Turkey Day seemed like a good day for a wake-n-bake. It’s not something I do a whole lot of nowadays. Most of my mornings involve a yogurt and fruit concoction from the blender, a mason jar of coffee and a few hours of wandering around the woods and cornfields with a crew of dogs. Not a bad gig if you can get it …
My brother was due at the house at 9, so at about 20 of, I grabbed my bong, mashed up a bud between my fingers and jumped into the shower as the two milky tubes I’d pulled started to do their thing. More than anything else these days, getting high helps me to see myself in a gentler light and usually ends up making me laugh at myself. It also helps with my various aches and pains (couple surgeries, couple car accidents) – this would be key as the day proceeded.
Sometimes getting high helps life along, lets you lower your shield to get closer to the heart of things. I remember Good Friday when I was 15. About a year before, I’d started arguing with my parents every weekend; I didn’t want to go to church. I’d lose that argument 52 weeks a year plus holidays, and I was pissed about it. I got high with my friend Scott, and went to St. Thomas the Apostle while he went to get a pizza.
As the sun set through the stained glass on the left side of the parish I’d attended for a decade, a peace came over me as I realized that what I was seeing in the blazing pictorial parables was a group of messages that boiled down to just one word: Love. I walked down the street to grab a slice as the sun disappeared behind the mountain. That feeling of grace is one that has recurred throughout my life, coming to visit me at the most opportune times.
My mom is the oldest of 10 children; her mom is the oldest of nine. So, holidays can be, for the lack of a better term, a complete and total zoo when the Family Proper gets involved. Sometimes it pays to brace oneself. This Thanksgiving, the guest list consisted of my parents, the Missus and me, my brother, my sister and her husband and four kids, a skeleton crew of 11.
We arrived in time to jump in the car with my dad, my brother-in-law and the kids to go watch my cousin play his final high school football game. Things were going swimmingly. Then, my 8-year-old nephew spun to dodge the rest of us as we tried to dislodge the football he carried; in the process, his elbow came up and clipped my right eyebrow … just … exactly … perfectly.
I saw a little lump forming. I looked down at my nephew and back up at my dad. The lump had already doubled in size – I could tell from the lessened field of vision that it was gonna be a beauty; his look confirmed it. He sent two of the kids over to the concession stand to grab me an unopened soda, a placeholder for the bag of frozen peas that would grace my face on and off for the remainder of the afternoon.
This is my life as 2015 winds down. Things have settled into a nice little groove. The the purples, reds and golds in the upper right quadrant of my face will probably match that stained window from that church so long ago until Christmastime, but whatchu gonna do? I suppose I’ll stay thankful, stay high and laugh at myself until we meet here next week. Be well ’til then.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good.