There's a friend of mine from high school living in Austin, Texas who must be considered a menopausal stoner because she sure does get high. Unfortunately, she doesn't get laid much and she won't buy a battery operated boyfriend. Bless her heart, she was so paralyzed by anxiety because of her ex-husband turned out to be such a mean and nasty drunk that for a couple of years all she could do was take tranquilizers, sit on the couch and smoke cigarettes. She added the weed, but it took her a little longer to get off the couch. Anxiety Paralization can do that to a person. This situation proves that there is more to being a menopausal stoner than getting high; apparently, you ought to be getting laid. Getting good, steady sex takes the edge off better than tranquilizers, even if it's just with BOB. I suspect that Anxiety is a Buzz Kill. G*d knows Buzz Kill himself is so anxious that he is officially diagnosed with anixiety disorder.
So this friend of mine, whom I will call Bev, has recently been severely reprimanded by her sister - the one that went to rehab and now is a chef. Bev's sister is outraged that Bev got high with her 15 year-old daughter - Bev's daughter; her sister doesn't have kids. I will say that I was surprised she'd lent her daughter a pipe, but she was probably high when she did it and that can cloud your judgement. Bev says she thought it was sensible to try the weed her kid had brought home to make sure she wasn't smoking anything that has been laced or was generally inferior. Bev smoked her own kid's weed. I can see how that would happen.
I've been feeling guilty for occasionally taking my kid's Ritalin. I went years and years without taking one even though they were on the shelf calling my name. I succumbed to temptation when I was finishing up my last Master's. The hype is right: Ritalin does help you focus. It's a lot like that song Little Feat sing, Willing:
If you give me weed, whites and wine
and you show me a sign
I'll be willing to be moving.
My kid started taking Ritalin twelve years ago in Kindergarten. It was a very hard decision since I knew it was comparable to giving my kid a line of cocaine. Well, a little bump a couple of times a day, actually. When he was in 4th grade, he looked up from his homework. I was laying on the couch, which was a common occurrence due to the meds I had been taking since I got out of the looney bin - but that's another story. The point is that he looked up at me and said, "I don't think this stuff is working. I better take some more."
You never read anything in the Parenting magazines about managing your child's prescribed amphetamines when you're an ex-speed freak. I'm not sure how I came to do so much crystal while attending the University of Texas at Austin. I've heard that back in the day, there were more crystal labs in trailers surrounding Austin than anywhere else in the county. I used to could crank out a paper with the best of them. My friends and I hung out in shabby clubs, drinking dollar beer and jumping around with local punk bands like The Skunks, The Next and The Explosives. My own friends were The Derelicts, The Tickle Monsters and Sharon Tate's Baby. I still have an ancient cassette tape that a buddy made from an 8-track. He's now a born-again Christian executive in the insurance industry but he used to be a door man at Club Foot. I suppose the lyrics were nihilistic, but under it all is a pervasive romantic idealism. Very cheerful and not such an acoustical assault as the Sex Pistols. Still love that assault, but I always preferred the Ramones. More melodic.
I decided to move my 21st birthday to a Ramone's concert night since it sounded like fun to get cranked up and jump up and down all night at a Ramone's concert for my 21st birthday, but my birthday was weeks and weeks away. I never was surprised, although I was a bit offended, that the CIA returned my job application under the Federal Privacy Act. Once you got your name and address filled in, the CIA wanted to know what kind of drugs you'd been doing and under what circumstance. They instructed the applicant to attach an extra sheet of paper if necessary, so I did. I figured that my drug use was an asset because if I was captured by the Soviets and drugged for information, I could say, "You'll have to do better than that, Comrade."
Here's me at a party circa 1978. Note the Pabst Blue Ribbon.
So when I had to finish my thesis and couldn't get it up to write, I turned to the Ritalin. Just five milligrams every now and then. A new form of Mother's Little Helper. Weed, Ritalin and Wine is a fine, activating buzz that helps a girl do her paperwork for hours at a time. I can't justify taking Ritalin these days, much. Other people seem to be able to sort the mail without pharmaceutical intervention, but I must admit I like to be adequately fortified.
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