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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coming Out of the Cannabis Closet

Written by Cassandra Violet Murphy

The sweat of my palms stuck to my skin, like permanent glue. Butterflies rapped the caves of my stomach as my eyes focused on the same spot in front of me for hours. I was stuffed between two overweight people, both ejecting light snores that hummed in my ears, keeping me awake. The drinks had already been served and my small plastic cup lay empty, crushed and stuffed with my napkin. I checked my watch; we still had two hours until we landed. I sighed and shut my eyes, embracing the darkness that clouded my mind.

I still couldn’t believe I was on this flight. I had left Hawaii eight years ago and had yet to return. I had forgotten about the place, put the dark memories in my subconscious only to unknowingly suffer the anger I refused to let go of. I was mad, enraged and furious at the events of my past, the events that had taken place because of my mother. I told myself I was going to Hawaii to reconnect with my mom. That wasn’t the truth though. I was going to demand an apology, to yell at her, to cause her emotional pain, to make her understand what she had done to me. I kept my eyes closed, loosing my sanity to my emotions. I drifted in an out of sleep, dreaming about the last sunset I had seen in Hawaii. A faint memory of my mother smoking a joint on the beach raced into my thoughts. I ignored it. There was no way I was going to tell my mother I smoked weed, let alone even consider the thought of smoking with her.

I was jerked awake by a light shove from my neighbor, I blinked rapidly, taking in the chaotic scene of a herd of people racing to get off of the plane. I let the man out of the isle and sat back down, resting my head in my hands. I just needed a couple of minutes to compose myself. I began rocking in small movements, breathing in deeply, trying to rid my mind of all thoughts. Think of a big empty white room, I whispered to my hands, your there and everything’s fine and everything’s perfect-

“Excuse me.” I looked up to see a small, square faced young woman with radiant blue eyes staring at me with concern. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but you have to leave.”

“Of course,” I said quickly, avoiding eye contact. “I’m ready.” I said out loud, realizing how much I was probably scaring this woman.

“Right.” She said, backing away slowly to the end of the plane where another flight attendant watched, smirking from a dark corner.

I grabbed my bag and flung it over my shoulder, rushing to get off of the plane. I was here. I was ready. I knew I was. When I stepped out of customs and security I saw her, smiling at me with white gaped teeth, she began moving her arms up and down, like some sort of creature performing a mating ritual. I blushed a light red, ignoring the curious stares of strangers.

“Hi mom,” I whispered as I walked up to her. “I dropped my bag on the floor to embrace her awkwardly.

“Come on!” she said, smiling brightly as she grabbed my bag and dragged me outside, where she then lit up a cigarette, blowing it in my face as she waved to a car that drove up to us. A dark skinned man with large cheeks introduced himself and threw my bag in the back like it was garbage. I gave him a dirty look, silently cursing him.

“So,” my mom turned to face me. “What do you want to do while you’re here?”
I stared at her blankly. I hadn’t actually thought about what I wanted to do while I was there. I wasn’t in contact with any of my old friends. I had just pictured myself coming here, that was it.

“I don’t know.” I said honestly, gazing out of the window, awestruck by breath taking mountains that stood strongly against the wind. I wished I had that kind of strength.

“Want to go to my work to get something to eat?” my mom asked me. My stomach growled and we both smiled. I quickly turned away though, going back to drifting in my own dream world.

We pulled up to a Mexican restaurant and I got up, stretching my legs and leaning my head back to smile with the sunlight. My mom led me to the kitchen where two young men were cutting lemons, engaging in casual conversation. They both stopped talking when I entered the room.

“SO this is your daughter?” the more built of the two asked my mom, walking over to shake my hand.

“Hi.” I said shyly, looking down at my feet. We talked for a couple of minutes while my mom went off to go make what I wanted to eat.

“Hey…” he started, keeping his voice low and leaning in close to my ear. “This may sound kind of random, but do you want to smoke a bowl?” he asked, raising his eyebrows mysteriously. I was momentarily speechless. Could I really be this lucky? I mean, I hadn’t blazed since I had gotten on my flight and I desperately needed to toke.

“Are you...serious?” I asked, laughing silently.

“Yeah.” He nodded. “Come on.”

“Where?” I asked excitingly.

“In here,” he said motioning towards the freezer with his head. I don’t know what came over me, or what made me do it, but I followed him into the small freezer in shorts, flip-flops and a tube top. Violent shivers ran down my back, but I ignored them and instead inhaled deeply, letting the smoke out slowly and watching it being sucked automatically into a vent. Three hits later and I was blazed out of my mind. This was good shit.

“Thank you,” I said, dreamingly, already craving the food my mother was making for me.

“Any time,” he said truthfully.

