Gather round the hearth, children’s; it’s time for “Creepy?” Uncle Matt to spin another tale. In fact, some might call it Story Time… but some are unimaginative dicks.
It’s time for the tale of the first time I was not sober.
Let’s jump in our time machines (ugh… I guess you can borrow mine; but take your shoes off and don’t leave smudges on the windows) to the summer of 2000. It was a heady time. Stuff… happened. I don’t know. I was 15. My main concerns were handjobs and Star Wars. Alot has changed… I don’t like Star Wars anymore. I digress (I’m allowed to. I’m an American). Summer of 2000. 15 year old Matt, on the prowl, taking names and breaking hearts. In actuality, I was an annoying socially inept mess who was going through the beginning stages of “Trying to fit in”. That summer I worked as a camp counselor for 9 year old boys (Hey parents. Smart choice), and through this; I began to interact with kids my own age. I started going to parties. Going on my version of “Dates” (which basically meant I was inhabiting the same general vicinity as a girl I dug, in a social setting. Re: Parties). I was becoming a new Matt. And with this newfound Mattness, I was also being exposed to new things. Such… as drugs and booze.
It may surprise you, but I was a fairly sheltered youngin. Now my parents are as liberal and permissible as you can get so it wasn’t due to a strict upbringing. I’m just kind of a cartoon character. As much as I pride myself on being “dark”, in reality I’m pretty damn childlike. And; there was even a time when I was innocent (laughs at self while smoking bong). That time was the summer of 2000. Now, I’m going to parties and NOT doing anything. Not even drinking beer. I’m hanging out, chatting; sure… but always sober. In fact, the first time I was offered pot I actually felt nauseous, all my self imposed morals crashing to a head. I, in my nauseous state- turned it down… a few times in fact. 6 in total. 6 chances to try Marijuana and 6 polite refusals. Throughout the course of the summer, I had no problem saying no to dope; or at least, for those first 5 times. Because you see, as most things in my life play out- a lady had something to do with it.
That 6th time, the person to offer the weed was a girl I was insanely into (and believe you me, I can do insane). Though I still said no, it was a watershed moment. My mouth was saying no but my brain was screaming YES! WHATEVER YOU WANT! PLEASE LOVE ME AND TOUCH ME! Yet, I held strong. Something switched in my mind that night, realizing that for the first time in my life I was “limiting” myself; something as a very spoiled kid i rarely experienced. I made up my mind that very evening. There was a week until High School started. One week. 7 days. In that time… I would get high. IF, my parents said okay that is.
In keeping with the trend of doing everything in my life slightly off-kilter, I sat my parents down the next day and said to them “Parents! I want to try weed. Thoughts?”. My parents thoughts were the following “We are not equipped to handle this… Let’s chat with your therapist” (gotta love Jewish parents). And we did. Myself, my mom and my dad sat down with my then psychologist to discuss the pro’s and con’s of me indulging for the first time. Now a MAJOR aside: My parents are bigger potheads than I am and have been so since they were around the same age I am in this story- However… I had no idea and they were either very good at keeping it secret, or I was very naive (latter FTW). So, after much pontificating, we all decide that it couldn’t hurt to try. With that official vote of approval and the $20 seed (ha) money from my dad to buy a bag, I was off on a journey that would last a lifetime. So many snacks.
Who to smoke with? How to try it? Where? When? Other questions? Sure?
I didn’t really have much in the way of “friends” and smoking with the folks was not an option, so what was a boy with weed money and no weed to do. Open House party, yall. ALL names used from henceforth are changed to protect the… Whatever. Simon Kaplan, a kid I knew since kindergarten (of which after we graduated, we were never allowed in the same class again. He was kind of “me” but a really aggressive version) was having an open house. Since that first class together, Simon’s dad had made it big and bought a huge house with a massive backyard in my neighborhood. And, as timing worked out, Simon was having an Open-House party not two days before the first day of school. I knew enough people that I would feel comfortable attending, and check this; Simon could get me weed! It was all set. At 7pm on a Saturday night in September of 2000 my dad dropped me off; 20 dollars in hand and smile on my face at the front lawn of Simon’s house. THIS… was it.
