Monday, March 28, 2011


you ever just call up youre friend just to tell them you love them?

not just any friend, but a friend you love.

not having anything to say or any purpose of the call other than just that. to say that you are the one i love. i love you, my friend. you are important to me. know that.

its simultaneously a celebration and a promise. a declaration of faith.

you love them.

just call them and say it.

its easy.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Raising Hell

when he told me they were doing a show that night i initially didnt believe him. the legendary Run DMC were performing in san francisco and i hadnt heard about it until that night? the possibility of this seemed slim, considering we both worked in the record industry and we were both avid hip hop fans and to see Run DMC live was the holy grail of shows. this, even though they were past their prime and nostalgia had yet to lift them back into relevance (that wouldnt happen for another two years). still, i agreed to go. it definitely wouldnt hurt, and if he was wrong then we'd already be on the town and surely there would be some other shenanigans for us to get into.

we go to the DNA Lounge at about 9pm, the show wasnt starting until 10. As we approached the box office i noticed, pasted on the window, a hand made sign that read: Run DMC- $20. it was only twenty dollars? to see the group that changed the landscape of pop music in the 80s and arguably launched rap music into the mainstream stratosphere for good? this seemed, for lack of a better term, too good to be true. the fact that there were still tickets available did not lessen my skepticism either. we each paid for a ticket, got our hand stamped, and walked into the club, my friend beaming with enthusiasm and me wary and kicking myself because i had lost a precious Jackson.

the club was packed, which did lift my spirits some. at least i hadnt been the only one fooled that night. the DNA lounge is designed in a very practical manner. there is a fairly large, square dancefloor with a stage at the front, and an upper level balcony that wraps itself around it, allowing patrons to watch the madness from above while sipping on their over priced drinks. we made our way to the balcony as the main floor was too packed, got ourselves some drinks, and began rolling a joint. from where we stood i had a perfect view of the stage. hanging from the back of it was a huge banner bearing the legend: Run DMC, in their classic black and white font. in front of that was set up two turntables, and at the front of the stage two microphones on stands. that was it. i had to admit, this was encouraging, but i still wouldnt believe it until i saw it.

slowly the crowd began to press against each other. i wondered if they would oversell tickets then have the fire department come in and shut down the show. that was a classic shady promoter move i knew and had experienced all too many times. my wariness began to kick in again. it was a healthy mix of people, not your usual hip hop crowd, all races and ages, girls and guys alike. we began to smoke the joint and i let the feeling of being stoned wash over me while i clocked the faces and bodies that crowded the area. i wondered if i was the only one that was skeptical, everyone else seemed to be wearing their happy faces. all eyes were wide. the enthusiasm was thick and palpable.

thats when he came on stage, Jam Master Jay himself. my jaw dropped to the floor. was that really him? still, my outlook was hesitant. maybe he was just going to do a DJ set. not that that would be a bad thing, mind you.

then Run and D came out. the crowd roared in approval. they wore their classic black pants and black jackets and black tshirts underneath, even sporting the hats they were so closely identified with since they early, RUN DMC albums. they looked like they did on the cover of Raising hell, or in the movie Krush Groove. they looked exactly how i, and everyone else in the room, wanted them to look. i marveled at their royalty in silence, letting the crowd do the cheering for me. i couldnt believe it. they were there. i was looking at Run DMC, live, in the flesh.

the facetiously introduced themselves, as if we didnt know who they were, and went into the first song of what would be an hour and a half set. the sound was stellar, rare for a hip hop show, and their set was flawless. you could tell they had rehearsed it hundreds of times. hit after hit after hit. not letting up for one moment, keeping everyone in the crowd standing and cheering and aching for more. younger hip hop acts have to take note of this kind of shit. they new how to put on a show better than most anyone id ever seen.

at one point, after a second joint, we decided to barrel our way down to the main floor. we wanted to feel the energy they were giving off. we squirmed our way to the middle of the crowd, shoulder to shoulder, hardly able to move for ourselves. thats when Run decided to reintroduce the group again. He sited his alternate moniker, Reverend Run, and pointed to the decks to allow Jam Master Jay to get some love. then he asked DMC, what do they know you as, D?

