I unknowingly accompanied some colleagues to a dispensary after our company happy hour en route to El Farolito in the Mission last night. I didn’t realize what he was talking about when he said he was going to “buy flowers.” He named the place, and to me, it sounded like a bar. So I thought, sure, I could hang out at another bar before my burrito!
I walked in, got IDed, and immediately knew this was not a bar. They were there to buy weed and gummy edibles, and I was just there for the ride. We walked into the smoking parlor next door, and they all began to smoke and eat their gummies. I was debating whether I wanted to try them. I’d had a puff here and there before, but it was never enough (or, well, strong enough) to do anything for me, so I never really cared for it. When I was in first grade, my dad enrolled me i an anti-drug program where I’d get pulled out of class for a few hours each week to attend lessons on why drugs were bad for me, and why I should never try them. Since then, I’d had no fascination with any recreational drugs even though I could easily have gotten access to them. And to this day, I can say with complete honesty that I’ve never even smoked a cigarette. It just doesn’t interest me. And the smell is absolutely hideous to me.
But today, I just thought, meh. I can do this. I’m 32. What’s the big deal, anyway? People take this stuff to relax, as medication. I can do this just fine. And so, I did, and also had a gummy. I was already relaxed from the two cocktails I had at happy hour, but then after this, I felt even more mellow and happy. Hmmm. This isn’t so bad, I thought. I won’t do this often, anyway, so it’s not a big deal.
We went and had our super sized quesadillas with shrimp and steak. I enjoyed my horchata. Then, we went back to the hotel. It wasn’t even 10:30 and I was already sleeping.
Well, then I woke up at 3am with agonizing pain in my left lymph node. My lymph node was swelling, clearly enlarged like a golf ball, and it felt like there was liquid moving around in it. The whole left side of my face hurt. Opening my mouth was painful. I applied some cold compresses to it to make it feel better, but the pain was not residing. Great, I thought. This is what I get for taking what is supposed to be legal recreational drugs in the state of California while in California. Please go back to sleep, fall asleep, let the pain go away, I kept thinking.
I eventually did fall back asleep. When I woke up, the swelling had gone down, but the pain was definitely still there. If someone were to poke me right there, I’d probably scream.
Is the moral of the story here to never do this ever again? Or did I just finally have access to the “good stuff” as some of my colleagues called it to elicit a reaction from my body like that?