10 || BEING HIGH AS HELL
How you hanging in there? You doing all right? Life treating you okay? I know it’s all fun and games when you still have recess built into your curriculum and the most difficult part of your day is trying to figure out how to divide 20 by 4 (it’s 3… just kidding it’s 5 - also congratulations, you’ve just witnessed the extent of our math knowledge), but shit’s about to become a lot more difficult. Puberty’s coming, boys are going to stop looking like germy midgets and MySpace is about to throw your world into a real shitstorm.
So how do you handle all this chaos? Well mostly you’re just going to be really hormonal. A boy just ended your two-week romantic hand-holding escapade? Cry a lot. Your teacher just called you out for talking during class? Aggressively read Twilight under the table and disregard the rest of the lecture. A friend pantsed you in the middle of the blacktop in front of three hundred 8th graders? Grab him by the hair, slam his head against a portable and scream at him until he apologizes. (By the way, you actually do do that and it’s awesome.)
As you slowly mature into your twenties, however, crying yourself into dehydration, angrily reading vampire fiction, and smashing people’s heads against the walls of outdoor classrooms aren’t going to be the remedies you find yourself in need of. There is this wonderful thing called tequila which I promise I’ll tell you all about in a future letter. There’s also another fun thing called sitting fully dressed in a shower for far too long and hoping by some miracle you eventually just drown. Also something for another letter. What I figured I would touch on here is weed.
Marijuana. Your first encounter with the drug is going to be one cloudy afternoon during 7th grade gym. You’ll be out on the lawns near your middle school and you’ll notice some smoke coming out of the public restroom. You and your friends will go over to investigate and be overwhelmed by a potent smell. Nowadays you love that smell, but at the time you’re shitty and confused and you immediately tell your teacher of your discovery. She’ll bang on the door repeatedly telling the culprit to get the fuck out of there without success. When she finally gives up, you’ll see the door open and the dude come flying out as fast as his tiny stoner legs will take him. His pants will be sagging down to his knees and he’ll fall so many times during his escape that you’ll wonder if he would honestly just move faster if he crawled, but he’ll get out of there. And voila.
Eventually though, once you get to college, you’ll stop associating weed with people being morons and once you’re out of college and sobered up from the stage where you consider tequila god in liquid form, you’ll come to associate weed as a topnotch alternative to mental chaos. It has taken me until now to understand just how much I need to be in a state of calm, yet high functionality. As it turns out it’s very little and indulging in it fairly sporadically and infrequently has kept me able to appreciate it without ever actually being in a mindset where I need it.
It has taken a solid handful of embarrassing moments to get to that place. Far too often you will inhale too deeply and too long and cough yourself into a near coma. You’ll stain your clothes with ash, drunkenly try to light the wrong end of a joint, break someone else’s pipe, burn your fingers repeatedly on lighters, and just generally misuse paraphernalia while trying to pass off that you’re an expert. But in all that stupidity, you’ll never make an ass of yourself quite as much as when you take edibles.
This is what I recommend first and foremost in your marijuana ventures: avoid the edibles.
5mg here, 5 mg there? Fine. Someone’s attempt at homemade cookies? Okay. But if it’s been processed and sold through a dispensary then keep it out of your mouth.
Here’s the deal. You’ve truly indulged, truly committed yourself to edibles four times. They are as follows:
1. FOURTH OF JULY
This is your first time taking an edible. You’ll be celebrating the Fourth of July with your boyfriend at the time, his sister and her boyfriend, vacationing in Palm Springs at the peak of the desert’s hellish heat and as you sweat through your last clean outfit you’re going to stare at that little fourth of a brownie in its plastic wrapping and think, “How much is that really going to mess me up? It can’t be that bad.”
I’ll tell you how bad it is. You know those giant containers of Pub Mix from Costco? The ones you only bought because you’re having that barbecue on Sunday and you need to put more food out on the table or Linda will make a snarky comment (that bitch) and you know most of it will be left over anyway because few people will voluntarily put it on their plate, but you get it anyway to calm your food to person ratio anxiety, and then come the end of the barbecue low and behold most of the container is left over because no one wants to eat a shittier version of Chex Mix and then the thing sits in your cupboard for a year before you finally throw it out.
So anyway. One of those shows up in the food stash for Palm Springs and it takes four days to even put a dent in the thing. Then, about an hour after taking this tiny little brownie bite, you’ve got this pub mix cradled to your chest, eating and chatting for what you’ve assumed is two hours. You look down at the contents of the container. It’s just about disappeared.
Fuck, you think. First of all, gross. Second, how the hell did I slam this all down that quickly? It must’ve been more than two hours.
So you’ll ask your boyfriend how long it’s been since you started eating the pub mix. “About two minutes,” he’ll say.
You ate what most people can’t even finish in a year in two minutes.
The following day when speaking with your boyfriend’s sister, you’ll ask if she noticed anything unusual about how you were acting the night before, thinking that despite it all you played it pretty cool, and she’ll say, “Oh the stoned thing? Yeah, you were completely glazed over. Plus, you ate literally all of our pub mix. Honestly not mad though, that shit is disgusting.”
