Grass Roots Rx welcomed me with a sign and a locked door. It was closed for a lunch break. There had been no mention of it on the website (or hours of any kind), but I've worked a few jobs where they leave you alone on-duty. I'd put up signs, too. I get it. I killed 20 minutes in my car reading comics and listening to talk radio. Neither really made an impact, and I can't remember what they were about. I caught a guy in a pickup uninterestedly looking my way. We both pretended to see through each other and scan past. I checked my phone again, searched my fingernails for dirt, checked my phone again.
A patient went through the door and I realized the sign was gone. I pulled on the car door handle, and the guy in the pickup hopped out. He slammed his door, twisted on a heel to look at me with panicked eyes and started nonchalantly walk-jogging toward the door. I didn't have anywhere to be, but I thought about trying to beat him to it, just for kicks. The storefront was a good 10 yards closer to me, and I was fantasizing about running up to it and holding the door open for him—really sticking it to the guy.
Instead, I stayed back for a second and let him have it. Jokes are always wasted on the hurried. I meandered on the sidewalk and kind of slid in the front door—like I hadn't known the place was there and had definitely not been waiting in my car like a stalker for it to open.
The dispensary was a little cramped and very warm. The man from the pickup was nervously tittering at a budtender and scratching the back of his head. His feet scraped against the floor, clearly wanting to stomp through. His rigid spine said, “Hurry, hurry.”
A second ’tender called me up. I handed my cards over and filled out the patient forms, but kept glancing out of the corner of my eye at my friend. He was alternating between imaginary itches—one behind the left ear, another on the left elbow and a third beneath his ribs.
Enthralled, I missed a question. “Pardon? I'm sorry. What's a good sativa? A jazzy one.” My budtender seemed like a very attentive and nice woman, but I paid no attention to her answer. The other patient caught me watching him. He grimaced, and I had a flash of telepathy. I'm going to scream if I wait any longer, he thought at me. We nodded, and I refrained from smiling.
My budtender paused. I was supposed to answer here. “Yes. I'll take … that one.” None of the strain names were recognizable in any way. My new pal snatched a bag from his budtender with an audible sigh of relief and made a break for it while I paid. A moment later I was leaving the building, expecting to see his back as he hurried to the pickup. Instead, I saw swirling dust devils and caught his wild eyes flashing behind the windshield as he fired the engine up and tore out of the parking lot.
I slowed my pace on principle and drove the long way home, congratulating myself on exhibiting poise whilst my fellow man rushed to and fro. It was a long drive.
Back home I broke up a bud of Wild Thailand (THC: 20.12%, CBD: 0.08%—$10) while I languished in my self-righteousness. It was a little too dry and hardly produced any odor. It tasted a little like sweet basil with woody highlights. Though harsh, I had no problem sucking the whole thing down in a minute. At first, I felt nothing. Bogus! I hemmed and hawed, smacked my lips and packed a bowl of Sugar Black Rose (THC: 14.3%—$10). Before I lit it, I stood up to get a glass of water. After one step, my head swam a little. The second one registered that maybe the Thailand hadn't been so impotent after all. The third step informed me that my joints had become rubber. I turned to tell my dog that things had gotten all funny, but the look on her face was too weird.
I decided to wait on the Rose. A hunger snuck up on me and I ate a whole bag of grapes while watching muted nature shows and listening to gospel choirs. I laughed the whole time.
I finally made it back to the pipe and the Sugar Black Rose. This bud was also drier than it should have been. It barely smelled—I stuck my nose into the canister and inhaled so hard a chunk flew up and got stuck in my nose hairs. I detected limes and a slight hint of cat piss. I blew and blew into a tissue before lighting up.
It hardly tasted like anything and went down smooth. I was again ready to blast it for being terrible, but I ended up pleasantly falling back against the couch cushions, my muscles relaxing and my brain slowly drifting away while my eyes stared, sightless, at birds on the patio.
Three golden finches fought over equally spaced perches on a feeder. I was mesmerized, unblinking. They played musical chairs, hopping from one bar to another, pecking at the next jerk. It slowly dawned on me that there were two people at the shop. Why was it closed for an hour?