Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

I DIDN'T SMOKE WEED until I was 24 years old. (I did eat weed once before that, as an 18-year-old—but we literally put shake on a dorm-store pizza and ate that mishegas like characters in a sitcom about college, written by people who never went to college.) I'm glad I waited, because once I figured out I could just smoke a bunch of weed, walk to Plaid to buy some Muddy Bears, and then watch The X Files ALL DAY AND NEVER GET BORED, I was fucking hooked, senator.

Listen, again, I know that sounds like a purity-ring-ass, Wrangler-jeans-ass, my-only-radio-preset-buttons-are-conservative-talk-radio-and-any-station-that-plays-Steve-Miller-Band-ass CHRISTIAN FATHER's stereotype of a pothead, but that's the thing about potheads. You can't stereotype them (us?) too much. It could all be true. Any effort to mock someone who smokes weed just ends up becoming fodder for another afternoon of mischief. "Oh, are you going to get stoned, drive to WinCo, buy every kind of chip they sell, and then construct a power ranking with three of your friends and some dude you met at WinCo?" "I am now."

Marijuana is wonderful, I love what it can be, but after a solid six-year run, I think it might be my time to bow out.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Denver. Denver is a fucking depraved carnival of cannabinoid excess. I smoked weed, ate weed, inhaled weed vapors, ingested some kind of tincture, drank marijuana soda, and smoked wax off a nail that had to be heated up with a fucking blowtorch. It was fun for a total of an hour, I think. I don't remember much. Then I was too disoriented and disinterested, incapable of passion or engagement, and left with just enough awareness to regret what I'd done.

Any level-headed person would tell me I should just focus on moderation when it comes to smoking pot, especially after I rattled off that bro's gallery of inebriation methods—but I'm not really even having fun when I practice moderation anymore. I get paranoid when I get high now, and not even a reasonable kind of paranoia. I have zero fear of the police when I'm stoned, but if I read Bigfoot's Wikipedia page, I become convinced that Bigfoot is going to burst into my house and punish me for even attempting to understand him. Videogames become absurd, and honestly, can't even compete with my preferred distraction—staring straight ahead at the wall and trying to remember what shirt I wore that day.

I'm sort of done with it. I bought a new Xbox, I want to enjoy it. I should probably find something that scares me more than cryptozoology. My twenties are stretched out behind me, a desolate plain of memory, punctuated only occasionally by intense moments of feeling and instances of detail that I hope I'm holding correctly. Maybe that's the drugs, maybe that's the nature of memory in general, but I think I need to use the next few years to find out.