Hallucinating Bob Marley: An Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the novella, Rocket Man. Read the full book here.

Dylan said, “I’m going to make tuna casserole all by myself this time, and I’ll ask you if I have any questions, okay?”

“Yeah, totally.”

He asked me amounts, and I told him. He said, “Do you have this written down somewhere, or is it just in your head?”

“Oh, I know it by heart, but I do have it written down. It’s my mom’s recipe.”

“That’s awesome you can remember that.” He said, “Because I can’t remember shit, like my whole twenties is a blur because I was fucked up all the time. ‘Cause I think the pain pills fucked up my memory, like I was aware of what was happening at the time, but because I was fucked up, like, it didn’t get remembered, you know? Like all those years dealing and shit, like, I remember a lot of things, but I was popping so many pills, it was hard for me to remember what I did the day before.”

“Yeah, I hear that, man. Do you remember when we went to Bob Marley Fest downtown, and Will got us in for free, and we were all walking around backstage and shit?”

“No, not at all.” He asked, “Was this when I was dealing?”

“Yeah, like 2003, no 2004, when I was living in Ocean Beach with that one dude. And I was at my parents’ doing my taxes. It was President’s Day, I think. And you called me and left a message all down because you had two passes to go to Bob Marley Fest, but couldn’t find anybody to go with, and just left the message.”

He stood at the stove, raptly listening.

“And so I called you back and drove down to Long Beach. And I remember driving there with you, back in the day when you had your car, and we were smoking a blunt and it was sunny and beautiful. And we were driving on the 710 Freeway, I think, and we were like on some bridge coming into downtown, smoking the blunt and listening to that one rocking Sublime song, and I think even that ‘Spaceship’ song by Kanye West, just bumping it on your system. It was so fucking awesome. Does the 710 come into downtown Long Beach on like a white bridge?”

“Yeah, totally!”

“Yeah, so we got real blunted, and I remember some girls were talking to us because we kind of parked where the Long Beach Mall use to be, which they had made into a Walmart, I think, and these cute girls said something to us, but we were too stoned to realize they were drunk and hitting on us.”

“Really what did they say?” He asked, adding the cheese packet to the boiling mixture.

“I can’t remember, but they were drunk and real talkative and we just kind of kept walking, and then realized they had actually kind of invited us to a bar or something. We were so stoned we didn’t even realize till they had gone.”

“Huh, that’s funny.”

“And then we met Will by his car and he gave us these rainbow artists’ wristbands that were large enough to be slipped off peoples’ wrists, and we went inside with his passes the back way. And we’re backstage walking in that big hall, and they had the food and water, and there were Rasta-looking dudes all around, but you know, I don’t know what any of these guys looked like. And I remember Will was like, ‘You can have water, but you needed tickets for food.’ But I was stoked to have water because I’d been to two of them before, and you’re smoking weed the whole time and getting totally dehydrated and waters like five dollars a bottle, so free water was awesome!”

Dylan smiled while he stirred the pot.

“So Will takes us out into the middle of the floor, right by the control booth, you know, right where the sound is the best and we smoked a blunt. And, like, right when he brought us out Julian Marley, who I think is one of Bob Marley’s sons, had just started playing because Will had just been working setting everything up. And he was singing Bob Marley songs, and he sounded just like Bob Marley, and he moved just like Bob Marley, like the way he danced and sang. And he was wearing this yellow flannel like Bob Marley had in some of his live performances, and I was totally tripping like I was watching Bob Marley, and it wasn’t till later that Will told me who it was.” I said.

“That’s awesome.”

“Yeah, and then we went in the stands and smoked another blunt before we went and met Will again by this light, and smoked another blunt. Because you had rolled like five blunts, before we left, of chronic and they were big blunts too. Like, I was so fucked up, I actually thought I was watching Bob Marley on the stage. It was crazy. And then afterwards we went to Huntington Beach, some bar with Tim. But I was super burnt out from all the blunts.”

“You must have.” He said, turning off the burner and covering the pot.

“And, like, the next day I had like a weed hangover because I was so dehydrated because of how much weed I had smoked.”

“Damn.” He said, reaching into a cupboard and grabbing another pot. “I’m going to make corn too.”

“Really? Do you think that will be good?”

“Yeah, the peas were awesome.”

“Yeah, that’s the good thing about tuna casserole. It inspires creativity.” I smiled. “You like my story?”

“Yeah, that’s awesome because I have no memory of that at all.” He said. “It sucks like years of my life I can’t remember because I was too fucked up nothing registered in the long term except, like, real major shit.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Like this excerpt? Check out the rest of Rocket Man here.

TC Site

Featured image – Eddie

More From Thought Catalog