There I am, like a Canadian Psycho, in nothing but boxer shorts and goggles, gripping a hammer and standing in my bathroom over the tub. In the tub is my victim, but it's not like American Psycho where there would be Christian Bale looming with a humming chainsaw over a naked actress-model type, her mascara running like an oil spill down her cheeks, crying hysterically, pleading for the half naked man above her with the ripped abs and million dollar haircut and perfectly draped monogrammed towels to just ‘please please please let me go, I won’t tell anyone.’
No. It’s not like that at all.
My victim doesn’t scream. At least not in words. The screams come from within. My victim is a BONG. Standing innocently upright in my bathtub but insidiously threatening, perhaps more so than a bound model. I have resolved to smash my bong because the worst possible thing has happened if you happen to be a pothead: no more weed. I’m out of my totally gnarly stanky bud stash. Smoked it all up. I thought I’d try kicking the leaf. See what long term -- as in seven days -- sobriety feels like. Get it all out of the old system because I‘m starting to think I need it. And that’s scary -- if I need it than what are the psychological issues that are causing me to feel like I need it in the first place? Let’s get introspective here. I’m thirty years old and I’m still smoking pot like a pimply faced teenager with cheesy poof crumbs in his dirt-stache. So let’s man up and -- big high five! -- say yes to a sober life.
My beloved purple bong that I have been using for the last five years is about to die. I took good care of her, too. Cleaned her regularly…well at least the top of the shaft where you squeeze your lips in to suck a lung busting fill of bubbly bliss into your lungs. Cleaning the top rim is imperative because when you take a hit your body immediately produces saliva and sometimes a little saliva rivulet will run down the length of the bong, which is, admittedly, disgusting if it builds up. But clean the inside? Naw, didn’t clean that, though obviously I replaced the water every 3-5 days depending on how much I was smoking. So the point is, is that there’s a cock-shitting fuck-load of PMH that is ripe for harvesting. PMH being, of course, Poor Man’s Hash: The sticky black goop that builds up quickly in any pipe or bong. It looks like hash, is nearly impossible to clean off your hands, and you can definitely get a buzz off it even if it is only re-smoking the stuff that is left behind when you actually smoke pot. And I need it. Like now. I made it half way through day two of my sober quest and I was assaulted by the most psychically painful, aching urge to get some THC coursing through my veins. To build a storm wall in front of the surging tsunami of boredom.
All it takes is a soft, reflex-testing tap to the distended lower end and the bong shatters in two large jagged pieces. I get up and dump out the other smaller pieces of shrapnel that have conveniently collected into the still fully formed basin. As soon as I’m standing though I feel a sharp stinging pain on the bottom of my right foot -- instantly, I know I’ve stepped on a stray piece of glass. The whole point of smashing the bong in the tub was to avoid this scenario. I bend my foot up and look over my shoulder to assess the damage. Not good. Blood is already dripping onto the checkerboard tiles. I tend to my cut with patience and alacrity even though it takes forever to stop bleeding because of the humidity and the callous nature of heels. It’s the high before the high -- the excitement of knowing that in the next few minutes all will be okay; the raw viciousness of reality will be eliminated, defanged.
The master safe has been cracked!
It was like the Klondike Gold Rush; loads and loads of deposits of PMH clinging to the inside of the shattered bong. Just call me the Weed Whisperer. I dutifully scraped out the little hunks of gobbledygook into an old cigar box using a pair of unused tweezers that came with a cheap manscaping kit, a stocking stuffer from years past.
I scrap a nice little portion into my B pipe, which is one of those tiny all business numbers no more than two and a half inches long with a screw on bowl. Well, kid, you’re getting a shot at the big leagues, I think, and put the lighter to the goop. The black mass bubbles and liquefies as its solid mass is converted into smoke and jet streams into my lungs. It’s not harsh like marijuana smoke and I inhale until I can’t inhale any longer and my chest is full of PMH but then I expel quickly, the smoke coming out in one long billowing stream, my conscience saddled with a tinge of disgust and regret, attacked by the incongruous thought that this re-smoked resin, though smooth, is probably worse than actual pot. Ah, well. At least I can’t see my lungs. Can’t crack that safe.
For an addict, bottoms are constantly being gutted out to make way for even lower ones. There are bottoms with trapdoors. Half way through day two and I ran out of steam. Pass the pipe.
