A Brave New Roll
It started quickly with the ink from John Hickenloopers’ pen drying fast in the warm kiss of cumulous bong fumes. Legislators carb’d and re-lit, cleared and exhaled with red-eyed abandon as Pink Floyd wafted in from the open doors of the offices in the hall. Talk of the spiritual and emotional repercussions of gaveling drowned the sound of spontaneous heathen sex acts between strangers echoing through the atrium, and in the basement, feverish hands frantically wrapped in rags broke the dry glass of vending machines and snatched bag after bag of expired Cheetos. Teeth bit into the flimsy foil and saliva spun in wild strings toward the floor, pattering in sympathy on the terrazzo with the blood running in the street. On the steps there was death. Guts spilled outside the courthouse door. Chaos reigned in the streets. Zombified hordes of “dope fiends” bit and clawed in satanic abandon; stealing without a thought, killing without a cause, eating with a hunger that never ceased.
Watching all of this on the TV it seemed normal; I had the devil’s chemical in my veins too. With that historic first turn of the rollerball I had twisted and lit a roach before John could dot the “I”. By the time his eyes raised from the page I was two blunts and five brownies deep in a drug binge I didn’t think I’d ever see the other side of. In an instant, Proposition 64 had changed my life. With the signature on that paper, law was gone as a whole. There was no more thinking, no more feeling—just the sweet embrace of my lady Mary Jane gifting every breath with her sweet kiss of forgotten consciousness.
I left home, and my door wide open stumbling toward what I assumed was my car. I rolled roughly into the street, estimating from first into second, and guessed into third. Motorists careened off the street in slow-motion mayhem as I felt for fourth. They clipped school buildings and parked cars as bong water hit windshields and glazed eyes drooped shut against deflating airbags. Meandering through the next intersection, I wondered briefly whether I was on the same course as them. I wondered slightly harder as the steel on my left folded into my arm, and the steering column split my leg. I looked up and smiled at the surprised stoned 13 year old plowing his mom’s stolen station wagon into me. I mouthed “Hello” and raised my arm to wave as his fender popped the ascending ribs of my side and shattered my spine. I gasped at the precious wisps of airborne weed leaving my esophagus, and felt a tremendous sense of loss as my pipe flew through the gaping hole in the windshield.
Things were black. I blinked. The horn was getting on my nerves. I knew this was the long-coming and terrible end—I was coming down. Staring blindly, I blinked back the salty red caking my face and struggled to move my lips to beg for help. Something. Anything. Someone, to feed the unbearable withdraw from my immediate and merciless pot addiction. The blurred outline of paramedics sharpened and softened as I shuddered and the paroxysm of need crawled in my veins. They were coming, but too slowly. I watched the boots clatter and grip to the concrete, leave the curb and touch the street without a skid, black footfalls chasing death but only nipping at his bony heels. I saw the paramedics and police throw themselves to the street with outstretched hands as the dark closed in. Their fingers stretched and my eyelids reached for themselves. As the lashes blocked the world from view I saw their fingers close around the pipe and lift a flame to the bowl. Good, they had saved it, I thought to myself as the world sank farther away. I heard the wheel hit the flint and the sparks fall and shake, my soul leap to flame and the reaper take the world. It was the end of my life, but it would be the end of the world soon too. In this merciless plague they would all perish. Marijuana was legal. No one would survive.