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Old School Stories
Category

  • That Time My Dad Came To My Prom

    When I was in high school I had a lot of parties. A lot.

    You are probably asking yourself where were your parents? Were you not supervised? The answer…. Not really.

    My mom and dad were raising their kids in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a different time. They didn’t do silly PC things like quit smoking when pregnant. It never occurred to my mom not to have bourbon before bed while I was gestating inside of her. Nonsense! They didn’t share the same uptight morals of today – like making your children wear seat belts – poppycock!

    My parents wanted their independence from us, so in turn my brother and I had a lot of independence from them. We knew how to take care of ourselves, mostly. I did however eat candy for dinner many a night.

    When my brother went off to college, that meant my there was only one more child in the house – a 15-year-old girl. They were practically done with their whole parenting journey right?! I mean what kind of trouble could a teenage girl get into when left alone to explore her moral compass? The answer… quite a lot.

    My parents would leave most weekends to visit their country house in New Hampshire. That meant from Friday through Sunday, the Boston house was mine for the taking. As a result, I had a LOT of opportunities to throw parties. I developed a system that was so thought out, it would probably qualify me to run for president… you know… considering Trump and all.

    This was how it would all go down. My parents would leave Friday afternoon, and I would sweetly kiss them goodbye. As soon as they were out the door, the phone calls would start. This was before the age of cell phones, so we had to use my house phone. Because my parents craved autonomy, and didn’t feel like sharing, we had 4 separate phone lines – one for each member of the family. That meant that 3 of my friends and I could all simultaneously call almost everyone in our class.

    I believed in equal opportunity high school parties. I didn’t want to only invite the popular cliques. That felt way too cliché and exclusionary. So I invited representatives from each group from my grade. The kids who played Dungeons and Dragons, the hockey players, the druggies – everyone was welcome. At least everyone who answered their phone because there was no mass texting. If that had been around then… lord help me.

    The party would happen on Saturday. My friends and I would spend all day preparing. We would tape off rooms people weren’t allowed in, and leave a few open for make out sessions. We would take all my mom’s fancy living room bullshit frills, or anything breakable, and lock it away. We always provided a few cases of beer that a homeless man had bought for us (preferably something sophisticated like Red Dog), and the other kids would bring the rest. Everyone was invited to sleep over, so no one had to travel home wasted. At the end of the night, my one friend and I would walk over passed-out bodies, and drink all the half-filled drinks that were left over. You know, because we were classy.

    The next morning my core group of friends would stay behind to help me clean up. This often consisted of my calling the rug cleaners, and convincing them to come in on a Sunday. Once the house was spotless, everyone would leave just in time for my parents to come home.

    My Mom: Wow. It is really clean in here.
    Toni: I cleaned up for you… because I love you.
    My Mom: Did you have anyone over while we were gone?
    Toni: A few people.
    My Mom: You didn’t have a party did you?
    Toni: Of course not. It was a gathering.
    My Mom: What is a gathering.
    Toni: Well it is a little more than a get together, but much less than a party.
    My Dad. Oh. Okay.

    Maybe they knew I was full of shit. But there also weren’t any real consequences they had to deal with. The neighbors never complained, and the house was immaculately tidy.

    I started to get cocky. There was even one time when my dad was home, and I had a party while he was upstairs working. It was in the summer, and he was trying to finish his book in time for the deadline. Our house is a town house, so it is really tall and skinny. It has 6 floors, with one or two rooms on each floor. I figured since my dad was on floor 6, surely he wouldn’t hear us on floor 1 and 2!?

    Toni: Dad… I’m going to have some people over. Maybe you could just stay up here and not come down at all.
    My Dad: Well can I have some pistachios so I don’t get hungry?
    Toni: Sure. I will bring them to you.
    My Dad: I don’t have to talk to anyone do I?
    Toni: You don’t. Especially if you stay up here, and don’t come down at all until tomorrow morning.
    My Dad: Deal – as long as I don’t have to talk to anyone.

    He never even knew 40 kids were in his house listening to Snoop Dog and drinking 40 ounces of malt liquor.

    By the time I was 18 I felt invincible. I had this whole thing down to a science that would make Bill Nye proud. I was too confident, and that’s where things went wrong.

    We had a party the night before prom. Because it was towards the end of the year, some older students who had already graduated, and were home from college, decided to come. These older kids brought some of their friends, and shit got out of hand. When I usually had parties it was only kids who knew me, and appreciated the opportunity to drink and dance to Dr. Dre. They didn’t want to fuck shit up for me, or themselves. That’s why those parties were always respectful. Everyone was on the same team of wanting them to continue. But these older kids didn’t give a care about my house, or anything in it.

