Updated: Dec 7, 2020
It seems like everybody has a memorable story about the first time that they smoked, whether that be where they smoked, what they smoked with or how things went off the rails shortly thereafter.
I, however, don’t have one of those fun stories. The first time I smoked was out of a Gatorade bottle on a high hill overlooking a campsite that more resembled a seasonal trailer park than anything a true lover of the outdoors would pursue. We smoked, I didn’t get high, we went fishing and the night went on from there.
While my introduction to the world of flower lacked any sort of excitement, my first experience with dabbing could not be further from that.
I was a junior in high school and the ‘elite’ smokers of the grade - determined more by willingness to invest in weed and paraphernalia rather than any class system - we’re starting to separate themselves by investing in quality dab rigs and the wax to go with them.
One of these high-end smokers happened to be one of my best friends to this very day who, for the sake of anonymity, we’ll refer to as Pasty. Pasty and I, along with two of our other friends, one of whom didn’t smoke and would volunteer to be our driver, used to spend our High School weekend nights hanging out in the parking lot of the Wal Mart across the street from Pasty’s house. Once there, we’d begin hotboxing his car, going to some fast food place and then returning to the Wal Mart to eat our burgers in the outdoor furniture section until we were inevitably kicked out or able to bribe the underpaid associate with some food.
This night was supposed to be no different, and yet it was right from the very beginning. We all met at Wal Mart and packed into Pasty’s SUV. Something was off. There was no smell, no visible baggie of bud, no papers, not wraps, no pipe, nothing but a strange looking bong and a torch I found to be excessive for what I thought would just be some weed.
Except it wasn’t.
Pasty had gone out and bought for himself the first gram of wax that I had ever seen and a nice piece to go with it. After explaining what the wax was, how we’d be using it and to avoid the red-hot piece, we got to it.
For those who haven’t experienced a dab, it is the sweetest, most effective and cerebral high, birthed of smoke straight from the fires of hell. After hitting a dab I was certain was far too small, I spent the next five-minute eternity coughing like a pack-a-day smoker running the Boston Marathon with a chest cold.
By that point Pasty and our other partaking friend had taken two hits a piece and I, willing to be perceived as anything but a lightweight, made my first mistake of the night: I joined them.
Within minutes all my sense of time, space, my name, familiarity with my friends and surroundings, even the ability to roll down my window were far gone. My consciousness was locked inside of a brain that was pretty sure that we’d been listening to the same song for the past millennium.
It was mistake two that brought me back to reality.
“Fuck Wendy’s, let’s go get Chinese food,” offered our driver, in a tone that hit me as a sentencing rather than a suggestion. For a moment, Pasty, our other friend, who we’ll call Shaggy and I exchanged indifferent glances, potentially unsure if the suggestion had been made aloud or if we had each imagined it. After a time, Pasty, the only one of us with any experience in this mindframe, offered a nod and we were off.
Of the drive to the Chinese place, I remember nothing. In my defense, it couldn’t have been more than five minutes. For clarification, this was a Chinese buffet and I assumed we would be grabbing to-go boxes and getting on with our usual degenerate evening. The next series of events play out in my mind nightly, frame by frame.