I don’t generally drink. It’s not that I have anything against alcohol – besides thinking beer tastes like piss. It’s that I’m what you call a sad drunk. Also, my drink of choice is Baileys, and I have lactose issues. So after a night of liquid chocolate sipping, I end up with nasty moods and cramps. Not really worth it.

Still, every once in a while – usually when mwaura is around and my princess is not – I indulge myself in a bottle of Baileys and a big pack of Buscopan. I lock myself inside my house, sip on the bottle till it’s done, down a handful of cramp medicine, and go to sleep.

Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a bender emotionally. It saw me taking princess to the shooting range last Saturday. Story for another day. When shooting fifty .22s into a cardboard target didn’t improve my mood, I thought I’d try a little weed.

Finding said weed proved tricky. You see, I have a lot of friends who smoke the royal reefer. But … they all see me as a holy joe, so just like the time I wanted cigarettes, they all refused to corrupt me. And just like the time I wanted cigarettes, I ended up procuring a handful for myself. Hint: Google helped. Facebook did too.

Weed in Nairobi

Being me, I went on Googling binge to find the right way to smoke. Videos and articles said pace yourself, drink a lot of water, watch out for red eyes, and try not to giggle like an idiot. More searches suggested I would likely get really, really hungry, so I should have some snacks on hand, and possibly some coffee. I don’t drink coffee.

There were suggestions on whether to inhale and exhale through nose or mouth, how long to hold the air inside my lungs, and even how to mask the weedy smell. (Axe was frequently recommended). I had some Jasmine incense sticks in the house (what) so I lit those up instead.

All the searches had said it was common for first-timers to cough, so I was very proud of myself when I didn’t. The first few puffs didn’t do a whole lot, though I noticed that each breath was different. Some inhalations tickled my lungs in a rough, unpleasant way, like someone was scratching my insides with a feathery stick. Some breaths bothered my nose like they were poking around inside it with a much sharper stick. Other inhalations felt fresh and empty.

My theory is that my blunts combined raw bhang with ordinary grass. Or maybe the potency depended on how I took the whiff, because some tutorials said to keep your lips slightly parted and inhale plenty of oxygen with every puff. Something about the mixture of air and cannabis making it easier to absorb into your blood stream.


One of the weeder guides gave a minute by minute breakdown of what you might experience on a high. Light headedness, euphoria, well-being, paranoia, and etc. and etc. And, of course, urban legend states there are only three ways you can react to herb. You can get extremely hungry, extremely sleepy, or extremely horny.

(Dis)armed will this information I started my epic journey. And because I had read all the symptoms, I experienced every one of them. Self-fulfilling prophesy I suppose. It started with a buzz – the pleasant feeling that I imagine people get when they’re tipsy. I noticed I was dancing a lot, something I don’t usually do, and smiling at my reflection – because there was no one else to smile at.

abstract-hypnotizing-twirl-beautiful-rainbow-colors-38417681For some reason, I couldn’t keep still. Something in me was always spinning round. My head, my hands, the sofa … I tried sitting motionless and staring at the TV. But then the TV started moving in circles as well. It’s like the whole world was one dizzy merry-go-round. When I got enough bodily control to stop the spinning, I started swaying forwards and back, then side to side like a compass. Strange, because I was still sitting down.

Then I felt this hippie-dippie love for everything in existence from my lampshade to my toothpaste. If there had been people around me, I would probably have run around the room hugging everyone and chanting for world peace.

Then I got hungry, so I went to the fridge and ate … something … I can’t quite remember what. After a while, I had the feeling I was surrounded by people I couldn’t see. I could hear their footsteps, smell their scents, and share their conversations. It took a while to realise that my senses were heightened, and that what I was hearing and smelling were my neighbours and the revelers outside. It was an oddly disturbing feeling, like having a set of really useless superpowers.


Then … and this was the fun part … I got extremely … stimulated. Since I was on my own, I’ll just say I had a very happy ending, and that I’ll be very, very careful which guys are in my space when I inhale my next spliff. because. things. escalate. quickly.

Once I was sated, the cycle started again. Chill zone. Euphoria. Hippie hugs. Hungry. Horny. And on and on and on for about three hours, at which point I went to sleep and had minor repetitions of the cycle in my dreams.

I remember thinking I’d never been so happy in my life, and wondering why something this good would be illegal. Like seriously, why aren’t more people smoking weed? Then I remember feeling really sad, because I couldn’t be this happy all the time unless I stayed high 247. Then I tried to calculate how much it would cost to have a toke every day, and whether I could sustain those levels of goofiness.

I got onto my laptop at this point, looking up side effects of weed. I figured there had to be some reason why people were against it. I never found those reasons, because I ended up on Facebook, giggling manically at every single item on my timeline. Luckily, I didn’t weed-dial anybody. Phew!

Weed dialling

Also … how do people smoke blunts until the bottom without burning their lips? I tried using a straw to keep the heat off my tongue, but it just ended up melting, and I didn’t want to let go of the stubb because it still had so much leaf! I ended up pouring the stem onto an ash-tray, lighting it, and sniffing the fumes direct.

When I realised I’d have to be up early the next day, I wobbled my way to bed. I kept thinking this must be what it feels like to be a good drunk, to have happy, carefree feelings without the drama, the sadness, or the hangover. Then I wondered why I could so acutely smell every scent in the building yet I couldn’t smell the actual weed. Hopefully that meant the incense and open windows had dispelled it.

My baby came in the next day and wondered why the bathroom smelled funny. So we had a little talk about pot and drugs and responsibility. Of course she ended up talking more than me, because TV and the internet. Also, she likes Two Broke Girls, and they know much more about ganja than I do.

I felt a little woozy, like my mind wasn’t all there, like I wasn’t functioning at full capacity. There was a vague mist before my eyes, and this foggy airy feeling in my mind. I couldn’t really focus on conversations, and I seemed to forget things the second I heard them. Also, for some inexplicable reason, I felt really, really sad.


Naturally, I went to ask Google what was up, and found a bunch of articles about weed hangovers and the process of coming down from the high. Great. Just great. A lot of pieces on the net say that weed is not addictive, and that you can’t overdose on it. I once had a really bad trip on weed-cream-cookies, so I can’t be too sure about that no-overdose theory. Still, I only had one blunt. It shouldn’t be this bad.

I suppose it’s a lot like my non-tolerance for alcohol. I guess the kind of chemistry that makes a sad drunk can also make the post-weed morning a blue and dreary one. And, I suppose, just like hair of the dog, it would make you want to light another toke and get that feel-good vibe again.

People also say that weed is a gateway drug. Many smokers and cookie-nibblers deny it. After all, weed makes you so mellow and chilled out while other drugs … don’t. But on a logical level, I can see myself wondering, asking myself … if reefer feels this good, then what about crack, or meth, or heroin?

My trip into the weed-world was short and abrupt, and the sadness I felt from the come-down means I won’t be revisiting it soon. I keep hearing that line from Blank Spaces by Taylor Swift. You can tell me when it’s over if the high was worth the pain. For me, it simply wasn’t, so it’s back to milk-free ice cream, chocolate, and 90s rock.

♫ Pardon me ♫ Incubus ♫


10 thoughts on “The mourning after

  1. there’s a line from a kanye song “we drink until the pain’s over/ but what’s worse the pain or the hangover?” this is true for a lot of drugs. i though am firmly in the legalise weed camp.

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