I'd been living here for three years before I realized Rio Rancho was a separate town. It just seemed like the Westside kept going. Some notes about the town: They have a Big Lots and an A&W joint. There's also an Intel plant that straddles a few blocks. I think they grow spare parts for cyborgs in there, but I'm not sure.
I did end up exploring some, but after a few blocks of the same old retail horizon, I just picked up some cheese curds and root beer and called it a day. Come to think of it, I've only ever ventured into town for dispensary trips or cheese curds. It's probably for the best.
There is a certain quietness about the place, though. I parked outside Natural Rx and ate little fried pieces of curdled milk while listening to the radio and watching birds fly between the trees. Everything seemed to move slowly with a studied laziness. When the disgusting food was gone, I sat and stared at the building without thinking for minutes.
With glacial determinism I reached for the door handle. My hand rested there and I watched it curl noncommittally. I was loathe to shatter the simple illusion of peace around me. But they tell me a reporter's work is ever ongoing, so I took a breath and pushed out into the sun. Through the shimmering heat waves, the racket of afternoon traffic swam over me. With downcast eyes, I scuttled across the parking lot and opened Natural Rx's door.
A calm, coolly lit room welcomed me in, and I exhaled. I'd been holding my breath without realizing it. The dispensary was fairly small but uncrowded. Two patients sat in the showroom waiting for their orders to come up. I was ushered directly to the cash register after checking in and met my budtender, who was smiling sincerely.
The same calm I'd experienced in the car was pervasive in the store's atmosphere. Everyone—patients and employees alike—was calm and relaxed. No one indulged in nervous chatter, and a soft silence blanketed the room.
I parted my lips and my voice blasted out like an air horn. “Hi, how are you?” I shouted. I jerked back a little and blinked. I cleared my throat and tried again, this time whispering, “I was wondering about the lineage of Wookies?” Turns out the indica-dominant hybrid (THC: 21.5%, CBD: 0.07%—$11/gram) was a cross between Girl Scout Cookies (my all-around favorite strain) and White 91.
I also asked after PH-C (THC: 19.69%—$8/gram), but she was unsure about it, and neither of us could find it on a Google search. She seemed genuinely excited about the strain, though, and pulled out a little sniffer case for me to test out. It had a very unique smell, like rich chocolate mixed with black pepper. Hell, I thought, I'm game for a mystery.
I was dreading a return to the heat and boredom and noise, so I stalled with some small talk about the traffic. But my order was put together too quickly and I didn't have any other excuse to hang around.
On the drive home, I tried to pretend the cars were blood cells moving along through a massive circulatory system. The roar of traffic was the pulse of a mighty giant, stretched out and napping on Coors. It helped to avoid eye contact with my fellow drivers.
When I got to the apartment, I halfheartedly complained about the drive to my wife and crumpled into the couch. I pressed my face into the corner and began letting out small, muffled yelps. I kicked the cushions in mock frustration. “I hate the summer!” I shouted. My wife ignored me.
I sat up and dramatically brushed my hair down. The dog was the only one in the room, and she failed to look at the spectacle. I packed a bowl of the strange smelling PH-C and let out a rattling sigh. She continued to stare out the window.
The peppery and caustic taste tickled my throat and I was coughing like an amateur immediately. My eyes became very relaxed and droopy after the first hit, and all traces of tension in my face and neck disappeared. As I wore through the bowl, my body relaxed more and more, but I wasn't experiencing any sleepiness or couch-lock. The most impressive thing about it was probably how long it took to finish. I kept going to dump the ashes out of my pipe and finding untouched buds. I ended up smoking the one bowl for 45 minutes.
Later in the evening, I broke up some of the Wookies and gave it a nice whiff. It smelled sharp and fragrant with notes of lemon. It was much milder than the previous strain and despite being listed as an indica-dominant, it made me feel cheery and chatty (which I associate with sativa strains). I felt very relaxed by the end of the bowl, and my mood was so good I forgot to continue my faux rage against the sun.
Not that the bastard would've heard me. He was on his way down anyway.