Friday, June 14, 2013

Getting High With Your Mom

The following appears courtesy of Super Human Freaky Fridays with permission from the author who wanted to remain anonymous because they smoke weed and it makes you paranoid:

Here’s the thing about moms. Moms lived a rich, full life before you were born. They did the kinds of things that YOU do. They were irresponsible, made bad choices and had fun. For the most part moms put this side of themselves away when they have children. Or at least distance themselves from it. I think there’s something about deciding, or making or at least (hopefully) holding a life that you created that makes you want to get your shit together. Put those childish things aside. Cook dinner, create routines, give your children a structure to break out of. The way you did.

That was certainly the situation with my mom. She was a free, independent artist of a woman in her youth. Most of the details about her early life I’ll never know. She’s notoriously mysterious about it.

Maybe she’s forgetful because of all the pot she smoked with her drug dealing Vietnam-vet of an ex-husband. That’s something else that came up in recent years. He used to grow it in the backyard between their tomato plants while the two of them made pottery. Pot dealing potters. THE 70s WERE AN AMAZING TIME. But she put it all behind her. Another time, another life. My dad is kind of square and you didn’t want to blaze up in Reagan's America - especially with three small ones underfoot. But the subject of the dirty herb came up between us (as I am a bit of a connoisseur) and she said that if the opportunity ever presented itself she would partake. Well, if there’s one thing she taught me, sometimes you have to make your own opportunities.

So we made a plan. The night started with us going to dinner at one of my favorite Italian places - spaghetti, wine, the works. She had wanted to see some live music (Chicago’s famous blues scene!) so we checked the Reader and decided on Kingston Mines. Standing under the el in an alley I produced a dugout and a oneie and she marveled at modern technology.

“In my day, if you couldn’t roll your own joints you didn’t deserve to smoke,” she said as she examined my one hitter. “I used to roll the tightest, best joints ever.” As she says this she starts puffing away like that 2 year old Indonesian kid who smokes a pack a day.

“Mom,” I say. “Pace yourself. It’s been 25 years...” blah blah blah hydroponics blah blah agriculture blah stronger strains etc. She does that thing with her hand that means ‘pffft’ and kept blazing. I think to myself, This is a grown woman. She can handle her shit.  

We get on the train platform and I can already see that the world is spinning for my mother. It’s all fast and foreign and scary. She starts talking about her ex-husband. I’m also baked but trying to be a good trip buddy. Do I steer her away from this subject? Indulge? Two stops later she is looking green. We get off. The train conductor sticks his head out the window and asks if we are ok. “Oh yes!” I say, “We’re just double checking our route!” Smiles. Waves. PANIC. I am PANICKING.

I decide that fresh air is the best course of action. We go downstairs and start walking and she seems to be doing a little better but my heart is pounding. WTF are we going do?! We go into a cafe that has some music playing. “Isn’t this nice? Here, drink this water.” She’s got her head in her hands and says “I need to lay down.”

Ok. Ok. Ok. Ok. Ok. Right.

I go outside and call a cab and instruct my mother to put her face on the cold window. She’s got her eyes closed and every swerve, every pothole is terrifying to me. To both of us. We park in front of my house and she bolts out, gets out and is leaning on the gate while I settle up. I’m doing my best to help her but she walks up the three flights to my apartment like she was on a pirate ship in the middle of a squall. We get in and she runs to the bathroom.


Projectile vomits all that red wine and spaghetti on every surface of the room. I’m standing outside the door cursing myself and my stupid weed. THIS IS NOT GOD’S GREEN HERB. THIS IS THE WORK OF THE DEVIL.

She comes out looking like she’d been in the wars, staggers over to her air mattress and trust falls on it. Eyes closed in full-on shavasana. I went into the bathroom and scrubbed my shame away before checking on her again. Looking closely for her chest rising and falling - any evidence of life. Nervously I call my sister and confess what I did. 

“I think I killed mom!” I say, whisper yelling into the phone. “I got her high and now I think she’s dead!”
My little sister talked me down. It was fine. Just let mom sleep it off. 

Come to find out, my mom had puked her spins away and was now just enjoying the ride. She heard me on the phone and was giggling to herself before falling into what she called one of the best sleeps of her life.

“What a great night,” she said recently. “All parents should get to hear their children care that much.”