Thursday, June 3, 2010

Great Friends

Having met the night Jeff locked me out of the apartment, Shirley and I became friends. She repaired vacuum cleaners and other small appliances for Sears. We worked similar schedules and often hung out together after work.

Shortly after we met, Shirley took me back to her bedroom. In it was a china cabinet, chocked full of mason jars of various sizes. Each jar was meticulously labeled with the variety of the marijuana buds or seeds it contained. I was impressed.

High Times had nothing on Shirley. From cultivation to curing, storage and consumption, her knowledge was encyclopedic. She could describe subtle differences in the buzz you got from smoking any one of countless different varieties and sex plants like nobody's business. It was her gift.

Shirley was intent on perfecting her own cultivar. Her goal: good flavor, a mild buzz, and no munchies. We in the Elite Fleet were more than happy to sample the results of her trials and to offer our own expert opinions.

Now and then she went to an undisclosed location to help with the harvest. Her job involved cleaning the cured buds and bagging them up. The pay was great.

The benefits were even better. She could smoke all she wanted while she worked. She was also able to take home several of those white, 13-gallon kitchen trash bags full of the shake she swept from the floor.

In hard times we'd drag out a bag and dig through for fragments of bud. Whatever was left got rendered into butter. Nobody could eat just one of Shirley's homemade brownies or chocolate chip cookies. The more you ate, the more you wanted.

Shirley is the most trusting, generous, accepting, and non-judgmental individual I have ever met. She has an innate ability to see the good in anyone, including those in which a little good was very hard to find. She is a great friend.

Lovers come and go. But a great friend lasts forever--or at least a good 30 or 40 years. I am extremely grateful for my many great friends.

The great friends I met around the time I came out will always be special to me. Some of the stuff we did damn near killed us. Still, I'm not sure I would have survived without them.

Shirley. My roommate, Linda. My gay sister, Mitzi. Paul. Jeff's boyfriend, Jamie. Thanks for being my Elite Fleet for all these many years. I love you.


mitzi lowe said...

YO DUDE.....Can you retrack what you wrote to candy?

CathyB said...

Elite Fleet. Love it! New friends are fabulous, but old friends are often the best. (Especially friends who make us brownies...) My best friend DJ is someone I've known since before grade school. Who'd have thought 50-something years later we'd end up living on the same street and closer even than some siblings. Glad to see you let your friends know that you love them. I do that too. It is as much a gift to myself as it is to them.

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