I Hate Smoking with Lightweights
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Chloe Dietz
When they’re in the company of veterans, lightweights tend to smoke far beyond their limits. After years of consuming weed daily, I know that I can tolerate more weed than occasional smokers, so I’m extra careful when I smoke with newbies. Still, I had to screw up a few times before I learned to be cautious. The first time I got a newbie too high, I thought he was going to die.
High school led me to many strange, one-off encounters with kids that I had nothing in common with besides an interest in smoking pot. I rarely met anyone who I would consider a permanent fixture in my routine. Most of the time, I didn’t mind smoking alone and making beats, but I still wanted to find a smoking buddy that I could chill with on a regular basis. At school there was only one other brown kid who seemed open-minded enough to blaze, so I was delighted when he said he was down to burn one with me after class. I had never had friends of my own race, and I had great expectations for my session with Haroon.
After school, he met me at my car and apologized for not bringing any weed. I told him not to worry about it. My brother had recently brought me a small supply of really nice weed from upstate New York; at the time it was more powerful than anything we could buy locally. On the drive to my apartment, my conversation with Haroon revealed that he knew very little about weed. He had smoked only once before, and pot didn’t make him stoned. I was too inexperienced to realize I did not want to deal with a kid the first time he actually got high.
After we arrived at my place, I gave Haroon some lemonade and brought my dragon bong out onto the balcony. I loaded my glass with some upstate weed and then offered Haroon the first hit. He fumbled with the bong, so I taught him how to use it. He took a medium hit and then exhaled without coughing. “Whoa, that was great!” he said, sitting back to enjoy his high. As I lit the bong again, Haroon stood up and asked where the bathroom was. I pointed him in the right direction and continued smoking—the upstate weed was amazing. I finished the bowl and then packed and smoked a second one. Suddenly, I realized Haroon was missing. Even if he had the audacity to take a shit at my house the first time we hung out, he would have been back by now. I finished the cigarette and went inside to see what was up.
I knocked on the bathroom door but heard nothing. I knocked again, listened hard for a response, and then heard a small whimper. “Haroon!” I yelled, “Are you alive in there?” He told me the door was unlocked and I could come in. I heard anguish in his voice. I entered and saw Haroon sitting on the tile floor against the wall; his face was as pale as a brown guy’s face can get. Vomit covered the edges of the toilet in front of him. He looked up and said, “I’m sorry. Can you help me?”
I had seen people react badly to weed, but never like this. I wondered if he had the flu and the hit had triggered his illness. I didn’t care how this happened—I just needed to abort this mission as soon as possible. I told him not to worry about the mess and that I would drive him home. He thanked me and asked for a few more minutes with the toilet. Based on what he had already hurled, I was amazed that the kid had anything in his stomach to vomit. I brought him some water and then left him alone. I started working on a beat and then waited about 20 minutes before I checked on Haroon again. This time, he didn’t respond at all when I knocked. When I opened the bathroom door, I found him lying on the floor motionless. I screamed, waking up Haroon. He was alive, but it didn’t look like he would stay that way for long.
I asked Haroon what was going on and if he needed to go to the hospital. I prodded him about any potential health conditions that might have given him a negative reaction to a single hit. He insisted that he was just a lightweight and that he’d be fine if I gave him a few more minutes to chill. It was already past five, and my mom would arrive home within the hour. I knew I wouldn’t get into trouble for having a sick Pakistani kid at the house, but I didn’t want to turn the situation into her problem after she had a long day at work. I told Haroon that he’d have to finish recovering at his house. It took five more minutes to get him onto his feet. I led him out the front door and told him to wait there for two seconds so I could grab my keys. Within those two seconds, Haroon puked again. He mostly barfed into the kitchen garbage can, but he was having a hard time controlling his vomit. His condition seemed worse. We made it to the elevator without incident, but Haroon yacked again when the elevator was only one floor away from the parking garage. After the elevator doors opened, I rushed him to my parking spot. I knew he might puke in my car, but I was willing to take a risk to make sure we left before my mom’s car pulled into the parking garage.
To my dismay, Haroon gave up about 15 feet away from my car. He laid down in an empty parking spot and told me he needed to pass out for a few minutes. I felt bad for him, but I knew the situation was now outside of my control. Taking the poor bastard home, so his parents could sort him out, was the best thing I could do. I roused Haroon enough to get him into my car, and then finally we were on our way to his house.
The drive had unanticipated complications. The car’s changing speed made Haroon queasy. I tried to keep him at ease, but I was basically driving with a mop bucket full of puke strapped into the shotgun seat. We reached his neighborhood without any more incidents, but then when we were less than a mile away from his house, he shot up and threw up on the window. The vomit shocked me—I swerved to the left, nearly missing a passing SUV. The SUV’s driver screeched to a halt and shot me a furious look. Before she could scream, she saw the mess in my passenger seat. Her eyes went wide, and she urgently waved us along.
We finally pulled up to Haroon’s house. After he thanked me for the ride, he said, “I actually feel a lot better now. Maybe we can hang out and smoke again some time. I think I can handle it next time.” I couldn’t believe my ears. “I’m sorry, man,” I said. “We’re never gonna hang out again.” I had about four minutes to get my pukey car home and clean up the vomit before my mom came home. Miraculously, she was late and I pulled the cleanup off before she arrived.
Wherever Haroon is now, I’m sure he’s gained an understanding of his own limits. He was committed to smoking weed, though it did him so dirty, and I respect that. Still, I wonder how many people had to witness his insane puke fest before he finally understood his limit.
The first time I smoked weed with a newbie, he got too high and I thought he was going to die.