Remembering The Man Who Taught Me To Smoke Marijuana
To most, it was an ordinary hook up. Boy and girl meet to smoke and fuck. To me, it was the day when I fell down a rabbit hole and discovered Wonderland — a place I would revisit again and again, many, many times.
I met him at a train station, which would afterwards be a setting place of many more hello's and sad goodbyes. It was a little past noon. The sun was hot and I could still remember what I wore that day: a balloon skirt and a v-neck, figure-hugging cotton blouse. My hair was cut short and I looked like a skinny doll.
He, on the other hand, wore a crown of messy, overgrown hair that pointed in all directions. He was wearing a shirt, sunglasses, and a pair of skinny jeans. Under his arm was a penny skateboard.
I greeted him with a smile. He would describe it later on as pure, radiating, full of hope.
He told me I was pretty.
And he, on the other hand, was a boy that I had somehow always known of — in the back of my head, through my daydreams.
We walked to his apartment door and I made myself comfortable on a mattress on the floor. The small studio apartment fit nothing more than what you would need to just sleep and eat. I remember a guitar and a calendar leaning on a corner of the wall.
On the closet door, written on a sticky note, are the words, “I love you Mark”. I would guess that they were written by his girlfriend.
I don't remember much about the next few moments that happened, but I remember asking him, “How do I know when it's kicked in?”
“You just know it when you feel it.”
He taught me how to draw a hit from his pipe by holding and lighting it up for me. We smoked kush and then some locally grown strain.
Next thing I know, the yellow, shadowy room had a certain haze to it, the music we were playing sounded different — much more piercing, much more alive, much more full of emotion — and my heart was beating harder and louder. It felt good. It's like being surrounded by a sensory filter that makes you feel as if trapped in a numbing haze, but at the same time feeling and experiencing things on a deeper level.
I leaned on him. Our skin touched. His body found mine and I discovered his, all while we were fuelled by a drug that made things shimmer.
I would always remember him as the boy that made me discover beauty in intimacy and in mindful, passionate fucking. The way that he cursed me, bit me, and slapped me while I was pinned down like a prey opened a dimension of my sexuality that I'd be keeping for the rest of my life.
He took time whenever he kissed me. There was never a hurry; it was always as if time had stopped and only the two of us existed in an infinitely blissful universe. He would look deeply into my eyes, intently, as if he was searching for meaning in the bottom of my soul.
“I have never been with anyone as sweet as you,” I told him.
I was twenty at the time and I was ripe for exploring the world, which includes fucking up a bit.
Our affair was a sordid story with the most beautiful details. We once sat by the bay in Roxas Boulevard and watched the sun come down. Well until after dusk we sat and talked about life and his marriage. Once, we visited the Metropolitan Museum. At a concert, we held hands in a room full of people, including his wife.
He unraveled himself to me in a way that he has never done before. I learned about his unhappy childhood where his mother gave him away. I saw through all his pain and his need for love, which he compensated by dating a couple new girls every month in the last two years of his marriage. The beautiful boy had a “cup” that was “broken” and could never be “filled”.
“You filled my cup,” he would tell me one day.
Perhaps the worst tragedy in our story was the simple fact that our lives weren't meant to stay connected. I'd heard him say that things would have tatke a completely different turn in his life if only he met me before he reunited with his ex, now wife.
It may be all lies, all sugarcoated deception, or it may be a cruel trickery by fate. I could remember when we went alone and prayed at a church one time, how he confessed to me all his frustrations and feelings of failure, exposed to me all the cracks in his relationship and his childhood, told me about the things that kept him awake — it was as if we were just destined to meet so I could save him somehow.
I never salvaged him. The poor soul, after I left the affair, continued to spiral down to even more fucked up lows. He had problems that, according to him, robbed him of his sanity sometimes. I saw that very clearly in the meth face that was his profile picture in Facebook.
Nowadays, I'm not exactly sure how he's doing, but coming across him on Tinder (we matched the second time around!) gives me a clue.
I have long moved on from the affair and healed the scars that came with it, but I won't deny that it touched and affected my life, irrevocably. Being the “Other Woman” has been the sweetest and yet one of the most unfortunate, painful experiences I went through. I don't think that the love I felt (or the lust, whatever) can ever be matched — I wanted him and I wanted to be with him, even if for a moment, even if he would never truly be mine.
He was a boy whose broken soul was exposed to me and I still accepted, adored, took all the sharp pieces and held them together.
But you can hold on to broken pieces for only so long.
After that summer passed, I told him, coldly, “I don't want to be your girlfriend anymore.”
I discarded him just like that, hooked up with another person a couple weeks later, only to realize it wasn't sex that I just want, or a warm body that could actually spend the night. I just wanted him.
Now I can say that once in my life, I was in bed crying beside a sleeping, naked man, because I would rather be with another.
My insights on being an Other Woman are for another time. As I slouch on my couch, barely breathing and floating in warm air, I just want to remember him and picture his brown eyes staring into mine, asking, looking for a window to a parallel universe where he and I belong to each other as we should.
And then we could get high and never come down.