Frank shook the can of Zippo fluid.
He reached for the letter opener and fingered the engraving on the blade. The words made him cringe: Emma and Frank forever, written in an elaborate, illegible font. It reminded him of a Hallmark Valentine’s card; it reminded him of matching His and Hers T-shirts worn by obese couples in the park.
It made him sick.
It was twelve-sixteen.
Frank had forgotten how much he liked the smell of lighter fluid—he liked it the same way he liked the smell of petroleum. He looked over his right shoulder to make sure he pushed in the lock on the office door knob.
He hadn’t sniffed or snorted anything since Zelda’s birth three years ago, except for Marcia’s pussy, but that didn’t count because it made him horny, not high.
Maybe being horny is just another form of being high, Frank pondered. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because the Frank & Marcia chapter reads like bad porn and is now officially closed because no-one appreciated it, especially not Emma..
It was twelve-seventeen.
I wonder if I should lower my head toward the red tip of the Zippo fluid cap, or if it would be easier just to bring it up to my nose.
Frank couldn’t make up his mind. The blues and oranges and bright greens of the oil paintings were distracting and hovered around his head like troubled ghosts drunk on absinth. He sat there for a full minute staring at the can of lighter fluid before bringing the can up to his nose.
Here’s the thing about lighter fluid fumes: it’s one of depth perception’s oldest enemies. Frank shoved the entire cap into his left nostril and almost sucked his anus right up into his stomach as he gasped for breath. Eyes watering, he let out five or seven machine gun-like sneezes.
Frank was high.
It was twelve-twenty.