They are in a basement in the East Village, surrounded by butterflies breaking free of their cocoons, and everything is beautiful. Colours are brighter, words are clearer, there is a beat pumping up from the ground beneath his feet and Dizzy swears he could fly. His drink tastes like rainbows and his outfit is pure cut dope from the deepest reaches of outer space. Sometime soon he’s going to get a top hat, just like Rumi, then they can truly be mirror images of one another.
“You ok?” Thor appears from nowhere, snaking an arm round his waist.
Dizzy purrs and leans back into it, thinking about warm bodies and the endless sensuality of the human experience. “I’m magnificent.”
“I said I’m-”
“Dizzy, are you ok?”
Dizzy frowns, his mouth disconnected from the rest of him, slurring and dropping the words he’s trying so hard to pass forward, send it on. His legs slip away next, and of course he knew that Thor is strong, and steady, and dependable, but the material meaning of all those words had been lost on him until now, leaning back against the one man capable of holding him up through all this, of keeping him steady.
He wants to do something stupid, like announce to the world that he is in love. But the world already knows, mother nature knows all his secrets. They are in a hive of scum and villainy and disco records are playing and this is the way it was always supposed to be.
Dizzy draws a deep breath, listens to hear Thor calling his name, urging him to hold on for some unknown point in space and time, then falls asleep right there on the dance floor.
Dizzy wakes and is immediately aware of how crushingly sober he is, then of the toll that sobriety is taking on him. His body tenses, instinctively waiting for his dad to walk into the room and start yelling at him, dishing out punishments and telling him that he’s good for nothing, that everything he has managed so far in life is as nothing next to the monumental force of pills and spray paint. One of these days he’s going to be too old to keep around the house, and then he’ll be out on his ass having to make his way in the world like a man.
Then mom can come in and diffuse the situation. She’d make a good president, Dizzy’s mum. Or at least the mayor. No one would be able to start shit with her in charge, she makes every argument look stupid.
But the walls are the wrong colour and the bed is too big and too rough to be home. He rolls over, blinking wildly and sees a floor covered in shed clothing, buckets of paint, no carpet to speak of.
He’s freezing. This is not home.
Dizzy sits up and sees Thor standing in the doorway, holding a glass of water. “Thor.”
Thor’s mouth is tight, his eyes more focused than normal. Also sober. Wack. They have to fix the heinous injustice as soon as possible. Dizzy’s brain reconnects with the rest of his body at a violent pace, telling him in a rush about the sting in his ankle, the jackhammer in his head and the abrupt rolling in his gut.
He gets to a more or less empty paint tin in time to empty his guts with minimal fanfare. Puking makes his head hurt all the more though, and by the time he’s done he’s shaking all over, trying to remember what in the known universe is going on.
By the time he’s done, Thor has a hand on his back, stroking his spine through his sweat drenched tshirt. He holds out the glass of water and Dizzy all but inhales it.
Thor smiles ever so slightly, his eyes raking over Dizzy. “Either you took way too much acid last night, or someone spiked your drink.”
Dizzy has to think about that one. He does like taking unearthly quantities of acid and drifting away but… He shakes his head. “I felt good last night. Felt good, until I didn’t.”
“Right.” Thor moves in close, his arm once again around Dizzy’s waist, like it had been the night before. Only this time they’re falling back onto the bed together, amongst a mess of paint cans. It’s not like Dizzy’s never been in this room before, or in this bed, but it feels different in the daylight.
It feels different when he’s sober.
“Stay here today.” Thor murmurs to the back of Dizzy’s head.
Dizzy couldn’t move if he tried. He feels like a flaming tire in a disused building, ready to cause problems. His parents can worry, better that than have them see him like this.
He nods. “Okay.”
“Get some sleep.” Thor urges. And Dizzy could tell him all about the hours he spent in a state of blissful nothing the night before, but right now he is safe, and alive, and whoever roofied him wasn’t counting on Thor.
They slip back into the dark together, Dizzy’s whole body held and safe and free against Thor’s chest, his legs, the arm around his waist. Against all odds, this is paradise.