Up until the age of 19, I'd smoked the Demon Weed mayB 6 times, always w/ my older & more-Xperienced step-brother Jay from Michigan, always under duress, always in an attempt 2 fit in, always feeling uncomfterble, always w/ a bunch of people I didn't know & had no reason 2 like. The only thing I remember it ever "doing" 4 me was making the power poles alongside the road Cm 2 come at us in slow-motion as we drove back home.
But I remember the last time I smoked the Green Smoke. I doubt that I'll ever 4get it.
In 1979 I shared a 3-bedroom apt in my hometown of Boise, Idaho, w/ my 2 best friends in the world, Don Vincent & Jeff Mann. It was my 1st time outta my parents' house & I was lovin the freedom. 4 the 1st time ever I had a room of my own where I likely wouldn't B interrupted by some1 knocking on the door, where I could even Ntertain a young woman if I wished.
When Don & I moved-in we covered the walls w/ fantasy-art posters & there was Strange Music playing 24/7. The only real clashes were when the girlfriends were both there -- so we tried 2 keep them apart.
We had other friends who sometimes stayed overnite & slept on the downstairs couch, or crashed in the 3rd bedroom, which was just slightly bigger than a walk-in closet.
A coupla mo's in2 this, Jeff returned from 18 mos in Texas (where his family moved 2 after he graduated highschool w/ us), & we invited him 2 move in. Don & I knew Jeff was nuts, but....
Neither Don nor I drank. Jeff smoked & drank Byond Xcess, killing more braincells & spending more time throwing up than NE1 I've ever met. Tho Jeff could stand some of R weird music, his own tastes then were simpler & louder, & he played nothing quietly -- even when the neighbors complained.
There were other minor problems. $$$ was tight, I paid the bills 4 the household & stressed about it. I was wks away from quitting my boring job at the auto parts store & if I couldn't find something better I'd havta move back home -- a fate worse than death. & I stressed about that 2. The girlfriends clashed every time they saw each other, so Don & I sometimes got on each other's nerves. Jeff's loudness got on every1's nerves, even tho he could also B screamingly funny -- when he felt like it.
At what I thot was the worst of it all, I tried 2 mend fences w/ Jeff. I knocked on his bedroom door (he had moved in2 my old room, I'd moved in2 the walk-in closet), & asked if we could talk. He invited me in. He was playing the Beatles' SGT. PEPPER -- quietly. Jeff & I could always talk Beatles. It was a good atmosphere.
& as soon as I got in the room I realized Jeff was working on getting stoned. He'd recently obtained what he'd said was some "killer Columbian," or something. So I thot it over 4 a sec & asked if I could join him.
This made Jeff laff. He always thot I was 2 uptight & stressed-out, & had told me so many times. "You should've done this YRS ago," he said, & I Xplained it had just never bn w/ the right people. So Jeff rolled & lit-up another 1, tickled that his best friend was gonna get stoned w/ him, after all we'd bn thru lately....
So we sat & smoked & listened 2 the music & talked about nothing much. I don't remember what we talked about. I don't remember the music. I'd never heard SGT. PEPPER all the way thru at that point -- I'm still not sure if I ever have. I know Jeff had 2 give me tips on how 2 smoke....
After mayB 40 mins, 1/2way thru "A Day in the Life," a song that's always sorta scared me 4 some reason -- I felt the top of my head blow off.
I remember saying "Oh my God!" & getting up from the bed, throwing open Jeff's bedroom door, & running downstairs 2 the living room. Then I started running around the living room, in2 the kitchen, thru the front hallway & back in2 the living room again, around & around in circles.
I didn't know what was wrong, & I couldn't stop running. I was hyperventilating. & I couldn't stop.
Jeff thot it was funny, at 1st. Then he started getting scared. I was scared already. I was yelling -- Ghod knows what. I was crying. & I couldn't stop running, round & round the ground floor of the apartment.
By this time Don had come downstairs 2 C what all the commotion was about, & found me going round & round & Jeff laffing helplessly on the couch as he watched me circle. When Don heard what had happened it merely confirmed 4 him all the reasons he neither smoked nor drank -- he thot I'd gone nuts.
When I showed no signs of slowing down, Jeff finally called his supplier -- who told Jeff that my reaction sounded like the pot musta bn "laced w/ angel dust," whatever that means. Jeff's supplier urged him 2 get me 2 sit down, calm down -- B4 I passed out.
So Jeff & Don told me I hadta sit down. Ordered me 2, really. That was the only way they could get my attn. If I remember right they had 2 physically stop me from circling the apartment -- they hadta take my hands & lead me 2 the couch.
& I sat down & caught my breath & tried 2 relax. My heart musta bn pounding right outta my chest. I took a deep breath & tried 2 just let whatever was bothering me out.
& then I cried all over them.
4 about an hr.
Jeff said: "It seems like you've got a lot going on in there." Meaning, inside my head.
At the Nd of this there came a knock at the front door. Enter my 4mer highschool sweetheart Allison, w/ her new boyfriend, Richard. They'd hooked-up about 9 mo's earlier, right after she dumped me. I had just recently got10 2 the point where I could talk 2 her again w/o feeling like my heart had bn ripped out. (Tho Allison could B a real sweetheart, there'd always bn some friction among R group Bcos she thot she was smarter than every1 else, she didn't know how 2 hold back her criticism, & she hated almost all the music the rest of us loved....)
Jeff & Don gave her the short version of what she & Richard had missed. When Richard heard about the effects of Jeff's Killer Columbian he said: "I've gotta TRY some of THAT!" & the 2 of them went upstairs 2 do Xactly that.
This didn't thrill Allison, who was inna grumpy mood. Apparently she & Richard had bn having problems. The 3 of us went upstairs 2 the walk-in closet where I put on Something Quiet & continued 2 try 2 relax. Allison might've talked about her & Richard's problems, I can't remember.
After about an hr, Jeff & Richard re-emerged, both of them w/ huge stoned grins on their faces. & Allison started digging harshly in2 Richard about getting stoned -- Allison also didn't smoke, tho she'd hava glass of wine now & then.
By this time I was all mellowed-out after having come down from my emotional storm, & tho I had no reason 2 side w/ the man who stole my highschool sweetheart from me, I urged her 2 give him a break: "He's just trying 2 have a good time...."
"He's an idiot," she said. "And so are you. And DON'T tell me what to do!"
& then she slapped me across the face.
There was a stunned silence as 4 guys' jaws dropped. I'd never Cn Al violent, & I'd certainly never Cn her slap NEbody. She'd never slapped ME B4. & I hadn't struck NE1 in anger since I was 10 yrs old. But after she'd dumped me 9 mo's earlier so she could go 2 bed w/ her new, hairy, masculine philosophy major, well....
I slapped her right back.
THAT woke Richard up: "What the hell...?"
Then I ran outta my own room, back downstairs 2 the couch I'd crashed on earlier, crying all the way. & a few mins later Al came downstairs 2 & apologized, & I said I was sorry, & we cried all over each other. I was all cried-out by the Nd of the nite.
Awhile later Richard & Al left, Al driving cos Richard was still 2 stoned 2 function, apparently. Don went 2 bed w/o another word, apparently figuring we'd all got what we Dserved. & Jeff sat down on the couch Bside me.
"I thot I was gonna laff my ass off when you hit Allison," he said. "After she dumped you, and all the shit she says all the time? When you slapped her it was like -- WOW, hell yeah! I've been wanting to do that for YEARS!"