I Said I’d Never Smoke Pot Again But Then I Did

About ten years ago, I was having trouble getting over a man I dated. Usually it takes me six months but this was taking a lot longer. I was so tired of every cubic inch of my brain being consumed by things like I wonder what socks he’s wearing today that I walked into a nearby church and pledged $200 if they — and by they I meant whomever was in charge of making life less homicidal — could remove this man’s existence from my brain. This will shock you but that didn’t work. I told a friend what I had done and she replied, “$200, that’s all? I would think you’d have to raise the price to at least $300.” Because she’s an idiot, too. I could see this spiraling out of control and soon I’d be up to $2500, living in my car, and still consumed with his stupid socks.

In the interim, I did anything to stay busy, to stop thinking about him, which involved going to dinner with friends and a lot of alcohol. A French friend of my mother’s once had all her blood replaced plus electroshock therapy to get a married man out of her head. But he stayed married and she eventually killed herself. I kept thinking of all that new blood having gone to waste. Oh yeah, and that she died.

One night I was at dinner with a girlfriend and two men we didn’t know asked to sit with us because we had a big table and the restaurant was packed. Turns out one of the guys had just been dumped by his girlfriend for a millionaire animator who lived in Malibu. He was so devastated I felt bad for him as I’d also seen that movie. We commiserated all through dinner and then he offered to walk me home.

“I have a great art collection, want to come up and see it?” I asked. I know, I’m both sorry and a cliché.

Devastated Guy flipped through my CD's, slid one of them into the stereo, and then brought out a baggie of weed.

This is someone with a lot of time on his hands

I liked him but hoped he wasn’t a pothead like my friend Ken. Ken is a musician who doesn’t get gigs and who smokes dope for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If parents want to show their kids how potheads never get ahead in life, they need to buy them tickets to see Ken.

Devastated Guy extended the joint he had just rolled and I took a hit. Within seconds, I took another hit because the first hit always fools you into thinking you might not get high and God forbid you shouldn’t get high in 1.2 seconds. We talked for a while but then, like with all good weed, we started to laugh. I’m sure it was about something really funny, like how air conditioning works.

Suddenly Devastated Guy leaned in to kiss me and I pulled my head back. It was his face, something was wrong with his face.

“What’s the matter?” he asked. 
 “Your face, has it…has it always… been like… that?” I sputtered.
 “Like what?”
 “Is that the same face you had back at the restaurant?”
 “Dude, how high are you?”
 “Just answer the question, is that the same face you had back at the restaurant?”
 “Okaaay, here’s the deal. I’ve had this face since I was born; only it was a lot smaller. But since the restaurant? Yes, this is the same face I’ve had since the restaurant.”
 
And then it hit me. I was about to kiss a facsimile of a man I wasn’t getting over. He was a dead ringer for my ex and I hadn’t even noticed. Thank God for weed? If I TRIED — sober — to find his doppelganger, I wouldn’t have succeeded. I never did kiss him and never smoked pot again.

A year later I passed Devastated Guy and a woman walking out of Gelson’s supermarket and he looked very happy. We exchanged a glance, a smile, and kept on walking.