Green Days, Green Daze

Sarah Flynn

     She picks me up in her grey acura, calls me baby, gives me a kiss on the cheek. She says dude, I have the most insane story to tell you. Cars and sunsets and weed and cops. Bob Weir and Jim Morrison and rhythmic psychedelics. Scarlet begonias, Pablo the Blowfish, vomit, paranoia.

     She wears a tie-dyed Led Zeppelin shirt, can’t name many Led Zeppelin songs, thinks that Led Zeppelin is just one man. If it was bought in the Haight, it’s authentic. Sweatpants, birkenstocks, toe ring, extra large hoodie- it’s more than an aesthetic, it’s an identity.

    Her car smells like flowers and old milkshakes. Crumpled homework assignments and empty nicotine containers and half-eaten burgers obscure the floor- not much to look at but so much to see. A dreamcatcher hangs from her mirror.

    She drives along Ocean Beach, singing to the Rolling Stones, pausing only to imagine what the world would look life if it really was painted black. And who was Angie? Mick Jagger sure did have some sick bars. And Jerry Garcia played guitar, right? No, wait, he was part of the Beatles… right?

    On the rare occasion that I correct her, she blushes slightly and whispers under her breath that she knew that, the Grateful Dead and the Beatles just sound pretty similar. On the rare occasion that I argue with her, she falls silent and glues her eyes to the road.

    She habitually pulls into an isolated campsite and parks the car exactly between the hiking trail and the entrance so that no one can see inside of the car. She unbuckles her seatbelt, slides her seat back, criss-crosses her legs, and grabs the tribal print bag underneath her seat. Inside the bag lies her sacred glass, shining from meticulous cleaning. She fills the green bowl with green flowers, lights the flowers with green flame, and inhales green smoke. Her eyes close and her body relaxes, sinking into the seat of her beloved grey acura. But, if I look closely enough, I notice that one eye remains slightly open, staring intently at the dreamcatcher dangling above her.

     She wants to catch dreams, live in dreams, know nothing other than dreams. She wants to exist with the flowers and make home in the smoke. Love and nurture the smoke. Breathe and be the smoke. She lives in a world where there are no consequences as long as she follows the way of rock and roll. In this world, imagination soars and flowers replace reality.

So when she exhales and green smoke fogs up the windshield of her grey acura like it fogged up her head, she thinks that she has accomplished her idea of adolescence. The high won’t stop her from looking in the mirror and seeing the face of that older girl who gave her the gift of flowers- you know, that girl who she used to love and look up to, who had to leave home because she loved the flowers too much, who is a martyr for all rock and roll, flower-loving kids. She exhales the smoke to be a little more like that girl.

      She has a sketch of the pot leaf at the forefront of her brain, where the pot leaf moves and talks and laughs and screams. The sketch comes to life before her eyes and she watches it, kind of like watching an animated Disney film where a princess defies her parents and falls in love and lives happily ever after, except in this film the princess is a pot leaf. Like she used to idolize Cinderella and Belle, she idolizes the pot leaf and hopes to be like it when she grows up.

    We talk about war and the combative nature of humans and the relationship between self and society. She nods without listening, speaks without forming an opinion. She tells me that she would fuck lil’ yachty. I say nah, I wouldn’t. She says actually, you’re right, I wouldn’t either.

    We talk about boys and romance and sex. Her eyes twitch as she tries to concentrate on making eye-contact, but they veering sporadically, kind of like she was stabbed with a needle or saw a ghost behind me, everytime I say the word penis. If the conversation drops, even if only for a moment, her chin hangs from her jaw and her lips form the letter “O”, like she’s desperately trying to find words to fill the horrible, deafening silence; she has a fear of empty spaces.

    She packs away her sacred glass and puts the tribal print bag underneath her seat. I say that I want to play a new song that I found, a 90s Indie track by an Irish band called the Cranberries. She screams with excitement, I love that band! “Zombie” rings from the stereo and she tries to sing along, but confuses it with a different song and sings the wrong words and maybe she doesn’t actually know this band. I tell her, hey, it’s cool if you don’t know this song, it’s pretty obscure. Of course I know it, she says, fuck you.

She goes home to her empty, white house, gets under her white sheets, and fills the silence with the noise of green. Every night, she dreams in green. Every morning, she wakes up in green confusion and drowsiness. She tells me that she doesn’t always like it and that sometimes she wishes she would stop. It’s getting in the way of her schoolwork and her mom keeps yelling. Dark spots have developed under her eyes. Her hands shake by themselves.          She can’t go a few hours without the green.

But, she must pay omen to the older girl that gave her the gift of flowers. She must morph herself into that girl.

     Ironically, she claims that flowers enable authenticity.

 

     Her drug dealer is a doctor who will cure her from the emptiness left by that older girl and make her whole(y), holy like tie-dye and Bob Weir and glass and, of course, the dreamcatcher that she worships.

 

    I guess, then, it’s hard to know, is she better friends with me or the flowers?  

… She’s starting to look a little green.