I got stoned, a few years ago, with a friend of mine who was dying of cancer. I knew I might get selected for a random drug test, but it wasn’t like this was a time to worry about such a thing. It wasn’t very good pot, even though I hadn’t been stoned in decades and I wasn’t impressed at all. Pot has always made me a little paranoid, but it also gives me a lot of good writing ideas. But this wasn’t a time for that either, because we both knew, everyone knew, this was the last time the two of us would be able to sit down like we had a million times before, and smoke pot.
As you get older, if you get older, people die. It’s the price you pay for living. Usually, your grandparents go, and then older people your parents are friends with, your parents, but one day you’re going to lose someone close, very close, that’s the same age as you are, or younger even, and that’s the difference. Intellectually, you know you are going to die, but watching someone you’ve known all your life dying is a shock.
Curt and I got some really good pot one time and it was on a road trip to the beach. We barely made it there alive. We sat in the car grooving to Pink Floyd and finally staggered out to the water and splashed around for a while. Curt forgot he had the pot in his pocket and it got wet. We dried it out and smoked the rest of it but it wasn’t as good and tasted harsh. He apologized for that the last time we got stoned, and I had nearly forgotten about it.
That was an odd beach trip because he had to go back the next day, and I got handed off to some friends we saw there. That was a time of my life I could just drift from one party to another, no problem, no dogs to be fed, no job that I couldn’t call in sick two or three times a month, and no real idea what was going on in life. I don’t think we ate more than one meal that weekend.
It was really strange because I wound up spending time with a woman trying to find her husband, who had gotten drunk and wandered off. The woman’s friend was named Lizzie, and Lizzie found a guy who spoke haltingly, maybe a word every ten seconds, so listening to him required a good memory and a lot of patience. But he had some really, really, really, good pot, and after half a joint I understood his speech impediment.
The married woman and I took a walk because Lizzie and the Haltingly Dude went into the bedroom and the noise was impressive, as well as more than a little disconcerting. Some random guy started following us, and we discovered this when we turned around and almost ran into him. But he turned around, too, and we wondered who the hell he was and what the hell he was doing, but once we got close to lights he faded away back into the shadows.
Once back at Lizzie’s place, we were told the woman’s husband had dropped by to pick up his clothes and left, which was really strange.
I fell asleep on the sofa, while the two women talked about what it all meant, and the next day, the husband came back and we all rode back to Blakely, Georgia, and smoked good pot on the way. It was about this time of year, the Summer dying slowly, still hot but September looming ahead. That was nearly forty years ago, and Lizzie disappeared never to be heard from again. The married couple divorced and remarried twice apiece, and Curt is dead.
If you’re my age, maybe older, these things have happened to you, and if you’re younger, these things are going to happen to you. Random events and people pop back into your memory from the past, and you wonder what happened to the guy who talked funny, or the stalker dude, or Lizzie. You wonder if some friend of yours wasn’t trying to push his wife off on you because he had a girlfriend and you wonder if she knew, and was good with that idea.
In five weeks I retire, and I think I’ll find some pot, just to see what it does to me. I’ll go to the mountains and see what they do to me. And I’ll wonder if one day, those memories will be written down.
When was a time you remember being stoned at a weird time?