In the lobby at the recreational cannabis dispensary they were putting up a Christmas tree, and in the shop where a sign says Enter Here and Pay Here everyone looked confused, and I asked about the CBD vs. THC combination, what’s the meaning there?—and she said the CBD helps with anxiety, for calming, then mumbled something about the THC I didn’t understand. I was interested in microdosing, doing research for my mom who was coming from Germany next month, has problems with arthritis and sleeping. I’d sworn off pot but this was different, more R&D, philanthropic.
And though it was only 5 mg because I’m sensitive to cannabis and haven’t had it in a while it hit me harder than expected in the kitchen grating the ginger, mincing garlic, chopping onion: my vision started to bend and I had to put the knife down and sit outside on a rock with the dog, and settle down.
And once again, I blipped outside of myself and saw my skin so pale, exposed in the sun: and with the trees ripped out of the neighbor’s yard and the softly falling leaves I imagined my own death so palpable, I could feel what it would be like in that last moment, what I’d think: I saw Dawn and the kids and thought of my writing and what I’d make of it, and it was too much to bear…and then I saw my dad in his final moments sobbing, full of regret, missing our kids’ lives…and there was nothing I could say or do, I felt it myself, too…and then I had to go back inside and check on the chili.
For a time I dozed on the couch, then looked up Hot Toddy Recipe on the internet. It explicitly said not to drink hot toddies if you’re sick, or with OTC medicine…but I was set on both, all of the above…and at the bottom of the website was a picture of the author, her curly hair and dog both looking so young and happy. I closed the phone and slammed it down, disgusted by these well put-together, lifestyle blogs. If Bukowski had been alive with all this blogging that’s how I wanted to sound, like him, warts and all.
In the morning I felt the same as I did the night before. I was set on cooking again, this time a curry, but didn’t have the energy to make myself breakfast so I went to the store and then the ale house, for eggs and a thick slice of ham and hash browns, a beer, determined to sleep when I got home, to take another cup of NyQuil…and at the bar I finished a poem on my phone and posted it, and when I got home I felt like I needed to do something, so I folded the kids’ laundry, and got sentimental holding their clothes up, thinking they’re still kids, for a bit.
Then I got in bed and dozed, closed all the shades, took a hot bath, came downstairs and made the curry, wrote, played Jackie Wilson, took more NyQuil, went to bed. There was a lot to celebrate in my life but a lot missing, some kind of final reconciliation before settling up at the end.