Wolf and I were in The Den sitting across from each other in his beanbag chairs. On the table in front of us was a baggy full of green residue, a tall glass contraption, a music mix, and a huge bowl of pretzels.
“Marijuana Perception,” Wolf said, “is considered by some, including myself, to be The Greatest of All Perceptions. It can make whatever experience you’re having greater. It can make food tastier, thoughts more philosophical, artwork more beautiful, movies funnier, and most importantly for you, Bluebird, it can make music sound better.”
“I can’t wait,” I said. “What will we do greater?”
“Ah. I‘ve set up the perfect Marijuana Perception setting. We will sit in the beanbag chairs, snack on these pretzels, and listen to this Perceptionist Mix I’ve made. It contains music from Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd, who are, as you know, all from the 1960’s Golden Age, when every lyric seemed like it was about Love but was actually about Perceptionism.”
Then Wolf picked out some of the green material from the plastic baggy and put it in a pipe, which attached to a tall glass tube.
“This is a bong,” he said. “To hit it, I’m going to light a lighter and hold it over the pipe until the marijuana starts burning. Then you’re going to put the opening of the glass tube around your lips, inhale deeply, and hold the air in your lungs as long as you can before exhaling.”
“Alright,” I said.
I did it just like he said, and the smoke was hot, and it tickled and burned going down, and I couldn’t hold it in for long before it made me cough.
“That’s good,” Wolf said. “Coughing means the Perception successfully got inside you.”
Then I passed the bong back to him, and he hit it. He held it in his lungs way longer than I did, and when he breathed back out a perfect ring of smoke floated thru the air.
“Ah,” he said, “my favorite Perception.”
Then he handed it back to me.
“I suggest you only hit it a couple more times,” he said. “Then I’ll keep smoking some more to account for our differences in tolerance.”
I took my final hits and sat back in the beanbag and waited for things to get greater. Immediately my lungs got warm and tingly, and the feeling soon spread throughout my body to my skin and fingertips and the inside of my eyes. And when it got to my brain I suddenly felt…
NOT ALRIGHT, MAN.
I couldn’t figure out why. There was no obvious danger nearby. It was just me and Wolf safe in The Den. Lamb wasn’t even there, so we could have total focus on our adventure. But every moment the fear grew stronger, and I couldn’t escape it.
“How are you feeling?” Wolf asked.
I didn’t answer him cuz the Not Alright, Man had turned him into The Big Bad Wolf. I was certain he was a MeNotzie who was going to devour me if I said the wrong thing.
“Bluebird… Bluebird…” he kept saying.
Then I wondered if he would be more of a MeNotzie if I didn’t say anything.
“Wait… What… Man…?” I tried to say.
But the words came out only one at a time, possibly minutes apart.
“How… Are… You… Fee… Ling…?” he said.
His words were only coming out one at a time, too. I couldn’t put them together to create any meaning. I didn’t know what a “Ling” was. It seemed like it could’ve been a delicious authentic Chinese Bluebird stir-fry dish.
“I think… I… hafta… go…” I tried to say.
I got up from the beanbag and my legs felt like they were completely separate from my body, and I didn’t know if I could even command them anymore. But that just made me wanna leave more.
“Wait… Don’t… Go… Yet…” Wolf probably said.
But it felt to me like, “fang, claw, get you!”
Then I just started running. My Nest was only right down the street from The Den, and I tried to point myself in that direction and push. It felt like it took years, and when I finally got there I locked the door tight, made a big pile of all the sheets and blankets and towels and clothes I had, and got underneath so I couldn’t be found by anything trying to huff and puff and blow my house down. It was very dark under the pile tho, and the Not Alright, Man was right there with me, making me feel like the smallest pinpoint in the middle of the giant black MeNotzie universe. It felt like it would last for eternity. It felt like this is what it must feel like to be dead.
The next day when the Perception wore off I came back and told Wolf about it.
“You didn’t tell me about its DarkSide!” I said.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “You left before I could explain. Marijuana Perception affects every Reality differently. For me it’s always great but maybe not for you.”
“It wasn’t great at all. It was the worst.”
“Still you shouldn’t have left. Perhaps the Perceptionist Mix would’ve helped soothed you. Or I could’ve taught you the Bad Adventure Mantra. It’s just a Perception, and it can’t last forever.”
“I didn’t have a choice tho. The Perception was making all the decisions for me.”
“Hmm, well, it’s possible Marijuana just might not be Right for your Reality.”
“How am I supposed to MeToo all the Marijuana Realities then?”
“I could help you get more used to it. Perhaps do a really light amount or a different strain. But you have to remember you never have to do anything that makes your mind or body feel bad. If you’re not well enough to MeToo on the Perception, then Common Perception doesn’t matter. Always Be Your Own Reality, that is the most important thing.”