I’m 27, and so are most of my friends, more or less. Everybody’s become more serious about their lives. Everyone’s on a diet of some kind or exercise regimen. Every one is getting married and/or having kids. Everyone’s got a job paying over 40k per year (or trying to at the very least). Everyone’s slowing down on partying and going out.
Nobody wants to do drugs with me anymore.
Forgive me if this comes off as a woe-is-me song. It’s not. More than anything, it’s just an observation of my friends and people around me. These people are still my friends, even if they don’t engage in my bad habits with me. People change, tastes change, responsibilities and loyalties change. And one day, I will too. I’ll stop going to random-ass parties where I don’t know anyone and am probably the oldest twenty-something in the room. I’ll stop hiding bud in my Jeremy Scott kicks when I go anywhere. I’ll stop walking around with pre-rolled joints and smoking them conspicuously in places where I think there are no cops. But until then, I’m having the time of my life on the low-key. But there’s only so much fun you can have by your lonesome.
Some quick context: Growing up, I didn’t get into much trouble. I was a nerd, if you will. Not as smart as people would like to think I am, but I do have an IQ on me. For the earlier part of my teens, my mother was kind of overprotective. Couldn’t go here, couldn’t go there, had to be in by a certain hour, etc. Then in my later teen years, it was more so that the few friends I had just weren’t into doing much of anything or had just branched off into other cliques. I was kind of a loner. This continued until I went to college. I was slow to make friends, and I didn’t go to any of the parties. When I finally did start making acquaintances, all hell broke loose.
I started getting really drunk with a few of the guys and girls that stayed in my dorm around my junior year. I turned 21 and it was the thing to do every weekend to go to the ABC store. You had to get there before 8:45 and we would scramble there just in time to meet every wine-o in Norfolk. But if you were in the door before 8:45, you were good to go. We got our rums, vodkas, and whatever the fuck 99 Bananas was. Sometimes we’d go to house parties, sometimes we’d hit a club, but for the most part, we’d be in the on-campus apartments watching a $5 movie from walmart or playing some god-forsaken drinking game.
Around the same time I started getting drunk, I met a friend that I still love to this very day: Mary Jane. And she’s everything the late, great Rick James said she was. These days, Mary’s creating some schism in my current relationship, but my chick says she’ll deal with it because she loves me. Even still, she hammers in on me for getting high when we get into fights.
When I first started sparking up, I didn’t actually get high. I inhaled from a blunt that was being passed around at a party I was at, and I inhaled a few times, but nothing was happening. I left it alone, then smoked again with some friends in a car one day. Nothing happened. Then one day, and I forget where and when it was, but my soul just opened up. Nothing mattered. I couldn’t feel my face and everything was hilarious. I felt like I could fly. With this description, I could be describing something harder than just weed, but that’s what the bud did for me. And ever since then, I always wanted to smoke. There were entire weeks when I’d have a blunt or two every single day. I went to classes semi-high (never completely high, because I wouldn’t be able to focus). I even wrote most of my senior thesis high (I got a B on it, if it matters).
I graduated and came back home to New York City. A few of my boys that I used to chill with back in Virginia were up here for grad school and one of them was working. Eventually we’d all be hanging out on the regular, and smoke all the time. As one of my friends would say, we had some adventures. House parties, clubs, concerts, we was at everything.
One of my favorite events was a 420 party at this lounge in Williamsburg. One of my boys and I rolled to this place and there were wall-to-wall stoners everywhere. People shared joints with us and we had dumbass conversations with random folk that were there. There were live bands and there was some type of beauty pageant too. That was a shitload of fun.
That was about three or four years ago. And sometimes we all still chill; grab beers at a bar, smoke hookah, and just reminisce on college days and other shit. Now, I find myself rolling joints like every other day or every day if I can, just getting high by myself. And it’s cool, except for one thing: it’s getting old. Everybody I know is getting more serious about their lives, and I need to as well. One of my friends is starting a family. The other is going hard in the paint for his business. Another is chasing his dreams of being on the silver screen. And me, I want to write.
I scare myself with my own dream, as clichéd as it may sound. I want to be recognized in pop culture circles with the best of them. I want to be a 2013 Langston Hughes, but maybe not as poetic. I’ve done internships and networked, but I’ve been working against myself by not keeping in contact with some of these people. Sometimes I need a smoke just to quell my nervousness about my future.
I told my chick about an idea for a novella and she didn’t even care. She said something about being tired of me and my ideas that I never follow through on. It surprised me, to say the least. The girl that I love and give all my attention and affection to didn’t believe in me. But being fazed by that would only set me back. So I’m putting action behind my words and I’m writing again. And I’m going to be like all my other friends and not just start going for mine, but continue going towards my dream. I gotta leave Mary alone for a little bit. I also gotta leave Newports alone too. Chick sez they make my breath stink.