The New York Times has come under fire for calling Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, “no angel.” The evidence for this diagnosis? Brown once got into a scuffle with a neighbor, had taken to writing “vulgar” rap lyrics, and “dabbled in drugs and alcohol.”
“He’ll swell up like, ‘I’m mad,’ and you’ll back off,” he said.
And we all know how frightening it can be when a large black teenager swells up like Harry’s Aunt Marge.
Does this make Maureen Dowd no angel, too?
But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.
I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.
It took all night before it began to wear off, distressingly slowly. The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadn’t been on the label.
I reckoned that the fact that I was not a regular marijuana smoker made me more vulnerable, and that I should have known better. But it turns out, five months in, that some kinks need to be ironed out with the intoxicating open bar at the Mile High Club.
And speaking of “high,” here’s Chet Baker