As soon as I got home, I realized that most everything I owned was gone. In preparation for my suicide, I had gotten rid of all of my earthly possessions: my books, movies, music, furniture, clothes… all of them gone. I figured I wouldn’t need them anymore. I had donated my clothes to Good Will; my movies and music had fetched a pretty good price at the local record store. It’s amazing how much some people will pay for the complete Smiths catalog. My books I had donated to a local library, you know the one that isn’t closed down due to budget cuts. Everything I owned, everything that defined me as a person was now gone. This will at least make the packing for my trip home a little easier.
Okay, so I lied. I didn’t exactly throw away everything that I owned. In fact, I did pack what little possessions I had– iPod, cigarettes, pills of all variety and my one nice pair of shoes that I had saved for sentimental reasons. I had no credit card of bank account anymore, but thankfully my parents had arranged my flight.
Clothes were a necessity, especially since I had gotten rid of just about every article of clothing that I owned, so I went into town to pick up some essential items for my trip: cheap clothes at a thrift store and of course, some weed. The clothes were charged to the one credit card I had received in the mail and didn’t throw out. After I activated it, I splurged, figuring that I wouldn’t be around to pay back the debt anyways.
As I looked through the aisles, I was lucky enough to come across several items of my own clothing. I debated whether or not I should actually buy them. After ten minutes of debate, I ended up buying what I could find figuring that when the time finally came I would just give them back again. I had forgotten how much I liked my favorite Star Wars shirt.
The weed I got from my dealer who never charged me anyways. His name was Logan and he lived in an apartment around Haight-Ashbury; the former scene of the hippie movement from the 60’s, but has become over the years fairly conservative. He moved here when he turned 18. He left his cushy middle-class life from Oregon behind, dropped out of college, and headed north to Canada, but he found it in his opinion to be “too clean” and so he settled here instead.
We first met when I had just moved here and was working at Amoeba. He would constantly come in looking for cheap vinyl, specifically Bob Dylan bootlegs. I happened to have a very rare copy of “The Basement Tapes” which I was willing to part with… well, for a price of course. Unfortunately for Logan, he was going through a bit of a cash flow problem, but had in his words “some killer weed that is guaranteed to fuck you up beyond all imagination!” So naturally we exchanged and have been friends ever since.
In his time here, he has become a bit of nuisance to his neighbors for always bringing an “undesirable element” around. However, he pays rent on time and is very reliable, so there wasn’t much they could do to him.
On this particular day, he had “The Basement Tapes” playing; a reminder of our meeting and eventual business relationship.
“How goes it?” he asked and although he wasn’t stoned at this particular moment, he did have that perma-high look to him which I would assume comes from years of almost daily marijuana consumption. He must have a negative sperm count by now.
“It goes” I replied and after a few minutes of small talk, we got down to business.
“I don’t exactly have enough money.”
“That’s fine” he said. “Take a rain check. I know you’re good for it” he said.
And with that, he gave me about a week’s worth of weed. I had no intention of paying him back though, a fact that I felt a little bad about as I was practically ripping off a friend, but I had a goal and nothing was gonna stop me from completing it.
“So, where ya traveling to anyways?” he asked.
“Back home… my sister died.”
“Shit” was all he could muster.
“You know what you need?” he asked, but I already knew the answer.
Fifteen minutes later, we were smoking and listening to vintage Bob Dylan. Now, Logan is the kind of smoker who likes to get philosophical when he’s high. I don’t mean that in a bad way either. He and I actually do have some very good discussions when we smoke. Today however, I knew the topic of our conversation would be death…
“Fucking tragic” was his take on the matter.
“Well, you know… shit happens, I guess” I said.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all my years of traveling and experimenting, it’s this: you gotta take the opportunities, man. Life is too fucking short. One minute you’re rock climbing whilst tripping on shrooms and the next you’re worm food.”
He had a very eloquent way of explaining things.
“Well… she killed herself” I said.
“Fuck… that’s harsh. Was she like sick or something?”
“Well, maybe she did it because she had like cancer or something, you know? You remember that David Lynch movie where the guy is deformed? Well, he offed himself because he had like a tumor or something.”
“Are you talking about The Elephant Man?”
“Yeah! He killed himself because his like huge brain tumor was slowly crushing his skull.”
“I don’t think that’s actually correct…”
“No man, it’s true. It was in that movie.”
I told him that she wasn’t dying. The fact of the matter is that I don’t know why the fuck she did it. Maybe she was unhappy. Hell, that was my reason for almost doing it.
“I think she was just really depressed.”
“Everyone gets a little down though, You know what I do when I’m down?”
“I just listen to some Dylan. You can always find a Dylan song to fit the mood. If you’re down, just put on Blonde on Blonde and think about the great love of your life or some of the best times that you’ve ever had. It’s better than any pill in the fucking world.”
I wasn’t sure if it was because of the weed, but that sounded kinda profound in some odd way.
Mental note: when down, just listen to “Blonde On Blonde.”
We parted ways and I told him that I would see him around sometime after I got back. For his part, he was very cordial and told me to have a safe trip and if I got caught with the weed, then I never heard of him. He was quite paranoid.
Airports are the pits of society along with the DMV. I suspect that Hell is just an endless annoyance of bureaucracy and never ending lines. Something to look forward to perhaps. While I waited, I bought the latest cop of “People” and a Snickers bar. As I read the magazine, I was reaffirmed in my resolve to end my life. I mean, wouldn’t you be if you just read about the latest celebrity mental breakdown and subsequent arrest and 24 hour stay at rehab followed by a 72 day marriage? There’s only o much of this kind of phoniness that a man can take.
Hmm… I still need to hide my weed.
Now, there can be many ways to hide it on a plane. If you’re thinking that I’m gonna swallow it and then shit it out once the plane lands, well you’re wrong. Only mules do that and I’m not a mule. I just need something to get me through the week.
You’d be surprised how no one checks a cigarette pack. That’s enough for a few joints. I never really cared for smoking joints though. I feel like such a cretin. I prefer a pipe, but that’s harder to sneak on a plane. Besides, I have an old pipe hidden in my room at my parents’ house.
Airport security is a joke; the biggest oxymoron since Bush called himself a “compassionate conservative.” After a pretty intense and intrusive pat down as well as a pass through an X-Ray machine that leaves nothing to imagination, you’re finally ready to board. Now that’s security. Still though, it isn’t good enough since I was able to sneak my weed aboard.
Sitting in a sea of total strangers, I can’t help but feel slightly sorry for them were the plane to crash. I kind of wish it would crash. Would it be fast and painless or slow enough for everyone to call their loved ones? Would I call anyone with a message of love or would I call someone telling them how much I have always hated them as we go down in flames? A conundrum. Still though, half of these people are probably so drugged up on the legalized drugs this country will allow that should the plane in fact go down, they wouldn’t even feel a goddamn thing nor would then even care.
Please remain seated. We will be experiencing some slight turbulence.