Cautionary Tales and Some Light Counter-programming on This Week of April 20
I am not sure I actually like the experience of getting high; if I do it successfully it sends me to sleep for eight hours, but at its worst it makes me insanely anxious. Not usually a lot of upside. But because I have the memory of a goldfish and the everlasting hope that maybe this time it will be different, I persist in trying it again, and again. And because everything feels a little bad right now and because it is the week of April 20, I will now share with you several humiliating stories about my experiences with the devil’s weed.
- At the end of my senior year of high school, I bought a brownie from a girl in the class below us who claimed she’d made them herself and knew what she was doing. This was a very high-stakes situation for me because I felt a lot of pressure to make this a positive experience for me and one of my friends, both of us enormous virgins who had never so much consumed a drop of alcohol outside of taking Communion, but I had no idea what I was doing. The brownie cost $20 and came in a cardboard Crystal Light box. We split it one Friday afternoon after AP tests when we didn’t have classes and went to lunch at Houlihans afterwards. Nothing happened but it tasted like literal dirt, which is just something we have to live with.
- In 2012 at Bonnaroo my college friends and I bought a bunch of cookies from a guy who was walking around tent-to-tent selling them. I ate half of one right before the sun went down one evening and then in a fit of impatience ate the other half too. (This is going to be a recurring theme in this post.) I was stone-cold sober for all of St Vincent’s set, which was lovely. It was at the precise moment that St Vincent’s set ended that two things happened: the cookies kicked in and my friends Paul and Erik sprinted ahead of me and my friend Tara to get to the stage where Radiohead was playing. Unfortunately, my legs turned to lead and I could not move from the grassy patch where I then stood for 10 minutes. Tara patiently waited for me to unglue myself from the earth and we slowly made our way over to see Radiohead. I couldn’t tell you one thing about that show. After it was over we went to go see Major Lazer’s set and I took a nap at 2 am on the ground with Paul’s backpack as a pillow.
- In 2016, Cassie and I went to go see our very funny friend Sammy do stand-up at Caroline’s in Times Square. It was 4/20 so we split an edible from Cassie’s pastry chef dealer. I determined after half an hour that the half a cookie I ate “wasn’t working” so I ate another half and then poor Cassie had to walk me to the N train after the show while Sammy’s mom demanded that I join them for an Italian food dinner.
- In 2017 Cassie and I went to Denver together to go see a Father John Misty show (!) at Red Rocks (!!). We got carried away on our first day when we went to a dispensary and bought probably $120 in edibles for a four-day trip. We had a red-eye flight coming home and had time to kill on the last day so we went to go see Ingrid Goes West and each had one edible in the theater — I ate a lollipop so what was I supposed to do, only eat half? No, I ate the whole thing — and then walked around downtown Denver with our luggage and our friend Peter while the sun set and the THC melted our brains. We did somehow make it to DIA and through security and to our gate and back to New York but we were each stoned for approximately 24 hours.
- One sunny, windy, fiercely cold day last winter a group of my friends went to Brighton Beach, ate edibles at a Russian restaurant, and then walked over to the aquarium on the boardwalk. Once we got inside the aquarium, we were awed — not by the fish or the whales or the jellyfish or the seahorses or the seals, but by the large wall that listed the names of the aquarium’s donors. After spending several minutes pleasantly staring at the wall of names, I shepherded us into the aquarium itself to look at fish in tanks. This day was rounded out by a trip to the Coney Island Applebees, which I am saddened to learn has since closed.