Adventures Through the #Chalice Glass (PART 2 of 2)
by Tzvi Peckar the Third, 2015
We’re back at the Cabana again.
Kim’s kicking it on one of the bright couches.
I hover above her as Jaffer nurses a water bottle across from us.
“I didn’t know we needed to bring our cards.” - J
“She doesn’t have one anymore.” - Me
“What happened?” - J
“Does it matter? Really?” Kim snaps, and grabs the gold swirled, clear glass Dab pipe.
The Boss burns her a Dab.
“You want to pay for my card?” she asks him.
“Crafty, no,” —pssst the flamethrower burns the melty amber rosin.
Jaffer is lagging. He’s in deep conversation with the Cabana guard about nothing. “I’m going in!” I holler at him. He waves at me. That wasn’t what I wanted. I step up to the Prop. 215 entrance on my own. These guards look harder and I lean into the ethnically mixed woman guard, “You doing okay?” I ask.
“Just fine,” she responds, not looking at me, watching the few stripe shirts, knee long shorts, medically wrist-banded white boys, passing between her and the larger male Latino guard in yellow and black.
“Shade helps,” I say as I observe the 80’s pop, psychedelic, Prop. 215 banner that casts a massive shadow right over us. The third, plump, bumblebee of a guard is standing at attention right in the sun instead of two feet over into the shade. “He should move,” I tell her, and she smirks, even shines a couple of her teeth; she thought that was funny, time to move on—“You need a wristband,” she threatens me, spreading out her arm like the gate, no entry.
“Got one,” I say showing my backstage band.
“Wrong one. You need a medical one,” she tells me something I already know.
“Where do I get that?” I ask and she points towards a tent, “There, huh?”
“Right there,” and now she’s smiling, giggling in fact.
“What’s so funny?”
“You knew all that and just wanted to walk in,” she says, her teeth glistening white in the burning bright x-rays of the giant star in the washed out blue sky.
“Figured you had nothing to do today. What you gonna do? Take my weed? HA!” and I gotta grab Jaffer and get the wristband already so I can get in there.
What is in there?
“Here,” I hand Jaffer an edible from backstage to carrot him away from the Cabana boy. “What, you got a crush on that guy? What’s the wife gonna think about that?” I ask him when he steps up and takes the treat. “Says Rick Ross is here,” Jaffer notifies me.
“The rapper? So what, Busta Rhymes is here, fuck Rick Ross,” I don’t care.
“No, the real Rick Ross,” he says, but I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about so I just grab the shirt from his belly and tug. “Come on. I need a wristband. Guard’s got a woody for the one rule that they have to obey. Well, one of the two rules at least—Wristbands mandatory and no gat guns or run downs, chomie.”
“That’s the one,” the guard says about my paper medical band as I lead Jaffer into Prop. 215. He tries to stop on me, tries to get a word in with the guard, “Come on!” I yell.
Six aisles of white vendor tents after vendor tents fill this first section. I can’t see anything, smell everything, so many people, so much weed in the air, “Amazing,” I say to Jaffer, “You ready to dive in?” He shrugs and we push our way towards a tented vendor table, Big Pete’s, an edible franchise, with a Rasta Shirt wearing Cali boy for a logo and a banner boasting ‘bout their high protein, high THC count cookies. Pete hawks six packs of cookie bunches made up of peanut butter and chocolate, and a single airtight bagged cookie twice their size. “You still hungry?” I ask my partner, but Jaffer’s not beside me anymore, too much temptation, I guess. I see him across the aisle at another vendor. My pockets are still stocked with edibles from backstage, so I move on as well. “What up?” I ask Jaffer as I prop myself over his shoulders to see the table. “Look at this,” he says, and the table has been decorated with white paper cookie sheets with thin layers of amber fractals made of Dab goo. The web patterns are so organically designed by the nature of the material that I’m not yearning to smoke it, and instead the design is instinctually tickling my psychedelic closet and I never should have left the shroom-chocolates at home. “Shit, I really need to get high,” I say to Jaffer, and the vendor looks at me like dude, and says, “Free dabs,” and points out the Dab bong, and it’s immaculate, a pearl white marble carved classic style, and I forget that he offered ‘cause I’m still thinking about the trips I left in the freezer.
