I was very excited as I saw the city limit sign that said I had entered San Jose, California. I had brought this car from Georgia, and all the way across the country I was feeling giddy. I kept on asking people "Do you know the way to San Jose?" Mostly, their reaction was just to stare at me.
But the main reason for my excitement was that I was going to get to stay over at my buddy Giovanni's house with his family. He goes by "G" for short, and he and I are very close. But with all the friends I stop off and see as I travel around the USA, he is the one I get to see the least. In fact, the last time I had come here, he and the Fam were on their way to New York City. Now I knew they would be home, waiting just for me.
I pulled into the driveway, and his beautiful wife Kim came running out to greet me. She jumped in the air and I grabbed her for a hug. "Bill! I can't believe you're here."
"I can barely believe it myself."
"Listen, G is still at work, and I've got to go get the kids at their Preschool. Go inside and make yourself totally at home, you know the routine. I'll be back in a little while."
"Sorry, I have to rush."
"No worries, you do what you need to do." And Kim hopped into her car and left. So I went into the house, and was immediately wrapped up in warm memories. I could feel a big smile on my face. And I could hear my stomach growling, as it was 3pm and I had not eaten all day. So I followed the enticing aroma I detected into the kitchen. And there I found a plate full of big brownies. I was just sure that Kim wouldn't mind, she had just told me to help myself.
As I ate, I concluded that this had to be the best brownie I had ever eaten in my life. So much so that I soon found myself eating a second brownie. I am sure that being hungry and then filling up on brownies is not the wisest choice I could have made, but... oh well. The brownies left my mouth very sticky, and I noticed a cup of hot tea sitting ready on the counter. So I picked it up and took a few swigs. Then I blew on it, took a big drink from the cup, and washed it around in my mouth to clear up all those clumps of brownie crumbs.
I walked to the sliding glass doors that led out to the swimming pool. I stared at the pool. The more I looked at it, the more I thought that I could not ever remember it being so deeply blue. Very unusual. And then I made my way back through the kitchen. I heard music, and felt suddenly compelled to find the source of the music. It was maybe the best music I had ever heard in my life. It started to go very slowly, and I was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Oddly wonderful.
The next thing I can remember, Kim was standing over me asking what the heck I was doing. I was crouched down on the floor in her coat closet. "Bill, what are you doing in there? I've been looking all over the house for you."
"Because I couldn't find you." She pointed a finger at me. "Bill, did you eat one of my brownies?"
"No, no. I had two."
"Two? Those are heavily infused with high grade pot and hash oil. All pharmaceutical grade."
She headed for the kitchen, and I followed her like a lost puppy. She picked up the tea cup which had a tiny bit of liquid left in it. "Did you drink my tea?"
"Yes Mommy, I hope it was OK."
"Bill, that was mushroom tea. As in magic mushrooms? G and I got all this stuff to treat you with, we were going to surprise you. We didn't mean for you to have it so soon, all alone."
"I didn't mean for me, either. I didn't mean. I'm not mean. I'm lean."
Kim laughed. "You're silly." There was a knock at the front door, and I quickly bolted for the back bedroom and hid. I remember trying to climb under one of the kid's beds. To be honest, I do not have a clear memory of everything that happened over the next few hours. Kim and G told me a lot of what I'll share here the next day, and showed me footage of me doing some strange things recorded by various Nanny Cams hidden around the house. You have young kids, you use babysitters, guess you've got to have Nanny Cams these days.
After a little while, Kim came looking for me again. She was drinking a cup of tea herself, and munching on a brownie. "You are high as a kite, Bill. I can't leave you up there all by yourself, I'm coming up to join you."
"Then laugh!" I demanded.
"What?" she asked.
"Laugh. Just laugh." I began to sing. "I love to laugh, loud and long and clear."
Kim smiled and shook her head. "That's from MARY POPPINS, the kids love that movie."
"Yes! Yes! A spoonful of sugar! MARY POPPINS and Uncle Albert and tea parties on the ceiling."
"OK honey, just calm down, I'll be up there soon."
"Your kids love MARY POPPINS. Oh no!"
"Your kids can't see me like this. I think I may bees a little bitsy messed up."
"I think you're a lot messed up. But that's why I took the kids to stay at my parents house tonight. So we could all get messed up together."
"But, but, but I don't do this anymore."
"Do what?" asked Kim.
"You know, this? Wait! How did you get to Birmingham? When did you arrive?"
"Bill, sweetie, we're in San Jose."
I began singing again. "Do you know the way to San Jose!"
Things got even fuzzier in my brain after that. I recall that I went out and felt that I must jump into the pool. I guess I let out all of my breath so I could sink to the bottom, and finally Kim had to poke at me with the pool cleaning net to stir me so I'd come to the surface for air.
I kept on asking for more brownies, and Kim told me that I had eaten enough for a while. The suggested dosage was half a brownie at a time. Who knew?
Based on the footage from the Nanny Cam, after I dried off and changed clothes I began trying to do interpretative ballet moves to the beat of the techno music Kim was playing. She seemed to be seeing streams go by, and tried to reach out and grab them. And then I went down on the couch and began trying to burrow my head down deep in between the cushions. You'd think by watching that I was digging for some valuable buried treasure.
I began to shout that I was hot, and Kim told me to go and stand in front of the big box fan in the living room. I did so, and then pulled off my shirt and apologized for my bare fat belly. And then I lay down on the floor on my stomach with my head just inches from the fan. I do remember that, because when I closed my eyes and felt that breeze blowing hard on my head, I thought I was flying. And I looked down and it seemed I was flying over a city that was made up of purple and green neon lights. Those were the only two colors, and boy were they ever vibrant and bright.
When G got home, I wasn't really too aware of much anymore. On the Nanny Cam footage, I saw I kept on hugging him and telling him that I love him. And of course I do, but not nearly as much as I was professing at that moment in time.
The next morning when I got up, I went straight to the bathroom. When I came out, G was waiting for me with a large mug of coffee. "How you doing, buddy?" he asked.
"I'm not too sure."
He laughed. "You were flat out tripping balls last night."
"I was? I don't do this stuff."
"All of this. Pot, hash, mushrooms. Any of that stuff I did is in the past for me."
"Heck yeah. I don't think I can handle it, do you?"
"Yes. And you ate another brownie and had another cup of tea."
"You've got to be kidding?"
"Nope. I guess that's just standard practice for a driving fool."
Well, actually... not so much.