My parents have been married for forty years this December 2012. They met when they were in high school and tied the knot two years later in a tiny church in Forest Hills. They then proceeded to host their own reception in their even tinier apartment.
The love they have for one another, despite their comedic confrontations, is something that I hope to one day find. But, as most of you know, all great loves also have great secrets…
Like all married couples, my parents had succumb to the classic dilemma and with that dilemma, a question that stood the test of time: Why does your family hate me?
I remember my parents would come home from family parties screaming at each other. My mother would always complain that he never acted his age and that he would always run off to goof off with his brothers and leave her alone.
He’d always reek of something awful and I had always assumed it was the liquor.
I was wrong…
Erin’s Subaru “Jeff” had taken us to Chayne’s house a half hour from campus one random Friday night.
It was a standard college party – loud music, beer, boys…the usual suspects. There was, however, one element Erin and I had yet to be introduced to.
It was around 4am and people were starting to leave. Erin, being the designated driver and therefore the designated caretaker of my drunk ass, suggested we make the trek back home.
“Wait…wait,” Chayne said, “I’ve been saving something for you ladies.”
Chayne pulled out of bag of what people like to refer to as “weed”.
“Umm, I don’t know man.” I mumbled in my drunken stupor. “I’ve never smoked before.”
“I know,” she smiled, “and that’s all about to change.”
“Chayne we have to drive home.” Erin pointed out.
“You’ll still be able to drive, home girl.” Chayne protested, “it’s only weed. It ain’t that serious.”
Erin and I looked at each other and smiled. I mean, come on – we were in college. The world is our shmorgesboard, carpe diem…all that crap.
Chayne carefully rolled us a fatty, packed a bowl, and brought out the bong in order to coach us on the various ways to get high.
I coughed harder and louder than a girl after her first attempt at deep throating and my insides felt like they were on fire. Tears filled my eyes as Erin and I fell all over each other.
I think we laughed for about fifteen minutes. Tears were running down my face and I felt like mt stomach might burst from all the convulsions. I wish I knew what we were laughing at.
Suddenly, I felt like Spiderman…for my senses were tingling. I sniffed and sniffed and said, “Something smells familiar.”
I couldn’t place it – but the aroma struck me and I knew I knew this smell. I inhaled deeply and Erin looked at me wide-eyed saying, “What do you smell Lilo?”
Chayne laughed and said, “It’s the weed you morons. You guys are high as fuck.”
“No man…” I said. I knew that smell. I had always known the smell. Fear overtook me and I began to feel like a witness that knew too much. I’d seen behind the curtain and now I was afraid.
My father came of age in a time where weed was rampant. He and his brothers would often frequent concerts…my dad…was a stoner.
“It makes so much sense!!!!” I cried. “My dad smokes reefer – oh my gooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!”
Chayne and Erin laughed harder than ever. I rushed to the bathroom to splash some water in my face when I looked in the mirror.
I closed my eyes and saw my father, giddy and glassy-eyed just as my reflection now was.
I took out my phone and dialed. As usual, my mother answered the phone, “Lauren, what’s the matter? Is everything okay?”
“Mom, I need to talk to dad.” I said, having difficulty attempting to remain serious.
“I need dad!”
I heard my mother nudge my father awake. “H-hello…Lauren?”
“Dad,” I whispered, knowing full well that my mother would be listening in close, “I know everything.”
“I KNOW DAD! YOUR SECRET IS OUT. THE JIG IS UP…I know what happens at Sharkey fiestas ay ay ay!”
Erin and I didn’t make it home until 6:30am. It had taken us an hour for the giggle fits to end and then another hour and a half to drive home at a whopping five miles an hour so as not to attract the attention of the popo.
I woke up on Erin’s floor with pieces of glass in my arm and our friend George was also alseep in another corner. Erin’s room was filled with mini-bags of potato chips and Skittles.
Apparently, the munchies were too much for me to bear.