Okay take two. You’re seeing the new SpongeBob movie with your boyfriend at the time, your best friend and her boyfriend. Your boyfriend picks up some candy edibles. You’ve never had those. You have no idea how they work so, learning nothing from your previous experience, you just start cramming candy into your mouth. A half hour passes and you feel nothing so you repeat the candy cramming. Still nothing. You do it again. Nothing.
You make it to SpongeBob. The movie starts. Still nothing. What a waste of money.
The half hour mark hits and all of a sudden you’re laughing. A normal laugh. A minute passes. You haven’t stopped laughing. Another minute passes. You’re aggressively slumped in your seat. Still laughing. At some point a dolphin starts talking. You lose your mind. BLACK OUT. WAKE UP. Your home. You’re on your couch. You have no idea what happened the entire movie. You barely remember seeing a movie.
Months later when interviewing for a job at a big studio your future boss will ask you what your favorite movie has been thus far that year. In an anxious frenzy you’ll spit out “SPONGEBOB” and then pray he doesn’t ask you what your favorite part of the movie was. He, in fact, does ask you what your favorite part of the movie was.
“The dolphin…?” you’ll say hesitantly, phrasing it more as a question than a response.
“Oh yeah, I loved that thing,” he’ll say.
Surprisingly, you’ll get the job. Unsurprisingly, you’ll hold back from taking candy edibles ever again.
3. LAKE HAVASU
Every frat at Chapman has their formal. For Beta Theta Pi it goes down at Lake Havasu. If you’re trying to celebrate Spring Break Miami style, but the sweaty beaches and mild hint of white trash vibes is too glamorous for you, might I recommend Havasu.
The second day of the formal it’s tradition to rent a Bud Light houseboat, which is essentially a floating dance floor. Had you been in a position to enjoy it, I’m sure you would have. Unfortunately, enough time had passed since the Fourth of July pub mix fiasco the previous year for you to willfully convince yourself that maybe giving the brownie a second go would be fine.
This is what you’ll remember of that afternoon: lounging in an intertube, getting a lot of sand up your butt because that intertube was on land and not, as it should have been, in the water, staring at the boat from the beach and wondering why you’re not on it, answering your own question when you remember you’re not on it because you’re too high to move, watching a drunk Beta lose his Ray Bans somewhere in the depths of the lake and internally congratulating yourself on never buying Ray Bans for this exact reason, realizing you’ll never be coming back to Lake Havasu so maybe it’s okay to buy Ray Bans, thinking about buying Ray Bans and, somewhere in the middle of that, being used as a shield between some security guards and a couple kids who evidently just really need to get their cocaine fix at that exact moment.
In case you’re wondering what that last part means, it means you were so high that you didn’t notice the cooler you were leaning against being temporarily converted into a table top for coke endeavors. When security personnel from a festival up the hill come to tell the frat to move their boat, you’re simply repositioned so that they can’t see what’s happening behind you from where they’re standing. At one point you make eye contact with a guard, turn around to ask the people behind you what they’re up to, see the coke, think “Hmmm, I should probably remove myself from this situation,” and then promptly fall asleep.
That will be the last time you eat one of those brownies.
All right, last one. April of 2016 will not be a good month for you for a number of reasons, none of which matter anymore. But it’s for those reasons that when 420 rolls around, you take full advantage of the day. Sitting in your friends’ backyard you’ll indulge yourself in far too many bong rips, assuming you’ve somehow acquired an immunity to them because the high isn’t really hitting you.
It does hit you. Hard. About a half an hour later. A few minutes after you’re offered a giant hunk of weed infused white chocolate and accept. The combination of the rips and the chocolate doesn’t seem too bad at first.
But then comes The Emperor’s New Groove. A class is watching it in the theater at the film school and anyone is welcome to join. Honestly, what better film to watch on 420. You and your friends stumble in late, take up your seats and… the rest is black.
In a less than surprising turn of events, weed with an extra helping of weed and a side of weed is actually a pretty surefire way to make your brain explode. When you come to you’re sitting inside Watson’s, a modern take on an old timey diner, staring at a menu. In front of you is your friend who, while probably still a little high herself, is definitely acting like a normal person. So that makes one of you.
When your milkshake comes you drink it so fast the waiter makes a point to really let you know you’ve done a number on it. You eat your grilled cheese strips like someone is going to snatch them away at any minute. Your friend will later tell you your eyes were barely open for the entirety of the meal. When you wake up the next morning you’ll feel like you just came out of a coma, but mostly you’ll be pissed that you can’t remember watching The Emperor’s New Groove because really, that’s just fucked up to miss out on a piece of extraordinary filmmaking like that.
Long story short, edibles will do you in every damn time and it’s probably for the best that you eventually retire from them in their more extreme levels of potency. I can assure you you’ve been much better since. As for dabbling in the greens though, enjoy yourself. You’re going to be a young adult living in Southern California with the general stresses of growing up, trying to maintain some level of sanity and, if you haven’t already picked up on it from some of my other letters, sometimes it’s going to be a fucking nightmare. So, in moderation, indulge and relax. You’re going to need it.
Love you dude,