One Sunday afternoon last summer, my friend Mike and I were looking for a place to hang out at that wasn't a boring ol' D.C. bar or restaurant. So, I found an art exhibit on Facebook that seemed interesting. The event description said there would be 'experts' and 'live art demos,' so we both expected a scholarly art panel or something.
I arranged with Mike to meet at the venue. A couple of hours later, we were both standing in front of a graffitied garage in Cathedral Heights, along with a bunch of other people around our age, and waiting for the show organizers to let us in.
What we saw inside was far from a scholarly art panel. The entire room was lined with people painting, drawing, building crafts, singing, and acting... all while high as a hot-air balloon. There were all kinds of noises, smells, colors, and a jungle-style photoshoot was happening in middle of the room. I guess you can technically call it art.
We paid our ten-dollar entrance fee and walked inside.
"Welcome," a super hipster-looking woman said, extending a massive piece of color-frosted chocolate cake in one hand and a fork in another.
Free cake! I thought. I was starving. Of course I dug in.
"Wow," Mike said. "Do you feel that tingling on your tongue? My tongue is tingling. I can already feel the cannabis, and this cake is full of it. Did you just finish that entire piece of cake?"
"I have an incredibly high cannabis tolerance," I bragged. "See? I don't even feel a thing."
"Well, let's look around for some water, maybe something to wash it down so we're not reeling in an hour," Mike suggested.
We looked around. Everything had cannabis in it. Cannabis candles, cannabis soap, cannabis cake and cookies, cannabis lotions.
Perfect, we thought. Let's wash the cannabis down with tea. The skinny long-haired guy running the tea booth was happy to give us as much tea as we wanted, and I'm a tea-lover so it was my party. As we drank, we asked the guy what flavor the tea was.
"Oh, cannabis. All of our teas have cannabis in them."
Dang. Is this a normal amount of cannabis for me to consume? I don't know enough about this stuff. I've never even lived in college or owned weed at home. Is it even that? Maybe they put something else in it, like LSD or shrooms? What do those things even feel like? What do I feel like? Am I gonna go to jail? This stuff is legal right? Ugh why am I so uncool. OCD? Maybe it's OCD. Or anxiety. Are they the same thing? Maybe I should eat more cake?
I noticed a man staring into a light, out of the corner of my eye. I walked over and tried to see what he was seeing. It was a blank light. A big, blank lightbulb that was plugged into the wall. He began talking into it. I don't remember what he was saying, but I'm pretty sure it was the most fascinating thing I ever saw.
This is real art, I thought.
I don't know how long I was standing there watching the man, but then I noticed the wall behind the man. It looked like this:
My god. I don't know why anybody would spend this much time drawing a bunch of eyeballs on a wall. And they were all looking at me.
I went to find Mike.
Mike was talking to a man who was drawing these long, figures that looked like tentacles extending from the windows of a 20-30-story house. There were little people in the house, which was massive, and covered all around in that tentacle thing. It looked really professional and hard to draw. He had all kinds of black-and-white drawings that were similar variations of the house with tentacles. Some were castles, some were mansions, some were Manhattan-style high-rise buildings. They were all creepy as fuck.
I continued to wander around and check out some more booths. One woman was painting with her feet on a flat floor canvas while dancing. Another was painting on the wall.
Wow. That's a really crowded wall. And everything on it is creepy as fuck. What is this place? Oh my god. There's a monster named after Mike.
"Mike!" I yelled.
We bolted out of there. And walked into a forest.
Now, I might be remembering some things wrong here. This happened about a year ago. But I guarantee, we were definitely wandering in a forest.
We were both giggling the entire time. I think we got lost in middle. But it started getting late and we had to get out.
"I'm hungry. I'm starving," I said.
"Me too," said Mike.
So we walked into a sushi shop. (Stop asking me how we got there.)
As we waited for our sushi, I started to giggle. Then laugh hysterically. I've never laughed so much in my life. Then I suddenly started crying uncontrollably.
"Are you okay?" Mike asked. I couldn't understand how he was so calm and normal.
"I'm fine! I can't control myself," I said while crying and laughing at the same time.
Mike gave me the rest of his sushi to finish up in addition to mine. And then we headed home.
I spent the rest of the evening on my couch, staring at the ceiling and thinking about how cultured and sophisticated I am for having that much fun at an art exhibit. I let out a deep breath. Art rocks.