I don’t feel high, which is probably a good thing, considering I’m in a forest where someone tried to kill me, and I’m with a complete stranger, who I haven’t been able to completely rule out as involved with my attempted murder.

“Why am I not high?” I ask Joey.

“Huh?”

“I smoked most of a joint, and I don’t feel high.”

“It’s a high CBD strain. There is still some THC, so you shouldn’t operate any heavy machinery or anything, but yeah, it’s more for chronic pain and anxiety,” Joey says.

“I don’t know that I feel better in that way either. I just feel a sense of clarity, almost like my brain is working a bit better, you know?”

“That’s the anti-anxiety part of the CBD.”

I walk off the beaten path a bit, remembering where I woke up. Joey sees the shallow grave, his eyes widen while he says: “holy fuck man. Your memory is real.”

“Yes. This is where I woke up. I don’t remember anything before this moment, but it must have something to do with that dog and the dog’s owner.”

“Holy fuck. Holy fucking fuck. Tulsa, we should get the fucking cops man.”

“I’m going to that dog.”

“Tulsa, no. I’ll go back. I’m going back. Let’s go back.”

I put my hands gently on Joey’s arms and say: “Joey, you’ve done more for me than I would have ever expected from any person on this planet, and you don’t even know me. Whatever you do now, we’re good. You’re a good person. Do whatever you feel in this moment, and don’t ever hold it against yourself.”

Joey looks at me like he wants me to ask him to stay, but we could be facing certain death. This could be the end, but I don’t know who I am. Calling the cops might be a worse fate than seeing who is up ahead, who buried me.

I nod at Joey, giving him a bit of a courtesy smile, the kind of smile that your grandmother might give you when she knows that you’re doing your best, even though you’re not doing well. It was comforting enough for him, as he walks away, slowly.

Son of Sappho Through the Gates , ,

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