    The next day the house was a disaster. We spent all day cleaning, and I assumed no major catastrophe had gone down. I went to my prom thinking that I was in the clear. As I was on the dance floor, the energy suddenly changed. It went from lighthearted bouncing around to Adina Howard “Freak Like Me,” to like a dark haze of collective anxiety. Everyone was whispering to each other , and looking around frantically. Finally the message came to me. My friend pulled me aside.

    My Friend: Dude. Your dad is here.
    Toni: What do you mean my dad is here? At prom?
    My Friend: He is looking for you. He looks really angry. You better run.

    Without thinking, I ran. It wasn’t until I was pushing past people in the hallway that I saw him. I knew it was my dad, although he didn’t really look human. His face was a shade of red that you only see in horror movies. His hair was standing on end like Einstein had been electrocuted. But it was his eyes that were the most alarming. They weren’t exactly inside his face anymore, but rather bugging out so far that they touched you from a foot away.

    My Dad: TONI GET OVER HERE THIS INSTANT!
    Toni: Uh. Hi Dad. What are you doing here?
    My Dad: You had a party while we were away didn’t you?!
    Toni: Maybe?
    My Dad: Well you mother’s laptop has been stolen! And her book was on that! AND NOW IT IS ALL GONE!

    With that, my dad left. This is the catholic way. To shame you with intense guilt for your wrong doings, then leave you to self-flagellate. It was very effective.

    I had no way of getting home, so I had to wait for the rest of my friends and ride in the limo to my house. It wasn’t exactly the fun “after prom limo ride” everyone had envisioned. We were all quite solemn because I was crying. Everyone knew I was in a ton of trouble, but they also really wanted to get rid of me so they could have fun with the rest of their night.

    Luckily my mom had backed up most of her book on hard drive so she didn’t lose the entire thing – although no one really ever forgave me. The only redeeming moment was my high school graduation. No one would sit next to my mom or dad, and all other parents were pointing and whispering “There are those Nagy parents with their hedonistic ways.” At first my parents couldn’t understand why they had the plague, but it eventually became clear to them the reasoning behind their social outcast. Then one mother came up to them with a different kind of energy.

    School Mom: I just want to thank you for inviting my son to all those wonderful parties you had.
    My Parents: Oh…. Right. Yes Of course.
    School Mom: They were the only parties he was invited to, and he always had such a great time. Thanks for making this high school experience happen for him.

    So you see mom and dad! Those parties were actually my form of philanthropy!

    This its he actual outfit I wore to my junior prom… couldn’t find any pictures of this fateful senior prom…

    toni jr prom night

    December 14, 2015 • Family Drama, Old School Stories • Views: 1788

  • Spending The Night With Strippers

    When I was 18-years old, I liked getting drunk. You know, because I was class and sophisticated. Yet getting alcohol wasn’t always so easy. I would either have to ask a homeless person who most likely had a substance abuse problem that I inadvertently supported by giving them some vodka if they bought it for me, or some pervert who liked getting beer for underage girls and trying to go home with them. It wasn’t really a good scene.

    One day my boyfriend and I had the super bright idea of driving 5 hours to go to Montreal for the night. Since the drinking age was 18, we could easily drink until we vomited blood. I know. We went to private school – so we were pretty smart.

    Since it was already 7 pm, we got moving, and grabbed his best friend to come with us for the ride… and because we needed more money for our adventure.

    Considering we didn’t want to get there too late, I decided I should probably drive 95 mph. I mean, I was going to college the next year, so obviously I had a great understanding of physics. The faster I drive, the faster I get there right? Yeah maybe… unless you’re lost in a small town where the speeding limit is 40, and you get pulled over.

    Since I was going over twice the speed limit, I was in big trouble. The cop that caught me had little sympathy, and brought me right to jail. He wanted to impound the car, but in order to do that; I had to see the judge. The judge was home with with his family, as it was 10 pm on a Sunday, so was forced to leave his house to come to the courthouse. I’m sure you would not be surprised to hear that the judge was not very impressed by my explanation of why I was speeding. He set my bail at $900.

    When we pooled together all my money, we had exactly $975. Keep in mind, this was 1998 there were no cell phones, no GPS, no FUCKING ATMS!! This was ALL THE MONEY we had. Yet we had no choice. We handed it over in order to get me out of jail and my car out of the impoundment.

    Then we had a really important decision to make. Do we continue to Montreal with $75, no place to stay, and no access to get more money for the gas we would need for the return trip back? Or do we cut our losses and go home?

    Of course we continued to Canada. Did I mention both my parents or professors!? I am obviously a genius with genius ideas!!!

    We got to Montreal, and reality dawned on us. We had no place to sleep. We needed money to get home. And it was 1:45 am.

    So what did we do you ask?

    We went to the only place that was open, where we could drink as much as we wanted, and could stay until morning.

