In December 2008, a Southern Humboldt blogger began posting fictional tales of the marijuana culture. Some people were appalled. Most were enthralled. For three months her stories gripped the online community and then, abruptly, she was gone. Even though SoHumBorn pulled her blog, for months her stories were available in the cached version but eventually they, too, were swallowed into the dark abyss. Recently she gave me permission to revive them. I’ll be doing one each Sunday for awhile. Do you have a favorite? Let me know and I’ll try and include it. The stories of this culture, true and fictional, need to be saved.
He comes down the stairs in his robe and a pair of sweat pants. Rubbing a hand through his hair he heads toward the kitchen, and the smell of fresh coffee. Early morning sun slants through the trees and reflects off of the pond, lighting the kitchen in wavy golden light. He takes one of the over sized mugs and pours it full watching the steam tendrils curl and dance.
Thank God for automatic coffee pots. She never got up and made coffee any more. She used to make coffee and breakfast. She used to pack him a lunch for work.
He can’t pin point exactly when it happened. They had always partied. They did coke with friends, some X on special occasions, mushrooms at Reggae… no big deal.
It’s like some how, when he wasn’t looking, every thing had changed. She drinks every day. She takes pills… pain pills, Xanax, Valium, anything she can get. She’s so hard just to be around now. You never know how she’ll act, one minute she’s happy, then for any little reason, she flies into a rage. Some days she just cries.
At first he’d ignored it, hoping she’d tone it down on her own.
That didn’t happen.
He takes his coffee to the living room and puts it on the table. Sitting on the couch he pulls out the drawer of the end table and takes out the rolling tray. He breaks off pieces of bud and places them in the grinder, his hands on autopilot. He can’t deal with this any more. His friends think he should put her in Singing Trees, but when he tried to bring it up there was a huge fight.
He leans back twisting closed the ends of the joint. He lights it and draws a hit deep into his lungs. Picking up his coffee he blows out the cloud of smoke, feeling some of the tension slide out his shoulders. he takes a sip of coffee and contemplates the day ahead.
His partner is coming at nine so they can head up to the grow and clean all the soil out of that room. It had spider-mites last run and nothing seemed to even slow them down. This time they’re cleaning the whole room and pre-treating it with this new shit. They had to send a guy to Oregon to get it, because California doesn’t allow its use. Spider-mites and ticks, two creatures he’d be happy to never see again, but at least ticks don’t cost you money.
There’s a slight thump and scuffle out on the porch. Blue Jays in the cat food bowl again.
As he lifts the mug to his mouth something goes past the front window. It takes his brain a few seconds to get a hold on what he just saw, but his gut understands immediately, and responds with a nauseating roll. His heart is pounding so hard he can feel it throughout his whole body. The man had been bent over, as if to pass below the ledge of the window, but he hadn’t been low enough. The blue jacket with the three gold letters across the back seared into his brain, causing physical pain.
His first thought is to run. In his mind a thousand thoughts fly around like birds trapped in a greenhouse. Running isn’t going to help. They’re at his house. They know who he is.
They must already have something on him if they’re here. He realizes he hasn’t moved since he glimpsed the jacket. He looks down and sees the coffee in his cup sloshing with the shaking of his hand. Placing it carefully on the table he takes another long hit of the joint and holds it as long as he can.
He reaches for the phone, hesitates, then picks it up. His partner answers on the second ring. “Heymandon’tcomehere” he hears his own frightened whisper like it’s coming from far away.
“Don’t come here! The cops are here!”
“Fuck, are you serious?!”
“Yeah. Igottago.” He puts the phone down, sits back, smokes his joint, and waits.
Next week the conclusion to this story—
Links to other stories in this series: