Don’t take drugs with your parents if your parents are seasoned drug takers; it’s not as awesome as you might imagine.
Sometimes when I tell stories about my getting high or pissed with my parents I feel like people get jealous. Certainly, in some ways, it’s great to have parents who have been around the block a couple of times and to share that reckless camaraderie with them, to casually validate both their age and their experience, share mine and feel validated in return. It can be really cool at times and really shitty at others.
The other day my little sister got married. She’s in her early twenties, lovely and tough as hell. Mum and her don’t get along too well so when we had family dinner a few nights before the wedding things were pretty strained. Naturally this meant that we had a few beers and glasses of wine. My parents are divorced but my cousins (Mum’s side) were all there. We listened to music and ate an amazing meal. By the time my cousins and my sister left we were all a bit pissed. My brother and I commenced to raiding Mum’s record collection.
We went through her whole record collection and a case of VB tinnies between the three of us. Mum and I chain smoked a million cigarettes and joints, and the conversations and the records got louder. Lots of laughs but also lots of too-heavy, weird family shit and, obviously, arguments.
Everything was pretty cool though. Overall a pretty good time.
At around 2am Mum and I are on the back deck. My brother is playing blues records from the lounge room and my Mum looks over at me, eyes shining and excited. She grins and tells me she’s got some great hash from a friend of a friend. Do I want to try some?
I’m already feeling weird about the joints and I’m already pretty drunk. Mum’s smiling though and it feels kind of funny and relaxed. I like hash a lot but I was pretty wrecked and hoping it would just put me to sleep. So Mum and I split the last beer and smoke some hash in her trusty pipe. After that everything goes pretty hazy. I remember Mum was talking to me and, like so many other times in my life (I laughed to myself at the time), it was going in one ear and out the other. I was staring into space and thinking about time travel or living on a farm or whatever.
I hiccupped painfully and immediately burped a thimbleful of hot, acidic bile that burnt its way up my throat. All of a sudden the sickness was in me, well and truly in my gut, and I could feel it rising. I jumped out of my plastic deck chair and ran out onto the grass where I proceeded to heave violently for a while as my Mum looked on in what I can only assume was a conflicting state of pride and disappointment.
As I spewed noisily into the grass I remembered all the times this had happened before. My Mum has been watching me vomit sour booze into gardenbeds since I was fourteen years old. It’s pretty hard to feel good about that. It means that an intrinsic part of that “Mother/Son” relationship is twisted somehow. Some of you might see it as disturbing or unhealthy. I know I did at the time.
My parents are both pretty out-there people in their ways and that has meant that from the moment I left home, at the tender age of 17, our relationship has been less filial and more kind of friendly. We have an understanding. We know each other’s stories because we have been a part of them. We are comrades in life and we have long since given up on judging each other. Now we just kind of teach each other life lessons whenever we learn them, whenever they are applicable and we have the patience to share them.
This was the most recent lesson:
Don’t take drugs with your parents if your parents are seasoned drug takers.