Suggested Audio Three-Skin:


Cypress Hill “Hits From The Bong”



Rick James “Mary Jane”



Black Sabbath “Sweet Leaf”



Right now Keeper is well and truly baked. I’ve had three or four joints in the past couple of hours and feel tidily hashed. This has become the norm for me over the past year in particular. It is something for which I have split emotions; on one hand it feels nice when you reach that point, the world slows down a little and certain senses are heightened to combat others being dumbed down. Music is intensified, newly audible arrangements make themselves known and inside we feel like dancing. On the outside it’s a whole different kettle of kippers. Just remaining vertical can pose something of a challenge once you’ve reached a certain point thus any attempt at busting a few shapes would invariably lead to ridicule and/or injury. Generally it is wise not to over-exert.


It has never been my drug of choice if truth be known. After years of fun and a few psychological knocks on hallucinogens and uppers, it presents a rather ‘meh’ buzz in comparison. However, for anyone approaching their forties it is often the only thing left. My shell has given me ample warning of oncoming meltdown with every other narcotic which I’ve taken and, in each instance, I have made the decision before my body has done so on my behalf. If I had carried on with acid then I would likely have passed by the borderline by now, ecstasy would’ve rotted away my spinal column, speed would have taken my penis hostage and replaced it with a well-masticated jellybean and I like to pluralize nostril thus coke stopped appealing fast. The need for a buzz has always been there, nagging away, and lengthy lay-offs have only served to make any cries louder.


Keeper has no intention of launching into a lengthy “drugs are bad m’kay” rant and neither does it interest me writing them a full-blown love letter either. This is merely one person’s experiences and I would never try and influence one way or the other. I could list reasons why to give it a wide berth on one hand but I could just as easily reel off a few in its defense, ultimately its every man or woman’s free choice to make. Right now, in my life, I am starting to question how benign their influence as, contrary to the opinion that weed isn’t physically addictive, I can barely function without it. If I stop for one day the demons in my mind begin to stir and, moreover, they have exclusive access to my bodily equilibrium and think nothing of punching the air from my sails until I light up once more.


Nowadays there are numerous more-organic ways to enjoy your high. Vaporizers and just plain old oral consumption both offer less hazardous routes but, alas, I don’t have the necessary tools to practice this way so I just keep puffing away on my reefer, until everything around me slows down enough for me to operate. I’m approaching forty fast and know of the warnings of quitting before you hit that beacon. Your body’s reproductive cells slow down around this time and any damage done afterwards is apparently permanent. Nevertheless, I still struggle to knock it on the head as the past few months have moved all of my goalposts anyhoots.


I have been more than happy to take any rough with the smooth and carry on smoking the plant habitually but the last 72 hours have put things into a rather different perspective. I have just spent the weekend back at the family home, hanging with my four-year old boy and spending critical some time as a family. Problem is, I was obliterated the whole time, had no discernible appetite and only desired to slumber. Whilst being there in spirit, my body had nothing in reserves and I felt constantly lethargic. My body has been whispering something to me the last couple of months and is just beginning to raise its voice. I can stomach any side-effects and do so through my own choice but despise that it takes precious time away from my boy. It is that which really has me in a quandary.


I’ve always found it a bit of a double-edged sword; when I’m adequately baked I have the secret to the universe and know exactly what is going wrong with my life and what needs alteration. The downside is that it robs me of any of the gusto required to make anything happen and therein lays the paradox. For all my best intentions to solve the riddle of the Pharaohs or get my head around a David Lynch movie, it invariably ends in me sitting with a big dumb grin on my grill and absolutely any get up and go has long since got up and gone. Cruel irony. I have tried valiantly to control my intake and find a balance with my usage but, when you are wired like Keeper, that isn’t as effortless as it may sound. From the age of seven my sisters concocted a nickname for their baby brother, that being ‘I want’ and they were on the money, it has to be said. Doing things by halves never particularly interested me when access all areas was an applicable option.


Regardless, when your body starts giving you all manner of warning signs, it becomes unfeasible to put it all down to paranoia and, right now, I just want my little boy to be able to enjoy true quality bonding time with his daddy as I have so much I want to teach him about life and what a wonderful gift it is. Illness struck my own father when I was around eight and I know how devastating it is to a growing lad who views you as their personal hero. Our bond is as tight as a father-son bond can grow and for that I am thankful on a daily basis. But I have to start caring for myself as that is a responsibility only I can shoulder and I desperately want to see him graduate, become a man and eventually find a partner who witnesses the same beauty his mother and I do each time we look into his bright hopeful baby blues.


I turn forty in September and I am looking at a realistic goal to stop getting baked by the time it comes around. It would be a different matter entirely if I could do it responsibly but I have never been what you would call a responsible user. Maybe another craze will take off and steal the spotlight but I fully expect to be looking at complete abstinence if I ever wish to rid myself of this need for a high. Each to their own, of course, but my little angel deserves a daddy who can teach him to throw a ball and ride a bicycle. Not one who can’t lift his head off the sofa or share in his son’s excitement. It won’t happen overnight and, indeed, I have not the vaguest idea how to set the wheels in motion but it is something I pledge to do. Right now I must admit to needing to go get some sugary produce down my gullet to curb these munchies.







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