Every time I think I’ve matured and have come into my own as an honest to goodness grown man, I’ll inevitably end up sitting on a log in the woods passing around a blunt so fat I’m reminded of a middle aged woman trying to stuff herself into her prom dress from the late eighties, and barely succeeding. This monstrosity of what was once a cigar, hollowed out and replaced with the finest herb a minimum wage salary can afford is passed around at a steady rate between myself and two others, Gurdeep and Duesh, my closest friends and most constant source of annoyance, at least from people who I don’t intend to sleep with. We pass the blunt around so speedily if someone had a bird’s eye view of the three of us smoking up they’d think we choreographed our movements for a musical comedy. This was all premeditated because if one of us were to hold on to the weed for more than three seconds Duesh would invariably ask ‘so… are you gonna hit that?’ I didn’t mind the steady pace of the blunt passing as it gave me something to do between breathes I would take during a rapid fire recounting of events that had taken place a day prior.
‘I met someone’ I would tell the guys. To which Duesh would reply ‘So… are you gonna hit that?’ I looked over at him in distain, I’d grown wearier and wearier of his antics of late, and had little patience for his quirks which were once mildly unpleasant, but had grown into full blown hatred. I ignored him and kept on with my story all while holding onto the blunt, in order to purposely defy his request for more weed. I continued ‘Well I didn’t really meet her, I’ve met her before- like in the past. But we haven’t seen each other in a long time and I finally linked up with her again.’ I casually pass the weed over to Duesh who snatches the blunt from my hand like I was dangling raw meat over a pool of piranhas. The time between the blunt being in my hands and ending up in his mouth was so brief you’d need an instant reply to time the difference. And the toke he inhaled into his lungs took so long I was able to spit out the following paragraph before he exhaled:
‘Well, this girl (it’s always some girl isn’t it?) this girl that I knew from like, first year got in touch with me. It’s been so long since I’ve seen her I don’t even have her on facebook. She had my email though, the really embarrassing one with the dragonball reference that thankfully she didn’t get, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have any story to tell, but anyway- We met up, and I took her to that cookie place. You know- the one I take everyone to, the one where you can make your own cookie. Which I think is a cool touch because it helps accelerate the bonding process over picking toppings and what not.’
Duesh exhales and passes the blunt over to Gurdeep, who looks like a hungry dog about to get fed. I continue:
‘Well we were hanging out right, and after that we took this really long walk, like ridiculously long, and we just talked and not just about fluff, we had this amazing back and fourth conversation and it never got boring and we both kept up with each other. And it was a constant cycle of solid flirtatious dialogue for like two hours. Now maybe that’s no big deal for you guys but I usually cant keep being that charming for that long, I can last maybe about forty five minutes at a time, and that’s being generous! Then I need to either shut up for a little bit, or just bumble fuck around until I work myself back up into flirtatious mode again…’
Gurdeep exhales and makes eye contact with me, this is only notable because Duesh does the exact opposite. He’s staring off into the distance, mouth scrunched up back hunched over with his hands in his pockets, his entire body facing away from me, as if to make an open display of apathy towards myself and my story. He’d been acting this way for a while recently, which is part of the reason why he’s been so unbearable to be around. I felt as if he were making a special effort to not only not listen to my story, but to let me know he was not listening to my story. I wondered if I was boring him, and then I decided I didn’t give a fuck. He would always rattle on about this or that and I would always at least create the illusion of reception. I’d listen to his repetitive tales about the time ‘he got so high that…’ or how ‘I was so fucked up I…’ and so on and so on and so on. He had become a parody of himself, a twenty six year old man child who blamed the world for his problems while masturbating in the comfortable luxury of his bedroom with the door bolted shut because it was only five steps away from the room his parents slept in. A man who expressed every negative thought his brain could process because he felt the world needed to hear about why something sucked in spite of never having a solution for how things might be better, A man who spent countless hours complaining about his problems in life and not four minutes into finding a solution. This guy decided he had had enough of my story, but evidently not enough of my pot as he practically sucked the blunt down his lungs when rotation reached back around towards him.
He was mad at me about something, and I didn’t know what, and I didn’t care. I had my story to tell and while Duesh wasn’t listening Gurdeep was facing towards me and looked interested in what I had to say, or he might have just been high. Either way he was in my direction and I was determined to finish my story, at least after I exhaled- as the blunt had been passed back towards me.
‘…well somehow we end up in a park, and its late and no one’s around. And well… you know Im not usually talky about stuff like this. I like to keep stuff like this private because I know stuff like this might sound corny, but there are so few things in this life that seem special anymore that I wouldn’t wanna sully it by talking about it like it was some kinda regular thing with me and some random I could care less about, because well…’
I was three words into what would have been the rest of my story when I realized Duesh had high jacked the conversation with an announcement that ‘I got so high the other day! Man I was fucked up…’ his eyes lit up the same way mine did that night at the park with the girl in the story I wanted to finish before this dipshit started yaking about some superfluous bullshit about how he smoked so much pot that the walls started melting. How anyone could think that was information worth sharing with the rest of the group is beyond me. That’s like bragging about eating a steak and feeling full after, it’s no goddamned revelation that you would get high after smoking a joint, as I think most know that one tends to lead to the other. What made me most angry is on this rare occasion that I chose to try and be sincere, Duesh not only went out of his way to ignore me and make a spectacle of it, he also totally cut me off to retell the one story he’s been telling for the last four years I’ve known him. What’s worse is that I let him. I could have used the tactic where I just talk over Duesh and talk loud enough that he gets the hint that Im not not finishing my story, but I don’t like people who strong-arm conversations, I feel like it’s tacky. Instead I just stood there and waited for him to finish his thrilling tale of the time he smoked inside of his room through a vent and watched a movie afterwards, probably pornographic I mused to myself before it was confirmed as fact by Duesh. Something I was able to retell in two or three sentences and yet seemingly took him two or three years to recount. After he was finished talking I waited a beat before starting to talk again. Something about the weather, I didn’t want to continue with my story about the girl and the park bench, as I felt like my momentum was ruined, but Gurdeep asked me what happened and I felt obliged to tell him.
‘Well…’ I said as my dark skinned cheeks managed to somehow flush red ‘I sidled up kind of close to her, not all at once, I made a calculated decision to edge closer towards her every time I made her laugh, because she’d be all disoriented from the yuks and I’d be able to slide up next to her and before she’d know it we were torso to torso. And I did that thing where I brushed my fingertips on the side of her neck right and then…”
‘Yo you gonna hit that?’ Duesh chimed in. I looked at him and tried to transfer all the hatred from my mind into his, I was so angry only my thoughts could articulate how much I loathed this fuck face at this moment. I wanted to tell him to shut up and give me back my pot and get the fuck outta the woods. But that would seem petty and I have a strict policy of never losing my cool, but these were extraordinary times, and I felt close to popping a blood vessel in my forehead trying to withhold all the rage and contempt I had for this dweeb. I had to remind myself that this was less about me and more about him. This guy, who had flushed all of his potential down the toilet in order to check out of any responsibility for himself and who blamed the universe for his continued misfortune, didn’t want to hear my story because he was so self involved in his own pursuit of the numbing of his own reality so that he could cope with his wretched existence.
So I took one long drag of the blunt and passed it over to Duesh.