There I am, like a Canadian Psycho, in nothing but boxer shorts and goggles, gripping a hammer and standing in my bathroom over the bathtub.
In the tub is my victim, a naked actress-model type with a humming chainsaw, her mascara running like an oil spill down her cheeks, crying hysterically, pleading for the half naked man above her with the ripped abs, hundred dollar haircut and perfectly draped monogrammed towels, to just "Please, please, let me go, I won’t tell anyone."
But it's not like that at all.
I can't hear the screams because my victim doesn’t have a voice. The screams come from within.
My victim? A bong. It stands innocently enough, tall and firm in my bathtub. These threats though, they're insidious. So I have resolved to smash my bong, because the worst possible thing has happened if you happen to be a pothead: the weed's all gone. I’m out of my gnarly, stanky bud stash, brah. Smoked it all up. I thought I’d try kicking the leaf, starting off with a trial run: see what seven days of sobriety feels like. Get the THC 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 underlying psychological issues causing me to feel like I need it in the first place? Let’s get introspective here. Thirty years old and I’m still smoking pot like a pimply faced teenager with Cheesy Poofs crumbs in his dirt-stache. Grow up already, swallow hard like the goddamn man you are and--big high five!--say Yes! to a sober life.
My beloved purple hand blown 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 exterior and the top of the shaft where you squeeze your lips in to suck a lung busting stream 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, gross. But clean the inside? Naw, didn’t clean that, though I did replace 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 a bit 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 residue that is left behind when you actually smoke the pot. And I need it. Like now. I made it half way through day two of my seven day sober quest and I was assaulted by the most psychically painful, aching urge to get some THC coursing through my veins. To construct an ever higher storm wall in front of the surging tsunami of ennui.
All it takes is a soft, reflex-testing tap to the distended lower end and the bong shatter's 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'm in the grips of the high before the high -- the excitement of knowing that in the next few minutes all will be okay; that the raw viciousness of reality will be defanged. I curse myself out and begrudgingly tend to my cut, though it takes forever to stop bleeding because of the sweltering humidity. My building doesn't have central air, nor do I have a window unit--who do you think I am? A Rockefeller?
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 dollar store manscaping kit, a stocking stuffer from years past.
I scrape 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 shoots into my lungs. It’s not harsh like some marijuana smoke and I inhale until I can’t inhale any longer and my chest is full of PMH. I let it out slowly, 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 beneath bottoms with trapdoors that lead to more bottoms. Half way through day two and I ran out of steam. Pass the pipe.
Marijuana makes me more sensitive to everything can make me really horny, more up for anything, more fetishist. More too much is not enough. 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.
If I’m really stoned on PMH, sometimes 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! I want a new sen-sa-tion! Variety is the spice of life, right? So I'll type into Google something like ‘guy fucking real doll’ and of course, there are 37,000,000 results (0.40 seconds). 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 a sexually frustrated man.
As I was jerking off to this guy and his doll, my dope addled mind veered off and wondered away: 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 a nappy headed, inner city crack ho because Jim down the street likes that sort of thing.
After I pull up my pants I flush the goopy Kleenex with my progeny on it down the toilet and into the sewage system where it belongs. that the swirling of 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 supposed intergalactic travelers (besides no irrefutable physical evidence). Here’s my theory: Alien retards. Aliens with average to upper intelligence (relatively speaking) have zero interest whatsoever in our woefully unrefined civilization (again, relative). They’re so advanced that the wonders of our world--the human brain, Niagara Falls, NASA, pre-packaged microwavable bacon, that Indian guy with the world's longest fingernails--are only stimulating to retarded aliens. Possibly some of the alien children, too. Sightings only occur in our skies when the lower stock's jerry rig their parent's 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 because there's simply no other galaxy with any discernible forms of life within reasonable galactic travelling distance. They display an interest in us the way a male child shows interest in thumb-tacking a housefly's wing to a desk and watching him squirm, then carefully applying Whiteout to its face until the corrective ink hardens and the squirming becomes less consistent, more spasmodic, until finally there is stillness. We are playthings for a species in a far away galaxy and we make great pets.
A week into my detox, 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. Then I'll suck yo dick for a cheeseburger.
The withdrawal is not physical by any means (except for the cut on my foot). No sweating or shaking, but I can report to you that the Apocalypse Now-esque psychological horrors are real and brutal. I’ve never suffered from insomnia before but now it’s a nightly occurrence. Clearly my mind and body had grown accustomed to the relaxing 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 it must surely crave?
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 though I know it not to be true. I'll go through the day with 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--we willingly deceive ourselves all the time; it really does help me get through the day and quiet the nagging voices in my head. But there’s invariably that moment of truth where the whole sham hits the fan, so to speak, and I have to begrudgingly admit that there will be no actual call to my dealer. The house of cards has crumbled only to be rebuilt again tomorrow. Conversely, I’ll not even think about getting dope for an entire afternoon, the thought is outside of a giant mental wall I‘ve constructed around it, and then with no warning, without even intellectualizing the issue at all, I’ll just 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 most definitely true. After smoking pot I can never fully satisfy my rapacious appetite. It would seem as though my appetite would transport from stomach to brain. If I thought hard enough about some dish, fetishized the process of seeing it through from raw ingredients all the way to the sumptuous mouthfeel, I could quickly morph from a regular old full-bellied Canadian dude, into a malnourished 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 esophageal muscles to effortlessly 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 (sorry)--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. If you don’t know the pleasures of eating a handful of Genoa salami and then eating it again ten minutes later, well God bless, and drive safe.
I really should write a diet book.
Days after I run out of my PMH stash I’m still limping around. A sober gimp. I try not to count the days--it's too daunting. 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 teetotaler. 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 either, pal.
I am limping to the LCBO to get my daily intake of four tall cans. 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 guy's here everyday, therefore he must have been stealing beer daily for years, thousands of dollars worth perhaps. He’s a fucking beer baron!
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, “Air Miles?” She notices my uneven gait and smiles, asks what’s the matter. 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 tell her. “It’s nothing--just . . . just an old battle wound.”