One Last Puff


ff_erin_icon.gif eve2_icon.gif

Scene Title One Last Puff
Synopsis It's puff puff pass.
Date June 2nd, 2021


"It's puff puff pass, no hogging that shit ya hear?"

It's laughable that Mad Eve would try and educate anyone on the etiquette of sharing your cannabis when she was infamous for starting to share a joint and then forgetting the other person was there entirely.

The two were sitting on a balcony of sorts, looking out over the raging seas and gray skies. The days had been uglier and uglier as the storm raged on. But the old crazy lady found joy in the world still. Holding the joint to her lips and taking a deep pull, she exhales and coughs horribly afterwards.

"Worth it." Chuckling before she actually passes it over to her companion, "Tell an old woman. How is your family? Your dog Skipper? You had a dog right?" That demented grin can't ever be taken serious but did Mad Eve truly believe that her friend was married with a dog?

She should not be smoking but nobody told that old woman what to do, even when she was dying.

Erin grins bemusedly from her spot not so much sitting as laying on her back in their concrete archipelago womb. Pinching the devil’s cigarette out of her companion’s weathered hand, she sits up and inhales deeply. Mad Eve, of course, got the greens, and that was fine: she was old, and the grass, green as it may be, was now hers. The embers feel like they collect in her chest and she holds the smoke as long as she can before coughing it hotly back out, sputtering into left elbow out of politeness and using right hand to return their shared token.

“The fuck, you crazy? My dads died so long ago I can barely remember. That’s how I ended up at Cornell in the first place, but since I never made any friends there it only made sense to come back at the end of the world. Y’all clearly needed me!” She laughs, which leads to more coughing, and the coughing only accelerates the process, but she takes a drink of water from an old glass bottle all the same. One eye is streaming with involuntary tears. “Colin is the dog. Close, though. He’s kind of the skipper of the ship.” Pause. “Boat. The parlance is…dubious.”

She lays back down and stares at the roiling sky, the clouds looking from this angle a little bit like a blanket off thick snow on a foggy morning back in Ithaca. Thank all of those watery lords that at least she didn’t have to deal with that shit anymore. Still, the wind is pleasantly warm; it feels almost like falling upwards.

“It’s good to be back though. Colin’s taking well to playing fetch in the sea. And I always liked what the salty air at Brighton Beach did to my hair. But how about you, dear darling friend mine? I hear you’re not doing so hot.”

"You are always needed." Eve says quietly and she takes another puff, allowing the smoke to fill her lungs, tipping her head back and exhaling slowly.

"I'm dying." She shrugs and looks at her old wrinkled hands, veins more visible, nails clean though.

"And I'm going to enjoy every last minute of this insane world. Don't you think that's a good idea?" Mad Eve went back and forth on that, being okay with dying and being dismayed. For today she was at peace, who knew what an hour or tomorrow would bring. The old woman snickers softly to herself because she did.

"I've got to see so many great things. Mother two resilient children who will be heroes." A soft look at the younger woman. "Made some pretty awesome friends. This life was cherished."

“That sounds like a great idea.” Mirroring the image, way more stoned than she had any right to be at this stage, Erin too considers her hands. They are, for their youth, far less clean than Eve’s, and more opaque. She puts a hand over the top of one of the elder’s, feels under her own calluses the skin with its stretch, that smooth-soft-rubbery texture of the aged, and stares. They look surprisingly similar, all things considered. The same finger too long, the same size, almost the same tone. Erin has a thumb ring that, on a younger Eve, would have fit perfectly. It’s astonishing, considering she knows with some relative certainty that she is not one of the Mas daughters. But still, she can practically feel the blood squeezing through its passageways and considers that the life is thin, but the spirit remains always. She then takes her hand back and stares at the palms, wondering what palmistry even was all about anyway.

Colin is sitting in a shady spot as the twilight sets in and Erin continues staring. How can clouds have so much depth of color? They’re all white, but there’s so much dimension. And then the gold shoots through and the gods’ rays appear almost as though they’re on the cover of a self-published Mormon paper handout, and everything is magic.

“Maybe I’ll name this strain after you. Just…Mad Eve. Or like. Mad Sat-Eve-a. Who knows. Hopefully they don’t think it makes you too head high, but I’m too fucked to care. I think I’m going to go to Alaska.” Alaska. It’s white and fluffy, just like the Earth’s ceiling above them. “What is it like, dying? Knowing it’s coming?”

