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Free Writing // Space

So there I was. Sitting at a big dinner table with fifteen-ish people, of which I knew about two and a half, on New Year’s eve. I was sat right between my very close friend Svenja and this 10 out of 10 girl from Sweden that probably every guy in the room fell in love with when she entered the room for the first time. Yes, me too. No, not a guy, but yes, appreciative of sheer beauty. Moving on.

Svenja was lucky enough to sit on an actual chair. “How is that so special?”, one might wonder. Well, the seating situation turned out to be a tricky one since the host of the dinner kindly asked all of the guests to bring chairs because she was not able to secure everyone a proper seat with that many people coming. Which is just why I brought along the plastic chair that came with my room (yes, renting a room in Barcelona is very much like buying one of those “buy one, get one for free” deals where you get tons of stuff you don’t really need or want), carrying it over my shoulder through the centre of Barcelona. Like only true hipsters would do. Only to eventually find myself sitting on two stacked and constantly moving mattresses with that Swedish girl. Well, you gotta go with it, right?

Svenja had to pass me all the food, since the mattresses kept sinking in and moving so much, it would have been actual exercise for me to squat up and reach the ham plate. And no, I was not there to exercise. A little annoyed – because she was hungry herself – she took my plate and filled it up with all the good stuff (I loved her a lot at that moment). It’s not that she would normally not do little things like that for me. It’s rather that we both found ourselves in a hilarious, yet challenging situation at that point of the evening. Being hungry was the least severe of them. At least for me.

Let me explain.

Only an hour earlier, when I arrived at the party, already being not necessarily hungry, but in the mood to just stuff in all the food I’d been fantasizing about all day long already (I hope there’s someone out there reading this who knows exactly what I’m talking about. God, please.), people were passing around a plate of little cake bites and being a little funny about it, but all I could think at that moment was “yes, I maybe wasn’t going to go for something sweet right away, but bring it on” and got myself one little chocolate bite. Maybe the following is super obvious for everyone reading this, but to me it wasn’t. Trust me. It really wasn’t.

So, sweet innocent Jenni took her first little bite, thinking “hm, I wish they’d given me a bigger piece, what the fuck are cake bites anyways? This is ridiculous”. When I took the second bite, I was still wondering about the unexpected taste of it, detecting some kind of heartiness, something very familiar, but I just couldn’t put the finger on it. So, there I was, standing in that tiny kitchen, trying to figure out where I knew this flavour from, when Svenja ran up to me with a slightly worried, yet chilled voice saying “You do know that there’s weed in there, right?”.

I froze. I could hear all the little windows of realization shattering in a millisecond. All of them. In the whole world.

Out of ALL the things that could have happened to me that night … of course this is what did. At a party with people I don’t know, having literally just arrived, I unknowingly went right for the space cake. Chapeau, Jenni!

Since I was still sick, I didn’t even wanna drink that night, let alone eat weed (which, by the way, is my least preferred way of consuming marihuana). Which is another story, but to say the least: I have my very own relationship with that plant of the gods and have decided for now that I’m doing better without it.

So there I was, leaning with my back onto the kitchen wall, with my eyes open as wide as physically possible, slowly comprehending what had just happened. “What am I supposed to do right now?”, I thought. The last thing I wanted to do that New Year’s Eve was tripping away on edibles.

The French guy, who had been by my side in the kitchen all this time, obviously enjoyed watching the situation unfolding, totally aware of me being the exact opposite of just that: aware, letting me walk straight into the trap that was going to catch me in only an hour’s time. Thanks, mate!

He quickly lost the naughty grin on his face, though, when I spit out the little, already chewed up bite I had just taken, apparently coming a little too close for his liking to the bin with my right hand, which was still holding a tiny piece of what was left. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THAT’S 10 EUROS YOU’RE LITERALLY THROWING AWAY RIGHT THERE”. Not even letting me explain myself, he grabbed the rest of the cake out of my hand and left the kitchen, actually breathing hard. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. And couldn’t help but … laugh. Oh, I laughed hard that night. You all know I did.

People kept reassuring me how the cake wasn’t that strong anyways but hey, neither was this my first time doing edibles nor did the Frenchman’s reaction to me throwing away an inch-size piece of it reassure me much in believing them. I was basically just waiting for it to hit me.

The thing bothering me the most meanwhile was the fact that I was there with all these people, most of which I had never met before in my life. I’m not saying they were not cool or fun – they were! – but I just don’t like being stoned amongst too many people, let alone strangers. Obviously. I usually just get super paranoid as to how obvious it is for my surroundings that I am baked, not wanting anyone to know, ending up letting everyone know without exception by doing so. It’s a lovely experience really.

