It’s 8:30 p.m. Monday. My son, who we’ll call “Chance” puts the Subaru in reverse and pulls out of the parking space, having had his fill from one of Colorado Springs’ finest pizza ovens.
I am still trying to get used to the mile-high altitude.
He shifts into drive and peers through the salt- and mud-coated windshield at the red light ahead. He talks about how he needs to get his thesis written, he really needs to get his thesis written. His self-imposed deadline passed at midnight and all he has is 25 pages of script and a brand new bedroom wall that flutters with post-it notes outlining the plot of his film.
He hopes to shoot this summer in northern California.
“What the fuck?” he asks, staring at the brake lights in front of him, followed immediately with an impatient, “stoners.”
The late model silver Mustang in front of us is plodding along at a 14 miles per hour down the main street, braking for no apparent reason.
Chance is not upset for the same reason I would be. He just wants to get home to work on his thesis. I recognize the relative power and handling capability of a Mustang compared to the 13-year-old Subaru that my son has repaired by attaching the bumper to the roof rack just behind the left rear wheel well using two bungee cords.
Since Colorado passed its marijuana laws, dispensaries have popped up in every has-been storefront in the state. They have not-quite-clever names and they feature the symbolic green leaf shape familiar to every slow-speed boomer who survived the 60s. And that tangy smell of weed has popped up in every parking lot.
My son, I suspect, has sampled the goods and found them dull, just as I did at his age.
And having lived in Colorado more than two years, he has observed the effects of the drug. One of his professors is so high strung the cannabis makes him functional. Others just cruise through their lives at 14 miles per hour.
I remember a family friend whose complex medical issues were well-treated with marijuana.
“I think they’re looking for something,” I suggest, turning back to the reined-in Mustang.
“They’re just high,” he said with authority and some dismay.