For all the non-smokers out there, when you smoke pot, the mind’s hinges loosen, and you can sometimes go down the rabbit hole too far. Nonsensical thought-trees branch out into other, more abstract ones. I’ll sit in front of my computer and have bizarre moral debates with myself…Like is it wrong to masturbate to my Mom’s old photos if she was a stone cold blonde, blue eyed, bee-hived hottie back in the ‘60‘s? I would only masturbate to photos of her before I was born, ergo, I’m not even in existence yet, so she’s not even like, biologically speaking, my Mom at this point; she’s just some anonymous chick in a sepia tinged 60’s photograph with two jean pockets full of ass and a cute smile. See why I decided to quit?
Marijuana can make me really horny, more up-for-anything, more fetishist. Just go ahead and hang me upside down and fuck me in both ears. Usually when sober, masturbating is just like doing the dishes -- it’s all business. No big deal, it only takes a few minutes to get the poison out and then I’m back to getting on with things.
While we’re on the topic, one night not long ago, as I stood up to splooge into some TP, I couldn’t help but notice that as I squeezed out the last few drops of semen and looked up, my gaze was met by an elderly gentleman walking down Bloor St. Our eyes locked and we both realized that I knew that he knew what just happened. What can you do but laugh when some old guy with a liver-spotted head, who probably stormed the beaches of Normandy only to narrowly avoid being mowed down by German artillery lives to see the day where he looks up at your cumsies face?
Anyways, I’m really stoned on PMH and I don’t want to watch the usual boring porn--some creepy guy having regular old intercourse with a woman in a few different positions -- I want to get nuts! Let’s get nuts! I want a new sensation. Variety is the spice of life, right? So I type into the search engine, ‘guy fucking real doll’ and, predictably, a ton of sites come up. A whole world of sexual depravity is only a Google search away. Knock yourself out. I click onto one of the sites and all of a sudden I’m watching some guy with a huge gut and a general sheen of sleaze laying pipe into his--ahem--girlfriend. She was quite attractive in a far away eyed Barbie Doll way. The kind of woman that fits the stereotypical male fantasy: large breasts, slim waist, nice skin, healthy hair. The kind of woman manufactured on a Chinese assembly line according to the specs of sexually frustrated men. As I was jerking off to this guy and his doll my drug addled mind veered off and wondered, imagine this guy’s disappointment if he cracked open his coffin shaped crate with the excitement of a boy on Christmas morning, and he got the wrong girl? Instead of an impossibly well proportioned, fresh faced Oklahoma State cheerleader fembot, he gets an inner city crack ho because Jim down the street is trying his darndest to squelch?
After I pull up my pants and flush the goopy Kleenex with my progeny on it down the toilet and into the sewage system where it belongs, I notice that the whiiirrlll of the water looks similar to a galaxy. And I get to thinking…what if we have been visited by aliens? I’ve seen the documentaries and read the articles about eye witness accounts of sightings and abductions, but there’s something amiss with these intergalactic interlopers. Here’s my theory: Alien retards. Aliens with average to upper intelligence (relatively speaking) have zero interest whatsoever in our pathetic civilization (again, relative). They’re so advanced that the wonders of our world -- the human brain, Niagara Falls, our space program, pre-packaged microwavable bacon, that Indian guy with the world's longest fingernails, are only stimulating to retarded aliens. Sightings only occur in our skies when these retard aliens jerry rig their parents ships, and go out for an interstellar joyride. These subnormal aliens, while obviously far more intelligent than Earth’s best and brightest are drawn to our planet for geo-gallactic reasons as much as anything else; there's simply no other galaxy with any discernable forms of life within reasonable hyper-space travelling distance. They display an interest with us the way a male child shows interest in thumb tacking an injured housefly by his wing to a desk and watching him squirm and then carefully applying whiteout to his face until it hardens and the squirming becomes less consistent, more spasmodic, until finally there is stillness. We are the playthings for a species of far away galaxy dwellers and we make great pets.
A week into my detox and quitting pot is proving to be more difficult than I thought -- and then some. I’m utilizing all of my feeble, twenty-first-century-digital-boy willpower to abstain from going into the Bloor West Village and randomly asking teenage ruffians if they’re holding any stuff.
Man, I’ll suck yo dick for a joint.
The withdrawal is not physical by any means (except for the cut on my foot), no sweating or shaking, but the Apocalypse Now-esque psychological horrors are brutal. I’ve never suffered from insomnia before but now it’s an every night occurrence. Clearly my mind and body had grown accustomed to the dreamy effects of THC consumption. Now when I lay in bed encouraging my mind to just STFU already, the carnival begins. How can one part of me want to sleep so bad, and this other, malevolent side, deny me the sleep? The one part always says to the other, “You know you’re just going to pay for this tomorrow, don’t you?”
