By Rob Cantrell
I moved to San Francisco from Washington, DC after college. I wanted to get away from the east coast swampy summers and the conservative closed mindedness aka “not that good of weed.” In the center of my heart I wanted to start performing Stand-Up and it took me leaving the comfort of my hometown to have the courage to throw myself into the abyss. San Francisco is one of the most hippy freak-show progressive cities in the universe, I fit in well there, with an awesome local comedy scene, but the rent is hella expensive. For the first year and a half I lived in SF, I worked/lived at an International Youth Hostel called “The Green Tortoise." The Hostel/Hostile was right in the middle of the classic beatnik area of North Beach. I worked the GRAVEYARD shift at the front desk of the hostel, from 11 PM to 7 AM.
Staying up all night, four nights a week to get a free room and perform at coffee houses on my days off. It was alot of fun. “The Green Tortoise Hostile” was run by old hippies that smoked pot since Jerry Garcia was skinny. The cliental was mostly young European back-packers and growers from Humboldt hiding from the law. It was my job to check guests in and out at night, as well be a janitor. There was a huge old ball room with a giant TV under 50 foot ceiling, that is where guests were allowed to eat, drink and even smoke pot or cigarettes. One night toward the end of my shift, I was mopping the ball room floor at 6 AM, the front door buzzes.
In walks a dude, he was in 50ʼs or 60ʼs with a Sky Blue and Lime green Hawaiian Shirt. I was having a really rough morning and felt wacked from the lack of sleep. When I proceed to check him into the Hostel for the day/night. We say maybe three words back and forth, when I hand him the key to his room. He kinda smiles and pulls out a huge magic maker looking joint, this thing lasted me a week. He hands it to me and says, “Here you go man.” My eyes went Casino, “Ding, Ding, Ding”!!! I was fresh out of weed and had worked hard all night long.
This joint smelt better then ANYTHING I have EVER smoked or have smoked to this day. It was pure outdoor grown Hawaiian cannabis, the aroma smelt like pineapples and Waterfall mist. I went back to mopping the ball room floor and lit up the joint in the process. Suddenly it hit, It felt like my whole body was made of sunshine, there was zero paranoia with this herb. It made me feel like I was levitating. It felt like my brain grew wings and left out the window, suddenly soaring over the Golden Gate Bridge and across the Pacific Ocean gliding through the air with a flock of golden pelicans.
My mind was zooming all over the Hawaiian islands passing over volcanos, checking out the waves, then off to a cliff where I dived off, doing a back flip and then crashing safely in the water. When the water hits my face, it suddenly snaps my fantasy back to reality, finding myself dumping out the dirty mop water behind the Hostel in an alley.... that was a great joint.