Marijuana, Valium, and The Sign

Over the past few months, and since becoming strongly acquainted with my best friend Jimmy, I’ve become quite accustomed to a combination of things that certainly doesn’t guarantee a night of premium comfort, sophistication and royal banter. When Jimmy first introduced me to cannabis, sitting on top of a giant metal sign in the middle of the night wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But heck, we were only ever half a Valium tablet away from having a dreamily fantastic time on top of a traffic control sign.

How do I get myself into these situations? It doesn’t matter who I’m with or what I’m planning on doing, I always seem to end up in situations that no one else on my Facebook friend list could ever possibly get themselves into. This has advantages and disadvantages though because it means that it regardless of how monotonous I predict the night is going to be, I’m always aware deep down that a major plot twist is inbound and I’ll end up doing something crazy, like climbing a giant 20 foot tall traffic control sign next to a busy dual-carriage way.

Marijuana is the best thing that’s happened to me since my discovery of masturbation. Yes, it’s that good. The sudden injection of euphoric joy and comfort are sublime, and it hasn’t affected my everyday life in any noticeable way whatsoever. I can now officially call myself an apprentice ‘toker’, having been smoking at least 3-4 times a week for the last couple of months, a title I’m not sure if I can be proud of yet. The only thing that marginally concerns me about my newly found love for weed, is the idea that it’s a gateway drug – that it’s a drug that will lead me onto consuming other, more harmful drugs, like Valium for example. It’s also painfully expensive.

For those of you lucky individuals out there that haven’t got a clue what Valium is, it’s a small (often blue) anti-anxiety tablet prescribed by the doctor for people who struggle to sleep or for people (junkies) that require strong pain relief. I may or may not have devoured a full blue tablet last week due to an uprising of curiosity regarding the drug. Needless to say, after thirty minutes after taking the pill and a couple of joints, I was positively ‘rekd’ and could barely walk. It was a novel experience though, and as much as I try to stay away from tablets (because I know they could be genuinely harmful to my life) I’m sure it will happen again. I’m just not sure when, or where.

Jimmy and I have a very odd tradition. Every time we meet up, I always seem to end up manipulated into walking him half way back to his house, and en route, we pass this large metal traffic control sign – the ones with the big orange writing that warn drivers about traffic and weather. By the time we approach the sign, we’re usually in our own dreamy worlds and about a month ago, while passing, we decided to climb the 20ft. giant for the sheer purpose of feeding the unrelenting curiosity that was slowly chewing up our insides. We usually pass the sign at around midnight, when there is little traffic, but scrambling our half-zombified bodies up the freezing cold ladders (which only start halfway up the sign in order to prevent idiots from climbing it) and perching our cold skinny arses on the small metal platform where workers do all the electrical maintenance, is no mission for the faint of heart. Once you’ve committed to the climb, there’s no going back. And, you’re in plain sight of any oncoming traffic.

After reaching the top for the first time, hearts racing, we knew it was totally worth the risk of being caught and arrested. I mean, the view was nothing short of crap and it was achingly cold and damp at the top but the feeling that we’d actually just climbed a 20ft. sign and the world didn’t give a single fuck, was a feeling I’ll never forget.  We laughed hysterically the entire time we were up there, without a thought about how we would get back down again. That was the first thing in my life I had committed to that could genuinely have gotten me into a lot of trouble, and the thought of that gave me an authentic buzz I’d never experienced before.

One might have thought that after the first, second and third time of the pointless ascension up the sign, that the curiosity of the whole ordeal would have deceased. To our own surprise every time we pass that sign, a peculiar instinct kicks in and we’re off and up, trying our worst not to get spotted by the bustling traffic of the night.

A certain procedure is now unknowingly executed whenever Jimmy and I decide to meet up. To kick things off, we rendezvous at the grit bin located at the end of my street. Then, we head of to the stuffy old abandoned factory to smoke our blissful indulgences and talk about ISIS and other conspiring theories. And after that, we walk towards my local petrol station for munchies (sandwiches), trying to avoid eye contact with any sane human beings as we do. After this, Jimmy usually doesn’t have enough money left for a bus or a taxi (likely due to the petrol station’s extortionate sandwich prices) and therefore manipulates me into walking him half way back to his house, to which, I usually do. Halfway back to his house stands the sign. We then climb the sign, laugh, eat and smoke. These have been some of the best nights of my life.

I’m trying to enjoy every second of this crude lifestyle while it lasts.

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I’m Fairly Sure My Best Friend is a Killer – PART THREE

After dashing up to a stranger and shouting the words “What you saying!?” in a tone that even Satan would be proud of, Jimmy committed himself to a pointless confrontation with an older man who had the safety net of his friends to back him up if this things got messy. In the curious eyes of those watching, Jimmy had just thrust himself into a position that no man would ever desire to be in. Surrounded at his own workplace by a group of startled, half-drunk older men, the conflict began with a number of harsh pushes and minor punches being delivered to the now nervous looking Jimmy who did nothing but look like an innocent puppy that had just be told off for pooping on the floor.