And the Dab vendors are never ending; we’ve past like five more now and passed up the free samples at each and every one of them.
“Don’t you want to do a Dab?” Jaffer asks me.
“Soon. Sober-walk-around first,” I advise.
“You’re sober?” Jaffer asks as I watch myself in his sunglasses; the sun’s tough today.
“I smoke weed everyday. This is sober,” I say and walk right past him leading him down another aisle, Bud Land San Bernardino USofA. “Oh fuck we got nosers,” I warn Jaffer as we approach a line of 12 inch diameter glass jugs filled with high quality Top Shelf. Weed women in lacey white tank tops raise the lids for you, and the boys like to rub their noses in those bushes, and that’s all fine and good, but like yesterday and today, my rule is, if you smell it now, I ain’t touching that shit ‘till next week. Don’t smell the flowers, smell the samples. “Who you talking to?” Jaffer asks me, snapping me out of my own personal conversation. “Don’t smoke that,” I tell him, pointing out the guy who literally has his nose dug in the pile of glass jarred weed. I kick the Noser’s legs out from under him when we walk by. He loses balance, knocks the jar over and the weed women have a cow on him. “No more smelling the weed!” the girl’s start yelling, pushing people back, people pushing on the fool, me pushing on Jaffer to get the fuck out of there, laughing, dying of laughter, and finally stopping at some THC Lemonade stand, panting. “Want a refresher?” asks the brunette Cali-girl in a black crop top with a pink and glitter logo that reads Prince33; In her hand, two cups of freshly poured lemonade. “Packed with THC,” she flirts. I down mine. Jaffer takes his cup, looks it over and gives it to me. “You don’t like lemonade?” I ask, hesitant to drink his refresher. “Not a fan,” he says, but then asks if he can take the girl’s pictures ‘cause he thinks they’re cute. “Bottoms up,” and I have a second cup. If it was any colder out here, all these girls might be wearing more than just swimsuits.
“You know, when I was in college, I totally screwed up a date with an older woman ‘cause I said I’d rather get high than drink—” I start as we begin to wander on, “And weed does my libido wonders, but this girl, woman, 32 or something? This girl had only smoked weed like six, seven times in her life and thought, wow, will it get me horny? And I was sure fire psyched and we were in her loft in SoHo when SoHo was cool and still had art galleries. She was house sitting. Had a spa. I think a sauna. She suggested we hit that after the joint. I rolled us a big fucker…” and then I lose my train of thought because I see something. I see a cop car. The Police, and an Officer of the Law, standing proud at the front door, wide open, and a chick inside with a bikini, daisy dukes, platforms, Patty Fields style, 1994-like. There it is, on the windshield, a sign that simply reads, “Smoke with Cops $20.oo.” I grimace and nod. Not bad, I think, not bad. Jaffer’s drifted and I catch up with him heading to the Hemp Initiative booth. “Yeah, so, whatever, I got her super baked, and she did not get the love bug, she got the stoned sloth, haha, and we never made it to the Sauna. I don’t even think I got a kiss on her.”
“These cats seem nice,” Jaffer says about Hempsters’ tent we’re stepping up to, ignoring my story. “How you doin’?” I ask a guy in a wheelchair selling decorative farm sacks with cannabis prints and slogans on them. “Could be selling more,” he says and then his cap blows away in the first gust of wind all day and I grab it and I plop it back on his head, and I buy two sacks and he wants to charge me double for the Confederate Flag print, and I say, “What if I just steal that one, bro?” and move on to check out the activism at hand.
“Please read the literature,” Ganja Girl says.
(See #CCHI2016 - A California Initiative)
“We’re on it.”
Kim and Jobe have been left alone in the open Cabana. Hanky-Panky is not going to happen and Kim’s well aware of this; not interested, too young, not on her radar. “Do you smoke a lot?” he asks her.
