A Day in the Life of a Marijuana Trimmer

Photo by Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash

Introduction:

Over the past few months, I have enjoyed walking by the ocean with my beautiful 22-year-old daughter while sipping our morning coffee. Most days we see a duo walking the opposite direction and smile in kind. A short elderly Jewish man and a 6’4” smiling Rastafarian with gold teeth. One recent day the Rasta and I were caught walking alone. As our paths crossed, we smiled and stopped to introduce ourselves. There wasn’t a romantic intention, my aim was just to connect with another positive minded person during such unreal times. We briefly spoke about politics, holistic medicine, food, and exchanged numbers. Both living in the area, a small affluent beach community, I didn’t give our connection a second thought.

Day One — Arrival:

It was an 8-hour drive from the Southern California coast that I call home. Everyone at least mostly everyone I presume has heard of Humboldt County, the land of stoners and the lesser-known, gun clacking citizens that comprise the Emerald Triangle. I offered to drive as I had delusional thoughts of bringing my Pinarello to ride on my downtime, but Lion insisted on driving, so I was satisfied with only bringing my dumbbells. It wasn’t until we were on the road that I found out that we were driving a rental car. We took turns at the wheel as he unwittingly tested my driving skills and awareness of law enforcement.

Day 2 — Cannabis Farming:

I woke up early to a marvelous wilderness. The prior owner of the property was a Native American medicine man that had created a medicine wheel on the top of a nearby hill that I claimed for daily meditation as well as my place to take a sanitary and solitary shit off of the side of the hill. It just so happened there was a rusted barbell up there which felt like a wink from God and an ode to my passion for weightlifting. There were beautiful Nevada White Sage, Mugwort, and Lavender stalks in abundance, and with each inhale I found myself comparing my reality back home against this peaceful paradox.

Day 3 — Missing Person and Trimming

Bob came up to the house first thing in the morning distraught and seemingly a different person than the one I had met before. He was going on about his friend Daisy that was supposed to have arrived last night around 11:30 pm but never showed up, with her phone now going straight to voicemail. Daisy was intended to join us in the house and trim. I was beginning to gather that Bob was distraught because on the mountain you don’t call the sheriff and you don’t carelessly bring attention to your neighbors. It is not the type of community where you borrow a cup of sugar if you know what I mean. Bob’s planned departure was being delayed by the mystery of Daisy comprising his display of equal parts worry and perturbance. We all offered to help, which instantly removed us from having to hear anything more about it as he promptly retreated to his house. I remembered from my trip up the mountain, the labyrinth of steep roads and sharp ravines, and all I could think about was some poor woman’s car upside down in an abyss of dried leaves and mosquitos.

Day 4–6: Trimming the Nitty Gritty

Trimming would begin around 6–7:00 am when people would start to walk in my “bedroom,” at which point they would begin smoking. Everyone had their schedule and there was no one to micromanage our output only weigh it out every day or two, plus I think Mitch and Jong had surmised that we were working with garbage so they avoided the house as much as possible. This enabled me to start my mornings uphill at the medicine wheel where I would get ready for the day, study, meditate, and do a quick weight workout. This is how I endured the endless complaining from Daisy, the forced nonstop cloud of cannabis, and the dichotomy between Bob Marley’s music and Lion’s IG live chats about ethnic superiority that came out of leftfield at abnormal decibels.

Day 7: The Final Countdown

I woke up to an increased sense of urgency to get the hell out of there. The lack of phone reception, pay, and allegiance was starting to psychologically affect me. Before I could even gather my morning items an older man whom I had heard referenced a few times entered the house. He asked if the dumbbells outside belonged to me and proceeded to tell me about his weightlifting days back in high school. Daisy knew him and offered him some of her old food from the refrigerator. It turns out he was the caretaker for another house where the Hmong’s stay. He seemed nice but worn down by life, expressing that he was close to having the house ready for the van loads which were to arrive later that day. This information was the straw that broke me, I was now going to be working alongside Laotian refugees.

I had to take a walk.

I walked down to the tree where I got one bar of phone service and I started to finally become unraveled. Daisy’s dog protectively had followed me and was sitting by my side. Quietly sobbing to myself, I swallowed all pride to reach out to two of my estranged half-siblings via text. After determining that neither of them would be a viable option I summoned all my will and pent up rage and marched straight up to Bob’s house with Daisy’s dog trailing behind. I knocked on the sliding glass, with Jong shouting aggressively in response. I opened the door and asked if he was going to town and if I could ride with him. He told me no, that he had personal things to do. I then changed my delivery and demanded that I had an emergency at home, I would ride in the back of the truck, and he could keep all my earnings. He said ok and to give him an hour. I walked back up the hill with the dog and felt partial relief. I still didn’t know how I was going to get home. I only knew I was going to get a ride to the next town where missing person posters and methamphetamines were common.

Wisdom comes at a great price yet the membership dues remain free.

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