It wasn’t long before Jimmy was flying around the car park like an out of date potato skin in gale force winds. I was stunned, not just because this was my first taste of real life violence, but because Jimmy did nothing to fight back other than a few meaningless pushes. After all the legends of fighting he’d proclaimed about in the previous few months, I was just waiting in immense suspense to see him in action. The enraged bearded man, backed up by a shadow of friends, progressed on to hook Jimmy on the left side of his face which sent him tumbling to the glossy black ground of the car park. This would have been an ideal time for someone to jump in for the greater good of humanity, but I was far too immersed into the vigor of the action to even consider trying to prevent any further violence from occurring. Not that I could have swayed too many decisions anyway as by this stage, the group of older men, specifically the one Jimmy had devoted his rage against, was livid with anger, and now very keen to see Jimmy bite the pavement that night.

Jimmy bundled gravely to the ground a few times in the car park that night but the only words that came out of his mouth were “This is my work, I don’t want to fight!”. This was followed by a rather desperate preaching that he “didn’t want to hurt anyone” and that it was “all just a big misunderstanding”. However, it wasn’t long before I realised that this was all part of Jimmy’s master game plan.

This was Jimmy’s workplace! Of course he couldn’t be seen on the cameras as the one that instigated the violence. Obviously, Jimmy had made the crucial mistake of blatantly sprinting up to the bearded man’s face and shouting in impending fury into his alcohol curdled ears, but Jimmy had made certain that he was not the first one to envelope the first physical contact and this therefore placed Jimmy in the position where he could now escalate the violence on terms of self-defense. I am also quite sure that Jimmy was audaciously waiting for the opportunity to fight alone with the man, who had now allowed Jimmy to pick himself back up from the hallowed floor of the car park.

Jimmy had manipulated the bearded man into thinking he was any easy target by giving him the honour of the first few hits, which had enthralled the man with confidence. The apologies and desperate acts of kindness only spurred the bearded man on by giving him certainty over who would most likely come out on top in the event of a proper fight. He had him exactly where he wanted as he solemnly invited the bearded man to a one versus one brawl fight on the soggy patch of grass behind the bar building, cleanly out of the exposure of any gazing cameras. To the bearded man’s delight, it was game on.

The two opposite characters marched around the twisted corners of the building towards the dark dampness of the grass in unrelenting fury and passion. The man removed his tight cotton t-shirt unveiling an armoury of candid bulk and an array of muscular dominance as enticed viewers began to multiply into a horde closely behind. Jimmy launched his jacket at the ground revealing a neatly ironed checked shirt, not in the slightest bit fazed by the stocky bearded man and his notorious six-pack abdominal stomach of steel. The man’s friends issued Jimmy a final warning, chanting things like “You’re just young! You don’t know what sh#t you’re getting into here!” which only bolstered the confidence of Jimmy and his ferocious opponent. As I followed anxiously behind the band of men and anticipating viewers of violence, all the stories Jimmy had enlightened me with in the past were all fitting together. The movements he described and his methods of fighting seemed all too familiar.

The unforgiving wrath of the two opposite characters gave in to impatience at this point and they froze to face at each other at the left side of the building, desolate from the soft grassy haven of the lawn that lay just ten feet away. In a jolt of movement, the eyes and arms of the two men locked on to each other, leaving them stagnant, shooting fierce dagger’s into each other’s. Eyes to eyes, the alcohol and drugs of Jimmy shot evil into the man’s unknowing soul. Jimmy had always said that he did that before a fight, and that if the other person stopped making eye contact with him, then he knew he’d already won. I can’t even contemplate what it would have been like to gaze into the wide, towering eyes of Jimmy at that moment, but I could somewhat sense the pounding fear off the man who evidently lost his confidence at this point as he glanced over at his friends for reassurance. Jimmy knew exactly what he was about to do, and he knew he was going to win.

I wasn’t sure what would happen next. In fact, after seeing what happened to him at the front of the building in the car park, and the compelling physique of the bearded man, I was seriously considering trying to draw the conflict to a close and talking to both sides of the party from a neutral point of view as I now feared the worst for my best friend Jimmy. In the flash of a snakes eye, Jimmy seized the torso of the bearded man and frantically flipped him under the palm of his, where he then advanced on to slam the now forsaken man to the crisp hard floor of the jagged concrete ground. Bare backed, the man struggled like a drowning fish on board a fishing a vessel under the terrorising weight of Jimmy. All that could be seen at this moment was the tall thin back of Jimmy and the occasional sight of the fist of the bearded man stretching round to try to contain Jimmy with a few lethal blows to the kidneys. By some miracle, the inexorable strength of the bearded man enabled him half-way up off the cold hard floor of the car park, but merely at knee level, as Jimmy tenaciously kept his upper body strength wrapped around the shoulders of his enemy like a boa constrictor tightening its grip around the helpless body of an antelope. Locked tightly, Jimmy then made his final and most engaging sequence of moves. He had the man’s face exactly where he wanted it, tucked down low and exposed perfectly for a few glorious uppercut punches to the face.

And that’s exactly what Jimmy did. The ever-expanding crowd of shreeking half-drunken girls and jeering teenagers and men looked on in vicarious horror as the dominant blows from Jimmy began to shudder off the aghast face of the bearded man.