I could barely move.
My mind had contracted itself into a tennis-ball sized fist of mercury; hovering around at the back of my head. Only the inimitable, but frankly quite logical and well-informed need for water was able to materialise within that floating, metallic sphere. Indeed, Peter (though it may have been someone else) had placed in my hand a litre bottle of the stuff, its label hastily ripped off leaving an endless scar of paper around the pure, clear plastic; it, like me, speckled with dried mud. In my other had was a piece of grass, for a reason that I now do not know; but on it I held my heavy, dumb stare, gripped by the infinity of its textures.
‘Are you all right, Leon?’ came the far off, meter away call of a girl whose name at this point evades me.
‘Grass’, I replied in what I expect was a rather pitiful voice ‘grass…and water. I need some water’. A trickle of gold-tinted puke lay like a veil on the floor in front of me, seeping softly into the mud.
‘You’ve a bottle in your hand, look’ she said wandering off. I felt my hand crush the clumsy plastic beneath it, smooth like silk, but rigid as thick card.
To any observer, my position must have been quite a sight, crouched meekly in the mud, half conscious, half vegetable; surrounded by partially absorbed pools of my own sick and staring into the abyss-like contours of a piece of grass.
‘I’m gonna be fine, you’re gonna be fine, I’m gonna be…’ sick. Again; and with gilded bile left glimmering on my lips, slowly parasailing down to my chin; I decided I needed to move. Grasping the mud between my fists, it’s layers squirming as worms through the gaps and crevices in my fingers: I fell over. I suppose I should have been glad that I’d narrowly missed a pool of my own digestive liquids, but my spherical prison had decided to turn philosophical, disregarding any of my surroundings. ‘This isn’t what it’s meant to do’ I mused, ‘I should be up dancing, full of energy and idealism, unable to control the euphoria, but here I am, lying in a field, surrounded by my pre-digested, midday lunch’, with that same phrase left repeating in my head, like a never ending, intolerable song: ‘this isn’t what it’s meant to do, this isn’t what it’s meant to do.’
The reds of my tent left glistening patterns across the vacuum of my mind, spiralling behind my eyes.
I have no recollection of how I ended up back in the safety of those four nylon walls, draped in crimson and tinted with pearlescent blues; but I was glad I was there. Intense tingling sensations ran up and down my body like destructive waves rocking a weak wooden boat at sea, and the world outside seemed like an infinity of loud music and shouting voices loitering about on a unending plinth of grass and mud.
I was gripping something, somebody.