I was about four years old when I met one of my very first Deaf friend, Jenine. We met at a camp for deaf children and their families. Our hearing parents became acquaintanced with one another at this camp which meant Jenine and I were able to pursue a friendship before school began.
Jenine was a troublemaker: whenever Mom would come to pick me up from her house, she’d hide my shoes so that I could stick around for longer! What a fucking clever kid!
Being a year older, she started high school before I did, and found her “crowd”. We still spent some time together, talking about our love for horses, visiting the mall to look at posters, and shoplift whatever we could fit down our sweatshirt sleeves. Jenine became more rebellious as the years went on whereas I just became paranoid about stuff like going to jail for shoplifting lip balm. She experimented with drugs, and the most extreme thing I had ever done was finish a 32oz cup of Slurpee. I was a jittery teenager for so many different reasons.
Shortly after Jenine graduated high school she had a child, then I literally put some distance between us when I moved to Calgary.
When we tried reconnecting in 2008, we discovered that we were still too different.
Would 10 years change anything? This is what I set out to find out when I met up with her in Burnaby on Thursday the 12th.
For starters, 10 years meant that the kid she had post-graduation was now 17. To listen to a friend talk about raising a teenager was an entirely new experience for me.
Another unfamiliar experience happened that night: we went on a weed run with a friend of hers. I’ve done weed runs in the past so I am aware that sometimes it’s better to stay in that car if you’re not acquaintanced with the dealer. So, when we were parked, I asked Jenine, “Should I wait in the car?” There was a pause and a slightly confused look from her: “…if you want. But you can come in.”
When we exited the car, we crossed the street away from the houses I thought we were headed towards and ended up walking into a marijuana dispensary.
I do not have a Medical Marijuana Card. Maybe Jenine does?
No, Jenine does not have a Medical Marijuana Card.
This shop had things for sale that I didn’t know could possibly be infused with THC. THC and CBD gummies came into designer packaging with the nutritional information printed on the back. It had been a long time since I had felt a body high, so I got myself some fat-free mango gummies*.
*Not a significant source of vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Jenine’s mischievous side made a brief appearance when she advised me to take two pieces of gummy as “One just isn’t strong enough. You won’t feel anything.” Naturally, I ignored her advice and the one piece I took got me decently fucked up. We then visited a sushi joint and most likely bothered fellow diners with our boisterous laughter. (I have been told that I don’t laugh very loudly but I’m willing to bet Jenine is a loud laugher. She just seems to be the type.)
One thing Jenine loved to do as a child was go into places she wasn’t allowed to go into. It wasn’t that she couldn’t read signs: she just didn’t care. My favourite memory of this happening was at the video store, in the smaller room at the back with the sign: Restricted 18+ *cougar silhouette*
She did not even hesitate before going in and it took a while before the mom of the friend we were with realized where Jenine had gone. By the time she was dragged out of the skin flick dungeon by a very embarrassed mom, she had seen enough VHS covers to spend hours describing to us in vivid detail the things she saw. “There was a group of guys masturbating and the woman had white stuff all over her face!” “Huge boobs!” “Dicks!” She was the original Google (OG).
Anyway, after we left the sushi place, Jenine noticed some sort of office/business next to the restaurant. The name on the door didn’t hint at what services they offered, but as it was around 9pm, I made the reasonable assumption that they were closed. I mean, there’s always Google if I wanted more information. Jenine, however, does not believe in Google and went straight to the source to investigate, after-office hours be damned! The door was unlocked, but she got shooed out by–I think–the cleaning crew pretty quickly.
I was too high to make note of the office’s name so I have no idea what this place was all about. Even Jenine still does not know what services they offer, but she now knows what they do not accept: stoned late-night visitors.