Mom was driving up the Steese expressway with her all cotton paisley printed hippie dress flapping out the driver’s side door. She was smoking a joint, “some really good sh^t” as she liked to say. The radio was blaring on worn out speakers in her 71 Monte Carlo that was the love of my step dads life. It was the summer of eighty three. Mom was high and that always seemed best for the family.
Jackie was waiting for mom at our vintage 50’s pastel green trailer on Gilmore Trail. Whenever Jackie had trouble she would come to mom. After a joint, some empathy, and a hug, the world was a better place to be. Our house always had room for one more. No matter the crowd, moms love would tumble out and draw people in who needed hugging. Mom was a one-woman social welfare department. Her elixir was always empathy and marijuana. Empathy + Marijuana = love.
So she’s racing home, doing 90, thinking of nothing but the goodness of mother earth, the greatness of God, the hip country life she was living, and the green spot on Gilmore trail she got to garden. Through the cloud of smoke in her rear view mirror she caught the flash of lights. Mother earth is mad, Karma’s to the birds, and mom is getting pulled over for speeding.
She scrunched her joint into the ashtray and slammed it shut. She turned down Mick Jagger and rolled down the window to air out the smoke-mobile. In the same moment she grabbed a Marlboro from her purse –amazing that she ever found anything in that bottomless buffalo leather bag – and slammed it into her quivering mouth. Between curse words unmentionable mom grabbed her red Bick lighter and lit her less loved smoke to trick the trooper.
Okay, the whole idea here was that the police are dumb. If we just smoke a little cigarette after smoking a pile of pungent marijuana they won’t know the difference right? Smoke is smoke. We thought the cops were a gene short, the hip gene, that one “y” that made you cool. It makes me laugh to think it, dumb to admit it on paper. But my family operated consistently on this premise.
As the policemen approached mom’s window she inhaled. Unfortunately she fired the wrong end and lit the filter. She just about hurled a lung on that poor officer. Between hacks mom came out with her sincerest big hearted mother earth apology. He was warmed by her demeanor so let her off with a word of caution about the ill effects of speeding. After all she obviously was suffering from advanced tuberculosis and should get a little mercy. With hacking like that he may catch her thing too.
Mom recovered her wits and dropped the fine tuned 350 Chevy into gear. All that stuff about bad karma was gone. “Jesus loves me” she whispered to herself as she reignited her joint…..”Jesus loves me.”
That was 25 years ago and mom still whispers the name of Jesus.