as DMC launched into "King of Rock" a jackpot of excitement erupted on the foor. the whole place exploded as those enormous rock drums, courtesy of John Bonham from Led Zeppelin, thundered through everyone. i was being lifted as the crowd jumped up and down, absolutely mental, along with the track. for a moment a began tearing up. this was easily one of the most exciting moments id ever experience in my concert going career. i was overwhelmed with joy.

when it was over we stumbled from the place, exhausted yet still thrilled with the night. i cant even remember what we did afterward. most likely went home and talked about what we had just seen and felt. it was one of the most satisfying concerts any of of would ever have, and we knew it deep in our bones, as sweat still clung to our flesh. we had seen the legends. they had delivered.

Friday, March 25, 2011

too much

it is so much easier to not get your work done.

to just let it sit in front of you untouched. like peas on a plate. rejected and ignored. my work is unwanted.

but it begs for attention. its a needy beast, always haunting me. i need to get on it.

but i just cant. there is too much. its work overload over here.

serenity now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

to the door

i could write another post about a show i went to see but its not in me this afternoon. not much is, to be honest.

its raining out. earlier snow was falling in big, heavy flakes that melted as soon as they touched the ground. there was a palpable frustration in the city, as no one wanted to see snow again for the remainder of the year. we had enough this winter, and felt we had suffered through the season admirably and deserved a break from the cold whiteness that blanketed us so. our grievances were valid, and it seemed only right that we spend the rest of march marveling at the bloom of spring, as the colors came back to the trees and the tarp was taken from the patio furniture. instead we have one more day of misery. a day of slushy gutters and a night of huddling inside our big coats. the coats we were prepared to retire to the closet, with the hoods and the down filling and the big pockets our lighters get lost in.

i cant say i feel very well. my stomach is turning and my heart beats faster than usual. i hope its just a minor cold, a consequence of my drinking habits, or perhaps the result of eating too late. what i dont want it to be is an emotional sickness, because you just never know when those are going to go away. they stew inside you, subsiding at times, then swelling up again in huge waves of anxiety.

thats neither here nor there, though.

the weather outside is bringing me down. im waiting for a food delivery to come. groceries, not just one meal. i havent had the chance to go shopping in a while and my refrigerator was entirely bare. well, not entirely. there were three apples. a quart of milk. some beer. a can of salsa. ive been living off of takeout and, although im fine with that, it can grow tedious and boring after a while. sandwich after sandwich. the occasional burrito or pizza pie. it became a sad habit i wanted to rid myself of. so i went online and ordered groceries from one of those internet supermarkets you see ads for on the subway. i scheduled the delivery to come between 12 and 2.

it is 1:50. the only thing pressing on my doorbell is the pattering of rain. they better show up soon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

wa do dem

im going to write a series of post about concerts ive been to. this is the first one, hopefully they will get better.

i dont know which concert to start at so ill just start at the first one i remember going to. i was a senior in high school. most kids had already been to concerts, or at least all the friends i went with said they had, so i guess im a late bloomer in that regard.

my brother had just gotten his first car. a silver nissan maxima. he'd only had it for two days, this was our first outing. it was a good three or four years old yet still looked pretty brand new. the stock stereo had a decent rumbling bass and the windows and seats were electric. there was a moon roof and the back window was tinted. it was a four door, which meant i didnt have to fold myself too tightly in order to get into the back seat. not like i ever would have, since he was my brother i had a lock on the shotgun side.

we were already heavy stoners but none of us drank that much. its a lot easier to buy weed than it is alcohol, so we stuck with the vices that were afforded us without trouble. at the time we were hanging around these two guys, jimmy and JT, that were big into reggae music. in fact, most of our friends were into reggae music in some capacity or another, but these two guys had a deeper knowledge than most. they were the ones that bought all the old classic riddems to us. the early yodel of barington levy, the modern dancehall of buju banton, the merciless bass lines of classic roots and dub. we were young and of the idea that the more me smoked the more we connected with the music. perhaps this is true. either way, the first show we went to was a reggae gig.

