Like G-uno, I was what I consider a “mild experimenter.” In my case, my cousin is the one who handed me my first joint at 14. They were the same age as I and had been smoking pot for a while before then….um, yeah. could really Jerry Springer some shit there.
I unfortunately did not take to it quite as naturally. My cousin and I had been spending the summer with their dad and step-mom and we had spent a greater part of the day down at the river, seeing what kind of barely legal trouble we could get ourselves in. We befriended people as we went along, my people skills settling to somewhere around to plundering coolers for beers. Apparently, I took one guy’s last beer and just as I opened it, he cried “hey gimme that, its my last one!” To which I responded by licking the entire top of the can and handing it him. I got to keep the beer.
I’m sure I did the same in which I played off my ignorance with false experience and watched like crazy to figure the steps. By 14, I’d already had a few cigarettes, which wouldn’t become a staple for another year, and I was desperately hoping it was not going to be as obnoxiously painful as that experience had been. Before you ask, I was 9… a friend of mine and I would steal cigarettes from their dad and we would hide on a woodpile behind the shed of my house and smoke them. We were really bad at it and I probably actually inhaled about 1% of what we actually stole, but we felt like such badasses.
I really don’t remember a whole lot more after that first inhale. I know my cousin was a pivotal factor in me getting back home. I believe they called it “the barbie” and laughed like hell at me for it. I basically felt heavily weighted and utterly incapable of moving any of my appendages. I even had a glassy-eyed stare. I remember staring at the wall of the room we had been sharing for a long time. I have no clue how long, it was surreal and I kind of felt like I was on a different planet, or different dimension. I remember thinking I was so fucking profound. I was 14… it was probably stupid as fuck.
Oh, and did I mention this happened to be on the same day when Grand was coming for a dinner party and I had like maybe an hour to get my shit together?
Grand did not rule with a fist, but an endless series of mind games and mental abuse. If I had a problem with a teacher, Grand would take the teacher’s side without hearing anything else. If anyone ever said I was doing something wrong, my side would never be requested. It was always the outsider who was right. Grand was also epic at slinging baseless accusations, just to see if something would stick. It meant I spent most of my pre-adult and adult life constantly defensive and paranoid.
So the internal frenzy I was working myself into was not reflected on the drooling motionless buffoon I was on the outside. However, I will have to say my cousin, who understands very well the defensive paranoia from the summers spent with Grand, was pretty damn epic at kicking my ass into clean clothes, and propping me up at the table to look like real people.
The one thing in my favor? Grand is completely fucking ignorant to the world of alcohol and drugs. They have never had a beer, don’t know the smell of pot, and couldn’t tell you if someone was on something without someone else with more experience pointing it out. Which… unfortunately, would have been my aunt and uncle…
I don’t remember much of the dinner other than the panicked internal dialog, the subtle gestures from my cousin to re-calibrate my behavior to seem more normal, and trying to consciously not drool on myself while wanting to simultaneously eat every fucking thing in sight. Just lifting the fork to my mouth was like an epic journey. The fact is I just wanted to lean forward into the first bowl nearest me and start chewing, fuck the rest of these guys.
I was relieved when Grand left, braced myself for the uproar from my aunt and uncle… but nothing. Apparently, however I thought I was behaving wasn’t too bad, my cousin passed it off to them as being tired from the river and too much sun and I was able to blissfully go back to our room and stare glassy-eyed at the wall again until it wore off. Considering how much we didn’t get away with these two (we earned nicknames over following summers, “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Thelma and Louise” the year that came out, “Connor and Murphy” *fistbump to those who got that one*, and the list goes on), I was shocked. I kind of wanted to ask them “What the fuck, guys? You seriously can’t tell I’m stoned out of my gourd?”
I did ask my aunt… um, last Thanksgiving, if she’d caught on. She remembered the dinner and I could tell she was mentally replaying it in her mind, but was shocked not only that I was stoned, but that she hadn’t caught it. We normally didn’t get away with much. Not to say there wasn’t some serious shit we did get away with, but about 68% they caught.
Was that the last time I ever smoked pot? Ha! Adorable you’d think so. No, I smoked once more in which the barbie effect wasn’t as bad and then it never happened again. I didn’t quit until I married, when my fiance asked me to stop. It wasn’t a physical addiction so I didn’t find it a problem.
It was my escapism and my coping mechanism. By the time I hit my teens, it was me who had a problem with volatile moods swings and caged violence. I wanted to hit and beat. Mostly Grand. I wanted to bash and break one bone for every false accusation, every rude ass remark, every unfounded feeling of guilt or paranoia I had ever endured. I wanted to break the dad who implanted finger marks in my best friend’s throat for us being 5 minutes late. I wanted to bash the guy who liked to threatened his girlfriend for wanting to leave him. I wanted to smash the face of the teacher who just liked to stir up shit for no reason. I could really channel my mother’s “Red Scot-Irish Banshee,” as they say.
It got to the point where in college, I couldn’t sit still for any class over an hour without being stoned. I would have been bouncing off the walls and not able to focus on anything and probably just gotten up and left in a huff. Looking back, I probably had un-diagnosed ADD (I wasn’t so much hyper as perpetually distracted)… but it only counts if they catch you. ;P
When I divorced, my petty spitefulness got the best of me and went to “hey, since I’m free now, all former promises are null and void!” so eventually I ended up at a party where it was offered. I happily said “hey old friend!” and joined in.
I spent the better part of the next six hours feeling like I’d been dunked in molasses in which to breath and move around and was severely pissed. I felt tethered. I wasn’t the barbie effect of old, I had just really changed. All that anger that was such a hallmark of my youth has somehow converted itself to fuel. I got up at 4:30 to start my day back then, worked 14 hours, came home, took yoga and judo through the week, went out on the weekends, usually til 2 or 3 when the bars and clubs closed and did it all again the next day. This is how I was doing it. Rage had finally turned into something productive for me. I said my farewells to pot after that.