Behind the Curtain 2 – Living in a Smokin’ World

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eric shut the door behind him, cracked the window in the bathroom and slid the tray out from under the sink. He filled the bong with water, sat on the toilet and began the ritual of cutting up bud for the bowl.

“Down to the last nug,” he thought, as he lit the bowl. The water in the pipe bubbled as he took a long, deep breath and held it. “Last night I smoked too much,” he thought to himself, and made a mental note to ask Jake for another half an ounce.

“Going to the shop,” Kristen yelled from the living room as she headed for the front door. She knew where he was, what he was doing, and it was getting old, fast.

The sun was out and the rain eased up. She began walking down 10th to I Street, stopping by Los Bagels for a slug.

Eric had convinced her to leave their hometown and come to Humboldt two years ago for trim jobs after a friend convinced him. “If you trim a pound, you get $200,” she remembered him saying.

True, it was good money. But it wasn’t stable and you had to know the people, or be highly recommended by someone who knew the grower to get the gigs. In between trim jobs, retail jobs paying minimum wage filled in, but it was always a struggle to make ends meet.

And the ends never seemed to meet up in Humboldt, at least not for Eric. He used to be much more ambitious, she thought. Now he has to smoke to do anything, forgets everything and gives her a hard time for nagging.

Kristen kept her head straight. She was working at an import shop when the owner was “detained” at an airport somewhere in South America while bringing back a little more than incense and sandals. She knew running the shop wouldn’t last forever, but in Humboldt a cake job was hard to find, especially a legit job that paid enough to live.

Kristen unlocked the shop door and turned the “closed” sign to “open,” when an early bird walked in the door.

“Morning Kristen, do you have any de-tox tea? There’s a job opening at the Community Center, but they test.”

“Here try this,” she said handing him a box. If you follow the directions, and lay off the herb for a while, it works.”

“Easy for you to say, Kristen, you don’t smoke,” he replied handing her a $50 bill.

“Yeah, it’s tough living in a smokin’ world,” she said, handing over the change.

Kristen looked out the window as the sun faded and the rain began again.

Next Week: Doty and Herb

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