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February, 2010

  1. Weed Limbo.

    February 20, 2010 by Danielle

    So I have been living my daily life, quite tediously, around a post-it note covered in marijuana.

    Allow me to explain.

    Earlier this week, I found a mysterious roach in a candle on my nightstand. It was definitely not mine and Roommate is not a smoker (atleast to my knowledge), so this was quite intriguing. I tossed it in the trash, still pretty bewildered but pretty much resigned to the fact that this was one mystery I’d never solve. Days passed, and I forgot all about it. That was until I was hanging out with Jon, getting ready for an art opening at my school (read: pre-gaming on boxed wine) and talking to Roommate when somehow the topic of pot came up. I quickly de-briefed him (Roommate) on my mysterious finding. He 100% did not believe me and insisted it was probably just a stray flake of white sage or other incense since we both burn them regularly. I got so frustrated at his skepticism that I was left with no choice but to, naturally, dump out the trash from my bedroom (on my bed, in the heat of the moment…mind you I was 3 glasses of wine deep at this point) and paw through it for the roach. I found it and proudly presented him with it.

    “That’s definitely a roach,” he replies. I give him the “no shit”/deadface (:|).

    I turn and resume my conversation with Jon, while Roommate proceeds to gingerly, expertly slice open the roach and empty its contents onto the nearest … you guessed it, post-it note. This minor act brings about a whole set of its own ethical dilemmas. We discuss our possibilities – I mean, it’s probably enough to get a little high off of, but neither of us are overly interested in it and thusly don’t even own any sort of smoking mechanism. I briefly reminisce about smoking out of Diet Coke cans (which eventually turns into a discussion on how Roommate never really liked Diet Coke and so we agree that future references to pot-smoking cans should simply and always be, “soda cans” to appease all parties). To throw it into the trash seems wasteful, an act that would certainly be inconsiderate of those less fortunate than I – as one’s mother might say, “what about all those poor, bored teenagers in China who would do anything for that marijuana?!” We place the paper off to the side of the stovetop, next to the coffee cake I’ve baked and my nursing research textbook, and carry on with the rest of our nights.

    DENIAL The next morning I wake a little before 6 (as is standard on clinical days) and pad out to the kitchen to start the percolator. I see the pot, I freeze, I contemplate, I remember, I want a Diet Coke. I shake my head, smirk and gently push it aside so that I may make my lunch. Fast forward to around 4pm, I am finally home after a long day and now getting ready to go to work. Roommate is gone, he’s left for a leisurely trip to upstate NY. I see the weed again. I think of licking my finger, sticking it in the pile and eating it. Why this is the first thing that comes to mind, I don’t know. It’s about the size of a finger tip and I’m sure I could get all of it in one swipe. I leave it be and head to work.

    ANGER I get home around 10 and need to take a quick shower before going out for the night. But first, some coffee cake would really hit the spot. I have to reach over the weed, careful not to disturb it while cutting the cake. I slide it to the left of the stovetop, coffee cake to the right. I begin to think here that maybe it’s time to ditch this hindrance. Not only is it unsightly and cumbersome (and, um illegal), but now it’s invading my coffee cake space.

    This morning, it’s still there. Well, fucking, of course it is. It’s just me in the apartment, and now I know – something needs to be done. A decision needs to be made before Roommate gets home Sunday night and wonders how I’ve lived these past 3 days without throwing out or even spilling any of the roach contents.

    BARGAINING I work, I go to the gym,  I study, all the while leaving the menace untouched. I still have about 16 hours to decide its fate. I think to myself, it might be OK to just leave it here until I “need” to move it, such as when my mom comes to visit. Or the police. I do worry what Roommate might think of me when he comes home and it’s still here, but I worry more about what he’d think if he somehow found out I had moved it from the stove and into my bedroom. I ponder this action, but it seems entirely to commital – to the pot, to the lifestyle, I just can’t be associated with that right now. I’d rather leave it out in the open, no questions asked, no secrets: “here it is, I haven’t smoked it, I haven’t hidden it.”

