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Of a Toke and a Time

Nostalgia offers a surprise sometimes

I lit the J between my lips and sucked its smoke deep into my fifty-year-old lungs. I held my breath and let it coat me inside. I sucked in more air to expand them further; to expose more tissue to the smoke. The deep recesses expand and then extract what they can before I blow the cleansed smoke out my nose. I never let my weed simply leave my mouth. No sense letting good shit escape into the air.

I didn’t know the chick next to me but I wanted to. I offered her a toke and a smile. She took one and returned the other. We connected. There are no age differences in hardcore pot smokers.

It was April 20th and there was as much grass in the pockets of the crowd as there was on the ground. I had wondered if anyone would remember. I didn’t see any of the fliers on the street lights and utility poles like thirty years ago.

Probably on the internet, I thought. Then shook my head.

Times change.

At least 420 still means something in Northern California, even if the rest of the country has forgotten.

I touched my shirt pocket for the tenth time. The Bumblebee capacitors were still there. I wasn’t sure I would find them when I started looking a month ago. I needed them to restore the sound of my Gibson Les Paul. When the damn things fail, it changes the tone. Other brands aren’t the same. Must be Bumblebee.

I took a pull on the wineskin hanging on my arm. Cabernet. Alexander Valley. Reserve. No Boones Farm for me anymore.

Another sign the times have changed.

I let the cool red wine wash my throat.

I held out the wine and the doobie. The chick with the long straight hair and daisies on her flared jeans chose another toke. She smiled again when she handed it back to me.

She reached into her backpack and offered me an aerospace thermos.


Times have changed. From wineskins to space-age thermos. From wine to Martinis. I was feeling older by the minute.

I took another hit; sucking deeply once again.

“Is it dirty?” I hoped she knew what a dirty martini was. She was so young. Maybe twenty-four.

“It is...” she said and then looked me in the eye, “… and the two of us can be if you have the time.”

I smiled.

Times had not changed as much as I thought.


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