Eddie never gave me his name. He got me high. I ran for my life.
I am sixteen years old. I am a newly indoctrinated Pothead. And, I’m really cool.
I am walking home from high school at roughly three in the afternoon.
I have begun attending a new high school. I transferred out of Hebrew school after tenth grade because I felt alienated to the point of theorizing suicide on a very regular basis. My parents clued in to my desperate thinking just in time to save my life.
My second school is a not-too-big public school close to home and, since transferring here, I am so focused on survival, I do not realize how desperate I am to fit in.
On my first day of school I meet two girls who are best friends. They let me walk home with them one day and eventually they adopt me into their friendship.
They smoke a lot of weed.
I do not smoke any weed. I tell them that I do because one time many many months ago my brother let me take a hit from his water bottle bong in a school parking lot after 10 PM, which did nothing for my real life other than fuel my imaginary ego.
At sixteen, being a complete loner, I have a vivid imaginary life. Fantastically, I have a plethora of friendships and interests, I am a participant in Cool, I am a glorified version of, not really “myself” but more like my potential self. In my imaginary life, I am not really anyone I would want to be in reality. I have only constructed an imaginary version of myself so that I can try to understand why everyone around me is behaving so callously. I don’t fit in. I would at least like to understand why I don’t fit in and so I mesmerize my imagination with the possibility of understanding.
When my two new friends offer me marijuana, I take it.
My participation in the drug makes me feel welcome into a Being that is more relevant than any other habit or activity that I have previously known.
I feel experienced and therefore cherished.
I have never had a social purpose before. Drugs, in whatever capacity, make me feel part of something and, since I have spent my whole life alienated by my intellect, by my looks, by everything about me, I feel really good.
Weed makes me feel good. Not because of the high induced. Only because it habituates me socially.
I am walking home in the middle of the afternoon. Usually there would be two of my peers with me, they would have taken the bus with me but for some reason they had gone home before I did.
Alone, walking down my street, I encounter Eddie on his front lawn.
He asks me for a lighter.
I have a lighter, of course I have a lighter, I am very cool. I drop my bag and I hunt through the entire thing, determined to find it.
As I dig for the lighter, it dawns on me that Eddie does not live in this house. He is working on the house. His clothing is covered in cement. His truck is in the driveway. He is, frankly, Ethnic apart from our Jewish neighbourhood.
I find the lighter and I hand it to him.
He says, Thanks, as he turns to head into the backyard.
I was sure he was going to light a cigarette right in front of me and give back the lighter but he didn’t.
He turns back around, sees me silently watching him and says “You want to smoke with me?”
I don’t say anything.
He says, “You smoke weed?”
I say “yeah”
“Ok , come with me.”
I go with him.
I go with him because I do not feel I can go home. I do not want him to see me go home. Within the pressure that I created for myself to be obligingly cool no matter what, I follow this man into another man’s backyard so that we can smoke weed.
I feel a magnetic-like pull towards the backyard. I feel I cannot say No.
He sits on a half dug-up patio and begins rolling a joint.
I offer him some of my weed.
I have learned not to smoke someone’s weed without contributing.
I honestly do not consider that I should not take drugs from a stranger.
Nothing is obvious. Everything is terrifying. I feel committed to the event of smoking with this man. I feel afraid to leave. I feel afraid to stay. I feel stupid. I feel confused.
He refuses my weed and tells me to save it for later.
I am sitting beside him.
I am wearing jeans that are bleached and then stained with some sort of copper dye. They are too small for me and I can feel the small of my back revealed. I do not know how to sit. I want to leave. I do not know how to leave.
He lights up the joint. He smokes some. He gives it to me. He watches me smoke.
He’s talking to me about something. He’s telling me what it’s like to work here, ‘it’s ok because the owners don’t come home until late at night’, he’s going on and on about working and I blurt out “I HAVE TO GO HOME NOW”.
He says “Oh yeah, munchies.” and he pats his stomach.
I hate my body, my brain, my life, I can’t feel my tongue. I am terrified. Paranoia, the same paranoia that always hits me when I smoke weed that remains to be the reason why I do not smoke weed today chases me home. I grab my bag. I run.
I can’t open the door fast enough.
I lock it behind me and I hide in my mother’s front office, watching out the window to see if he was coming for me. I eventually pass out on the floor and wake up to my mother coming home.
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