it was in berkeley at a small venue not far from the college. the artist was eek-a-mouse. i was vaguely familiar with his music but liked what i had heard. we all piled into the silver maxima and put on one of his tapes and vibed on the freeway on the way to the show. we almost got in an accident while making an ill-advised turn into the fast lane and everyones heart skipped for a second, then we just laughed again and turned up the music until the speakers began to rattle and opened up the moonroof and let the early summer night pour in.

i forget how much the tickets were, under twenty bucks im sure. the place was small and packed and i had the skeptical feeling that eek-a-mouse wouldnt show up. im not sure why, id never been to a concert and i suppose i just felt it was too good to be true. he was suppose to fly in from jamaica, how could they afford that? why would he come and perform for us? for such a young, sweaty, unknowing crowd. he was a legend. a man with classic under his belt. i was sure at any moment the DJ would announce he didnt make it and we would all go home, frustrated but accepting and happy we at least made the trip.

finally he came on stage. i was nervous and excited and the butterflies in my stomach were big and wild. he was taller than i imagined, at least six foot seven. and had this lanky, rhythmic way about him. he swayed on the stage as if it was a boat at sea. nothing else but him and a microphone, not even a stand. everyone new all his songs and sang along and i just smiled and stared and tried to catch the meter and chant with them all. smoke hung above us all in a thick cloud and someone passed me a joint and i took it without question. the crowd were mostly white college aged kids in big t-shirts and baggy pants. there were only two or three people there that looked truly jamaican and i assumed they had come with eek-a-mouse. they had weathered faces with a sheen of sweat and from their lips hung long, fat joints that they just sucked at without flinching.

when he finally did a song i recognized i almost burst with enthusiasm. i sang along and tried my hand at skanking—the loose form of dancing popular at reggae concerts—and took every joint passed to me and chugged water from a bottle, letting it fall from the sides of my mouth and down my neck. i didnt know where any of my friends were and i didnt care. i was lost in the heat and the rhythm and the smoke falling between us. when he did his encore, a song i didnt recognize but that was a classic nonetheless, i pogoed a little in the crowd, letting my body flop against others and beaming unconsciously. after he left the stage i stood, mesmerized by the thinning crowd and taking deep breaths, trying to inhale it all.

outside i met my brother and the rest of them and we all stumbled to the car swapping stories and individual adventures that the night had given. jimmy had seen a guy getting a blowjob outside as he left. JT had rolled a perfect joint with one hand and shared it with one of the hulking jamaican dudes. my brother had gotten a free drink from a drunken girl who looked like she was about to vomit. i had experienced my first concert.

i dont remember getting home, but we made it because here i am. it was just the first of many concerts we would go to, most of them transported by that silver maxima, and hardly the best one. at the time though, for the first, it was a gentle and satisfying experience. a nice popping of my cherry.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

super moon

its been like, forever. amirite?

the moon is super and tomorrow its going to be even more superer.

and its elliptical orbit will continue on. as it was and always will be.

glory be la luna.

people say—at parties while sipping wine and eating soft cheese on crackers—that the moon affects the tides, and the tides affect us.

and that the bigger it is the more heavy the sensation.

and that the closer it is the more profound.

i dont know if that is true or not.

but i sure do feel funny.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ten minutes.

ill take ten minutes out to write a little something here.

on the black space, the empty room, the crevice in the internet.

ive actually been pretty good about trying to write something every day. if not here than on a word document. sometimes i use an email for practice. sometimes i just try to be clever while chatting. but thats a cheat, i know.

i try to write in my journal, the one thats always in my backpack, with the flowery pattern on its cover that my mother gave me for christmas. i pull it out when in a quiet bar and i sip my whiskey and jot down random phrases.

sometimes ill write a whole paragraph and sometimes that paragraph will have meaning. i dont want anyone reading my most intimate thoughts so i try to find a balance between code and prose. im still working on that.

sometimes it'll just be a thought that burst through my skull and i try to get it down before it dissipates like smoke into the atmosphere. im not always successful at these, but sometimes i am.

