to do it the next day, skipping out on work to rest off the cocaine. He also took the extra free time to pick up the other ingredients for his formula, a five subject 300 page notebook and a pair of decent binoculars, picking them up on a trip to Wal-Mart while he waited for his dealers to get their supply and picking up the microphone one his way home with at least two separate felonies in his pocket. The next day he went to work as usual, and having essentially no superiors he didn’t need to explain his absence to anyone. He went home after work, ate as large a meal as his stomach could handle and dropped the MDMA and acid. Throwing the microphone, some headphones, the binoculars, three packs of cigarettes, a bottle of wine, several pens and the notebook into his car, he returned to his workplace and started up the stairs. Nobody was left in the building, thankfully, to see him wandering around with a small backpack, binoculars around his neck, carrying what appeared to be a comically oversized ray-gun out of the sci fi of the late fifties as his pupils began to dilate. He snagged a folding chair from the closet on his way up, unlocked the door and set it down near the three foot high or so vertical wall at the edge of the roof, overlooking downtown.
Jules lived in a smaller town of ten thousand or so, about twenty five minutes away from a larger city. The vast majority of the residents commuted to the city during the week and the town was almost empty during weekdays. On the weekends, however, the few blocks downtown were bustling. The merchants typically had plenty of business, and the two bars, four restaurants, two upscale coffee houses and the short order diner that was open 24 hours a day, “The Gold Egg”, made more than enough revenue to turn a profit over the nearly dead weekdays. There wasn’t a moment after six pm on Friday that didn’t have plenty of people out on the patios of the different business. It was the early summer, the warm days cooled by a gentle breeze and the nights comfortable enough to wear shorts through. It was this fact that Jules had decided to capitalize upon. He worked at the tallest building in town, a grandiose four stories. It was built in the seventies but the architecture looked even older than that, and it was about four blocks down the road from downtown proper, separated by doctor’s offices, insurance agents, other similar professionals, a house or two, and one of the town’s two fire stations. There wasn’t a building climbing past two stories until the other edge of downtown, and the roads were wide and the plots generally larger than the business that lay on them. All the restaurants tables outside and even most of the merchants extended their shops to their own patios while the weather was nice. From the vantage point of the roof, Jules had an excellent view of what was going on.
Jules was the building administrator for the financial firm that rented out the entirety of the largest building in town, so he had unfettered access to the roof and knew that he wouldn’t be disturbed even if he decided to camp up their for a month. His job was overly paid and given far too much importance for what he actually did; thus it was the first job he truly enjoyed. He managed the janitors, watched the thermostat, made sure the window-washers showed up, acted as the firm’s liason to the landlord, and gave everyone in the building a mound of paperwork to do whenever they so much as wanted to use a particular conference room for a meeting. Jules was a beaurocrat of the purest form, and he had keys to every door in the house and no real superior. The president and the vice president of the firm, he was sure, would start breathing down his throat if the utilities stopped service or if the landlord had to call them to collect a few month’s back rent, but neither of these things would likely happen. He even had a secretary, a cute, incompetent blonde 19 year old that he had been given with a raise six months ago. He had decided he was going to fuck her, after he fired her and hired somebody himself.
The sun was setting and downtown was glowing. Jules sat down and turned on the microphone, plugging in his headphones and giving it a shot. It worked excellently, and as long as there wasn’t a table full of people directly ahead of whomever he was pointing it at he could hear them clearly, even to the very end of downtown at seven blocks away if he turned up the gain. There was still slight wind and this caused a fair deal of hiss, but Jules quickly found that there was even a control that could digitally reduce this. Satisfied, he lit a cigarette and noticed that the concrete below his feet had become fluid.
The first thing that Jules would remember after that was his own internal monologue: I’m in love. It was morning and his microphone was leveled at the espresso bar on Main St., listening in on one of the three occupied tables on the patio. You could clearly see two people at this table from this location, a man and a woman, and the other two tables consisted of a young looking man sitting at his laptop, and three people and a ostensibly a baby enjoying breakfast. Jules kept on trying to use his binoculars to get a better view of his subjects, but each time he raised the binoculars, the movement caused by his unsteady hands nauseated him and he was unable to even focus properly. The hallucinations were steady, too, and even if he could manage this task he would not have been able to discern any distinguishing characteristics of the couple from the steady pulsing of color, the subtle change of shape and the now fluid experience of depth perception. Even as he looked out over town, his mind searched for faces and allowed itself to find them within the slightest shapes bearing any resemblance. So, as he squinted, fruitlessly trying to get a better view of the coffee shop, the town stared back at him, unblinking. Frustrated, he slumped back in the uncomfortable plastic-and-metal folding chair and closed his eyes, before opening them again, startled at the activity inside of his eyelids.
