But Then I Got High: An Introduction to Part 2 of “The Holidays”

Susan’s experience smoking weed is limited and the usage of such an herb was most notable between the years 2008 to 2010. The record is short and can be counted on less than five fingers, but it was enough for Susan to know that she was not good at it.

Back then, she belonged to a troupe called the Film Theatre Alliance (FTA). It was basically a group of friends looking for cheap ways to party and thought, “Hey. This could be a Thing. A legitimate Thing. A registered Thing. For, like, networking. We could get funding for this.” Surprisingly (or not), their efforts paid off. One of the film kids spear-headed the endeavour, filling out an application and Susan recalls it being accepted. They received a small stipend from one of the faculties at the University of Regina. Most – if not all – the funding went towards food and alcohol.

At the time, Susan’s affections were aimed at a vegetarian screenwriter hailing from Saskatoon named Eggplant. In school, Eggplant was reserved, focused, incredibly smart and used words like, “Schmuck,” and “Schmear” in his every day vocabulary. Get a couple drinks in the man and he’ll moon you from the passenger seat, exclaiming through an open window his desire for a blowjob behind a dumpster. Susan doesn’t know if his dream ever came true but it was an utterance he often blurted. At least once a year he’d express it and judging by this, Susan believes the event remained a fantasy.

Nonetheless, she adored him from afar and anything he did, she wanted to do, too. Once upon a time, the members of the FTA sat in an outdoor hot tub at a friend’s house. It was the dead of winter and the group of them had reached the tub’s capacity; water was splashing and trickling onto the snow. One of the lesbians who often asked Susan to sit on her face (Susan did not sit on her face), pulled out her stash of weed from a fake highlighter and rolled a joint. They passed it around and because it reached Eggplant’s lips before it reached Susan’s, she considered this as good as a kiss. It wasn’t, of course, but deserves an honourable mention.

During this time, Susan was a devout Catholic. Monday through Saturday was full of lasciviousness, immodesty, and selfish ambition. While Sunday was reserved for Mass and confession; a day of rest to prep for another week of poor choices. This lifestyle was a pathetic witness of God’s grace and hypocritical in every manner. Eventually, Susan’s guilty conscious got the the better of her and God had His way.

Through various circumstances, both good and bad, Susan decided to turn her life around and became a born-again Christian in 2011. This was the year she was baptized as an adult. Life was very different from then on. It was eye-opening, heart-healing and full of hopes and dreams. However, these heavenly events thrived in the midst of earthly loss and rejection. When Susan thinks back on it now, she considers that time in her life as a detox for her soul. Sins bubbled up and over in her heart just like the hot tub spilling warm water onto the snow.  In every way, it was painful, lonely and uncomfortable but Jesus met her in those quiet places of prayer, offering words of love, healing, strength and peace that only he could provide. Nothing else could fill that void.

But there are times in a believer’s life when she actively seeks to run away from the Lord’s lovingkindness. The reasons for running vary between individuals but the story is the same. Like Gomer in the book of Hosea, where unfaithfulness and resistance to the affections of a love so unselfish, perfect and pure comes more naturally than to rest and receive. The believer resorts to former ways of life because the counterfeit is comfortable and she thinks she knows what is best. All attempts are in vain and get her nowhere. Until the inevitable moment when she relents and surrenders knowing that she can’t do it alone. It’s here in these humble states of brokenness when God does His best work.

This is the story of Susan’s minute rebellion, subsequent demise but most of all, her restoration. While Susan would love to glaze over this moment due to its unsightly nature, she is also determined to defeat her New Years Resolution where she completes things she started. Even if that means humbling herself to an unpleasant degree and revealing areas of her life that she considers grotesque. The pay-off is worth it and it’s a fucking good story.

Let the indulging begin.

But maybe, let’s do it tomorrow? Because tomorrow is a new day and Susan’s brain hurts.

Yes, let it begin tomorrow.