    We went to the strip club.

    Did I mention I had been accepted into Sarah Lawrence College! That’s a real intellectual school. That’s why I make such good life choices!

    Spending the night with strippers was simultaneously crazy fun, and insanely sad. Fun because we got to drink until the room spun – sad because naked women who felt like their dads didn’t love them were spinning around poles with their pussies exposed. Yeah I know – maybe they like their jobs and feel sexually empowered. But as a young empathetic feminist who cared about their humanity and hoped these naked ladies were truly happy, I cried one glittery tear. But on a positive note, we did save money to get home because all the lonely men bought me drinks.

    Here I am at 18…

    stripper-blog

    November 16, 2015 • Old School Stories • Views: 1353

  • Just Another Childhood Trauma

    Sometimes I like to sit around and think about how my parents totally fucked me up. I just find it relaxing.

    You know, on those cold fall days where I’m questioning my existence and wondering if my life is simply a series of failures – I quickly shift my focus to how my mom and dad made me the nut case that I am today. See… it’s all their fault.

    My dad has a thing with death. It makes him REALLY uncomfortable. Probably from being raised Catholic. He just can’t deal with the thought of death because it is too painful. Perhaps it makes him think of the existential quandary of heaven and hell, and that we’re all going down because we’ve masturbated? I don’t know! I’m not in my dad’s head okay! (At least not any more… I only shot through there super fast on my way out of his balls). I digress!

    So when I was about 8, my Dad and I went to our country house and came across 15 baby mice corpses. Now you can’t just leave carrion in your house – because the bodies will rot and begin to smell. My mom would NOT approve of decaying flesh polluting her home. We HAD to dispose of them. At least one of us did.

    Sure my dad was the adult, and I was the child. One would assume he would swallow his fear, and deal with the DEAD BABY MICE rather than making his 8-year-old daughter do it. But you see – he didn’t want to pick up the small pink carcasses. Instead, my dad told me he would pay $20 for everyone I got rid of.

    Now I am not saying I sold my innocence that day, but I am saying I bought a lot of She-Ra dolls after that weekend.

    Because my dad was so traumatized by the idea of death, he never wanted me to have animals. Not because he didn’t like them, but he liked them too much! When I wanted to get a dog I had to leave a puddle of tears in my Dad’s office to convince him. He just stared at the wetness on his floor and finally acquiesced.

    Once I had my dog Fiona, I wanted to get another pet. I loved pets! They were my friends!! So I got a hamster! Yayyyy! More furry things to love!!!!

    But one night while I was sleeping in my bed, I heard all this commotion underneath me. I turned on the light and realized my hamster had somehow gotten out of the cage. I then looked under my bed where all the turmoil was coming from, and realized that Fiona was in fact killing my hamster.

    I ran into my parents’ room.

    Toni: Mom! Dad! Fiona is under the bed killing my hamster.
    My Dad: Well, it’s all your fault. Deal with it.

    Now, it was 4 in the morning… and no one likes to be woken up at 4 in the morning and then deal with a half eaten hamster.

    I am not sure who ended up disposing of the body. I’m pretty sure it was my mom, because she is stronger than all of us. All I remember is sitting in my living room as the sun came up, holding my dog, and thinking I was to blame for the murder of my hamster.

    But I love you dad!! It’s your birthday today, and your sensitive heart is as pure as gold. You also let me get a bird… and cried at her grave when she died!! It is the way of the Nagy’s to weep mercilessly and lament at all animal death and suffering.

    (Me and Fiona)

    toni and fiona

    October 21, 2015 • Old School Stories • Views: 1668

  • That Time I Shat My Pants

    When I was 22 years old, I went to the dentist, and he told me I had receding gums. His solution for said problem was oral surgery. Here was the plan. The dentist was going to cut out a big chunk of skin from the roof of my mouth, and sew it across my gums on the front bottom row.

    Pretty sweet idea right?!

    Now here is the thing. Remember how in the 90’s orthodontists put braces on every kid who had a mouth? Well I got braces, and pretty sure I didn’t need them. It’s not like my teeth were growing horizontal or anything. So because of my braces, they pushed my teeth to the edges of my gum’s capacity. This meant I was going to have to have my face cut open to fix it. Isn’t modern medicine grand?!

    I went in for the surgery and woke up with stitches in the roof of my mouth, as well as all along my lower gums. I couldn’t eat, and I talked like Barbara Walters. Every time my gums would scrape against my stitches, they would get slightly cut, and hemorrhage. I did get a ton of painkillers, however, which I made sure to take with lots of alcohol and weed. Don’t worry; I totally shared them with my friends.

