--David Berman, The Silver Jews
Many were banned from my annual junior high birthday sleepovers, still as legendary in their own way among angry mothers who had to retrieve their daughters after terrified 4 a.m. phone calls as Truman Capote's infamous Black and White Ball is among poseurs.
If I went back to Lapeer, Michigan, today-- which of course I wouldn't dream of doing--someone in curlers in line at Kroger would demand to know what really went down on some evening that still brings up memories of being roused from bed in the middle of the night to drive down the dirt road to our unkempt and notorious household.
A mixture of Boone's Farm wine, ouija boards, proto Lunar Society initiatory rituals, and flamboyant glitter make up and trashy fashion experiments, I presided over the doings from my place among the curling ribbons and trashed wrapping paper that had only minutes before covered magic 8-balls, bubble gum flavored Bonne Bell lip smackers and Love's Baby Soft.
Like some Midwestern drugstore Hindu god, I had a hand to apply lip gloss, one to change 45 records on the portable player, one to French braid my best friend Annette's hair, one to open another gift from the stack, another for candy corn (my birthday's smack up on Halloween)--I could even roll a joint with one hand, something I learned from the older son of our brownie troop leader, who was also the first person to stick his tongue in my mouth, which I could disingenuously claim was gross, when really it blasted my soul up to the moon as if it was an inhuman cannonball.
Billie (now William of my old town's auto dealership) was also the one who first showed me how to "shotgun" a joint, which means he held the lit end carefully in his mouth and gently blew smoke from the tip through my parted lips. All so difficult to describe to ladies in curlers in line at the grocery when you don't want to hurt them with all they missed.
Which brings me happily to the ineffable bottle of Fresh's new Cannabis Santal I received for Valentine's Day. Barneys in Beverly Hills (and maybe Manhattan) has it on exclusive offer for the next two months. It smells like a head shop in heaven, or of an evening when you were still bad, still a kid and doing every wonderful, illegal thing for the first time.