A few years ago, I started talking to an old friend of mine again. She called me up on the phone, like back in the good old days when people still talked on the horn. We hadn’t spoken in a long time.

We exchanged your usual getting to know you (again) chit-chat, and then she paused dramatically.

“Hey, Mer….are you cool?”

“My kid sure doesn’t think so,” I replied.

“No, I mean…are you cool? You know, smoke weed?”

I was mildly offended, because at that point in my life, I was most certainly not cool.

She then started talking about her love of the herb, and how she smoked it everyday, even while she was on her breaks at work. She would go out to her car, light a smoke, and then take a few drags off of her one-hitter. (Like a portable marijuana pipe, slim and easily hidden.)

I was amazed at her blatant display of disobedience to the law. It’s one thing to smoke pot in the comfort of your own home, but to actually do it in public, that takes plenty of nerve and balls of steel.

I also wondered what kind of air freshener she used.

“I just don’t know how I would make it through my day,” she said. “It’s a lifestyle, really. I just wanted to know if you were cool, too.”

I was intrigued by this idea. This was back in 2008, a year before I started smoking marijuana to ease my increasing stress and anxiety. In retrospect, I can pinpoint the time when I felt my castle starting to crumble, as far back as 2009.

Life was starting to get increasingly harder to tolerate.

Maybe she lit my fire (haha) by her mentioning this “lifestyle” to me, but mostly I think I was just at the right place at the right time, when I was given a dime bag by someone who was “cool” at a 4th of July party.

As a wedding gift.


If it had been wrapped like that, I would have given it back.

Once I blew through that, I started buying it from a chick at work. Only on weekends. As my mental illness started running amok, I added evenings. All I knew was that it helped me to not give as much of a shit about every little thing.

Especially the fact that I had been promoted to the QC department without the accompanying pay raise that I had been expecting.

Or the fact that my mind was trying to convince me to kill myself.

I quit when I went to the hospital. I purged my soul, and told one of the therapists there. I got the “tsk” sound, and then she wrote it down to put in my file. I imagine it looked something like this:

Merry O. – She’s cool, man. Also, very polite.

I didn’t touch it again for 6 months. During that time period, many things occurred to make me finally succumb to the fact that my health was not getting any better, but indeed worse.

I missed my old buddy reefer. I missed how it calmed me down and made me feel better.

I decided to start-up again, because for the first time in my adult life, I cared not about the naysayers. (Nay, I say.)

There is something amazing about these little green nugs.


It helps with my pain, and overall quality of life. Because of marijuana, I can still laugh when I’m hurting.

I now understand what my old friend had been rattling on about. I would tell her myself, but we lost contact again.

Eh, that’s cool.