The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Getting Stupid

This past week, my home state of Colorado became the first in the Union to see the opening of licensed retail outlets for the sale of recreational marijuana, which are now permitted under state (but not federal) law. And as a boomer who came of age during the Woodstock Era, I’d be fibbing if I didn’t admit that I’ve thought about truckin’ to the nearest store in Denver and sampling the merchandise. But I think I’m going to pass, and that has a whole lot to do with the past decade of my life at The Hotel Melanoma.

Back when I was a lad, if a buddy asked me if I wanted to “get stupid” he was offering me the opportunity to smoke some pot. (With any luck, some from his stash.) It’s a phrase that so aptly describes the effects of smoking marijuana, at least for me. And there was a time in my youth when “getting stupid” seemed like a good time. But for me and most of my buddies, there came a time in our early 20’s when the idea of sitting on a couch for hours in a zombie-like state while listening to Pink Floyd lost its allure. And when putting jobs and careers on the line with a charge of illegal possession of a controlled substance started to seem like a really, really bad idea. Although there may have been some backsliding now and then on those rare occasions when a bunch of middle-aged juvenile delinquents have gotten together for a guy trip.

Fast-forward 25 years or so and I found myself checking into The Hotel Melanoma, where I’ve experienced extended periods of involuntarily “getting stupid” on various and sundry medications prescribed by licensed medical professionals to treat pain, nausea and other effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. And where I’ve gained a renewed appreciation of the pleasures of walking around with a clear head-- there’s just nothing like coming off of several days on a morphine pump or some potent psychotropic medication like Thorazine to make you quite grateful to once again have a firm grip on your mental faculties. And then there’s also that lingering mental fog known as chemo brain, which makes feeling stupid an all-to-familiar challenge of daily life.

Would I consider marijuana as an alternative treatment for tumor pain or chemotherapy nausea? Absolutely. It couldn’t possibly leave me any more stupid than some of the prescribed pharmaceuticals I’ve ingested. But purely for recreational use? I think that life at The Hotel Melanoma has taught me that “getting stupid” will be something I’d just as soon keep on avoiding if I can and that there’s nothing better than a “hit” of fresh Colorado air.

Until next time, I’ll sign off with of a new version of “Fresh Air” from Quicksilver Messenger Service…

Oh, what you do to me, oh, what you do to me, Hotel world.
Ooo, have another hit of sweet air, come on, ooo, have another hit.

I want to know where you're going,
I want to know, sweet mela, where you're gonna go, yeah.
Ooo, have another hit of fresh air, ooo, have another hit.

Oh, Ray C, what you gonna do, oh, ‘honey’, what you gonna do, ‘sweet’ thing?
Ooo, have another hit of sweet drugs, ooo, have another hit.

I drug you, yes I do, ‘babe’, and I drug you, I do, ‘sweet lips’.
Ooo, have another hit of ‘sweet’ melanoma fun time, ooo, have another hit.

Take me home, take me home, take me home ‘out you,
Take me home, I wanna go home ‘out you, mela world.
Ooo, have another hit of fresh air, ooo, have another hit.

No comments:

Post a Comment