    I go grocery shopping, alone with my thoughts, wishing I could barter this marijuana for something small. Maybe a pear. I really like Anjou, and they’re even on sale this week. Surely this pot is worth atleast $1.69 (if not more). I think about my friends, people I know who might enjoy this small bit. It only seems sensical to add it to someone else’s growing collection rather than to start my own at this point in my life. Disposal is still not a viable option.

    DEPRESSION I get home, 50 pounds of groceries in my arms, up 3 flights of stairs, panting heavily… and meakly reach out a trembling, overworked arm to slide the post-it to the side of the stove so that I may put my groceries up there. I knock it slightly with a bag of plums, and immediately jump to check on its well-being. Whew. Close one. I move it to the upper left corner, just to be safe. On second thought, I create a kitty-corner barricade with my nursing textbook. This is becoming very sad.

    ACCEPTANCE It’s just a punctuation in my day. An exclamation point, then a question mark, now slowly morphing into a comma or maybe even a ambiguous, no one really knows what to do with it, the perfect representative of my current situation; a weed limbo of sorts.

    Any suggestions?

  2. The People Under the Paper Bags

    February 15, 2010 by Danielle

    It began sometime last semester, as I was sitting across from a fellow student during an undoubtedly mind-numbing post-conference/lunch meeting at the end of our hospital clinical. She and another student recieved “brown bag” lunches from the school cafe on clinical days, so the presence of a near-obsolete paper lunch bag (rather than a $15 technicolored, neoprene, ergonomically shaped and environmentally conscious lunch satchel) was not what caught my eye this day. No, it was what was on the bottom of the bag: a name. Among the mundane numbers, codes, symbols, etc., a human name, a soul. All caps, right there in black ink: Maria Gomez.

    Who was this person? Was she the preparer of the lunch? No, it was too congruent with the rest of the print on the bag. This was definitely paper bag factory-originiated. Was she the inspector? If so, why was her full name printed? What is wrong with the old “Inspected by # __ ” system? Doesn’t a full name seem a little extreme, almost a violation of privacy? Do you really want to advertise the fact that you work in a paper bag factory? More alarmingly, that full name thing gives people an outlet for their aggression. I mean, what if the bag happened to have an epic fail where the bottom just decided to peace out and you not only lost your container of soup, but maybe it ruined your new shoes and/or made you late to class – well well, now you have someone to look up in the phonebook. It seems that there’s alot more risk of infuriating malfunction with a paper bag rather than say, a pair of underwear – so why not protect the inspector with a number?

    Perhaps this was some form of randomized dedication or memoriam, like adopt-a-star or tree or song book from St. Pius X church (the latter of which my mom actually did, or atleast claimed to do. I spent every Sunday fervishly sliding up and down the pew, checking each and every one of those red books within my reach, practically ripping them from the decrepit old hands of Italian widows, holding my breath as I opened the cover in hopes that it would finally reveal Stacy’s & my name. It never did. Symbol of mom’s love for us? Not so much. Genius ploy to get us to keep going to church every week? Absolutely).

    (I digress.)

    All of this was soon forogtten, pushed out of my mind for months. That is, until today… because today is the day Olivia Flores happened. So innocently, as I was recycling a Chinese takeout bag, there she was. The bag flipped upside down as I was gingerly placing it into the pantry (while secretly wanting to drop kick it directly into a nuclear landfill surrounded by oil-covered baby seals while leaving my shower running all day, since our massive clutter of paper bags infinitely outnumbers our motivation to actually reduce, resuse OR recycle any of them), and I was staring into another mysterious identity. Suddenly, that post-conference lunch came back to me. Maria Gomez, Olivia Flores, what is happening?!

    Google search pretty much only directed me toward an article in the Stay Free! Daily blog, the author of whom was having a similar crisis back in 2006. The piece and comments (which are hilarious) helped to solve the mystery a bit. But mostly, they just made me stifle laughter (as I am currently in class), especially “…We will find you, Ronnie Weatherington. And rescue you if necessary.”

    So go forth and turn over your paper bags. From fast food restaurants, grocery stores, delis… come back and share with me the names you find!