The First Time


In 1972, my hippie sister got married. The wedding was in our front yard, on a hillside overlooking Frederick valley. I was twelve years old then and quite naïve.
So, when my cool cousin, who was eleven, asked me if I wanted to get high,
I said, “yeah, you want to climb some trees?”
He said, “no, lets catch a buzz.”

I liked this cousin. He lived in McLean, Virginia, in a big cool house next to a United States senator. I was not going to let him know that I had no idea what he was talking about. He said, “come on,” and, we walked down the lane into the woods. He got out a little pipe, flipped his Zippo lighter and started smoking. I had never smoked anything, never tried alcohol, but, I hit that pipe like I was Popeye. Some things just come naturally.

Exhaling smoke was fascinating. I was hooked.
He said, “I’m wasted,” and I said, “I am too,”
although I didn’t know whether I was buzzed or not. My eyes felt funny, and later, I did eat four pieces of wedding cake. A couple weeks after that my best friend told me that he smoked it, and, shortly after that, I became a young pothead. I can’t say what happened that day was a bad thing. I do know it’s been a factor in my taking the road less traveled. I have been high for most of the journey.


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