MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry



“Wait till you see him”

Raya led Gemma into her house.

It was already dark outside and her entire home was lit with tiny Christmas lights,

making the world around them

g l o w

dimly but still exuding enough magic to spill into the air they breathed.

“Stay here,”

She says, leaving Gemma to stand alone in the kitchen while Raya disappeared

into the other room.

“Close your eyes”

She calls out.


Gemma closes them and hears Raya’s footsteps as she approaches the kitchen.

“Open them.”

Gemma obeys and finds herself staring straight into the face of a parrot.


Why do you have a parrot?”

Gemma laughs and studies the animal.

He was white with a feathered Mohawk at the top of his head

and the most curious look on his face.

“He’s my dad’s girlfriend’s.

Watch this.”

The parrot sits patiently on her shoulder and she says

“boo you whore.”

“boo you whore.”

The parrot repeats and the girls erupt in laughter.

Of course Raya would only teach the poor bird profanity.

Raya was overtly vulgar, and it put most people off,

but it was one of the things Gemma most enjoyed about her friend.

Though she supposed she got anyway with it a lot because of her petit figure

and pretty blue eyes, which was another thing Gemma loved about her.

You would assume she was a sweet little Barbie doll…until she opens her mouth.

They were complete opposites, but they loved each other anyway.

“Can I pet him?”

Gemma asks, stepping closer.

“Try at the top of his head.”

Gemma reaches a hand out but he flies away into the living room.

“Don’t worry,”

Raya says, leaning over the counter to make herself a drink,

“He’ll be back”


She says, handing Gemma a cup of Vodka and orange juice and she drinks it back.

“One of those night eh?

Here.” Raya pours another one.

“God, I have to tell you about Drew.”


Something finally happened with you guys?”

Gemma asks, lips hovering over the cup in her hands.

“And for the last time too.

Fuck I swear Gemma,

it was the worst head I ever had to give.”

“Why? What happened?”

“Nothing really at first.

Like everything was fine,

I’m just down there doing my thing

but then he came and it was the grossest thing ever.

Like fuck, it wasn’t enough that it tasted like rotten clams,

but literally I had two fucking mouth fulls of it.”

Gemma laughs


“Honestly, I was like this”

Raya puffs out her cheeks and takes a fake gulp then puffs her cheeks again,

“It was fucking gross.”

“That’s hilarious.”

“Never again.”

“Well now I’ll never be able

to look at him again without laughing.”

“Hopefully he won’t be around.”

Rays finishes off her drink and begins to poor some shots.

“Come on,” she says,

“I want to be wasted before everyone else even gets here.

Is Joseph coming?”

“Later.” Gemma says dryly.

“What’s wrong.”

Gemma debated discussing this with Raya simply because she and Joseph were cousins.

Though Raya has been her friend since childhood,

she knew how strong family bonds could be.

“I don’t know if you’re someone

I should talk about it with…”

“As if Gemma,

you know I don’t fucking give two shits about him over you.

I know he’s a goon.”

Gemma smiles,

“I just don’t know anymore.”

“Do you want to break up?”

Gemma nods.


Raya takes a drink,

“didn’t really see that coming.

Why? What’s going on?”

“Nothing really.”

Gemma shrugs,

“it’s just not good you know?

Like the way we talk to each other,

it’s like we don’t even like each other.

Especially since he lost his job

and now he’s at the house all the time.

Gemma couldn’t stop herself from rambling on once the topic was on the table.

She could feel years of bottled up frustration and disappointment suddenly rise up and

s p i l l

out of her.

“…you know I’ve never had an orgasm.”

Rays spits out her drink.


“I mean, no guy has managed to give me an orgasm.”

“Gemma, you’ve been together five years,

how is this possible?”

Gemma takes another full drink,

“Well, after we started having sex

he would always ask me if I came after.

He started getting upset about it

after a while when I’d always say no, so I started faking it.”

Raya stayed silent and awe-struck so Gemma continued, words spilling from her mouth like an

u n s t o p p a b l e disease

…desperate to be heard for the first time-

“I’ve tried, trust me.

I’ve read all the articles,

and bought all the lingerie

and did everything I could to help it along,

but nothing.

I never want to do it now.

It’s boring, but he bugs so much I just give in.

You know I cried once and he didn’t stop?

He just asked if I was okay and when I didn’t answer

he just kept going then rolled over and fell the fuck asleep.”

“Shit Gem, that’s fucked up.”



that’s not okay.

Any of it.

You should have fucking told me!

How have you done almost six years without an orgasm,

we need to get you laid, holay shit.”

“It’s not just that, it’s everything about us.

We have nothing in common.”

“I know.”

Raya says,

“Honestly, you need to break up with him.

It’s not fair to you.”

She pours herself another shot.

“I’m calling him and telling him not to fucking come tonight.

We’re having a girl’s night.”

Gemma suddenly felt warm and giddy under the Christmas lights

and the loose influence of the alcohol in her blood.

Gemma smiled gratefully at her friend, when it dawned on her that the physic was right.

She had made friends with a parrot.

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