Stuck In A Rut, Part Six

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Our heroine, Josie, inhales the culture shock of Los Angeles and holds it in.

Josie Swenson spent Tuesday in a medicated fog, medicated being a popular cliché for using marijuana where it could be had for a prescription card and a song. Tripp and Wade said they had to “hone” their games, which meant they hit several buckets of balls at a driving range and took turns taking hits on essentially a ballpoint bong that enabled them to ingest cannabis without exhaling smoke that was pungent. “See? It’s vapor,” Wade kept saying.

She loved it. Vapor. It made her feel like a thief. It made her want to live in California. It made her want to make love to life. She had never been to Southern California. This was supposed to be the day she and Tripp went sightseeing. They had talked about nightlife, and the beach, and going to some fancy restaurant where late-night talk shows sent audience members to dinners for two. Tripp and Wade played something called a par-three course, which apparently meant it was short. Tripp and Wade “hit balls” at the driving range. Tripp and Wade made a few deliveries. Josie spent most of the day in the back seat of the SUV, thoroughly and blissfully stoned and talking about things she shortly couldn’t remember.

“You know, I want one of those …”

“Those what?”

“I don’t know.”

But it was the most benign haze. Josie didn’t want to fight. She didn’t want to quarrel. She wasn’t pleased that her man wanted to play golf, but she was vaguely aware that it was his ticket to stardom, or money, anyway. It was what he was good at. Josie couldn’t think of anything she was good at except she thought she was getting rapidly and enjoyably better at being high.

“Last week I wanted to get my degree,” she said while they were stopped in traffic.


“Now all I want is a cigarette.”

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Tripp and Wade laughed … a lot. “Girl’s a trip,” said Tripp.

“Know what else I want?”


“I wanna get laid,” she said. “Again. And again.”

“Cool,” said Tripp. “Way cool,” said Wade. Or maybe they didn’t. It actually wasn’t clear.

“Now, tomorrow,” Wade said, “we gotta stay straight. Serious business.”

“Define straight,” Tripp said.

“Don’t get fucked up. Don’t get baked. Don’t get stoned. Don’t get fried.”

“What’s the fucking use of playing golf?” asked Josie, who had never played.

“Just get a buzz and keep it,” Wade said. “Just get high.”

“Yeah,” said Tripp. “Just the way I play my best.”

Josie mustered what for her was laudable coherence.

“You gotta do one thing for me. Wade. I need a big, big, pretty please, favor.”

“Name it, gorgeous.”

“I’ve smoked weed from a blunt,” she said. “I’ve sucked it from a bong. I’ve … v-vaporized the shit. Now I want to eat it.”

“You want an edible.”

“Shit, yeah,” Josie said. “I’m a great cook. Could we, like, bake brownies?”

“I don’t think so. It’s harder than you think. You like candy bars, Josie?”

“Who don’t?”

“I’ll stop by the dispensary and pick up a couple very special Reese’s Cups.”

“I’ll do bong hits at your wedding,” Josie said.

“That’s comforting,” Wade replied.



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