    After two weeks of not eating anything but oxycodone and smoothies, my system was in a state of total turmoil. I went to the doctor to get my stitches out… and get this. It turns out the stitches on the roof of my mouth had formed a giant scab called a “snuff.” That is the actual technical term. Well, my “snuff” was of such unusual size, that the entire office came in to see its monstrosity.

    The actual process of ripping the stitches out of my head (and out from under my “snuff”), was a mind-bogglingly painful process. I almost passed out on the chair. After they were done and my mouth was filled with blood – they sent me on my merry way. I took the train home, and stumbled into the elevator of my apartment building.

    On my way up the elevator, I really had to shit. I had been holding it in for a while, and was beginning to lose control. My body was all out of sorts from the medical grade heroine, fucked up diet, and physical torture. I didn’t have my bowels in check the way I usually do. I finally got out of the elevator… ran down the hall to my apartment door… and started looking for the keys. I couldn’t find them, and the pressure in my abdomen only built to an immeasurable force. Once I finally located the keys, my hands were shaking so uncontrollably that I couldn’t get them in the keyhole. As I was fumbling desperately to get inside, I shat my pants: right outside my apartment door.

    Later that evening I was terribly hungry after all that suffering and shitting. I didn’t have much I could eat because my mouth was still tender, so I decided on refried beans. They were soft after all. And it was during this feast that I realized I had accidently swallowed the colossal “snuff” that had previously been nestled to the roof of my mouth. Just to remind you… that means I actually ate my Martian sized mouth scab. And just so you know. This scab was not hard or encrusted since it had been living inside my moist mouth. It was more the consistency of a slug. Like a sack that was filled with blood. Upon it’s absence. There was a huge hole in the roof of my mouth that still exists to this day.

    So that is pretty much why I haven’t been to the dentist in 13 years. Or come to think of it… Eaten retried beans.

    refried-beans-520

    September 16, 2015 • Old School Stories • Views: 1809

  • Harvard Professors and Hospitals Do NOT Mix

    When I was 15 years old, you could say I was kind of a nightmare. Not that I was a rude withdrawn teen, just the kind that would steal all your liquor and fill it with water/juice. My parents seriously had a dinner party where they poured everyone cocktails that ended up being “water and tonics” and “apple juice on the rocks.”

    I liked to tinker with mind-altering substances okay?!

    Soooo one fateful Friday, my friends and I came back to my house after school, and decided it was a good time to get fucked up. It was 4 in the afternoon after all. We took some shots, and then had the grand idea of smoking weed – but we didn’t have an apparatus or rolling papers.

    Because we went to private school and were really smart, we problem solved this dire drawback, and realized we could make a pipe out of an apple. I know. Pretty genius. My friend Lila went to work on this task, but since we were already pretty wasted, she ended up slicing her finger.

    My initial reaction was “she’s fine, let’s move on.” Partly because I didn’t want to get in trouble for my friend hurting herself at my house, and partly because we still had weed to smoke. My other friend Marla however did not agree. She was using paper towels to physically hold Lila’s finger on, and insisted we go to the hospital. I resisted. You see, I was raised by WASPs, so we didn’t do things like admit pain or decapitated limbs.

    Marla was relentless and eventually I gave in. So us five drunken high school girls put on our winter coats, and started walking to Mass General Hospital. On our way, as Marla was still holding Lila’s finger on, we ran into my Dad on the street. I did my best not to slur my words.

    Toni: Oh hi Dad. We are just going to the hospital because Lila cut her finger. Shouldn’t take too long. Umm… do you want to come?
    My Dad: No I do not! I fell on the subway steps and hurt my hands! Look!!

    My dad then showed us all the palms of his hands. They were a little pink, and still had gravel on them, but not bleeding. It’s not like… ohhh I don’t know… he had almost cut his finger off and needed to go to the hospital.

    Toni: Okay. Well see you later.

    My dad continued on his way, and we inebriated girls continued on ours. You see, my dad is a Harvard Professor who is AMAZING at all things intellectual, but just is not interested in most things human. Like dealing with hurt teenagers who need medical attention. Anything that takes him away from his cerebral pursuits is major anxiety for him. Plus, he had fallen and hurt his hands remember!! He had to recover from that.

    We finally got to the hospital, and I was starting to panic a little. I really wanted Lila to be okay because I really didn’t want to get in trouble. I rushed over to the front desk to talk to the receptionist.

    Toni: My friend needs help!
    Receptionist: What seems to be the problem?
    Toni: She’s almost cut her finger off…
    Receptionist: Did she hurt her eye or her ear?
    Toni: What? No…
    Receptionist: Well, this is Mass EYE and EAR.
    Toni: It’s not “Mass Eye, Ear and Finger?”
    Receptionist: Afraid not. You’re going to have to go to Mass GENERAL, which is further down the road.

