Chapter Three: I Must Hash You A Question

Like every other Nederlander I'd had the pleasure of meeting, Bernd's graciousness and generosity were disarming. What's the protocol for sharing a dangerous narcotic with a seasoned professional?

"Puff puff pass?"

"Inhale exhale?"

"Clockwise our counter?"

Watching Bernd skillfully dismantle a cigar, smear the hash tar onto the leaf wrapper and reassemble the thumb-sized blunt with a fistful of tobacco only intensified my anxiety.

"Does everyone in this country walk around with hash sticking out of their top pocket like a fucking pencil?"

"Why so much tobacco?"

"What if the cops show up?"

Sully and I listened attentively as Vreele fielded the softballs of my insipid interrogation…

"Just pull the smoke in and hold it, like taking a breath before swimming underwater."

"You must mix Bernd's hash with regular tobacco. If you don't it will blow your mind."

"Don't worry about police—that man in the corner is a constable from Eindhoven!"

Bernd ignited his handiwork and offered me first honors. I declined, and Sully descended on the joint like a Dyson on potting soil. 

Wwwwwsssssssssssshhhhhhhh…………………………… aahhh!

Vreele followed Sully's voluminous toke with a more genteel but equally smoky pull of her own. Next it was my turn.

Whft…… whft…… whft…………… wwwhhhffffttt………………aacchhhaaagh!

"Getcha some, kid!" Sully exclaimed, as my bronchial convulsions turned my lungs inside out like dirty tube socks.

"Are you okay?" 

"I'm fine, Vreele… really… thanks for asking. Hey Bernd—please tell me you're not rolling another one!"

"You are excellent, my friend. I have plenty—enjoy it."

After my third and final epileptic seizure, Bernd was right—I WAS excellent. EVERYTHING was excellent. The four of us continued to puff, puff, pass for another hour, stopping only to imbibe more 16-ounce cocktails or to watch Bernd handcraft another satisfying smoke for our little party.

At around ten p.m.—or was it Tuesday?—Sully called it quits. That's when I announced I was just getting started. We tried to close our tab, but Vreele and Bernd refused our money. With the blinding disorientation of a bonifide freakout hellride blasting through my brain, Sully and I said goodbye to our host and hostess and stumbled into the cold Amsterdam night. When my twisted Texas friend asked if he could join me on the next stop of my adventure, I said no way.

"Go back to the hotel, Sully—things are gonna get weird…"


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