Eve also gazes upon their hands and smiles softly, "Ha! I love it." Approving either name, it would be an honor to be immortalized with her favorite plant. It's then she realizes she will miss the drag of a joint and the wisps of smoke that follow right after. She will miss sitting outside and sharing with a friend herbs and stories.

Eve will miss, connection. The very lifeblood of her existence. (It doesn't matter that Eve could feel connected to a stone wall.)

"Ah… now that is the question," the old woman remarks and passes the joint back to Erin. Doe brown eyes consider the sky and it looks like she's thinking back to some point in her past. "I have died many times. In my visions. So many times. Ran right through my middle with a blessed katana, shot by the gun of a lover, blown to smithereens by bombs, ripped to shreds by wolves and all manner of creatures of the night…" Trailing off as smoke wafts out of her mouth and spills out, curling in on itself and then out onto the wind before them. "I have been preparing since the first death vision I received. Besides the excruciating pain and the white light they all had one other thing in common, release."

"Because what is death but the biggest release and unleashing of life and the spirit. The catapult or elevator to the next stage that is beyond this great grand spiraling rollercoaster that is life."

"Death is never the end. We live on, in other worlds and realms. In the hearts of our loved ones. What really matters is knowing that we lived to the fullest and made the most of our time here." In that moment Eve snickers and coughs a bit before regarding Erin with a curious stare and open mouth grin.

"And are you making the most of your time dearie? Are you living to the fullest?"

“I have … no fucking clue.” Erin replies, rolling over onto her stomach and trying to suppress a giggle. The hard concrete is hostile to ribs that jut out a little too far from a little too little food, but the sensation isn’t unpleasant. It’s grounding. A little discomfort to keep you going. And that’s why-

“- I’m going to Alaska,” she says, the realization dawning on her that she had just said all of that out loud and not simply in her head. “I haven’t lived like you have. I mean, not really. I’ve gone places and done things and met people, and the pooch and I live on a boat now, which wasn’t exactly in the life plan. And I know that you’re…” a fade out.

A moment’s pause for reflection.

“Well, I don’t know what you are, Eve. Or who. I mean, I do know who. You’re Eve. But I don’t know the greater umbrella of Eve-ness, if that makes sense. I don’t remember if you were always old, I don’t know what it’s like to have died even once. I don’t even know what your visions mean or are or where they come from. I don’t know anything about all of this weird timeline business, or the travelers, or anything. What I do know … that’s … you …”

Erin struggles for a second, having the thoughts in the brain but also a great deal of difficulty translating them into words. If only there was a canvas, the colors might make more sense. She grasps a piece of gravel, a small chunk of kicked-up and weathered concrete that betrays how structurally unsound this perch really is, in one hand. She concentrates, making it fall through her palm and back onto the balcony with the crumbling crack of cement splintering into pieces. She takes one of the pieces and puts it in Eve’s palm, and the other in her own back pocket.

“I think I know what you mean about looking out to the catapult, though. I think that’s why I’m making this decision at all. I don’t want to live a hundred years and not know what it was to take a risk and be a part of something. Maybe there’s another me out there who’s less anxious and more active. But I want to be proud. And some part of me wants to make you proud, too, maybe even. You’re the best of us, even if the others won’t always admit it. They’re no fun, anyway.” She waves one arm wildly as though to say these boring fuckers.

"I am not old, I am seasoned you motherfuck-" Mad Eve cackles and grips Erin's hand right back, squeezing and rocking from side to side. "I am old!" She cackles more because the thought is so fucking ludicrous. "Mmm. That's the spirit my darling." The old woman smiles fondly at Erin. "I am already proud, silly! Your sense of adventure is enough, it will see you through to the other end. Just make sure the rope is always tied around your ankle, easy to get back that way." Erin saying that Mad Eve was the best of them has her waving the young one off, chuckling and rubbing her thumb on Erin's. "You're too kind dearie, I will miss having you to remind me of who I am." She would miss all of them, all of these wayward souls she's encountered in this god forsaken flooded world.

Her people.

She gets that far off look for a moment and it seems her eyes go milk white and Erin knows that she's seeing something that's not now, somewhen in the future distant or otherwise.

There are a few moments of silence before a sweet humming begins to emit from the old dying seer. Whatever she sees leaves a smile on her face as her eyes slowly fade back to brown with renewed light, there is hope after all.

"Hm.. now that's an ending I can get behind."

Mad Eve cackles again, throwing her head back.

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