    Eventually we got to the RIGHT hospital, and Lila was taken by the doctor to get checked out. As we are waiting for her to return, Lila’s parents showed up, as did my dad. We sat in silence. Lila’s parents were furious at me for feeding their daughter alcohol and allowing her to get hurt. I was freaking out wondering if my dad had found the apple, weed, and bloody knife we had left on the kitchen counter. And my dad was livid because now he was at the hospital out of his Catholic guilt, and wanted to be home working while not thinking about his sore hands.

    In the end it turns out I was totally wrong, Marla was right, and Lila needed 20 stitches to keep her finger attached to her hand.

    This is my Dad… and this pretty much sums up his essence.

    PS yes he is in a bubble bath

    dad in the bath

    September 9, 2015 • Old School Stories • Views: 1782

  • Getting Frisky On Kevin Allison’s “Risk!”

    I spend a lot of time alone, in front of my computer, and staring at a screen. I guess I have a LOT in common with porn addicts, but my keyboard is sticky from tears. The life of a writer is lonely. Hold me.

    Even though I am pretty comfortable being emotionally open on paper, that’s because I’m not with you when you read this, or aware of your reaction. I don’t have to sit next to you to hear if you are laughing as you peruse through the 90 different euphemisms I use for my vagina. I am actually watching you from outside your window, so I can’t hear anything. OPEN YOUR FUCKING WINDOW ALREADY!

    There’s a safety to being hidden behind a screen because I am semi-protected from your response to me. Of course there are people who comment on my articles and say mean things, but don’t have to read those. I can just pretend everyone loves everything I say. Who cares if “bonertown23890947567839847” thinks I’m a dumb cunt who should be taken out back and shot,” because I never even read that comment! (*Chokes back more tears).

    Then last week my friend Miriam sent me an email saying how Kevin Allison – the comedian who started the podcast “RISK!”– was looking for submissions for his Boston show. At first I was like “Eh, every time I submit to things like this I get rejected, so what’s the point?” (*Tears of self-pity). It sat in my email box for days, just staring at me, reminding me of my insignificance in the universe. I noticed the deadline was soon, and said fuck it. I submitted this story about how my parents sent me to the Transylvanian Alps when I was 14, because seriously who the fuck does that?

    So it turns out that my story got selected to be on the show! Now here is the thing. I’ve never been on stage before, except for dance performances. My friend Grace was like, “just think of this as a noisy mouth dance,” which even though that made perfect sense, I was still SUPER intimidated. The weekend before was the first time I had ever spoken into a microphone! I’m on the board of the Monadnock International Film Festival, and I was giving out a grant I had created for a high school student filmmaker. I wasn’t nervous at all until I got on stage and saw all these people looking at me as if I was supposed to say something. I was a mess. My hair was in front of my face, and I looked like a 17-year old stoner who called myself Gangja Breath. I had no idea what to say, and was like “Uhhh I made this grant because education is good and stuff. Kids should like, make movies by trying to make movies or whatever… (long pause) San Dimas High school Football RULES!”

    I did a recording of my story so Kevin could give me notes. This is my favorite part of his email “One of the things that pops out at me about your story is this. It seems like most parents would be very careful about sending their 14-year old girl overseas without a chaperone or a highly reputed exchange program with references. Eastern Europe has been notorious for decades for culling young girls into sex slavery. At the very least, you could have been raped by the soccer playing boys you met over there. Most young people traveling overseas without guardians are at least college-age. And most American kids who travel go to stable, 1st world cities like London or Paris. Parents of the 90’s to today are constantly criticized for being way too overprotective. But your folks seem to have something else going on in this story.

    So it’s worth unpacking all that more. Because the audience will be thinking, “What was going on with this girl’s parents? How much good is it going to do for an American kid to get in touch with her Hungarian roots?”

    HAHAAHAHAHAH you bet your sweet ass I sent that to my parents so they could give me answers!!!!!!!! My mom was just like, “You were born in the 80’s – what do you want? I didn’t put a helmet on you to eat breakfast.”

    When I got to the venue, Laugh Boston, and realized that this whole event was part of a comedy festival and everyone performing was a PROFESSIONAL FUCKING COMEDIAN, I started to have a panic attack. I felt like I had to both explosive diarrhea and projectile vomit. It was a full house of over 200 people. Thank god my friend Grace came with me to be my moral support/self-confidence/person to alert me if my anal leakage was showing.

    I couldn’t admit that I was a total virgin to this experience, so I pretended that I at least finger-banged and gave rim jobs. As Grace left me in the Green Room to watch the show I was left alone, and started to shake. The comedienne that was going on before me, Robin Gelfenbien looked like a nice person, so I started talking to her to see if we could form a co-dependent relationship. She reminded me that being nervous was normal and to just be myself. She then checked to see if there were any brown stains on my pants, before going through her notes for her story. She had the genius idea of writing hers down, and bringing a printed copy. I was like FUCK FUCK FUCK… what is this story again? Why didn’t I think of that!? Grown ups do things like use printers!

