I made sure I talked to Wolf before we went down the Hole.
“What if I can’t take this Marijuana Perception,” I said. “I think it’s my Perceptionist Edge.”
“Of course Always be your own Reality,” he said, “however, sacrificing for The Common Perception would go a long way right now.”
His face was already getting pale, and his eyes seemed more hunted than hunting, and I could see the first signs of Vertigo.
“It’s alright,” I said. “I’ll do it for The Common Perception.”
“Thanks,” he said. “I think I’m going to need you tonight.”
“Don’t worry, Wolf, I’ve Got Your Traveler Back.”
When we went down The Scorpion Hole it felt like we suddenly left an Adult Condo and entered some kind of secret Perceptionist Lair. It was very dark except for a dim bare lightbulb, and everything was made of concrete except for a couple ratty looking mattresses. Against the wall was a shelf of containers and tools and contraptions and lights and plants used for Marijuana Perception. Everyone sat down in a circle on the floor, and I tried to sit right next to Wolf, but I was quickly butted outta the way by Scorpion’s tail. Everyone seemed to want to sit next to the bride&groom, and in the commotion I ended up on the other side of the Hole from them next to So and So. There was barely enough room for everyone, and your leg hadta touch the leg of the Reality next to you even if you didn’t want it to.
Then Scorpion took out a baggy of green plant residue and a large black glass sculpture that looked like an octopus.
“Octobong!” someone said. “Nice!”
He put some of the marijuana in one of its tentacles and passed it and a lighter over to Wolf, who knew just which of it’s other tentacles to start burning and which of it’s other tentacles to put his mouth around.
“It’s good,” he coughed and everyone cheered.
Wolf then passed it to Lamb. Since she’d been living with a Perceptionist for so long, she’d gotten usta Marijuana and took a hit without any problems, and then she passed it to the Reality next to her. After that The Octobong moved quickly around the circle. Soon it got to So (Female) right next to me, she took a good long hit and then passed it and the lighter to me.
The sculpture was heavy and hard, and it’s red eyes looked demonic, and I could almost feel NOT ALRIGHT, MAN just from touching it. I couldn’t figure out which of its eight tentacles did what, and I hadta study it carefully, and it was way longer than anyone else had taken. I looked over at So (Male), and he was waiting.
“You gonna smoke it or stare at it?” he said.
I almost wanted to leave the room right then, or even just pass it over and accept whatever MeNotzie reactions followed, but I told myself again I hadta do it for Wolf.
“Smoke it,” I said, “but I don’t know where.”
So (Male) looked at me like I was the strange looking deep sea creature. Then he sighed and pointed to which tentacle was which. I also hadta flick the lighter to make a flame come out of it, but I’d never done that before either. Then So (Female), who was watching the whole thing, sighed and lit the lighter for me while I smoked. I felt like the biggest amateur, but I knew the alternative would’ve been worse. I finally passed it over to So (Male), and he nodded. Soon I could feel the Marijuana getting inside my body just like everyone else there, and then sat back and waited for it to kick in.
I actually felt alright at first. My skin was a little tingly and my eyes felt fuzzy, but The Marijuana Perception kinda did make the Hole seem a little greater. It at least felt like maybe the greatest cobwebs, mildew, and torn mattresses I’d been around for awhile. But soon Scorpion was packing the Octobong again and sending it around the circle another time. When it came back to me I didn’t know what else to do but smoke out of it again. I tried to take the littlest hit so not too much more could get inside me. After that I was still feeling alright enough, and wondering if maybe my Perceptionist Edge was just three hits, and I could handle anything below that. But it didn’t take long before Scorpion had taken more Marijuana, rolled it up into a huge piece of paper, lit it on fire, and passed that around,too.
“Whoa,” someone said, “that’s like a Bob Marley joint right there.”