1am: I’m lying on my back, in the dark, in my bed at my parents’ house. I’ve been living with them for almost a month. I returned home at age 31 to “recharge,” as my stepdad puts it, “regroup,” as my mother calls it. I am applying to graduate school in creative writing, and figured it made sense to be here during the transitional time.
I only smoke after they have gone to sleep, just to be on the safe side. I have a medical card, and got a good sativa strain from a dispensary the other day. I don’t tell them this, though. I’m 31 and like to think they’d be forgiving, but I also don’t want to mess with it. At a holiday party last week my stepdad announced to some guests that at his company, there is a zero tolerance policy for “marijuana abuse.” He said that the reason is because if somebody smokes just once, they’re “under the influence” for 30 days.
I crack open the window in my bedroom and blow the smoke out into the night. I light a “sugar cookie” scented Bath & Bodyworks candle I swiped from the living room coffee table, just in case any scent from the weed lingers. I put on a Buddhist podcast dharma talk in which the speaker is trying to encourage listeners to “stay to one’s own path” and not compare one life with another. This feels pertinent. Being back home, I’ve reconnected with three childhood friends who all have babies now. All I have is my cat, Shasta. I’m currently living in my childhood bedroom and my mom took me to see the Hugh Jackman/Zac Efron musical, “The Greatest Showman” tonight in her station wagon. Yeah, I let her pay for my ticket.
1:30am: Before packing a bowl, I spend an inordinate amount of time fussing with the small plastic baggie that holds Shasta’s catnip, and the small plastic baggie that holds my weed. I like getting high with her.
2:15am: Am I lazy? Is my cat lazy? Have cats all pretty much ascended? Are they living here in a state of nirvana, doing, like, some kind of victory lap?
2:30am: I don’t have a job right now. I’m living with my parents. To some egos, that’s the end. That’s the most embarrassing, worst thing to be. But my friends don’t even seem to notice or care. I’m applying to graduate schools. I’m going to be fine. No one’s judging me.
3:15am: I AM CONSTANTLY EVOLVING, UNCOVERING MY SHADOW AND GROWING. THE PROCESS NEVER ENDS. I LOVE MYSELF THROUGH IT!
12am: My mom and stepdad have a clock that plays chimes. It plays a long diddy every hour on the hour along with a gong strike for each hour. It also plays the diddy in piecemeal parts throughout the hour. One-quarter of it at quarter-past, half of it at half-past, you get the idea.
Basically, if I’m not actively experiencing the chimes, I am anxiously awaiting their arrival. Especially if I’m high, which I currently am.
I hate the clock.
12:15am: But, what if I choose to love the clock?
10am: I told myself I wasn’t gonna smoke weed until after my folks went to sleep at night. But today is Sunday and my stepdad made pancakes, eggs, and bacon for breakfast, so I had to. I’m not trying to have pancakes on a winter morning and not be a lil’ stoned. They’re delicious.
5pm: I might be lying to myself but I’m pretty sure my parents can’t tell when I am stoned. Sitting in my room, stoned (I decided to keep it rolling today), I get a text message from my mom: Do I want to see The Greatest Showman again tonight??!
Yes, I do want to see it again!
Yay! She writes back. I text back the word “cool” in all caps, with two smiley faces wearing sunglasses in place of each of the o’s.
3pm: I drive an hour and a half to my old college town, where my close friend Beatrix still lives. She’s working on her photography portfolio and I’m working on my creative writing. We tell ourselves we’re stepping into our true creative potential, but we’re also both terrified. To deal with this, we’ve decided to hike out into the woods and perform a “releasing fear” spell she found in a witchcraft book. We take ceremonial hits from her vape pen, then carve our fears (“failure” and “not being accepted”) into candles. We burn them down until the wax covers the words we carved.
10pm: At her house, we share a joint. I lead us in a 20-minute mindfulness meditation and then we think up the mantras we want to be our spirit guides for 2018. I choose “abundant purposeful magic.” She chooses, “divine transcendent warrior.”
11:30pm: We let her five cats out into the yard and play hide-and-seek with them.
7:30am: Asleep on Beatrix’s couch, I awake to the sound of her orange long-haired cat breathing with a slight spittly rattle. I open my eyes and see he is inches from my face, sitting upright on the ottoman, completely alert and sober, staring directly down at me. I don’t feel afraid of house cats, often, but I do now. Beatrix told me once that during an acid trip she realized he had been a real tiger in a past life. He legit roared at her.
He climbs on top of me and settles on my breastplate, possibly trying to suffocate me. I reach for a vape pen and take a hit to help get me back to sleep without shifting my position. I’m not fucking with this kitty.
12am: Today I noticed my parents’ clock becoming increasingly sluggish. It’s been playing all its chimes still but slowly. It’s the audio equivalent of melted, gummy candy. I wonder if living in his parents’ house and listening to chimes lose their steam is what prompted Salvador Dali to make his famous “melting clocks” picture. Probably not.
Kimberly Jensen is a recent MFA dropout who is currently exploring a career with Abercrombie & Fitch and re-applying to graduate programs. She is purely dedicated to sativa blends.