A little story for you
Some of you may recall the time I got too high on edibles on an anniversary vacation with Scott. I probably should have learned my lesson then but my sister Liz is charismatic and has been on a one-woman campaign to convince me that edibles aren't scary, as long as you get the dosing right. “I have a PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER,” I've explained to her, “I gotta WATCH my CHEMISTRY." “Five milligrams aren't going to do ANYTHING bad!,” she says, as much of a not-doctor as any not-doctor can be. And yet I was swayed. Like I said: charisma! She's got it!
I gave in a couple of weeks ago when it was just me and her, and it was fine: I felt pleasantly woozy and chuckly, as one should. Then she was like “OKAY NOW we have to do it on the Fourth of July with MY FRIENDS, it’s going to be GREAT.”
I know some of you are worried already and that’s no fun for anyone, so let me just appease your concerns with a spoiler: I did not get too high and crouch in a corner for hours. It’s going to be okay.
Liz lives with her husband Dom on the waterfront in Brooklyn. They are fancy. And this year the Macy’s fireworks were being set off on the East River, so they got a front row seat. (From our apartment you can hear people setting off M-80s while our dog trembles and sobs under the bed. It’s almost as fun!) Three out of the four friends present opted to also take edibles; Scott and Dom did not. Scott is smarter than me, as we all know, and apparently for Dom they just don’t do anything so Liz doesn’t want him using up her stash.
These aren’t doing anything, I thought, as we tucked into our pre-fireworks dinner of fried chicken and salads, and then five minutes later, I thought, Randall hates me. Randall was sitting across from me and did something like, I don’t know, ask for the mustard. And I was like, the fuck did I do to deserve that? Meanwhile his partner Roger was making faces at me but also sort of about me, if that makes sense? while I tried to stay calm. I didn’t see him do this, mind you, but I knew deep in my heart it was happening. Stay cool, I thought. “I am normal and fine,” I told Scott, which I felt was a good thing to say. This will assure him, I thought.
“That’s … good to hear?” he said.
“Normal and fine,” I repeated. I patted his hand.
Everyone had become very giggly. I had forgotten what to do with my eyes. If I kept staring at Randall he would say something else and Lord knows what it would be. He was capable of anything! Roger pulled another face, probably. I stared at my delicious chicken. It was truly the best thing I had ever consumed, and my only source of comfort.
Then Dom announced, apropos of absolutely nothing, “Everyone in the Bradley family was terrified of lightning and thunder.” I honestly have no idea why he said this. There was no lightning or thunder happening? But he felt it was important for the group to know.
This was the funniest thing I have ever heard or ever will hear—because I was high, sure, but not only because I was high. It was hilarious because I have never heard anything less true. I mean, don’t get me wrong, growing up we weren’t running outside to cavort in storms, but when it came to lightning and thunder, we had always been ... normal. In fact, it’s one of the few ways we were totally normal. If a storm was a-brewing, we closed the windows and went about our day. End of story.
“What are you talking about?” my sister asked, while I cackled into my dinner plate.
“You know,” Dom said.
“‘Mother! I heard a distant rumble! Could it be—?’ ‘Quick, children, to the storm cellar!’” I cried. Liz and I were beside ourselves.
“It’s true, though,” Dom said, smiling. It was amazing, and got funnier the more he insisted on the truth of it. I don’t think he’s yet admitted how wrong he is, and I hope he never does.
Time became elastic in a way I did not enjoy. I went to the bathroom and the moment I stepped into the bathroom I thought, I’ve been in here too long and everyone is talking about how long I’ve been in here. I tried to remember if I had peed yet. I had to talk myself through the process, out loud. “Normal and fine,” I said a couple of times, and patted my own hand.
When I got out, Randall, not realizing that I was already obsessed with how much he was fucking with me, decided to fuck with me. “You haven’t answered any of our questions!” he announced. There had been questions posed to the group that I had avoided answering because I was feeling both stupid and extraordinarily averse to being the center of attention. Questions like, “What song do you always dance to at a wedding?” Like that. Like someone had purchased a box of conversation starters. Anyway another one had been “What music did you always play in college when you were going to have sex?” (a SAUCY box of conversation starters!) and for some reason that was the question I decided to answer at that moment, so I said, “Fine, for sex music, Roxy Music’s ‘Avalon.’” A nondescript answer, I thought.
Everyone lost their minds.
This is not technically accurate. What actually happened was that Randall wasn’t familiar with it and demanded I sing “Avalon” to him (nope nope nope) and then Liz went and played “Avalon” while everyone stared at me—imagining me doing a sexy little dance to the saxophone solo, probably. It was mortifying. Randall kept saying things like, "You're not going to have an orgasm now, are you?" Like that's how sex music works. Fortunately the fireworks started up right then and everyone forgot about me and my ‘90s soundtrack for intercourse. It was an Independence Day miracle!