The Wrong Strain

The Wrong Strain

When you say you can’t smoke weed people will tell you that you haven’t found the right strain. It will make you think about all the strains you must have tried by now. When there was no legality, no names or labels. Before you knew what you were breathing in and coughing out. You surmised by the feeling if it was indica or sativa, laced or duds.

  You knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy that would sell you a gram for two crinkled twenties. You’d get a hard to find address with a harder to find backdoor where you were instructed to knock the tune of ‘shave and a haircut, two bits’. The dealer was either twenty or forty something with bloodshot eyes and baggy basketball shorts. He would ask if you wanted to smoke with him but it didn’t feel like a question because your answer was always yes when it came to free weed.
  He would use this time to rant to you about sports or females or the guy that you know that knows him. There’d be a natural lull to the conversation that would imply that you should go. You’d make it back to your car, pack a fresh bowl to hit on the way home, and surprise yourself by making it back in one piece.
  Blunts were the first thing to make you paranoid. You were enraptured by their ritual. Picking a wrap flavor at the gas station, slicing the cigarillo like a surgeon, replacing its entrails with green, sticky goodness, rolling it into a cylinder before licking along the edge, leaving a delightful tingling sensation on the tongue. Smoking them left you feeling both high and low. The nicotine wrapped itself around your limbs and pulled you deep into the earth. While the weed turned your head into helium balloons, desperate and aching to expand toward the sky.
   This comfort was short-lived. It would mutate into scrutinizing what being alive entails. Where the body, the mind, the world all meet and create an incomprehensible reality. Then, the exhaustive suspicion that no one, nowhere, at any point in history could ever truly understand. You’d be too high to do anything but sit in silence with darting eyes and tepid breaths. You concluded, after countless moments like the aforementioned, that the strain was never the issue. 

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Abigail Starr (she/it/they) is a writer, reader, artist, and a graduate of Point Park University with a degree in Creative Writing. By day she works as a server, by night she is chainmail jewelry maker, and any other time left you can find them typing away at a new story or brushing up an old one.


  1. She was able to take a moment in life that could be thought of as mundane and described it with intimate detail of all the senses. It suddenly became a small adventure in finding an answer.


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