The trees were dying, but I don’t even think that was true. The leaves were changing colors, falling off, shit like that. It was autumn going on winter I guess is what I’m trying to say. And I’m sure that means something, but not that the trees were dying, because they would presumably bloom again.
But maybe they were, I knew I was dying, maybe not actively, but I wasn’t going to bloom again any time soon. I did my blooming over 26 years ago. And I don’t know if I’m trying to be deep or whatever, all I know is that I smashed my face on the concrete or a steel bannister at the train, or something, that was true, but I don’t remember which. It was only a few days ago but I can’t remember which. I just know I smashed my face onto something hard, then I threw up in my lap on the train. It was like 1 or 3 in the morning so there weren’t many people on the train, thankfully. That I remember.
I woke up the next morning and I could feel my front teeth, like a sprained ankle, and the left quadrant of my lower lip was obese.
I was apartment sitting for this friend of a friend whom just had surgery. She couldn’t climb the stairs to her apartment post-op, so I was apartment sitting for her plus cooking and bringing her food at the hotel she was staying at 5 minutes away.
Before one of my dinner runs to the hotel she asked for me to grab some weed butter she had made and left in her fridge. I brought it to her, and she said there was more at the apartment and that it was nice and mellow, if I wanted to give it a try.
I didn’t really fuck with weed anymore, but I had one of those mornings where I didn’t see the point of leaving bed the entire day, and figured I needed to alter my mind a tad, and since it was mellow…
I cooked professionally for a little bit, that was my last job. So I could do some things in the kitchen, I was no slouch. When I finally forced myself out of bed that morning I made the absolute best eggs of my life, they were incredible and layered and fluffy, like stratified clouds. And they paired perfectly with the weed butter spread over two slices of sourdough bread made from my own starter, the closest thing I’d likely ever have to a child. This simple breakfast was so phenomenal that it momentarily perked me up, but it still felt like I had sludge coursing through my veins and brain.
About an hour passed and I caught myself giggling at some stupid joke I said out loud to myself, and it occurred to me that “oh, I’m a little high,” and I laughed some more because I had forgotten all about the weed butter. It tasted so good I forgot it was supposed to have a mellowing effect on me.
I decided to do some minimal exercising and work up a little bit of a sweat before taking my first shower in a few days, you know, really make it count. So I did that, and turned on the hot water and waited and waited and waited, because the hot water took like 10 minutes to not be freezing water in this apartment. It finally got warm, I went in and I was laughing at something that I can’t recall, and I realized, “oh, I’m very high and I think I’m getting higher.” I laughed at myself even more because it had probably been two hours since I’d eaten the weed-buttered toast, so that meant that this was the beginning of a full on edibles experience, this was not mellow at all. I still had to cook this intricate Indian dish for the crippled lady whose apartment I was living in. I still had to do some food shopping too, and I hadn’t been high in a very long time, and I hadn’t been high off edibles in probably 8 years. I laughed at myself more while the shower water continued to heat little by little, I was in the shit.
This was post drugging myself on weed butter, the face smashing that is. It was a few nights after and I met up with some friends to go to one of our favorite, dumb events of the year. A local community church thingy or what have you, put together this thing where they showed old horse races, and people paid ten bucks to enter then make $2 bets on these races, drink, and eat hot dogs. I didn’t eat any hot dogs. We pregamed by Teaing-Off and sipping on brews at the pool hall around the corner.
It was called Night at the Races, they also had this silly dice game in the corner where the dice-guy rolled these two big dice, and you bet two or three bucks whether it would be below, over, or exactly 7. Betting exactly 7 gave you 4 to 1 odds, where the over/under was 2 to 1. This was undeniably an event for old people, but we looked forward to the two times a year it popped up. You would think with the small betting structure and the non-party atmosphere that it would be a peaceful and cheap night, but you’d be wrong.
I looked in my wallet the next morning after feeling my sprained-ankle front teeth and huge lip, and discovered that not only did I not hit it big on the $2 dollar races from 1995, I only had 3 singles left. The house always wins, and the sidewalk and/or metal bannister does as well.
So the weed butter was in full effect, I came to at one point and realized I had been lying on the bed talking out loud to myself for what was either 10 minutes or an hour and a half. I was mostly discussing mortality with myself, going over whether I liked life or not. I came to the conclusion that life was pretty good, but that nothing really mattered and we were insignificant. So nothing new there, but it felt good to say it out loud to myself.
I was still living home, kinda, I didn’t have my own place. I would bounce around mostly, never staying anywhere for more than 3-4 days at a time. But this particular morning I woke up at my parents. I wasn’t doing much with my life; just traveling, drinking, writing, putting off the inevitable. I had just came home from backpacking in Europe and wasn’t working, I didn’t see the point. My parents didn’t say anything, but I imagined they were thinking, “what the fuck is this kid’s plan.” They were older and I was their youngest, and I’d never fucked up too much, so they were pretty lenient. But there comes a time where you have to stop smashing your face.
I didn’t want to get out of bed. I wanted a bed in my own place, where I could lie all day and nobody would know, but New York City was too expensive for lazy people.
