First time for everything
By Daniel Dalman
Date: Labour Day
Form: Edibles (Sour Cherry Blaster Gummy)
Result: Mild euphoria/fear of curb
“My, my,” I thought to myself as my bicycle headed towards it. “That curb is coming up awfully quick.”
In an instant, where I had once been, I was no longer.
In a scene that the observing cars at the crosswalk would surely have regarded as bizarre yet seamlessly executed, the bike continued on its trajectory towards the curb at its altogether non-impressive speed, hitting it feebly and careening to the ground. Without me. I followed. Seconds after it. Bleary-eyed and ambling, assuming as much of an unconcerned air as possible.
Little did the passengers of those cars know that at that moment, I felt like curbs could not be trusted. Nor could they be navigated. Despite what the rest of the caravan I was travelling with had already managed to do. Curbs snuck up on you. And the fact that they often flattened out and provided a slope to allow bike riders (like myself) access to the smoothly paved sidewalks they protected at intervals both regular and convenient (one such ramp being mere feet from where I can collide with the curb) was beside the point.
“You’re not gonna get me,” I said to the accursed curb as I smartly decided to walk my bike to my next destination.
“Oh,” I then said aloud, as something dawned on me. “I might be high.”
It was the first time I felt proper high. It was like a weird heaviness settled on top of my bones, and the order of prominence in my thoughts was briefly allowed to change positions. Rational thought — always in charge and rather stuffy and boring — which so often was leading the way, was pushed to the back of the line, while the quirky and random thoughts (i.e., “Curbs are bad and sentient” and “let’s get high and then try to ride a bike for the first time in 15 years”) took over.
It was a nice feeling.
For a long time, I filed cannabis under things that made me feel bad — like shrimp, dairy or dating. Sure, some people liked it. But not me.
I smoked my first joint in 2017. I was 30 years old. And I smoked it with someone I was hopelessly and desperately in love with, who very much did not love me back. Much like the drug I inhaled, I breathed in everything about our relationship that made me feel good. Took every touch and glance and every moment of kindness as a signal of his unexpressed love, hoping it would change me. I ignored all the bad stuff that proved that neither he nor the rolled doobie was right for me. The smoke’s coughing and roughness were equal to him, telling explicitly that he didn’t like me or find me attractive. The smell? That was him sharing with me intimate details of his other sexual exploits to punctuate his lack of feeling.
The more I inhaled, as is my tendency, the order of my thoughts again switched places. Repression was cast out, and from the depths where I had buried it, my tormented, unrequited frustrated emotions rose to the top. That emotional zombie took control of the wheel of my consciousness. The heaviness, which in better bike-riding times would seem heavenly and relaxing, turned to nauseating dizziness.
As I greened out, I spewed both words and vomit into the toilet as he was forced to hold my hair back. Between tears and sobs, I choked out a question I didn’t need the answer to: “Why won’t you love me?”
As if, in that moment, I could fault him for not.
To be continued…
Other Toast articles by this author:
Daniel Dalman is a writer and avid Instagram-er living in Saskatoon. When not leaving people on read he can be found enjoying a glass of wine, dining out, and taking a spin class — although he rarely does all three at the same time. Instagram