I never was one for experiments, you know, not like other people. Some talk about “the straight and narrow” as if that’s a hard road to choose but for me it’s like life only ever had one path. It’s a given. The other trails may as well have been overgrown with blackberries or other unsavoury things to travel through.
Today I looked up the word “spliff” and felt my own boringness keenly. I laughed at my four plus decades of dogged narrowness. I knew a spliff was something to do with smoking and drugs from the context. But it sounds so vapid like a splash, or a sniff, something small and tinkly and inconsequential.
And perhaps it is.
I once briefly went out with a boy who smoked bongs – that characterful gurgle, that bubble, that smell, that glaze of the eyes. He blew smoke rings like something out of Alice in Wonderland – shimmering away – mystical and concentric. His brown eyes gleamed with pride at their beauty.
He was also very kind… but his small circles of dispersing herbal whiff were too far from my self-set trail and he knew it and never even offered me a puff. And so, I forge ahead, as blinkered as an old carriage horse, plodding along, afraid of all the other paths. Watching the cobblestones pass underfoot.
Sometimes I feel like a plain brown cardboard square. And so I fill the blankness up with the experiments I feel safe performing. No goggles. No mind altering weirdness. No closed shoes or hair restraints. Just words. The safe, sweet science of words.