He remembered his infatuation with the voice as his eyes clicked wide, lifting the parabolic microphone from his lap and began to attempt to locate it again. Several different sounds greeted him as he panned the microphone around the general area and he stopped on each one just quickly enough to discard it as unwanted noise, not unlike a restless man channel surfing, unhappy with the results of every button pressed on the remote control but convinced that he would find satisfaction at some point. He heard first the deep hum of an air conditioner transformed by the microphone into a garble, unable to properly receive the lower frequencies produced by the steel box. A door opening and shutting as a different woman entirely left the coffee shop with a cardboard cup in hand was next, then the phrase “I still don’t see why we haven’t started him on solid food yet”, obviously the group of people with the small white blur in what appeared to be a baby high-chair. An older car drove past as he continued to search, the loud failing engine flooding Jules’ ears and causing him to swear a half second after it was gone, his reaction time slowed by the sheer volume of information his brain now had to process manually. LSD, Jules had found, did that- he could not walk along a sidewalk without becoming distracted and overwhelmed, unable to automatically and systematically disregard sensory data as irrelevant to the situation. This was, at first, what he loved about LSD, that even the most common of things supplied him with endless fascination, and one of the things that now bored him—he was no longer interested in the simple texture the edge of a quarter gave and it brought him no joy to obsess over it, and as his ability to function was completely destroyed he could not entertain himself on the drug.
He coughed, temporarily jilting his hands, and when he brought the microphone back to level he heard the dry, flat voice he recognized as the woman’s companion and held it as steady as he could.
“Do we have to? He’s an alcoholic and an asshole, and he’ll make a scene” Jules heard, his unsteady hands causing the dialogue to sound as if it were running through a mixer by a determined Parkinson’s patient in denial about the extent of his disability.
“Lyle is my cousin, Brad. Miriam will handle him, don’t worry.” It was the warm, complex tone of her voice that most enchanted Jules. She could be a jazz singer, he thought to himself. Everything she said sounded so important to him, and every word so compassionate. Of the brief sentences and fragments he had heard so far, she hadn’t actually said anything of real note, anything that exposed her personality in the least, but Jules was oblivious tot his. He had to use all of his energy to focus on her, and this only worsened his desire.
“All right, but” and Brad’s voice cut out as the parabolic microphone rocked in Jules’ hand, the brief contrast of his sharply articulated words and lower, shallower tone contrasting her gently rounded enunciation and almost harmonious intonation. The contrast was enough that Jules lowered the microphone and dropped the headphones gently to the ground, delicately setting the large device over them. He thought, intensely, I’ll never meet anybody like her. I’ll never see her again, either. I’ve only got one chance. His mind was filling with strategies he would use as he approached her as he walked to the door: how to initiate his interruption into their breakfast casually, hiding his espionage, how to slowly transfer it to a discussion, how to veer her attention away from this man who accompanied her. He tried turning the handle, and it refused.
It was this, probably, that anchored this particular sequence of events in his memory and separated it from the drugged out blur of a peak that preceded them. It was a sobering jolt of personal reality, and while by no means did it shock Jules into a clear mind, the much of the fog of intoxication lifted itself as Jules went into a small panic. He immediately realized that he had forgotten the keys to the door on the other side, locking him onto the roof. He had been higher than he had first believed or anticipated by the time he had climbed the stairs. He didn’t first realize, this, though, and he began to repeatedly check all his pockets, unwilling to accept that they keys were not in them.His mind began to race, and he tried to remember everything that had led up to that point, but it was all a blur to him. He remembered the eyes and the faces and the colors and the intense disorientation, and the reason he was trying to actually leave the roof, but nothing else. When he had finally given up on his pockets he began investigating the roof, searching it for any sign of the keys. He tore through the backpack he had brought, unzipping every pocket, carefully circled the roof, peering under air conditioning ducts before eventually peering even inside them, trying to see if he had accidentally or purposefully thrown them down into the ventilation system. He realized his real mistake when he was trying and failing to use the binoculars to see if what was actually a candy wrapper, a glint of foil in a bush alongside the wall on the ground, was the keys, and he then nearly dropped his binoculars off the side. He returned, again slumping into his chair and this time pulling out his cell phone. After a frustrating minute or so, the key-guard one the battle and the phone remain useless.
