An anonymous writer speaks about his experience with the devil’s plant
“Kid, promise me something. Don’t ever do drugs again.” Kurt the paramedic’s chiselled jaw hung over me, each hair on his rugged beard bristling with indignation and shame at the man – nay boy – lying in front of him. I was hooked up to a heart monitor, palpitations coursing through my frame, forcing me to convulse and twist as if I was Justin Timberlake in ‘Rock Your Body.’
I thought I was going to die at that moment. St. Peter was scanning my Facebook for any discrepancies to ensure my safe passage through the pearly gates. Kurt sighed and looked at me sadly. “You’ve had one fucking weed brownie kid. Will you please shut up and lie still.”
Let’s start at the beginning. Like many other outrageously handsome and overly bumptious 21-year-old Irish males before me, I had embarked on a journey to the West Coast of the Land of the Free. My ancestors came in search of a new life, a home and a future. I wanted ‘chicks’. San Diego was my destination (a place, contrary to popular belief, not founded by the Germans and not named after the muscular and tubular part of the female genital tract of a very large mammal).
A thorough house search later and myself and 20 other perspiring males found a comfortable one-bedroom apartment not far from the beach. The triple terror of having to go to the bathroom, brush your teeth or shower aside, we enjoyed our first few weeks in the Californian sun, playing Frisbee on the beach during the day and partying at night. There were no ‘chicks’.
Then came June 12th 2016. I remember the date well because the next day Ireland were due to play Sweden at the European Championships in what promised to be a dull exhibition of Glenn Whelan’s ability to pass the ball sideways. We were sitting by the pool at about midday, enjoying the sun as it took full advantage of our pale skin. It was then that one of my friends turned to me and handed me a neat cardboard package containing a weed brownie.
I’d never taken the devil’s plant before. A quick google on my phone and a fact check with godisyourfriend.com told me that: “The truth is that the spirit which this plant opens one up to is the spirit of the devil.” This discouraged me, but my friends convinced me that eating the brownie would be the ‘cool’ thing to do.
I took half to ease me into what promised (promises are often broken) to be a good day. Lying in the pool about an hour later, I only felt a slight tingling at my extremities. I wanted more. My friends prudently warned me against that course of action, calmly stating that I was high – but the only thing I was high for was power (in fact I was quite high because of the amount of marijuana I had just eaten).
Having the second-half was a decision I immediately regretted and waves of anxiety and paranoia washed over me. Time lethargically procrastinated in my mind and what felt like minutes was actually hours. I woke from my comatose alone and the sun was dipping below the horizon. I wandered back to the apartment to find my friends just about to leave for the beach to catch the sunset. I tried to follow, but the complicated hook mechanism of our patio gate perturbed me and I thought better than to stretch my cognitive functions at that moment.
I was left alone. I noticed a gorgeous leftover slice of pizza on the counter and clumsily managed to bring it to my mouth. One of the friends then returned; pitying me, empathising with me. He saw the pizza drooping from my anesthetized jaw and gave me the same look that Kurt the paramedic would in about 43 minutes – one of utter contempt. It was his pizza. I was now utterly alone.
I started to make some coffee, thinking that a pick me up would make me feel better – it did not. My heart began to race; I could feel every beat of the cardiovascular muscle pound against my ribcage. One thought and one thought only entered my mind – I was dying. I stumbled outside to the patio where a neighbour saw me in distress and offered his aid. He laid me down on our couch as I gripped his shirt asking for my local priest, Father Matthew, to be called to say my last rites. He reasoned with me that it might be a better idea to call an ambulance first and I acquiesced.
Kurt was soon on the scene, heart monitor attached and stethoscope to my chest. A police officer stood in the corner of the room nonchalantly overlooking the weed strewn across the apartment. Kurt told me there was nothing wrong with me, and I was just having a panic attack but after a week’s work experience in the CUH when I was 16 I knew the symptoms of a heart attack. I answered: “Please god no save me, I don’t want to die.”
My roommates arrived to see Michael Jackson return from the dead to give one last performance of ‘Thriller’ on a stretcher in a room full of paramedics. Kurt noticed their pigmented eyes and asked for the least stoned to come to the hospital with me. This brings us to Kurt clutching my hand in an ambulance, asking me to please shut up.
I wasn’t much better in the hospital. Lying in a cold corridor with nurses ignoring my pleas to save my life did me no good really. A doctor politely approached and nonchalantly injected me with some sort of sedative to put me to sleep. Unfortunately that only escalated my panic because as darkness began to blur my vision, St. Peter was ushering me through the fine work of Metalcraft.ieTM. The doctor gave me another shot just to make sure, and with that my trauma ended.
I never saw Kurt again, but I’ll never forget him. One page in a mediocre college publication isn’t enough for me to describe the fear I felt that day. One brownie… Those words will haunt me for the rest of my days. Don’t do weed kids.