Monday, July 12, 2010

What's The Story Morning Glory?

 by Robert Vaughan

Nola’s desire to self-medicate was enormous. This latest phase was nothing

new, her addiction started with Nodos in high school. The year her mom

confided about her extra-marital relationship with the local priest. That

transitioned to Dexatrim, then black beauties and pink footballs in college. By

junior year, it was mostly coke, but it was too expensive. Then Nola read The

Doors of Perception and it blew her mind. She wanted to experiment with any

psychedelic drug Nola could get her hands on, from the mundane to the bizarre.

Her favorite of late was mushrooms of the magical kind: psilocybin. She never

laughed as hard as when she experienced them and they didn’t leave her with

those ghastly lows after the come-down. Her parent’s divorce happened that

summer so she stayed in the college dorm. Got a job delivering pizza. She

bought a huge rainbow bedspread and began dating Ray, the long-haired

drummer in a new wave cover band. Toward the end of summer, the Grateful

Dead came to play the Summerfest series. Ray bought tickets then proposed the

idea to take morning glory seeds. He’d read an article in Mother Jones magazine

that explored their hallucinogenic properties.

“Why not just stick to mushrooms?” Nola asked. “They’re so much fun. We had a

blast last weekend at Letchworth State Park.”

“True,” Ray said, exhaling the marijuana smoke. “But I want to have a new


The morning of the concert, a tribe traipsed to Dunkirk Seed Company. They

were colorful, like a traveling band of gypsies.

“Do you have morning glory seeds?” Ray asked. His long raven hair was pushed

back in a white bandanna.

The saleswoman eyeballed them, raised one penciled-on eyebrow. “What do you

want them for?”

“Science project,” Nola piped up, surprising herself.

They transported the seed packets back to the dorms, ground them in a blender,

added chocolate milkshakes from the Campus Cove. Twenty minutes later, Nola

was in the girls bathroom clutching the sides of a toilet. Ray held her hair while

she wretched. A half hour later, when they started to trip, they were in Ray’s

room staring at his Ski the Bumps poster. It started to undulate, like staring into

the Pacific ocean. Nola loved to sing, so she stood and pretended she held a

microphone. She started to sing along with Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road.

She imagined she could see the notes as they left her mouth, floating into the

room, pasting a colorful design on the ceiling.

“Show a little faith there’s magic in the night,

you ain’t a beauty, but hey you’re alright…”

She was completely swept away by the song, then looked over her shoulder at

Ray. He stretched out on his dorm bed, his feet dangled off the end. His head

was cocked oddly, eyes completely white, rolled back in his head. Before Nola

rushed to him, she knew it was too late.

Robert Vaughan’s plays have been produced in N.Y.C., L.A., S.F., and Milwaukee where he resides. He leads two writing roundtables for Redbird- Redoak Studio. His prose and poetry is published or forthcoming in: Short, Fast, and Deadly, 50 to 1, Tryst, Clutching at Straws, Blink/Ink, Heavy Bear, The Lesser Flamingo, Negative Suck, and Sleep. Snort. Fuck. He is a fiction editor at jmww magazine. He published a poem on 7/4 at The Camel Saloon called "regarding kay"  which honors his mother. It made him burst with pride. His blog:

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