Anyway, it obviously kicked in at one point. I hadn’t been high in such a long time, so it took me a while to get settled in, to get “comfortable”. It’s that feeling of slowly drifting waaaay away from the conversation you’re in right now, seeing the words the other person is saying fading away as written-out sentences in front of your inner eye. You’re trying to mentally catch them, so you can put them back together and make sense of them, but —oh, this one’s gone already and, —ooops, while trying to catch that one you already missed out on the following two or three. You’re basically fucked at this point. I found myself staring into that American girl’s face who was apparently waiting for me to respond to WHATEVER she just said but I could not even remember her name at this point. My face must have been blank, which was clearly not the reaction she was expecting after having told me whatever it was she had just told me.

I could not hide it anymore. Everything was funny. The tiniest sounds and movements were interesting. My whole body started to relax. I started to scan the room, observing a drastic change in energy levels. It was more than obvious who had been eating edibles and who hadn’t. I could see red exclamation marks floating over the stoned peoples’ heads. Okay, there were no red exclamation marks. It was all red eyes.

We’re arriving back at the dinner table now. Yes, exactly. The very place this whole story initially started at.

Sevnja and I had finally started eating. Even though she did not eat any of the space cake, she did feel kind of high herself, so naturally we discussed the sensation of contact highness into more detail. She kept eating so much more than she could physically take (it was hilarious to watch her reaching back to the fork when she had just put it away for good – but then again everything was hilarious at that point) while I was chewing on some meat, having a very serious conversation with myself, asking myself how could I have ever turned my back on veganism. I decided right then and there that I just couldn’t eat any of the present food anymore if it stemmed from an animal. Bare in mind that I was indeed starving at that point, but I was so convinced to not eat any meat or cheese that I ended up eating three cooked potatoes and some naked salad leaves. While Svenja even finished off the last of the ham sclices she so unwillingly put onto my plate just minutes before.

Svenja and I hadn’t been hanging out much lately, so I really enjoyed sitting there with her. We just couldn’t stop laughing. We just kept cracking each other up. Since Svenja tends to laugh very quietly in contrast to me who is simply laughing at a volume which, so they say, you apparently “cannot ignore”, it ended up looking like she was somewhat ashamed of and/or annoyed by me for so obviously being high while I just couldn’t pull myself together. Realizing that made us laugh even harder. I lost my voice from all the laughing just around the time when someone came up to Svenja, seriously asking her if they should look after me for a while so she could take a little break. We lost it for good there and then. (Also, I was a bit offended.)

When it was about to be midnight, everyone got handed a plastic cup, each containing twelve grapes. In Spain, they celebrate New Year’s Eve by eating one grape every second during the last twelve seconds of the year, making a wish with every grape they eat. Of course, that’s almost physically impossible. And, of course, we failed. Not because we couldn’t do it but because we kind of didn’t even try … and because we totally missed the exact countdown.

So there we were, just having entered 2017. Everyone had started wishing each other the best for the new year while Svenja and I just remained sat down – she was in the midst of rolling herself a cigarette – looking at each other for a moment, not really caring at all, until we stiffly joined the others in their cheerful experience. I hugged some strangers and sat down again.
After the big stranger hugging was over, everybody started checking their phones, reading and texting their far away loved ones. I decided to just sit by the window and watch some fireworks. Which was probably the biggest fail of the evening since you could see not even one single firework from where we were. I couldn’t help but laugh again. What a night.

After another hour of soul-searching mostly by myself at the window, the others decided to go to a bar, which meant I could finally grab my plastic chair (which only then I found had been sitting unused in the hallway THIS WHOLE TIME) and walk home. I hugged Svenja goodbye and walked away from the group that was so drunk/baked itself that they didn’t even realize I was gone. Success. I hate nothing more than having to say goodbye to every-freaking-single-one at a party. Sayonara, bitches!

At one point on my way home I had to retie my shoelaces, so I put up my chair and sat down on it. How convenient. I sat there for a while after having fixed my shoelaces, laughing at what this night had turned out be. Laughing at how I ended up handling it all. I really did not want to spend New Year’s Eve stoned but as I know myself: fighting it never helps. I decided to just enjoy this unwanted plot twist and ended up having the most amazing time, and, amongst other things, realizing some stuff that hadn’t been clear for the longest time. But that’s a story for another day.

For now, I’ve simply collected one more fun experience and am welcoming this new year 2017 with open arms, ready to take whatever it’s going to offer to me. I can already feel my heart beat faster, the corners of my mouth moving upwards, my feet getting itchy.

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