“What’s a lot?” Kim replies.
“I don’t know, like do you smoke everyday?” he asks.
“Is that a lot?”
“Not really,” Jobe says.
“Do you smoke a lot?” Kim asks as he preps her another dab.
“I used too,” he says, “Here, I’ll light it,” and turns the dab bong in her direction. Kim rolls her long hair around her hand to keep it out of reach of the flame, lowers her head, licks her lips, and mouths the piece as Jobe ignites the flame-thrower, boiling the THC wax, simmering it, vaporized fumes filling the golden glass, and she pulls the carb. The vaporized medicine soars up the tube, into Kim’s lungs, fast tracked into the blood stream, scattering along the inside of her scalp, soothing the membranes along her mind, and her eyelids slightly lower, eases back into the couch, smiles, and says, “Go on.”
“When I lived with my Mom; I smoked, like, all day,” he says cleaning the dab stem. Kim reaches her hand out for the water bottle a few feet from her on the coffee table. Jobe hands it to her, “Thanks,” she says and he continues his small tale of the truth. “I, like, totally did that instead of anything else,” he says.
“‘Cause everything else sucked?” Kim goes deep.
“Ha (laughing), yeah, like, totally. The school books sucked, Rohnert Park sucks, and so I would, like, stay away forever smoking and shit,” and now he’s vaporizing his dab.
“How old are you again?”
“Seventeen; but I started smoking when I was twelve,” he says exhaling.
“Where’d you get the weed from?”
“Mom’s neighbor. She always had it and, yeah, so yeah, twelve. But, dude, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t smoke all the time then. I started that last year when I was a sophomore.” he’s got the attention of a beautiful twenty-something girl and can’t stop talking.
“Why’d you drop out?” Kim asks, then offers her water.
“I’m cool, thanks. I got in a fight with my teacher,” he admits, but never told his Dad.
Moon Rocks are up next for Jaffer and I—Kurupts’ Moon Rocks with propaganda spilling off their tables, K-Day blasting from their sound system, stacks, and posters, and fliers, and stickers, and mags, pics with Snoop Dog, Dr. Zodiak, Wu-Tang, and Big Duke, with spreads in WeedSociety Magazine; I’m on the hunt for their samples. No samples. No samples of Top Shelf Bud, coated in delicious amber hash oil, hardened in a full coat of golden kief glitter. NO SAMPLES! We need to move on, and I hand Zodiac my brother’s biz card and take Jaffer to the indoor tent vendors, “I hear more music. Music makes the booth,” I say wiping the waterfall of sweat from my forehead.
“You need some water,” Jaffer tries to supervise me.
“I’m cool,” I blow him off and we go indoors WHOO-HA! the DJ’s mixing Busta Rhymes with Cypress Hill, breaks off James Brown, scratching in and out, popping and dropping, passing and toking, and some girls get their dance on in the middle and I cruise through dance-walking style, and girls giggle, offer up their vape pens, and after a quick chick lip-check I toke from the STD free share of this fine vape pen, Strawberry flavored. “Thank you,” and I’m out and on to the next one. There is an ice cream man in the next tent. I could use an ice cream. “Jaffe! Let me get you a scoop,” I insist.
“Does it have weed in it?” he asks and that deserves a slap at the back of the head,
“Two please, chocolate for me. Vanilla bean?” I ask Jaffer.
“Yeah, okay,” he says, “Thanks.”
“No prob, big guy,” and some skinny twig of a rapper walks by telling his entourage, “The real Rick Ross is here, yo.”— I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF MARJIUANA says Cypress Hill over the speakers.
I’ve lost Jaffer after the ice cream.
Where the fuck’d he go?
I aimlessly approach an oversized large black tarp that covers a bunch of round bar tables, tall chairs, and people are escaping from the nuclear microwaves. There’s a bar with booze, but I’d really like some more lemonade before I tear my skin off to get some air in here. “Hey, can I bum a smoke, man?” asks a long haired surfer of sorts who is hiding behind his old school Ray Bans. I’m sensing a trend with this subculture so predominant in the main culture these days. It’s as if the nineties and eighties are caught up in a style orgy with the early seventies on a hip-hop psychedelic holiday. “I’m not smoking anything,” I say to the bro.