The human mind is just one hot ironic mess. To get through this whole quitting-the-leaf ordeal I tell myself at the start of every day that, yes, I will most certainly call my dealer and pick up a half quarter in the afternoon. So I go through the day with a pep in my step, even though it’s all a self-induced ruse, even though I know deep inside that there will be no call placed. It’s not a bad plan, it really does help me get through the day and quiet the nagging voice in my head. But there’s invariably that moment where the whole sham hits the fan, so to speak, and I have to begrudgingly admit that there will be no drug deal made. The house of cards has crumbled only to be rebuilt again tomorrow. Conversely, I’ll also not even think about getting dope for an entire afternoon, the thought is outside of a mental wall I‘ve constructed, and then without even intellectualizing the issue at all, I’ll call my dealer and score.
Stephen Fry writes..."It is a cliche that most cliches are true, but then like most cliches, that cliche is untrue."
The cliché of the pot induced increased appetite is definitely true, however. After smoking pot I can never fully satisfy my rapacious appetite. I will morph from regular insignificant law abiding Canadian guy into a malnurished Sasquatch. I’ll eat so much food in the span of a couple hours that over the years, in an attempt to quash my overeating, I’ve trained my esophagus to be able to regurgitate recently eaten food back up and into my mouth like a Momma bird and then I’ll -- get ready to wince -- chew it up all over again and swallow it down and -- get ready to wince yet again -- sometimes repeat the process two or three times until the food has a nasty bilious aftertaste without any of the original pre chewed yumminess left and my body starts to break it down into enzymes and whatnot. If you don’t know the wonders of eating a handful of Genoa salami and then eating it again minutes later, well God bless and drive safe. I really should write a diet book.
Days after I run out of PMH I’m still limping around. A sober gimp. I try not to accumulate sober days; it’s too daunting and it doesn’t really mean much. What’s the payoff? What’s the difference between twenty days and two hundred and twenty? It’s like playing Jenga -- the castle becomes shakier as the game goes on. I prefer to take it heartbeat to heartbeat. No one second is unendurable. The prospect of never smoking pot again until I expire would drive me crazy. I can’t focus on the long term. Jesus H. Christmas tree, I can barely even focus on day to day. It’s got to be second to second.
I’m still drinking beer, perhaps more than I should, but I’m taking it one addiction at a time. Shit, I spill more beer than most people drink. I don’t feel that my beer intake is having any huge negative impact on my day to day operations. A man has to have something to look forward to, after all. I believe it was Dean Martin that said, “I’d hate to be a teetotaller. Imagine getting up every morning and knowing that’s as good as you’re going to feel all day.” Amen Dino. Total sobriety is not the life for me, pal.
I am limping to the LCBO to get my daily intake of four tall cans which is the equivalent of a six pack for all those keeping score. I take two Moosehead’s and two Canadians and stuff them into my bag. Which, by the way, always feels strange -- like I’m being watched. It’s the only store where I put the product in my own personal bag before actually paying for it. I’m always tempted to stuff in six or seven beers and then saying that there are only four because all the cashiers recognize me and stopped checking my bag long ago. But I don’t; even though it’s only the government I’d be stealing from and they steal so much from me already, so really, it’s more of a tit-for-tat situation, and also the employees can’t touch me, especially Don, the massive black guy with a shaved head and overgrown sideburns, because of the threat of lawsuits, but that’s just the type of addict behaviour that I’m trying to avoid -- thinking of the consequences instead of the short-term pleasure. Also, if I did get caught I would be mortified by the look on the cashiers face as he or she slowly put together the pieces -- this guys here everyday, therefore he must have been stealing beer daily for years, thousands of dollars worth perhaps. He’s a fucking beer baron!
It has got to stop.
Smoking marijuana must stop.
Smoking PMH must stop.
Regurgitating Genoa Salami must stop.
Sobriety must begin.
I amble up to the checkout line and place one Moosehead and one Canadian on the counter and say, “There’s two of each.” I usually end up in Natalia’s line because I like her Polish accent, the way she asks customers that two worded question though she long ago stopped asking me, “Air Miles?” She notices my uneven gait and smiles, asks what’s the matter with the foot. I wasn’t anticipating anyone asking about my limp so I didn’t have a party line ready. Sometimes the truth is not advisable.
“Oh this?” I say and lift up my foot, thinking of what to say. “It’s nothing -- just…just an old battle wound.”