Mary, Mary, quite contrary

I would never assume I could reach the caliber of citizenship like our former President, William Jefferson
Clinton, but I am not naïve enough to believe people would accept me denying the use of marijuana. He was at Oxford during the 1970s – I am in Northern Arizona at the present … further questions need not be asked.

Last week during a dinner with some close friends and new acquaintances somebody suggested adjourning the sushi and Asahi swill to partake in an apertif of smoke at a nearby home. I’m not one to turn anyone away from a chance to be hospitable, so I gladly accepted.

I arrived to a house, which wasn’t far from the Japanese restaurant – thank God I would know how to escape homeward if a buzz kill was present in company.

I was given a tour of the home by the self-made millionaire couple. They showed me their elaborate art collection from throughout the world and assortment of instruments from countries I didn’t know existed. I was shown their state-of-the-art music studio where I butchered Nirvana and Pearl Jam songs on the drums and then I was ushered into the kitchen where a feast awaited.

On the kitchen counter was a $500 vaporizer designed for the ultimate high from the most natural plant in the world. The machine looked like an appliance from Sears, but was technologically proficient in reaching maximum efficiency. It burned a certain chemical in the plant at a temperature, which was low enough to leave the actual plant unaffected. The end result was smokeless aroma that could be inhaled – go figure.

I shared a plastic bag of colorless “non-smoke” with a musician, a sculptor, a photographer and a financial planner who was wheelchair-bound. My high opinions of their professional crafts were becoming just that – high opinions. I relished ‘Mary,’ whom people insisted would never harm my lungs, only three times – probably three too many.

After admitting my defeat and suggesting to my host I should stop, he insisted I enter their hot tub in the back yard. Again, I obliged – why not? The sculptor was already basking in the moonlight.

The host found a pair of swim trunks for me which were 10 sizes too big and the elastic and drawstring still unable to keep them firmly around my waist. When I stepped into the hot tub the jets nearly ripped me to stark nakedness and the numbing brisk chill of the mountain air – I worried about being found dead with immense pupils and shrunken testicles.

I listened to the sculptor speak about the host and all of his travels, but missed the transition when he began speaking about the black Labrador dog which was running around the yard.

“He can dive down to the bottom of a pool and pick up rocks,” the sculptor said.

“What … pool?” I pondered.

“He’s amazing!” the sculptor continued.

I thought for a long while, unable to comprehend time in my stupor, then I answered my sculptor friend. “Oh, the dog!”

Moments later, to make things more awkward, bubbles began appearing from underneath the jets by which I was sitting. The foam smelled like detergent and a soapy taste overcame me … the host pointed me out to have shorts that were probably not properly rinsed, thus drawing attention to the fact that I would be parading in sudsy and saggy swimwear soon enough.

I needed to escape the boiling pot, but not before the boiling … pot … had its way with me.

I sat deeper into the hot tub and raised my hand to the sky. I stuck out my thumb and blocked the moonlight. I removed my thumb and winced into the moonlight as if it were headlights from a semi, then placed my thumb back into the position to regain normalcy.

After what seemed like hours of blocking and releasing the moon, I began speaking like a possessed child, repeating, “The moon can’t see me, the moon can’t see me,” as I convinced myself the beams were what were making me sweat aside from the hot tub.

It was laughter from those who had not embraced ‘Mary,’ which woke me into a state of sobriety, the same people laughing who transported me home … giggling, not gagging. Although, I did eat a few dog biscuits thinking they were Gardettos.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary


Rimrock, United States

  • Artist
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