It was October 19th 2020, the day I unwittingly ended any future rendezvous with the Dairy Queen of exit 172 on the Garden State Parkway. The day had started on a much more positive note, it was my 20th Birthday! I began my day with a quick workout and shower before returning to my room. There, it was time to pick out a t-shirt. I was particularly excited, because my t-shirt drawer in the upper left hand quadrant doubled as my narcotics corner. I reached in and pulled out the edibles that I had been saving for a special event (Apocalypse Now or John Wick I had not yet decided) and go downstairs to meet my 22 year old sister at the kitchen table.
My sister is what some would call an “old soul". That is perfectly applicable since her iteration of college life was a glass or two of white wine and making it back to the room before she got too sleepy on the subway. While this is all true, and her persistent asthma disabled her from ever sharing a joint or dab pen, there were allusions of her indulging in edibles while abroad, and a willingness to do so in the future. What I did not have complete knowledge of yet, was that this wasn’t just an edible. I had reached into my narcotics corner and pulled out a punch bar. What looked like a little compact edible treat was going to have a significant impact on my day. This was a thc bomb, no other way to put it.
“MILK CHOCOLATE, 225MG CANNABINOIDS”
I read the label, and skeptically thought to myself, “Why do these labels always lie about the amount of thc in them?” It is separated into nine perforated squares, each about the size of a penny. I broke them up accordingly and left two squares on the table for my sister sitting directly across from me. Since it was my birthday, she obliged and threw down the first one, and the second square sat there for about thirty seconds before (Hand up moment, I peer pressured her with my eyes) she shrugged and gulped, an unspoken acknowledgement that this edible is so small, how high could I really get? Now this leaves the remaining seven squares for myself, which I put down on an empty stomach. For those keeping score (me, and others soon) it was 185-40.
Alright, time to get in the car to drive forty minutes out of the way on the Garden State Parkway to get to a Dairy Queen because the location holds sentimental value (being old as shit, also apparently it was the Dairy Queen that Lawrence Taylor would frequent for multiple Strawberry Shortcakes). As we got on the highway, I started to catch a buzz pretty quickly which, after experiences with edibles in the past that are duds, was inspiring confidence. I could also turn my head to the right and see the effects of sudden euphoria take shape on my sister. Some goofy conversation ensued before arriving at the DQ destination. I parked, hit the visine, and left the car to purchase a few blizzards, while my sister attempted to regroup from being “a little too good to leave the car”.
When I returned, things had gotten precipitously worse. My sister had decided food is no longer appetizing, and neither is the outside world, because she refused to sit up or open her eyes. No reason for lying now, I began with a wait and see method that involved housing two dairy queen blizzards in a parking lot and waiting for the situation to evolve. In this time, I explain to her what is happening, since she had never been this high. The one detail that turned her off (sparked a panic), and maybe I shouldn’t have revealed, was that getting this high didn’t just go away.
“You’re gonna be here for a while”
At the time I presented this knowledge, I thought of this as a bonus. My sister heard this as confirmation of an unending stay in hell, since at the time she was still wishy-washy on the subject of opening her eyes. The new plan was figuring out how to get her to nap this off. I knew of a CVS around the corner and pulled in looking for some Advil PM hoping to induce a nap. Since this CVS was either not carrying Advil PM, or the more likely scenario that I was too high to find it, I purchased nyquil tablets in desperation and returned to the Jeep. After roughly fifteen minutes of unsuccessful attempts, my sister was able to swallow two pills. The bad aspect of nyquil though, is that it is often dehydrating. This is not good when someone unfamiliar with weed already has the cotton mouth of their life.
Still at the CVS, I decide we have to get back home and get her on a couch. What ensued was me driving in silence for thirty minutes (aside from persistent lip smacking), wondering if Jordan Belfort on “the Ludes” was more coherent than me in that moment, before I decided to perk her up and ask another lightning rod question.
“Do you think something might be medically wrong?”
This led to a line of paranoid thoughts of myself in the future, feeding her split pea soup everyday because of the tragic thc overdose that had befallen her, before I heard her mumble.
“Hospital, (cries, inaudible pause, giggles) It’s your Birthday!”
We began at an urgent care center that had a multiple hour wait. Then I had a great idea to get her medical attention immediately, go to the family pediatrician. My idea of taking her to the family doc went a bit differently in my head. To start, there was a lock on the door due to COVID precaution and you had to call in. I used this call to casually drop that my sister may be having a seizure, which medical professionals take as “A woman is having a seizure in our parking lot.” This resulted in a trip to St.Barnabas hospital. Where she was medically diagnosed as high, and her doctor showed a nifty trick to lower your heart rate at will.
“Pretend there’s a big poop you need to push out for ten second intervals.”
An absolutely absurd day could only be brought together with the silver lining that it allowed both of my newly divorced parents to cross paths once again. There are so many movies about children hatching elaborate plans to put estranged parents in the same place. This lacked the charm and kid friendly nature of The Parent Trap. But, it was objectively more entertaining, and if my parents did not hate each other, I think it might have worked.
After a few hours, my sister was released from the hospital. Obviously I felt terrible for the ordeal I just put her through. Her anger may have been subdued towards me thanks to still being high. It's also clear at this point that perhaps a glass of water and a Lana Del Rey album could have done more to sooth her discomfort than St.Barnabas hospital.
Fortunately, 185 milligrams of thc stays in your system for a little while, so I was still fairly high for the night. Not to meet the standard of Apocalypse Now or John Wick, but certainly good enough for The Trial of the Chicago 7 (solid other than Sacha Baron Cohen with a Boston accent...yikes) before drifting off to sleep. I knew the next day would somehow be better than whatever I had just experienced in the last twelve hours.
Finally, October 20th 2020, thrilled it wasn’t my birthday. I woke up the next morning still a bit buzzed but kept it together. I got dressed and came downstairs to see my father (who has never physically hit me and wouldn’t) looking as if he had thought of nothing but punching me in the face all night. I silently grab my car keys before meeting my no longer high, and fully hydrated sister in the Jeep.
And off we went to meet my mother... to attend the funeral of my holocaust surviving grandfather. I guess 2020 was not anyone's year.