I recently came across a bit of old, good, green pot I had stashed, no doubt, in a moment of paranoia or resolve. I cannot remember when it could be from, but, of course, I had to smoke some, though nervous it would backfire and I’d end up in the emergency room with maladies imaginaires. But that didn’t happen. Instead it created a sensation of calm and cushioning that took me over, like a wave, much in the way it did in my youth until, somewhere in my thirties, it started triggering spinning siren lights and wails inside my brain. It returned me to a late-teenage sense of élan, of salad days, and it made me realize how far I am from feeling that kind of chill on any given day. Unfortunately or fortunately, there wasn’t enough of the green stuff to keep testing this effect which I would have undertaken with scientific apblomb. By the same token, it might have been playing Russian roulette with my nervous state. So it was just as well it was short-lived.
And anyway, I took away from this experience the notion that calm is closer than I think; and that I needn’t live my life in some kind of heightened state. PTSD. I know I have it. How can I not given the way I was raised and the rollercoaster circumstances of my adult life, devoid as it has been, of any real kind of support system other than the beloved obvious.
In some ways I think that’s why I work primarily as a consultant. It helps me to no end to help other people through their challenges. It’s almost a selfish career choice on my part. But back to the sensation that the pot imparted.
I didn’t so much as flashback, which I think is more a mental thing, than I did throwback emotionally to, I’m going to pinpoint it as: the age of seventeen. At seventeen, the summer before going to college, I didn’t work, which was rare for me since I always worked, since I was a high-school sophomore. Not having had a childhood, I had never read The Chronicles of Narnia, and my close friend Ken who was off to RISD that year gave me his entire set to read, which I did, all in one go, sitting alone, on the beach, in my low striped chair; after which I read Salinger’s Franny and Zoey, Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, and Nine Stories. I would go to the beach before 8am and return around 6pm, having quickly ran home, at lunch, to grab a something, as we lived just a block from the ocean.
It was a grand old house and I miss it. It was big and blue and had three floors and was set on a corner. We had a mullberry tree that was wonderful out front and a wrap-around porch. Of course my father “removed” the mullberry tree, I believe, because somebody in a car crashed into it and I suspect my father (lied and…?) said the tree was killed in the accident, probably for insurance money. He was that type about whom writing makes my arms and shoulders freeze up. I wouldn’t want to be smoking pot and thinking about the things my father did, or who he was, when I was growing up. That would surely impart the opposite sensation of that little bit of vegetal flavored pot which buffeted me so pristinely upon its finding last week.
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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