The Drugs Conversation

“We had the Drugs Conversation,” I say.

“What? Already?” says Beatnik Dad. Our boys are nine, after all.

“Yes,” I say. “Kurtzhau’s been reading the Cherub series and they go after drugs dealers.”

We stop to wave at Artist Mum walking a striking canine combination of a long-legged greyhound plus a scurrying… whippet?

(I should mention that we’re sitting in a coffee shop in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. The area is an inner-city cluster of scruffy Victorian tenements where, by some quirk of socio-economics, successful-in-their-field but basically-not-wealthy Bohemians come to breed. Beatnik Dad, who started his family later in life, is a veteran performance poet, occasional illustrator, and art historian. Other fellow parents include journalists, photographers, at least two professional writers and several promising wannabes, a rock musician,  more artists, and a film producer.)

“So how did it go – the conversation?”

“We talked about the long term effects of cannabis then Kurtzhau asked me whether I’d smoked it.”

“And…?”

“I told him the truth – a couple of times to see what it was like. He asked if I enjoyed it.  I said it made me talk more. He just nodded sagely.”

Beatnik Dad laughs. He’s known me a long time now.

It would be nice to think that Middle Age mellows an extrovert’s persona to a cool perfection. Alas, we don’t stop being who we are; we just get better at picking friends who tolerate or even relish our spontaneity.

We segue to the challenge of raising teenagers in a world where the Internet is forever, and how it’s better to show them the map of the real world before they are teenagers.

I drain the last of my very strong coffee. “Damn. They’ll probably rebel anyway.”

There’s a telepathic pause.

“Ha!” says Beatnik Dad. “We should…”

“…become embarrassing stoners,” I complete.

“Walk around trailing spliffs!” adds Beatnik Dad. “Drunk!”

Oh Father,” I mimic. “There’s no food in the house again – Never mind son, smoke this – No. I am too busy completing your tax returns.

“That would sort them,” says Beatnik Dad as we part company; he to write an exhibition review, me to contemplate my next book.

Perhaps they’ll end up as accountants anyway.

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Posted in Bruntsfield, Geek Parenting
2 comments on “The Drugs Conversation
  1. Gwen says:

    Bwahahaha. Your last line… You know, they will.

    My mom’s line on drugs when I was 14, which she will never, ever live down: “Pot is fun for parties but it’s really strong these days. LSD is incredible but dangerous. Stay the hell away from the harder stuff.”

    I start my Financial Accounting course next month.

  2. Andy says:

    Yes I’m always curious about the supposed long term effects of Cannabis, the idea has been around for a few decades, but has yet to be substantiated by anything more than anecdotes…

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