• Shanille Martin

Unorthodox

Updated: Sep 28

I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been ridiculously high. Unlike most people, I prefer the numbing gasoline flavor of vodka, tequila, and whiskey on occasions. Weed mellows me out, making me uncomfortably aware of the cute guy in the corner not paying me attention, or the odd couple grinding offbeat to some reggae song. Alcohol takes away all those cares, it numbs me to my anxieties (of which I have many). It gives me a false sense of bravery that only once in a while leads me to do something regrettable (more to come). Anyhow despite all this, I only drink and smoke in social settings...except for when I don’t.

It’s junior year of college, and I’m at work. It’s a Wednesday, I remember because I’m working the early shift and I hate Wednesdays for it. I’ve been there since ten am and I swear I’m on the verge of stabbing myself with a pen to get the adrenaline going. My friend says he’s got the thing in his bag. I’m slow, and having forgotten completely that he promised to bring an edible, I say, “What thing?”

“The edible,” he says quietly. “It’s in my locker. You should try it out.” I hesitate because I’m a fucking lightweight.

My hesitation does not last. I’ve been here for hours, the day is slow, I need to be mellowed out. So, I sneak off to his locker and I eat half the brownie. JUST HALF. A minute later, one of my managers sends me on a lunch run. I make it to the restaurant, two long blocks, and I feel nothing. I’m waiting and waiting for this brownie to kick in. I remember my manager also needed two drinks from Starbucks and so I headed there.

BAM, it hits me.

My legs turn to jelly, my eyes are opening and closing without my control, I can’t feel anything. One of the most terrifying things for a smacked individual is trying to have a coherent conversation with someone who shouldn’t suspect you’re high. Trying to make that Starbucks order was nothing short of learning to speak for the first time. I started sweating in the cold air and trying to find the words, which is damn near impossible at Starbucks since half the orders sound randomly generated.

To say the least, Starbucks did not work out. So, I threaded back to my job, which became more and more daunting the higher I got. I face time my best friend, on the verge of tears, and I tell her that I’m higher than I’ve ever been. There isn’t much she can do, so I promise myself that I can fake it.

Listen bitch, you’re not an actress, but if you try hard enough, anyone can put on a show, I mutter to myself.

I brought my manager her food, she thanked me, not realizing a thing. Now for the best and worst part of this story: the major trip.

I can only remember a few details between the moment the edible kicked in and when my friends arrived to carry me out of my job, but no matter how out of it you are, there are certain things that the monster in your brain won’t allow you to forget. To keep up the appearance that I was functional, I walked back and forth around the theaters so I would never be in one spot too long.

While passing a theater, I noticed a customer standing outside theater 13, the IMAX theater. She was an elderly white woman, her skin pale and powdered like she’d long been dead (note, I’m so high that I’ve accepted that my brain and body have lost connection with each other and I'm at the point where I’m not sure who I am anymore). The woman smiles as I approach, her teeth a gross mustard yellow. She’s speaking and I swear her voice is coming out of an announcement system I didn’t know we had. She’s complaining about being all alone in the theater, that it's scary.

That's when it hits me, this woman is death. I've made a major mistake and she’s come to take me. I slowly back away from her and somehow, she notices.

“Reaching out toward me she says, “Don’t be scared, honey”. And you’d think this is the worst thing my brain could conjure up, but no, the old woman begins to glow. A bright light seeps through her pores, royal purple.

This is how I die; I think, I’m going to disappear right there. At least it’s peaceful.

I don’t remember how this interaction ended or how real this woman was, but somehow after that, I ended up in theater six with Bohemian Rhapsody blaring.

I have my phone in hand begging my friends to come save me. And suddenly Bohemian Rhapsody stops playing on the screen, but instead on my phone. I toss my phone in the chair beside me, and I knock the fuck out.

I wake up to my friends tugging at my shirt and saying my name. I swear, I floated out of that theater.

I puke in my friend's girlfriend’s car, stinking the air of weed. Luckily for everyone, it was all caught in a plastic bag.

I slept like a rock that night. That night I decided I never wanted to be that out of it ever again. From now on, I'd only make smart decisions for my mind and body.

Three weeks later, my friend and I ate the other half of the edible.

Well, that’s a whole other story.


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