“Aw, sorry man, the caterpillar on your finger tricked me,” he says through his wide grin. I don’t need to see his eyes to know he’s a happy camper.
“No caterpillar, man,” I say.
“No, dude. You’re having a good time, huh?” I ask.
“So, yeah man. So yeah,” he says, so smooth, rolls right off his tongue in gibberish.
“That’s a yes?”
“Hey, you’re cool. You want some L?”
“What’s your name, kid?” I ask, well aware I’m his elder by like a month or so.
“Sheep. Oh shit, I shouldn’t say that after. Uh, after selling you acid,” he says.
“You didn’t sell me any yet.”
“Oh shit, my bad, man. You want to buy some acid? Really pure,” Sheep pitches me through the lovely LSD grin he’s wearing. I’m looking for Jaffer to get him in on this. “How much for, like, two? No, four,” I ask.
“Whoa, like, I only sell in bulk,” Sheep says. I wait, yeah, so, how much, give me an answer, bro, waiting, looking, waiting, he’s gotta be tripping on something, but what? I trail his eye line. Two girls are shot-gunning some crazy curly-q rubber tube like vape thingy. I look back at Sheep. I can see the girl’s reflection in his glasses. I can imagine them his way. Two beautiful girls with bikinis that begin to melt down their skin leaving psychedelic swirls dyed into their transparent bodies, as they suck on the anamorphous alien being that sneaked into Prop. 215 without a wristband. I should bust him. “Five hundred a sheet,” Sheep says with his eyes still on the now multiplying women, naked, hairless, green, budding and shaking their golden glitter off like a wet summer car wash in suburbia on the hot black asphalt. Sheep is having a fine old time.
“Here,” I say to Kim as I slide the Ziploc bag that contains the folded sheet of Acid onto the cabana table. “Oh, hey, there you are,” I say to Jaffer sprawled out next to Jobe.
“No way. Is that real?” Kim asks.
“Sheep says it’s totally pure,” I lie for him, “But that’s always a lie.”
“They sell that here?” Jobe asks as he examines the bag.
“He sells it here. Don’t be an idiot.”
I drop a dose, Kim saves hers for later, Jobe goes for his, but I slap that boy’s hand in front of his Father, “Just Say No,” and I leave them to their own accord.
“Is he always like that?” Jobe asks his Pops.
“Like what?” Jaffer sees no wrong, in most anyone.
“No, sometimes he’s worse,” Kim insinuates, “But most of the time he’s pretty kind.”
“So what do you do on the farm, Jobe?” Jaffer asks his son, a question still not fully answered to Jaffer’s liking, obviously. Kim sits up, “He does a lot of stuff, tell him.”
“I don’t know,” Jobe says, shy about it with his Dad.
“Ah, come on, tell him,” Kim says, but when he doesn’t she chimes in for the kid, “He harvests and trims, and helps separate the kief from the weed. Now he’s like the manager of the team. Jobe’s got a lot of responsibility.”
“Really?” Jaffer asks with a hand on his son’s shoulder, squeezing proud.
“Yeah. Actually, I’m planting now too.”
“Good! I’m proud of you,” and that breaks the wall down; the simple acknowledgement that your Father, or any adult for that matter, sees value in your daily work, your desire, your new found interest in life, and Jobe spews his life to his father like a fountain bursting from the earth’s core, while prepping Jaffer a new dab. “You want another?” Jobe asks Kim. “Yeah, sure,” and she leans forward, elbows on the knees, watching the process with a finer eye this time. “It really is a process,” she says. “It’s all science,” Jobe boasts, and Jaffer smirks, shaking his head, very, very impressed with his son, as he rubs his belly with pride.
I’m solo and have found that all the way across the Prop lot there are these two other convention airplane hanger type buildings filled with even more vendors, stages, and air-conditioning. I get there in like three minutes. I decide to wander slowly, enjoy the first 45 mins of not tripping in this cool 73 degree atmosphere before I fry inside and out.
