Coke Nerd.

This is about the time I accidentally smoked cocaine. There’s only been one time, but still.  That counts as a first, and I am feeling confessional.

I was 20. I was with this guy who looked great on paper when you’re 20: Self-employed as a fisherman, owned a boat (troller, not gillnetter), farmhand in the off-season, lived in a converted barn on Quadra Island, owned a truck, leftist tendencies. I’d go and see him for a weekend a month, perfect when the rest of my time was taken up with papers and research.

Trouble was, he was a Wake-N-Bake pothead. Oh, and batshit-crazy.  This guy had theories that made no sense whatsoever. Theories like I shouldn’t read so much fiction because I might start to believe it! Anybody wondering exactly what kind of turnip-head I was to date this guy? Me too.

He was dumb, but he thought he was smarter than me because he was eight years older than me. Yeah, he could catch Spring Salmon like nobody’s business, but that doesn’t mean he had any right telling my essay on Crusader warfare was wrong. (Because he’d done past-life regression, so he knew about the past, obviously.)

Oh God. The cringe factor is high here. I might not post this.

Anyhow, my boyfriend had come to Vancouver for the Joe Satriani concert. It was a big event for him. We were at the house of some friends of his, and they were passing around a joint. I had a toke off it because I generally did when there was one going. Dating him was the only time in my life I smoked pot. It made me dumb enough for him. Pot makes me dumb. I get S-L-O-W.

So imagine my surprise when my neurons started speeding up. And up. And up.

Recognizing that I was going through something different, I found a corner and a piece of paper and a pencil, because I didn’t know what was happening in my brain but I was at a stage in life where I wrote stuff down.

I sat in a corner and scribbled words down, looking at similarities in languages I knew parts of: Spanish, Welsh, French, Italian, German, Greek. Maybe some Russian. I don’t remember. I looked at the commonalities between them as well as the words that are similar to English, and I reconstructed the Indo-European language group.

I was pretty accurate as well, it turns out.

That experience 1) turned me off cocaine forever, because no one needed that kind of brainpower. It was heady and scary and alienating. It also 2) turned me off my boyfriend. Because what kind of stupid asshole doesn’t tell his girlfriend there’s cocaine in the joint?

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