Getting high has never been a routinely great experience for me. With alcohol, I know what I’m getting into. With weed, it’s a mixed bag of buds, stems, emotions, degrees of hunger, and paranoid thoughts. Sure, there were great times when nothing but the bag of McDonald’s fries in my lap mattered. But there were other times where there was nothing but a persistent voice in the back of my head saying, “Everyone knows you’re high as balls and you will never, ever be normal again.” This list is not meant to scare anyone away from weed (as if I possess that power), or to inspire a “~420 BlAaAaAaZeEe It!!!~” response, but more to serve up my own humiliation as entertainment and disappoint my parents. Let’s take this journey.
1) Age eighteen, in a cornfield behind my ex boyfriend’s house. This was my first time getting high. I was already drunk and was planning on getting more drunk when we ran out of booze. What’s a girl to do? I’d never even seen weed in the green, dank flesh, but there it was, produced from a plastic baggie by my boyfriend’s sixteen-year-old BFF. I think a blunt was rolled, I’m not sure. All I know is that I immediately regretted my decision and began to think of all the cats in the rural area around me: how would they find enough light to cross the street unharmed? My mouth was so dry. I searched the tent for water, but all I found was our high school valedictorian pointing out the astounding number of parabolas on the tent ceiling. I laid down. He was right. The parabolas were terrifying. I begged my boyfriend to drive me to the hospital, as I was sure that I’d drugged myself beyond repair and that cats were dying all around me, but he refused because he didn’t have a driver’s license. The next day I swore off weed forever and rushed home to make sure my cat was alive. She was.
2) Age twenty, in the basement of my dorm. I lived in an arts dorm in which every person was a different flavor of insane. Luckily, my room was in a closed off portion of the basement with only two others, so the insane people stayed above ground. The stoners, however, found solace in the basement. I befriended two of them, both cute artist dudes living next door, and they thought my general uptightness was hilarious. One time, I came home a little tipsy and they offered up an apple as a bong. Would I, the non-artsy lady with a deceivingly hip pixie cut, finally be cool? I would. This was my first real time getting stoned since the cornfield incident, and oh, how stoned I was. I proceeded to pass out on one guy’s shoulder while they called me babygirl, a joke that would haunt me for the remainder of the year. “Babygirl is stoooooooned” I sang, rolling around in dirty artist dorm sheets and loving my new carefree nature. But this carefree high began to introduce new feelings into my life: this guy was really cute. Like…wait…has he always been this cute? And I was in his bed? Oh, no. I wanted so badly to leave before I licked his face. But could I move? No, I couldn’t. After forty-five paranoid minutes in a corner, I managed to crawl to his side and he carried me to my room. Months later, I would lick his face as we made out next to the basement vending machine while my drunk friend at a lean cuisine pizza. Destiny is real.
3) Age twenty, in an apartment in my hometown. At this time in my life, I had convinced myself that I was in a tres casual relationship with someone who was in a very serious relationship with weed, and everyone around me knew it, including my father. Without directly telling me that I was spending all my weekend visits home from college with a huge stoner, my Dad said “he’s a little too chilled and spaced out, don’t you think?” I didn’t think about anything aside from the fact that he looked a little like a young Brad Pitt circa ‘Fight Club,’ particularly in the abdominal region. I was rebounding. Weed became an integral part of our relationship, and on one particular occasion, I got so stoned that I didn’t notice he’d put in the ‘Nirvana Unplugged’ DVD. I like Nirvana, but I don’t like Nirvana enough to watch them non-stop for four hours. But that is what we did. My high became one of despair: when would I leave? Would I ever leave? Should I run? What would my escape route be? Did I still know how to use stairs? How did Courtney Love feel? I did leave, but I still can’t listen to ‘All Apologies’ without wanting to run away forever, via any path without stairs, of course.
4) Age twenty, in the honors dorm at Rutgers University. Twenty was a pretty high year for me, apparently. The honors dorm was always good for a free high. All of my friends lived, drank, and got completely and totally ripped there. Naturally on 4/20, we decided to hit up the realest stoner in the intellectual game. He’d nearly been arrested in a nearby shed a couple weeks back from sparking a bowl next to the theological library, so we knew he was legit. He agreed to make us brownies. At the time, I didn’t understand that I was dealing with a very intelligent, stoned emotional terrorist, who would be so ripped when he made the brownies that he would put almost a dime bag in each one. Is that a lot? Forgive me if I’m wrong on the content. Just know that it was far too much for one person to consume. And consume we did. I ate my brownie in stages, so I wasn’t as stoned as my compadres when they began to stage a funeral for an ant we found dead on the lawn. As the ant funeral progressed, one of our brethren became so scared that he screamed and ran back inside. It was in the dining hall that I realized what I’d done, when I began to feel every muscle in my throat move the ravioli into my stomach. Oh no. I ran back to the dorm to lay down, only to find two of my friends lying on the floor holding one another, asking each other things like “do I still have eyes?” while laughing themselves to tears. I went to my boyfriend’s room to chill out. For the next few hours, I’m told that I held the cinderblock wall tightly while telling passerbys how well I could see the veins in my eyes projected on the wall. “Will I ever be normal again?” I asked. No. I wouldn’t. I ate a take-out container of pasta, two snickers bars, one bag of chips, and two bags of gummy fruit snacks. Still in the seventh circle of hell, I cried myself to sleep as I told my boyfriend that I didn’t actually know if I’d ever be on television. I awoke thirteen hours later and resolved never to do edibles again, which lasted about half a year until I visited Amsterdam.
5) Age twenty-one, in a van in my hometown. My friends and I had decided to take their mom’s van to go on a quick food run. First, we’d pick a large pizza, which we’d then bring with us on our journey to Taco Bell. We left no stone unturned and no stoner unfed. I was assigned the simple task of going inside to get the pizza and bringing it back to the van. As I walked into the pizza place, I realized that I was much more high than I’d thought, given the fact that I could not find the door to get inside. Everything was made of glass and nothing looked like a handle. A kind employee let me in and I said “I’m here.” I assumed they’d know what I meant. They didn’t. As I struggled to explain that I was there, at the pizza place, to pick up one pizza, at the pizza place, I needed a pizza, hi, I called, for a pizza…my sentences became difficult to assemble. Eventually, they handed me the pizza. I thought I was in the clear. I ran outside and got in the van. No one said anything. Did they know? How did they know how embarrassing I’d been inside. I began to explain myself: “Guys, was that weed we smoked, like, crazy?” No response. I needed to stop hanging out with stoners. I turned to look upon their high ass faces. Oh. It wasn’t them, but instead it was a family of five: a mom, dad, and three small boys looked at the stoned monster taking their evening hostage in sheer terror. I said nothing, left the van, and ran to find my friends. At this point, I knew I couldn’t swear anything off. But now, I always think twice before getting into familiar vans. Especially when I am incredibly fucking high.