“You have to want to get high. Hold the joint like this: between your thumb and first finger, breathe in and keep it in your lungs for as long as you can, and in your mind say- ‘I want to get high’”.
I was in the backseat next to my best friend Mokie listening to our stoner coaching team. We were in my Sister Kathy’s brown Dodge Demon. It had vinyl seats and was 3 on a tree with a deep clutch that made a grinding sound and moaned when shifting into second. On the back bumper there was sticker that said ‘Give Jesus a Chance’.
Sitting up front next to Kath was her best friend Darcelle. It was Palm Springs California in 1974 and me and Mokie were 14 and my sister and Darcie were 16. We begged them and begged them to let us try pot. We were virgins in every sense of the word. I had a crush on Darcelle- she had nice boobs and wore tight fitting Dittos that accentuated her perfect butt. I thought I was sly but Darcie would always catch me staring at her tits like they were the promised land and I was Moses. She would just ignore me. Mokie probably had a crush on my sister but that was something I didn’t want to know about.
“You can never mention this to Mom and Dad” said Kath as she dipped her fingers into her purse to grab the weed. “Darcelle and I went halfsies on a 15 dollar 3 finger lid and the dealer told us it was Acapulco Gold.” She pulled out some tinfoil and opened it up and there were 3 fat joints already rolled in gold rolling papers. We got to hold one of them and smell it. Next, she produced some matches and put the joint in her mouth and inhaled. I heard something popping and Darcie said, “that’s the sound of seeds exploding- it means it’s good weed.” Darcelle went second and then handed it to Mokie and me in the backseat and said, “What do you say? Say it loud!”
We both chanted in unison “WE WANT TO GET HIGH!” It smelled so foreign and yet so familiar and if I concentrate, I can still smell that exact aroma from precisely that night. It’s amazing how the mind works.
We passed the joint around and around and I coughed and somebody said “if you don’t cough you don’t get off”.
On the radio was Blue Swede singing Hooked On A Feeling and in the smoky haze we all sang along- “I aye aye aye aye, I’m hooked on a feelin’, I’m high on believin’, that you’re in love with meeeeee!”
We were in the parking lot of Shakey’s Pizza and the smoke filled Demon was rocking.
“I’m a concept, I’m a woncept, I’m a song ‘cept I’ve got no head- it leapt. It’s on the steering wheel. My head is on the fucking steering wheel!” I was laughing hysterically. Tears were pouring out of my eyes.
“Let’s smoke some more” I shouted. “Let’s smoke all the fucking weed in the whole wide world!”
“Uhhhhh. No. I think you’ve had enough.” said Kath.
“Let’s go eat some pizza and play Breakout. They have a new video machine” screamed Mokie.
When we walked inside there were dirt stained little league teams with their coaches and they were gorging on huge pepperoni pizzas that looked translucent under the lights. I’d never felt so hungry. The melted cheese looked like it was stretching 100 yards. We ordered the biggest pizza we afford and I said “I have wrestling practice tomorrow. Will I still be high?”
“Nah! You’ll be ok. Coach Renfro will never know” said Darcie.
Shakey’s Pizza had a player piano in the corner that would blast songs and the piano keys would move on their own but there was no one sitting there. It was like a ghost was playing and I was mesmerized. The song it was playing was The Entertainer. I thought of Paul Newman and Scott Joplin and I was so high the only thing to break my concentration was Darcelle’s patchouli scented hand on my shoulder telling me it was my turn on Breakout.
Breakout was a video game invented by Steve Wozniak. Woz started Apple Computer with Steve Jobs. Steve Woz is now one of my dear friends and he’s never smoked pot. Ever. Little did I know that the first night I got stoned I’d be playing a game that my future friend invented. Since time isn’t really real it would be neat to travel through a black hole and somehow go back in time and meet Woz and tell him to watch out because Steve Jobs was going to sell Breakout to Atari and lie about how much they got paid. Woz only got 800 bucks and Jobs sold it for 15k. Then I could invest in Apple and I’d have enough cash to buy The San Diego Padres and we’d have a license to print money and win a World Series for our lovey city.
But I digress. Back to Stonerville. Population of 4.
I played Breakout with my Sister and the gang until our pizza arrived and we ate like famished peripatetic hobos. We drank cokes and laughed and didn’t even bother to wipe the pizza sauce from our stony faces. I remember looking up into the corner of the restaurant and seeing my own head looking down at me from the corner of the room and laughing. I was laughing at myself. I didn’t like it so I excused myself to go pee. “This is not happening right now” I whispered. “This is good weed man. I’m never getting high again.” As I peed I had the first of many visions in my life of my pee bubbles forming a beard in the toilet and a mouth opening up and talking to me. The face seems to shift between the image of Jesus and Santa and usually it says something like “you’ve been a bad boy. Ho Ho Ho. Jesus is crying and the world hates you. Go eat your pizza.” I was freaked out and ran out of the bathroom so happy to sit next to Mokie. I told him of my vision and what Santa/ Jesus said and he started laughing so hard that some coca cola AND a small piece of pepperoni shot out of his nose and on to my arm. Kathy and Darcelle were giggling and cackling so loud that families and little league teams all started staring at us like we were witches in The Crucible. We leapt up and ran out of Shakey’s and huddled in the safety of the cannabis scented Dodge Demon.
When we came home that night after saying goodbye to our friends my sister said “did you like it?”
“Oh hell yes! Tell Darcelle I love her.”
“Shut up you idiot. She likes Mark Quesada. He’s a senior. And so do I. He’s dreamy. He rides a 10 speed everywhere and he’s so tan and has a ponytail”
We walked inside our parent’s warm homey house and our folks were watching Kojak. I felt so safe to be back home. I wanted to click my heels 3 times. My Dad shouted form the bedroom “Who loves ya baby?”
“Goodnight! I’m sleepy. See ya the morning. Goodnight John Boy. Goodnight Elizabeth. Goodnight Mary Ellen. Goodnight Son. Goodnight Daddy. Goodnight Mama.” I was like a walking Walton’s TV encyclopedia of useless knowledge.
In the morning when I woke I was so happy to not be stoned anymore and I bounced out of bed and thought of Darcelle’s
boobs and hopped in the shower while whistling the melody of The Entertainer.