The first hanger is filled with all the same of the same and yet I know it is all kind of different. I’m still sweating in this air conditioning, but I know the acid has nothing to do with this heatstroke effect—I’m probably just thirsty—So I help myself to some other sort of THC liquid shot someone’s offering up on a tray as they pass by, hydrate my veins and move along. There are so many strains to go around, but something feels even more pro about these spots. They’re more branded and less showy about it all than the outside vendors. In here feels more like a county fair, while the outside is more in line with a farmers market; so strange, so new to California, so new to all of us.
Who’s that guy? He’s smiley. I approach this short, 5’6”, lean, sharp looking African American man holding a paperback in his hand. I’m, like, right there, nearly on him, feeling welcome, and reading the cover of the book, “Freeway Rick Ross.” I look the cat directly in the eyes. We’re inches away from each other, teetering on that personal space level, but it is all copacetic, and I just say, “Hey, man. You Rick Ross?”
“Yeah,” Rick says with his appreciative smile, placing a hand on my shoulder.
“I keep hearing, the real Rick Ross, the real Rick Ross, for like two weeks now…but fuck me if I know who the fuck you are. Who the fuck is Rick Ross?” I ask and the little dude hugs me.
“I was a Hustler. They blamed the Iraq-Contra Scandal on me,” he says lowering his arms.
“Well then, pleasure to meet you, sir,” and that’s the shake, the unilateral smile, camaraderie you only find in real friends, and I simply say, “We gotta work together. Devil’s in the details, Demons can be reformed. Government fucked you.” And we laughed and together with his sideman shared tales, mutual associates, funk masters, musical friends, and I’m happily surprised that I have no negative judgment of this dude and appreciating the fact he’s trying to keep it all together and now Ricky’s taking my phone and insisting I take his number and I’m making sure he’s got my card, and the Acid’s tickling my toes, but the mind is clear, and the trails are a good twenty minutes away, and we’re hugging again, and taking a selfie and Ricky and I are gonna be friends, resonates with me—some years ago, asking GG Allin not to autograph my hat with his scalp blood (a hat that was swiped from me, and I have my suspicions) and he respected that I said no, my blunt force honesty; and the fact that Staples, my pal, and I, had survived the ten minute show of fecal throws, head bashing, table tossing, and what not’s, and we were backstage hanging with the crew. If GG Allin hadn’t dropped dead a few shows later, I knew he and I would be catching up back in NYC. “Call you Monday, man,” I holler to my new amigo, “Do that,” the authentic Freeway Rick Ross yells back, pointing right at me with that 2.8 billion dollar grin, and I feel legit, and sweep my sweaty palm along my drenched head, the head that holds the life of this writer in its hands, who walks the spongy, kush floors sprouting trees after every step and there are no buds anymore, there are only pounds upon pounds of weed being distributed as samples and we’re all filling bags of dope with more dope and I’m smoking this weed, and eating that weed, while the kaleidoscopic friendlies pass by, and the birds that aren’t there start singing the song of the butterfly that soars beneath the wings of the great behe-Moth that I have to swat away to keep from eating at my weed, and I’m drinking more lemonade, and how did I get outside so fast? So thirsty. Where’s Ricky? Wasn’t I just—oh, I walked away? How long ago? What time is it? The sun’s going down, 8pm, but I took the Sunshine at—At five. Right? What time is it? I gotta check my phone. Sweating so much. I need more liquid. “Can I have another,” I ask the Auburn Tigress beside the neon yellow boiling cold juice in the invisible space jar. “Go ahead,” she says, gently petting my hand. Her paw is so soft. She has manicured nails. A tiger with a manicure, very sexy, I take a pic with my eyes and help myself to another cup of molten watered down gold.
Kim’s got a question and moves from the opposite couch to sit by Jaffer and Jobe and asks, “How come you’re allowed to be here if you’re only seventeen?”
“He’s emancipated,” Jaffer answers for his son.
“What’s that?” Kim asks.
