Johnny, is this drugs?

It was my first score – not in a baggie but a film canister. Five dollars for a portion that would fetch at least $40 today, but the stuff was inert dirt compared to this dispensary designer bud that pairs so well with seven percent IPAs and Netflix. I am surprised that we could coax a single laugh out of that nominal Colombian, much less the occasional revelation that hit the head and the viscera with equal force. But we did.

If art is a mirror held up to nature — mimesis — then ancient art caught the first and best reflection — first bloom of consciousness — and it’s all become an insular game of reference since, further and further downstream from the dawning. This, Hazlett says, is “Why the Arts Are Not Progressive.”

And the first time you looked at the night sky and asked with your whole body “Why is there anything?” will always be the best time.


I took it home in my winter jacket pocket, high, and circled nervously about my house trying to decide where to put it. I hung up the jacket carefully in the back of my bedroom closet and closed the closet and bedroom doors, behavior so aberrational it was a siren to my mother. Minutes later, as I was eating a sleeve of Premium saltines and watching arid 6 p.m. 1970s TV from a badly spavined black recliner (we weren’t poor, people just didn’t buy much stuff back then), my mother came downstairs holding the open canister.

“Johnny, is this drugs?”

“Don’t tell dad.”

“Well, what the hell do you expect her to do?” I hear booming from behind her.

Symmetries and ironies: I was 14 when my parents caught me smoking pot in New Paltz, and then, when my own child was 14, he caught me smoking pot in New Paltz.


There are 2 comments

  1. Non name (ditto)

    It’s too bad you never grew up… most of us did. Getting high is not an admirable goal.

    BTW, It was illegal then and it’s still illegal.

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