I turned to leave, then stopped. “Actually, do you know where I can buy some?” I asked, pulling out my wallet.

My mom showed me where I would be sleeping. I saw that she had already made the bed and arranged the room for me. I dropped my stuff onto the ground and kicked my shoes off onto the floor. She picked them up and put them in the corner where I then noticed other shoes were. I didn’t bother to apologize and instead collapsed onto my bed where I fell asleep.

When I woke up it was light outside. The clock said it was ten o’clock. I had slept for over twelve hours straight. I looked around the room, wondering where my mom was.

“Mom,” I screamed impatiently from my bed. No answer. “What the fuck?” I yelled. I got up and stormed out of the room. Where was she? “Mom,” I yelled again, walking into the deserted kitchen. I saw a note on the fridge from my mom telling me she had gone to work. She had left her number and directions to her work in case I wanted to visit. Yeah…. right. I walked back to my room and dug into my purse for the pot I had bought yesterday. I hadn’t gotten a chance to smoke again once we had left the restaurant. My heart danced as I rolled a joint and walked into the backyard to smoke it. I chose to sit obscured by a thick tree, hiding myself from the neighbors.
I felt happy, free, and alive. I changed into my bathing suit and went out to go explore the island that I had left eight years ago. Memories poured back as my toes crushed into the shinning sand. I took a bus to my old house and went to buy a piece of Haupia pie at teds bakery. I lounged on the beach and conversed with strangers. When I came back home sunset was approaching and my mom was back from work. She had brought me back dinner from the restaurant. Veggie tacos, my favorite. I couldn’t help but smile, because I was high and because it had been a nice day.

“Do you want to take a walk on the beach?” I asked before I could stop myself. My mom looked up, surprised but cheery.

“I’d like that,” she smiled. I went back into my room and rolled another quick joint, I figured after we walked I could tell her I’d stay on the beach and smoke it before I came home.

“Are you ready?” I asked her, grabbing my bag and opening the front door, momentarily awestruck by the vibrant patterns of colors sketched across the sky. My mom lived a block away from the beach, it wasn’t the nicest beach in Hawaii, but it was a beach. The sand was white and soft and caved away in holes where my feet collapsed. The water glistened a soft illuminating glow and soft shades of pink flickered off of its light, shinning in my eyes.

“Do you want to sit down?” my mom asked me. I had almost forgotten that she was here; my mind had been lost in the wise, winding waves of the sea.

We sat down, on top of a small pink blanket that had been mine as a child. She had kept it all of these years.

“I’ve missed you,” she said softly, staring at me hard. I looked back at her, noticing that our eyes were molded into the same almond shape, the only thing making them different was the light honey freckled in her eyes, making them warm and inviting whereas mine remained black and cold.

“I…” I started, then stopped, breaking our eye contact and looking away, focusing on birds hunting their evening water prey. We sat in silence for a while and then I turned to face her.

She looked different from how I had imagined her all of these years, somehow she looked older, more tired. The lines of her face were beginning to be drawn more clearly. She looked like she needed a break; a vacation and honestly I needed one too. I reached into my bag, instinctively, not thinking twice about it and pulled out the joint I had rolled before we came.

“Do you want to smoke a joint mom?” I asked, smiling radiantly,
“Excuse me?” she asked her face wearing both shock and laughter.
“I mean…” I begun putting the joint away, it seemed stupid now, crazy.
“No!” she said, stopping me and reaching into her pocket for a lighter, which she handed to me. I lit up the joint, inhaling deeply as the familiar sense of a warm easy going feeling rushed through my soul, enhancing paradise. I passed the joint to her, smirking at her from beneath my bouncing blonde curls.

I then saw her for what she really was, my mother. What had scared me the most the entire time was the idea of loosing her. I had been so worried about her and the threat that her past actions presented to her role in my life that I had forgotten that she was only human. The past was the past, I couldn’t hold onto it any longer. My mother needed me, much like I needed her. Maybe it wasn’t the traditional mother daughter relationship, but it was what we both needed, someone to love them and accept them for who they are flaws and all. As I watched my mother clumsily burn her finger while re-lighting the joint I giggled and once I started I couldn’t stop. I laughed like a maniac, like a soul experiencing nirvana. Things were finally going to be ok between us. I laughed until tears streamed down my cheeks in thick rivers, tears of happiness. My mother, though slightly confused joined me in my laughter and we fell back onto the blanket, stoned and releasing all hate, all tension and everything that was the past.


  1. Damn she's Cute!

  2. cool story. thanks for sharing!

  3. Now that is a great story of forgiveness. Thanks

  4. i wish my mom was alive so i could tell her leave the booz an come smoke a joint with, that would be awesome, thank you for your story made may day some how, enjoy...

  5. excellent human interest story


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