I started smoking pot when I was fifteen years old. It started with a group of friends at the playground after school hours, when my friend Johnny rolled us the biggest blunt I had ever seen. He was eighteen, a senior, and a complete dork, so no one bothered him for his stash.
The first drag off that blunt was one I remembered forever. The taste of the paper that encased the marijuana left the taste of berries on my lips, but that didn't last long when I started to cough my brains out.
"Jesus, Johnny, what did you put in this?" I gagged.
"That's gorilla glue," he laughed, "it'll knock you flat on your ass!"
From then on, I got to love the high, and the burn that came with smoking. Now, I'm twenty-five years old, with a pretty good job, and a love for marijuana.
Okay, so my job isn't all that cracked up to be – I work at a piercing and tattoo parlor as a receptionist in this small town. The business there isn't exactly booming, what with the new parlor coming in and taking the competition. But still, I enjoyed the quiet, quaintness of the old parlor. The decreasing business meant I got more time to read my fan fiction.
Speaking of fan fiction... god why am I even saying this? I read and write fan fiction, okay? It brings me joy and makes me catch feelings. Feelings that I normally didn't get from dating or hanging out with anyone. If you're wondering, no, I'm not a virgin. Yes, I'm a sexual being, but I find the literature of sex and romance fascinating. It's my guilty pleasure.
"Hey Mara," one of the artists greeted. Her name was Beatrice, and she was a tall redhead adorned from head to toe in tattoos and piercings. She was the walking poster child for the parlor.
"Oh, hey Bea," I replied. "Get any weirdos?"
"Oh my god, girl, you have no idea," she started, "This dude wanted his girlfriend's face tattooed on his arm. I told him, 'honey, I charge extra for regrets like that,' I mean, seriously?"
"I get what you mean," I nodded, "soon they're gonna have this big blowout and he's gonna be coming back for a cover-up."
"That's what I mean," Bea chuckled, "cover-ups are more money in my pocket, boo."
"More money to keep the business afloat," I added.
"Right?" Bea rolled her eyes. "Man, this city is taking a shit now that the yuppies are moving in."
"Gentrification at its finest!" I was swiping my phone visibly in front of her, and she reached over and tried to grab it. "Hey, what gives?"
"Girl, you best not be on that Tinder shit, I swear to god," Bea looked like she was ready to snatch it out of my hand and shatter it.
I laughed. "No, not that. It's just... nerd stuff." Nerd stuff. Good going, Mara.
"Nerd stuff?" she laughed. "Girl, you need a man."
"I need a new plug." I huffed. "My last guy decided that he wasn't selling any more. Something about wanting to get his life together and all that good shit."
"Oh, girl, if you need the hookup, I know someone."
"Yeah! My roommate buys from him, I'll hit her up and give you the dude's number."
"Seriously?" I felt a wave of relief wash over me, "Thank you sooo much, Bea. I've been without green for so long, it's making me want to climb the fucking walls."
"I got you, girl," she responded, before tapping away on her smart phone.
After my shift at the parlor ended, along with my reading of Nights by my favorite fan fiction author, I got in my car and started to drive towards the nearest McDonald's to get my dinner. As I sat in the drive thru, I thumbed through my phone at all the different coupons that were part of the app, and selected the one that would give me the most food. I'm a 130 lb., 5'5" woman, and I can pack down a family bundle all on my own. Anyways, I got all my food and made it back to my studio apartment, which had a tiny balcony where I could hang my plants. I fucking love plants.
Finally, after three months of struggling to find a regular pot dealer, I was about to meet my new guy tonight. I trusted Bea to give refer me to only the best guy around, and I was excited. But, I knew how weed dealers also were - most would say twenty minutes, but twenty minutes in weed-dealer language meant three hours. So, I got comfortable in nothing but a white tank top and my briefs.
I dumped the contents of the McDonald's bag onto the coffee table, and turned on the TV, flicking over to Netflix. I watched three episodes of Bojack Horseman before deciding that it was too depressing, and switched over to Trailer Park Boys. That show always cracked me up, ever since I watched it as a teenager. Best show for potheads, hands down.
My phone buzzed, so I picked it up to see Bea had texted me. I had begun texting her back.
[Bea: Hay giiiiiirl, did the 420 dude show up yet?
Me: Not yet. I'm shoveling McD's down. TTyl.
Bea: Eww girl wtf that shit will KILL u.]
I rolled my eyes and set the phone down, but right as I did, it buzzed again. "What the fuck..." I muttered under my breath, hoping it wasn't some stranger from another country trying to get in my pants over Facebook again.
[Unknown number: Here.]
"Here?" I cocked an eyebrow, not knowing where the number came from. I texted back.
[Me: who dis?]
Soon, I heard a rhythmic knock at the door, stood up from my mountain of McDonald's, and shamelessly answered the door in my underwear and a crumby tank top.
I wasn't prepared for what I was about to see.