usually though, it ends up being like this post, just a series of insignificant sentences that, when strung together, create a meager excuse for purpose. its all i have now though. maybe more tonight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


i am sitting here at my desk and it is early in the evening, much later than i originally planned to do my writing, but not so late that im too flooded with alcohol to actually get something down.

the black cat is tearing at the trash bag in the kitchen. i can hear his claws ripping at the plastic, the pokes and prods of kitty destruction. without turning around i just holler at him to stop and he prances into my living room and rubs his head on my ankles. so innocent, the evil creature.

i was thinking about facebook earlier, because i got an email alerting me that a cousin of mine sent me a "poke." i personally am not fond of pokes, they are a passive way of saying hello and, unless in a context that has been established long before, only send a sentiment that you find the person you are poking alive, yet not important enough to send an actual message. im sure im not alone in this idea. poking is probably the most frowned upon feature in facebook. and it is only this one cousin of mine that ever pokes me. if this doesnt explain the fractured family dynamic ive endured the past decade or so, than what else will.

i grew up with this girl, we were the first and second grandchildren, respectively. i was just slightly older than her, but we made a friendship out of consequence, being the only two kids at any large family functions. we explored the brick neighborhoods of newark, new jersey together. we dared one another too eat strange foods, then giggled and winced at the outcome. we swapped blame upon one another, taking the fall for our numerous antics. we would speak with our eyes when one of the adults grew mad, and tried to protect each other if there was any outside threat. we werent best friends, we were family. we were also children, maturation loomed.

we lost contact when i lost contact with the family, but that doesnt mean we didnt share a history. when i reconnected she was one ofthe first people i was excited to see. but the burden of our lineage had made her weary. she was sullen and aloof. i didnt take offense, we all carry our issues with us.

but once we became facebook friends she started poking me. i would always poke back, just so she knew i wasnt ignoring her, but they keep coming. she pokes, i poke back, then she pokes again. i just cant, for the life of me, understand why she wont just write the word "hi" on my wall. its almost as if shes afraid to cross a line and start an actual relationship.

that being said, i have another cousin on facebook, who post all the time. i actually have a few, but we'll get to the rest of them later. this cousin is a guy, and is the son to what i believe was my best and definitely favorite uncle. unfortunately, this uncle committed suicide and left behind two sons. one, the cousin i speak of, was named after him. the saddest thing is i dont know him at all. we only became friends because we have the same surname and were friends with all the other family members, so it made since we should be friends too. ive never even met the kid, and i couldnt quite tell you how old he is. im not sure what music he is into, what he does for a living, where he lives, what he strives for. i cant tell you anything about him except that hes my cousin and his father committed suicide and every now and then he goes to florida.

then i have a cousin who lives in new jersey. she is young and beautiful and i believe wants to be an actress or model. sometimes she speaks in a language that i can assume only the kids can decipher. extra letters and abbreviations and acronyms that havent made it into my lexicon yet. she also post a lot of strange, cryptic status updates that i suspect are directed at a boy she likes, or that likes her [which would be a more accurate assessment] but which mean nothing to anyone else who reads them. it bugs the shit out of me, and i found myself almost disliking her based solely on her status updates. i realized that was being crotchety though, and now i just ignore her.

there are other family members, a cousin in Washington state that likes to snowboard and once posted a picture of his name written in urine on the beach at dawn. there is the cousin that im not sure how im related too that changed his last name to X, recently. seriously, like malcom x. im not sure what the meaning behind it was. there is the cousin with the big mouth who always tries to call but we never see each other and she barely ever post so our meager friendship is waning. there are a bunch of aunts who i avoid like the plague. and perhaps there are more im not even aware of yet.

facebook is a strange connector. it serves its purpose to some extent. i find it strange that even family members of mine are so distant even with this great technology bringing us together. oh well. just dont poke me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

what can you do?

