Drugs were an unspeakable evil as a child growing up in the 80’s. The “Just Say No” campaign bludgeoned me with fear. Many of my mom’s friends experienced coke-fueled implosions. Shane fell off the bridge and got brain damage on Degrassi High.
But my adolescence was an unspeakable evil too. Without drugs, I was like a cold Chihuahua, thin, shivering, plaintive eyes, tail between my legs. I walked around certain that no one liked me, unpopular with both sexes. I offered guys no competition. I offered women no confidence. Most of my nights in high school were spent alone watching reruns of Quantum Leap.
Shortly after moving to Boulder, Colorado when I was 16, I was introduced to marijuana. I was working at a bike shop. One night after we closed, “Shorty,” a buzz-cut, army-fatigue-wearing, 6’5” Wisconsan, who grew skunk-smelling, crystal laden kind-bud (I’m not sure if they still call it that) lit up a bowl.
I took one puff of Shorty’s weed and was sent into paroxysms of coughing. When the coughing subsided, I spent the rest of the night in the bike-storage room hallucinating that my parents were at the front of the shop. It was not an auspicious start.
Undaunted, I worked past this initial foreboding experience. No feelings of near-death and extreme terror were going to deter me from squashing my depression. Throughout that summer, I learned to love marijuana. When I started my high school, that love blossomed.
Nancy Reagan lied. Drugs were great. I spent the next few years continuously high. Continue reading “A Funny Thing Occurred to Me While Tripping on Acid”