    Kevin told his story and killed. It was about the time he got crabs, which reminded me of the time I caught Cuban crabs. (Technically it was body lice, but you know where they settled). Robin then went on stage, and I paced like an enslaved lion in a zoo. I tried breathing, but it just turned into hyperventilating so I stopped all together.

    Right before I almost passed out I remembered something. “Toni – you have a body! You should use your body on stage and say things with it!! Let your body help your story!”

    Thinking about my body got me out of my head. Kevin then introduced me, and I walked on stage. We shook hands, and he gave me the sweetest smile. It totally disarmed me, and I just started to tell my story. A story I have told countless times at the dinner table, whenever my parents are around and whenever they have guests… because seriously who sends their 14-year old daughter to the Transylvanian Alps to a place called Camp Commando?

    PS my parents totally did come to the show, so they could hear the story for the 400th time.

    PPS Here is my Dad’s reaction to the show.

    “Dear Toni,

    I haven’t yet written you to tell you how much I liked your stand-up.
    You have a real knack for live performance.
    Also, you were great at the microphone. Excellent distance… I didn’t hear a single puff into the audio. Wow, you’re a real pro.
    And I loved the material, even if I was the major foil.
    On the content, my only tweak… Camp “Kommando” is a vestige of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, I believe. So it has nothing to do with
    Nazi death camps. The closest thing to Nazi behavior was that of the Romanian “Iron Cross” between the two big wars. My info on all this is wobbly, I grant you – as you know better than anyone, I should have done more homework back then – but, I’m pretty sure about Kommando. Even I wouldn’t send you to a death camp.
    Love,
    Dad”

    (Me getting ready for the show… I guess adults aren’t supposed to sleep with stuffed animals either. Fuck I really need a printer).

    risk-blog-(i)

    April 27, 2015 • Adventures, Old School Stories • Views: 1655

  • Getting High On Weed and Processing Death Is Maybe Not The Best Idea

    I started smoking weed when I was 14 years old. It was a fateful Thursday evening. My older brother was hanging out with two girls, and they figured that if I was ever going to get high, the first time should be in a safe environment. I got off the phone, took a few hits, then went back upstairs and got back on the phone. I talked a on the phone a LOT in the 8th grade.

    Looking back on it, I am really grateful to my brother and these two vixens for giving me this life experience. As a young girl, you want to be careful about who are with when partaking in mind-altering substances. Let’s face it; I was the kind of teenager that was going to get into that stuff. This way I knew what was going on, what to expect, and would less likely lose my shit with the wrong people in the wrong situation.

    My best friend Bitty and I had previously made an oath that we would NEVER smoke pot EVER. Probably because we were 13 at the time, and had both suffered through D.A.R.E lectures at school. Can I just say that “daring” kids to not do drugs is probably the least effective psychological strategy of all time.

    When I finally saw Bitty, I admitted what happened.

    Toni: Bitty… I smoked pot with my brother.
    Bitty: So did I. Do you know where we can get some?

    That summer Bitty and I smoked a lot of weed together. In the years to come, I smoked a lot of weed. A Lot. So much weed I can’t remember how much – which is par for the course I guess.

    When Bitty died in 2000 I had to take a break from smoking pot. This loss was so intense, that I was unable to add another texture to it. I knew pot would not help numb my reaction, but actually intensify it. It would be like putting a magnifying glass up to my broken heart, and burning it with the sun. It was all my mind could think about. I was too afraid of being high, and having to face all the pain. I couldn’t make sense of her death. The irreversible and final nature of it was killing me. I felt so helpless that I couldn’t go back in time and stop it from happening.

    After a few months, I eventually started “partying” again. I was 20, in college, and being totally sober was just as alienating as my constant crying. I had to shut off the part of me that was so deeply connected to the sadness in order to relate to other people. No one knew how to be around me when everything would make me weep.

    Mourning is a life long process. You never truly get over the death of a loved one – but you live with it in a new way. You learn to obsess less, and eventually disconnect from being able to access your feelings about it – at least some of the time. I always knew I was miserable she was no longer with me, but I couldn’t always feel just how distraught I was. There was so long that I mourned Bitty, that when I started to mourn her less, I missed the mourning just as much as I missed the person. The lamenting kept me connected to her.

    Now that 15 years have passed, it’s almost like I have gotten used to her being gone. I of course wish this wasn’t true, but the acceptance has settled in. I live ½ a mile from Bitty’s grave, and visit her weekly. Yet even though there are these rituals where I am reminded of her death, I usually don’t attach to it. It just is this thing that is.

