Authors Note: This essay was written soon after moving to Colorado (11/28/2013). Any naiveté is authentic. This and similarly strange works can be found in my yet-to-be released memoir Hi, how are you? High. How are you?
Arriving back at my apartment complex hearing a symphony of coughs echoing out of slightly cracked windows made me appreciate what I had experienced even more. Not to be confused with Danksgiving, Dabsgiving is like a traditional American Thanksgiving celebration with one extraordinary caveat, an unlimited supply of some of the highest quality Butane Hash Oil (BHO) in Colorado or at least in my case it was. Throw in a bunch of perfectly pearled demons and we have the making for a holiday that I think I can get behind.
Wax, Oil, Shatter, Butter. Or is it Budder? To the uninitiated they are all the same, a super efficient way to get higher than a Skeetercat howlin’ at the Moon. I am one rung from the bottom on the ladder of oil users. I no longer think dabbing is freebasing and I am comfortable heating up a dab rig. Unless there is a dome on it, then I freak out and look for some assistance. What can I say; it’s a tall ladder.
I’ll spare the details of how I ended up where I am, but I live in Boulder, CO and I have been helping out at marijuana growing warehouse that is run by an old friend. He graciously lets me work even though I am the slowest worker by a long stretch. With no plans for Thanksgiving, I was delighted to be invited to a Dabsgiving celebration by a co-worker. Eager to make new friends I immediately accepted the invitation with a fairly reasonable idea of the types of activities to be expected. After a forewarning that I wouldn’t be bringing anything and with an open mind I was super excited.
Upon arrival the table was set with 6 or 7 beautiful dab rigs. Tools made specifically for dabbing were neatly stored in a wooden rack. There would be no repurposed dentist tools this evening. Small serving dishes with freshly ground marijuana didn’t seem out of place next to the fried raviolis and or any other delectable appetizers. My gracious host exclaimed,
“From this point on no pussy dabs!”
With an ounce slab of oil starring back at me, 45 minutes after my arrival I began taking a series of dabs that would last for the next six hours. As the size of the dabs grew so did my appreciation for BHO.
Going to “Dab City” is killer. The amount of fluid spilling from my eyes exceeded that of my drinking cup. There is coughing, a lot of coughing. But as it was explained to me when I was buying nickels and dimes from nefarious characters as a youth,
“You gotta cough to get off.”
After the partial facial paralysis I moved to the couch.
“You all right?” posed a recent acquaintance.
“Dab City.” was all I could muster.
My incapacitation only lasted a brief moment, and then it was back to the Dabsgiving table. Quickly I was becoming a convert and the thought of smoking flowers became ignorant. We all have to evolve at some point. With my memory not as sharp as it once was, I’m glad I can pinpoint when it happened.
The smoke looked beautiful when the step-brother-in-law or some other multiple hyphenate of my host pulled it. It pulled smoothly through the glass, symmetrically impeded by glasswork inside this tool of enlightenment. Too fully respect the artistry I needed to be on the operating end.
It takes a little while to get comfortable handling the butane torch used to heat up a rig. I should have practiced at the French restaurant while employed there. Back then, in the world of food and beverage they were used to prepare Crème Brule. Nothing else. But that was years ago, long before a secondary market for butane torches would be established.
You don’t want to directly touch anything after applying a torch to it for any amount of time, which means you need to be fully aware of what you are doing at all times. A difficult task considering the nature of the holiday being celebrated. However, learning to control your flame is fairly simple. After accidentally setting something a blaze, you now know that IT IS NOT A FUCKING GAME! After you have that knowledge, it’s easy to wield the torch with enough precision to light a small joint without the slightest worry of burning a fairly prodigious mustache.
Using rigs named for Greek Gods and with tubes and recyclers and knobs and bulbs and all sorts of other interesting glass wonderment was special, having many of the people who made them sitting around the table, discussing their craft? Surreal is the only word that comes to mind. The way in which methods were discussed captivated to no end. They could have all have been speaking a Mandarin, but passion comes through in any language.
Enough about the dabbing, it’s awesome and I’m ready to get into it very heavily. Let us not forget that this was a feast. They served turkey and ham, mac & cheese, smashed potatoes and gravy. Other things that other people ate were also served. They had everything. Dessert, two S’s for super sweet, was insane. The stoner with the munchies’ stereotype was alive and well this evening. Four pies, a few cakes, multiple cookies options, and something called Christmas Crack didn’t seem like overkill at all. I’m not much of calorie counter anyways.
The real highlight of the evening was being introduced to the wonderful people at this celebration. The careers represented at the table vary greatly, but all share at least one characteristic. These men and women are not the burnouts that Officer Friendly would lead you to believe in her propagative D.A.R.E lectures. They are business owners and artists and hard workers. Substantial medication has not prevented any of these individuals from succeeding. Hailing from all corners of the country, the stories of how they got here all speak to a quality of living not available in more conservative areas. Firmly striking down any notion that marijuana is a dangerous narcotic, these people are able to flourish because of the plant, not in spite of it.
They are more interested in you than they are in themselves, an elusive quality in most locales. They welcomed me, shared with me, asked nothing in return. My enjoyment was their ultimate happiness. Nobody argued. Speaking over one another didn’t occur. Owning to the belief that people be given a chance to finish their thoughts before a subject is switched, meaningful and interesting conversations stretched without lulls or disinterest.
Life is too short to sit around chewing the same fat with the same people for too long. Complacency breeds contempt. Contempt fathers many illegitimate feelings and thoughts. Abortion is the only option.
Take a chance, experience things of which you no nothing about. Challenge yourselves live a completely different life than the one you are comfortable in. If you don’t like what you learn, just take a couple of pills and you’ll be back to more a more ignorant and manageable existence in the morning.
photo credit: Adam Jeffers