A few minutes after we dropped Vlad asked how long before the effects would kick in, and I said about half an hour or so. I said he’d feel a sort of rising sense of excitement at first – maybe a bit of loopiness of thought…
“Okay,” he said, “then I want to tell you this now. Before.”
“I shouldn’t tell you this at all, but I have to tell someone. And I know you will not speak a word of this to anyone. I just need you to know why all of this is so… difficult for me.”
We’d left the apartment and were walking beside the Marne. He’d stopped and was leaning against the concrete balustrade, looking out over the river. There were a few people around, but nobody too close.
“You see, this man I’m watching – they’re going to kill him. I don’t know how, or when, or even why… but I know he is going to be killed, and that I will be a part of his death. And that will be a first time for me, and I don’t know how I feel about it.”
I said “Oh.” and just stood silently. There wasn’t really anything I could say. I definitely understood the gravity of it though, and kind of wished he’d mentioned it before we’d dropped the acid.
“And every day when he goes by I think to myself I could tell him. I could stop the whole thing if I wanted to. But in reality I know I can’t. No matter how I did it, they would find out. It would mean my death.”
“So I just wanted to tell you that. And that I know this is only going to be the first. If I go back to Russia, there will be more. It will probably never end. And that’s why all of this is so hard for me, and so strange.” His eyes begin to well up and he shook it off. “This… this will change me, I’m sure of it. But I just wanted to tell you, these last days, with you and the girls… they have been my happiest. They may always be my happiest. You are a crazy hippie, but you are a very good friend…”
“Aw shit Vlad…”