Accepting defeat he pulled the bottle of wine, an inexpensive Australian shiraz, from the open backpack. He searched his pockets again, and then the backpack again, realizing he had also forgotten the bottle opener. It was a far more casual mistake, owing itself to a casual oversight in his plans rather than blatant inebriation. Frustrated with himself, he took the bottle in both hands and smashed the neck against the raised concrete siding of the roof and lost a fair bit of wine in the process. He had done with once before in a similar situation when he had been drunk, but he had also still had paper cups to pour the wine into afterwards. He looked at the edge of the bottle, spilled wine running down his hands and dripping on the floor, and resolved to drink it as carefully as possible. Beaten, he remembered the pleasant voice and donned the headphones and microphone again, and it took much less time for him to find the conversation again. His hand was steadier, although slippery with wine, now that the clouds that were carrying his mind had receded much.
The man, Brad’s voice, was noticeably agitated now. “I really, really think you should tell him. He deserves to know. We’re living a lie.” It was if a stainless steel ball bearing with a four inch diameter had fallen from the top of his head through his spine to his pelvis. Jules eyes widened and his grasp on the microphones contoured pistol grip tightened to the point where his knuckles began turning white. He started breathing heavily. Although he rarely held the same standard to himself, he never tolerated infidelity in his relationships. He had experienced it only twice, but each time he had casually dropped the girl and never spoke with her again. He couldn’t stand the idea that someone he bothered giving so much of his own time to would even consider someone else as even half as interesting as he was.
“He’s unstable, you know that. I would have put him in the hospital if I weren’t sure it would just make him worse. He wouldn’t be able to handle the news.” That scandalous bitch, he thought, his previous infatuation reversing itself. Had he not so deeply felt attracted to her he would be laughing, but now he was seething. Toying with her man’s emotions, Brad’s, my own. I bet it was her that fucked that guy up that bad. Her lies eventually tearing him down from the inside. He lowered the microphone and raised the binoculars for another try. His hands and his stomach were slightly more reliable now, and he managed to see the woman he now hated. She was slender, and had full breasts. Probably in her late 30’s, she had aged well. She was frowning and her male companion was talking. He was a little bit older, slightly balding. His dark hair matched his beard and he was obviously also upset. She looked down, her long auburn hair concealing her face from Jules and he lifted the wine bottle to his face, taking several large drinks, ignoring the taste of blood appearing more present with each gulp. He raised the microphone again, just in time to hear her outburst.
“For the last time, I’m not telling my suicidal father I got AIDS from my fiancé. He doesn’t trust you already and he won’t believe you didn’t know you had it when you met me even if I do.” Jules nearly vomited. He lowered the microphone and began to cry. He only ever cried when he was alone and he was sure nobody could see him, and even then rarely. His anger and indignation had turned into guilt and pity. Try as he might, he couldn’t console himself from this. All his blame was now directed at himself, and he had difficulty handling the uncommon emotions of ineptitude and fault. He lit a cigarette and drank as much wine as he could, blood seeping from his lips into the Camel’s filter, making it more and more difficult to draw smoke from. He finished it before it was a terrible mess and started another one, holding his stomach, which was turning on itself into a tight, tense knot. He wiped his eyes and lifted the binoculars in time to see the couple hugging. Brad had not pressed the issue and although the other residents of the patio were now obviously self-conscious, the pair took their now empty plates and mugs inside and left casually.
