The only thing I remember about the first time I ate edibles is that Rhonda Rousey lost her fight.
The fight was a big deal. One of those mega-MMA fights where promotions make it off of cable TV and certain twitter feeds and into the mainstream social channels of the rest of the world. So I knew about the fight, though I couldn’t have cared less. But the point wasn’t to care; the fight was an Event. An excuse to get together and drink, to sit instead of sway on sticky bar floors or crowded frat house living rooms.
The fight was an Event and my boyfriend was hosting. He and a roommate had gone in on splitting the cost of the fight or pirating it, I can’t remember which, and the boys were coming through. I was, of course, invited too and brought a friend so I wouldn’t be the only woman in the room. These were college men, and you knew which ones to be on guard around.
So I was going, more for the company of being in a room full of people as opposed to any emotional investment in the fight, and before we left my roommate, a fellow fraternity member who was watching the fight from our house, offered me a brownie. I had been waiting for this moment all day.
Senior year of college was when I really started getting into weed, mainly because it was around me more. I felt better when I was high than I did stumbling drunk and I could always use help relaxing. So when my roommate told me earlier that morning that he was making brownies, I knew exactly what I was doing later.
Generous a roommate was he, the brownie was quite large. So large in fact, that after my friend and I had settled onto the queen mattress on the floor of my boyfriend’s frat house bedroom, I asked her if she wanted to split it with me. This being college, she said yes.
The next two hours moved forward rather unremarkably. We drank a few beers as I waited impatiently for the high to kick in. My boyfriend and his roommate were fiddling with the TV, trying to get the fight to stream through clearly. More people arrived, settling themselves in on the bed, the recliner, and the floor. Other roommates hung out in a doorway, and the mood was relaxed and social.
I was on my third cider when my friend pointed out that the brownie was probably about to kick in, and I should back off the ciders. I grudgingly obliged, more because she was right and not because I wanted to stop drinking. I switched to water and my boyfriend settled in beside me, four of us shoulder to shoulder on the bed, watching the TV stutter in and out on the pre-fight broadcast.
Somebody called for a joint and the room responded heartily. The next few moments were a flurry of motion as cannabis was brought out from pockets and rooms and collected in an open grinder. There’s no sense of community like the sense of community when everyone throws down for the joint. One of the roommates rolled an expert joint and the crack of a lighter was followed by a collective deep breath as the room filled with smoke.
Patience is a virtue in a large joint circle, as is not over consuming when it’s your turn. Manners among stoners are important after all. So when it was my turn I took a small puff through the end, and promptly felt like someone smacked me in the face. Eyes and lungs burning, I passed the joint to my friend and tried not to cover the room in coughs.
Noise in the room died down as the joint started its second rotation and the pre-fight broadcast started the countdown clock to the pre-fight show, which was a flurry of flashing lights around the arena as the crowd screamed and the announcer boomed at near inaudible volumes. As they zoomed into to the entrance of one of the locker rooms, I became acutely aware of a buzzing sensation filling my body.
It seemed every level of cells on my body had turned into a specific frequency and it consumed my senses. I was still, but I felt the humming vibrations of the cells. Everything in my body screamed with aliveness and demanded my full attention. My chest felt hollow, like the inside of a metal silo, echoing with the pings of contact of my atoms bouncing around. I could see a perpetual motion machine in my chest, watched the atoms inside ping and bounce from one wall to another, inertia never lost or gained, only sustained.
My head was snapped back to the room I was in when my friend told me she was leaving. Without a word, I rose, swayed unsteadily and picked my way through the maze of feet on the carpet. I remember looking down, willing all of my concentration on not tripping or falling.
Downstairs in the darkness of the empty kitchen, I demanded to know if she was aware enough to walk on her own, not knowing if I could turn around and get back upstairs by myself. She told me she was and left. I stood in the kitchen for a few moments, contemplating the darkness before abruptly turning around and marching myself back upstairs, like a small child on a mission.
Back in the bedroom, the fight was about to start. I sat down and turned my eyes towards the TV, willing myself to take in what was going on and return to Earth.
I had my eyes on that TV the entire time the fight was on, and I don’t remember a damn thing. Not that there’s much too remember; the fight was shocking short, a mere 48 seconds and Amanda Nunes walked away with what must have been an incredibly gratifying victory. The channel was changed and the conservation moved on; I remained seated in the same position for the next three hours.
I don’t think I moved once, until the room was empty, the lights were off, and my boyfriend laid down in bed beside me. I was lost in my own world, feeling my atoms vibrate without a thought in my head. Still, even as he laid down beside me I didn’t move, and for a few moments in the darkness, we remained that way, me sitting up on bed and him laying down, waiting for me to join him. Finally, he gently took hold of my sides, and laid me down beside him, seeing that I was too deep in the shadow realm to otherwise join him. Head on the pillow, I finally uncrossed my legs, sighed out a deep breath, and instantly fell asleep.
I knew I overdid it when I woke up with the only weed hangover I’ve ever had. My head clanged, my throat was dry and my stomach throbbed. I napped on and off until late afternoon when we went with his roommate to pick up Chinese food. I ordered a pint of wonton soup, ate all the wontons, drank the pint of broth, and vowed never to over-imbibe on edibles again.
That was a lie, but the night of the Mac & Steeze is a story for another time.