The No Smoking Pot for 7 Days Challenge (pt. 1)
You blacked out with them while eating bacon. You tagged along on their harrowing journey through Murray Hell. You even endured their awful lunch at the Village Craphouse. Now, follow Colin and Angela as they embark on a series of challenges designed to enlighten and inspire them. And hopefully create some funny writing material.
In their first official challenge, C & A have agreed to put the peace pipes away in search of an all-natural high for a whole seven days. Both daily weed smokers, this will be a true test of their willpower. But who will stand strong while the other is left behind in a cloud of smoke? You’ll have to read on, reader.
ANGELA: It’s only 1:46pm on a Monday, so if I was feeling very “challenged” at this point then i’d likely have some raging substance abuse problem *chugs coffee* All good here!
COLIN: My weed break is essentially a New Year’s resolution, so I’ve been emotionally preparing myself for this. But I’m also starting Day 1 with so much THC in my body I could get high just from biting my fingernails, so today feels fine. I also think that I’ve been needing to take a break for a while and remember what life was like without a fog settling in around my forehead. I’ve felt like the personification of San Francisco, essentially–in a lot of ways, really. So a part of me was very excited about today. It was like, “Ooh, I’m so pumped to feel sure of my motor skills again!”
ANGELA: Later in the evening was when i realized that it actually might suck to not be able to rip the bong and watch the measly selection that basic cable had to offer me (e.g. Signature Club A with Adriane on HSN and/or Mike and Molly, a show that is basically about two morbidly obese people being married to each other and all of the hilarity that ensues, e.g. sleep apnea masks). I almost cracked when I realized The Bachelor season premiere was on, and how can you not get high for that? I thought “I’ll just smoke tonight and it’ll be funny! It’ll add to the story!” But then thought of Colin, all the way in Astoria, holding strong. To be honest, once I got past the initial jealousy / longing as I watched my roommate take down a massive tube of smoke, it was basically totally fine. And I didn’t eat anything after I finished dinner, which is like, completely unheard of for me. #Formerfatkidproblems.
COLIN: Sooo, I actually smoked. Sorry, Angela. Tomorrow is the start of a new day!
ANGELA: *SMH, SMH* I guess I can’t get too mad at Colin, seeing as I’m the one who sold him the weed. Last night was easy for me. I had resigned myself to the fact that I’m just not going to smoke for a week. Now, don’t get it confused: I’m not doing this for any moral / political **free Kony!** / or health reasons. I’m doing it for the writing fodder, and because when I challenge myself to something this weird resolve kicks in and I have ridiculous self control. (Hopefully one day I can apply this to something useful, instead of not smoking pot or eating gluten.) Also, because when I smoke again in a week i’m going to be high as fuck. That scared high. The kind of high where you need to have reassuring conversations with yourself inside your head and realize you’ve been staring off into space for 30 minutes.
COLIN: It’s 9:06 PM and I’m stoned right now. Ugh, I’ll try again tomorrow. I think I’m officially OUT out of weed. I just ate an infant’s weight in Thai food while watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix and reading the last two years of updates on my Facebook news feed in reverse.
ANGELA: Day three baby, and I’m feeling good. Actually, i’m feeling totally normal, because let’s face it: 90% of the country goes three days without weed without even noticing. So far the only real physical changes i’ve noticed is that on the first night I had a harder time falling asleep than normal, and on day two I had more anxiety than usual in the afternoon. I guess i’m feeling more clarity, and am definitely having an easier time writing. Hate to admit it but smoking weed does not make you creative. (This theory was further proven by my search for weed memes to use in this article. They were all so bad. Step it up, you lazy fucks.) At least for me, I CANNOT write when I’m high. I second guess everything I’m saying and am analytical to the point where I just cripple any voice I might have. Now, meth on the other hand…
COLIN: Christ, if it was meth, I’d be like Mary Higgins Clark! (Meaning I’d produce a lot of writing–not that MHC is off breaking bad in Saddle River, New Jersey.) Anyway, I think beyond just wanting to smoke pot, what I’m up against is how perfectly comforting the experience is of taking that first hit of the day and sinking into a high that, really, you won’t be able to feel again until you’ve had a few hours of sleep. (That hasn’t stopped me from smoking like a fish on a Sunday until I’m nothing more than a burnt out pile of lox on my couch, of course. Yikes, have I been normalizing really destructive behavior?) For someone who has spent the better part of 30 years mitigating anxiety, that initial high is like the remedy I’ve been seeking so fervently. It’s an instant relief–the inferno of panic in my chest suddenly just goes out. (And then, if I have shit I need to do, or if I’ve brazenly thought I could pull off taking a hit in bed before starting my workday, the worry over my ability to accomplish the upcoming tasks at hand takes over.)
But it’s day three, and as good a day as any to start over. I can get through the work day no problem, but I agree, it’s the nighttime that’s the hardest. That being said, if I’m just going to go home after work, flop down in front of the TV and put on Netflix, I’m essentially setting myself up for disaster. Because I don’t have any actual weed left, I feel like I won’t even realize I’m…ugh, the shame of even admitting it…scraping the bowl for resin, until I’ve taken a filthy hit of it and fallen back against the pillows thinking, “Oh maybe I’ll just try again tomorrow….” while I open the Seamless app on my phone.
ANGELA: I may have gotten up on my high horse a bit prematurely yesterday. Last night was hard. I wanted to smoke–bad. I even tried to chalk it up to art: “It’ll be funny if i smoke! I can record it! It’ll make for great comedy if i finally crack on the night that Colin stays strong!” But, I managed to hold it together. It was already 9:30pm and seemed pointless to break when I was headed for bed in a few hours. God, am I really that much of a pot head that I feel this is a big accomplishment? Whatever man– time to saddle up and ride. YEEHAWW!
COLIN: Before I go on…”high horse.” Well-played.
So I finally got on the wagon and stayed there for a night. A very dull, very stir-crazy night where I had no choice but to do all the things I do when I’m stoned (couch, Buzzfeed, talking to the cats, watching Drag Race queens performing at bars on YouTube) because it’s now Siberia outside. So of course, I immediately go to the place of, “Well, what’s the big deal? I’m not doing anything anyway!” I can always find a way to rationalize it. But luckily, I simply had no weed in the house (at least that I could find. Whenever I’ve tried to run out in the past, I’d always stumble onto a half-full grinder or a leftover baggie in a drawer, and I would go to the same place I go when I find potato chips in the cabinet: “Well, I might as well finish this off and get it out of the house.”)
Instead, I settled for Sleepytime Tea. Tea is actually a great replacement. Last year I took a break and was downing Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea like someone’s stressed out aunt hosting Thanksgiving, and something about the ritual of making tea, the time it takes to drink it, and the warming/calming effects of it are just enough of a replacement. I assume this is similar to smokers chewing a lot of gum when they’re trying to quit. There’s the need for habit replacement.
Also, there’s a bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge from New Years, and while normally Chardonnay does nothing for me, half a glass with dinner was kind of nice, to feed the habit of putting some fuzz around reality at the end of the day.
Will Angela victoriously ride her high horse into a sober sunset? Will Colin fall into a Sleepytime Tea-induced coma? Or will they both cave like the two stoners they are? You’ll have to wait until next time to find out!
(Main page photo courtesy Torben Hansen via Flickr.)