i can do a lot of things.
i can sleep in late.
i can ponder a dawn or a dusk.
i can find a phrase and turn it.
i can work every hour of the day.
i can be too cold.
i can be too hot.
i can strip and be naked or have a sweater near by just in case.
i can go without sleep for days on end.
i can figure out why you should or you shouldnt.
i can stray upright after a shot and a spike.
i can drink you under the table.
i can read your bones and tell you how old you are.
i can have my heart broken make it break your heart.
i can be the shoulder you cry upon.
i can find us food know matter what time it is.
i can give you advice even if you dont need it.
i can give you advice if you do.
i can sort through your tunes and make a good playlist.
i can make you feel good about yourself.
i can make the day scream mercy.
but what i cant do is
ride a mountain bike down the streets of Uruguay without shitting myself.
and that dude did.
link courtesy of busblog

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

kung fu theater

of all the people to get me into kung fu movies as a kid, i never would have thought it would be my grandmother, but thinking back to it now, it was her and no one else.

its not that she was a woman too gentle to be entertained by the art of combat, in fact, she was a stern lady that, as the creases folded more on her face, had a fight inside that matured with her. a woman who could grow cross at any moment and who, although filled with a cold, distant love, inspired a slight fear in everyone she met. so after considering her more, it makes sense she would be the one who sat me down every sunday afternoon and while writing in her recipe book or stitching a piece of clothing, watched the four hour block of martial arts flicks that the local stations promised us.

every sunday after morning mass we would all come home in one of grandfathers large luxury sedans. i would race to the kitchen and pour myself a bowl of cheerios with a pile of sugar on top, then eat it while watching the remaining cartoons on television. when they were over i would go upstairs and climb from my church clothes, still stiff from being ironed that morning, and get into my jeans or a pair of shorts, then pull on a tshirt.

when i would get back downstairs she would be sitting in the large easy chair closest to the tv, under the portrait of a dying jesus christ, with her hands already busy and the tv tuned to the station. one of my aunts might be there too, adjusting her glasses in anticipation or buried in a book, waiting for the fights to start. id lay on my stomach facing the tv and like the rest of them, i would begin to wait.

my grandfather would never be there, he'd be off working with his hands, involved in his own wars. and most of my aunts would be off enjoying the weekends final hours with friends or other family members. the quiet hustle and bustle of a large family would fill the background with a pleasant din, but id be focused on the tv. id be waiting for the scratchy horns that signaled the beginning of Kung Fu Theater, the mix up of colors that alerted the viewer that the show was about to start. it was always the same, and the movies would sometimes be repeats. there seemed to be a finite collection of 70's kung fu movies but i loved every single one of them. so did my grandmother.

during the show i would get up and try to imitate the moves i saw on screen. for me, it was like a training camp, the movies were my sen sei, my teacher, and i was the student learning the art of kung fu. i think i figured if i watched enough of them id be a martial arts master eventually. and lord knows i tried to become one. but every afternoon, like clockwork, id get too rowdy and start distracting my grandmother and she would hiss at me to sit down before i broke something, so i did. perhaps if she would have never interrupted my training id have become a regular Bruce lee. who knows?

i only bring this up because recently i saw a movie called Ip Man. i dont watch kung fu movies much these days, but i will go ahead and declare that it is one of the best ones ive seen in years. if you like kung fu flicks, check it out. it delivers.

Monday, March 07, 2011


i ran across a lot of people back when we were raving. our apartment was a halfway house for almost every raver in san francisco at the time. there was rarely ever a point when it was just the flatmates there. the doorbell stayed ringing and we stayed answering it. in the morning i would step over young and exhausted bodies, burned out from the night before and the night before that, piles of human ash and stain. strange faces greeted me when i got home, most were oblivious that they were even in someone elses house. i could hardly keep track of everyones name and im sure only half of them knew mine.

one name i did remember was casper, though. he had been over a times and was a fixture on the scene. there was nothing remarkable about how he looked or dressed. he was an average white kid form the suburbs of california that always wore a hat and never had a jacket. i have one distinct memory of him sitting cross legged on the floor in one of our rooms, his eyes closed and his neck rolling in rhythm with the music playing. we were no doubt on drugs but he seemed to be simultaneously in control while being lost at the same time. it was mysterious. i was fascinated by him. he was strange in an impressive way, like an artist that had yet to find his medium. we sat there alone in the room, both of us not speaking, listening to a mix tape and dancing in place.