    Last Friday was her birthday, and I wanted to visit her grave, and smoke a joint with her. Now let me add here, that I stopped smoking in 2008 and didn’t get high at all until a few months ago. I am obviously not the pothead of my past, so the few times I do smoke, I have been very carefully to only be very sparing. One hit, and that’s it.

    Yet at this point, I was feeling like my brain had gotten used to weed, and there wasn’t any real threat to my bugging out or losing my mind. So I took maybe 3 hits with Bitty, and then had a plan to celebrate her birthday by going out to dinner and seeing some live music.

    As I was leaving, I started to wonder if she felt it when people visited her grave. Did her soul, or spirit-body get an extra zap? Was there a specific comfort to knowing that someone was paying physical tribute to the place her ashes were buried?

    I got in the passenger seat of the car, and as soon as we starting driving I realized, “holy fuck… I am way too high.”

    I was suddenly transported into a Twilight Zone of distortion. It was one of those moments when the reality I knew, and the reality I was experiencing, were so distinctly different that my brain almost busted a fuse. Nothing was making sense. It was a really dark foggy night, and looking out the window, nothing felt familiar. The outside world was totally foreign, and my inside world was completely melting.

    I was also having a forceful physical reaction where I felt like my body could not contain all the feelings I was feeling. It was this profound buzzing that almost felt like an anxiety attack, but not as painful. It was as if I was channeling too much emotion for one skin sack to hold in.

    I kept trying to return to my breath. During those long inhales I was okay, but as as soon as I let it go, I would lose it again.

    Toni: Uhhhh there is no way I can be in public right now, and I’m pretty sure I have to go home now.

    The drive home we listened to Jimmy Hendrix, and I tried desperately to bring myself back to a place that I could control. All I could say was “I’m just feeling too many feelings.” Yet the second we pulled into my driveway, it was over, and I spent the next 2 hours eating.

    Okay there are a few possibilities about what happened that night. The first, and most obvious, was that I got too high.

    Yet I think something else was going on. Weed opens you up in a specific and unique way. I think because I was at Bitty’s grave, I was hypertensive to the energies at play. One being my own feelings about her death, and the emotions I have learned to enclose in order to survive. The bodily sensations I experienced were like I was releasing all I hold onto in order to function.

    The other energy I felt was tapping into the human part of Bitty. Not her higher-self that exists through infinite space and time while floating through the quantum muiltiverse on a bed of vibrating strings, but the human part of her that actually still exists underneath the earth – and still has feelings about her own death.

    Ultimately the whole night felt like a gift even though it was intense. There is something freeing about losing your mind, heart, and spirit and then having to find it again.

    (Here we are, 14 and fearless…)
    bitty-blog-(i)

    April 15, 2015 • Adventures, Musings, Old School Stories • Views: 1540

  • Can Grown Ups Still be Wild and Free?

    Technically I am wayyyyy far into my adult years, and no longer even considered a “young person” – yet I still don’t identify with my childhood perception of “grown ups.” My image of a real grown up involves helmet hair, pleated pants, and a deep commitment to Charlie Rose. Maybe that’s why I dress like a 12-year old boy that wears hoodies with sweatpants, and still use the word “dude” non-ironically.

    Part of my rebellion is because the conventional “mature” approach to life sometimes feels soul sucking. When people get older, they stop trying new things, and taking risks. They become complacent because they prioritize things like safety and rest.

    Of course this behavior is rooted in rationality. As your body ages, an all nighter will impact you for the next month, and you take longer to heal if you hurt yourself from jumping off a roof onto a trampoline. Yet, to have practical reasons for being responsible doesn’t mean we have to be that way all the time. A part of your spirit dies when you are always thinking of the consequences of your actions. There is something so freeing when you do something that is out of the ordinary and just plain wild. We need moments of madness just as much as we need to consider the impact of our decisions.

    When we are young, we are probably too reckless because we don’t have enough foresight of our impending mortality. But when we get old, we are probably too cautious. If you think about it, we spend most of our lives as adults. If we get to be old, a very small fraction of our existence would have been devoted to childhood, and an even smaller one to the infamous teenage years. That is a LOT of time to be sensible, and not that much time to be impulsive.

    Even though I want sometimes to feel the mental liberty of my younger years, it is hard to get into that headspace. The Jiminy Cricket of my consciousness is too damn loud. “Don’t eat that, Toni, too much sugar will give you a headache. You should probably go home Toni and not get into that pickup truck full of Abercrombie Models – you have to wake up early tomorrow to get all the laundry done.” Maybe what I crave most is the psychic space to scream “YOLO” and do whatever the fuck just because if could be fun!

    Then I had some insight into what could help me be more adventurous – drugs!! Duh!!!

