The time I nearly died from marijuana



When I was in my early twenties I used to live and work in Spain. I had left my friends and family back home in Ireland and sought my fortune in the world. Being separated from the ones I loved was hard, so when the opportunity to either go back home and party or have friends come out, I always jumped at it.

Ryan and Eavan had one of those stormy relationships. They were desperately in love with one another but they were also prone to hate each other too. I loved them both, and I loved the drama of having them both together staying with me in Spain. It was another scorching June when they arrived. This was before the economic crisis hit so all of the world was rich in time and money. This was going to be a fun couple of weeks. And even though I still had to work, that wasn’t going to stop me from going out with them. Cheap drinks and bars that stay open all night. And of course the drugs. Spain is one of the first ports South American people reach when they are trying to stay in Europe. For this reason there is always great cocaine available. This story however deals with Moroccan hash, and a near death experience.

Ryan and I had bought some hash from my local dealer, a cool Marrakech guy with a missing index finger. I knew they chopped your hands off for stealing in Saudi Arabia, so I always wondered what he had done to lose his finger. Anyway, after a quick beer we were off back home to make hash ice cream. We melted the ice cream and put in quite a lot of hash. Being summer in Spain, it would be nice to have a little of it all week. After mixing well we left the ice cream to re freeze and went out to see what kind of trouble we could find.

The next day was spent recovering from the night before and showing them around my small Spanish city. The bars that I liked and the friends I had made. Introducing Ryan to tapas food, his only concern was that he didn’t want to eat bulls balls. I had never eaten or seen  bulls balls on a tapas menu but that didn’t stop me telling him afterwards that he had eaten various kinds of cojones. I had taken the Saturday off work, which meant I would have to work Sunday, so without too much drinking we headed on home to tuck into some lovely strawberry flavored hash ice cream. We each had a bowl and settled down to watch a movie. Three hours later I was very disappointed to observe no effects of the ice cream. Maybe we hadn’t mixed it right. We had a little more, just in case you needed a larger amount when you mix it with ice cream. Another couple of hours and still there was no effect. It was near midnight by now so I decided to eat the rest of the ice cream with Ryan and then went to bed disappointed.

Around an hour or so after falling asleep I awoke in the middle of a panick attack. My heart was beating hard in my chest. I had never experienced something like this before. I tried to calm my body and mind but to no avail. Eventually I had to go into my friends room, as by then I was sure I was about to have a heart attack. I was waiting for and visualizing that searing rip you must feel in your chest as your heart gives up. They thought I was joking and told me to fuck off out of their room. So I sat on my old familiar blue sofa in the dead of a Spanish night, waiting. Staring straight ahead at the turned off tv the room suddenly shrank to the size of a pin head. This was a troubling new thing to deal with. When I refocused, the single pin prick view of the room exploded into a thousand pin views. I had no idea what was happening. I was panicking, this was a fun fair roller coaster I had not given consent to be on. I was desperately trying to see straight when my vision went angelic white. Everything was now still and calm. I could see nothing but a warm, bright white light. So this is what death is I thought. It isn’t so bad. I hope I can find my way to heaven, or at least find my fellow sinners in the queue to hell. And then I blinked with my living room coming back into cristal clear view. Fuck this I said, I’m dying and those lazy bastards in the next room are going to drive me to the hospital. I will not go down without a fight. So I went crashing into their room, shouting about heart attacks and imminent death. Obviously from my present state they were now taking me seriously.

i don’t remember how we got into the tiny ford ka but when I next came round to some form of a conscious state Ryan was angrily asking, where the fuck is the hospital. Sitting in the passenger seat peering through the glass front window I had no idea where anything was. The street seemed somewhat familiar. The rising road lined with Palm trees did ring a bell. We were now parked on the middle of the road. Ryan in the driving seat, Eavan in the back, tensely grabbing Ryan’s shoulder. I had no idea where the hospital was and I was no longer the only one panicking. Ryan said we were doomed, and I believed him. Then, like Jesus coming down from heaven we saw a jeep slowly approaching us from the opposite direction. It was the guardia civil. For those who don’t know there are two police forces in Spain. The local police (wusses) and the, take no shit guardia civil. At about 5 miles an hour they rolled past us. My mouth was open in horror as I studied each sun hardened face in turn. Even though we had stopped in the middle of the road and were in a state of great distress, staring at them in the middle of the night they didn’t stop. Spanish people would not be famous for their proactive approach to life, and I’m sure these cops thought, fuck eet, let’s go mess with the prostitutes instead. I remember as they slowly drove away thinking that I should try and flag them down, surely they would have a first aid kit to help with my imminent heart attack.

So we sat there. No police, no hospital, just sheer terror and hopelessness. You could actually taste the panick in the air. When all of a sudden, beautiful little Eavan piped up from the back seat. “Guys, weren’t we eating a shit load of hash ice cream earlier, and is it possible that we are all just really fucked right now”. And just like that the spell was broken. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. I still couldn’t find my way home but we parked the car and took a leisurely walk through the Spanish night.