Portrait of a Pothead

Aaron Sorenson got out of bed as soon as he awoke. He loved the morning. ‘Didn’t need an alarm clock because the minute he realized it was day, he couldn’t wait to get up and light his first joint.

He’d get up, take a toke, run a mile on the treadmill, take a shower, brush his teeth, shave, smile. He’d put on a nicely pressed shirt from the cleaners. Smile again.

He’d get in his car & drive to work. He still remembered how it used to feel when he first drove, or when he, as a child at Coney Island, would ride the go Karts. He wasn’t in a rush, wasn’t impatient. He focused on what was going on to his side, up front, behind. Always a step ahead. A good driver.

He played his radio, not loud, but he heard it. A good song made him smile too.


Sometimes he’d stop for a coffee and a bagel. Sometimes he’d just go straight into the office and get a quick start on the day. He liked getting a good start. He thought well in the morning. Never smoked too much to problem solve. When he wanted it to be, his desk was his world.

By lunchtime, he had usually gotten a lot done. He liked to get something off his desk by then, or at least to a good milestone. He set goals, because it motivated him.  He could chart the progress as he worked. Multitasking again.

By lunch he was really looking forward to food. He liked to eat light, because he didn’t like the feeling eating too much gave him for the afternoon. He was aware of consequences. Aware of self. Forward thinking. He went out for lunch as much as he could. It didn’t have to be the nicest of days, could be cool and rainy, or hot, whatever. At least the air was fresh & everyday was different. There was a taco place, a vegetarian place he liked. He wasn’t a vegetarian, but he liked healthy foods, if prepared creatively. Mostly he looked for something different.

If he needed a boost he’d have another coffee in the afternoon, but he preferred tea or water as he pushed to get whatever he could get done, done. Once he hit a certain hour, he looked for a good hallmark of completion as an opportunity to leave.

On his way home, he’d look forward to what he’d have for dinner, and another smoke, a little more in the evening than in the morning. Then he’d settle down and relax. In the meditative state it put him in he’d contemplate what he wanted out of life, who he could be, who he couldn’t be (but could fantasize), who he might have been. He felt connected to things he had done as a child and the influences that shaped him. It amazed him how much he could recall of his childhood.

He was never in a rut these evenings. He would follow what moved him at the moment. Sometimes he would revel in the silence of his home and listen to the birds outside or neighborhood kids or the creaking of the house and his own breath. Sometimes he’d watch TV or write, or listen to music. He let what urges would come lead, without deciding beforehand, and often during these contemplative moments he would remember the things he needed to do, pay bills, write friends, call his parents. He never needed a to do list. .He never felt like he didn’t have enough time. The evening would last and time moved slowly. He always got what needed to be done, done. He rarely did what didn’t need or want to be done.

As the day wound down, he would settle into bed only when it felt like time and would relax into a peaceful happy sleep, looking forward to the morning.

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