The first time I smoked pot I was fifteen. I was a member of a Defective Overgrowth Spurt Group (D.O.S.G., known colloquially as “Dosage!”). Mother had signed me up.

It was the winter retreat. We went to a dormitory lodge building on a campground. I still didn’t fit in too well. I was tall, but they were almost all over seven feet tall. I did identify with them in some respects, because I too had once been too tall.

I was sleeping in a room with Matt and Luke. Luke was a seven foot two computer nerd who liked to play video games and Magic Cards. He wasn’t skinny. He already had his own web design and computer programming firm. Matt was seven foot four and had always been told that he should be on the basketball team. He liked smoking pot. He played drums and sang in a jam band called Aruba Redd.

They were whispering across their beds at each other. I was sitting on my bed listening to The Doors on my headphones, but between songs I heard them. Matt showed Luke something that he was holding in his hand. I couldn’t see it because he was holding his fingers around it. He threw it to Luke.

“What is that?” I asked them.

“Nothing,” said Luke.

“C’mon tell me what it is.”


“I don’t know.

“You have to guess.”

“A pager?”

They started giggling uncontrollably. I thought it was an average guess.

“What?” I asked.

“You know I have a cell phone,” said Luke.

“Oh,” I said, “So?”

“So why would I need a pager?”

“I don’t know, dude.” I shrugged.

“It’s pot,” said Matt.


“Yeah,” said Luke.

“Can I smoke it with you guys?”

They looked at each other, teetering their heads back and forth and raising their eyebrows and cheekbones.

“I don’t know,” said Luke.

“Are you sure you want to?” asked Matt.


They looked at each other, teetering their heads back and forth and raising their eyebrows and cheekbones.

“Okay, but you have to be cool,” said Matt.

“Yeah, be cool,” said Luke.

We walked out of the building and into the woods. I was anxious to smoke the joint.

“Chill out,” said Matt.

The joint came to me. I smoked it. I passed it. They smoked it. They joint came back to me. I smoked it again.

“Do I feel anything?” I asked them.

“I don’t know, you’re the one to answer that,” said Matt.

The next week in school I bought an eighth of weed from a friend. Eventually I tried mushrooms and I liked them. I started to hate pot. I tried acid and I liked it. I started to hate mushrooms. I tried coke and I liked it. I started to hate acid. I tried different kinds of pills. I liked most of them. I started to hate coke. I tried meth and I liked it. I ended up in rehab.

I joined Narcotics Anonymous when I was 19 years old. The day I joined N.A., I noticed that there were bed bugs growing in my cigarettes. An asshole sitting next to me in the meeting pointed it out. He announced it to the group and everyone gave me looks. They all got up to leave except for the group leader. I sat there staring at him for a few seconds as everyone dispersed before I exhaled, got up, and walked out of the chapel.

< Younger                 Home                 Older >