What Peggy's doing now that she's retired

Peggy gets frequent migraines, and marijuana helps migraines, but Peggy has been unwilling to use marijuana because she's a nurse, and nurses get into big trouble if they’re caught doing illegal drugs. Twelve hours after Peggy retired, she got a migraine and asked me for some marijuana. I rarely use it anymore because its effect on me had gotten way too weird, but I still have some marijuana cookies on hand along with a few buds. I’m proud to say that I made these cookie, and although they’re small, one-quarter is enough to put me at risk for hallucinations, so I only gave Peggy a crumb about the size of 1/24th of one cookie, and that was enough to make her migraine go away completely. She didn’t get high, but she hadn’t asked to get high, and I would never presume to trick someone into taking a bigger dose of a drug than they asked for, and I especially wouldn’t do it to Peggy because she’s afraid of becoming insane like a few others in her family. I would even say that she’s really afraid. The following is from my journal for October 2, 2000:

“Peggy and I were staying at a motel on the coast a few years ago. It was dark, and she was looking out over the ocean while I was in the bathroom. Suddenly she yelled, “Come quickly and see the pretty lights on the water.” I went quickly, but the lights had disappeared. The same thing happened a second time, and then a third. At that point, Peggy looked at me with an expression of fear and resignation and said, ‘I am losing my mind.’ I laughed, but she said she wasn’t joking. I decided to postpone whatever it was that I was doing in the bathroom and stay with her until the lights could be explained. It turned out that the moon, which was out of sight behind the motel, was coming and going behind some clouds and creating a truly beautiful light display upon the breaking waves.”

While on drugs, I’ve had hallucinations of demons, heavy metal music coming from toilets, my body levitating, angels flying above my head, and so forth without ever once thinking that I was going insane. Even so, I can’t say I wasn’t tempted to give Peggy a whopping dose of marijuana simply because Peggy has often said, “I don’t believe pot would get me high,” as if she's a bad-ass and I'm some kind of a wimp. As it was, we did take a hit together about an hour after she ate her cookie crumb, and while the hit got me completely wasted, it did nothing for her beyond the usual first-timer coughing fit. This in no way diminished my complete confidence that enough marijuana would land anybody on her ass.

All this occurred two days before I was to to go to the hospital—the one from which Peggy just retired—for my colonoscopy, and she was to be my designated driver. Ninety minutes before we’re to leave, she gets another migraine, and I give her another cookie crumb. I think it might it might be a little bigger than the first crumb, but since she didn’t get high off the first crumb plus a hit, I’m not too worried, forgetting that it’s not unusual for a person to not get high the first time they use pot. So, Peggy eats her crumb; her migraine goes away; and we leave for the hospital with her driving. Six blocks from home on a street she’s driven thousands of times over the last quarter of a century, Peggy says fearfully, “I have no idea where I am.” “Okie doakie, Peggy, maybe you should pull over and let me drive,” and we trade places. For her next trick, Peggy announces that there’s a cat in the car, but the cat turns out to be her purse.

So, here we are on our way to the hospital with me wondering how we’re going to get home, and whether Peggy is going to run amuck while I’m having my colonoscopy. I think it might be fun to scream, “Oh, my god, you’re losing your mind! You’re going to be just like your mother,” but then I realize how inconvenient for me it would be if she became hysterical, so I decide against it. I do suggest that, while I’m having my colonoscopy, she go visit her old buddies in labor and delivery and tell them how much she’s enjoying retirement.

By the time we reach the hospital, we're running a little late, so Peggy offers to park the car while I go in. “Are you sure?” I ask, and she says she is, so I let her, but not without trepidation, knowing as I do how fast a person’s perceptions and abilities can change while tripping. After an appropriate amount of time, Peggy joins me and purports herself normally (that is if you count cringing visibly when a brand new nurse fails twice to start my IV), although she says she’s high. I’m impressed because for much of my life, I found it impossible to act straight when I was high, and if I tried, I would tremble, violently, completely lose the ability to talk, and sometimes hallucinate. I have since learned to feign normalcy, but it took a lot of years and a lot of pot to reach Peggy's level. I just hope she can stay there because marijuana is a hell of a lot safer and cheaper than her Big Pharma medicine.