Dishonesty comes easily to me - always has.

I’m referring to the dishonesty associated with telling lies, untruths, about oneself.

In order to feel or be important, I may embellish the truth - in other words lie - make up “facts” to fit the image that I may want to project.

I was never really comfortable in my skin. I was outside, not in. My image of myself, on better days, was one of tolerance, and on less than better days, one of shame and fear. I was apart from and unable to see myself as worthwhile.

I was envious of others.

I would remake myself, because how could other people like me if I was worthless - if I couldn’t like myself. I lived in a world of self-doubt and shame and when I couldn’t overcome the feelings, if only for a few days or just a few moments, I would resort to creating lies.

And what, may we say, has that to do with the first time I smoked marijuana?

Well, beyond the obvious (to mask feelings of inadequacy and shame and fear), it was my way of not letting a “hippie chick” know how innocent I was.

J. sat in front of me in History class - new to the school, her newness was very attractive to me. I touched the back of her hair and neck. I really don’t know what possessed me to so - perhaps I was still basking in the glorious confidence that Liz gave me, although, by now, we had pretty much ended (at least temporarily) our relationship.

J. responded. And don’t ask me how, but within a few days, we were sexually involved.

She was 17, but had already been part of that counter culture that was bubbling in the United States. She had spent a great deal of time in the East Village and Greenwich Village; she had hung out with Tuli Kuphenburg of the Fugs; she played for me some John Coltrane; and she had smoked “grass”.

Now let me explain this: my father had once told me about marijuana; that it was dangerous; that if some guy offered me a maryjane cigarette, that I should turn it down. But the fact was that there was no guy with marijuana cigarettes hanging around ready to offer me one.

And here I was with this WORLDLY, hippie chick, nonchalantly telling me about smoking grass, how she hid it in her teapot (tea - pot: get it, get it - ha), and not wanting to appear to be the bumpkin that I was, I started telling her that I could get some and that I too got high

Shit. What a stupid ass I was (and still, still am).

Well I knew one person that knew another person who had a friend in college that could get some grass (or did I call it tea back then?). And eventually I got a small bag of it. (The actual procurement of which was something out of a James Bond movie where I gave him the money and he gave me directions on where to find it under a garbage can behind a donut shop - and it really was there).


J. was baby-sitting at a neighbor's house, I brought over the grass. J. produced a little “toker” (as she called it - and as I did from that point on - little brass asian pipe), and she had a hit, and then me. I held in the smoke for as long as possible, rocking back and forth, and then exhaled. Another hit and another followed. And then I was transported.

I had what I called the next day, a religious experience. The world shimmered. My thoughts became ethereal. I felt god. It was magical, and wonderful, and truly enlightening.

It was spiritual.

And I got very hungry. Now this was a side effect of which I was unaware. We proceeded to eat these neighbors out of all their cookies, cake, candy.


Later I walked home in the night air and felt that I had touched God.

My life had absolutely changed that night, but I was unaware of how it had changed.


Return BIO