I rang the bell. Simon and his friend Giovanni answered. “Uhhh… a little early, no?. A lot early. I was quite literally the first one there. Not knowing party etiquette, I made a quick apology and headed inside the house. Giovanna had my weed and a bong ready to go. By the time we were set up on the porch outback, two other kids had arrive. Rick Dennis and Sam Hirsch. The five of us huddled around the bong as I nervously grasped the small gram bag of weed. There was a problem. I had NO idea what to do. Simon, graciously enough took care of that for me. He packed a bong, handed it to me along with a lighter and smirked. My cover was blown. They knew I was a virgin. And like any virgin, this was going to hurt. Having watched enough Half Baked and Cheech and Chong films, I thought I could pretend my way through this. I lit the bong, made it bubble, and…. A voila! Smoke. Smoke in my mouth. Smoke in my lungs. Smoke in my brain. I had done it! The first real “moral obstable” in my life and I had overcome it. I was now a cool kid! I belonged! This would be a new beginning for me. I surveyed the table, still pouring smoke out of my lungs and mouth; searching for some newfound approval from a group of people I so desperately sought it from. Life… has started.
“Milk it, retard”. What?
“Cohen, clear the fucking bong”
Rick and Sam were yelling at me. There was still smoke in the bong, lingering halfway. How is this possible? How could I go from such a high to such a party fail low so quickly. Sam grabbed the pipe out of my hand and cleared my hit (which in retrospect- gross). Ah! You have to take out that thing and do that thing! I can do that thing! “Gimme another one!”. A few seconds later, and bong hit number 2 going into my gullet. And I even cleared it. I was now an old pro at this, imagining how silly I must have seemed mere minutes ago. Me and Weed would get along fine alright. Just dandy. I even felt something; something different. It was working- despite the rumors of sobriety on first try; I was stoned! Mildly stoned, but stoned none the less. I turned around and realized that 50 or 60 people had shown up in the interm. People I knew, people who knew me… but not the new me. I bolted up out of my chair and began bragging to anyone within earshot “I’m high! I get high now! Look… I have weed! We can smoke it!”. Music started up, strobe lights appeared, hundreds of kids poured in. This… was amazing.
And then I heard those fateful words.
“Who want’s a keg stand?”
Look buddy, I smoke weed now. I don’t even know what a keg stand is, but OF COURSE I want one. I ran to the the direction of the offer and a line of kegs to witness something miraculous. Some dude was drinking beer straight from a hose, while people held him upside down in mid air. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I almost tossed the guy out of the way as I excitedly rushed to the keg for my inaugural stand. Side note: In my life to this point, I have NEVER consumed more then 2 sips of alcohol. Feet go up, keg gets pumped… This is easy. I can do this forever. I am cool now, I smoke weed, I drink beer, I obviously will hook up with a hot chick tonight. Life is good. 27 seconds later my feet hit the ground.
Life was definitely not good. Faces that were friendly were now contorted demon masks. The blaring music that moments ago made me want to dance now made me feel as If I were in the midst of a heart attack. Something was wrong. All was dark and sad and lonely and I would never feel normal again. I stumbled around the party, trying to gain some sort of semblance of balance and reality but it wouldn’t come. I saw a kid named Eric who I sort of was friend with, and I knew was a pot-head of fame. I rushed to his. “I need help! Eric, help me! How long does this last? Will I be high forever? Am I going to die?”. Eric, being an old hat at this brought me inside and sat me on a couch in front of a strobe light. “Stare at this dude. You’ll be fine”. He was right. 20 minutes or so of staring at that strobe light while listening to horrible circa 2000 rap music and I felt okay. In fact, I felt better than okay. I felt fucking sexy.
However, I did not look sexy. I had been weeping for about an hour in front of people; I fell in the bushes; I ripped my shirt. Sexy, I was not. That didn’t stop me from approaching EVERY SINGLE FEMALE at that party with the following entry “Hi. I’m Matt. Do you want to hook up with me?” Surprisingly, nary an offer. Which of course after an hour of rejection sent me directly back to that keg stand. A 17 second one this time, and the bottom fell out again.
In the course of the next two hours I did the following:
-Sat on an expensive glass vase thinking it was a chair; and shattering it.
- Got punched in the face by not one, but THREE people.
- Threw up in front of everyone I would be spending the next four years of my life with.
- Lost my weed (or more likely, got my weed taken from me)
-Broke Simon’s bong
-Alienated myself to every female in my grade.
- Fell in the pool twice
-Got in the back of a police cruiser thinking it was a cab and asked a cop to “take me to the diner”.
I somehow made it home, and I’m sure my parents were not thrilled. I slumped into bed (after having vomited in it) and vowed I would NEVER EVER get high again.
And I didn’t. For 24 whole hours.
You may be wondering, “After such a horrible first experience, why would you ever get high again?”. Its a reasonable question. The answer: Practice makes perfect.
Simon would years later be my sponser in AA for one and only “month long” dry out. It all cycles back, don’t it kids.
2/15/2012 “The Matt-Cave”