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@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
When You Don’t Want To Be High
What a ridiculous title. Being high is the best!
Except when it’s really, really not.
Because sometimes life throws shit at you while you’re in the midst of being seriously fucked up.
This has happened to me many times, albeit, some I don’t remember so well because I was seriously fucked up. But most recently it happened when I was in a car.
Fear not, I was not driving fucked up. I was not driving at all. I had done a couple shows out on Long Island and a good friend I’ll call Lady Boy was my driver. It had been a long week, and as a late birthday present, Lady Boy gave me a pot brownie, forewarning its strength.
People who don’t smoke pot always want to do edibles. This, I have told many a person, is a horrible idea. Because edibles can get you insanely fucked up, and unlike mere smoking, you will continue to get more fucked up for hours and hours until it wanes.
This can be amazing or terrible.
I’ve learned my lesson the hard way with edibles on more than one occasion. In theme parks. Movies. Family parties. My thought process going in was that I’d “rather be too fucked up than not fucked up enough,” which is some Hunter S. Thompson shit that can, will and has backfired.
After my set, I ate some of said brownie. My body had been sore as hell from an extensive workout, so I was very much looking forward to that relaxing body high one gets from edibles and becoming one with my mattress.
Before we left the club, Lady Boy pointed out that I was getting high before I even noticed it, as I was laughing especially hard at some jokes.
I was high, and getting higher, and my sore muscles becoming comfortably numb. Lady Boy blasted what I thought was mostly trash pop music, but I didn’t mind, I remained silent in the car, higher and higher.
It had been a while since I was that high, and sitting in the passenger seat, everything in the outside world seemed to move in a sort of stop motion like way, with a sense of reality distorted, like being on a movie set and not real life.
It had been an emotionally turbulent week, between affairs of the heart and the head. Plus, in a paranoia that the meds I was taking were doing nothing, I stopped taking them only to discover they were definitely doing something. Tormented thoughts targeted the nucleus of my consciousness, filling my head with doubts, insecurities, and convincing me of what is clear untruths in a more lucid frame of mind. Somehow, all this seemed proper punishment for me, as I sat in the bottom of my own dark well of negativity pouring onto me, accepting that this is what I deserve: truth in despair and not in love.
That may seem dramatic to you, and it did to me as well, riding in the passenger seat of Lady Boy’s car. And while I don’t want nor expect sympathy from the descriptions of depression, I will not sugar coat the hopelessness and lack of warmth you feel not only from inside yourself, but from the outside world as well.
In my blissful fuckedupness, I remain optimistic, allowing myself to believe that I am wholeheartedly too hard on myself at times. Still to come are the worst parts, I know this. But, alas, it’s summertime. Sun, and waves, and surfing, it will fill my veins with a known happiness. And I can always go back. I can always go back on meds or try something new. It’s already been accepted that medication will be a necessary crutch for my mental health for whatever is left of my short and insignificant life.
In that moment, buzzing from two good sets and promising new bits, getting more buzzed from an edible, looking forward to curling into bed watching a nature documentary, riding in a car with a good friend by my side; I was appreciative and happy.
And then this happened.
Lights blinking, a cop car was pulling over to the side of the road. There was no car wreck, but what looked like a body wrapped in a sheet. Plank, a round head shaped at one end, feet like at the other. And I know what you’re thinking, “but, Lori, you just admitted that you were remarkably high and getting higher by the minute.”
Which is exactly what I said to myself. In my head, I said to myself, “that is not a body. You are high. You are bugging out. That is not a dead person. I know it looks exactly like a body, but you’re stoned out of your fucking face and you can’t be sure. It’s furniture. It’s probably furniture.”
Cue Lady Boy: “HOLY FUCKING SHIT! IS THAT A BODY?! DUDE, THAT’S A BODY.”
For whatever reasons other than sheer discomfort, I burst into laughter. And then I felt really dizzy and thought I was going to puke. All I could think about was that body. And I wanted to know more. Did someone just drop a body on Grand Central? No, it can’t be. It just became one of those moments I wanted to be 100% sober. I wanted an off switch. I didn’t want to be this high right now.
I wanted so badly for Lady Boy to tell me I was high as fuck and that it was furniture. I so badly wanted the sober person in the car to shut down whatever paranoid and twisted plot came rushing to my head, but Lady Boy did none of this. However, I don’t keep friends who aren’t alarmingly blunt. It just goes to show you: Life does not give a shit if you’re too high to see a dead body on the road (that should be embroidered on a pillow or something).
Something like that can send a sober fragile mind into a tailspin, let alone an unstable, recently off meds, not just stoned, but completely derailed stoned. First of all, why... WHY. And how? Also, who? A meat vehicle, discarded. Once thinking, now just matter on the verge of, if not already, decomposing.
Even at it’s harshest, when depression grips the esophagus so tight, you still don’t want to be just a body on the side of the road that people are surpassing, going about their evenings. But what else were we do? Besides just go on with our lives? Is there really another option? A religious person may pray, but then what? They’ll just move forward, the body, literally and figuratively, in the rear view mirror. It would seem praying is not for the body at all, but a goodbye hymn for oneself so that they can, in fact, move on.
Just stop thinking about the body, I think to myself, as Lady Boy blasts the music louder, no doubt as a distraction. It’s not important, I think to myself. Not that a death isn’t significant, let alone sad, but it isn’t especially significant to my life, at all. And there’s nothing to be done. Also, it might not be a body. Maybe someone pulled a prank. I, Lori Palminteri, princess of dark humor and creator of fucked up bits, wouldn’t find that bit funny. There’s no point obsessing about this, ever, let alone right now.
Lady Boy drops me off and we both sort of hope there would be something in the news in the morning (there wouldn’t be).
You can think about it in the morning, I tell myself. You don’t have to think about it now. You don’t have to think about it ever (impossible). So, I complete my nightly grooming ritual, and I’m even higher than I was a half hour ago, when we saw whatever that was that was probably a body. My body, numb all over, melts into bed and I’m so tired. And I know… better things will come my way, and worse days are on the horizon, but given all the doom and gloom, I still do not want to just be a body on the side of Grand Central Parkway.
Yet, much to the body’s relief, it does not know it’s just a body. It doesn’t think at all. It doesn’t feel. It doesn’t care. It’s over, the world keeps spinning. Tomorrow will come for everyone else.