at one point he mumbled something and i asked him what he said and when he repeated it i still didnt understand but nodded my head in agreement anyway.

its been forever since i thought of him and what ever became of him. i assumed he moved back to the suburbs and tried becoming whatever it is he was aiming to become. i suppose i was half right.

this is what he did over the weekend.

i didnt know his name was chris until i read the article. its sad to think this is where hes at and its even sadder to think its not surprising. but such is life. we all made our choices and we all meandered down our paths and sometimes the rut we dig ourselves into is one we cant get out of. that dot on the map that tells us "we are here" is sometimes in the most awful place.

i think its time he made a change.

Friday, March 04, 2011

form and function

if anyone is reading this and you were a fan of electronic music in the 90's then you should probably listen to Benji b's show on radio 1 this week.

well, you should probably listen to benji b's show every week, but this week especially.

its a retrospective of photek, the legendary drum n bass soldier from the even more legendary Metalheadz crew. the first hour is all his old classics from the heyday of cut up drums and gut rattling low ends.

listen to it for nostalgia or listen to it for the tunes or listen to it because your interested in what the good stuff sounded like when the good stuff was being played and made.

i never got too into drum n bass, i was a house music fan, but that doesnt mean i couldnt appreciate a good tune. and photek made nothing but good tunes in those days. he would chop up his drums in the most clever way, being simultaneously spare while still filling every void. he used other worldy sounds that seemed to be beaming into your head from a distant galaxy where they had more colors than us and the air was always clean.

i remember i saw him at the justice league in san francisco when that club was the center of the universe and he played a set that tore off everyones ears. i left that night and the next day went to a record store and bought about five photek singles and a photek album. they all delivered and i still have them on my shelf.

but the thing to do in drum n bass was to play dubplates before they ever got released. it was very serious business. you couldnt be a drum n bass dj and just be playing the tunes that came out that week. they were already old. the crowd took this very seriously. i always wondered if this practice helped be the downfall of the genre. how can you ever be a good d n b dj without being able to just buy the tunes first. how could you ever be cool enough?

these days photek lives in los angeles instead of london and he makes house and dubstep instead of drum n bass. i dont follow him much anymore but hes still revered by electronic music standards. maybe ill check out some of his new stuff. maybe it will still move me, have me sitting in front of the speakers asking how did he do that?

check out benji b

Thursday, March 03, 2011

early riser

ive been waking up earlier and earlier. soon ill be rising with the sun and the disappearing cold. greeted by the warming sky, a breakfast of bird chirps.

this is good. my biggest complaint about living has been there just isnt enough hours in the day. and i knew this was my own doing, that i was sleeping away the time i need, that i was wasting the time i had.

id been told before that i should just wake up early but im a stubborn one that scoffs at advice and always has an arsenal of excuses on why i cant live any other way than the way im living.

but the solution was obvious and even though i turned a blind eye to it i guess sometimes the solution just folds into you.

first i began waking up an hour before i used to, these days i find myself waking up two hours before i used to. if this pattern keeps up ill be waking three hours before i used to and then the only option will be to finish work earlier and have more room to breathe.

i still lay in bed for a half hour or so before i actually get up. this way the dreams have faded and the worry has simmered and the day is a little more clear as i climb into uniform.

it also gives me time to just jot down a few words every morning before i begin to do that which has to be done.

and it gives me a little more time to think. a little more time to find my place in the matter.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


when it rains it pours and from the looks of it, a storm is brewing.

or perhaps its here and im soaked to the bone, so wet i cant get any wetter. and i dont feel it falling upon me anymore. is that a good or a bad thing?

and ive been through enough to know this storm will pass. the winds will push it behind me, or carry it forward where it will patiently wait.

ive had to make adjustments in myself recently. in life we reach crossroads and when you go down one road you cant go down the other. a sacrifice had to be made and sometimes those sacrifices can fill your heart with loss. this was one of those sacrifices. one for the greater good. one that threatens to stay, that you may carry with you for a long time.