    Not hard-core drugs obvi, I am still too reasonable for that – but taking ONE hit of weed will really bring me to a spontaneous psychic space!!

    So this is what happened. I was going out on Friday night… which was a BIG deal for me because otherwise I would be home staring out the window like a lost kitten. On the way my friend said, “Hey, do you want some pot,” to which I replied, “sure do!”

    While we were driving, I was suddenly brought back to all the times in my life when I was fancy free getting high, driving around, and listening to music. It was sooo fun, and lighthearted. I realized what distinguished those times from, say, driving to the store for some organic chicken broth – was that I was less concerned about anything else but that moment.

    Being stoned makes me more of a witness to my life, rather than a participant. It is like I was watching myself from the outside, and it didn’t occur to me that I would ever have to actually deal with whatever happened next. I didn’t care because everything that second was hilarious. The only thing going on in my mind was, “what is that crazy girl Toni going to do next? Who knows? But I can’t wait to find out!”

    weed-blog-(i)

    March 9, 2015 • Adventures, Musings, Old School Stories • Views: 1458

  • New York State of Mind vs Cuntree Conditioning

    New York is considered one of the greatest cities in the world, but it also spawns a very specific psychological state. It is a place filled with so many options that, no matter what you are doing, there is always something more interesting going on. No matter who you are with, there will always be someone more compelling just over their shoulder. And no matter how great you are, you are always going to be one of a million, rather than one in a million.

    You are never unique in NYC because there are too many beautiful, talented, rich, young people. As soon as some of them get a little weathered, the next shipment comes in. You may think you are a special because you are a skater intellectual biophysicist reiki master who only wears bathrobes but also has magic armpit hair – but guess what? There are 78 more of you down the street in Williamsburg, so get over yourself.

    The result of living in this type of environment is that everyone is always looking for the bigger better deal. You know it’s out there, you just have to keep looking. In this context, it is much easier for people to become disposable. You may go on a date with a lovely woman who went to Harvard, has the physical sturdiness of a horse, a face as lovely as Aphrodite’s, and who laughs at your farts – but she also drinks Diet Dr. Pepper, so fuck her! Who does that really? That bitch has got to go!

    Or you meet this wonderful man who works with the elderly, is independently wealthy from selling his company that manufactured kitty condoms to stop the spreading of feline AIDS, and makes George Clooney look like a homeless person – but his penis slings slightly to the left, so blech. Moving on.org!

    People don’t just form normal friendships because they are like-minded and both enjoy making fudge. It’s more “what do you do, and how can that serve me?” There is an opportunistic ethos because everyone is trying to get their project off the ground, fund their business, or promote their show.

    Nothing is ever good enough because everything is sooooo good. You can go to an art performance where a ballerina does pirouettes on a elephant’s back while queefing the National Anthem as she plays Bach on the Harp, and you will give her a golf clap between texting. It’s hard to be impressed when you are inundated with some of the most gifted people in the world who are all trying to make it, whatever it is. That is why New Yorkers often get so jaded and act like total dicks. It’s not their fault!

    I used to be one of those people. Not fully – but sort of. I refused to wait in lines to get into clubs, I had to be in the VIP room, at the VIP table, with a VIP shoved up my ass. Within four seconds of meeting someone I would know what neighborhood they lived in and their career path. I was corrupted because I was always trying to get stuff done, but I didn’t get that much done because I was too busy trying to meet people to help me get my stuff done!

    Now that I live in the cuntree… there is a staggeringly different mentality. No one really cares about what you do because the blind ambition of achievement doesn’t exist in the same framework. In the woods, being successful means you are not an alcoholic and spend your time snowshoeing in nature. The friends I make are friends because we both pickle our own vegetables, and can talk about tarot card readings. There is a different level of sincerity because connections are made more from personality and having a good time around each other rather than wanting something from someone.

    Of course there are also wayyyyy fewer options, so you are limited in your choices – but this also facilitates deeper intimacy. You spend more interrupted time together, because there is nothing to interfere. Once you drive 30 minutes to your friend’s house you are staying for the afternoon even if someone texts you about an amazing thing you are missing because you wouldn’t get that message anyway because you have no fucking wireless service right now!

    My standards are way different because just leaving my house is a novelty. If there were 100 things to do I probably wouldn’t attend a poetry reading by the organization “people with lisps and speech impediments,” but who cares, I am out of the house, WOO HOO!

    Even though there is much less to do, there is a lot more going on in my mind because I have to keep myself entertained. This has its pluses and minuses – it’s good when I am interesting and think about aliens, and not so much when I am boring and think about humans.

    sigh… if only I were an alien!!

    toni in hat

    March 4, 2015 • Musings, Old School Stories, Relationships • Views: 1782