My car was facing the mountain when I went to leave MJ Express-O. Then and there—the city at my back, breathing noxious fumes over my shoulder and emanating a sick fever heat—I flashed on thoughts of escape. The mountain reminded me that it had another side, and I suddenly wanted to be there more than anything.
I admit I get antsy when the season changes. The weather always attacks me in my sinuses—right in the face: a most personal affront. The pressure makes my eyes sting and I start to get wild ideas.
In the dispensary's lobby, I'd pretended to read the menu while a patient came in behind me. He recounted being attacked by a dog earlier in the day. His voice shook. The receptionist's voice strained with concern. “Oh no, are you okay?” I was horrified and fought the urge to look up. I imagined his pant leg in shreds, the strips stained red.
“Yeah, it just scared me,” he answered. I hazarded a glance and, finding no trails of blood or torn limbs, tried to shake off the creeps running up and down my spine. I nonchalantly turned the menu over in my hand and carefully placed it on the table in front of me face down. My name was called and I went into the showroom. I didn't turn around.
The dispensary was clean and simple, with a “right-to-business” feel. I glanced over their fairly broad selection of edibles, lingering for a moment over a four-pack of medical chocolates (40mg THC, $8). Although there weren't many homemade items, the selection of pre-packaged goodies was fairly impressive. There were a number of varieties, doses and flavors to choose from.
I started asking a ton of annoying questions. “How's that taste? Do those break up easy?” My budtender answers everything patiently and even pretends to laugh at my joke about intravenous chocolate delivery (that's pretty much the whole of it).
I went ahead and snagged a box of chocolates and moved on to the flower list. Most of the strains were familiar, but two jumped out at me: Lucky Charms (THC: 20.23%, CBD: Not listed—$13/gram) and Sage n Sour (THC: 17.2%, CBD: Not listed—$12/gram).
On the way out, I nodded at the man who'd fought off the hound. He made eye contact and held it, but didn't nod back.
Sitting in the seat, I rested my hands on the wheel and let the traffic passing on Tramway mesmerize me. The car was hot and the pull of adventure strong, but I only had two grams, a peach tea and a pair of underpants. I drove home pouting.
On the couch, though, when that box of candies came out, daddy was telling a different tale. “That was another country,” I said out loud to myself, like some nervous hipster in a sleeper film. “And besides, that dog is dead.”
The chocolates were rich, creamy and went down easy. They came in a variety pack that featured 4 differently flavored squares, each 10mg: milk cherry pistachio, white espresso, dark mint and milk macadamia. All four were a pleasure to eat—and the dosage was just about right for the beginner, using a piece at a time to find the right spot—but from experience, I knew I'd personally need a bit more, so I started working on the bud.
I began with Lucky Charms, which tasted fruity and tart. This sativa-dominant hybrid immediately lifted my mood and made living on the mountain under a tree stump like a squirrel seem less and less attractive. It definitely made laughing easier. The indica side of this strain was only apparent to me in the muscle relaxation I experienced which was mild and pleasant but not overwhelming.
A little while later, I broke open the sativa-dominant Sage n Sour. Its diesel aroma smelled pungent and exciting, stirring up a pleasant mix of sensations in my wretched sinuses. It tasted bright and caustic, causing intense fits of coughing. While this strain was supposedly more of a sativa than the other on paper, it seemed to have less of an edge than the Charms—leaving me feeling more focused and cerebral than stimulated.
It was pleasant, inducing a persistent and low-level impression of well-being, but without the hyperactive, searching mind that accompanies many strong sativa strains. I found myself experiencing a comfortably enhanced awareness of the space around me that didn't bleed over into the dreaded “paranoid zone” you often hear about from Sunday school teachers and ex-ravers.
The last bowl cleared, I caught my dog staring at me. I stared back. This went on for some time. They say the brain produces oxytocin—the chemical that makes us want to take care of babies and loved ones—when you look into your dog’s eyes. I looked harder. “You'd never attack anyone, would you?” She looked back. “You know I wouldn't really leave without you, right?”