"You'd said you wanted to try it once," stated an acquaintance, with whom my only form of contact previously was over gtalk, in an identity which is his nom de plume.
I did talk about it when asked, if only to partly demonstrate the imaginary halo over my head which would appear whenever I piously thought of how I'd stayed clean, as in - never experimented with grass, though a lot of people I knew had. Forget the hard stuff which I wouldn't ever even consider, I am a non-smoker and that is what inhibited any stray thoughts of "harmlessly" toking up on weed, even if it were to be just once.
Well why not, I thought and largely because I trusted said acquaintance, there we were, at my future den of vice, his apartment. The fact that he looks like an Indian version of Russell Crowe, had probably everything to do with it.
"Here, this is where you sit," said he firmly, indicating a chair about 6 feet away from his own across his dining table.
I started to puff, as he uploaded some music videos on his laptop.
"You seem to be handling it pretty well" he said, noticing that I was blissfully pufffing and exhaling, without any visible signs of distress or dramatic coughs seen in first time tokers.
"Wait a minute, are you even inhaling? You have to breathe it in!! You're just blowing it off from your mouth itself!"
He seemed slightly agitated at this loss of one good reefer, which I had enthusiastically puffed away to half its length.
"Ahh.....no wonder nothing's happening!" I remarked, with a scientific air.
They say senses are heightened even when you passively inhale, and I thought I heard his teeth grinding.
He calmed himself, and offered the next one, this time explaining at great length how I was to go about it. I managed this time, with some success to actually inhale, as evidenced by the burning in my throat and overall choking sensation.
"Your reefer's gone out. You've been puffing away at a dead one and we're supposed to share it, remember?" he gently suggested. I gave a big start and handed the cig over to him. I realized that when he had extended his hand a few times, he was not gesturing in time to the music, it was an attempt to get me to hand over the cig, which I had blissfully ignored.
"Ohh.... no wonder I don't feel anything!" said I, finding that very amusing indeed.
"Well, don't expect anything dramatic. People rarely experience much their first time. It just gives you an overall feeling of happiness and makes you lose motivation," he explained.
This was disappointing indeed. I expected something dramatic and wondered what the fuss was all about. I was sure I felt nothing in particular, just a little relaxed, but that was natural.
"Why do some people say one should watch a movie while doing this?" I asked.
"Probably because you perceive a lot more. Well, watch this video while I get some more joints ready." I looked over at his laptop and saw this ugly image, the album cover of a heavy metal group.
"Why is this man covered in blood?"
"It's implying rebirth" explained Russell. "You need to listen to this riff - see, three different guitars playing at the same time. You've been talking so much, you've missed it. Listen carefully, it's amazing. You'll love it."
Before I could stop him, he rewound that ghastly music with its awful video and played it again. Even though my migraine seemed to have receded with my newfound calm state of mind, I felt a pounding anew.
He must've picked something up from my expression - and he mercifully switched to showing me a video by Blackfield, which was rather nice.
He then pushed an artistic cow shaped ash tray towards me. I looked at it, admiring its design and jaunty air.
I looked at him and realized he looked different, a lot more attractive than I'd thought.
I noticed that he was looking at me keenly and wondered if he was thinking the same thing. "If you don't mind, the ashes go in there" he instead, patiently suggested.
I looked down and noticed all the ash around my chair, on his tiled floor. My pants now appeared grey instead of black, with all that fine ash on them.
"Oh my God! Why didn't you say anything!" I was agonized. Getting high, apparently short-circuited good etiquette, too.
"And this is how you hold it", he demonstrated. I released my death-grip on the cig which had crushed it beyond repair.
"Here, eat something, you're doing this on an empty stomach," said Russell, handing me a packet of tomato soya chips. I marvelled at how kind and considerate he was. What a great guy. I mean, he really was a wonderful friend. I'd only met him once before briefly, but what did that matter?
"Oh my God!! These are amazing! I love them," I said, surprised. Tomato is usually my favourite flavour when it comes to chips. But these were the best I'd ever had.
"Well, looks like you're experiencing some of the effects, after all," said Russell, "as these are quite ordinary. Your taste buds are enhanced and they taste better, that's all."
I wasn't sure about that as I felt quite my normal self. I quietly decided to hunt down those chips for myself later.
Looking down at them, I realized that the packet was now three-fourths empty, and that wasn't much left for Russell. I was mortified and found myself apologizing once again.
Russell only seemed even more amused.
It was time for me to leave and so my new friend escorted me belowstairs and kindly found me a means of transport. What a great guy, I thought. My new best friend. "Well, it wasn't all that exciting," I said to him, "in terms of effect, but I do feel more relaxed and my headache's gone."
"Well, funny you should say that," said a smiling Russell, "you exhibited all the classic symptoms."