Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yesterday I went to the 4/20 celebration my school is apparently famous for. I don't know what the crowd was estimated at yesterday, but last years' was estimated at 5,000. My bay area friends often ask whether I've been, whether I recommend it, and I've never gone so I decided to go even though I don't smoke and the university sent us an email asking us to make positive choices about how to spend our time.

Anyway, it is a very short walk from my house, and I could here a drum circle going all day from the time I woke up. I had my first day staffing the condom co op so I didn't want to go in the morning in case I smelled like smoke, and I had a shift from 2-4 so I headed over after and got there at 4:07. (the co op is in the building next to my dorm, it was all very convenient) It was neat, and very crowded. I smelled a lot of kinds of smoke, which was interesting but my eyes started stinging. I found a drum circle one of my friends was performing in, and settled in to watch. It was very celebratory, with people sharing and taking photos and dancing and stuff. The drum circle was chanting a call and response countdown, which I liked but was too shy to join, I just danced a little. Then shortly before 4:20 everyone got really excited and set up their smoking, which I thought was a little silly because they had a whole minute to work with, but everyone was making sure their bowl was packed and repacked just right, or something.

Then it started getting too smoky for me. I did not know you can hotbox the outdoors, because it is so big, but you can. It was very nice that several strangers offered their smoking tools to me, but I declined. I thought it was very friendly though. Anyway, in addition to the stinging in my eyes I felt uncomfortable trying to breathe, like if instead of a bonfire everyone wanted to have 500 little fires in every direction. I was looking for a way to be comfortable and I thought crouching down would help, but people would think i was sick and try to help. Then I figured out it might have been smart for everyone to start off sitting, then stand up, so they could reuse the smoke. I wished strongly for a pair of stilts, to be away from the smoke and fit in with the performative atmosphere. So I hiked back home. I was glad I went, and I was glad I went alone (my friend was supposed to come down but he had to stay at his dispensary past midnight on the 19th preparing stock for the 20th so he was too tired to come down.) because I ended up needing to leave very quickly.

I heard one boy saying "Someone should have a bong or something" thus demonstrating a really poor level of attention to his surroundings. I still don't know what he meant, other than that he doesn't plan for his needs well.

So I went to the dining hall, and I went back for more food 4 times (on my 3rd trip they were playing "Smoke Two Joints" on the loudspeaker) and then I put 2 slices of bread, an orange, 2 cookies, and 1-2 servings of chicken into my purse, wrapped separately and carefully in napkins.(we are allowed a dessert or a fruit to carry away) I am not sure why but I think it was the placebo effect.

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