Gentle Reader, you should know that I really don’t care about pot. Personally, I don’t care for it – it makes me mean, particularly if I’ve been drinking, which I have to do before my inhibitions drop enough to take any. Still, as I said, I don’t care what you do to your own body; it’s none of my business. If you get my mother involved in a gun-fight over commonplace two-penny weed, though, I’ve got an issue.
Perhaps I should back up a bit.
Maman, bless her heart, recently decided to try dating again, for the first time in twenty-seven years. She’d finally been able to move on, a little, from Dad’s death, and allowed her hairdresser to set her up with a ridiculously attractive, charismatic, younger man. D was in his mid-forties; Maman was a good twelve years older. She fell for him, and she fell hard. It was not very long before Maman had moved in with him.
When she’d come home – I was living at her place, at the time – she’d tell me stories, and drop details about his ankle bracelet, or how he wasn’t entirely certain whether he was divorced or not, or that he was involved in spreading the miraculous medicinal properties of marijuana to everyone he could – including to recovering addicts*. He’d opened a pot shop† in the local village, and his partners had cheated him blindly out of the business. I didn’t think of any of this as anything to worry about, mind you – in fact, between the fact that she was happier than I’d seen her in years, and the fact that his life was utterly absurd, I thought that she might have something good going on.
There was, however, a growing problem. You see, Maman has it hardwired into her brain that sex and love are the same thing, inseparable; she couldn’t reconcile the fantastic sex with the lack of love. She couldn’t cope, and she couldn’t stand the evenings sitting around, not talking, watching Swamp Wars and Pawn Star. She’d come back home days, while I was at work, spend my entire shift crying, and leave to go back to D’s before I got home. Occasionally, there’d be a note.
One day, she swerved into the driveway, sending gravel flying. Ex-husband was over, and dropped his Playstation controller as she angrily approached the door. It slammed open, and it was clear that she wasn’t herself.
“I need a gun. Right now, damn it!”
“Hi, Maman, I love you, too. What do you need a gun for?”
“D. needs it – he’s at O’Callahan’s – he says they’re going to shoot him. I need one of your dad’s guns!”
“Maman – you don’t know how to use it!”
Ex-husband interrupted me here, saying “We’re not letting you take a loaded weapon to a gun fight at a bar, Ma.”
“Why do they want to shoot him, anyway?” I lamely finished.
It so happens that not only had D sold all the weed meant for the shop to his private customers, he had pocketed the money – and the client list. Once his business partners got out of jail – for unrelated matters – they were understandably angry, and went after him.
Eventually, they found out where D – and my mother, remember – lived. Eventually, I taught her how to load and unload the gun, and how to use the safety. Eventually, I grew to want to shoot her fucking boyfriend myself. Eventually, she figured out that sex and love aren’t always the same, and, eventually, was strong enough to leave him, and pulled herself together.
*I believe that Marijuana can be useful for some diseases, but it’s not a miracle panacea that utilizes magic. I’m sorry.
†Marijuana wasn’t strictly legal in Washington at the time; there were a lot of grey areas.