“I’m an adult now, like if I was eighteen,” Jobe leans on Pop’s belly, getting a little closer to Kim; it’s cute but Kim’s not biting.
“Can you vote?”
“I don’t know. Dad, can I vote?”
“I have no idea. But it means he can be employed full-time, and no curfew anymore,” Jaffer looks at Jobe, “That’s the best right?”
“I got picked up by the Po-lice’ for curfew,” Jobe tells her, “That sucked.”
“Yeah that would suck,” she says.
“But, like I told you…” and he stops, remembering Jaffer, Dad, doesn’t know about the teacher.
“Yeah, the book thing,” Kim says, not letting too much on.
“What book thing?” Jaffer asks, sitting up, interested in what story may be divulged by his son.
“Tell him,” Kim says as she puts her older woman ways to work the truth out of this sponge of a young man.
“I got in a fight with my English teacher,” he tells his Dad.
“It was over a book,” Jobe explains, while I am purportedly blacked out somewhere in Prop. 215. Jobe continued, “I did my book report on Cannabis: The Genus Cannabis book you gave me.”
“David Brown book? The priest guy,” Jaffer says, amazed, so proud, “You read that?”
“He failed me. He said the book was inappropriate, and failed me,” and Kim’s heart is breaking as she watches the little man’s eyes well up; he can cry if he wants, she thinks, but he’s holding it in in front of his Dad.
“Is that why you stopped going to school?” Jaffer says totally focused on his boy; Kim has disappeared, Chalice has vanished, all that matters is the truth, and the love between these two adults.
“Yeah,” Jobe says, “I learned a lot from that book. I learned I could be smart about something.”
“I never read it,” Jaffer says, and they both laugh, and Kim asks Jobe if he could set her up with another dab and the hourly, “Where’d Tzvi disappear to?”
The faint end syllable of the echo of each word is what I can make out in the back of this tunnel. The temperature is much cooler in here. The walls are moist and slick, even the floor is cool; I can feel the stone on my naked calves. Someone is dabbing my neck with a moist sponge and I’m calm and ready to open my eyes. The hallucinations flood my pupils at the first burst of light from the medic’s E.T. finger, and I have to swat it away to protect myself.
“It’s okay, sir, I’m just checking your pupils,” the fluttering face of the medic says to me.
“Yeah, I knew that,” I say, pretending I am not seeing the fountain of fire outside the bathroom windows. At least I know I’m in a bathroom now, I think. “I’m just dehydrated,” I say in English, but comes out, “Emapo en hydration exploitation of the devout nation.” And I wait, where’s the water, didn’t you understand me?
“Do you understand me?” the medic asks me of all things.
“Clearly,” I say clearly.
“I think he’s just high,” says some dude spinning in circles behind the doctor, and then I look at his feet, and he is actually spinning in circles on some two wheeled people mover electric thingie-magiggie, and I reinstate my stable condition to the medic, “Clearly.”
“You think you can get up?” asks the medic as he offers me his hand.
I wave him off, no problem, and I get up and I turn to the stall, and I stumble in and I vomit up stomach acid because I am a bona fide dumb ass and malnourished and totally dehydrated and still tumbling through the currents of the LSD that I should not have taken in these hot conditions, and I think Jobe’s having a better trip than I, and I know I screwed up, and I’m usually more responsible with the drugs, but I do tend to fall a little short on remembering the H2O. I wipe my mouth and turn to the medic, “Just say no,” and the medic shakes his head, leading me out of the bathroom and helping me find my friends.
I find Kim, dozing on the Cabana couch.
“This is my stop,” I say to the medic who wakes her up.
“This guy belong to you?”
And Jaffer and Jobe have stepped up behind us, “Yeah, he’s with us.”
“Take care of this one,” the medic says to Jobe.
“We got it. Thanks,” Jobe says helping me sit and giving me water.
Jaffer, without a beat, struck up a convo with the Medic as Bust Rhymes takes to the stage. Kim leans into me, “You okay?” And I look at Jobe and ask, “Dab?”
And Jobe just says, “No.”