how not to be high

August 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

There will be multiple times throughout the evening when it will come to you with a chilling certainty: you are going to die, and violently, within twenty four hours of having entered the festival grounds. Unravel this thought with great curiosity. Decide to expand on it. Devise ingenious and hair-raising usages for innocuous items such as water bottles, plastic bags, soda cans, and unbent hairclips. Think about the car you are expected to drive later, and the winding, mountainous road you will be expected to drive it down. Wonder why your face does not alter from its default expression, a dreamy smile.

Have difficulty recalling your boyfriend’s name. Think of the dimple in his left cheek, his devotion to your happiness, his turtling posture when he is flustered. Feel absurdly, sobbingly grateful that anyone could care about you, you ragamuffin, you twit, with your strident opinions and your beastly refusal to let hot wax anywhere near a single one of your erogenous zones, as much as he does. Remember his name and feel like climbing onto a table and shouting with triumph! Forget it again ten seconds later.

Have difficulty recalling your own name.

Forget what you do. How old you are. Who you’re with. What gender. What passions, fears, indignations have floated you along, buoyed you up, overcome you, and driven you here.

Feel certain that you will never reach the future. Every second passes like a glacier, an epoch. The present has stuck you like a pin to a corkboard.

Hallucinate that you are walking across the festival grounds and weeping wretchedly. Feel your real face contort.

Think repeatedly about B. The little grey cells that house your short term memory storage units have been bankrupted. This can be fixed by repeating his name to yourself. Repeat until you can remember. If you forget, keep repeating.

Think repeatedly about the characters in your stories as a way of anchoring your selfhood. Feel embarrassed, even in the swirling morass of your deepest id. Drugs have shown you your important people, and most of them are imaginary.

Grin dopily in an attempt to convince those around you that you are harmless and will not fall to the ground and begin to flail the floor with full-body convulsions if the thing propping you up (in this case, a kind, or predatory, stranger behind you, who is holding you up by the shoulders) is removed.

When spoken to, don’t respond; or answer in overarticulated phrases that are dead giveaways, even more than your sluggish movement and spaced out grin.

Feel humiliated that you need to be slowly talked to, propped up and steered, held by the arm, and kept from falling. Resent the obvious condescencion on your friend’s friend’s face when she has to walk you to the bathroom. Feel like giving her a piece of your mind but become distracted by the urgently absorbing task of putting one foot in front of the other.

Be abandoned in the parking lot next to your car. Think vaguely that if you die it will really be their fault. Hope that if you do die the sight of your face will haunt them to their own deathbeds. Maybe they will even be prosecuted for criminal negligence. Your boyfriend, afire with grief, will organize a picket line outside of their homes. At the ten year high school reunion people will give them a wide birth in the parking lot and feel morally affronted when forced by circumstance to converse with them. Perk up at this thought, then deflate when you realize that you should be grateful for all the times they could’ve let you crawl into a trash can to sleep but didn’t.

Wake up in a vast, empty parking lot that is surprisingly, even eerily, cleared of rubbish. Dislodge twenty technicolor flyers advertising sexy women and clubs with a swipe of your windshield wipers. Argue with your friend about who should drive the car, if it should be driven at all. Let yourself be bullied into letting your friend drive, though you think she is still high. Approaching red lights at ten miles an hour, shout “stop, stop, stop!” in a rising tone of voice.

Make it home safe. Sleep.

Vow to never take two bites of a damned cookie again.


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