I got out of bed and went to get some water, to my surprise they didn’t notice my face until I said something about it when they asked how Night at the Races was. They kinda looked at each other like, “this fuckin guy,” to my surprise they barely even pressed me for details, what a relief. They asked if it hurt, I said, “look at my face,” my mom said, “oh, yea, I didn’t even see that.” “Well it’s fuckin killing me right now.” She jokingly replied, “maybe you have to go back to Europe.” It was never good when your very nice, usually concerned mother was mocking you. I asked her, “what can I use to get blood out of my shirt?” She asked, “you were bleeding?” I replied once more, “of course I was bleeding, look at my face.” She responded, “you really gotta be more careful, I’ll get the stain out, just relax and drink water.” Those were the main components of my mom’s remedies for every physical ailment. “Just eat lite, you know, toast,” was another cure-all. She was a medical professional but wasn’t much for medicine. As the day went on she asked more and more about how my face felt and recommended some aspirin, she was more concerned than she was letting on. Me and my dad were watching football later in the day and he asked how my teeth felt, I told him. He said, “man, lucky you didn’t lose any.” I replied, “yea,” then I shook my head, “so fuckin stupid.” My dad chuckled and replied, “yea, what else can you say.”
I still had a few hours before I had to bring this lady healing in her hip Brooklyn hotel room some dinner, but I made pasta mixed with some leftovers for myself a little after my self analyzing death talk, and it was the hardest thing I’d ever cooked in my life. I was hoping if I shoved food into my face it would make me less high, but I was still on the way up. After I threw the pasta in my mouth, I took out some of base ingredients for the dinner, separated them on the cutting board, slowly got the skins off the cloves of garlic, and immediately walked away. There was no way I was going to be able to do anything more than that without cutting my finger off or my head head exploding.
I was teetering, going between pacing around the apartment and sitting down. I felt myself slipping deeper into the edible, but I had to fight it. If I succumbed there was no telling when I would get out, and I had a schedule to keep. An hour passed and I was still high, I listened to a podcast and stared out the window, I paced. Another hour passed and I listened to another podcast and stared out the window, I was done pacing. I could feel the edible in my toes. A couple of friends finally answered my texts that I sent when I first realized what was happening, they talked me off the edge a little bit, but told me I’d likely have to do some of this cooking high.
The cooking I wasn’t overly worried about, I had to go to the butcher shop and get some chicken. I could’ve gotten it earlier that day, but said to myself, “eh whatever, I’ll get it after breakfast,” then breakfast made me terrified of going outside and seeing or speaking-with other humans.
Another hour passed and I decided it had to happen, I had to get the chicken, I wasn’t about to half ass this dish. I went outside, and it was bright and horrifying on a mostly cloudy day. There was a group of kids at the corner, I was praying they wouldn’t recognize I was baked and harass me accordingly. I arrived at the butcher, I was rehearsing in my head what I wanted to order, “4 boneless chicken breasts, 4 boneless chicken breasts,” over and over. The guy at the counter said “next!” and the guy in front of me asked if I was next. I was baffled, he was front of me, why would I be next. So I talk-yelled, “NO YOU GO AHEAD.” I couldn’t deal with questions, why was this guy doing this to me. Maybe I didn’t yell it, because he didn’t look at me like I was crazy, but I saw him as the devil. The other counterman said, “next! Buddy?” There was no one else in line, I was his buddy. In my head it was very lucid, “four boneless chicken breasts,” but the first noise I made was, “fwahh,” I caught myself, recognizing that’s not how humans begin to say, “4 boneless chicken breasts.” I cleared my throat and rapid-fire-talk-yelled, “four boneless chicken breasts, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.” I didn’t say “for the love of god,” I was just screaming it inside throughout my entire body. He gave me the chicken and asked if I wanted anything else. I wanted to say, “what’s with all these fuckin questions,” but instead I said, “no thanks,” and quickly pushed my card across the counter. I was outside with my chicken, the kids were still at the corner, they could’ve murdered me but they spared my life and didn’t steal my 4 boneless chicken breasts. I got back into the apartment and put the bag of chicken down on the table, and I laughed and laughed. I don’t remember what happened next, I either jerked off or started dicing the onions.
I was leaving the dentist office walking back to my parents house. After a week of shame, regret, and chewing small pieces of food on the side of my mouth; my new dentist informed me that I didn’t have any breaks in my front teeth. I still couldn’t chew with them but he prescribed me some antibiotics and said they should be fine, I couldn’t believe I might come out of the other side of this with no permanent damage. I met up with my friend later on and had some celebratory beers, we smoked tobacco out of his new fancy pipe, like gentlemen. I had a few more beers than expected and forgot to take the antibiotics.
I got dinner to the hotel by the time we had agreed upon pre weed-buttered toast. I told her my harrowing tale and she couldn’t believe it. She said, “yea it is mellowing, but it’s also potent.” To my mind those were two opposite things, but English was her second language, so I didn’t argue. I was just happy I got out of bed, I was happy I pulled off this intricate Indian dish. She said it was soooo delicious, but she said that about everything I had made. Maybe it was.