Recently I had to let someone go. His name was Johnny Spliff and we are friends no more.
In the past three years, I have made it my mission to stop living life like a hermit. While there is something to be said for being comfortable in your own company, it doesn’t serve the fundamental need for human interaction. While I am not exactly a swinging socialite or a thrill-seeking man about town now, I have at least opened myself to the world at large. In particular, I have opened myself back up to the world of gay.
My relationship with Johnny Spliff began a decade ago. Disenchanted with the grind of post-secondary education and clawing at my eyes to get through the boredom of my senior year, I became the quintessential pothead.
Most of my friends had already graduated and I was left in Montreal with the boy I liked, his boyfriend and my trusty ganja pipe. With all the fear and anxiety that came with being so close to graduating and entering that “real world” everyone spoke of, I grabbed my dime-bag and became lost in a cloud of reefer and self-indulgence.
Coming out to the west coast months later did little to quell my insatiable need for Johnny Spliff’s company. It was as though I needed a security blanket and an ounce of the green demon fit the bill.
Any relationships I may have formed in my first couple of years in Vancouver suffered from my preference for, um, how you say, rolling bones.
When I decided to come out of my hole and see what my place in the gay community could be, I could rest easy knowing that Johnny was waiting for me at home.
I did things I never imagined myself doing (checking out a sauna, going on a gay party cruise, attended a pro-love rally and, the strangest of all, going to the gym). The promise of going back to my hole and sparking a doob to celebrate a job well done eased the birthing pains of my burgeoning social life.
Some of the people I have met can somehow fashion a full life for themselves and smoke weed on an almost professional basis. My former bud buddy Bobby was such a person. I would go over to his place that was just down the street (convenient for my drug-addled lazy bones) and get stoned with him. We would watch a film and then he would make the wretched suggestion of actually going outside into the world.
Begrudgingly, I would go along and suffer through paranoid delusions as we roamed among the living. He even had an eventful social life. Often when we hung out, he would invite his other pals to drop by. Of course, the minute I heard him chirp into his phone “Come on over!” I would be out the door and running.
I realized that I was living a half-life (only a slight improvement on the non-life I had after graduation). What could I accomplish if I stopped smoking weed? Perhaps I wouldn’t postpone or cancel any more dates. Perhaps I would make that long procrastinated second trip to the gym. Perhaps I’d be able to remember the events of last week.
It has been a few months now and the haze has lifted from my life. I feel like a new man.
The immortal words of Britney (spoken to her Vancouver audience at a concert earlier this year) now come to me in a moment of doubt and temptation: “Don’t smoke weed and rock out with your cocks out. Peace, mother-fuckers!”
This has officially become my new mantra.