“I’m not going to sleep on this flight,” is the last thing I say before I fall asleep. We land in Cancun five hours later; I wake dry-mouthed with my hair knotted around my necklace. I am not at all refreshed. Reed and I disembark the airplane into a swaddle of hot, humid early evening air, and my skin becomes slick with light sweat, down to my iridescent yellow pedicure.
Hi, I’m Barbara Stone. I’m thirty-five, divorced and the mother of a fifteen-year-old daughter named Diana. Looking at me you see a somewhat thin and somewhat cobbled together brunette. I can’t eat more than a cup of food at a time or I get nauseated and sweat, and I love the smell of musk combined with fig.
The woman exiting the plane with me is Reed Sellers, also in her early thirties, also the mother of a fifteen-year-old. If you’re doing the math, congratulations, you’re a mathematician. Yes, Reed and I were breastfeeding our babies in mall food courts by the time we were twenty. Reed and I have a lot in common.
You can see she’s a blonde with a razor-cut French bob, which is truly unlike me in every way, but still–the floorplan is the same. If we were furniture, we’d be Italian bullnose dressers. We’ve been friends since I dramatically turned to her at a viciously elite party and said, “You ever stand in a sea of people and feel so alone?” It was at a VIP’s birthday party, mid “Happy Birthday to You.” Reed’s eyes went wide and she grabbed my hand, “I was just thinking the same thing.”
Three gauzy sheer dresses and a pair of violet-colored slides are all I’ve packed for this 72-hour, last-minute trip. Reed booked it when she sold her house four days ago.
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“Barbie? Barb. Barbara,” she’d said over the phone to me.
“Everyone is crazy. Everyone is crazy, and the world is on fire. Let’s go get fucked up in Tulum.”
The film Leave Her To Heaven is on Criterion Channel this month, and it has a great scene where a fashionable woman in sunglasses and a trench coat calmly observes an annoying child as he drowns. While neither Reed nor myself would ever fathom murder, we really embody that woman’s spirit this weekend. We are staying at an “adult couples resort” because neither of us wants to see children. A good vacation is one where we don’t have to smell, hear or make eye contact with a child. Vacations are for alternating adventure and relaxation. Vacations are our opportunities to stop our daily role play. So we vacation at the adults-only resort.
Neither of us has to babysit the other. We both go in excess. We love excess. There is no babysitter. Gas pedal to the floor styles, we both enjoy how unbridled we become as a unit. Now I’m just rambling as we stride into the airport… Okay, so, to be blunt: Reed and I brought drugs with us to Mexico. There are drugs trailing behind me in my Away carry-on bag.
I know what you’re thinking. Dumb. Danger. Drugs.
Here’s the thing. Between us we are already on so many prescription drugs that tested, clean recreational drugs aren’t truly too much of a step off the reg. Sure, illegal. Sure, terrible socioeconomics involved in the drug trade. Look, I agree with you. Did I know that all the times I’d turned down cocaine in my twenties would just lead me to eventually saying yes to it in my thirties? No. What would the grandmother who raised me think? On paper she’d hate it. But if I dosed her and she felt how good the body feels on Molly, or how clear my brain feels when I do a tiny bit of cocaine, she’d shut the hell up. Grandma is always practical.
The airport is not busy as we walk through, dragging our Molly-filled luggage behind us. We luxuriate past the mass of people waiting at the luggage carousels and feel smug. No bags. We are geniuses. My hat even folded up into the bag and I don’t have to wear it through the airport. Three dresses, some Molly and a pair of violet slides.
In the parking lot stands a short, stout, mustachioed man holding a placard that reads, REED SELLERS.
“Ola! Senorita Sellers? I am Mario, your driver.”
Reed and Mario exchange some pleasantries about booking details. When they stop talking I lean into Reed’s shoulder with mine.
“It’s going to be nine o’clock when we get to Tulum,” I say. “We should just do the Molly.”
“Now? On the car ride with Super Mario?” she whispers back to me.
“I was thinking we should do it when we get there.”
“Deal. Oh my god, yes.”
I bend over as the sounds of Ricky Martin pulsate from an unseen speaker. I pull off my airport socks and put my feet back into my Tevas. I look down at my yellow sparkle pedicure and sigh with anticipation. This is about to become the most reckless girls' weekend of my life.