Jules dropped himself to the ground and lay in a half fetal position, clutching his stomach, and in between his racing thoughts he noticed a puddle of vomit on the ground several ahead of him, almost dry from the night previous. After what seemed like hours, he returned to his chair and smoked some more, before once again donning the headphones. His pain was almost tangible at this point. The fear and the panic of his trapped situation, his guilt over his false assumptions, the headache and the stomache ache from the drugs, the wine, and the shame all made it impossible for him, as he tried fruitlessly, to continue spying on people from above. After thirty minutes, forty minutes, or what could have been only ten, he gave up and sat watching the horizon and smoking cigarettes.
His phone, left near the door, eventually rang and Jules clumsily jumped out of his chair and ran after it. He hit the “1” button a few times frantically before he hit the talk button. The voice on the other line was familiar.
“Jules.” He could tell immediately that his best friend was despondent, hurt. Jason was never this cold unless his emotions had gotten the better of him.
“Jason, thank god you called.” Jules first concern was escape from his prison on the roof. He was still tripping and had been becoming increasingly desperate for escape, but had still never managed to unlock the phone and had Jason not called it would have been no doubt well into the night when Jules was sober enough to find help.
“Do you still have that oxycontin?” Jason didn’t even register the weakness in his friends voice, or the desperation. Jules felt even slightly guiltier; he hardly remembered that he had 80mg of oxycodone stashed away for a rainy day and this was the primary reason that he did in fact still have it. He had hidden his purchase of it from Jason, who equated the stuff with smack and strongly disapproved of anyone using it.
“Yeah. What’s going on?” He didn’t know how Jason knew about it and didn’t feel particularly happy that he did, but the mere fact that Jason was asking for it actually caused him to stop thinking about himself for a moment.
“She cheated on me.” Jason had a bad habit of giving his heart out to whatever pretty girl would have it, and because of his charisma it turned out that a large amount of them would. He had four failed relationships in the last year alone, and every time he was a wreck when it ended, falling in love with them almost immediately after they met.
“With who?” Jason’s latest relationship had lasted four months, the first time in a while that one had lasted that long and he was incredibly attached to the girl.
“GARY? She fucked that ugly half-wit? That bitch!”
“Look, I don’t want to talk about it. Can I have that dope or not?” Jules now had his chance to explain what was happening to him.
“You could but I’m kind’ve trapped on the roof at work and I’m in a pretty bad gig right now. It’s a long fucking story. Come pick me up, its all yours.”
“What?” It was Jason’s turn to snap out of it and become surprised. Jules didn’t ever even admit to Jason that he was having a bad time. In fact, Jason had never even seen the man in a predicament he couldn’t wriggle his way out of.
“I’ve been candyflipping up here since eight or so last night and I left the keys in the door and it got locked. You know where the spare key to my house is, the spares to the building are in the top drawer of the desk in my bedroom.”
“I’ll be right over.” It took thirty-five minutes or so for Jason to drive in from the city and collect the keys and another five for him to show up on the roof. When he opened the door, he saw the badly sunburned Jules sitting in his chair at the edge, staring at the horizon, now unresponsive to his presence. He walked over to Jules and looked down. Jules’ hair, short and neatly styled was still somehow perfect, contrasting the bags below his bloodshot eyes and the stain of wine and blood that flowed from his mouth to his now ruined, silver, collared silk designer t-shirt and over his chest.
“You look like shit.” Jules looked up and smiled for the first time that day. The shadow of facial hair over his sunburn only made him look even worse, and he stood up sheepishly.
“Fuck you, I’m better than ever” Jules cracked and started to collect what items remained. Jason picked up the notebook on the ground and flipped several pages back before returning to the original page it was opened to.
“Holy shit. You drew six pages of fucking circles and you stopped when you got a perfect one.”
“I don’t remember that” remarked Jules and took the notebook from his hand. The grid of small circles that filled the page ended abruptly two thirds of the way down. The circles, arranged as they were, moved and interlaced and the hallucinations hurt Jules’ head and he swiftly threw it off the roof. He lit a cigarette and threw on his backpack and picked up the Parabolic Microphone, too large to fit in the small sack, and Jason took note.
“Hey, that’s…” and he swiftly grabbed the hefty piece of expensive technology out of Jules’ hand and examined it. Jules watched on with tired uncaring, and Jason’s brow wrinkled and he hurled the microphone with all his might off the roof and laughed.
“Shall we?” Jules blinked at his friend and Jason, the brief pleasure of revenge subsiding, looked downwards again with a frown. They walked to the door and left.