After two joints, two beers, six or so glasses of red, maybe three cones, Nik went outside and lay down. It was raining, but gently, and he felt distantly. It did not bother him. According to some sort of pseudo-calculation in his head, he would not be wet through before something moved along. For instance, he might turn over and start again.
The spinning was unpleasant. He had done well to find the door. He had been wise to ignore the jeering. Something had fallen. He may have damaged a shin. It was astonishing that he had found a gap in all those whirling bushes. If he focused on not concentrating on the unpleasant spinning and zeroed in on the still point that must be somewhere at the centre of all that spinning perhaps … no. If he embraced the spinning, went with it, let it spin, he might whirl harmlessly … no. The spinning was unpleasant.
The important thing was not to vomit. Or maybe not. Better out than in. The important thing was not to lie in your vomit. The thought of lifting himself from the dirt where he lay to move on knuckles and knees to a new … nest … was unpleasant but also theoretical. He was not resisting the urge but the urge lacked the courage of its convictions. A slight adjustment of the head might suffice. Dirt was quite absorbent. He could not smell anything except the earth and the rain.
What he wasn’t thinking was that he had left Linda behind in a very bad situation. He did not trust those guys. He really couldn’t think about that.
He couldn’t hear anything except the rain, which seemed heavier, as in, making him heavy. He was melting into the earth. There was a huge pain in his head and if he melted, the pain might melt. If he could just disappear, it would be better. It would be better if he was not.
A drop of rain landed exactly on the side of his nose up by the hollow of his eye and the relief it provided felt so good that Nik tipped his head in a way that he hoped would make it happen again. He waited for the universe to send him that one exact raindrop that would touch that one exact nerve. With little miracles of rain more dissolved away.
While he was waiting there were noises and people looking for him. He could have made a sound but it seemed safer to wait. They looked right at him — he could feel their eyes skewering into his back — but they didn’t find him. The dirt was covering him. That was why it was crying. He meant raining. It was taking him into the earth.