First High

1Tom Maisey | Flickr

This isn’t a story of how my first high was in the middle of a forest in the dense jungle or on top of a hill under the stars. It’s only a story of a person trying something, unplanned and impromptu―on instinct. Nothing fancy, enough for it to remain relatable.

I decided on having the bhang that I took from a friend, a regular consumer of the magic herb, even though I had no intention of having it this soon when I took it from him. I took it last night and it’s morning now and I still have a slight buzz.

I hadn’t known that they sold bhang in little convenient packets, not unlike a packet of pan. When I opened the packet, there was one small rolled up ball figure that popped out. The bhang ball was black and looked like a small laddoo. It also had what looked like the silver from kajukatli. The MRP of that packet was Rs. 3, though. I am pretty sure that it wasn’t pure silver. The manufacturer had tried their best to make it look as unappetizing as possible so that little kids don’t get addicted (thoughtful). I mixed it in with some chocolate I had and ate the whole thing. The chocolate was far from enough to veil the flavour of the little black laddoo, but it did so enough to the extent that I could put it in my mouth and not puke.

The next hour was fine. I was talking to a few people on whatsapp and informed them that I was calling in an early night and would talk to them later. But between the time I said this and the time I actually went to lie down on my bed, the magic had begun! ‘Light headed’ is definitely the phrase to describe how I felt. My heart started running faster and I could feel my body heating up a little. I wasn’t still completely “there”, but I knew it was coming. I was at the point where I knew something was up, but you could still have convinced me that it was placebo.

And then time suddenly felt like it had stopped. But I was moving fast. I was flitting through and ahead in time. My typing speed increased. My fingers weren’t waiting for the rest of me to catch up. I also experienced the typing equivalent of slurring. I was typing fast but was missing words in between. And not realizing that I had until after I read what I already sent at least thrice, trying hard not to get distracted.

There was a surge in the thoughts in my head. A new thought every passing moment. What was of note is that it was really not difficult going ahead with acting on whatever those thoughts were. I remember thinking how easy it was for someone high on bhang to just go with it and do something stupid, and then I’d really realize that this stupid person at the moment could be me and end up laughing out loud. This needn’t be anything major. Just a joke that popped into your head that you’d probably ignore usually, but didn’t since you were high, and said it out loud without giving it enough thought. This did not mean that I couldn’t. There were thoughts that came to me that I almost acted on, but realized the stupidity of what I was considering saying and that was that! My internal system of rationality was just fine, albeit a little more than usual on the adventurous side. That my crush is still talking to me is testament to its working existence.

Thoughts are fine, but things started to get serious when I decided I didn’t want to do anything but lie down and listen to music.The listening-to-music bit went fine for the first couple of songs, but then the high started hitting me harder. I tried to sing along with the singer, only to realise-surprise, surprise-I couldn’t open my mouth. I needed to put in actual effort in order to get my mouth open. All this time, I was aware that this was all in my head and did not panic. By now, however, I had entirely forgotten about singing along and just wanted my mouth to open. After a couple of tries, it did! I could open my mouth! But then I realized that I couldn’t close it. My mouth was open like that of a dog. I have a short tongue, else I’m sure it would have gone hanging out as well.

Now that my mouth was open, I really wanted a small nibble. I remembered I still had some of the chocolate I had left earlier. A good time as any to finish that! I stood up and walked slowly to my cupboard that housed all the good things in life. Chocolate, oh fermented product of African slave labour, I needed it in my mouth! I went to the cupboard successfully. Pulled it open, successfully. But getting the remaining out of its cover, unsuccessfully. I did manage to do it, but not before there were small, broken microscopic chocolate crumbles all in my cupboard. The transition from one piece to million pieces made me wonder how my cupboard had turned into the Large Hadron Collider. I almost let the sugary crumbles remain in the cupboard, before realizing that doing so would be an open invitation to the ants loitering in my room. I was completely conscious of the consequences and that made me clean the chocolate pieces. That was a difficult job with me not being able to grasp the microscopic remains with my fist. My fist was too big was such little goodness.

Before I knew it, I was back on my bed. I kept my headphones aside, cleared my bed of whatever undesirable objects (mostly clothes) there were and lied down with my eyes closed. And then there was a pang of anxiety that hit me. But I had been careful. I’d made sure that there was nothing troubling me when I decided on eating the bhang. But there was some anxiety, anyway. But it wasn’t about anything, it was just there. My rational mind kept fighting it and asked it to go away because it was there for no reason. It took over and my mind was cool again. But then it was back. This tug of war between my rational mind and my anxiety went on for a few minutes (I guess) before my rational mind finally won out.

I can’t place this memory in terms of what I was doing at the time, but I remember I filled a bottle of water and entered my room and started talking to my roommate. I clearly remember what I was talking to him about-it was a pretty serious topic-but then he interrupted me. “Did you take bhang?”, he asked. I couldn’t stop myself and began laughing and nodding indicating I had. The second he got his affirmation, I felt that he stopped paying me any attention and went on looking at his phone. Come on, Bob, high people have rights too!

This is about it for the story of my first high. Parts of my brain fighting with each other and little giggles here and there. The most important realization that I had with this entire experience was that even though it went pretty well for me, it just might not for someone else. One can never say when their thoughts jump from one to another and it’s a slippery slope when it comes to keeping track of them. If you don’t, they could just slip into something unpleasant. And with the attacking anxiety, things could definitely get out of hand before you know it.

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