and it isnt as if i dont carry with me the burdens of my past, but ive learned to cope with them, to fit them into places where they only teach me instead of beat me.

but the decision to take on this loss grinded my head into the dirt. i was shredded and lost it for a bit. and in the process of this burden i created another loss. and it seems too much to lose at one time. but perhaps this is how things were supposed to play out.

i dont make the rules and i dont think anyone else does either, they are just what they are. there is no divine parent wagging their finger at you. no ethereal force sending you signs.

its tough but right now a lot has been taken out of me. even my words are simple and plain. the words will come back though. they always do. they always do.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

march of the martini

its been two weeks, maybe more, since i last smoked weed. this is less of an accomplishment than i thought, as it has come quite easy, but the novelty of it is hardly lost on me.

i was a daily smoker for many years. too many to count or admit. the first few years i was what you could consider a stoner, and i mean that in the most literal sense. smoking weed was part of my identity. i wore shirts with pot paraphernalia, hung posters on my wall that displayed my allegiance to the leaf, would bond with strangers based solely on our shared habit, and could smoke all day until i passed out. i hung around a group of kids that were also stoners, and found those that didnt smoke nervous squares, cowards of modern society. i would get excited when, in films, characters would smoke weed. i would feel a special connection to them, as if they were written that way for my benefit. when movies would come out that used smoking as a pillar of plot development, id be first in line to see them, and id be the first to point out any inaccuracies in how they practiced it, as if i were an expert. of course, all songs that were about weed i immediately liked, and would add to my soundtrack to play while having a session. i was dedicated to smoking. it gave me purpose.

then i got older and i grew out of appearing like a smoker, of letting myself be defined by weed. i didnt smoke any less, but i took down my posters and rarely wore my pot themed clothes. some of my friends went further into the character, eventually turning into hippies, and i still hung out with them but we werent as close as before. i wasnt a stoner, i was just a smoker. id begun to cling to other drugs anyway, so no one substance could be my legend. still, i smoked all day, almost every day. waking up to a bong load and passing out with a spliff in my mouth. my roomates sold weed at the time, so it was always in abundance. i didnt think anything of it, it was just something i did. something everyone did. it wasnt a way of life, it was just another part of it.

back then smoking had a few different effects on me. sometimes it would inspire me. i would get these unorthodox thoughts or poetic sensations. it would help me think through my dj sets, sometimes mixing records in my head before i even put them on the turntables. when i ate food i would devour it, absolutely ravenous by the time it hit my lips. and sometimes it would calm me down and help me forget my worries. it was, without a doubt, a helper, not a hinderer.

as i got older and my responsibilities grew, i smoked less (much to my chagrin). i had learned that, no matter how beneficial i thought weed was, i got spacey when i was high. and being that i worked a high pressure job that i didnt want to lose, i had to stop smoking during the day. i couldnt be blanking out at my desk if i got an important call from someone. then i began school, so i had to push my smoking time back to even later in the evening, because studying or writing, although doable while stoned, wasnt the best way to get an A. my papers would get too creative, and i wouldnt retain as much of my reading. i got used to this, and smoking at night before i went to sleep became a pleasurable habit. it helped me to unwind, and it made getting to sleep easier.

then i got even older, and my brain became filled with all the worries of the world. i still smoked only at night, but not just because of school or work, but because i would start to panic if i smoked during the day. i would grow concerned about bills, about deadlines, about ambitions. i would let an impending sense of doom suffocate me, and want to curl up in a fetal position instead of doing anything else. id always thought i was the kind of person who would never let weed make me paranoid, but i suppose life wound me up, and unwinding was just harder to do.

recently, with everything in my head and heart, i just havent wanted to smoke. it frightens me, what ill think of were i to get stoned. i dont want to panic, or get angry, or worst of all, grow sad. so im taking a break. i have a few drinks and the solace of silence. its working so far, and ive even begun to get up earlier in the day. i will probably pick up the habit again, but it'll be much more infrequent, and ill probably only want to do it while on vacation. this is reasonable. i dont dislike weed, at all. i just dont love it anymore.
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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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