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I never thought I would get high before getting drunk. I always though it'd be the other way around but the first time I got drunk I was 16 and I was 15 when I first smoked a joint. I'm wary of bringing this up because I grew up in Holland and I don't want to reinforce the stereotype of everyone in Holland smoking weed every day and it's this super casual thing that nobody cares about. But yeah, I suppose sometimes stereotypes have an element of truth to them.

Other people in my school year had already started smoking weed. Word of it was spreading, like a rumour: apparently some of them went to the bench, in the woods, beyond the canal and smoked weed and one of them couldn't stop laughing and one of them didn't feel anything and we don't know who got it or from where they got it.

So when me and two of my friends, let's call them Harry and Terry, were hanging out at Harry's house to watch a movie and Harry pulled out his little airtight baggie of marijuana, I thought “Aw yeah, I'm gonna be as cool as those guys who were on the bench, in the woods, beyond the canal.”

He had papers and marijuana but no tobacco which apparently makes it much harder to roll (despite having partaken in quite often in my life at this point, I still have no idea how to roll one) so he spent the entire movie trying to roll the joint. I remember we were watching Cloverfield and I also remember not paying even the slightest bit of attention to the film as I watched Harry struggle to get the joint together. Terry, having already tried weed and having never seen the film before, was more focused on that.

Harry finished rolling the joint right as the movie was wrapping up and suggested we smoke it. On the inside, I was going “Yes please, let me try the weed, I want to be cool” but I acted cool and said “Yeah, sure, I'm up for it, whatever, you know?”

We went over by the window and I took my first puff. Now, the thing about joints without tobacco is they burn a lot less in your throat when you inhale them because there's no tar. So I took big puffs, really big puffs, until I brought a coughing fit upon myself, started shaking and began feeling nauseous so I decided it might be best if I just stopped.

I went to lie down in Harry's bed still shaking and I uttered my first sentence while high: “I feel like an old man in a nursing home.” Then Harry looked at me and said “You see? You're high.” I wanted to reply “No, I'm not” but began uncontrollably laughing instead which in turn made Harry laugh.

Terry, who had decided not to partake, rolled his eyes as he realised he was condemned to be the only sober person in the room.

The rest of the evening went by pretty uneventfully, most consisting of me sitting there and laughing at the various things in Harry's room. The image I most vividly remember is that of his globe sitting on his dresser with a sombrero hat on it. As I looked at it, this image popped in my head of tennis ball with arms and legs and wearing a sombrero playing tennis and I cracked up. I must have spent a good 10 minutes trying to explain it to Harry because I couldn't get through the image without bursting into laughter. We also had a conversation where between two sentences, we both forgot what we were just talking about and to this day we still don't know what the conversation was about.

Then I passed out.

Good times.

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