“We get what we need — When the time is right.” – Sermon title posted for one of the churches across the street from my apartment.
A forewarning: I’m about to do what every good Northwestern student does, which is severely overanalyze a spontaneous decision that probably had more to do with a random impulse in my brain than anything else. That said, read along.
Weed. It’s been a part of my life on a relatively permanent basis since about eighth grade, but I hadn’t actually smoked any until tonight. I went to one of the most stoner high schools in the greater metropolitan D.C. area, and yet I had never smoked.
For a long time, it was usually because the confluence of wanting to smoke, being able to smoke, and having something to smoke never occured. When it was around, I either didn’t feel like it or had to drive or something. When I felt like it and had no responsibility, there wasn’t any.
For a while, it was really more because I felt, like my non-vomit streak (current length: 11 years) it was something that I should continue to not do because it seemed like a meritorious quest. Then tonight I realized: I’ve run out of excuses.
I felt like it, there was some around (and it was specially imported from Humboldt County, California, which even the least of stoner friends knows is Good Shit), I didn’t have to be anywhere before it would wear off, I didn’t have to drive. I was already drunk and it’s ‘Dillo day, so if I really needed it, I had an excuse.
For some reason, I felt like the old standby of “I don’t want to” was a terrible lie, because I’ve wanted to, if mostly to see what all the goddamn hype is about. I wanted to know why one of my friends from high school almost wasted her life for this shit.
I’ll admit it, in some weird way, it’s peer pressure that got me to do it, even though I have never actually been pressured to smoke weed once in my life. Most stoners are of the “Hey, more for me!” attitude when you turn down a hit. But I finally decided to try it.
Really? I wasn’t terribly impressed.
A big reason was because it confirmed that my mother had told me the truth about weed. When I asked her if she had ever tried it in the 60’s, she said once or twice, but had stopped because it aggravated her athsma. I was like, yeah, right, whatever, “aggravated your athsma,” chicken.
Except then I had to get my inhaler after I inhaled.
I was like, “Shit, my mother was right about something! This completely screws over my entire vision for the universe!” Which is only partially true, but whatever. My throat also hurt like hell for another 20 minutes, which just added to my pissed-offedness.
I will admit, the high was kinda fun. And I was able to distinguish the high from the large, large amount of drinking I’d been doing throughout the day, mostly becauase it was a lot more mellow and less sloppy.
But really, for me it wasn’t worth it. I’m glad I did it, mostly in the “Okay, item #438 checked off of my List Of Things To Do Before I Die” way, but I kind of feel a little more valid turning something down when I know I don’t like what it does to me.
I know that reasoning is rather specious and a couple of people will probably turn it against me and say, “Well, does that mean you’re gonna try heroin now, just to see what it’s like?!” No. I’m not that stupid.
I definitely am among the believers that pot is more akin to alcohol than it is to hard drugs, and that it should be treated accordingly. If used properly, it can be fun and relaxing. If used improperly, it can destroy your life. Hard drugs pretty much destroy your life no matter what.
So I don’t know. I tried it, I did it once, I can move on with my life. Not unlike many things (drinking Jaegermeister, ballroom dancing, having two surgeries in a month), you can really only realize by doing it whether you like it or not. And I didn’t.
I find it somewhat odd that the main lesson I’m taking from this whole Jimi Hendrix Experience is that I should have listened to my mother. But hey, you’ve gotta try dumb shit when you’re young and irresponsible and can use that as an alibi.
We get what we need when the time is right, indeed.